“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;
IN OUR CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY this twenty-sixth day of November, 1949, do HEREBY ADOPT, ENACT AND GIVE TO OURSELVES THIS CONSTITUTION.”
· The words ‘secular’, ‘socialist’, ‘integrity’ were added in the Preamble through 42nd amendment of the Constitution in 1976.
· In Berubari Union case (AIR 1960 SC 858), the Supreme Court held that the Preamble is not a part of the Constitution and thus, not a source of any substantive powers and does not import any limitation. But in Kesavananda Bharti case (AIR 1973 SC 1461) the Supreme Court laid down that the Preamble does from part of the Constitution and the Court further observed that the Preamble to our Constitution is of extreme importance and the Constitution should be read and interpreted in the light of the grand and noble vision expressed in the Preamble.
· On the question whether Preamble can be amended Supreme Court in Kesavananda Bharti case held that since the Preamble is the part of the Constitution it can be amended but subject to condition that the “basic features” in the Preamble cannot be altered. The Court held the edifice of our Constitution is based upon the basic elements mentioned in the Preamble. If any of these elements are removed the structure will not survive and it will not be the same constitution.
· The Preamble has been amended only once in the year 1976 by the Constitution 42nd Amendment Act of 1976.