Preamble

Introduction

  • A preamble is an introductory statement in a document that explains the document’s philosophy and objectives.
  • In a Constitution, it presents the intention of its framers, the history behind its creation, and the core values and principles of the nation.
  • The preamble basically gives idea of the following things/objects:
    • Source of the Constitution
    • Nature of Indian State
    • Statement of its objectives
    • Date of its adoption

It is an introductory statement in a document that explains the document’s philosophy and objectives. In a Constitution, it presents the intention of its framers, the history behind its creation, and the core values and principles of the nation.

The ideals behind the Preamble to India’s Constitution were laid down by Jawaharlal Nehru’s Objectives Resolution, adopted by the Constituent Assembly on January 22, 1947.

Although not enforceable in court, the Preamble states the objects of the Constitution, and acts as an aid during the interpretation of Articles when language is found ambiguous.

Components of Preamble

  • It is indicated by the Preamble that the source of authority of the Constitution lies with the people of India.
  • Preamble declares India to be a sovereign, socialist, secular and democratic republic.
  • 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.
  • The date is mentioned in the preamble when it was adopted i.e. November 26, 1949.

What do the key words in the Preamble stand for?

The words, “We, the people of India…” indicate the ultimate sovereignty of the people of India. Sovereignty means the independent authority of the State, not being subject to the control of any other State or external power.

The text declares India to be a “Republic” — indicating a government by the people and for the people.

It states “social, economic, and political justice” as an objective.

Nehru had said in 1956, “Democracy has been spoken of chiefly in the past, as political democracy, roughly represented by every person having a vote. But a vote by itself does not represent very much to a person who is down and out, to a person, let us say, who is starving and hungry. Political democracy, by itself, is not enough except that it may be used to obtain a gradually increasing measure of economic democracy, equality and the spread of good things of life to others and removal of gross inequalities.”

Status of Preamble

  • The preamble being part of the Constitution is discussed several times in the Supreme Court. It can be understood by reading the following two cases.
    • Berubari Case: It was used as a reference under Article 143(1) of the Constitution which was on the implementation of the Indo-Pakistan Agreement related to the Berubari Union and in exchanging the enclaves which were decided for consideration by the bench consisting of eight judges.
    • Through the BERUBARI CASE the Court stated that ‘Preamble is the key to open the mind of the makers’ but it can not be considered as part of the Constitution. Therefore it is not enforceable in a court of law.
  • Kesavananda Bharati Case: In this case for the first time, a bench of 13 judges was assembled to hear a writ petition. The Court held that:
    • The Preamble of the Constitution will now be considered as part of the Constitution.
    • The Preamble is not the supreme power or source of any restriction or prohibition but it plays an important role in the interpretation of statutes and provisions of the Constitution.
    • So, it can be concluded that preamble is part of the introductory part of the Constitution.
  • In the 1995 case of Union Government Vs LIC of India also, the Supreme Court has once again held that Preamble is the integral part of the Constitution but is not directly enforceable in a court of justice in India.

What is a Preamble, and what is the history of the Preamble to India’s Constitution?

A preamble is an introductory statement in a document that explains the document’s philosophy and objectives. In a Constitution, it presents the intention of its framers, the history behind its creation, and the core values and principles of the nation.

The ideals behind the Preamble to India’s Constitution were laid down by Jawaharlal Nehru’s Objectives Resolution, adopted by the Constituent Assembly on January 22, 1947.

Although not enforceable in court, the Preamble states the objects of the Constitution, and acts as an aid during the interpretation of Articles when language is found ambiguous.

Conclusion
A Preamble indicates only the general purposes for which the people ordained and established the Constitution. It cannot be regarded and has never been regarded as the source of any source of any substantive power conferred on the Government or any of its departments. Although, it is permissible to look at the Preamble for understanding the import of various clauses contained in the bill, full effect should be given to the express provisions of the bill, even though they appear to go beyond the terms of Preamble. Where the language of the Act is clear, Preamble shall be dis-regarded. Where the object or meaning of an enactment is vague or unclear the Preamble must be resorted to explain it. It has been rather rightly put up in the case of Burrakur Coal Co. Ltd. v. Union Of India[31] that, “where very general language is used in an enactment, which, it is clear, must be intended to have a limited application, the Preamble must be used to indicate to what particular instances the inactment is intended to apply”. However, it can never be a source of Power.

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. But if the language of the Article is sufficiently clear, it is not to be interpreted in the light of the Preamble in preference to the obvious meaning thereof. The objectives in the Preamble are just a part of basic structure of the Constitution and nothing more than that. So, Preamble cannot be amended so as to destroy the objectives, but also cannot be used as a law to judge people on.

Aishwarya Says:

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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The copyright of this Article belongs exclusively to Ms. Aishwarya Sandeep. Reproduction of the same, without permission will amount to Copyright Infringement. Appropriate Legal Action under the Indian Laws will be taken.

If you would also like to contribute to my website, then do share your articles or poems at adv.aishwaryasandeep@gmail.com

We also have a Facebook Group Restarter Moms for Mothers or Women who would like to rejoin their careers post a career break or women who are enterpreneurs.

We are also running a series Inspirational Women from January 2021 to March 31,2021, featuring around 1000 stories about Indian Women, who changed the world. #choosetochallenge

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