One of the cases which is referred to as the landmark case in the history of the Judiciary of India is the Keshavnanda Bharathi case. This case has upheld the basic structure of the Constitution and this case has paved an outline for the same. Keshavnanda Bharathi vs State of Kerala, 1973, 4 SCC 225; AIR 1973 SC 1461, Supreme Court of India. The court for the protection of the Parliament and citizens of the country came up with basic structure doctrine of the Constitution.

Facts of the Case: The leader of the religious cult Edneer Mutt in Kerala’s Kasaragod district was Keshvananda Bharati. In the sect, Keshvananda Bharti possessed a number of properties under his name. The Land Reforms Amendment Act, 1969, was introduced by the Kerala state government. A portion of the land owned by the sect, whose leader was Keshvananda Bharti, might be taken by the government under the terms of the legislation. Keshvananda Bharti filed a petition with the Supreme Court on March 21, 1970, pursuant to Article 32 of the Indian Constitution, to have his rights, which are protected by Articles 25 (Right to practise and propagate religion), 26 (Right to manage religious affairs), 14 (Right to equality), and 19(1)(f) of the Constitution, enforced (freedom to acquire property), Chapter 31 (Compulsory Acquisition of Property). The Kerala Government passed another law in 1971 called the Kerala Land Reforms (Amendment) Act while the court was still considering the petition. Following the precedent-setting decision of Golaknath v. State of Punjab, the Parliament approved a number of Amendments to overturn the Golaknath case’s ruling. The 24th Amendment was adopted in 1971, and the 25th and 29th Amendments followed in 1972. After Golaknath’s case, which was contested in the present case, the following modifications were made: 24 the amendment act and the 25th amendment Act and also 29th Amendment Act.

Judgment: By a vote of 7:6, the Supreme Court ruled that Parliament may amend any article of the Constitution in order to uphold the socioeconomic guarantees made to citizens by the Preamble, provided that the revision doesn’t fundamentally alter the Indian Constitution. S.M. Sikri, CJI, K.S. Hegde, B.K. Mukherjea, J.M. Shelat, A.N. Grover, P. Jagmohan Reddy, and Khanna J. made the majority ruling. A.N. Ray, D.G. Palekar, K.K. Mathew, M.H. Beg, S.N. Dwivedi, and Y.V. Chandrachudj wrote the minority viewpoints. The minority bench expressed differing views in writing, but they were still hesitant to give the Parliament unrestricted power. On April 24, 1973, a decision was made in the historic case. The first and second parts of the 25th Constitutional Amendment Act were determined to be intra vires and extra vires, respectively, despite the court upholding the 24th Constitutional Amendment in its entirety. The court noted that the Golaknath case did not address the issue of whether or not the Parliament had the authority to modify the Constitution. The court concluded that the Parliament has the authority to modify the Constitution to the extent that such alteration does not alter the fundamental framework of the Indian Constitution based on the facts of the case at hand. The court ruled that when the Parliament amends the Constitution’s provisions, it must adhere to the Doctrine of Fundamental Structure.

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Judgment Reviewed by Kushala Simha

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