Supreme Court refuses to adjourn Sethusamudram project hearing

July 22nd, 2008 - 2:57 pm ICT by ANI  

Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, July 22 (ANI): The Supreme Court today rejected a suggestion to adjourn the hearing on the Sethusamudram project on the grounds that the Government is seeking a trust vote in Parliament.
Refusing the plea of an anti-project petitioner, a Bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan said: “How are we concerned with the trust motion. This court is only concerned with judicial matters.”
The anti-project petitioner wanted the apex court bench to postpone the hearing for three weeks.
“So many things are happening in this country, but we are only concerned with this case,” said Justices R V Raveendran and J M Panchal of the Bench.
Earlier, the Centre had filed a fresh affidavit in the apex court on the project seeking vacation of its interim orders on putting on hold any damage to the ancient “Ram Setu.”
The 60-page affidavit, cleared by the Cabinet Committee of Political Affairs (CCPA) that is chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, said the government respects all religions, but was of view that it should not be called upon to respond to issues of faith except in recognizing their existence.
The amended affidavit assumes significance as it has been filed after the Centre withdrew its two affidavits in which it had questioned the existence of Lord Ram and “Ram Setu”, in September.
Following an outcry led by the Sangh Parivar over the controversial affidavit, the apex court on September 14, 2007 had allowed the Centre re-examine the materials afresh to review the Rs 2,087 crore project.
However, it had continued the operation of its August 31 interim order restraining any damage to “Rama Setu” or Adams Bridge, a mythical bridge situated south-east off Rameshwaram, connecting the Talaimanar coast of Sri Lanka.
The court in its interim order had allowed the dredging activity for the project to the extent that it did not in anyway damage the “Rama Setu” or Adams Bridge.
While withdrawing the affidavits, the Centre had said, “it has total respect for all religions, and Hinduism in particular, in the context of the present case. The Central government is alive and conscious of the religious sensibilities, including the unique, ancient and holy text of Ramayana”. (ANI)

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