Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Rama Setu: demolition a criminal offence -- Swamy

Demolition of Ram Setu a criminal offence: Dr. Subramanian Swamy tells SC
Nov. 5, 2008

Former Union minister and Janata party president Dr Subramanian Swami, in his written argument filed in the Supreme Court in Ram Setu case, has contended that demolition of the bridge will amount to a criminal offence under section 295 IPC.

According to this section, defacing, demolition or damaging a place of worship knowing well that it will hurt the religious sentiments of a segment of population, is a criminal offence.

Dr Swamy, who is one of the petitioners seeking declaration from the apex court that Ram Setu, also known as Adam’s Bridge, is a monument of national heritage and therefore, cannot be touched, has also pleaded that Sethusamudram project has already been rejected by the Planning Commission of India as economically not good.

Dr Swami has, however, said if Alignment six was changed and alternative route was taken sparing 35 km Ram Setu, then he has no objection to the completion of the project.

He has also submitted that if the alternative alignment was not chosen for completion of Rs 2240 crore project, then the entire project should be scrapped as it will turn out to be an economic disaster and shall also prove to be a grave threat to national security.

He has also contended that the decision making process adopted to approve the project was illegal, arbitrary, unconstitutional and also inspired by conflicting commercial interest.

The Supreme Court has already restrained the Government from damaging Ram Setu in any manner while carrying out dredging activity for completion of Sethusamudram Shipping Channel which will link Rameshwaram in Tamil Nadu to Sri Lanka.

The Union Government, in its written arguments, has taken a stand that the bridge was not integral to Hinduism and was destroyed by Lord Rama at the request of Vibhishan, brother of demon king Ravana, who saw the bridge as threat to the security of Sri Lanka under his rule.

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