Friday, March 24, 2023

Subramanian Swamy files petition to delete secularism, socialism from the Preamble

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The former Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy has filed a writ petition seeking deletion of the words ‘Socialism’ and ‘Secularism’ from the Preamble to the constitution.

The petition by the former MP challenges the word “socialism” and “secularism” in terms of their validity in the Preamble through the 42nd Constitution Amendment in 1976 which took place during the time of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

A bench comprising Justices Indira Banerjee and MM Sundresh have posted the petition of Dr.Swamy along with a similar petition which has been listed for CJI bench on September 23.

Another petition has also been filed by Advocate Satya Sabharwal, making him the second petitioner in the case. This  petition similarly challenges the validity of insertion of words “socialism” and “secularism”

The petition filed argues that insertion of a word is not under the amending power of the Parliament under Article 368. It is also been argued by the petitioner that the framers of constitution never had no intention to introduce socialist or secular concepts in democratic governance.

The petition highlights that Dr. B R Ambedkar had rejected the incorporation of these words as the Constitution cannot thrust upon the citizens certain political ideologies by taking away their right to choose.

It further adds that in the Kesavananda Bharati case, it was stated that  the Preamble is declared as part of the basic structure of the Constitution and so the Parliament has no right to alter it. The petitioners also seek a declaration that Section 29A(5) of the Representation of Peoples Act 1951, which requires a political party to bear allegiance to the principles of Socialism and Secularism for registration, as ultra vires the Constitution.

In July 2020, another petition was filed in the Court challenging the inclusion of “socialism” and “secularism” in the Preamble.

Subramanian Swamy  while writing in a microblogging site informed about his writ petition and tweeted, “Today in Supreme Court my Writ Petition came up seeking deletion of Secularism & Socialism from the Preamble of the Constitution.

In the micro blogging site, Swamy added that , even Dr Ambedkar in 1949  had rejected the inclusion of these two words in the Constituent Assembly.As the emergency began, the then PM Indira Gandhi got it included.

The Writ Petition is before CJI for hearing on  September 29.

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