Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Kesavananda Bharati Judgement: Protecting the Heart of India’s Constitution

Written By Nischal Srinivasan (Grade 12)

The Kesavananda Bharati’s ruling, a signal occurrence in India’s lawful past, marked its fiftieth commemoration in 2023. This decision presented the mind-boggling idea of the ‘fundamental structure doctrine,’ which has had an immense impact on the assurance of India’s vote-based system and the advantages of its residents. In this article, we will investigate what this fundamental structure doctrine really is, its criticality, and the manner in which it has shaped India’s constitution.

What is the Basic Structure Doctrine?

Imagine the Indian Constitution as the support of a huge edifice. The basic structure doctrine is comparable to the unstoppable pillars and walls that bolster this structure. It’s an acknowledged concept that claims that although the Indian Parliament can adjust the Constitution, it cannot do so in a manner that undermines the essential tenets of the Constitution itself.

In straightforward terms, India’s Parliament is restricted from transforming the core and essence of the Constitution—stipulations that render the nation democratic and fair. These fundamental foundations include democracy, the rule of law, the autonomy of the judiciary, and countless others.

Why is it important?

The landmark Kesavananda Bharati case ruled that the powers of the Indian Parliament were limited in regards to modifying the Constitution. This conclusion sets boundary lines so as to protect the underlying framework of the country’s democracy. Thus, it protects the foundational essence of Indian government.

Cautious exertion of judicial review: This ruling also underlined the significance of the Supreme Court in making certain the government is obeying the regulations. It is analogous to having a prudent referee in a sports match to guarantee fairness. The Court’s part is to ascertain that the government does not take advantage of its authority.

The Kesavananda Bharati ruling asserted that it is the Supreme Court of India that has the ultimate authority for the interpretation and safeguarding of the Constitution. This is highly significant, since it implies that the government cannot tamper with the essential principles of the Constitution without proper motivation. Thus, the powerful judiciary continues to have the final word in protecting the Constitution.

Adhering to constitutional protocols: The essential structure edict propels each individual to abide by the implicit rules and practices that enable the Constitution to perform fluidly. This makes sure that the Constitution’s doctrinal maxims are not only followed in writing but in actuality.

While the basic structure doctrine is vital, it’s not without a fundamental challenge. The notion of “basic structure” is subjective and not specifically laid out in the Constitution, which means it can be open to different interpretations and disputes in the courts. Judges have the prerogative to have their own views on the fundamentals of a situation. On occasion, this can result in decisions that are swayed by personal perspectives, which can be a source of contention.

Some contend that the doctrine grants an excessive amount of authority to the judiciary, thus thwarting the capacity of the elected Parliament to convert proposed laws into actual statutes.


The Kesavananda Bharati ruling and the essential fundamental structure doctrine act as guardians of India’s Constitution. They guarantee that the cornerstones of the Constitution remain unwavering and are not distorted in any way. This is a vital part of maintaining India’s democracy and ensuring the safety of the legal privileges and liberties of its citizens.

Despite arguments and impediments confronting this doctrine, it is evident that it has held a crucial position in forming India’s democratic course over the past half century. It is a reminder that, even in a difficult and diverse nation like India, respect for the law and democratic values should always be observed.

Featured Image Courtesy – Mid-day

Nischal Srinivasan
Nischal Srinivasan
My name is Nischal Srinivasan and I have a great interest in writing poems and articles. I have also published a poem named Resonating Reflections in Amazon Kindle.


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