A plea has been filed before the Supreme Court seeking to remove from the Constitution's Preamble the words "socialist" and "secular: which were added through 42nd constitutional amendment. The PIL said that the amendment made in 1976 was "antithetical to the constitutional tenets as well as the historical and cultural theme of India."
The move was "per se illegal for violating the concept of freedom of speech and expression enumerated in Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution and the right to freedom of religion guaranteed under Article 25 of the Constitution", it said. It said the amendment was also against the historical and cultural theme of the "great republic of Bharat, the oldest civilization of the world, having clear concept of 'Dharma' different from the concept of religion", and that the communist theory of State cannot be applied in Indian context which was not in tune with the religious sentiments and socio-economic conditions of India.
"Issue appropriate direction striking down the words 'Socialist' and 'Secular' inserted in the Preamble of the Constitution by section 2 (a) of the Forty Second Constitution Amendment Act, 1976," the petition, filed by advocates Balram Singh and Karunesh Kumar Shukla and an individual Pravesh Kumar, said. It sought a direction the Union of India to declare that the concept of 'socialism' and 'secularism' referred to the nature of the republic and was limited to the working of the sovereign function of the State and same is not applicable to the citizens, the political parties and the social organizations.
The petition filed through advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain, has also challenged the insertion of the words 'secular' and 'socialist' in section 29 A (5) of the Representation of People (RP) Act that makes it compulsory for the political parties, applying for registration before Election Commission of India, "to make specific provision in its memorandum or rules and regulations that the association or body shall bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of India as by law established and to the principles of 'Socialism' and 'Secularism' and democracy and would uphold the sovereignty and integrity of India."