The Indian Supreme Court today issued notice to the Indian government on DMK chief M Karunanidhi’s plea seeking direction to the government to retrieve the island of Katchatheevu which was given to Sri Lanka in 1974 and make it as part of Tamil Nadu.
Agreeing to hear the plea, a bench headed by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir sought a response from the Centre, the Press Trust of India reported.
Karunanidhi, in his petition, urged the apex court to declare the agreement between India and Sri Lanka reached on June 26 and 28, 1974 and the accord of March 23, 1976, for giving Katchatheevu to Sri Lanka, as void and unconstitutional.
The petition said that Centre be directed to take appropriate actions to restore the pre-existing historic rights of the fishermen of Tamil Nadu to fish in the waters surrounding the island.
“The issue involved in this writ petition is the unconstitutional ceding of the island of Katchatheevu by the Prime Minister of India to the Island nation of Sri Lanka, completely disregarding the constitutional provisions and totally ignoring the federal polity of our country which is an integral part of the basic structure of the Constitution,” the petition said.
Katchatheevu is an uninhabited island located about ten miles North East of Rameswaram on the Indian side and Nine miles of south of Delft Island on the Sri Lankan side. It has an area of 285.20 acres.