Home       Top Rated       Submit Article     Advanced Search     FAQ       Contact Us       Lawyers in India       Law Forum     RSS Feeds     

Register your Copyright Online

We offer copyright registration right from your desktop click here for details.

Latest Articles | Articles 2014 | Articles 2013 | Articles 2012 | Articles 2011 | Articles 2010 | Articles 2009 | Articles 2008 | Articles 2007 | Articles 2006 | Articles 2000-05

Search On:Laws in IndiaLawyers Search

Mutual Consent Divorce in Delhi
We provide fast, cost effective and Hassle free solution.
Contact us at Ph no: 9650499965 (Divorce Law Firm Delhi)
File Caveat in Supreme Court
Contact Ph no: +9650499965

Main Categories
 Accident Law
 Animal Laws
 Aviation Law
 Bangladesh Law
 Banking and Finance laws
 Case Laws
 Civil Laws
 Company Law
 Constitutional Law
 Consumer laws
 Contracts laws
 Criminal law
 Drug laws
 Dubai laws
 Educational laws
 Employment / Labour laws
 Environmental Law
 family law
 Gay laws and Third Gender
 Human Rights laws
 Immigration laws
 Insurance / Accident Claim
 Intellectual Property
 International Law
 Juvenile Laws
 Law - lawyers & legal Profession
 Legal Aid and Lok Adalat
 Legal outsourcing
 Media laws
 Medico legal
 Real estate laws
 Right To Information
 Tax Laws
 Torts Law
 Woman Issues
 Workplace Equality & Non-Discrimination
 Yet Another Category

More Options
 Most read articles
 Most rated articles

Subscribe now and receive free articles and updates instantly.


Published : September 10, 2010 | Author : suryabhansingh
Category : Constitutional Law | Total Views : 9285 | Rating :

Surya Bhan Singh Billawria, Advocate (B.S.L.-LL.B.) College Attended: D.E.S. Law College, Pune. University of Pune. Other Articles by same Author: 1. Euthanasia 2. Constitutional Position of Jammu & Kashmir.

Basic Structure of Constitution - Myth or Reality

Basic Structure of the Constitution, sometimes also called as “Basic features” of the Constitution, this doctrine was laid down by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of Keshavananda Bharti v. State of Kerala, AIR 1973 SC 1461: (1973) 4 SCC 225.

A brief overview of the doctrine of ‘Basic Structure of Constitution’ may show that it is just what the hon'ble Supreme Court has held to be as the Basic Structure of the Constitution in various cases that consists of the Basic Structure of the Constitution. But such a case would give rise to ambiguity, as it implies that there is no definite yard-stick to determine whether a particular provision is part of the Basic Structure or not. Such an ambiguity gives rise to wide discretionary powers of the Judge who is to decide as to a provision being a part of the basic structure or not as it would mean that it is solely dependant upon what the person sitting as Judge, in his personal opinion, thinks as to whether the provision is part of the basic structure or not. Such wide discretionary powers have been provided against by the Constitution by way of Article 14 which guarantees Right to Equality. Hence, such a case would mean that the doctrine is itself contradictory to the provisions of the very Constitution which it seeks to protect from ‘harm’. Hence, the doctrine becomes ultra vires and hence, void. So it would mean that the Doctrine of the Basic Structure is nothing but a myth created by the hon'ble Supreme Court.

But a deeper and closer look at the doctrine and the case laws of the hon'ble Supreme Court clearly shows that there is more to it than just what first meets the eye. When we speak of the Basic Structure, we don’t speak of the Articles of the Constitution or its provisions, but the principles which they enshrine. It may be said that Basic Structure consists of the principles keeping which in mind, the Constitution was framed. As for example, Objectives specified in the Preamble, Right to Equality, Right to Life and Personal Liberty, Right to Freedom of speech and expression, Separation of Powers, etc., may be called as some of such Principles and hence may be said to form the Part of Basic Structure of the Constitution. The provisions which enshrine these principles if changed in such a way that they serve the same purpose in the same way or in a better way, it would not imply changing the Basic Structure of the Constitution. To make my point more clear, I would like to cite the following example: “No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law.” These words don’t form part of the Basic Structure but the Principle of Right to Life and Personal Liberty which is guaranteed to every person through these words is what the Basic Structure consists of. So, if they were changed to, say “No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to due procedure established by law.”, such a change doesn’t affect the essence of the original Article/Provision and still preserves the Right to Life and Personal Liberty in the way it was intended to be. It only makes the point as to the kind of procedure to be followed, more clear and precise. Hence, though an Article which forms the Basic Structure of the Constitution is changed, it does not imply changing the Basic Structure of the Constitution. But if it were changed to, say “No citizen shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law.” or “No person shall be deprived of his life except according to procedure established by law.”, any such amendment or change would mean changing the Basic Structure of the Constitution because it tries to change the provision and make it in such a way which was not intended by the framers of the Constitution; as in this case, to limit the scope of the provision and hence take away the Right from a particular class of persons (in the former case), or to eliminate the Right to Personal Liberty (in the latter case). And these Principles can be clearly made out by a thorough reading of the provisions of the Constitution.

From the above discussion, it can be concluded that the Basic Structure is, in fact a reality, and there is more to it than just the Supreme Court case laws. Like the Doctrine of ultra vires which seeks to prevent any law/rule that violates the provisions of the Constitution, this Doctrine seeks to negate any attempt to change the Constitution in a ‘negative’ way and hence, preserve the sanctity of the Constitution. In the end, I would like to conclude by saying that the doctrine of Basic Structure of Constitution was framed and has been very rightly implemented by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the various cases to protect the very Principles this great Nation is built upon.
PS: For more detailed information/ understanding on the “Basic structure of Constitution”, please see the following judgements of the hon'ble Supreme Court:
Keshavananda Bharti v. State of Kerala, AIR 1973 SC 1461: (1973) 4 SCC 225.
Indira Nehru Gandhi v. Raj Narain, AIR 1975 SC 2299: 1975 Supp SCC 1.
Minerva Mills Ltd. v. Union of India, AIR 1980 SC 1789: (1980) 3 SCC 625

Authors contact info - articles The  author can be reached at: suryabhansingh@legalserviceindia.com

1 2 3 4 5
Rate this article!     Poor

Most viewed articles in Constitutional Law category
Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, The Father of Indian Constitution
Right To Privacy Under Article 21 and the Related Conflicts
Principles of Natural Justice In Indian Constitution
Position of Fundamental Rights during Emergency
Prospective Vs. Retrospective
Reasonable Classification under article 14
Concept of Welfare State and Its Relevance in Indian Scenario
Vulnerable Groups in India - Status, Schemes, Constitution of India
Three types of emergencies under the Indian Constitution
Emergence of Article 31 A, B and C and its validity
Doctrine of Pleasure as under the Indian Constitution
Maneka Gandhi
Election Commission of India
Critical Analysis on Reservation Policy in India
Res Sub Judice, Res Judicata and Constructive Res Judicata
Most recent articles in Constitutional Law category
Procedures and Powers of Claim Tribunals
Central State Relation - Legislative, Administrative and Financial
Freedom of expression - Democracy
Right To Privacy A Fundamental Right-Uidai Violative of Individuals Right To Privacy
Debate over Sitting or Standing at Cinema Hall Whether Violation of Right to freedom of Speech and Expression
Voting Rights in India to Non-Resident Indians
Right to Privacy is a Fundamental Right - A Study
Freedom of Religion
Article 44 of Constitution: A Dead Letter to be Retrieved
Fundamental Right of The Child To Education in Andaman And Nicobar Islands
Transfer Petition in India
Role of Writs In Administrative Law
The Importance of Article 370
Judicial Activism and Judicial Restraint
Fundamental Duties Under Article 51-A
Is Preamble a Part of Constitution

Article Comments

Posted by manish aryan on April 12, 2012
very nicely written i liked the example sited it made things lot easier for me to get a pragmatic view of "basic sturcture"--thanks a lot dude,keep coming up with such innovative articles

Please login or register a new free account.

Random Pick
The maxim Nemo moriturus praesumitur mentire is basis for 'dying declaration, which means a man will not meet his maker with a lie in his mouth. A dying declaration is called as Leterm Mortem. The word Leterm Mortem means Words said before death...

» Total Articles
» Total Authors
» Total Views
» Total categories

Law Forum

Legal Articles

Lawyers in India- Click on a link below for legal Services

lawyers in Chennai
lawyers in Bangalore
lawyers in Hyderabad
lawyers in Cochin
lawyers in Pondicherry
lawyers in Guwahati
lawyers in Nashik

lawyers in Jaipur
lawyers in New Delhi
lawyers in Dimapur
lawyers in Agra
Noida lawyers
lawyers in Siliguri

For Mutual consent Divorce in Delhi

Ph no: 9650499965
For online Copyright Registration

Ph no: 9891244487
Law Articles

lawyers in Delhi
lawyers in Chandigarh
lawyers in Allahabad
lawyers in Lucknow
lawyers in Jodhpur
Faridabad lawyers

lawyers in Mumbai
lawyers in Pune
lawyers in Nagpur
lawyers in Ahmedabad
lawyers in Surat
Ghaziabad lawyers

lawyers in Kolkata
lawyers in Janjgir
lawyers in Rajkot
lawyers in Indore
lawyers in Ludhiana
Gurgaon lawyers


India's Most Trusted Online law library
Legal Services India is Copyrighted under the Registrar of Copyright Act ( Govt of India) 2000-2017
 ISBN No: 978-81-928510-1-3