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The preamble of the Indian constitution

Introduction Of The Indian Constitution:

The Constitution of India is the Supreme law in India. It imparts Constitutional supremacy and not Parliamentary supremacy as it is not created by the Parliament but by a Constituent Assembly and adopted b y its people with a declaration in its Preamble.

According to the father of the Indian Constitution Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar:
'Constitution is not a mere lawyer's document, it is a vehicle of life and its spirit is always the spirit of age.'

Facts About The Indian Constitution:

  • The Constitution of India was originally handwritten in both the languages English as well as Hindi
  • The original Constitution of India was handwritten by Prem Behari Narain Raizada in a flowing italic style with beautiful calligraphy.
  • Each page of Constitution is uniquely decorated by artists from Shantiniketan including Beohar Rammanohar Sinha and Nandlal Bose.
  • The Constitution was published in Dehradun and photolithographed by the survey of India.
  • In its current form, it has a PREAMBLE, 22 parts, with 448 articles, 12 schedules, 5 appendices and 115 amendments.
  • With so much of writing, the Indian Constitution is the longest of any sovereign country in the world.
  • The final draft of the Constitution was adopted on 26 November 1949 after almost 2 years 11 months and 17 days. The Constitution was legally enforced on 26 January 1950, the day that we celebrate as the Republic Day ever since.

Introduction To The Preamble Of The Indian Constitution:

A Preamble is an introductory statement in a document that explains the document's philosophy and objectives. In a Constitution, it presents the intention of its framers, the history behind its creation, the core values and principles of the Nation. The Preamble of the Constitution declares India to be a SOVEREIGN, SECULAR, SOCIALISTS, DEMOCRATIC and REPUBLIC.

The Preamble can be referred to as the preface which highlights the entire Constitution. It was adopted on 26 November 1949 by the Constituent Assembly and came into effect on 26 January 1950, celebrated as the Republic Day in India. Preamble was made in 1947 but adopted in 1949.

History Of The Preamble Of Indian Constitution

The Preamble is based on the ‘Objectives Resolution' which was drafted and moved in the Constituent Assembly by Jawaharlal Nehru on 13 December 1946 and adopted by Constituent Assembly on 22 January 1947.

Once a question raised that - Whether Preamble can be amended or not?
This was raised for the first time in the Supreme Court in the case of KESAVANANDA BHARATI VS. STATE OF KERELA AIR 1973. It was said that since Preamble is a part of Constitution that it could be amended under article 368 like any other provisions of the Constitution but basic features of the Preamble cannot be amended.
But, in Berubari's case, the Supreme Court held that Preamble is not a part of the Constitution and therefore, it is not a source of substantive power.

Written Form Of The Preamble Of The Indian Constitution:

The Constitution Of India
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;

Case Law:

Kesavananda Bharati V/S State Of Kerela (Air1973)

Swami H.H Sri Kesavananda Bharati was the senior head of the Edneer Mutt (located in Kerela).
Kerela Government passes the law that Kerela Government attempted to control religiously owned property under two State Land reforms Act.
Nanabhoy Palkhivala (senior advocate) convinced the Swami to file petition under article 26.

In Supreme Court, the period of hearing this case was 68 days (including 13 judges).
In this case, the Supreme Court held that Preamble is a part of Constitution and it could be amended under article 368 of the Indian Constitution.

  • Whether the 24th Constitutional (Amendment) Act 1971 is Constitutionally valid or not?
  • Whether the 25th Constitutional (Amendment) Act 1972 is Constitutionally valid or not?
  • The extent to which the Parliament can exercise its power to amend the Constitution.

Judgement was in the favor of the case. It was resulted in the Apex Court i.e Supreme Court by 7:6 majority which includes 13 judges.

The Re-Berubari Case

In the case of Re-berubari, the States of Punjab and Bengal were to be partitioned. A commission was appointed as Sir Cyril Redcliffe as its Chairman for apportionment of the State of Bihar. A boundary was fixed between India and Pakistan are known as the Redcliffe line. After this, there arose certain tiffs between India and Pakistan on the exact location of the apportionment.

During all these processes was underway, the Indian Constitution came into force on 26th of January,1950 and Article 1 of our Constitution provided India shall be a Union of States and shall be mentioned in part A,B,C of the First Schedule of the Constitution.

The Pakistani Government contented its claim over the Berubari union for the first time in 1952. The areas under the Berubari Union remained under the territory of India till such time was a part of West Bengal. The dispute was resolved in 1958 by an agreement wherein half of the Berubari Union was awarded to India while the other half was retained by India.

  • Whether there is a need for legislative action to carry out an agreement relating to the Berubari Union?
  • Whether the case where there is such a need for action, does a law of Parliament concerning Article 3 of the Indian Constitution, 1950 sufficient, or is an amendment of the Constitution following Article 368 of Constitution necessary, besides, or in the alternative?
  • Whether the with Article 3 of the Constitution of India Parliament empowered to implement the agreement relating to Berubari's Union or is there a need for amendment under Article 368 of the Constitution for such action?

The Supreme Court in the Berubari Union Case concluded that the Preamble is not a part of Constitution. The Parliament has the power to amend our Constitution (including article 1).

Preamble of India can be considered as the soul of our Constitution. From the very first line of our Preamble that is WE THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solemnly resolved to constitute India indicates that we the citizens of India have come forward and gifted ourselves with this Preamble and it is our decision to abide by it.

To conclude, it will not be wrong to say that the spirit or the ideology behind the Constitution is sufficiently crystallized in the Preamble. It is also right to state that Preamble is the basic part of any document and it is but obvious to our Constitution because it is the Supreme law of our country. Written By: Srishti

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