Encyclopedia of Indian LawCIVIL

PREAMBLE [Indian Law Encyclopedia]

Preamble is the opening verse of a book , which sets the intention , object or goal of the book , it is the sole of the whole reading of a particular book.

Preamble of a Statute

  2. Preamble of a Deed or Instrument
  3. Operative Portion of the Document is not Preamble- State Bank of India and anr Versus Mula Sahakari Sakhar Karkhana Ltd
  5. Preamble – The Constitution of The Islamic Republic of Pakistan 1973
  6. Preamble- Constitution of People`s Republic of  Bangladesh


  1. Preamble  

    Constitution of the United States of America[1787]

    We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

  2. The Indian Trusts Act as clear by its preamble and contents is applicable only to private trusts and not to public trusts. A dedication by a Hindu for religious or charitable purposes is neither a ‘gift’ nor a ‘trust’ in the strict legal sense. (See BK Mukherjea on Hindu Law of Religious and Charitable Trusts, Fifth Edition by AC Sen pages 102 103). Thayarammal (Dead) by LR Versus Kanakammal and others[AIR 2005 SC 1588 : (2004) 6 Suppl. SCR 734 : (2005) 1 SCC 457 : JT 2005 (11) SC 277 : (2004) 10 SCALE 221]
  3. As would appear from the preamble of the Transfer of Property Act, the same applies only to transfer by act of parties. A transfer by operation of law is not validated or invalidated by anything contained in the Act. A transfer which takes place by operation of law, therefore, need not meet the requirement of the provisions of the Transfer of Property Act or Indian Registration Act. Section 51 of the Transfer of Property Act applies to inter vivos transfers. It, as noticed hereinbefore, does not apply to a transfer made by operation of law. If a judicial order is passed restoring the land back to a member of Scheduled Tribes in terms of the purport and object of the statute, the provisions of the Transfer of Property Act cannot be applied in such a case. The matter is governed by a special statute. Unless there exists a provision therein, an order passed thereunder cannot be supplanted or supplemented with reference to another statute. Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd. Versus P. Kesavan and another[AIR 2004 SC 2206 : (2004) 3 SCR 811 : (2004) 9 SCC 772 : JT 2004 (4) SC 151 : (2004) 4 SCALE 249]
  4.  Effect of Preamble : A statute is an edict of the legislature and in construing a statute, it is necessary, to seek the intention of its maker. A statute has to be construed according to the intent of them that make it and the duty of the Court is to act upon the true intention of the legislature. If a statutory provision is open to more than one interpretation the Court has to choose that interpretation which represents the true intention of the legislature. This task very often raises the difficulties because of various reasons, in as much as the words used may not be scientific symbols having any precise or definite meaning and the language may be an imperfect medium to convey one’s thought or that the assembly of legislatures consisting of persons of various shades of opinion purport to convey a meaning which may be obscure. It is impossible even for the most imaginative legislature to forestall exhaustively situations and circumstances that may emerge after enacting a statute where its application may be called for. Nonetheless, the function of the Courts is only to exposing and not to legislate, Legislation in a modern State is actuate with some policy to curb some public evil or to effectuate some public benefit. The legislation is primarily directed to the problems before the legislature based on information derived from past and present experience. It may also be designed by use of general words to cover similar problems arising in future. But, from the very nature of things, it is impossible to anticipate fully the varied situations rising in future in which the application of the legislation in hand may be called for, and, words chosen to communicate such indefinite referents are bound to be in many cases lacking in clarity and precision and thus giving rise to controversial questions of construction. The process of construction combines both literal and purposive approaches. In other words the legislative intention i.e. the true or legal meaning of an enactment is derived by considering the meaning of the words used in the enactment in the light of any discernible purpose or object which comprehends the mischief and its remedy to which the enactment is directed. The aforesaid principle was enunciated and applied by this Court in the case of State of Himachal Pradesh v. Kailash Chand Mahajan, 1992 Supp(2) SCC 351. Lord Somervell in the case of Attorney-General v. HRH Prince Ernest Augustus, 1957(1) All ER 49 has stated “The mischief against which the statute is directed and, perhaps though to an undefined extent the surrounding circumstances can be considered. Other statutes in pari material and the state of the law at the time are admissible.” It is also a cardinal principle of construction that external aids are brought in by widening the concept of context as including not only other enacting provisions of the same statute, but its preamble, the existing state of law, other statutes in pari material and the mischief which the statute was intended to remedy. District Mining Officer and others Versus Tata Iron and Steel Co. and another [AIR 2001 SC 3134 : (2001) 1 Suppl. SCR 147 : (2001) 7 SCC 358 : JT 2001 (6) SC 183]
  5. The preamble of the Constitution[indian] and Article 38 accord social and economic justice as fundamental rights to all people in all institution of national level. Article 46 enjoins the State to accord social and economic justice to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. Article 51A enjoins every citizen to improve excellence individually and collectively that the nation constantly rises to higher levels, socially, economically and culturally. Right to development assured by the Constitution is held to be a fundamental right. So the policy of reservation in the preamble of the Constitution, the fundamental rights under Articles 14, 15(1), 15(4), 16(1), 16(4), 16(4A) 46 and 335 and the other related articles is to give effect to the above constitutional objectives. G.S.I.C. Karmachari Union and others Versus  Gujarat Small Industries Corporation and others [AIR 1997 SC 1730 : (1996) 10 Suppl. SCR 8 : (1997) 2 SCC 339 : JT 1997 (1) SC 384 : (1997) 1 SCALE 241]
  6. Bhopal Gas Leak Disaster (Processing of Claims) Act, 1985 : PREAMBLE – In order to determine the question whether the Act in question is constitutionally valid or not in the light of Arts. 14, 19(1)(g) and 21 of the Constitution, it is necessary to find out what does the Act actually mean and provide for. The Act in question, as the preamble to the Act states, was passed in order to confer powers on the Central Government to secure that the claims arising out of, or connected with, the Bhopal gas leak .disaster are dealt with speedily, effectively, equitably and to the best advantage of the claimants and for matters incidental thereto. Therefore, securing the claims arising out of or connected with the Bhopal gas leak disaster is the object and purpose of the Act. We have noticed the proceedings of the Lok Sabha in connection with the enactment of the Act. Our attention was also drawn by the earned Attorney General to the proceeding of the Rajya Sabha Hon’ble wherein the Hon’ble Minister, Shri Virendra Patil explained that the Bill enabled the Government to assume exclusive right to represent and act, whether within or outside India in place of every person who had made or was entitled to make claim in relation to the disaster and to institute any suit or other proceedings or enter into any compromise as mentioned in the Act. The whole object of the Bill was to make procedural changes to the existing Indian law which would enable the Central Government to take up the responsibility of fighting litigation on behalf of these victims. The first point was that it sought to create a locus standi in the Central Government to file suits, on behalf of the victims. The object of the statute, it was highlighted, was that because of the dimension of the tragedy covering thousands of people, large number of whom being poor, would not be able to go to the Courts, it was necessary to create the locus standi in the Central Government to start the litigation for payment of compensation in the Courts on their behalf. The second aspect of the Bill was that by creating this locus standi in the Central Government, the Central Government became competent to institute judicial proceedings for payment of compensation on behalf of the victims. The next aspect of the Bill was to make a distinction between those on whose behalf suits had already been filed and those on whose behalf proceedings had not yet then been instituted. One of the Members emphasised that under Art. 21 of the Constitution, the personal liberty of every citizen was guaranteed and it has been widely interpreted as to what was the meaning of the expression ‘personal liberty’. It was emphasised that one could not take away the right of a person, the liberty of a person, to institute proceedings for his own benefit and for his protection. It is from this point of view that it was necessary, the member debated, to preserve the right of a claimant to have his own lawyers to represent him along with the Central Government in the proceedings under S. 4 of the Act, this made the Bill constitutionally valid. Charan Lal Sahu Versus Union of India [ AIR 1990 SC 1480 : (1989) 2 Suppl. SCR 597 : (1990) 1 SCC 613 : JT 1989 (4) SC 582]
  7. Hindu Succession Act, 1956: preamble—The preamble states that it was an Act to amend and codify the law relating to intestate succession among Hindus— In view of the preamble to the Act i.e. that to modify where necessary and to codify the law, in our opinion it is not possible when Schedule indicates heirs in Class I and only includes son and does not include son’s son but does include son of a predeceased son, to say that when son inherits the property in the situation contemplated by S. 8 he takes it as karta of his own undivided family— It would be difficult to hold today the property which devolved on a Hindu under S. 8 of the Hindu Succession Act would be HUF property in his hand vis-a-vis his own son: that would amount to creating two classes among the heirs mentioned in Class 1, the mate heirs in whose hands it will be joint Hindu family property and vis-a-vis son and female heirs with respect to whom no such concept could be applied or contemplated. It may be mentioned that heirs in Class I of Schedule under S. 8 of the Act included widow, mother, daughter of predeceased son etc. Commissioner of Wealth tax, Kanpur Versus Chander Sen [AIR 1986 SC 1753 : (1986) 3 SCR 254 : (1986) 3 SCC 567 : (1986) 2 SCALE 75]
  8.  PREAMBLE OF THE INDIAN CONSTITUTION : Now. to the question at issue and first, a word about interpretation. Whether it is the Constitution that is expounded or the constitutional validity of a statute that is considered, a cardinal rule is to look to the preamble to the Constitution as the guiding, light and to the Directive Principles of State Policy as the Book of Interpretation. The preamble embodies and expresses the hopes and aspirations of the people. The Directive Principles set out proximate goals. When we go about the task of examining statutes against the Constitution, it is through these glasses that we must look, ‘distant vision’ or ‘near vision’. The Constitution being suigeneris, where constitutional issues are under consideration, narrow interpretative rules which may have relevance when legislative enactments are interpreted maybe misplaced. Originally the preamble to the Constitution proclaimed the resolution of the people of India to constitute India into ‘a Sovereign Democratic Republic’ and, set forth ‘Justice, Liberty, Equality and Fraternity’, the very rights mentioned in the French Declarations of the Rights of Man as our hopes and aspirations. That was in 1950 when we had just emerged from the colonial-feudal rule. Time passed. The people’s hopes and aspirations grew. In 1977 the 42nd amendment proclaimed India as a Socialist Republic. The word ‘socialist’ was introduced into the preamble to the Constitution. The implication of the introduction of the word ‘socialist’, which has now become the centre of the hopes and aspirations of the people – a beacon to guide and inspire all that is enshrined in the articles of the Constitution, is clearly to set up a “vibrant throbbing socialist welfare society” in the place of a “Feudal exploited society”. Whatever article of the Constitution it is that we seek to interpret, whatever statute it is whose constitutional validity is sought ‘to be questioned, we must strive to give such an interpretation as will promote the march and progress towards a Socialistic Democratic State. For example, when we consider the question whether a statute offends Article 14 of the Constitution we must also consider whether a classification that the legislature may have made is consistent with the socialist goals set out in the preamble and the Directive Principles enumerated in Part IV of the Constitution. A classification which is not in tune with the Constitution is per se unreasonable and cannot be permitted. With these general enunciations we may now examine the questions raised in these writ petitions. Atam Prakash  Versus State of Haryana and others [AIR 1986 SC 859 : (1986) 1 SCR 399 : (1986) 2 SCC 249 : (1986) 1 SCALE 260]
  9. Resettlement of Displaced Persons (Land Acquisition) Act, 1948 : preamble—The Act is a pre-Constitution statute. It was therefore urged that it does not qualify for the protection of Art. 31-B inasmuch as when enacted it was violative of Section 299(2) of the Government of India Act, 1935 and as it was void ab initio, it was not an existing law within the meaning of expression in Art. 366(10) and therefore is not qualified for umbrella of protertion enacted in Art. 31-B. Ram Nath and others
    Appellant Versus Union of India [ AIR 1984 SC 1178 : (1984) 3 SCR 572 : (1984) 1 SCALE 644]
  10. Bombay Rents, Hotel and Lodging House Rates Control Act (57 of 1947), preamble and Section 13A-1 and 13(1)(g)— Bombay Rent Act is a welfare legislation designed among other matters, to protect tenants from harassment and unreasonable eviction by landlords and it should, therefore be interpreted in a broad and liberal spirit so as to further and not to constrain the object of the Act.