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Connection Between Basic Structure Doctrine And The Preamble Of The Constitution Of India

Objective Of This Article
In this article, we will try to understand how the preamble of The Constitution of India and the " Basic Structure Doctrine" Is connected and how this doctrine plays a major role in safeguarding people's rights and preventing the misuse of power by the legislature.


First, we need to know about the preamble of The Constitution of India:

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;


If we try to understand it simply, it says:
The people of India resolved in a formal and dignified manner to constitute India into a:
  1. Sovereign
  2. Socialist
  3. Secular
  4. Democratic republic


To provide all its citizens with:
  • Justice- Social, economic and political
  • Liberty- Thought, expression, belief, faith, and worship
  • Equality- Status and opportunity
  • Fraternity- To ensure the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the nation

Basic Structure Doctrine

The objectives specified in the preamble are considered the Basic Structure of our constitution. These Basic Structures cannot be amended by the parliament by using Article 368 (Power of Parliament to amend the constitution and procedure). We can understand it more clearly by referring to some landmark case laws.

Case Laws:

  1. Keshvananda Bharati v. State of Kerala (1973): This is a famous landmark case law that will help us to understand our topic more easily. This case law established the "Basic Structure Doctrine". In this case, it was held that the legislative bodies must follow this doctrine while exercising their amendment powers. It cannot amend the Basic Structure of the Constitution by using Article 368. The doctrine of Basic Structure was introduced so that the parliament does not make amendments that infringe upon the rights of the people.
  2. Minerva Mills v. Union of India (1980): This case provided key clarification of the "Basic Structure Doctrine". In this, the honorable court ruled that:
    • The power of parliament to amend the constitution is limited by the constitution. Parliament cannot exercise its limited power to exercise unlimited power.
    • Parliament's power to amend is not a power to destroy.
    • Parliament cannot emasculate the fundamental rights of individuals.
    • In this case, it was also made clear that the Right to liberty and Right to equality are also part of the Basic Structure of the constitution.
    • By a majority of 4:1, the court held that Sections 4 and 55 (42nd amendment) made during the emergency by PM Indira Gandhi were unconstitutional.

By reading the preamble, its meaning, Basic Structure Doctrine, and the case laws we can understand that Basic Structure Doctrine is a guardian to protect the Basic Structure or preamble of our constitution from arbitration of the legislature and safeguards the rights of the citizens of our country.

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