The Kesavananda Bharati case important established basic structure doctrine, limiting Parliament power to amendment.

Why is the Kesavananda Bharati case important?

Introduction –

Kesavananda Bharati Case This has been most important decision of the judicial system of India, which will decide what will be the basic structure of the Constitution, it was determined by this case of 1973 by a Bench of 13 judges. With this decision, the amendments made by the Parliament were declared valid, but Parliament cannot change the basic structure of the Constitution, this important decision was taken.

Only the Constituent Assembly had the right to change the Constitution, so the Parliament can amend the Constitution only for its purpose for the benefit of the people, the court said. Through this case, we see the conflict between the political background of India and the constitutional institutions of the country, which took the appointment of judges in their own hands to prevent political interference. We have to think with judicial wisdom about how fair this decision is.

Our aim is that instead of keeping this information in technical, legal language in front of our audience, we will try to explain this case through simple language. Article 13 and Article 368 of our constitution are the main focus of this case. Our main topic is that Parliament can abolish fundamental rights in the public interest? The abolition of the property rights, the abolition of zamindari, was the basic reason which was justified.

Background of Kesavananda Bharati Case –

In 1967, the main basis for the Kesavanand Bharti case was started, in which Golaknath vs Punjab government, the Supreme Court ruled that no government can destroy the basic base of the people. In this, the Punjab government had acquired the land of the Golaknath brothers, which they challenged through a writ in the Supreme Court. The Indira Gandhi government made 24 more amendments to the constitution, made these changes that Parliament can change any part of the constitution and tried to declare this decision as void.

Through the 25th Constitutional Amendment, this change was made that the Government of India can acquire the property of any citizen by making a law. Nanabhai Palkhivala was the main counsel in the Kesavananda Bharati case who had advised to file a writ in the case of violation of Article 26 and this case stood. Under the Land Acquisition Act by the Government of Kerala, the trust in which Kesavananda Bharati was the abbot had taken the land in the possession of the government.

Kesavananda Bharati went to the Supreme Court against the decision of the High Court where the case went on for 68 days and it was the largest judicial bench in the history of judiciary with 13 judges which gave its decision. Even though this decision went against Kesavanand Bharti, the court fixed the limit for making laws for any government of India. The Supreme Court said that while making laws, no state can change the basic structure of the constitution and what will be this basic structure, this court will interpret it from time to time.

Fundamental Rights & Directive Principles –

The Nehru government had to amend the first law when the right of property was given as per Article 31 to abolish the zamindari(Landlord). By amending it, this right was put on limit for the public interest. Fundamental rights have been protected in the Constitution of India, which says about individual rights. The same guiding element, it has been told that the government will have to take steps to establish equality among the citizens.

The problem was this creation in which fundamental rights and guiding elements were found to be a discrepancy because if equality is to be established in the country, then individual rights of some people will have to be snatched, for which we see that this has happened in most of the cases. Article 13 and Article 368 were both in conflict because of this.

Therefore, this pardon in Kesavananda Bharati case is an important case in which the judiciary decided that the state can change any part of the constitution without changing the basic structure. To end this exploitative system of zamindari(Landlord), some decision has to be taken, so this right was abolished by the government. Therefore, fundamental rights and guiding elements, it is a very important component in the Indian Constitution.

Conflict of Judiciary and Executive –

The British Parliament has unlimited power in the constitutions around the world and their constitution is not a written constitution. Its origin is because of the British Parliamentary Form, it is considered to be the oldest democracy in the world. He is the world ahead in matters of judicial character and his society is also very bright which understands politics and democracy very well. Talking about India, even though people are educated in India today, they are still illiterate in terms of political and social literacy.

Therefore, important institutions of democracy keep trying to take advantage of it from time to time. In which the judiciary is the executive, we should not forget that the Constituent Assembly was elected through elections. On January 12, 2018, a press conference was taken by the four judges of the Supreme Court and their problems were put before the people. It shows that in any democracy the society is the king, no matter how powerful the system is.

Therefore, in a democracy, the power of all the institutions was kept separate from each other by the constitution so that they could keep a check on each other so that the interests of the people could be attained. From time to time we get to see conflicts between the judiciary and the Parliament. When the government is full of many, the stand of the Supreme Court looks soft, the same government is weak, then the Supreme Court is very active. The decision given by the Kesavananda Bharti case in this case has been a very important decision. But it is important to implement its purpose only honestly.

Basic Structure of Constitution –

  • The Constitution is supreme in all the systems of India.
  • Decentralization of power of constitutional institutions
  • republican and democratic government
  • secular character
  • A system based on equality, liberty, fraternity and justice
  • state of social interest

In Kesavananda Bharati case, the court said that the state can change any part of the constitution, but it should be in the interest of the society and should not be inconsistent with the basic structure given above. For this, this decision was given by the sale of 13 judges, which they overturned the decision of 11 judges in the previous Golaknath vs State of Punjab case.

Through this decision, the court said that if any, the fundamental right is to be curtailed, which is in the interest of the citizens, then that government can do it if the rights which were the rights of the Constituent Assembly will not be given to the Parliament. Which means that all the institutions of the country will work under the constitution. The interpretation of the law was given through Article 13 and under 368 the Parliament was given the power to amend the law by the Constitution.

Zamindari (Landlord) was an exploitative system, who had thousands of acres of land in the country and the government wanted to use it for the benefit of common people. Through this case, Kesavanand Bharti had filed a writ in the Supreme Court on the basis of his right to freedom of religion, right to equality and the right to acquire property. Reversing this, the court gave this decision in favor of the government by the decision of 6 versus 7 but also imposed control  of the government.

Amendment Power of Parliament –

Change with time This is the law of nature, under this rule, the Constitution has also given the right to the Parliament to make changes in the Constitution under Article 368. In particular, under Article 13, such laws which would be against the object of the Constitution were declared void. Purpose of the Constitution The Supreme Court has accepted the Preamble of the Constitution, under which Parliament cannot change it.

These amendments have been challenged every time through Article 32 of the Constitution, from the first amendment to the present day. From Articles 36 to 51 of the Constitution, these guiding elements have been given, which have laid down the direction of how the government should work. But it has not been kept binding on Parliament like fundamental rights. Due to this, the government has faced a lot of problems to establish economic and social equality from India’s independence till date.

Guiding Principles and Constitutional Amendments These are articles made in harmony with each other and the role of the judiciary has been very important to take these fundamental rights and guiding principles together. That is why the Kesavananda Bharti case has shown that the judiciary is the most important institution in the country to protect the constitution. The power to make laws has been given to the Parliament by the Constitution, but the work of controlling it can be done by the judiciary, it appears.

Features of Kesavananda Bharati Case –

  • Kesavananda Bharti Case This was an important case of the Supreme Court in matters of fundamental rights of the people.
  • The decision of this case was given on 24 April 1973 and it took 68 days for the court to give this decision and this decision was 703 pages.
  • In the history of the Supreme Court, a bench of 13 judges was formed for this matter, which has been the largest judicial bench till date.
  • 7 Vs 6 In this way the judges put their stand for this issue, in which Justice Khanna had an important decision, due to which this decision went against Kesavanand Bharti.
  • This case went in favor of the government, but through this case, the Supreme Court worked to curb the powers of Parliament.
  • For the first time in the history of India, what would be the constitutional framework was explained by the court, for which the judicial decisions of 70 countries were studied.
  • Kesavanand Bharti’s lawyer Nanibhai Palkhivala had advocated this case and this case became such a prestigious case.
  • Kesavananda Bharathi was the abbot of a Math in Kerala and his thousands of acres of land was acquired by the Government of Kerala by making a land acquisition law.
  • For which he filed the writ on the basis of right to equality under Article 14, right to acquire property under Article 19(1), right to property under Article 31 and right to freedom of religion under Article 25-28.
  • In 1967 the Golakhnath case was the basic premise of the Kesavananda Bharati case which was completely replaced by a 13-judge Bench.
  • Fundamental Rights and Guiding Principles To remove its discrepancy, the right to amend the Parliament is very important, this Court considered.
  • Earlier, the illusion that Parliament considered itself to be the supreme system of the country was rejected by the Supreme Court.
  • The Constituent Assembly can change the Constitution, Parliament does not have the right to change the Constitution, this court has accepted.

Conclusion –

In this way we have tried to do this important case study of Kesavananda Bharati Vs Kerala State here. Mainly there is a process of the court in which the facts are heard, after that, both the parties are given an opportunity to speak. There is a logical debate on the paper material, and after that the court gives its decision, which we call Judgment. Generally people do not think logically, they take their decisions in an emotional way, so we need to have this information to understand the process of the court.

Kesavananda Bharti This case is considered to be the most important case in the history of Indian democracy. The fundamental rights of the people have been protected by the Supreme Court. This is a landmark decision which is a reference for the rights of every citizen of India. That’s why we have tried to keep this case in common language for you so that not much has been written in technical term.

Through this case, the Supreme Court has decided what will be the basic structure of the Constitution of India and it will be properly interpreted from time to time. In this manner the Supreme Court has tried to control the law making powers of the Parliament. How right and how wrong this is, only time will tell, but the constitution has given its own separate power to all the important institutions.


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