Nov 18, 2017
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Constitution of India Preamble

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Constitution of India Preamble

Constitution of India Preamble

The preamble to the Constitution of India is a preliminary preparatory statement / introduction brief introductory statement setting out the guiding objective, principles and philosophy of the constitution. Preamble enlightens the following ideas : (1) the source of the constitution, (2) nature of an Indian State (3) a statement of its objectives and (4) the date of its adoption.

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.

Source of the Constitution

“We the people of India…”

The phrase “We the people of India” emphasises that the constitution is made by and for the Indian people and not given to them by any outside power. It also emphasizes the concept of popular sovereignty as laid down by Rousseau: All the power emanates from the people and the political system will be accountable and responsible to the people.

Nature of Indian State

  1. Sovereign : India is internally and externally sovereign – externally free from the control of any foreign power and internally, it has a free government which is directly elected by the people and makes laws that govern the people. No external power can dictate the government of India.
  2. Socialist : “Socialism” as an economic philosophy, where means of production and distribution are owned by the State. India adopted a Mixed Economy, where apart from State, private production will also be encouraged. Socialism as a philosophy stresses on the phenomenon of societal equality.
  3. Secular : Features of secularism as envisaged in the Preamble is to mean that the State has no religion of its own and all persons are equally entitled to the freedom of conscience and the right freely to profess, practice and propagate the religion of their choice. (S.R Bommai and Others v Union of India, AIR 1994 SC 1918)
  4. Democratic : Indicates that the Constitution, establishes a form of Government, that gets its authority from the will of the people. The Government are elected by the people, for the people and of the people.
  5. Republic : As opposed to a monarchy or hereditary, every Indian citizen is eligible to become the President of India.  The post of the President Of India is not hereditary. A democratic republic is an entity, where the head of state is elected, directly or indirectly, for a fixed tenure. The President of India is elected by an electoral college for a term of five years.

Objectives of Indian State

  1. Justice : Social, Economic and Political.
  2. Equality : of status and opportunity.
  3. Liberty : of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship
  4. Fraternity means brotherhood : assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the nation.

Rulings on the Constitution of India Preamble

  • Supreme Court of India has, in the Kesavananda case, recognized that the preamble may be used to interpret ambiguous areas of the constitution where differing interpretations present themselves.
  • In the 1995, case of Union Government Vs LIC of India, the Supreme Court once again held the Preamble, as an integral part of the Constitution.
  • As originally enacted the preamble described the state as a “sovereign democratic republic”. In 1976 the Forty-second Amendment changed the previously described ‘State’ as “sovereign democratic republic” by adding the words ”socialist and secular” to read it as a “sovereign socialist secular democratic republic”.
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Constitutional Law

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