Introduction -

                  The Preamble to an Act sets out the main objectives with the legislation it is intended to achieve. It is a sort of introduction to the statute and many a times very helpful to understand the policy and legislative intent it Expresses "what we had thought or dreamt  for so long" . The Constitution makers gave to the Preamble " the place of pride" . It embodies in a solemn from all the ideals and aspiration for which the country had struggled during the British regime. In Berubari case, the Supreme Court has said that the Preamble to the constitution is a key to open the mind of the makers, and shows the general purpose for which they made the several provisions in the constitution.

The purpose of having a Preamble to the constitution -

                           Preamble elucidate the objectives of the constitution and the intention behind framing the Constitution. It is a prelude to the ideals for which the Indian Constitution stands for. It summaries the spirit of the Constitution. All the provisions of the constitution and extrapolation of these ideals.

The purpose it serves : 

The Preamble serves the following purposes :

1. It indicates the source from which the Costitution comes, viz . The people of India.

2. It contains  the  enacting clause which brings into force the constitution.

3. It declared the great rights and freedoms which the people of India intended to secure to all citizens and the basic type of government and polity which was to be established.

           The Preamble of the Indian Constitution declares India to be a Sovereign, Socialist, Secular, Democratic, Republic.

Objectives enshrined in the Preamble -

The following are the objectives which the Preamble secures to every citizen -

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.

Is Preamble a Part of the Constitution ?

                         Yes Preamble is a Part of the Constitution (and amendable under the Article 368)  -
The Preamble indicates source of the Constitution. It is an introduction to the statute, useful to understand the legislative intent and policy. It is a key to the minds of the framers of the constitution.
But it does not mean that the Preamble can override the express provisions of the Act.

                 In Berubari's case Supreme Court held that the Preamble was not a part of the Constitution and therefore it could never be regarded as a source of any substantive powers. Such powers are expressly granted in the body of the Constitution. What is true about the powers is equally true about the prohibitions. It has Limited application it can be restored to where there is any ambiguity in the statute. If the terms used in the constitution are  ambiguous or capable of two meanings interpreting them some assistance may be taken from the objectives enshrined in the constitution and construction with fits the Preamble may be preferred.

                    But in KeshavaNanda Bharti case Supreme Court rejected the above view and held that the Preamble is the part of the Constitution. Though in any ordinary statute not much importance is attached to the Preamble, all important has to be attached to the Preamble in Constitutional statue. Sikri, C.J observed no authority has been referred before us to establish the propositions that what is true about the power is equally true about the prohibition and limitations. Even from the preamble limitations have been derived some cases. it seems to me that the Preamble of our constitution is extremely important and the  Constitution should be read and interpreted it in the light of the Grand and noble Vision Expressed in the preamble."In fact Preamble was relied on imposing implied limitations on the amending power of Parliament under Article 368 of the Constitution. In that case it was held that the "basic elements" in the Preamble cannot be amended under the Article 368. 

Case Law :

1) Sajjan Singh Vs. State of Rajasthan (AIR 1955 SC 845)
Held that the preamble indicates source of the constitution. It is an introduction to the statute, useful to understand the legislative intent and policy. It is a key to the minds of the feamers of the constitution.

2) Golalgnath V. State of Panjab ( AIR 1967 SC 1643)
Held that the constitution is a key to open the minds of the makers of the constitution.

3) Re. Berubari Union and Exchange of Enclaves (AIR 1960 SC 845)
Held that the preamble is not a part of the constitution and thus cannot be amended .

4) KeshavaNanda Bharti Sripadagalvaru V. State of Kerala ( AIR 1973 SC 1461)
Held that the preamble is a part of the constitution and is amendable. It can not however violate the 'basic structure' of the constitution.


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