The Supreme Court on Monday directed the central government to file a draft scheme by May 3 in accordance with its February 16 verdict on the distribution of the Cauvery's waters.
The apex court refused to accept the Attorney-General's arguments that making the draft scheme was a legislative function, with the Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra, saying that it was an executive function.
The bench said that the government needs to show in a bonafide manner that it respects the Supreme Court's order and wants to distribute the water.
"They must do it. They are obliged to do it", CJI Dipak Misra said.
"Multiple people depend on water from the Cauvery river. The water should be released as per the Supreme Court's orders", the CJI ordered.
In the February verdict, the Supreme Court had ordered the Karnataka government to provide 177.25 thousand million cubic feet (TMC) of water per year from the Cauvery river to Tamil Nadu. Protests have broken out in the state over the allocation, and against the Centre urging it to set up the Cauvery Management Board (CMB).
The Centre had sought more time to work out the water-sharing between Tamil Nadu and poll-bound Karnataka. In the recently concluded Budget session of Parliament, MP's of the AIADMK, which is in power in Tamil Nadu, held protests in the wells of both houses demanding the setting up of the Cauvery Management Board and criticised the government for its delay in doing so. However, the opposition DMK alleged that the protests were a mere eyewash carried out in coordination with the BJP. New entrants into the Tamil Nadu political scenario, Kamal Haasan and Rajinikanth, have also addressed the matter on a number of occasions. Following farmers' protests over the issue, a call to boycott the IPL in the state had also been issued.