New Delhi: On Monday, the Supreme Court bashed the Delhi government, criticizing its setback in fixing defects in a plea seeking a direction to Haryana to release surplus water provided by Himachal Pradesh to ease Delhi’s water crisis.

A vacation bench of Justice Prashant Kumar Mishra and Justice Prasanna B Varale voiced dissatisfaction over the petition’s defects, highlighting that affidavits are not being accepted because of these errors. The court warned against taking proceedings lightly, and the bench said, “Why have you not cured the defect? We will dismiss the petition. On the last date also, this was pointed out, and you did not remove the defect. Don’t take the court proceedings for granted, however important your case may be.”
The bench alleged the significance of reviewing the files before the hearing. It further expressed its concern that relying solely on newspaper reports could be deceptive. “Never take us for granted. Filings are not being accepted. You straightaway hand over a series of documents in court and then you say you are suffering a deficit of water and pass an order today itself. You are raising all grounds of urgency and sitting leisurely. Let everything come on record. We will take it the day after tomorrow,” the bench said.

A reply to the state government’s response, suggesting questions from the court about the timing of the filing, was submitted by Shyam Divan, senior advocate representing Haryana.

Delhi’s Water Minister, Atishi, filed a plea seeking the quick and constant release of water at the Wazirabad barrage, including the surplus provided by Himachal Pradesh. In the petition, the Centre, BJP-governed Haryana, and Congress-ruled Himachal Pradesh were named. Acknowledging the severe drinking water shortage in Delhi as an “existential problem,” the Supreme Court then directed the Government of Himachal Pradesh to release 137 cusecs of surplus water to the national capital. Moreover, the court requested that Haryana accelerate the flow of this water without politicizing the issue.

The court has adjourned this matter to June 12.

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