Is Integral & Inseperable SOUL of Constitution in Danger?

Since adoption of Constitution, it was amended more than hundred times, Right to Property was deleted and Right to Education added, recently Chapter dealing with Fundamental Rights witnessed addition of benefits to Economical Weaker Sections.

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Is Integral & Inseperable soul of Constitution in danger ?

Can we imagine India without Constitution, Constitution without Preamble and Preamble without Fundamental Rights. Our struggle for independence was in fact war for gaining Rights and Liberties that were regarded as indispensible for dignified life. Motilal Nehru Committee opined “It is obvious that our first care should be to have our Fundamental Rights guaranteed in a manner which will not permit their withdrawal under any circumstances.”

Since adoption of Constitution, it was amended more than hundred times, Right to Property was deleted and Right to Education added, recently Chapter dealing with Fundamental Rights witnessed addition of benefits to Economical Weaker Sections.

Also Read: Pendency of Judicial Cases! Is it a Policy implementation failure of Governments?

Supreme Court fearing that some Majoritarian Government may try to destroy Constitution to have unfettered power, devised the doctrine of basic structure. Supreme Court was concerned that such danger would result into unforeseen trauma to the common man who would reduce to slave in absence of fundamental rights and freedom. Thereafter, restricted powers of Parliament to amend certain parts including Preamble, Fundamental Rights, Judicial Review, etc. which may have effect of repeal. Parliament can amend Constitution without deleting its basic framework.

Understanding why having ‘Basic Structure’ of our Constitution non-amendable is important.

The history of India’s struggle for independence and debates in Constitute Assembly show how deeply our people value for their personal liberties that were regarded as indispensible and integral part of our Constitution. Emergence of Mahatma Gandhi on political scene gave to the freedom movement a new dimension, it seems to be merely anti-British, it became a movement for the acquisition of rights of liberty for the Indian community.

Is Integral & Inseperable SOUL of Constitution in Danger? The Indian nation marched to freedom in this background. The Constituent Assembly resolved to enshrine Fundamental Rights in written text of Constitution. The interlinked goals of personal liberty and economic freedom then came to be incorporated in two separate parts, never the less parts of an integral, indivisible scheme which can carefully and thoughtfully nursed over half a century. The seeds sown in 19th century saw their fruition in 1950 under leadership of Pandit Nehru and Dr. Ambedkar. To destroy the guarantees given by fundamental rights under the garb of governance is plainly to subvert the Constitution by destroying its basic structure.

Preamble assures people of India a polity whose basic structure is described therein as a Sovereign Democratic Republic. Parliament may make any amendments to Constitution as it deems expedient so long as they do not damage or destroy India’s sovereignty and its democratic, republican character. Democracy is not an empty dream. It is a meaningful concept whose essential attributes are recited in Preamble itself; ‘Justice, social, economic and political; Liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship; and Equality of status and opportunity’. Its aim, again as set out in Preamble is to promote among people an abiding sense of Fraternity assuring the dignity of individual and unity of the nation.

Is Integral & Inseperable SOUL of Constitution in Danger? The edifice of our Constitution is built upon concepts crystallize in Preamble. We resolved to secure to our people justice- social, economic and political. We promised to our people a democratic polity which carries with it obligation of securing to people liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship; equality of status and of opportunity and assurance that the dignity of an individual will at all cost be preserved. The fundamental rights are not in end themselves but are means to an end. One of the faiths of our founding fathers was purity of means. Anything that destroys the balance between the fundamental rights and principles of governance will automatically destroy an essential element of the basic structure of our Constitution.

Another reason why great importance attaches to a declaration of rights is unfortunate existence of communal differences in country. Certain safeguards are necessary to create and establish a sense of security among those who look upon each other with distrust and suspicion. We could not better secure full enjoyment of religious rights to all communities without including them among basic principles of our Constitution.

If, there would be no limitation whatever on amending powers of Parliament then it may abrogate democracy and substitute for it a totally antithetical form of Government, it may have effect of total denial of social, economic and political justice to people, by emasculating liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship and by abjuring commitment to the magnificent ideal of a society of equals.

Supreme Court once said “Amend as you may even the solemn document which the founding fathers have committed to your care, for you know best the needs of your generation. But, the Constitution is a precious heritage; therefore, you cannot destroy its identity.”


By,
Firdos Mirza, Advocate,
Nagpur Bench of Bombay High Court
Firdos Mirza_The_Policy_Times


Summary
Article Name
Is Integral & Inseperable SOUL of Constitution in Danger?
Description
Since adoption of Constitution, it was amended more than hundred times, Right to Property was deleted and Right to Education added, recently Chapter dealing with Fundamental Rights witnessed addition of benefits to Economical Weaker Sections.
Author
Publisher Name
THE POLICY TIMES