Kesavananda Bharati v. the State of Kerala

By: Aaditya Sinha

In a nation like India where Legislature and Judiciary will undoubtedly be equal which implies that Judiciary is free to give the Judgments additionally and that we can anticipate some uncommon decisions from the court. In the time of 1973, our nation likewise saw presumably the most significant judgment throughout the entire existence of our Constitution.

The case was Kesavananda Bharati v. State of Kerala [1], the judgment of this case was absolute and objective, it was not an open-ended case, but to understand this case we need to go back in the year of 1961. In 1961, there was a very famous case named as I.C. Golaknath and Ors. v. State of Punjab and Anrs.[2]

In the year 1967, the Supreme Court gave a decision that the state can’t revise any demonstration or can’t change the principal privileges of Part III of the Indian constitution. The choice by the court was somewhat restricted in light of the fact that as per Article 368 of the Indian constitution it is composed that the state can change the Constitution. In the 24th amendment, the state made a law in which the Government could correct anything in the Constitution, in any event, including the principal rights under Part III of the Indian Constitution.

The Government in the 25th amendment Act made another law that expressed that the State can get any property of the Indian resident. It ought to likewise be noticed that in the year 1951, the state confined Article 31 of the Indian Constitution that manages the “Right to Property”.

The case was about Sri K. Bharati who was the senior head of Edneer Mutt in Kerala. The Kerala Government passed a law in which they needed to control the strictly possessed property under the “two-state land change act”. As we probably are aware Article 26 of the Indian constitution plainly expresses that each individual has the privilege to deal with their strict undertakings.

Hence, the case was about the encroachment of Article 26 of the Indian Constitution. The case had a seat of 13 appointed authorities and this case saw 68 days of the conference. After the procedures, the court had a fascinating judgment this time. It said that, truly, the state can correct the Constitution yet they can’t change the “fundamental structure of the Indian constitution”.

Here the “essential structure” is a powerful articulation. A portion of the instances of essential structure implies that there ought to be free Judiciary or state principal rights. In any case, this case had altogether different measurements. The most significant proclamation of this case was that “the Preamble is the piece of the Indian constitution”. It was contrasting from the judgment from In Re: Berubari Union [3]case, where there was the judgment in which the court said that “Preamble is not a part of Indian constitution”. After so many judgments, the case did not end here. 

In the 39th Amendment, the then government of India made some rules in which they said that if a person becomes a Prime Minister for even one day then he or she cannot be liable for any criminal or civil case, but this decision was not converted into law as it was against the “Basic structure of Indian constitution”.

So it is very true to conclude that this infamous landmark case of Kesavananda Bharati v. the State of Kerala has changed the dynamics of our constitution not only in one way but also in many ways. 


[1]Kesavananda Bharati v. the State of Kerala, (1973) 4 SCC 225.

[2] I.C. Golaknath and Ors. v. State of Punjab and Anrs., 1967 AIR 1643.

[3] In Re: Berubari Union, (1960) 3 SCR 250.

Short notes

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