Preamble of The Constitution
The Preamble to the constitution states,
“WE THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having resolved to constitute India into a SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC to secure to all citizens;
JUSTICE, Social, Economic & Political; LIBERTY of thoughts, expression, belief, faith and worship; EQUALITY of status and of opportunity and promote among them all; FRATERNITY, assuring the dignity of individual and the unity and integrity of the nation;
IN OUR CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY this twenty-six day of November,1949, do hereby
ADOPT, ENACT AND GIVE OURSELVES THIS CONSTITUTION.
The Preamble declares four aims in the governance of India-
â– Justice- social, economic and political;
â– Liberty of thoughts, expression, belief, faith and worship;
â– Equality of status and opportunity;
â– And Fraternity assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the nation.
• Concept and Meaning of Preamble
1. The term means the introduction to a statute. It is the introductory part of the constitution. A
preamble may also be used to introduce a section or group of sections.
2. Black’s Law Dictionary states that the preamble means a clause at the beginning or a statute explanatory of the reasons for its enactment and the objectives sought to be accomplished.
3. Generally, a Preamble is a declaration made by the legislature of the reasons for the passage of the statute and is helpful in the interpretation of any ambiguities within the statute to which it is prefixed.1
4. The Constitution opens with a Preamble. Initially, the Preamble was drafted by Sh. B. N. Rau in his memorandum of May 30, 1947 and was later reproduced in the Draft of October 7, 1947. In the context of the deliberations by the Constituent Assembly, the Preamble was reformulated. The Committee claimed that they had tried to embody in it the spirit, and as far as possible, the language of the Objectives Resolution.2
• Need of Preamble
1. The Preamble does not grant any power but it gives a direction and purpose to the Constitution. It outlines the objectives of the whole Constitution. The Preamble contains the fundamentals of the constitution. The preamble to an Act sets out the main objectives which the legislation is intended to achieve.
2. The Preamble serves the following purposes:
a) It indicates the source from which the Constitution comes, viz., the people of India. b) It contains the enacting clause which brings into force, the Constitution which
makes it an act of the people, for the people and by the people.
c) It declares the rights and freedoms which the people of India intended to provide to all citizens and the basic type of government and polity which was to be
1 Aparajita Barauh (2007), Preamble of the Constitution of India, Deep and Deep Publications Pvt. Limited, New
2 M.C Jain Kagzi(2004)Constituion of India, India Law House, Delhi, P-322
3 Kesvanandan Bharati v. State of Kerala 1973 SC 1461
3. In A.K Gopalan v. State of Madras4, it was contended that the preamble to our constitution which seeks to give India a ‘democratic’ constitution should be the guiding start in its interpretation and hence any law made under Article 21 should be held as void if it offends the principles of natural justice, for otherwise the so-called “fundamental” rights to life and personal liberty would have no protection.
4. In State of Rajasthan v. Basant Nahata 5 it was held that a preamble with an ordinary Statute is to be resorted only when the language is itself capable of more than one meaning and not when something is not capable of being given a precise meaning as in case of public policy.
• Whether a part of the Constitution or not?
1. It has been very a matter of contentions and dialogs in past that whether Preamble ought to be dealt with as a piece of constitution or not. The vexed inquiry whether the Preamble is a piece of the Constitution or not was managed in two driving cases regarding the matter:
i. Beruberi Case
ii. Kesavananda Bharati case
Berubari6 case was the Presidential Reference “under Article 143(1) of the Constitution of India on the implementation of the Indo-Pakistan Agreement Relating to Beruberi Union and Exchange of Enclaves which came up for consideration by a bench consisting of eight judges headed by the Chief Justice B.P. Singh. Justice Gajendragadkar delivered the unanimous opinion of the Court. The court ruled out that the Preamble to the Constitution, containing the declaration made by the people of India in exercise of their sovereign will, no doubt it is “a key to open the mind of the makers” which may show the general purposes for which they made the several provisions in the
Constitution but nevertheless the Preamble is not a part of the Constitution.
4 AIR 1950 SC 27
5 AIR 2005 SC 3401
6 Re. Berubari Union and Exchange of Enclaves, AIR 1960 SC 845.
Kesavananda Bharati7case has created history. For the first time, a bench of 13 judges assembled and sat in its original jurisdiction hearing the writ petition. Thirteen judges placed on record 11 separate opinions. To the extent necessary for the purpose of the Preamble, it can be safely concluded that the majority in Kesavananda Bharati case leans in favor of holding,
(i) That the Preamble to the Constitution of India is a part of the Constitution;
(ii) That the Preamble is not a source of power or a source of limitations or prohibitions;
(iii) The Preamble has a significant role to play in the interpretation of statutes and also in the interpretation of provisions of the Constitution.
Kesavanada Bharati case is a breakthrough and furthermore a defining moment in the protected history of India. D.G. Palekar, J. held that the Preamble is a piece of the Constitution and, in this way, is amendable under Article 368. It can be presumed that Preamble is basic piece of our Constitution. Preface depends on the Objective Resolution of Nehru. Introduction tells about the idea of state and questions that India needs to accomplish. There was a disputable issue whether Preamble was a piece of Indian Constitution there were number of legal translation yet at long last Kesavanada Bharati case it was held that the Preamble is a piece of the Constitution.
The issue that whether the preamble to the constitution of India can be amended or not was raised before the Supreme Court in the famous case of Kesavananda Bharati v. State of Kerala,
1973. The Supreme Court has held that Preamble is the part of the constitution and it can be amended but, Parliament cannot amend the basic features of the preamble. The court observed, “The edifice of our constitution is based upon the basic element in the Preamble. If any of these elements are removed the structure will not survive and it will not be the same constitution and
will not be able to maintain its identity.”8
7 Kesvanandan Bharati v. State of Kerala 1973 SC 1461
8 Retrieved from, http://www.preservearticles.com/2012011020424/essay-on-the-amendment-of-the- preamble-of-india.html on 15 September 2013 at 7:15 pm
The preamble to the Indian constitution was amended by the 42nd Amendment Act, 1976 whereby the words Socialist, Secular and Integrity were added to the preamble by the 42nd amendment Act,
1976, to ensure the economic justice and elimination of inequality in income and standard of life. Secularism implies equality of all religions and religious tolerance and does not identity any state religion. The word integrity ensures one of the major aims and objectives of the preamble ensuring the fraternity and unity of the state.
Submitted by LP Team