50 years of Kesavanada Bharathi judgment

50 years of Kesavanada Bharathi judgment

Recently Kesavananda Bharathi Sripadagalavaru and others vs State of Kerala case completed 50 years.

The Kesavananda Bharati case (1973) involved several key legal issues.

Some of the major issues were the following:

  • Constitutional validity of the Kerala Land Reforms Act: According to this act, a person could not own more than a certain amount of land.
  • Is the power of Parliament to amend the Constitution unlimited?

Principle of Basic Structure of the Constitution –

  • While giving the decision in the above case, the Supreme Court had propounded the principle of basic structure.
  • According to this theory, there are certain basic features of the constitution, which can neither be amended nor can be repealed by the constitution amendment by the parliament.
  • These basic features include- supremacy of constitution, rule of law, independence of judiciary etc.

Other important cases include: Kihoto Holohan v. Zachilhu and others, 1992 (relating to Tenth Schedule); Minerva Mills Case, 1980; L. Chandra Kumar v. Union of India Case, 1997 (Relating to Administrative Tribunals) etc.

Importance of Kesavanand Bharti case –

  • The scope of judicial review was expanded.
  • The ‘Basic Structure Doctrine’ has helped preserve the underlying philosophy of the framers of the Constitution.
  • The power of the Parliament to amend the constitution has been established.

Source – Indian Express

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