This seventh book in the Anundorum Barooah Law Lectures Series provides the reader with a concise overview of the Preamble to the Indian constitution. No reading of any constitution can be complete without reading it from the beginning to the end. While the end may expand, or alter, the point of commencement can never change. It is the Preamble wherefrom the constitution commences. Hence, the significance of the Preamble. It is no exaggeration to say that the Preamble to the constitution of India is its spirit and backbone. Ever since the day it was adopted by the Constituent Assembly it has enabled the Constitution to stand erect- neither bending nor breaking.
This work deals with the making of the Preamble, its enforcement, the subsequent amendments, and its role in context to the constitution and the judiciary. The learned author has successfully handled the varied aspects of the Preamble in a precise and structured manner. A separate chapter deals with the words and phrases used in the Preamble. The author gives authoritative interpretation of the keywords which occur in the Preamble, supporting his views by citing court cases wherever required.
Also, the epilogue of the book makes interesting reading due to its informative nature. The author has provided a glimpse into the preambles in the constitution of other countries of the world and also illustrated articles (which are similar in nature to the preamble) from constitutions of those countries, which do not have a preamble.
An essential reading for the judiciary, lawyers, the academic community and the students.
The Academy Law Review : It serves, nevertheless, two very important ends: primarily, it indicates the source from which the Constitution comes and secondly, it states the great objects which the Constitution and the government promote. When a society undergoes rapid change, how the Preamble can still act as a pointer is a difficult question to answer.
Preamble, its crafting, its amendments and criticism. The author enlightens us that the words and their arrangement in the Preamble has a specific significance of their own. The Preamble as adopted had eightyone words, when perpetuated the Indian belief that nine (eight plus one) is the highest full number. But after the amendment it has increased to eighty five.
The Spirit and Backbone of the Constitution of India. It is probably the only book on the Preamble of the Indian Constitution produced so far through an analysis of case law past and present. Examining the texture and tenor of the words used in the Preamble R.C. Lahoti J. rightly concludes that equality, justice, liberty and fraternity placed in that order signifies the philosophical travel of thought and ideology, as also a forceful indication of how the Constitution shall work.
He again rightly asserts that of all the four concepts, justice is the most significant one. Then, analyzing the different facets of justice he concludes that in a democratic country where institutions have to abide by justice - social, economic and political - the other three - liberty, equality and fraternity - will be achieved.
The Preamble is not just a piece of legal drafting or a matter of mere formality. It is a code of conduct. It is a lesson in morality and ethics to be learnt by heart and to be practised. The epilogue idealises that the Preamble is a reflection on the entire body of the Constitution. There are two schedules which highlight the Preambles in other Constitutions and articles in the nature of Preamble respectively.
Text of the Preamble 3
Three Parts of the Preamble 3
Crafting of the Preamble 5
What was not included in the Preamble 13
Amendment in the Preamble 18
Constitutional Validity of Forty-Second Amendment
Amendments in the Preamble put in issue 21
Criticism of the Preamble and its amendment 22
III. PROLOGUE TO THE PREAMBLE
The objectives resolution 26
IV. PREAMBLE, IF A PART OF THE CONSTITUTION
V. ROLE OF THE PREAMBLE
VI. INTERPRETATIONAL VALUE OF THE PREAMBLE
Preamble as interpreter of the Constitution 63
Preamble as an aid to interpretation-
-of other statutes 74
International documents/treaties as aid
to interpretation of the Preamble 77