SC notes national security issues and tags Jaya’s Setu plea to pending petitions

SC tags Jaya’s Sethu plea to pending petitions


New Delhi (Jan. 28, 2009, New Indian Express, Page 4)

Supreme Court has on Monday directed the petition filed by former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu J Jayalalithaa on Ramar Sethu to be tagged to the petitions already pending and to be heard along with them.

A Bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan, Justice Tarun Chatterjee and Justice R V Raveendran initially asked as to how many petitions would be filed on the same matter. Senior counsel K K Venugopal, appearing for Jayalalithaa, told the Bench that this petition is based on new material.

One Naval Officer Captain Balakrishnan had written a six-volume research paper on the issue and said that the project is not good from the standpoint of security and environment. He concluded that it is also unviable commercially. The whole thing is documented, the senior counsel submitted to the Bench. To this, the Chief Justice said that the prayer of the petitioner was to declare it as a national monument. If that is the case, you approach the appropriate authorities, he said. The counsel replied that in addition to this, there is another prayer (B), seeking “to forbear the first and second respondents (Union of India and Sethusamudram Corporation Ltd) from in any manner destroying/damaging the Ramar Sethu in the process of execution.”

The Bench said that the petitioner was again referring to the newspaper statements. The counsel replied that prayer (B) is being sought on new material. To dismiss the petition would be a tragedy, Venugopal pointed out.

At this, the Chief Justice again pointed out to prayer (A) seeking to declare Ramar Sethu as a national monument. To this the counsel said that prayer (A) may be treated as deleted. Chief Justice said that the project was cleared long ago.

Additional Solicitor General R Mohan, appearing for Sethusamudram Corporation Ltd, replied that it was cleared in March 2005.

“You are approaching the court after such a long time,” the Chief Justice said.


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