• Research/Scholar Paper name – Preamble as an Aid to Interpretation
  • Author: Sidhartha Singh
  • Institution: Amity Law School, Delhi
  • Affiliation: Centre for the Study of Contemporary Legal Issues
  • Date of Publication: 14/04/2021


From Plato to Cicero, from England’s Common Law to Roman’s Jus Civile, Preamble has played a stellar role in law and policymaking. To say the Preamble of the Indian Constitution is a stuff of legend would be an understatement. Justice Deepak Gupta at his retirement address said “Whenever a case is difficult, I go through the Preamble and more often than not I find the solution there.” The preamble is not only just a parchment but an “identity card of the constitution”  “A Preamble to the Constitution serves as a key to open the minds of the makers and shows the general purposes for which they made the several provisions in the Constitution. ”Preamble’s purpose is not only to clarify who made the constitution but also to determine what is the source and the 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 objectives?

Contrary to popular belief, Preamble is prefixed not only to the Constitution but also to statutes. The Preamble of a Statute is also a part of the Act and is an admissible aid to construction. Albeit not an enacting part. Preamble expresses the scope, object and purpose of the act. It informs the grounds of why the Statute was enacted in the first place and the evils it sought to remedy or the doubts it may intend to settle.

The preamble is sometimes referred to with different though equivalent names, but nonetheless, has a specific content. It not only presents the history of the nation and the ideals it is built on but also the values of the nation. Our constitution has a noble vision and that vision was beautifully put in words in the Preamble and carried out in part by conferring fundamental rights on the people. The vision was directed to be further carried out by the application of directive principles.

In this paper, the author tries to showcase how the Preamble of a Statute has been used as an interpretive tool by the Courts. For the sake of lucid understanding, we will see how the Preamble to the Constitution is interpreted by the Courts and how a Preamble to a Statute is interpreted. With regards to the Preamble to the Constitution, the author traces the history of the Preamble from the Objective Resolution introduced by Jawaharlal Nehru in 1946 to the Constituent Assembly Debates on the Preamble. The Author will answer the question of whether the Preamble is part of the Indian Constitution and what will be the effect of that question on the interpretation. As far as the Preamble to the Statute is concerned, the Author caresses through the landmark pronouncements not only by the Indian Courts but also by the House of Lords, to decipher what role does the Preamble play in the Interpretation of Statutes.

{Legal Disclaimer: The copyright over the published material is held by CALR. Distribution of publication of the same elsewhere will lead to a civil suit}

Preamble as an Aid to Interpretation

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *