ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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Difficulties and Solutions

Inter-State Water Disputes Act 1956

The National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution (NCRWC) has recommended the repeal of the Inter-State Water Disputes Act (ISWD Act) and the enactment of a new Act. Its recommendation is to bring river water disputes within the original and exclusive jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. This article argues that the repeal of the ISWD Act would be singularly ill-advised. Article 262 together with the ISWD Act represents a very good mechanism for dispute-resolution (as a last resort when negotiations fail) and it would be a great pity to dismantle it. There have been some deficiencies in the functioning of that mechanism; the amendments to the ISWD Act passed in early 2002 seek to remedy them and some further improvements are suggested here. The NCRWC is right in wanting to restore the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, but it should be appellate jurisdiction.



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