The preamble of the Indian constitution how it is proved to be inherited

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Written by: Kajal Kumari

Introduction:

Constitution means a document having a special sanctity that sets out the framework and principal functions of the organs of the Government of the State and declares the principle governing the operation of those organs. The Constitution of India starts with the Preamble as the Preamble to the Constitution of India sets out the main objectives which the framers intended to achieve. It is the key to the mind of the makers. The preamble of the Constitution of India consists brief introduction about the principles, sources, objectives of the Constitution of India, and the nature of the States.

In the Berubari case[1], the Honourable Supreme Court held that the preamble was not the part of the Constitution and therefore it could never be regarded as the source of any substantive powers, such powers are expressly granted in the body of the Constitution. However, in the Keshvananda Bharti case[2], the Honourable Supreme Court overruled the Berubari case and held that preamble is apart of the Constitution and it should be read and interpreted in the light of the grand and noble vision expressed in the preamble.

Can preamble be amended under Article 368 of the Constitution of India, the question was raised first time in the Keshvananda Bharti case, it was contended on behalf of the petitioners that the amending power under Article 368 is limited. Preamble creates an implied limitation on the power of Amendment. The Honourable Supreme Court held that since the preamble is part of the Constitution it can be amended but subject to this condition that the basic feature given in the Preamble can not be amended. The Apex Court said that the edifice of our constitution is based upon the basic elements mentioned in the preamble if any of these elements are removed the structure will not survive and it will not be the same constitution or it can not maintain its identity.

Is Preamble justifiable or enforceable?

The Preamble is not justifiable which means the Courts can not pass orders against the Government to implement the ideas contained in the Preamble. So far the Preamble has been amended only once in the year 1976 by the 42nd Amendment also known as Mini Constitution which inserted the word socialist and secular and substituted the words unity and integrity of the nation, in place of ‘unity’ of the nation.

Nature of Indian state:

Sovereign:

Sovereign means the independent authority of a State.

Socialist:

In Excel Wear v. Union of India, S.C. considered the effect of the word ‘socialist’ in the Preamble. The Court held that the addition of the word “Socialist” might enable the courts to lean more in favor of nationalization and state ownership of industry.

In the case of D.S. Nakara v. Union of India, the Court held that ‘the basic purpose of socialism is to provide a decent standard of life to the people living in the country and to protect them from the day they are born till the day they die’.

Secular

Secular:

In S.R. Bommai v. Union of India, the supreme court held that “secularism is the basic feature of the Constitution.”

In Aruna Roy v. Union of India, the Supreme Court has said that Secularism has a positive meaning that is developing, understanding and respect towards different religions.

Democratic:

The people of India elect their governments by a system of universal adult franchise, popularly known as “one person one vote”.

In the case of Mohan Lal v. District Magistrate of Rai Bareilly, the Court stated that Democracy is a philosophical topic related to politics where the people elect their representatives to form a government, where the basic principle is to treat the minority the same way people treat the majority. Every citizen is equal before the law in the democratic form of government.

In the case of Union of India v. Association of Democratic Reforms, the Court states that the basic requirement of a successful democracy is the awareness of the people. A democratic form of Government can not survive without fair elections as fair elections are the soul of democracy. Democracy also improves the way of life by protecting human dignity, equality, and the rule of law.

Republic:

In a republican form of government, the head of state is elected and not a hereditary monarch. Thus, this word denotes a government where no one holds public power as a proprietary right.

Objectives of Indian State:

Justice:

Justice stands for rule of law, absence of arbitrariness, and a system of equal rights, freedom, and opportunities for all in society. India seeks social, economic, and political justice to ensure equality for its citizens.

Liberty:

This establishes that there are no unreasonable restrictions on Indian citizens in terms of what they think, their manner of expression, and the way they wish to follow up their thoughts in action. However, liberty does not mean freedom to do anything, and it must be exercised within the constitutional limits.

Fraternity:

This refers to a feeling of brotherhood and a sense of belonging with the country among its people. The Preamble declares that fraternity has to assure two things—the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the nation.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, it will not be wrong to say that the preamble is an integral part of the Constitution because it contains the spirit and ideology of the Constitution. The preamble highlights the fundamental values and guiding principles of the Constitution. It contains the purpose of the constitution, to build an independent nation that protects justice, liberty, equality, and fraternity which are the objectives of the Constitution.

A Preamble provides significant help in the interpretation of the Constitution when words actually are ambiguous. Under such circumstances, it is the key to open the minds of the makers of the Act. The preamble cannot be amended so as to destroy the objectives, but also cannot be used as a law to judge people on.


[1] AIR 1960 SC 858.

[2] Keshvananda Bharti v. State of Kerala, AIR 1973 SC 1467.


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