Supreme Court refuses to entertain plea related to inauguration of the new Parliament building by the Prime Minister

Share on:

Today, the Supreme Court’s vacation bench including Justice PS Narasimha and Justice JK Maheshwari refused to entertain a Public Interest Litigation filed by Advocate CR Jaya Sukin. The filed PIL seeks direction that the inauguration of the new Parliament building should be done by the President of India (Droupadi Murmu) rather than the Prime Minister of India (Narendra Modi). During the proceedings, the bench asked, “What is your interest?” To which, the petitioners replied that, “The head of the executive is the Parliament…President is my president.” Further, Justice Narasimha said, “We don’t understand why you come with petitions…we are not interested in entertaining it under Article 32.” 

The petitioner also addressed Article 79 of the Constitution of India which was further questioned by the bench, “How is Article 79 related to the inauguration?” The petitioner submitted “President is the head of the parliament, he should open the building. The executive head is the only head who should open…” The vacation bench was not satisfied with the petitioner’s argument. The Supreme Court decided to proceed to dismiss the petition but the petitioner sought permission for withdrawing the case. In addition to this, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta asked the Supreme Court to conclusively state that such matters are not justiciable and should not allow withdrawal permission to the petitioner. He also added that the petitioner will approach the High Court after the withdrawal. The petitioner disagreed with it and highlighted the reason for the withdrawal, “the dismissal will not become a certificate to the executive”.

The petition was filed to seek any “direction, suggestion, or observation” that the inauguration should be done by the President to the Lok Sabha. The petitioner cited the Lok Sabha Secretary General’s statement given on May 18 that the inauguration of the new Parliament building will be done by the Prime Minister on 28 May 2023. The petitioner also claimed that by not investing the President for the inauguration, the Lok Sabha Secretariat violated the Constitution. The filed PIL stated that “President of India Smt. Droupadi Murmu is not being invited to the inauguration of the new Parliament Building. Indian President enjoys certain powers and performs a variety of ceremonial functions. The powers of the President include Executive, Legislative, Judiciary, Emergency, and Military powers…” Therefore, 19 opposition parties opposed the decision of the PM to inaugurate the new Parliament building and decided to boycott the inauguration ceremony. 

The opposition parties include the Aam Aadmi PartyIndian National Congress (INC), Janta Dal (United)Shiv Sena (Udhav Thackeray)Samajwadi PartyCommunist Party of India (Marxist)Jharkhand Mukti MorchaRevolutionary Social PartyMarumalarchi Dravida Munnetra KazhagamDravid Munnetra KazhagamTrinamool CongressNationalist Congress PartyCommunist Party of IndiaRashtriya Janata DalIndian Union Muslim League, National Conference, Viduthalai Chiruthaigal KatchiKerala Congress (Mani), and Rashtriya Lok Dal. The parties issued a statement stating that “In short, the Parliament cannot function without the President. Yet, the Prime Minister has decided to inaugurate the new Parliament building without her. This undignified act insults the High Office of the President and violated the letter and spirit of the Constitution. It undermines the spirit of inclusion which saw the nation celebrate its first woman adivasi President.”