The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy, who is seeking an early hearing on a plea to direct the Centre to clarify its stand on the mythological Ram Sethu, to approach it after the government files its response.
Swamy had earlier told the top court that government had already clarified its stand outside the court that it has no intention whatsoever to tamper with the 'bridge', which is a chain of limestone shoals, off the south-eastern coast of Tamil Nadu.
He mentioned the matter for early hearing before a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra and said the Centre should file an affidavit to this effect.
The bench, also comprising Justices P C Pant and D Y Chandrachud, asked him to mention the matter for hearing after the Centre filed its response.
"You can mention the matter after affidavit is filed by them (Centre)," the bench said.
On November 26, 2015, the apex court had granted four weeks to the Centre to file its response on Swamy's plea that he wanted to withdraw his 2009 petition against the Sethusamudram project as the government has decided that the mythological bridge Ram Sethu would not be dismantled.
Swamy had earlier mentioned the matter for urgent hearing saying his prayer to scrap the project stands satisfied after the Centre took that decision.
The Sethusamudram shipping channel project has been facing protests from some political parties, environmentalists and some Hindu religious groups.
The Ram Sethu is a continuous stretch of limestone shoals that runs from Pamban Island near Rameshwaram in South India to Mannar Island, off the northern coast of Sri Lanka.
Under the Sethusamudram project, a 83-km-long deep water channel is to be created, linking Mannar with Palk Strait, by extensive dredging and removal of the limestone shoals which constitute the mythological Sethu.