Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and former Rajya Sabha (RS) Member of Parliament (MP), Dr Subramanian Swamy, mentioned his case on Monday in the Supreme Court bench seeking urgent hearing into his plea seeking national heritage status for Ram Setu.
Dr Subramanian Swamy mentioned the plea before the Supreme Court bench, headed by the Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dr Dhananjaya Yeshwant Chadrachud, who said, he will list the matter.
“They (The Centre) still have not given a decision saying yes or no- are they going to declare it a National Heritage site or not,” Dr Swamy told the Supreme Court and sought urgent hearing into his petition.
He further said that the Centre was asked to inform of its stand on January 19, but nothing has been filed on record and now the constitution bench is also over.
CJI Chandrachud said that another constitution bench is starting tomorrow “but we will definitely list your matter.”
When the matter was last heard by the Apex Court, the Centre had informed the Court that the process to consider national heritage status for ‘Ram Setu’ was underway in the Ministry of Culture, Dr Swamy told the Supreme Court.
The former RS MP and also a senior leader from the BJP, Dr Swamy mentioned his plea, before the CJI Bench of the Supreme Court, seeking national heritage status for Ram Setu. Dr Swamy sought urgent listing of his petition.
Swamy had told the Apex Court that the case has been pending for eight years before it, but the government has not been able to respond on the plea.
In his petition, Dr Swamy had urged the Apex Court to pass order and direct the “Union of India (UOI) along with the National Monuments Authority (NMA) to declare Ram Setu as an Ancient Monument of National Importance.”
Dr Swamy had also urged the top court to pass order and direct “Union of India to engage Geological Survey of India (GSI) and Archeological Survey of India (ASI) to conduct a detailed survey in respect to Ram Setu as an Ancient Monument of National Importance.”
Dr 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 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 Setu is a chain of limestone shoals between 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.