CAN THE PREAMBLE BE AMENDED?

The Preamble of the Constitution is the key to open mind of the makers. Whether the basic structure of the Constitution can be amended or not?. This question was first raised in the landmark case of Kesavananda Bharti VS State of Kerala. The attorney general argued that under the amending power in Article 368 of the Indian Constitution even preamble can be amended just like any other provisions of the constitution. It was said that since the preamble was part of the constitution it can be amended like any other provisions in the constitution.

The preamble contains the basic elements or the fundamental features of the constitution. Whether the preamble can be amended or not a majority said that it is a part of the constitution therefore it can be amended but the basic features of the preamble should not be disturbed or amended. Amending powers cannot be used to destroy or distort these basic features mentioned in the preamble.

Berubari case: in this case, the court held that the preamble was not part of the constitution and therefore, it could never be regarded as a source of any substantive powers.

Kesvananda Bharti case: the supreme court rejected the above view and held preamble is the part of the Indian constitution.  

The Supreme Court held that the preamble is a part of the Indian Constitution and therefore on this point Berubari’s opinion was wrong.

42nd Amendment and the preamble

The 42nd constitution amendment act,1976. This amendment is also known as the Mini Constitution of India and it has inserted three new words in the preamble of the Indian Constitution. Those three words were:

Secularism, Socialism and Integrity.

Secularism means a state which has no religion of its own as recognized religion of the state. It treats all religions equally.

The word Socialism doesn’t have any definite meaning but it means some form of ownership of the means of production and distribution which is wholly or partially controlled by the state.

The word Integrity is intended to put end to separatist tendencies and make people feel that every part of India is their home.

The preamble merely states clearly the concepts of the preamble.

In S.R.Bommai VS Union of India

In this case, the supreme court said that secularism is the basic feature of the constitution

Aruna Roy VS Union of India

In this case, the apex court held that secularism has a positive meaning that is developing, understanding and respect towards different religions in the country or state.

CONCLUSION

Whether the preamble can be amended or not has been a lot into question and we have two landmark judgments for the same subject matter. Berubari case in which the court held it cant be amended because it is not a part of any substantive source of the constitution. Later, in the Kesavanada Bharti case, the Supreme court held the previous judgment wrong and stated that the preamble is a part of the constitution and therefore it can be amended also.

Thus, our preamble is a part of the Indian Constitution and it can be amended under Article 368 of the Indian Constitution but its basic features can’t be damaged. And therefore, the Indian Constitution is a living constitution that can be amended, developed and grow according to the requirements in society.

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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