Preamble is a brief introductory statement that conveys the guiding principles of the document. It is like an introduction or preface of a book. As an introduction, it is not a part of the contents but it explains the purposes and objectives with which the document has been written. So is the case with the Preamble which serves as an introduction to the Indian Constitution. It embodies the fundamental values and the philosophy on which the Constitution is based.
According to D.D. Basu, every Constitution has a philosophy of its own. Our Constitution also has a philosophy which is found in the Preamble to the Constitution. The philosophy of the Constitution is coterminous with the ideals and aspirations of the freedom struggle of India which are faithfully reflected in the Preamble.
It was the historic Objective Resolution moved by Pandit Nehru and passed by the Constituent Assembly on the 22nd January, 1947, that formed the basis for the philosophy of the Constitution and the Objective Resolution with little verbal modification ultimately became the Preamble to the Constitution. The Objective Resolution also inspired the shaping of the Constitution through all its subsequent stages.
NATURE OF THE PREAMBLE
The Preamble is non-justiciable in nature, like the DPSP, and cannot be enforced in a court of law. It can neither provide substantive power to the three organs of the State, nor limit their powers under the provisions of the Constitution. The Preamble cannot override the specific provisions of the Constitution. In case of any conflict between the two, the latter shall prevail. So, it has a very limited role to play. The Preamble to our Constitution serves following purposes
- It indicates the source from which the Constitution derives its authority i.e., the people of India.
- It also states the values and objects which the Constitution seeks to establish and promote.
The Preamble, by itself, is not enforceable in the Court of law, but it aids in the legal interpretation of the Constitution where the language is found to be ambiguous.
The values expressed in the Preamble are sovereignty, socialism, secularism, democracy, republican character, justice, liberty, equality, fraternity, human dignity and the unity and integrity of the Nation. In addition to these, our Constitution promotes respect for diversity and minority rights, accommodates regional and political assertions through federalism and fosters international peace and cooperation.
SIGNIFICANCE AND UTILITY OF THE PREAMBLE
- According to the Preamble, it s the people of India who had enacted, adopted and given the Constitution to themselves. Preamble indicates that the Constitution derives its powers from the people and the source of all authority under the Constitution emanates from the people of India. It also means that sovereignty ultimately resides with the people.
- The Preamble also declares the rights and freedom which the people of India intended to secure to all citizens and the mode of realization of the ideas and operations.
- The Preamble though not an operative part of the Constitution, aids in the legal interpretation where the language of the Constitution is found to be ambiguous.
- It declares the basic type of government and polity which is sought to be established in the country.
- Since the Constitution is a legal document, the date of adoption is clearly mentioned in the Preamble to the Indian Constitution.
The Preamble to the Constitution of free India remains the most beautifully worded prologue. It contains the basic ideals, objectives and philosophical postulates of the Constitution of India. In the detailed arrangement of institutions, positions and procedures, the Constitution always pays primary attention to these ideas. They provide justification for the Constitutional provisions. In short, it is the mirror of the Indian Constitution.
LIMITATIONS OF THE PREAMBLE IN JURISPRUDENCE
- The Preamble is not regarded as the source of any substantive governmental power and cannot place any limitation on exercise of powers of the organs of the Constitution namely the Executive, Legislature, and Judiciary
- The Preamble cannot override the express provisions of the Constitution. It cannot be enforced in a court of law.
- It has limited applications and can be resorted to only when there is an ambiguity in the provisions of the Constitution.
According to the Supreme Court, if the terms used in the provisions of the Constitution are ambiguous or capable of two or more meanings, some assistance can be taken from the Preamble. In such cases the interpretation which fits the Preamble may be preferred.
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.
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