11 Jan 2008

PIL to strike off 'Socialist' from Preamble to Constitution of India

Supreme Court have dismissed a PIL filed with the plea to remove the word 'Socialist' from the Preamble of Constitution of India (for more information click here). The PIL was filed by a Kolkatta-based NGO.

The word Socialist was introduced to the Constitution by the Forty-second Amendment in the year 1976. The main contention of the PIL is on this fact that this word 'Socialist' was not a part of the original Constitution that had been drafted by Dr. B.R. Ambedkar and the Representation of People's Act, 1951 prescribes all the political parties to subscribe to Socialism,even though their political agenda is different (This is as per Section 29A(5) of the Representation of People's Act,1951, this Section deals with the registration of the political parties with the Election Commission of India). As per the news report the Senior Advocate Fali S Nariman, who represented the petitioner, told the court: "It is contrary to the Constitution and to its democratic foundations that political parties be called upon to swear allegiance only to a particular mindset or ideology." Nariman also submitted that this amendment of the Preamble amounts to violation of the Basic structure.

Deciding the matter, Supreme Court rightly dismissed the PIL on the ground that socialism is defined as a means of achieving public welfare. This is quite true as Socialism understood in the Constitutional law and Indian context is different from the brand of the Communist parties, it is furthering the Neheruvian political vision of the greater good of all and the concept of welfare state.Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan, have pointed out this fact : "Why do you take socialism in a narrow sense defined by communists? In broader sense, it means welfare measures for the citizens. It is a facet of democracy."

Also the PIL has now become more of publicity interest litigation for the NGO's and other so called public spirited persons to make name, this kind of futile matters are brought before the Supreme Court, wasting the precious time of the Supreme Court of India, which has the maximum number of cases pending before, when comparing with the highest forum of justice of all the countries in the world.

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