Thursday, June 1, 2023

Supreme Court to hear plea seeking national heritage status for Ram Setu

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The Supreme Court on Thursday agreed to take up the petition filed by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, seeking direction to the Central government to declare the Ram Setu as a national heritage monument.

Earlier on January 19, the top court of the country had asked Swamy to approach the Centre regarding his demand and gave him liberty to approach the Apex Court again, if he was not satisfied with the outcome.

Swamy returned to the court on Thursday and mentioned his prayer before a Bench headed by Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud.

The CJI said the Apex Court would hear this petition, once the Constitution Bench matters got over.

A five-Judge Constitution Bench, led by the CJI, was currently hearing certain matters, including the political crisis in Maharashtra arising out of split in the Shiv Sena and the differences between the Delhi government and the Centre over control of services.

Representing the Union government, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta had submitted on January 19 that the process was currently underway in the Ministry of Culture and that the petitioner was free to submit any additional material or communication as he may wish.

The SG further said that the Supreme Court may be appraised how the process has culminated and the decision, if any, taken thereof.

Ram Setu, also known as Adam’s Bridge, is a chain of limestone shoals between Pamban Island, off the south-eastern coast of Tamil Nadu, and Mannar Island, off the north-western coast of Sri Lanka.

The BJP leader had submitted that he had already won the first round of the litigation, in which the Centre had agreed to the existence of Ram Setu.

Swamy had raised the issue of declaring the Ram Setu as national monument in his PIL against the controversial Sethusamudram Ship Channel project, initiated by the UPA-I government.

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