Preamble To The Indian Constitution

The preamble of the Indian Constitution serves as a brief introductory statement of the Constitution that sets out the guiding purpose, principles and philosophy of the Indian Constitution.[1]By 42nd Constitutional Amendment, 1976, it was amended which determined to constitute India into a Sovereign, Socialist, Secular and Democratic Republic. It secures justice, liberty, equality to all citizens of India and promotes fraternity amongst the people. The idea of the following things can be given by the Preamble which are:

·Source of the Constitution
·Nature of Indian State
·A statement of its objectives
·Date of its adoption[2]

The Preamble of Indian Constitution

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 twenty-sixth day of November, 1949, do Hereby Adopt, Enact And Give To Ourselves This Constitution.[3] Components of Preamble
1. It is indicated by the Preamble that the source of authority of the Constitution lies with the people of India.
2. Preamble declares India to be a sovereign, socialist, secular and democratic republic.
3. The objectives stated by the Preamble are to secure justice, liberty, equality to all citizens and promote fraternity to maintain unity and integrity of the nation.
4. The date is mentioned in the preamble when it was adopted i.e. November 26, 1949.[4]

Key Words In The Preamble

1. Sovereign

The term ‘Sovereign’ which is proclaimed by the Preamble means that India has its own independent authority and it is not a dominion of any other external power. In the country, the legislature has the power to make laws which is subjected to certain limitations.

2. Socialist

The term ‘Socialist’ was added in the Preamble by 42nd Amendment, 1976 which means the achievement of socialist ends through democratic means. It is basically a ‘Democratic Socialism’ that holds faith in a mixed economy where both private and public sectors co-exist side by side.

3. Secular

The term ‘Secular’ was incorporated in the Preamble by 42nd Constitutional Amendment, 1976 which means that all the religions in India get equal respect, protection and support from the state.

4. Democratic

The term ‘Democratic’ implies that the Constitution of India has an established form of Constitution which gets its authority from the will of the people expressed in an election.

5. Republic

The term ‘Republic’ indicates that the head of the state is elected by the people directly or indirectly. In India, the President is the head of the state and he is elected indirectly by the people.[5]

Interpretation By The Supreme Court

·Berubari Union case[6]
In this case, it was held by the Supreme Court that the Preamble is the part of the Constitution.However, it recognised that the Preamble could be used as a guiding principle if a term in any article of the Constitution is ambiguous or has more than one meaning.

·Keshvananda Bharti v. State of Kerala[7]
In this case, The Supreme Court overturned its earlier decision and held that the Preamble is a part of the Constitution and can be amended under Article 368 of the Constitution. Again, in LIC of India case, the Supreme Court held that the Preamble is a part of the Constitution.

[3] Ibid.
[4] Ibid.
[5] Ibid.
[6] Decided on 14th March, 1960.
[7] (1973) 4 SCC 225.

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