SC seeks Kerala response on TN plea for CISF at Mullaperiyar

New Delhi (IANS) The Supreme Court on Friday asked Kerala to respond to Tamil Nadu’s plea seeking posting of paramilitary Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel for the protection of Mullaperiyar dam which it (Tamil Nadu) has alleged was “vulnerable” to attack by terror outfits.

Seeking the CISF cover for Mullaperiyar’s security, Tamil Nadu has cited possible threat to the dam by terror outfits relying on the Intelligence Bureau’s ‘Industrial Security Inspection Report’ of September 2014.

Even though the report says that there was no specific input on terror strike to any vital installations, it has advised taking all “precautionary measures” to protect vital installations as it referred to Pakistan-sponsored terror outfits, “remnant cadres of LTTE” and Maoists.

Besides the plea for posting CISF, the bench of Chief Justice H.L.Dattu, Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Amitava Roy also sought response from Kerala on Tamil Nadu’s plea that its staff be allowed unhindered access for the maintenance of the dam.

Contending that Kerala was obstructing the free access of its officials operating and maintaining the dam since December, Tamil Nadu has alleged at the same time the neighbouring state was allowing free passage to media persons.

The court did not issue any notice on Tamil Nadu’s plea as it was opposed by the senior counsel Rajeev Dhavan appearing for Kerala.

Kerala also opposed the plea for the deployment of CISF.

The apex court had on February 20 had issued notice to the central government seeking its response on Tamil Nadu government’s plea seeking CISF protection for the dam.

Tamil Nadu has also moved an application seeking to restrain Kerala for undertaking environment impact assessment (EIA) study in pursuance to its objective of constructing a new dam in place of Mullaperiyar Dam.

Kerala is undertaking the study following a nod from the standing committee of the National Board of Wildlife.

While the court has directed that the hearing on Tamil Nadu’s applications would take place in August, it gave Kerala two weeks time to respond to them.

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