NEW DELHI: The Central government on Thursday told the Supreme Court that the process to declare ‘Ram Sethu’ a national heritage monument is currently underway in the ministry of Culture.
A bench comprising Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, Justice Pamidighantam Sri Narasimha and Justice J.B. Pardiwala allowed BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, seeking direction to the government to declare ‘Ram Sethu’ as a national monument, to make a representation to the Ministry of Culture on the issue.
The top court said the ministry will inform the court about the decision taken by the Centre.
The order of the top court came after Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the bench that the process is currently underway in the Ministry of Culture.
The Solicitor General said that Swamy may submit additional communication if he may so wish.
When the CJI Chandrachud said that Swamy can meet the concerned person, Swamy said, “I do not want to meet anybody if they do not want to. We are in the same party, it was there in our manifesto. Let them decide in six weeks or four weeks…” The bench then disposed of the plea and granted liberty to Swamy to approach the top court if he is aggrieved by the decision of the Ministry.
Swamy had earlier said that the case has been pending for eight years but the government has not been able to respond to the plea.
Swamy, in his plea has urged the top court to pass an order and direct “Union of India along with National Monuments Authority (NMA) to declare Ram Setu as an Ancient Monument of National Importance.”
Swamy has also urged the top court to pass an order and direct “Union of India to engage Geological Survey of India and Archaeological 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 succeeded in 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.