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Doctrine of Basic Structure in Indian Constitution and Supreme Court Judgments

1. Supremacy of Constitution

2. Unity and Sovereignty of India

3. Democratic and Republican Government

4. Federal Character of Constitution

5. Secular Character of Constitution

6. Separation of Power

7. Individual Freedom

8. Rule of Law

9. Judicial Review

10. Parliamentary System

11. Rule of Equality

12. Harmony and Balance between Fundamental Right and Directive Principles of State Policy

13. Free and Fair elections

14. Limited power or Parliament to amend the Constitution

15. Powers of Supreme Court under Articles:

i. 32

ii. 136

iii. 142

iv. 147


16. Power of High Court under Article:

i. 226

ii. 227


1951: Shankari Prasad Vs Union of India

- Article 368 includes Fundamental Rights as well.


1965: Sajjan Singh Vs Union of India

- Article 368 includes Fundamental Rights as well

- 2 Judges highlighted the risk of Parliament having power to amend Fundamental Rights


1967: Golaknath Case

- Fundamental Rights cannot be amended

- New Constitution Amendment needed to amend Fundamental Rights

- Article 368 gives process to amend and not power to amend




1973: Kesavananda Bharti Vs State of Kerala

- Any part can be amended with reference to basic structure

- Power to amend

- No power to distroy

1975: Indira Nehru Gandhi Vs Raj Narain

- Article 329A: Prime Minster and Ex PMs to be legally immune

- President for 6 month to 1 Year

- Election of President, Vice President, Prime Minister, Speaker beyond scrutiny of Judiciary.

39th Amendment 1975

Quashed as it broke basic structure.


1980: Minerva Mills

- Quashed two changes from 42nd Amendment, 1976 citing basic structure

- Constitution -> Parliament

- Judicial Review and balance between Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles and State Policy added to basic structure

- Limited amending power is a part of basic structure


1981: Waman Rao

Laws of Kesavananda Bharti to be valid - 24th April 1973


1992: Indira Sawheny Vs Union of India

- Article 16(4), 27% Reservation approved


1994: S R Bommai

If State Government breaks basic structure, President's Rule can be imposed under Article 356.


Article 249 Power of Parliament to Legislate with reference to a matter in the State List in the National Interest

(Scheduled areas + Scheduled Tribes) Decided by President


Article 348 All High Courts and Supreme Court proceedings to be in English. Government may with permission of President, allow Hindi or another language for official purpose.


371 Maharashtra and Gujarat

371A Nagalan

371B Assam

371C Manipur

371D Andhra Pradesh

371E Central University of Andhra Pradesh

371F Sikkim

371G Mizoram

371H Arunachal Pradesh

371I Goa


Green Judge = Justice Kuldeep Singh

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