Jayalalithaa brought the fight to frontburner by moving SC
By T Muruganandham | Published: 10th September 2013 08:07 AM |
Though the demand for the retrieval of Katchatheevu is as old as the islet’s cession to Sri Lanka, it gained momentum after Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa vowed to retrieve it in her Independence Day address on August 15, 1991, a couple of months after she assumed office for the first time. Since then, she has been unrelenting in this fight, which is still on.
Apart from shooting off many angry letters to the prime minister at various points of time, she filed a PIL before the Supreme Court on August 7, 2008 to declare the agreements of Katchatheevu, dated June 26, 1974 and March 23, 1976, unconstitutional.
The CM’s primary contention is that the cession of Katchatheevu, which was effected without any constitutional amendment, is as such non-est and void ab initio. To support her argument, the CM quoted a similar case in West Bengal in 1960. When the Centre had decided to cede Beru Bari in West Bengal to Bangladesh, the then CM moved the Supreme Court, which ruled against the Centre’s decision.
As soon as Jayalalithaa assumed office of the CM for a third term, she moved a resolution in the State Assembly on June 9, 2011, impleading the State Revenue Department in the petition filed by her in 2008. On May 3, 2013, Jayalalithaa moved another resolution in the State Assembly urging the Centre to retrieve Katchatheevu from Lanka to end the sufferings of fishermen from Tamil Nadu at the hands of the Lankan. The Assembly unanimously adopted the resolution.