Preamble shows the general purposes behind several provisions in the Constitution, and is a key to the minds of the makers of the Constitution. Explain. Also, comment on the amend ability of the Preamble.

Q. Preamble shows the general purposes behind several provisions in the Constitution, and is a key to the minds of the makers of the Constitution. Explain. Also, comment on the amend ability of the Preamble.

Answer:

Preamble is an introductory document to the Constitution that reveals the source of authority, nature of the Indian state, objectives of the Constitution and date of adoption of the Constitution. It embodies the basic philosophy and fundamental values and contains a grand and noble vision of the Constituent assembly.

Preamble is a key to the minds of its makers and reveals that establishment of sovereign democratic republic was the sole object of the founding father. The aim was to realize the goal of a just social and economic order based on justice, equality and freedom.

The various elements of the preamble reflect the general purposes behind various provisions of the Constitution such as:

  • Justice (social, economic and political) – Fundamental rights and Directive principles contain various provisions which aim to eliminate inequalities, remove discrimination and secure equal rights to all.
  • Liberty (of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship) – Article 19 provides for freedom of speech and expression and Article 25- 28 gives the right to religion to everyone including minorities.
  • Equality (of status and opportunity) – it promotes civic, political and economic equality as reflected in following articles:
    • Article 14-18 provides for absence of special privileges to any section of society and adequate opportunities for all without discrimination.
    • Article 39 secures equal rights to an adequate means of livelihood and equal pay for equal work.
    • Article 325 and 326 provides for universal adult franchise and right to participate in elections without any discrimination.
  • Fraternity (dignity of an individual and unity and integrity of the nation)
    • System of single citizenship promotes the feeling of fraternity.
    • It is a fundamental duty of every citizen to promote harmony and spirit of a common brotherhood.

Since preamble is key to our constitution, there have been questions over its amend ability. This question was dealt in the Kesavananda Bharati Case (1973) and the Supreme Court held that the Preamble is a part of the Constitution and it can be amended under Article 368, subject to the basic structure doctrine.

It found its earlier opinion tendered in Berubari Union Case 1960 that Preamble is not a part of the Constitution and therefore, cannot be amended under Article 368, to be wrong.

The Preamble has been amended only once till now by the 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act 1976 which added three new words- Socialist, Secular and Integrity- to the Preamble.

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