Supreme Court Dismisses PIL Seeking President’s Inauguration of New Parliament Building; Opposition Parties Boycott Ceremony

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In a recent development, the Supreme Court declined to entertain a public interest litigation (PIL) that sought a directive to the Lok Sabha secretariat for the inauguration of the new Parliament building by President Droupadi Murmu. The bench comprising Justices JK Maheshwari and PS Narasimha was unconvinced by the arguments put forth by the petitioner and advocate CR Jaya Sukin.

The justices questioned the relevance of the Constitution’s provisions to the inauguration event and were set to dismiss the petition. However, Sukin requested to withdraw the plea, and the bench allowed the withdrawal. This move by Sukin came amidst a political controversy surrounding Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to preside over the ceremony, which is scheduled for Sunday. Twenty-one opposition parties have decided to boycott the event, accusing the Prime Minister of undermining the office of the President and violating the Constitution.

The Union government, dismissing the allegations, stated that the opposition’s boycott decision displayed “contempt for the essence of democracy.” Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the government, expressed that if the petition was withdrawn, it would likely be filed in the high court. However, Sukin clarified that he had no intention of filing another petition in the matter and sought withdrawal to avoid a dismissal that could be interpreted as supporting the executive’s action of excluding the President from the inaugural ceremony. Therefore, the Supreme Court’s refusal to entertain the PIL and the subsequent withdrawal of the plea have left the controversy surrounding the new Parliament building’s inauguration unresolved.

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