The Supreme Court on Friday granted four weeks time to the Centre to file its response to a writ petition filed by Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam president M. Karunanidhi for a direction to retrieve the island of Katchatheevu.

A Bench of Justices B.S. Chauhan and S.A. Bobde granted time after Additional Solicitor General K.V. Viswanathan pleaded for short adjournment to enable the government to file its reply. The Bench directed the matter to be listed for further hearing in January 2014.

In his writ petition Mr. Karunanidhi also sought to declare as unconstitutional and void the agreements between India and Sri Lanka in 1974 and in 1976 and the related communications to such pacts surrendering Katchatheevu to Sri Lanka.

In a similar petition filed by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, the Centre had filed its response stating that the island was never ceded to Sri Lanka.

While demarcating the two nations, it so happened that Katchatheevu went to Sri Lanka, it said.

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