President should inaugurate new Parliament building: Plea filed in Supreme Court

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to inaugurate the new Parliament building on May 28.

Supreme Court | New Parliament building
The PIL comes just days before Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurates the new Parliament building. (File photo)

The row over the inauguration of the new Parliament building reached the doors of the Supreme Court on Thursday with a Public Interest Litigation filed before the top court seeking its directions that the inauguration be done at the hands of the President of India, reports Live Law.

The plea, filed by Advocate CR Jaya Sukin as party-in-person seeks any “direction, observation or suggestion” to the Lok Sabha Secretariat that the President inaugurate the new Parliament building. The petitioner has cited a statement by the Lok Sabha Secretariat dated May 18 which informed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the new Parliament building on May 28.

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The petitioner also refers to Article 79 of the Constitution which states that the Parliament consists of the President and the two Houses. The petitioner also points out that the President has the power to summon and prorogue Parliament sessions, appoint the Prime Minister and other ministers, and that all executive actions are taken in the name of the President.

The plea thus argues that the Lok Sabha Secretariat, by not inviting the President to the event, has humiliated the office of the President of India and violated the Constitution.

Also Read: New Parliament building inauguration: Who is boycotting, who’s not?

The petitioner argues that the statement of the Lok Sabha Secretariat has been issued in an arbitrary manner, without proper application of mind.

“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…,” Live Law quoted the petition as stating.

The development comes in the midst of uproar by several Opposition parties over the Prime Minister’s choosing to inaugurate the new Parliament building, stating that the action is an insult to the high office of the President, and violates the letter and spirit of the Constitution.

“It undermines the spirit of inclusion which saw the nation celebrate its first woman Adivasi President,” a joint statement by 19 political parties stated. The grouping of these 19 Opposition parties has said it will boycott the inauguration of the new Parliament building on May 28.

(With inputs from Live Law)

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First published on: 25-05-2023 at 12:45 IST