Rama Setu and attacks on Hindu identity – Dr. Subramanian Swamy

published on June 1, 2008

Sethu: Swamy ‘exposes’ Centre’s folly
Author:V.Sundaram
Source Link : http://newstodaynet.com/col.php?section=20&id=7978&catid=33

Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy has written to Prime
Minister exposing the ‘Himalayan fraud and monumental folly of Sethusamudram
project’.

          
 

In the letter a copy of which was released to the press,
Swamy had said,’I hope and pray that by now you have been briefed on the
proceedings of the Supreme Court in various hearings held in the first week of
May.

The Supreme Court has reiterated two directions which the
Madras High Court had earlier given on my writ petition heard on 18 June and 19
June 2007 (subsequently your government hastily got the case transferred to the
Supreme Court and therefore the May hearings of the Apex Court were in the
nature of continuation of those hearings).

‘Essentially the said directions require your government to
go back to the drawing board and re-work the Sethusamudram Channel Project
(SSCP).”During the course of my arguments before the Supreme Court, I had
firmly established with records and citations of past judgments of the Apex Court that the
implementation of the SSCP would constitute criminal and civil illegalities.

Even you have committed a civil illegality when you
inaugurated the project on 2 July, 2005 despite having failed to obtain the
mandatory NOC from the Tamilnadu Pollution Control Board as required under the
environmental law.

There was also an illegality committed in failing to obtain
an NOC from the Coast Guard and the Maritime Board. Moreover your government
committed a civil illegality by failing to honour the UN Law of the Sea (1968),
and associated Bio-diversity Convention by failing to conduct a joint
inspection with the government of Sri Lanka on environmental
viability of the SSCP.  

  I am sure that if you send for Fali Nariman who is
your main senior counsel in the case, he will apprise you of the details.”I,
therefore, request you, out of personal regard for you and our long past happy
friendship that you desist from any further pursuit of this illegal,
ill-advised and economically disastrous SSCP and boldly take the steps to
declare unilaterally that the Rama Setu is an ancient monument, a national
pride, and a world heritage.

As far as SSCP is concerned, it may be re-cast by converting
Tuticorin into an international container port and an international airport and
connect it by a coastal railway- cum- express highway to Kolkata originating at
the port.

This would be economically more profitable and consistent
with the national security considerations.’Earlier this month, on 5 May, Swamy
had sent a letter to the Prime Minister seeking his permission for the
prosecution of T R Baalu, Union Shipping Minister, under the Prevention of
Corruption Act. Swamy wrote as follows to the Prime Minister:

‘ This is first a reminder of my letter dated 1 February,
2008 seeking your sanction under the Prevention of Corruption Act to prosecute
your Minister of Shipping.

Since that letter, charges of corruption against 
Baalu have proliferated galore in the country. Enclosed is a letter from
Central Vigilance Commission  (CVC) holding the chairman of the Chennai
Port Trust, which Trust is administratively under the said Minister, of gross
impropriety.

Yet your government have accepted the Financial Officer of
the Chennai Port Trust C N Rao as the new chairman of Tuticorin Port Trust
which Trust is the nodal body for the Sethusamdrum Ship Channel Project.

Kindly therefore withdraw the nomination forthwith and
please expedite the grant of sanction.’No one can dispute the fact that right
from the  beginning,  Sethusamudram Canal Project (SSCP) has been
planned, organised and launched as a commercial asset for a few Cabinet
Ministers in the UPA government and some of their counterparts in Tamilnadu.

According to  expert, unbiased technical and
scientific opinion in India
and abroad, SSCP is a scientifically inconsistent, technologically non-feasible
project at the present time.

The cogent arguments presented by some tsunami specialists
and earth scientists of international stature have not been considered or
answered in open-transparent forums by the leading proponents of the project.

 Many of the vital questions raised by Prime
Minister’s Office (PMO) in March 2005 were bypassed in a subterranean manner by
imaginative, covert, sly and stealthy manoeuvres and operations.

What is amazing is that the top brass of the Indian Navy
has remained silent or neutral on the SSCP and the brazen promoters of the SSCP
— mean the firmly entrenched vested interests involved only in a private loot
under the garb of public interest —— have become the naval strategists of Palk
Bay!  

 Against this background it should be clear that there
has been an organised conspiracy of firmly entrenched vested interests – the
PMO, the Union Ministry of Shipping and Transport and the Tuticorin Port Trust
( TPT)-to ignore the best technical advice given by International experts about
the wholly avoidable dangers and disasters of the SSCP in its present shape.

The  words of the  American judge Justice Cardozo
are  relevant in this context: ‘Means unlawful in their inception do not
become lawful by relation when suspicion ripens into discovery’.

Swamy and other senior Counsels have convincingly argued
and proved in the Supreme Court of India that there has been a blatant
violation of the DUE PROCESS OF LAW right from the inception of the SSCP.

There is no table of weights and measures for ascertaining
or determining what constitutes the due process. What is due process of law
depends on circumstances.

It varies with the subject matter and necessities of the
situation. Due process of law requires that the proceedings shall be fair, but
fairness is a relative, not an absolute concept.

 It is fairness with reference with particular conditions
or particular results. Whichever way one looks at it, there has been a total
violation of the DUE PROCESS by the government of India in according sanction for the
SSCP.

That is why I have been asserting with unassailable facts
and figures ever since May 2005 that the SSCP is a ‘Monument of fraud and
folly.’

It is reliably understood that about four days ago, 
the Prime Minister directed Baalu to submit his letter of resignation as Union
Shipping Minister, having regard to the serious corruption charges raised
against him by Subramanian Swamy. According to  sources, AICC leader Sonia
Gandhi  informally overruled Manmohan to ensure the temporary survival of
Baalu.

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