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Read what advocate Vishnu Jain put forward as reasons to remove “Socialist” and “Secular” from Preamble of Constitution, which Supreme Court didn’t have time to hear about

Notably, the petitions have been filed by Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy and SC advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain. While Rajya Sabha MP and CPI leader Binoy Viswam had approached the court to oppose the plea.

On Monday (29th April), the Supreme Court of India adjourned the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking the deletion of the words “socialist” and “secular” from the Preamble to the Indian Constitution. After brief arguments, the Court adjourned the matter to July citing “too many matters and heavy board for the day”.

Notably, the petitions have been filed by Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy and SC advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain. While Rajya Sabha MP and CPI leader Binoy Viswam had approached the court to oppose the plea.

The matter is being heard by a two-judge bench comprising Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta. As soon as the today’s hearing began, one of the counsels observed that this is a ‘Constitutional question’. Responding to Subramanian Swamy, Justice Khanna deferred the matter to July, that is, after the court’s summer vacations. 

The counsel suggested to the court that the bench could pose questions so that the petitioners could provide answers on record.

However, Justice Khanna noted that the court had a “very heavy board today” and consequently adjourned the matter. 

After the court hearing, one of the petitioners in the case, Vishnu Jain tweeted, “Today the SC heard the matter werein i have challenged the word secular and socialist appearing in the preamble of the constitution of india. The court has listed the matter in July.” 

The PILs have created a strong buzz on social media with many netizens advocating in favour of these petitions highlighting that the terms ‘Socialist’ and ‘Secular’ were added via the 42nd constitutional amendment, during the infamous Emergency period.

Meanwhile, during the last hearing in February 2024, the top court raised a query asking whether the Preamble of the Constitution could be amended while keeping the date of adoption, 26th November 1949, intact. 

Justice Datta said, “For the academic purpose, can a Preamble that has the date mentioned, be changed without altering the date of adoption. Otherwise, yes the Preamble can be amended. There is no problem with that.”

Responding to the court’s observation, Swamy replied, “That’s precisely the question in the matter.” 

Justice Datta further stated, “This is perhaps the only Preamble I have seen which comes with a date. We give this Constitution to us on so and so date … originally these two words (Socialist and Secular) were not there.” 

Vishnu Jain argued that the Preamble of Constitution of India comes with a specific date, therefore it cannot be amended without discussion.

Swamy in his petition had 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 the 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.

Swamy had contended, “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.” 

It is argued that such insertion was beyond the amending power of the Parliament under Article 368.

Rajya Sabha MP and the CPI leader Binoy Viswam had also approached the Supreme Court to oppose the pleas claiming that ‘secularism and socialism’ are inherent and basic features of the Constitution.

In February, the court had adjourned the hearing until 29th April, but as soon as the bench assembled today to hear the pleas, it once again adjourned the matter to the next hearing in July.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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Paurush Gupta
Paurush Gupta
Proud Bhartiya, Hindu, Karma believer. Accidental Journalist who loves to read and write. Keen observer of National Politics and Geopolitics. Cinephile.

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