9 Sep 2022 1:51 PM GMT
Member of Rajya Sabha and the Communist Party of India leader Binoy Viswam has filed an impleadment application opposing the writ petition filed by Rajya Sabha MP Dr. Subramaniam Swamy seeking to delete the words "Socialist" and "Secular" from the Preamble of the Indian Constitution.Viswam's Application filed through Advocate Sriram Parakkat stated that Secularism and Socialism are inherent...
Member of Rajya Sabha and the Communist Party of India leader Binoy Viswam has filed an impleadment application opposing the writ petition filed by Rajya Sabha MP Dr. Subramaniam Swamy seeking to delete the words "Socialist" and "Secular" from the Preamble of the Indian Constitution.
Viswam's Application filed through Advocate Sriram Parakkat stated that Secularism and Socialism are inherent and basic features of the Constitution and that it is the intent of the plea filed by Swamy to have a free reign on Indian polity leaving behind secularism and socialism.
The Application contended that 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 submitted that 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 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.
"It is respectfully submitted that 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", the application states. The plea refers to SR Bommai decision which held that Indian Constitution is inherently secular.
The applicant also stated that, "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 applicant contended that, "the challenge here is surreptitiously coded as a challenge to the 42nd Amendment. However, the only intent of this petition is to enable a political party to seek votes in the name of religion." The Applicant had cited the case of Abhiram Singh vs C. D. Commachen stating that it was decided by a three judge bench that appealing for votes on the basis of religion is prohibited.
Furthering the argument, it was submitted in the application that, "Sub-section (3) of Section 123 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 treats an appeal to the electorate to vote on the basis of religion, race, caste or community of the candidate or the use of religious symbols as a corrupt practice. Even a single instance of such a nature is enough to vitiate the election of the candidate."
It was also pointed out that the plea filed by Swamy which prays to strike down sub-section 5 of Section 29(A) of Representation of the People Act, 1951 which shows that the petition is filed with a zeal to appeal for votes in the name of the religion. On this argument the application made the submission that, "The necessity is of giving an undertaking such that of section 29 (A) would make it impossible for a political party to seek votes in the name of the religion without falling foul of the prohibited provision of section 123."
Section 29A(5) of the Representation of Peoples Act 1951 requires a political party to bear allegiance to the principles of Socialism and Secularism for registration.
Subramanian Swamy's petition is likely to be listed before a bench led by the CJI on September 23 along with a connected petition.