New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday celebrated the 50th anniversary of its historic 1973 judgment in the Kesavananda Bharati case on the doctrine of basic structure, releasing a webpage containing all materials in connection with the judgment.
In the morning, Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud informed the lawyers present in the court that the administration has dedicated a special web page for paying a tribute to the landmark judgment in the Kesavananda Bharati case.
He said, “Today is the 50th anniversary of the Kesavananda Bharati case. We have dedicated a web page with all the opinions, written submissions and everything related to the case for all the researchers, students and others to look at it..”.
In 1973, the apex court in its verdict established firmly that Parliament does not enjoy unfettered power to amend the Constitution. It said that there are certain basic features, which cannot be altered.
The bench, which decided the Kesavananda Bharati case comprised then CJI S.M. Sikri, and Justices J.M. Shelat, K.S. Hegde, A.N. Grover, A.N. Ray, B. Jaganmohan Reddy, D.G. Palekar, H.R. Khanna, K.K. Mathew, M.H. Beg, S.N. Dwivedi, A.K. Mukherjea, and Y.V. Chandrachud.
By a 7:6 majority, the 13-judge bench laid down that Parliament can amend any part of the Constitution but cannot tinker with its basic structure, in a check on the executive and the legislative powers of the government.
Earlier this year, Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar had questioned the landmark 1973 Kesavananda Bharati case verdict. He said that it had set a bad precedent and if any authority questions Parliament’s power to amend the Constitution.
Chief Justice Chandrachud, delivering the 18th Nani Palkhivala Memorial Lecture at Mumbai in January this year, said it is a “ground-breaking” judgment that guides the judges like a “North Star” in interpreting and implementing the Constitution.
He noted that different formulations of basic structure doctrine have now emerged in South Korea, Japan, and certain Latin American and African countries.
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