WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC and to secure to all its citizens JUSTICE, social, economic and political; LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship; EQUALITY of status and of opportunity; and to promote among them all FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the Nation; IN OUR CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY this 26th day of November 1949, do HEREBY ADOPT, ENACT AND GIVE TO OURSELVES THIS CONSTITUTION.
The Preamble to an Act set out the main objectives which the legislation is intended to achieve. It is a sort of introduction to the statue and may a time very helpful to understand the policy and legislative intent.
In “Re Berubari case AIR(1960)”, the Supreme Court has said that the Preamble to the Constitution is a key to open the mind of the masters, and shows the general purpose for which they made the several provisions in the constitution. Supreme Court also said it was not a part of the Constitution.
In “Kesavananda Bharti’s V. State of Kerala AIR(1973)”, the Supreme Court rejected the above judgement and held that Preamble is the part of the COnstitution.
The Purpose of the Constitution
- It indicates the source from which the constitution comes i.e. People of India.
- It Contains the enacting clause which brings into force the Constitution.
- It declares the great rights and freedoms which the people of India intended to secure to all citizens and the basic type of government and polity which was to be established.
It declares India to be a “Sovereign, Socialist, Secular, Democratic, Republic”. “Sovereign” power is that which is absolute and uncontrolled. In “Republic” the political Sovereignty vests in the people and the head of the state is only a person elected by the people for a fixed term. The term “democratic” indicates that the Constitution has establishes a form of government which gets its authority from the will of people.
Can Preamble be amended under Article 368?
In Kesavananda Bharti case Court held 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 cannot maintain its identity”. The amending power cannot change the Constitution in such a way that it ceases to be a “Sovereign, Democratic, Republic”. It can be done by wrecking Constitution.
42nd Amendment and the preamble:- The amendment has inserted three new words in the preamble i.e. “Secularism, Socialism and Integrity”.