WHAT IS ARTICLE 32
- It is one of the fundamental rights listed in the Constitution that each citizen is entitled. Article 32 gives the right to move the Supreme Court by appropriate proceedings for the enforcement of the rights conferred by in Part III of the Constitution.
- It states that the Supreme Court “shall have power to issue directions or orders or writs, including writs in the nature of habeas corpus, mandamus, prohibition, quo warranto and certiorari, whichever may be appropriate, for the enforcement of any of the rights conferred by this Part”.
- The right guaranteed by this Article “shall not be suspended except as otherwise provided for by this Constitution”.
- The Article is included in Part III of the Constitution with other fundamental rights including to Equality, Freedom of Speech and Expression, Life and Personal Liberty, and Freedom of Religion. Only if any of these fundamental rights is violated can a person can approach the Supreme Court directly under Article 32.
- The Supreme Court echoed the importance of Article 32 of the Constitution of India in a judgment delivered on Thursday.
- These significant observations were made in the judgment in the case Skill Loto Solutions Pvt Ltd vs Union of India.
- The petitioner in the above case had filed a writ petition under Article 32 of the Constitution challenging the constitutionality of the levy of GST on lotteries.
- A preliminary objection was raised by the Union of India regarding the maintainability of the writ petition.
- This was turned down by the bench observing that the petitioner was alleging violation of fundamental rights and therefore the petition was maintainable.
- Article 32 confers a right to move to Supreme Court for enforcement of the rights conferred by the Part III, the bench observed.
- While the court held the writ to be maintainable, it did not accept the contentions of the petitioner on merits and upheld the levy of GST on lotteries, betting and gambling.
- Bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R Subash Reddy and M R Shah observed that "Article 32 is an imperative and integral part of the basic structure of the Constitution. Article 32 is meant to ensure observance of rule of law. Article 32 provides for the enforcement of the fundamental rights, which is most powerful weapon”.
- The judgment also quoted the statement made by Dr B R Ambedkar about Article 32 in the constituent assembly that “If I was asked to name any particular Article in the Constitution as most important.... an Article without which the Constitution would be nullity – I could not refer, to any other Article except this one. It is the very soul of the constitution and the very heart of it".
- The Court also observed that a writ petition alleging the violation of Article14 specially with respect to a parliamentary Act can very well be entertained under Article 32.
- Article 32 had become a talking point recently in the wake of certain oral remarks made by the Chief Justice of India S A Bobde.
- Earlier too, the CJI had orally said that they are trying to discourage Article 32 petitions, while considering a habeas petition filed by the Kerala Union of Working Journalists seeking the release of journalist Siddique Kappan.
WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT OBSERVATIONS BY THE SUPREME COURT? IS ARTICLE 32 AN INTEGRAL PART OF THE CONSTITUTION? LET US KNOW YOUR VIEWS IN THE COMMENTS SECTION BELOW!
Tags : Constitutional Law