Legal Current Affairs

Summary of latest bill and acts passed or pending in 2019 in Parliament of India with their salient features and issues for Current Affairs 2019 preparation for various examinations such as UPSC, SSC, State Civil Services, CLAT, Judicial Services etc.

Resolution to be moved in Rajya Sabha to remove the word “Socialism” in the Constitution

The ruling party (BJP) member of Rajya Sabha Shri Rakesh Sinha has issued a notice to the Chairman to permit to move a resolution. The resolution aims to drop the word “Socialist” in the Constitution.

Highlights

The resolution claims that the world socialism is redundant in the current scenario. It has to be dropped to create space for economic thinking. The Preamble of Constitution declares India to be sovereign, secular, socialist and democratic republic.

The resolution claims that word was included without enough debate in the Parliament as it was introduced during emergency.

42nd amendment of the Constitution

The words “Socialist” and “Secular” were included in the 42nd amendment of the Constitution. The amendment was passed during the emergency period. The amendment attempted to reduce the powers of Supreme Court. It laid down fundamental duties of Indian Citizens. The amendment brought in several changes for it was addressed as “Mini-constitution”.

The amendment gave Parliament powers amend the constitution without judicial review. IT also changed the preamble of the constitution. The description of India in the preamble as “Sovereign Democratic Republic” was changed to “Sovereign Socialist Secular Democratic Republic”. It also changed “unity of the nation” to “unity and integrity of the nation”.

Can Preamble be amended?

Yes.

However, till 1973, the Supreme Court also held that Preamble shall not be amended as it is not a part of the Constitution.

In 1973, Keshvananda Bharti Case, the Supreme Court pronounced that Preamble is a part of the Constitution and Parliament has full rights to amend the Preamble.

First Time: Supreme Court removed a state minister over Disqualification petition

On March 18, 2020, for the first time in its history, the Supreme Court removed the Manipur Minister Thounaojam Shyamkumar Singh from the state cabinet. The apex court has also been restrained him from entering the Legislative assembly.

What is the issue?

Mr Shyamkumar won the 2017 assembly elections on Congress Ticket and switched over to BJP to become the minister of Town Planning, forest and Environment. Disqualification petitions were filed against him to the speaker by the other MLAs. The Disqualification petitions against the minister was pending before the speaker of the Manipur Assembly since 2017. However, no action has still been taken. When the issue was appealed to SC, the apex court has invoked Article 142 and has removed the minister from the cabinet.

The SC also said that the speaker is to act as a tribunal in cases of disqualification petition under the tenth schedule.

Article 212

According to the Article 212, the courts in India including Supreme Court cannot interfere in the proceedings of the Legislature of state. No members, officers of the state are subjected to jurisdiction while exercising his duties or regulating procedures, maintaining order.

This has been over ruled by SC in this matter invoking Article 142. This is because, the matter was left unsolved. Also, under Anti-Defection law, the winning members cannot shift parties. Such members according to the law are considered disqualified.

Article 142

The Supreme Court under the article 142 can pass an order doing “complete justice” to matter pending before it.