The SC adjourned the case after it was informed that an adjournment letter had been circulated by the Central government
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday granted four more weeks to the Centre to file a response to a plea filed by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy seeking direction to the government to declare ‘Ram Sethu’ as a national heritage monument.
A bench of Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud and Justices Hima Kohli and JB Pardiwala adjourned the case after it was informed that an adjournment letter had been circulated by the Central government. The counsel appearing for the Centre told the bench that the affidavit was ready to be filed, but they were awaiting instructions from the concerned Ministry.
Swamy said that the case has been pending for eight years but the government has not been able to respond to the plea.
He contended that on several occasions the Supreme Court had directed the Union government to file the affidavit, but nothing has been filed till date.
As the bench was initially granting two weeks to the Centre to file an affidavit, the counsel requested not to specify two weeks as it might take some time to get instructions from the Ministry.
CJI asked, “Why are you dragging your feet?”
In his plea, Swamy had urged the apex court to pass an order and direct the “Union of India along with National Monuments Authority (NMA) to declare Ram Setu as an Ancient Monument of National Importance.”
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He had also urged the top court to pass an order and direct the “Union of India to engage the Geological Survey of India and Archeological Survey of India to conduct a detailed survey in respect to Ram Setu as an Ancient Monument of National Importance.”
Swamy said that he has already won the first round of the litigation in which the Centre accepted the existence of ‘Ram Sethu’ and added that the union minister concerned had called a meeting in 2017 to consider his demand to declare the Sethu as a national heritage monument but subsequently nothing happened.
Ram Sethu is a chain of limestone shoals between Pamban Island, also known as Rameswaram Island, off the south-eastern coast of Tamil Nadu, and Mannar Island, off the north-western coast of Sri Lanka.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by HW News staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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