SC to list Swamy’s plea on Ram Sethu
The Supreme Court on Wednesday said it would list for hearing BJP leader Subramanian Swamy‘s plea seeking direction to the Centre to declare the Ram Sethu a national heritage monument. Though two weeks back, the apex court agreed to list the case on July 26, and did not happen. A bench comprising Chief Justice N V Ramana, Justices Krishna Murari, and Hima Kohli said it could not do so as one of the judges of the bench concerned had some health issues.
“We will list it,” the CJI told Swamy, adding that one of the Judges had health issues at that time. Swamy mentioned the case for urgent listing on July 13 and a few times in the past as well. The BJP leader had submitted that he had already won the first round of the litigation in which the Centre accepted the existence of Ram Sethu.
Subramanian Swamy is at loggerheads with Prime Minister Narendra Modi for not declaring Rama Sethu as a national heritage monument. Many times Swamy made public speeches and also tweeted that from 2017 onwards, the file forwarded by the Ministry of Culture for approval of declaring Rama Sethu as a national heritage monument is pending before Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s table. He also accused Prime Minister of demoting then Culture Minister Prahlad Patel:
Why does not Modi as PM sign the complete file prepared Minister Prahlad Patel ? It is on Modi’s desk since last four years. Modi also transferred Prahlad to some other Ministry for no obvious reason, and his wife was put on Pegasus for tapping by Doval.
— Subramanian Swamy (@Swamy39) August 3, 2022
Ram Sethu, 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. Subramanian Swamy approached Supreme Court in 2007 and got stayed the dream project of the UPA government, known as Sethu Samudram Shipping Channel by breaking the epic Rama Sethu.
The Centre later said it had considered the “socio-economic disadvantages” of the project and was willing to explore another route to the shipping channel project without damaging the Ram Sethu. Sri Lanka also objected to the project saying it will also have huge environmental problems due to the unilateral decision of the UPA government.
“That the Government of India intends to explore an alternative to the earlier alignment of Skeletomuscular Ship Channel project without affecting/ damaging the Adam’s Bridge/ Ram Sethu in the interest of the nation,” the affidavit filed by the ministry had said. Apex court then asked the government to file a fresh affidavit.
On November 13, 2019, the apex court granted the Centre six weeks to clarify its stand on the Ram Sethu. It had also granted Swamy liberty to approach the court if the response of the Centre was not filed.
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