The Supreme Court adjourned the petition filed by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy on Friday seeking to remove the words ‘secular’ and ‘socialist’ from the Preamble of the Constitution.
A bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Dutta scheduled the matter for the week commencing April 29. Swamy argued in his petition that the inclusion of these words, added during the 42nd Constitution Amendment Act of 1976, violated the basic structure doctrine established in the Kesavananda Bharati judgment.
He contended that Parliament’s power to amend the Constitution was restricted from altering its fundamental features.
The BJP Leader asserted that the framers of the Constitution had originally rejected the incorporation of these words, claiming they were imposed during the Emergency without their consent. He argued that such insertion exceeded Parliament’s amending power under Article 368.
Swamy further stated that Dr. BR Ambedkar had opposed including these words, as the Constitution should not impose specific political ideologies on citizens, depriving them of their right to choose.
Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament and Communist Party of India leader Binoy Viswam opposed Swamy’s plea, asserting that ‘secularism and socialism’ were inherent and fundamental aspects of the Constitution.
Viswam criticized Swamy’s petition as an attempt to undermine secularism and socialism in Indian politics. He described the plea as an abuse of legal process lacking merit and deserving dismissal with exemplary costs.
Viswam’s application argued that Swamy’s real motive was to enable political parties to campaign based on religion. Another petition, filed by lawyers Balram Singh and Karunesh Kumar Shukla, also sought the removal of ‘secularism and socialism’ from the preamble.