New Delhi: The Centre was on Thursday granted more time by the Supreme Court to decide whether the mythological Ram Setu could be declared a national monument.
Appearing before a bench headed by Justice HL Dattu, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Haren Raval submitted that consultation was needed on the issue with the competent authority and sought more time to file an affidavit on it.
"Take a decision whether or not to", the bench said, while granting the government two weeks time to take a decision. The bench then posted the matter for further hearing on April 19.
The bench was hearing a petition filed by Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy seeking the court`s direction to declare Ram Setu a national monument.
Earlier, the bench had on March 27 directed the government to file an affidavit regarding its decision within two days.
"If you say you don`t want to file counter affidavit, we can go ahead with the arguments in the case," the bench had said.
The case relating to Ram Setu came under judicial scrutiny after a batch of petitions were filed in the apex court challenging the ambitious Sethusamudram project, which was alleged to cause damage to the mythological bridge.
Sethusamudram project is aimed at constructing a shorter navigational route around India`s southern tip by breaching the mythological Ram Setu, said to have been built by Lord Rama`s army of monkeys and bears to the demon king Ravana`s kingdom Lanka.
As per the Sethusamudram project, the shipping channel is proposed to be 30 metres wide, 12 metres deep and 167 kms long.