Preamble

Preamble

The Preamble embodies the basic philosophy and fundamental values— political, moral and religious—on which the Constitution is based. 
 
  • One of the controversies about the Preamble is as to whether it is a part of the Constitution or not.
  • In the Berubari Union case (1960), the Supreme Court said that the Preamble shows the general purposes behind the several provisions in the Constitution, and is thus a key to the minds of the makers of the Constitution. Further, where the terms used in any article are ambiguous or capable of more than one meaning, some assistance at interpretation may be taken from the objectives enshrined in the Preamble. Despite this recognition of the significance of the Preamble, the Supreme Court specifically opined that Preamble is not a part of the Constitution.
  • • In the Kesavananda Bharati case (1973), the Supreme Court rejected the earlier opinion and held that Preamble is a part of the Constitution. It observed that the Preamble is of extreme importance and the Constitution should be read and interpreted in the light of the grand and noble vision expressed in the Preamble. The Court held that the basic elements or the fundamental features of the Constitution as contained in the Preamble cannot be altered by an amendment under Article 368.
  • In the LIC of India case18 (1995) also, the Supreme Court again held that the Preamble is an integral part of the Constitution.
  • However, two things should be noted:
  • The Preamble is neither a source of power to legislature nor a prohibition upon the powers of legislature
  • It is non-justiciable, that is, its provisions are not enforceable in courts of law

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