Breaking! Supreme Court Dismisses Plea for President's Inauguration of New Parliament Building
New Delhi | May 26, 2023
The Supreme Court of India has rejected a petition seeking a directive for the President to inaugurate the new Parliament building, instead of the Prime Minister as scheduled for May 28. This development coincides with the decision of 19 opposition parties to boycott the upcoming inaugural ceremony.
In a bench headed by Justices J K Maheshwari and P S Narasimha, the court deemed it beyond its jurisdiction to intervene and dismissed the plea. Advocate C R Jaya Sukin, who filed the Public Interest Litigation (PIL), argued that no legislation grants the executive head the authority to inaugurate the Parliament building. He cited the President's role in addressing the joint session of Parliament and attempted to establish a correlation with the inauguration.
Justice Maheshwari responded by challenging the connection between the President's address and the inauguration, stating that it is not the court's role to delve into such matters. The counsel contended that having the Prime Minister inaugurate the building would violate Article 79, which stipulates the composition of Parliament and designates the President as its head. According to the counsel, since the head of the executive lacks jurisdiction over Parliament, it should be the President who opens the building.
The bench probed further, questioning the absence of any provision granting the executive head the power to inaugurate Parliament. It raised doubts about the executive's decision to have the Prime Minister unveil the new building independently.
During the court's order dictation, the petitioner requested to withdraw the plea if it was going to be dismissed. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta expressed his intention to approach the High Court in case of withdrawal, emphasizing that such issues are non-justiciable. The court then sought clarification from the petitioner about his plans to approach the High Court and indicated that it would restrict him from doing so.
The petitioner opted not to pursue the matter in the High Court and urged the court not to dismiss the plea, claiming that its dismissal would amount to granting the executive unrestricted authority. Despite the request, the bench ultimately dismissed the petition, concluding the legal proceedings.
The inauguration of the new Parliament building is scheduled for May 28, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi designated to perform the ceremony. The opposition parties' boycott and the Supreme Court's dismissal of the plea add further layers of significance to this upcoming event.