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Is Preamble a Part of The Indian Constitution?

In re Berubari Union Case (1960) (SC)

It was a 9 judges bench decision and the judgment was delivered by Hon’ble Justice Gajendra Gadkar. It was held that Preamble is not a part of the Constitution. However, it is a key to the mind of framers of the Constitution and it reveals their intentions. Preamble is in itself neither a source of any powers, nor a source of any restrictions. The preamble is an important tool for interpretation of the Constitution.

Kesavananda Bharti v State of Kerala (1973) (SC)

It was a 13 judges bench decision and the judgment was delivered by Hon’ble Chief Justice S M Sikri. It was held that the preamble of the Constitution cannot be seen in the same sense as Preamble to the statute. Preamble is certainly a part of the Constitution but not an operative part and cannot be considered a provision.

In practical circumstances, Article will apply and not the Preamble. A law cannot be declared to be void on the basis of Preamble alone. The Preamble is an important tool of interpretation of the Constitution. Preamble is not a source of basic structure but the manifestation of the basic structure.

Minerva Mills V Union of India (1980) (SC)

It was a 5 judges bench decision and the judgement was delivered by Hon’ble Justice Y V Chandrachud. It is held that any positive amendment in the Preamble can certainly be made. The edifice of the Constitution has been built upon the concepts crystallized in the Preamble. The 42nd​​ amendment adds vitality to the philosophy of the Constitution. It makes explicit what was implicit in the Constitution i.e., Positive Amendment. It was held that the Preamble can be amended by procedure held in Article 368 of the Constitution.

 

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