SC refuses to entertain plea seeking direction to declare ‘Ram Sethu’ as national monument

The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to entertain a plea seeking directions to declare the ‘Ram Sethu’ as a national monument and construction of a wall at the site, saying these are administrative matters for the government.

‘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.

The plea came up for hearing before a bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Sudhanshu Dhulia.

The petition was filed by an organisation ‘Hindu Personal Law Board’ through its president Ashok Pandey.

Pandey, who is also an advocate, informed the bench about a plea filed by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy which is pending in the apex court.

In his plea, Swamy has sought a direction to the Centre to declare the ‘Ram Sethu’ as a national heritage monument.

Pandey urged the bench that the plea filed by the board be tagged with Swamy’s pending petition.

“If it is pending, it is pending. What do you want?” the bench asked.

When he referred to his prayer for construction of wall at the site, the bench observed, “How can wall be constructed on two sides?”

“Is this for the court to do? These are administrative matters for the government. Why should we get into this?” the apex court said.

The bench refused to accede to the petitioner’s request that his plea be tagged with the pending petition.

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“We are not inclined to exercise jurisdiction under Article 32 of the Constitution of India to give any nature of direction as the petitioner seeks,” the bench said, while refusing to entertain the plea.

Article 32 of the Constitution deals with remedies for enforcement of rights and 32 (1) says that right to move the apex court by appropriate proceedings for enforcement of rights conferred by this part is guaranteed.

The plea filed by the board sought the top court’s direction to authorities concerned to construct a wall at the ‘Ram Sethu’ site.

It also sought a direction for declaring ‘Ram Sethu’ as a national monument within the provisions of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958.

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