The Supreme Court Ruling

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On October 18, 2000, the Supreme Court of India delivered its judgement on the Sardar Sarovar Project. In a 2 to 1 majority judgement, it allowed immediate construction on the dam upto a height of 90m. Further, the judgement authorized construction upto the originally planned height of 138m. in 5-meter increments subject to receiving approval from the Relief and Rehabilitation Subgroup of the Narmada Control Authority. It should be noted that the Court has said nothing new on the matter. The Narmada Water Disputes Tribunal Award states that land should be made available to the oustees at least an year in advance before submergence (Clause XI, Subclause IV(2)(iv), Subclause IV(6)(i),(ii)).

The essentially unfettered clearance from the Supreme Court has come from the Court despite major unresolved issues on resettlement, the environment, and the project's costs and benfits.

On this page, we have made available both the majority as well as the minority Supreme Court judgements. We have also posted comments and critiques of the judgement from the Narmada Bachao Andolan, current status of rehabilitation, and how the Supreme Court order affects SSP-affected families at the dam height of 90m. In the future, we'll also make available other comments and critiques as they become available.

On this page, we have also made available news clippings from the media. This page will attempt to present a view of the issue as the media sees it, via its news coverage, and via the editorials, analysis, opinion pieces, and letters it carries.

Meanwhile, the struggle continues, as it must. To not continue fighting this injustice is unthinkable. It would be a surrender of well-held principles of justice, human rights, democracy, equitable and sustainable development, of all the issues that the movement has fought for and has brought to the forefront of the developmental debate.

On this page, we will also document the ongoing struggle as it intensifies and carries on. We hope that it will stimulate you to participate in the struggle in your own unique way. We hope that you'll stay with the struggle and with the people at this crucial juncture, when they need our solidarity the most. The people of the Valley will fight, with, without, or inspite of our support. Participation in the struggle is something that we owe ourselves and to our professed goals of just and sustainable development, something we owe to our professed principles of equality, justice, and democracy. Please share your actions of solidarity with us, with the people of the Narmada Valley, and with the world at large, if only to join hands with each other.

The Supreme Court Judgements

Majority Ruling by Justice Kirpal and Justice Anand: (778 KB, Word Doc); (293 KB, HTML format);
Minority Ruling by Justice Bharucha: (105 KB, Word Doc); (52 KB, Formatted HTML);
Comments, critiques, and related documents:

The Struggle Continues ...

Media Coverage

News Clippings on the Supreme Court Judgement

Some Select clippings:

  • SSP no use for Saurashtra, admits CM; Indian Express, Feb 27, 2000

  • 'There is not enough arable land for PAP, so I prefer to give cash compensation'; Interview with Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister, Digvijay Singh

  • "The total cropped area for kharif in Saurashtra is 4 million hectares (mha). At present, water for irrigation is being provided by 113 dams for 0.3 mha. Even after the Sardar Sarovar Project is implemented, 0.4-0.5 mha will be irrigated. Therefore, 3.15 mha will still be dependent on rain. Therefore, even Narmada water cannot solve the problem. However, with the small structures in Saurashtra, villages would have water for irrigation and drinking."
    - M.S.Patel, Secretary of Narmada (water resources and water supply), Government of Gujarat
    Read more about water harvesting schemes in Gujarat in Tryst with Rain

  • The Karma of Dams; Shekhar Singh; Member, Narmada Control Authority Sub-Group on the Environment;
    Indian Express, October 25th