(Study Notes) The Basic Structure of the Indian Constitution

The Basic Structure of the Indian Constitution

By Venkatesh Nayak

The debate on the 'basic structure' of the Constitution, lying somnolent in the archives of India's constitutional history during the last decade of the 20th century, has reappeared in the public realm. While setting up the National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution (the Commission), the National Democratic Alliance government (formed by a coalition of 24 national and regional level parties) stated that the basic structure of the Constitution would not be tampered with. Justice M.N. Venkatachalaiah, Chairman of the Commission, has emphasised on several occasions that an inquiry into the basic structure of the Constitution lay beyond the scope of the Commission's work. [..]

Table Of Contents

  • Introduction
  • The pre-Kesavanada position
  • The Golaknath verdict
  • Nationalisation of Banks and Abolition of Privy Purses
  • Emergence of the Basic Structure Concept- the Kesavanada milestone
  • Basic Features of the Constitution according to the Kesavanada verdict
  • The minority view
  • Basic Structure concept reaffirmed- the Indira Gandhi Election case
  • Basic Features of the Constitution according to the Election case verdict
  • The Kesavananda Review Bench
  • Sardar Swaran Singh Committee and the Forty-second amendment
  • Basic structure doctrine reaffirmed- the Minerva Mills and Waman Rao cases
  • Summary

Courtesy: Venkatesh Nayak
 


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