The preamble to the Indian Constitution is based on the “Objective Resolution” that was adopted by the constituent assembly. The preamble contains the summary or essence of the Constitution. The term preamble refers to the introduction or preface to the Constitution.
Significance of Preamble
- The preamble contains the grand and noble vision of the Constitutional assembly.
- The phrase “we the people of India”, makes it clear that the ultimate power in India lies with the people of India.
- The Constitution envisages India as a sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic, republic.
- The preamble specifies justice, liberty, equality, and fraternity as the objectives.
- The Preamble acts as a guiding force and directive for the lawmakers as well as for the executive in taking its decisions. This acts as a guide for successful governments.
- When there is any ambiguity on terms used in any of the articles, the judiciary can interpret the articles on the basis of the objectives mentioned in the preamble. (Berubari Union Case).
One of the controversies with respect to the preamble is, whether it is part of the Constitution or not. SC in various cases has dealt with the issue in detail:
- Berubari Union Case (1960): In this case, the SC held that the preamble shows the general-purpose behind several provisions of the Constitution. And thus, the Preamble is not a part of the Constitution.
- Keshavanand Bharti Case (1973): In this case, SC rejected the earlier opinion and held that preamble is a part of the Constitution. Here SC held that the Constitution should be read and interpreted in light of the grand and noble vision mentioned in the Constitution.
- LIC of India Case (1995): SC again held that preamble is an integral part of the Constitution.
Thus, the debate is settled today. The present position with respect to the preamble is th
- The preamble is an integral part of the Constitution. The preamble was inserted at the end of the Constitution to ensure that it is in conformity with the rest of the Constitution.
- The preamble is neither a source of power to the legislature nor a prohibition upon the powers of the legislature.
- It is non-justiciable in nature, that is, provisions are not enforceable in the courts of law.