New Delhi, Jan 31: The Supreme Court today granted four weeks time to the Centre to make its stand clear on the issue of Ram Setu.
The time was granted by a bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justices R V Raveendran and J M Panchal when Additional Solicitor General R Mohan mentioned the matter before the court seeking extension of time for filing affidavit on the issue. The apex court directed the government to file two separate affidavits, one on the alignment of the project and other giving details of the studies that have been undertaken to ascertain whether Ram Setu is an ancient monument.
The affidavits are to be filed by the first week of March. Several petitions are pending in the apex court to save the Ram Setu from being demolished to complete the Sethusamudram Project.
The Supreme court had already directed the authorities not to damage the Setu in any manner while carrying out dredging activities.
The Sethusamudram Project is aimed at saving the navigation time for the shift between Rameshwaram in Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka.
The M Karunanidhi government in the southern state has been pleading for the demolition of the Ram Setu, which millions of Hindus across the world believe was built by Lord Rama with the help of his 'Vanar Sena' ( monkey warriors) led by Hanumanji.
The Centre's affidavit, questioning the very existence of the characters and events described in the Ramayana, had to be withdrawn after huge public outcry.