Preamble to the Constitution: Adoption, Nature & Objective

Preamble to the Constitution: Adoption, Nature & Objective 1


Our Preamble read as follows:

WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solemnly  resolved to constitute India into a SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC and to secure to all its 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;


 Features of the preamble:

  1. Preamble is an introductory paragraph or part in a statue, deed or other document setting forth the ground and intention of it.

  2. Preamble came into force on January 26, 1950 as apart and provision of the Constitution.

  3. The words Secular, Socialist and integrity were added in the preamble by the 42nd Constitutional amendment.

  4. Preamble is borrowed from the USA.

  5. Preamble is amended only once.

  6. Preamble describes the Nature of Indian Constitution which is: Sovereign, Socialist, Secular, Democratic and Republic. (Important)

  7. The preamble to the constitution sets out the aims and aspirations of the people of India which have been translated into the various provisions of the Constitution.

  8. With reference to its qualitative characteristics preamble can be divided into three parts: (i) First part is Revolutionary, which means people of India solemnly resolved  to constitute into a sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic and republic. (ii) Second part is Promissory, a commitment by the people of India to secure all its citizens the four Objectives- justice, liberty, equality and fraternity. (iii) Third part is Declaratory, whereby people of India in the constituent assembly adopted and enacted this constitution. (Important)

  9. Preamble is Non-justiciable (which means cannot be challenged in court) and it is not the source o power to legislature.

Landmark Case Laws: (Important)

  1. Berubari case(1950) : Supreme Court held that preamble is not a part of the constitution.

2. Shankari Prasad v. Union of India(1951) : Supreme Court held that the power to amend the constitution, including the Fundamental Rights was contained in the Article 368. Further, Supreme Court said word ‘law’ in article 13(2) did not include an amendment of the constitution. After this decision several amendments wee done in Part iii of the Constitution.

3.  Sajjan Singh v. State of Rajasthan(1965) : 17th Constitutional Amendment was challenged on the ground of violation of Fundamental Rights. Further, Supreme Court said that Fundamental Rights can be amended and approved Shakari Prasad case. Also, Supreme Court said that law in Article 13(2) does not include an amendment of the constitution.

4.  Keshavananda Bharti case (1973) : Justice Sikri said said that “preamble of our constitution is of extreme importance and the constitution should be read interpreted in the light of the grand and noble vision expressed in the preamble.” Therefore, Supreme Court rejected earlier opinion and held that preamble is a part of the constitution.

5. LIC of India case : In this case Supreme Court confirmed and held again that the preamble is an integral part of the Constitution.

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