J. Venkatesan

Union government will consider seriously Chief Justice of India's suggestion on alternative, says counsel Fali Nariman

New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is to take a decision on the feasibility, or otherwise, of an alternative alignment for implementing the Sethusamudram Shipping Channel Project, Fali Nariman, senior counsel for the Centre, told the Supreme Court on Tuesday.

New Delhi, July 29: Even as the possibility of an alternative alignment for the Sethusamudram project is still being considered, the Centre told the Supreme Court on Tuesday that Rama Sethu does not fulfil the criteria to be declared a national monument.

Senior counsel Fali S. Nariman, told the bench headed by Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan that just because a structure was ancient it cannot be declared a national monument.

THE Centre on Tuesday told the Supreme Court that Ram Sethu does not fulfil the criteria to be declared as a national monument. It is the absolute prerogative of the government to declare Sethu as a national heritage and cannot be directed to do so, Centre's counsel Fali S Nariman told the apex court.

It is just as well that the Centre is now seriously considering an alternative route for the Sethusamudram ship channel project. The idea of dredging the sea in shallow coastal waters to allow large seagoing vessels to pass around peninsular India is not new. Various alignments for the proposed channel have been suggested ever since 1860, all aimed at cutting costs by cutting shipping time. However, when the Manmohan Singh government gave signs of starting implementation of the project, it ran into a wall of controversy.

The Centre on Thursday conceded to the demand of environmentalists and religious activists on the Sethusamudram project and accepted the suggestion of the Supreme Court to look for an alternative route for dredging operations.

Senior counsel Nariman, defending the project, said in court that the suggestion for alternative alignment to avoid Ram Sethu has been taken as a special case. "I have personally taken it at the highest level. It is being scientifically examined. I will come back to you by Tuesday or Wednesday," he told the bench headed by Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan.

Centre studying court suggestion on alternative alignment for Sethu project

J. Venkatesan

New Delhi: The Centre will inform the Supreme Court on July 29 of the feasibility, or otherwise, of an alternative alignment, particularly Alignment No. 4, for implementing the Sethusamudram Shipping Channel Project.

Senior counsel Fali Nariman, appearing for the Centre, told a three-judge Bench that he had taken up at the "highest level' the court suggestion that Alignment No. 4 be considered with some modification.

J. Venkatesan

Lord Ram himself destroyed the bridge, says counsel Nariman

New Delhi: The Centre on Wednesday asserted that Lord Ram himself destroyed Ramar Sethu after his victory over Ravana and "we cannot worship something that has been destroyed.'

Senior counsel Fali Nariman, appearing for the Centre, made this submission before a three-judge Bench of the Supreme Court hearing the Sethusamudram case.

Dhananjay Mahapatra TIMES NEWS NETWORK

New Delhi: A day after it won the trust vote, the UPA government on Tuesday acquiesced in the DMK's position in the Sethusamudram case to a question in the Supreme Court about the existence of Ram Sethu by citing the scriptures and Puranas.

Prabhakar Rao Voruganti | ENS

THE Supreme Court on Tuesday heard inconclusive arguments on the Ramar Sethu issue. As soon as the hearing commenced, Roxena Swamy , wife of Subramanian Swamy , told a bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan, Justice R V Raveendran and Justice J M Panchal that the orders of the Madras High Court with regard to an archaeological study on the Ramar Sethu were not complied with.

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New Delhi: The Centre is likely to spell out on Wednesday its stand on the Supreme Court's suggestion that it explore the possibility of finding an alternative alignment or any other route for the Sethusamudram Shipping Channel Project without damaging Ramar Sethu and that it consider whether an archaeological study could be conducted to declare Ramar Sethu a national monument.