Editorial : Poll position: on the delay in drafting the Cauvery scheme

The Centre’s excuse for being unable to submit a draft scheme on the Cauvery issue is so poor that it will convince nobody. That it was extremely(बेहद ) reluctant(अनिच्छुक/असन्तुष्ट) to take a decision which could have electoral repercussions(नतीजों/प्रतिक्रिया) in Karnataka, which goes to the polls on May 12, is well known. But the Attorney(प्रतिनिधि/न्यायवादी) General’s explanation that the draft scheme could not be readied(तैयार/इच्छुक होना) because the Prime Minister and other ministers were busy “travelling” in Karnataka is laughable(मनोरंजक/हास्यास्पद). While
the world of politics is sometimes ruled more by expediency(लाभ/सुविधा) than law, the Centre has cut a sorry figure by admitting(स्वीकार/प्रवेश की अनुमति देना) in court that its leaders are too preoccupied(चिंताकुल/तल्लीन) with an election campaign to fulfil a court directive — one over which it could be punished for contempt. That the Attorney General asked for the contempt petition(याचिका/सिफ़ारिश) to be taken up a day after the Karnataka election gives the game away. There are several reasons why the Centre’s stand is legally untenable and morally wrong. First and foremost, the framing of a scheme to implement a river water tribunal’s award is the Centre’s statutory obligation, and it is not open to the government to weigh its political or electoral implications(प्रभाव/उलझाव) in the face of such a deadline. Besides, the plea that the Prime Minister and the Union Minister concerned were unavailable is questionable — a day before the submission was made, the Cabinet had met and announced important decisions.
In its verdict(निर्णय/विचार) on February 16, 2018, the apex court granted six weeks’ time to the Centre for framing the scheme. It added for good measure(मात्रा में) that no extension of time would be granted on any ground. Yet, on the eve of the expiry of the deadline, the Union government chose to file an application seeking three more months. Tamil Nadu filed a contempt petition. In its application for more time, the Centre had mentioned that it had convened a meeting of representatives of the four States and had also cited the differences of opinion among the States over the composition of the proposed mechanism. There was at least a ring of truth to this, given that consulting(परामर्श) the parties over the composition of the scheme was necessary to frame it. Even then, the Supreme Court was unimpressed; it had asked the Centre to prove its bona fides by submitting a draft scheme on May 3. That it not only failed to do so, but also chose to cite the Prime Minister’s preoccupation with the campaign is bound to raise questions about its commitment to impartial(निष्पक्ष/अपक्षपाती) governance and its disdain(तिरस्कार/घृणा) for judicial orders. The Centre’s attitude suggests that it hopes to persuade the court that a degree of political expediency in the light of the election is normal and acceptable. Clearly, it is not as keen on proving its own bona fides as it is on improving its prospects(संभावनाओं) in Karnataka.
Important Vocabulary
Synonyms: afraid, averse, cautious, circumspect, hesitant
Antonyms: bold, careless, certain, confident, definite
Synonyms: absorbed, bemused, distracted, engaged, engrossed
Antonyms: bored, dis enthralled,, disinterested, indifferent, uninterested
Synonyms: application, prayer, request, suit, address
Synonyms: consultative, advising, consultancy, consultative, instructive
Synonyms: candid, detached, disinterested, dispassionate, equitable
Antonyms: biased, interested, involved, partial, passionate
Synonyms: anticipation, chance, expectation, forecast, future
Antonyms: hopelessness,, impossibility, unlikelihood
Synonyms: antipathy, arrogance, aversion, contempt, derision
Antonyms: admiration, affection, approval, flattery, humility

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