PREAMBLE (PREFACE/INTRODUCTION) OF THE CONSTITUTION (UDAAN)

 PREAMBLE (PREFACE/INTRODUCTION) OF THE CONSTITUTION

  • American Constitution: 1st to begin with preamble.
  • Preamble of Indian Constitution is based upon Objective Resolution drafted & moved by Pandit Nehru on 13 December 1946 and adopted by Constituent Assembly on 22 January 1947.
  • Amended only once by 42nd Amendment 1976: added 3 new words- Socialist, Secular & Integrity.
  • The preamble embodies the basic philosophy and fundamental values- political, moral and religious on which constitution is based.
  • Contains the grand and noble vision of the Constituent Assembly, and reflects the dreams and aspirations of the founding fathers of the Constitution.
  • Preamble is neither a source of power to the legislature nor a prohibition on powers of legislature.
  • It is non-justiciable – non enforceable in courts of law.
  • Preamble resembles the Declaration of Independence of the United States of America – M. Hidayatullah.
  • Preamble was enacted by the Constituent Assembly after the rest of the Constitution was already enacted to ensure its conformity with the Constitution.
  • “We the people of India” – Emphasizes that the constitution is made by and for the Indian people. It emphasizes the “concept of popular sovereignty”.

 

“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”.

 

COMPONENTS OF PREAMBLE:

 

Source of authority of the Constitution Derives its authority from people of India
Nature of Indian State Sovereign, Socialist, Secular, Democratic, Republic
Objectives of the Constitution Justice (Russian Revolution), Liberty, Equality, Fraternity (all three from French revolution)
Date of adoption of the Constitution 26 November 1949

 

SIGNIFICANCE OF PREAMBLE:

Horoscope of the Indian democratic republic + Philosophy of the Constitution + Summary of the Indian Constitution + Identity card of our Constitution (N. A Palkhivala) + Key to the mind of the Constitution makers + Beacon light for judiciary to decide constitutionality of law.

 

KEYWORDS IN PREAMBLE:

 

 

Sovereign:

  •         Complete independent State + Not a dominion of any other country. + Sovereign in internal & external matters. + As a sovereign country, India can acquire a foreign territory or cede a part in favor of any other country.
Socialist:

 

  •          Added by 42nd amendment (1976) + Socialist contents are implicit in DPSPs (Art 36-51) but 42nd amendment mentioned it explicitly.
  •         Indian Socialism (Marxism + Gandhism, heavily leaning towards Gandhism) à Democratic Socialism à Adopted Mixed Economic model where both public & private sector coexists side by side.
 

Secular:

  •         Added by 42nd amendment (1976) + Part of basic structure doctrine. + SC (1974): Secular State was implicitly mentioned in articles 25 to 28
  •         Positive Secularism in India: All religions have the same status and support from the state.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Democratic

  •         Democratic à Doctrine of popular sovereignty à possession of supreme power by the people.
  •          It embraces = political + social + economic democracy.
  •         Indian democracy: Representative Parliamentary democracy. Executive is responsible to the legislature for all its policies and actions.
  •          Manifestation of Indian Democracy: Universal adult franchise, periodic elections, rule of law, independence of judiciary and absence of discrimination on certain grounds.

 

INSTRUMENTS OF DIRECT DEMOCRACY
1.      Referendum Procedure whereby a proposed legislation is referred to the electorate for settlement by their direct votes
2.      Initiative Method by means of which the people can propose a bill to the legislature for enactment
3.      Recall Method by means of which the voters can remove a representative or an officer before the expiry of his term
4.      Plebiscite Method of obtaining the opinion India’s of people on any issue of public importance
 

 

Republic:

  •        Two Categories: Monarchy (Britain) & Republic (USA/India).
  •         Indian republic: Head of State (President) is indirectly elected.
  •        Republic means: Vesting political sovereignty in people. Absence of any privileged class and all public offices open to all without any discrimination.
  •         Article 54-55– related to the election of the President.
 

 

 

 

 

Justice:

  •         Taken from the Russian Revolution (1917).
  •         Embraces three types of justice: Social, Economic, Political.
  •       Distributive Justice = Social Justice + Economic Justice
 

Social

  •         Equal treatment of all citizens without any social distinction based on caste, colour, race, religion, sex etc.
  •         Absence of privileges to any particular section.
  •          Improvement in the conditions of backward classes & women.
Economic
  •         Non-discrimination between people based on economic factors.
  •         Elimination of inequalities in wealth, income & property.
Political
  •         All citizens should have equal political rights, equal access to all political offices & equal voice in the government.
 

 

Liberty:

  •         Ideals of liberty, equality, fraternity: from French Revolution (1789).
  •         Absence of restraints on the activities of individuals.
  •         Providing opportunities for the development of individual personalities.
  •         Preamble secures: liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith & worship.
  •         Liberty does not mean: License to do what one likes. Need to be enjoyed within limitations mentioned in the constitution.
  •          Liberty ensured in preamble & Fundamental Rights is not absolute but qualified.
 

 

 

 

 

 

Equality:

  •         Absence of special privileges to any section of society.
  •         Adequate opportunities for all without discrimination.
  •         Preamble secures: Equality of status + opportunity.
 

 

Civic

Equality

  •          Equality before law (Art.14)
  •         Prohibition of discrimination on the grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth (Art.15)
  •          Equality of opportunity in public employment (Art.16)
  •         Abolition of untouchability (Art.17)
  •          Abolition of titles (Art.18)
Political Equality
  •        No one is ineligible for inclusion in the electoral rolls on the grounds of religion, race, caste or sex (Art.325)
  •         Lok Sabha & state assembly elections based on adult franchise. (Art.326)
Economic Equality
  •          Equal right to adequate means of livelihood & equal pay for equal work to men and women. (Art.39)
 

 

 

Fraternity:

  •          Sense of brotherhood. + Single Citizenship promotes fraternity.
  •          Article 51-A: Fundamental duty of every citizen to promote harmony and spirit of common brotherhood transcending religious, linguistic, regional or sectional diversities.
  •         Fraternity: dignity of individual (personality of every individual is sacred) + unity & integrity of India. (Word Integrity is added through 42nd amendment).
  •          Dignity of individual is ensured in Fundamental Rights, DPSPs, Fundamental Duties.
  •          Unity & integrity of nation embraces both psychological + territorial dimensions of national integration.

 

UNION OF TRINITY = LIBERTY + EQUALITY + FRATERNITY
  • All three forms union of trinity. If any of these is divorced from other it will defeat the purpose of democracy.
  • Without equality, liberty would produce the supremacy of the few over many. Equality without liberty would kill individual initiative.

 

UNION OF TRINITY = LIBERTY + EQUALITY + FRATERNITY = SOCIAL DEMOCRACY

 

SUPREME COURT CASES AND PREAMBLE:

 

Case Supreme Court View
Berubari Union Case (1960) Preamble shows general purpose behind several provisions of the constitution.

If terms used in articles are ambiguous, some assistance of preamble could be taken for interpretation.

SC held that Preamble is not a part of Constitution.

Kesavananda Bharati Case (1973) Preamble is a part of Constitution.
LIC of India Case (1995)  SC again held; preamble is an integral part of Constitution.

 

AMENDABILITY OF PREAMBLE:
  • Whether preamble can be amended or not was dealt in Kesavananda Bharati Case (1973).
  • Supreme Court reversed its verdict in Berubari Union Case (1960) and held that Preamble is an integral part of the Constitution and it can be amended under Art.368. But such amendment should not destroy ‘Basic Structure’ of the Constitution.
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