"Its not that Preamble cannot be amended", SC on plea challenging insertion of "Socialist" And "Secular" in Preamble

Read Time: 05 minutes


The petition while challenging the amending power of the Parliament under Article 368 of the Constitution, seeks the insertion of the words to be held void ab initio.

The Supreme Court today posted the writ petition filed under Article 32 of the Constitution of India challenging the constitutional validity of the words "Socialist' and "Secular" inserted under Section 2 of the 42nd Amendment Act, 1976 in the Preamble in April 2024.

While hearing the plea filed by Dr. Subramanian Swamy, the bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta observed it cannot be said that the preamble cannot be amended.

Court further asked the counsels to consider if the Preamble could be amended, while adding the two impugned terms while keeping the original date of adoption intcact.

Swamy has contended that the insertion was beyond the amending power of the Parliament under Article 368 of the Constitution, and against the Rights of Freedom of Religion. It was further contended that it was even against the concept of Judicial Review, which is an integral part of the Basic Structure of the Constitution. The said insertion was alleged to be void ab initio and ultra-vires to Articles 13, 25, 26, 141 and 142 of the Constitution. The petition also challenged the validity of Section 29A (5) of the Representation of Peoples Act.

In the petition it was further stated, "the Constitution makers never intended to introduce Socialist and Secular concept for the governance of a democratic government. It is submitted that the Constitution makers intended to ensure that the Government will not show its inclination towards any religion and will treat the subjects equally without any bias. Most of the modern Constitutions accept the principle that the government should keep itself aloof from religion and it shall not interfere in religious matters".

Seeking the Supreme Court's indulgence in nipping in the bud the tendency to rewrite the constitutional ethos of this nation, Communist Party of India Member Binoy Viswam had also filed an impleadment application in the instant plea.

In his IA, the Rajya Sabha Member has told Top Court that secularism and socialism are inherent and basic features of the Constitution and the petitioner’s intent in the writ petition, is to have a free reign on Indian polity leaving behind secularism and socialism.

Viswam has thus requested the Court to see the present petition as an absolute abuse of the process of law, devoid of merit and dismiss it with exemplary costs.

Case Title: Subramanian Swamy and Another vs. Union of India and Another