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Process to declare 'Ram Setu' national heritage monument underway: Centre to SC
New Delhi: The Central government on Thursday told the Supreme Court that the process to declare 'Ram Setu' a national heritage monument is currently underway in the Ministry of Culture.
A bench of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justices PS Narasimha and JB Pardiwala allowed BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, seeking direction to the government to declare 'Ram Setu' as a national monument, to file representation to the Ministry on the issue. The apex court said the Ministry will inform the court about the decision taken by the Centre.
The order of the apex court came after Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the bench that the process is currently underway in the Ministry of Culture.
He said that Swamy may submit additional communication if he may so wish.
When the CJI said that Swamy can meet the concerned person, he 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.
In his plea, Swamy had urged the apex court to pass an order and direct the "Union of India along with National Monuments Authority (NMA) to declare Ram Setu as an Ancient Monument of National Importance."
He had also urged the top court to pass an order and direct the "Union of India to engage the Geological Survey of India and Archeological Survey of India to conduct a detailed survey with respect to Ram Setu as an Ancient Monument of National Importance."
Swamy said that he has already won the first round of the litigation in which the Centre accepted the existence of 'Ram Setu' and added that the union minister concerned had called a meeting in 2017 to consider his demand to declare the Setu as a national heritage monument but subsequently nothing happened.
Ram Setu 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. (ANI)