HomeLegal ColumnsPreamble of the Constitution of India - Overview

Preamble of the Constitution of India – Overview


WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a [SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC][1] 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][2];



In Pradeep Jain v. Union of India[3], the Hon’ble Supreme Court held that the preamble of the Constitution is framed with great care and deliberation to reflect the high purpose and noble objective of the Constitution makers. It is well settled by philosophers, constitutional law experts and academicians that in order to achieve the principles enshrined in the preamble of the Constitution such as Justice, Liberty, Equality and Fraternity, the Indian politicians and polity as a whole has to be educated and educated with excellence.[4]

The Preamble may be invoked to determine the ambit of Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles of State Policy. In M Nagaraj v. Union of India[5], the Supreme Court said that the provisions of the Constitution must be interpreted in a wide and liberal manner so that constitution does not get fossilised but remains flexible enough to meet newly emerging problems and challenges.

In Re: The Berubari Union and Exchange of Enclaves Reference Under Article 143(1) of The Constitution of India[6], the Supreme Court held that “Preamble is the key to open the mind of the makers” but it cannot be considered as a part of the Constitution and cannot be enforceable in a court of Law.

Later in Kesavananda Bharati Sripadagalvaru  v. State of Kerala[7], a 13 judge bench in the Supreme Court held that Preamble may not be the primary source of deriving power and does not impose restrictions and prohibitions, but it has a significant role in the interpretation of provisions of the Constitution. Hence, it was concluded that preamble is the introductory part of the Constitution.


The word “Sovereign” means that the State has power to legislate on any subject in conformity with constitutional limitations. Being a sovereign State, India is free from any type of external control. It can acquire foreign territory and if, necessary, cede a part of the territory in favour of a foreign State, subject to constitutional requirements.


Social Justice enables the courts to uphold legislation to remove economic inequalities, to provide a decent standard of living to the working people, and to protect the interests of the weaker sections of the society. Democratic socialism aims to end the poverty, disease, ignorance and inequality of opportunity. This socialistic concept ought to be implemented in the true spirit of the Constitution.


The constitution of India stands for a secular state. This means that the State has no official religion of its own but it respects each and every religion. The State provides all its citizens complete rights to profess, practise and propagate any religion of their choice. The Constitution not only guarantees a person’s freedom of religion and conscience, but also ensures freedom for one who has no religion, and it scrupulously restrains the State from making any discrimination on grounds of religion. A single citizenship is assured to all persons irrespective of their religion.


Democratic means that the written Constitution of India has an established form of Constitution. This established form derives its authority from the will of the people that is expressed by them through elections.


Republic indicates that the head of the state is elected by the people of India. President of India is the elected head of the State.

[1] Substituted by the Constitution (Forty-second Amendment) Act, 1976, section 2, for “SOVEREIGN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC” (w.e.f. 3-1-1977).

[2] Substituted by the Constitution (Forty-second Amendment) Act, 1976, section 2, for “unity of the Nation” (w.e.f. 3-1-1977).

[3] AIR 1984 SC 1420

[4] P.A. Inamdar v. State of Maharashtra, (2005) 6 SCC 537

[5] AIR 2007 SC 71

[6] AIR 1960 SC 845

[7] AIR 1973 SC 1461

Law Wire Team
Law Wire Teamhttps://lawwire.in/
Law Wire Team attempts to delve into pertinent (and sometimes not immediately pertinent) questions regarding socio-politics, Law and their interesting matrix.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular