Portions for the class (2014 Batch) 5 May 13 Constitution of India Blog 4

Please come prepared for a discussion of the following questions. Read: Chapter 1 of Introduction to the Constitution of India by Durga Das Basu given to you.

Also consult the following blogs.

Socialist ideas Test 3 posted on Feb 26, 2013

Secularism in the Indian Constitution posted on Feb 26, 2013

Political ideas in the Preamble posted on Feb 26, 2013

1.What is the significance of the Objectives Resolution passed by the Constituent Assembly?  How far does it realize the goals of the Freedom Struggle?

2.Under what category would you place the Indian Political System? Can you contrast it with UK, France and USA?

3. While India secured freedom under the Independence Act passed by the British Parliament, under what authority did it secure a Constitution?

4. What are the main ideals of the Preamble? How are these sought to be realized?

5.What changes were introduced in the Preamble subsequently?

6. What is the legal validity of the Preamble?

Comment briefly on each one of these in this blog.

8 thoughts on “Portions for the class (2014 Batch) 5 May 13 Constitution of India Blog 4

  1. The preamble to the Constitution of India is a brief introductory statement that sets out the guiding purpose and principles of the document.

    The preamble is not an integral part of the Indian constitution was first decided by the Supreme Court of India in BeruBari case therefore it is not enforceable in a court of law. However, Supreme Court of India has, in the Kesavananda case, recognised that the preamble may be used to interpret ambiguous areas of the constitution where differing interpretations present themselves.

    As originally enacted the preamble described the state as a “”sovereign democratic republic”. In 1976 the Forty-second Amendment changed this to read “sovereign socialist secular democratic republic”.

  2. 2. Indian Political system is categorized as “Parliamentary Government”

    In contrast with ,

    UK has a “Westminster government” (Parliamentary government) political system

    France follows “Semi Presidential” Political system

    US follows “Presidential”political system

    It is customary for a constitution to have a preamble but not mandatory. The preamble is the essence of the constitution. It tells the whole ideas of the constitution. It is the reflection of ideas and expectations of people of India. It contains the philosophy of Constitution i.e.-Social and Political dream of freedom fighters and the founders of the constitution.
    • The Preamble is the form of declaration: it declares “We the people of India”
    • Further it does not confer the substantive power on the organs of the government.
    • The preamble cannot override a specific provision of the constitution. It is the article of the constitution that prevails over the preamble. Preamble can be removed and the Constitution still works. Hence it is not an essential part of the constitution
    • The preamble is non-justifiable i.e. it is not enforceable in the court of law.

    • It declares that the power and authority of the constitution are derived directly from the people. People are the ultimate sovereign in a country i.e. source of all power.
    • It helps in legal interpretation of provisions to the Constitution when there is an ambiguity.
    • It contains the enacting clause. It clearly mentions the date of adoption, enactment of Constitution is Nov 26, 1949.
    • The preamble contains the ideals and aspiration of people of India. Ideals are the means to reach the desirable ends i.e., aspirations.
    • Socialist
    • Sovereign
    • Secular
    • Democratic
    • Republic
    • Justice (Social, Economic and Political)
    • Liberty (of Thought, expression, belief, faith and worship)
    • Equality( of status and of opportunity)
    • Fraternity

  4. Jawaharlal Nehru introduced the objectives Resolution on 13th December, 1946. The Constituent Assembly passed the objectives Resolution on 22nd January, 1947. It clearly laid down the ideological foundations and values of the Indian Constitution and it guided the work of the Constituent Assembly.
    Significance of the Objectives Resolution :

    a. This Constituent Assembly declares its firm and solemn resolve to proclaim India as an Independent Soverign Republic.

    b. The said territories, whether with their present boundaries or with such others as may be determined by the Constituent Assembly and thereafter according to the law of the Constitution, shall possess and retain the status of autonomous Units.

    c. All power and authority of the Soverign Independent India, its constituent parts and organs of government, are derived from the people

    d. Guaranteed and secured to all the people of India justice, social economic and political : equality of status, of opportunity, and before the law; freedom of thought, expression, belief, faith, worship, vocation, association and action, subject to law and public morality.

    e. Adequate safeguards shall be provided for minorities, backward and tribal areas, and depressed and other backward classes.

    f. Maintain the integrity of the territory of the Republic and its soverign rights on land, sea, and air according to justice and the law of civilized nations.

    g. This ancient land attains its righful and honoured placed in the world and make its full and willing contribution to the promotion of world peace and the welfare of mankind.

  5. Unlike the Constitution of Australia, Canada or the U.S.A., the Constitution of India has an elaborate Preamble. The purpose of the Preamble is to clarify who has made the Constitution , what is its source, what is ultimate sanction behind it; what is the nature of the polity which is sought to be established by the Constitution and what are its goals and objective?

    The Preamble does not grant any power but it gives direction and purpose to the Constitution .It outlines the objective of the whole Constitution. The Preamble contains the fundamental of constitution. It serves several important purposes, as for example;

    1. It contains the enacting clause which brings the Constitution into force.
    2. It declares the basic type of government and polity which is sought to be established in the country.
    3. It declares the great rights and freedom which the people of India intended to secure to its entire citizen.
    4. It throws light on the source of the Constitution, viz., the People of India.

  6. Significance of the objectives resolution:

    The objectives resolution as presented by Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru encompassed all the ideals which Indian freedom fighters dreamed of and fought for.

    It covered freedom, equality among individuals, self sufficiency of the nation and justice among others.

    The Independence Act,1947; gave full power to the constituent assembly of India to frame a constitution and to repeal any acts or policies out in force by the British government including the Independence Act itself.



    Changes to the Preamble:
    Through the 42nd amendment; the term Socialist was added to the Constitution to declare India as a Socialist state.

    Legal validity of the Preamble:
    Preamble is just an introduction to the constitution. Unlike other parts of the constitution; the Preamble is not enforceable by law.

  7. 1. The objectives resolution passed by the Constituent Assembly states the objectives that the constitution had to achieve. It was the guiding philosophy for the drafting of the Constitution of India.
    In the words of Jawaharlal Nehru the words of the resolution “represented the depth of our being; they represented the agony and hopes of the nation coming at last to fruition”. The resolution stressed on equality for all people and adequate safeguards for tribals and other oppressed classes. Thus, the Objectives Resolution upheld the goals of freedom struggle by providing the power to the people of India.

    2. India has a parliamentary system of governance.
    Contrast with USA :
    • More power is concentrated at the centre in Indian system while USA has most of the power vested in the states
    • The President of the United States is the head of the state as well as the government while in India, the Prime Minister heads the government
    Contrast with UK :
    • The monarch is the head of the state in England
    Contrast with France :
    • The President is the head of the government in France
    • President is elected by direct voting by the people in France. He is a dominant player in executive action.

    3. The Independence Act provided for the setting up of two different
    Constituent Assemblies for India and Pakistan. These assemblies were given free reign to frame and adopt any constitution. Thus, it was under the authority of the Constituent Assembly of India that the Constitution was secured.

    4. The ideals embodied in the preamble include acknowledging that the power rests in the hands of the people, securing justice, liberty and equality to all and assuring the dignity of the individual and unity and integrity of the nation. These ideals are sought to be realized in the various articles of the Constitution.

    5. The word “secular” and “integrity” were included in the preamble by the 42nd Amendment in 1976.

    6. The preamble, though not enforceable in a court of law, describes the objectives of the constitution and when the language of the Constitution is found to be ambiguous, the court refers to the ideals of the preamble for the legal interpretation of the Constitution.

  8. The objectives of resolution which was adopted by the constituent assembly inspired the shaping of the constitution .The constituent assembly declares that it is a firm and a solemn way to resolve and to proclaim India an independent sovereign republic
    and to also draw the future governance of the constitution. The objectives of resolution took into account the goals to be achieved for the welfare of the people by providing the power to the people to achieve equality among individuals and also to provide justice among them.

    Ideals of the preamble:
    The power was invested in the people to secure – justice, liberty, equality and fraternity to the people and to achieve a sovereign socialist secular and a democratic republic.

    Changes to the preamble
    The words socialist and secular were added by the 42nd amendment in 1976

    Legal validity of the preamble:
    The preamble is an introduction to the constitution, stating the objectives which the constitution seeks to establish and promote. It also indicates the source from which the constitution derives its authority. The preamble is not enforceable by law and it aids the legal interpretation of the constitution where the language is found to be ambiguous.

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