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Centre has 4 weeks to file Rama Setu affidavits

January 31, 2008 19:21 IST

The Supreme Court on Thursday granted another four weeks to the Centre to file affidavits related to the Sethusamudram project which is in the midst of a controversy over Rama Setu.

A bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan accepted the request of Additional Solicitor General R Mohan that the two weeks time granted to the Centre on January 16 to file the affidavits be extended by four weeks and posted the matter for hearing in the first week of March.

Janata Party president Subramanium Swamy, who is one of the petitioners opposing the project, said it should be made clear that the Centre should not ask for any further adjournment and file two separate affidavits.

He reminded that the court had asked the Centre to review the alignments of the Sethusamudram project and, secondly, whether the Rama Setu, a mythical bridge situated south-east off Rameshwaram connected to the Talaimanar coast of Sri Lanka, can be declared as a protected ancient monument.

Attorney General Milon K Banerji on January 16 had informed the court that a committee appointed by the Centre was re-examining the feasibility of the project.

During the last hearing, Swamy had said the Centre has not yet responded to the order passed by Madras high court asking it to conduct an archaeological investigation whether Rama Setu could be declared as protected ancient monument.

He said before his petition was transferred to the apex court, the high court had specifically directed the Centre to investigate whether Rama Setu qualifies to be categorised as a historical monument.

Instead, the Centre came out with two controversial affidavits questioning the existence of Lord Rama and manmade bridge Rama Setu which was withdrawn after large scale protest, Swamy had said.

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