Binoy Viswam moves SC against Swamy's plea to delete 'secular', 'socialist' from Preamble

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MP Binoy Viswam. Photo: ANI

New Delhi: Rajya Sabha MP and the Communist Party of India (CPI) leader Binoy Viswam has approached the Supreme Court opposing the petition filed by BJP leader Subramaniam Swamy seeking to delete the words 'Secular' and 'Socialist' from the Preamble of the Indian Constitution.

Filing an impleadment application Viswam's said that 'Secularism and Socialism' are inherent and basic features of the Constitution.

It is the intent of the plea filed by Swamy to have free reign on Indian polity leaving behind secularism and socialism, Viswam said.

Swamy's petition is an absolute abuse of the process of law and is devoid of merit and deserves to be dismissed with exemplary costs as it challenges the 42nd Amendment to the Constitution of India, the application stated.

Swamy in his petition has said that the two words, inserted in the Preamble through the 42nd Constitution Amendment Act of 1976 during the Emergency, violated the basic structure doctrine enunciated in the famous Kesavananda Bharati judgment by a 13-judge bench in 1973, by which Parliament's power to amend the Constitution was barred from tinkering with the basic features of the Constitution.

The framers of the Constitution had specifically rejected the inclusion of these two words in the Constitution and alleged that these two words were thrust upon the citizens even when the framers never had intended to introduce socialist and secular concepts in democratic governance, Swamy had contended.

The CPI MP in his impleadment application said the real purpose behind the PIL is to allow political parties to seek votes in the name of religion.

"The 42nd amendment is challenged by the petitioner as an eyewash to succeed in striking down sub-section 5 of section 29(A) of the Representation of People's Act, 1951," the application stated.

The section mandates the political parties seeking registration with the Election Commission to abide by the Constitution and its principle of "secularism, socialism and democracy".

Viswam said, "The insertion of the words 'Secular' and 'Socialist' to the Preamble is only an act of making explicit what was implicit and it cannot be argued that these violate the basic structure of the Constitution."

He said the Constitution makers had an intent to keep the Indian polity secular and socialistic. In the Preamble of the Constitution of India, the words 'Justice', 'Social', 'Economic' and 'Political' were originally inserted by the framers of the Indian Constitution which inherently reflects the ideas of socialism, the application added.

The very fact that the Constitution provides for the right to freely practice, profess and propagate a religion of its choice to the citizen makes the constitution a secular one, he stated.

The petition of Swamy and one another connected petition on a similar issue are listed for hearing on September 23.


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