Kesavananda Bharati and his case


Under this case, Supreme Court of India outlined the Basic Structure doctrine of the Constitution which forms and gives basic powers to the Indian Judiciary to review or to amend the provisions of the constitution enacted by the Parliament of India which conflict with or seek to alter the basic structure of the constitution.

Kesavananda Bharati and his case

Shri Kesavananda Bharati (9 December 1940 – 6 September 2020) was the senior head of “Edneer Mutt”, a Hindu Mutt arranged in Edneer, Kasaragod district, Kerala, India. He had challenged Kerala government that under the two state Land Reform Acts, they are imposing restrictions and limitations on the administration of its property but was contradicting our Indian constitution. Beside this, decisions of case of Golaknath (1967), Privy Purse Case(1969) and Nationalisation of banks(1970), made government to sit and solve the problem of the powers of judiciary and amend the constitution. As because of constitution, it was creating a problem for government initiatives, development, etc.


• It said that there will be no limitation on power of Parliament to amend the Constitution unless it violates the basic structure of Constitution.

• Overruled the previous decision of Golaknath Case. Effects

• The judgement refused to consider the right to property as a fundamental right under basic structure doctrine.

• Recognition of supremacy of Constitution.

• Judicial review cannot be stopped by any provision. Interesting facts of the case

• The case of Kesavananda was heard by the largest ever Constitutional Bench of 13 Judges.

• It also recorded the ongest hearing for 69 days.

• This case is popularly known as ‘Fundamental Rights’ case.

• It is believed that this case has saved our democracy. About his death Kesavananda Bharati died in Mangalore on 6 September 2020 at the age of 79. He had earlier been admitted to a hospital with cardiac and respiratory issues.

Credit: Simali

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