June 24, 2010 | By Tejashdeep Singh
Fatehgarh Sahib (June 24, 2010): Shiromani Akali Dal (Panch Pardhani) has called upon Punjab Government to hold special session of Punjab State Assembly to scrap controversial ‘Section 5’ of Punjab Termination of Agreements Act, 2004. In a statement issued under the signatures of Panch Pardhani Secretary General, Harpal Singh Cheema, it is claimed that Section 5 adversely affects the interests and ‘riparian rights’ of the State, as it legalizes the alleged illegal allocation of river waters of Satluj-Beas-Ravi, to the States of Rajasthan, Haryana and Delhi. It is notable that trio-rivers do not enter Rajasthan, Haryana or Delhi, and these states are considered to be non-riparian states. “Ruling parties, current or former, of Punjab; including Congress, SAD (Badal) and BJP, committed a grave err by passing Section 5 of PTAA (2004); and now they should set it right without undue delay” says the statement.
“As per entry 17 to Second list of Seventh Schedule of Indian Constitution, river water is a States’ subject and Union parliament cannot legislate on it.” informed HS Cheema, himself an Advocate. He further added that Sections 78, 79 and 80 of Punjab Re-organization Act, 1966 are ultra-vires, and thus unconstitutional; as these sections violate the policy of Center-State relations, embodied under three lists of the Constitution, by authorizing Center to control river waters of Punjab. Panch Pardhani has insisted that Punjab Government should challenge the ‘vires’(authenticity) of Section 78, 79 and 80 of PROA (1966) in order to safeguards the interests of the State and its’ people.
Panch Pardhani further called upon the Punjab Government to hold a meeting of all political parties, Farmers’ Associations and other concerned organizations and individuals; to chalk out common and open strategy to pursue the legal battle, which is set begin in the Supreme Court of India from first week of next month. “A committee consisting representatives of all concerned parties should be formed to look upon the Court proceedings” demanded HS Cheema.
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