New Delhi, May 26
Two days before the scheduled inauguration of the new Parliament building by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on May 28, the Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a PIL seeking a direction for its inauguration by President Droupadi Murmu.
A Vacation Bench of Justice JK Maheshwari and Justice PS Narasimha dismissed the PIL filed by advocate CR Jaya Sukin after he failed to make out a case for the Supreme Court’s intervention in the matter under Article 32 of the Constitution which is meant for enforcement of fundamental rights.
"What’s your interest? We don't understand why you come with such petitions...we're not interested in entertaining it under Article 32,” the Bench said.
"The head of the Executive is the President... President is my president,” the petitioner asserted.
As he referred to Article 79 of the Constitution and said Parliament comprised the President and the two Houses and insisted that the President as the head of Parliament should inaugurate the new building, the Bench asked "How is Article 79 related to the inauguration?"
The petitioner sought to withdraw the PIL after the Bench made it clear that it would dismiss it.
However, the Bench went on to dismiss the PIL after Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said the petitioner would go to other forums and raise the issue again.
Prime Minister Modi is scheduled to inaugurate the new Parliament Building on May 28 following an invitation by the Lok Sabha Speaker.
Around 20 opposition parties have announced that they would boycott the inauguration.
The BJP-led NDA has termed the opposition stand a "blatant affront to democratic ethos and constitutional values of our great nation".
Sukin -- who hails from Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu -- alleged that the Lok Sabha Secretariat violated the Constitution by not inviting the President for the inauguration.
"Further, Article 87 says that at the beginning of every Parliament session, the President shall address both Houses and inform Parliament of the causes of its summons. But the respondents (Lok Sabha secretariat and Union of India) are trying to 'humiliate' the President. The President of India Droupadi Murmu is not being invited to the inauguration of the new Parliament building," his petition read.
Sukin contended in his petition that the May 18 statement issued by the Lok Sabha secretariat and invites issued by the Lok Sabha Secretary General about inauguration of the new Parliament Building went against the Constitution.
According to the Constitution, Parliament consists of the President of India and its two Houses -- the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha, the petitioner submitted.
Highlighting that the President is the first citizen of India and head of the institution of Parliament, Sukin sought a direction that the president inaugurate the new building.
The petitioner said the decision not to invite the President was “illegal, arbitrary, high-handed, whimsical and unfair, abuse of authority and against the principles of natural justice”.
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