Setu6/19/2007 1:33:45 PM http://newstodaynet.com/2007sud/jun07/190607.htm
More than 800 million Hindus in India and several millions of Hindus abroad are delighted by the following observation of the Madras High Court, while dealing with the two writ petitions filed by Dr Subramanian Swami, President Janata Party and Shri Ram Gopal, President of Hindu Munnani seeking Interim Injunction against the destruction of the Ram Setu Bridge: ‘Be it man- made or natural, the Ramar Setu should not be touched’. I had requested two very senior lawyers with established legal practice and reputation for several decades to watch the High Court proceedings yesterday relating to the petition filed by Dr. Subramanian Swami. Based upon their brilliant summary of rapier-like legal arguments and points presented by Dr Subramanian Swami, I would like to present below the main thrust of Dr Swami's arguments by way of information in order to give immediate emotional solace to the shattered and battered Hindus of India who have tragically become stateless refugees in their own mother-land.
Dr Subramanian Swami's arguments for the grant of an Interim Injunction (WP 18223-4) by the Madras High Court on 18 June, 2007 were as follows:
1. The main purpose in seeking an injunction is to preserve during it's pendency in the Honourable Madras High Court the subject matter of this Petition, namely the protection of the Rama Setu which is threatened by the clear and present danger of demolition by Setusamudram Canal Project Corporation (Respondent No5 .), which is the nodal agency for dredging [AIR 1983 Delhi 312, AIR 1971 Raj.293, AIR 1973 Mysore 799, and 1984 TNLJ 218].
2. As of 13 June, 2007, the Sethusamudram Canal Project Corporation [sethusamudram.gov. in/projectstatus.asp] has claimed that dredging work has been carried out to excavate 8.96 percent of the Rama Setu. See also Counter p.7, para 11. THERE MAY BE MALAFIDE INTENTION BECAUSE THE GOVERNMENT IS LED BY ATHEISTS WHO REVEL IN DEMEANING SRI RAMA. They call the Setu as built by Sri Rama as mythical [p.5, para 8 of Counter]. So was Sarasvati River and Dwaraka city at one stage. After extensive archaeological surveys, it has been scientifically and categorically proved that they physically exist on Mother Earth. Likewise, Ram Setu is a physical fact which can be discovered through an organized underwater archaeological survey and exploration. Without undertaking such a survey, if it is viewed as mythical and fit for demolition, then why is it that the Setusamudram Canal Project Corporation is planning to construct a viewing gallery as a part of the SSCP [please see page 20 of the Counter]. The Supreme Court of India in several judgements have held that even mythical objects may be ancient monuments or sacred [AIR 1958 SC 1032 at para 7, p.1035 & AIR 1993 P&H 204 at paras 7, 8, 9, and 10]
Hence, it is alarming and lack of injunction will cause irreparable and irretrievable damage to the relief sought in this petition.
3. It is well settled by a catena of judgments of the Supreme Court and High Courts[ AIR Manual, Civil and Criminal, 6th Edition by Manohar &Chitaley, 2004]that the essential ingredients for invoking the discretion of this Honourable Court to grant an Interim Injunction against the dredging work on or near the Rama Setu are primarily THREE:
[A] The existence of a prima facie case of the petitioner.
[B] The necessacity of the High Court's interference to protect the petitioner from irreparable injury to his legal right, in this case the protection of the Rama Setu, for which a clear and present imminent danger is apparent.
[C] The balance of convenience is weighted in favour of the petitioner.
4. These two Writ petitions in the nature of public interest litigation was heard on 14 May, 2007 by the Vacation Court Division Bench, and after arguments for establishing the prima facie case on behalf of Dr Subramanian Swami the petitioner, on grounds of arbitrariness, unreasonableness, and bias in the decision making process that called for judicial review[(2004) 4 SCC 714 para 24, 28, 30; AIR 1996 SC 11 at para 93, 94, 95, 113], besides the failure to perform the statutory duty calling for issue of writ of mandamus[ AIR 1988 SC 1037, Praga [Tools], and after hearing the respondents, the Honourable Court was pleased admit the said writ petitions and to issue notice two weeks returnable to the respondents/ counsels present, who accepted the said notice.
5. Hence, there is a good probability for the petitioner of being entitled to the relief prayed for in this petition.
6. Satellite imaging photography of the US agency, the NASA, and the Indian ISRO have admittedly shown the existence of a 32 kilometer long and 1.5 kilometer wide Setu-like or causeway-like formation of shoal stones between Dhanushkodi and Talaimanaar, and moreover that the Union Government's Earth Science Department has opined in March 2007 that it is a construction and not a natural formation which document [see Typeset] has not been denied by the respondents. Dr. Subramanian Swami sought the specific direction and permission of the Madras High Court to discover official records of these documents under Order 39 Rule 1[(1998) 2 Raj. LR 120]
7. Hence, it is imperative that the Ministry of Culture perform it's statutory duty and ascertain if the said formation is an ancient monument within the meaning of the Ancient Monument and Archeological Sites Act for which this petitioner has written to the Minister of Culture. THIS DUTY HOWEVER THE MINISTRY HAS FAILED TO PERFORM TO DATE, AND HENCE A WRIT OF MANDAMUS IS CALLED FOR [PRAGA TOOLS].
8. It is an urgent necessacity for this Honourable Court to take cognizance of the attempts of the Sethusamudram Canal Projection Corporation in dredging at the Rama Setu, when they have yet to dredge 167 kilometers of the proposed canal on either side of the Rama Setu. There will be no inconvenience for the Corporation to first dredge the canal length on either side of the canal, which will take two years from today, before coming to the Rama Setu site for dredging.
By then it is probable that this petition would have been decided by the Honourable Madras High Court. Hence the balance of convenience lies in favour of granting an injunction restraining for the time being, the Corporation from damaging the Rama Setu [AIR 1983 SC 742]. Immediate grant of an Interim Injunction will safeguard the ever-permanent public interest without in any way jeopardizing the interest of the respondents.
9. The local authorities are also obstructing religious Hindus from going to the Rama Setu to worship because of this dredging work, thus necessacitating under Order 39 Rule 17 the grant of an injunction till this petition is decided.
10. There is no other remedy available to this petitioner other than injunction to prevent the damage to Rama Setu before this petition is decided [AIR1976 SC 2621, AIR 1990 SC 867]. HENCE, THIS HONOURABLE COURT MAY BE PLEASED TO EXERCISE IT'S DISCRETION ON SOUND JUDICIAL PRINCIPLES AND GRANT INTERIM INJUNCTION PROHIBITING THE RESPONDENTS FROM DAMAGING THE RAMA SETU AND TAKING NECESSARY STEPS FOR IT'S PROTECTION.
After seeing the through manner in which Dr. Subramanian Swami presented his case in the Madras High Court yesterday, I am reminded of the following famous story which was narrated by Justice Felix Frankfurter, one of the greatest names in the history of law. To quote the words of this very great Judge: “A colleague of mine at the Harvard Law School with whom I got into a tangle about some question of law once chided me, indeed, closed a contentious argument between us by saying, 'you take law awfully seriously'.
I said, 'That is one accusation against which I plead guilty without reservation. I do take law very seriously, deeply seriously, because fragile as reason is and limited as law is as the expression of the institutionalized medium of reason, that is all we have standing between us and the tyranny of mere will and the cruelty of unbridled, undisciplined feeling'”. I have no doubt that Dr Subramanian Swami's legal work ethic would have met with the full academic and moral approval of Justice Felix Frankfurter.
Thanks to the policy of Anti-Hindu minority appeasement and Pseudo- secularism of the UPA Government in general and the Congress Party and the DMK Party in Particular, the Hindus of India are being denied freedom of thought and freedom of religion, which have been granted to the Muslims / Christians as a special favour. In this context I would like to invite the attention of our Courts of Law to the following observations of Justice William O Douglas in USA: ‘Freedom of thought, which includes freedom of religious belief, is basic in a society of free men.... It embraces the right to maintain theories of life and of death and of the hereafter which are rank heresy to followers of the orthodox faiths. Heresy trials are foreign to our Constitution. MEN MAY BELIEVE WHAT THEY CANNOT PROVE. THEY MAY NOT BE PUT TO THE PROOF OF THEIR RELIGIOUS DOCTRINES OR BELIEFS.’ Rank Anti-Hindu atheists like T R Baalu and Karunanidhi have the political audacity to subject the innocent and simple Hindus of India in majority to such a disgraceful state of dictatorial cross examination.
Dr Subramanian Swami has demonstrated that the profession of law is the only aristocratic element which can be amalgamated without violence with the natural elements of democracy and which can be advantageously and permanently combined with them. The Constitution of India is not a mere politician's document or a lawyer's document. It is a vehicle of life and the spirit is always the spirit of the Age.
(The writer is a retired IAS officer)