Supreme Court lists Subramanian Swamy's plea on 'secular, socialist Constitution'

The words ‘socialist’ and ‘secular’ were inserted in the Preamble of the Constitution under the 42nd Constitutional amendment moved by the Indira Gandhi government in 1976.
Supreme Court (Photo | EPS)
Supreme Court (Photo | EPS)

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday listed a plea by former Rajya Sabha MP Dr Subramanian Swamy seeking to delete the words "socialist" and "secular" in the Preamble of the Constitution with a similar plea that is to come up before CJI UU Lalit on September 23.

The words ‘socialist’ and ‘secular’ were inserted in the Preamble of the Constitution under the 42nd Constitutional amendment moved by the Indira Gandhi government in 1976. The amendment changed the description of India in the Preamble from a "sovereign, democratic republic" to a "sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic republic."

The petition where Swamy had argued that it was not possible for the policymakers to vary, alter or repeal the Preamble as it was not equivalent to an ordinary statute was listed before the bench of Justices Indira Banerjee and MM Sundresh.

Considering that a similar plea was pending before CJI’s court, the bench in their order said, “Subramanian Swamy, the petitioner appearing in-person, submits that an identical writ petition being W.P.(C) No. 645 of 2022, is pending before the first Bench of this Court. Let this writ petition be tagged with Writ Petition (C) No. 645 of 2022.”

Swamy in the petition stated that the Preamble not only formed the essential features of the Constitution but also the fundamental conditions based on which various groups and interests adopted the Constitution with the hope to create one unified integrated community.

It was also contended that insertion was against the rights to freedom of religion, the concept of judicial review which formed an integral part of the basic structure of the Constitution. “The edifice of our Constitution is built upon and stands on several props, remove any of them, the Constitution collapses.

Lastly, it is submitted that the Constitution has conferred a limited amending power on the Parliament, the Parliament cannot under the exercise of that limited power enlarge that very power into absolute power,” the petition has stated.


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