Waman Rao and others vs. UOI: Court held that in the 1981 case of Waman Rao v. Union of India, the Supreme Court considered the constitutionality of Articles 31A and 31B of the Indian Constitution in light of the Kesavananda Bharati judgment’s introduction of the fundamental structure theory. Court: Supreme Court of India. (1981) 2 SCC 362, 1981 2 SCR 1.

Facts of the Case: The Maharashtra Agricultural Lands Act, 1962 (the Act) which put a ceiling upon the agricultural lands was updated and the ceiling was reviewed time and again. The Bombay High Court was hearing a case challenging the legality of the Act on the grounds that it infringed upon fundamental rights. Moreover, Articles 31A and 31B were contested on the grounds that they contravene the Constitution’s doctrine of basic structure. The Supreme Court, however, dismissed the appeals. In the case of Dattatraya Govind v. State of Maharashtra, the Supreme Court received yet another appeal challenging the judgement of the High Court (1977). Yet the appeal was also rejected by the Supreme Court. When the declaration of emergency was in force, the Supreme Court’s decision was handed down. Thus, a petition asking for reconsideration of the decision made in the Dattatraya case under the case of Waman Rao v. Union of India was filed in the Supreme Court following the cancellation of the emergency.

Judgment: One of the seminal rulings that is still cited today is the one the Supreme Court of India made in the case of Waman Rao v. Union of India. The decision established a distinction between the Acts included in the Ninth Schedule both before and after the Kesavananda ruling. The court established what is often referred to as the “Doctrine of Prospective Overruling,” which states that while legislation that were put in the Ninth Schedule before the Kesavananda ruling could not be challenged for violating fundamental rights, laws that were put there after the case may be. Furthermore, the law’s most crucial issues were resolved in this instance. The court maintained the constitutionality of Articles 31A and 31B, which were added by the 1951 First Amendment Act and unmodified Article 31C, which was added by the Act enacting the Twenty-fifth Amendment. Unfortunately, the court did not provide any justification for its conclusion when addressing the question of the doctrine of stare decisis, leaving it highly ambiguous.

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