New Delhi, Dec 11: Additional Solicitor General Gopal Subramaniam today sought more time from the Supreme Court to file the Centre's response to the batch of petitions seeking declaration from the apex court that Ram Sethu is a monument of national heritage.
ASG told the bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justices R V Raveendran and J M Panchal that the ten member committee appointed by the government to suggest alternative route for completion of Sethusamudram project without damaging Ram Sethu, has submitted its report to the government which is under consideration.
The apex court adjourned the hearing till January 16, next year and directed the government to file its response to the petition before the next date of hearing.
The petitioners, who include former Union Minister and currently Rajya Sabha member Dr Subramanian Swamy, have contended before the court that the expert commitee has suggested six alternative routes but the Centre and Tamil Nadu government were bent on demolishing Ram Sethu which millions of Hindus across the globe believe was built by Lord Rama to reach Sri Lanka with the help of Hanuman's vanar sena.
The Supreme Court had already directed the government not to damage 30 km long Ram Sethu also known as Adam's bridge while continuing the work of dredging for completion of Sethusamudran project.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, Union Minister T R Baalu, state Chief Secretary , state Transport Minister and Transport Secretary are already facing contempt of court proceeding for enforcing October 1 state-wide bandh in violation of the apex court order not to enforce the same.
Under tremendous public pressure, the Central government had to withdraw its affidavit that events described in Ramayana and its characters are only mythological characters and there were no scientific evidence that the incidents and characters ever existed.