Thursday, March 30, 2023

Supreme Court adjourns plea by Subramanian Swamy to declare Ram Setu as National Monument

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The Supreme Court on Monday, adjourned the plea by former member of Parliament, Dr Subramanian Swamy seeking to declare Ram Setu as National Monument & of National importance. Former MP Subramanian Swamy had filed a plea in the Court for the same.

The Bench by Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice AS Bopanna asked Dr Swamy to give them the gist of the matter and tell them why he wants an early hearing on the matter. The bench admitted of not getting the opportunity to go through the entire plea of Dr Swamy.

Subramanian Swamy told the bench that it is a very short issue as he has filed a petition requesting for declaring Ram Setu as National Heritage, as it meets all the criteria in the Act.

The Bench told Subramanian Swamy that whether to declare National Heritage is a matter of executive and they will list it on a future date for hearing.

Subramanian Swamy in his own way said then in that case the Government of India should file an affidavit and say when they will decide, as the matter is going on and on. He said that they should file a counter. If they are opposing they have to say so. Otherwise they are supporting, there is no other way.

The Bench said that we will keep it on a later date and we should get to the issue, to which Subramanian Swamy said that he is apprehensive that the matter might not be deleted by the registry.

Earlier Swamy had approached the CJI Bench of Justice NV Ramana for early listing, and he was told to mention it before Justice Chandrachud.
Ram Setu, is a bridge which is a chain of limestone shoals, off the south-eastern coast of Tamil Nadu. It runs from Pamban Island near Rameshwaram in South India to Mannar Island, off the northern coast of Sri Lanka.

The significance of bridge dates in history as it finds mention in the epic Ramayana having been constructed by Lord Ram to reach Sri Lanka to rescue Sita.

In January 2020, the Supreme Court observed that Swamy’s Ram Setu plea, should be considered but had asked him to mention it after three months owing to the pendency of cases before it.

Since then, the matter was mentioned a number of times, the last being on 13th July, when the Bench led by CJI Ramana had agreed to list it on 26.07.2022.
Dr.Swamy told the Apex Court that a meeting was called in this regard by the Union ministers in 2017 but nothing had happened after that.

Dr. Swamy raised the issue of declaring Ram Setu as a National Heritage monument in his plea filed in 2007 against Sethusamudram Ship Channel project for the protection of Ram Setu and a stay was granted by the Apex Court on the project’s work over Ram Setu.

The Sethusamudram project talked of an 83-km-long deep water channel to be created which would link Mannar with Palk Strait, by extensive dredging and removal of the limestone shoals which constitute the mythological Setu.

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