Published on: April 27, 2023

Kesavananda Bharati case, webpage

Kesavananda Bharati case, webpage

Why in news? Chief Justice of India (CJI) D.Y. Chandrachud announced that the Supreme Court has created a special webpage for the Kesavananda Bharati case in which a 13-judge Bench, the largest constituted in the court’s history, through a wafer-thin majority of 7:6, held that Parliament cannot amend the “Basic Structure” of the Constitution.


  • The webpage, would host the complete submissions, petitions and judgments in the historic case, also called the Fundamental Rights case.
  • The CJI had recently compared the “Basic Structure” of the Constitution to the “North Star”, an unfailing guide which shows the way when the path appears convoluted.
  • The webpage dedicated to the 1973 case has been created in the face of recent criticism from high constitutional authorities that the Basic Structure doctrine diluted parliamentary sovereignty.
  • The Kesavananda Bharati judgment had cropped up during the government’s recent criticism of the collegium system of judicial appointments. Law Minister Kiren Rijiju criticised the striking down of the 99th Constitutional Amendment and the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) Act in October 2015.

NJAC judgment

  • In the NJAC judgment, the Supreme Court upheld the collegium system and held that the NJAC was an encroachment on judicial independence, a part of the Basic Structure.

The Kesavananda Bharati judgment

  • It held that Parliament cannot use its constituent power to alter the essential features of the Constitution. The Basic Structure or framework of the Constitution was its living spirit, holding up the body of its text. Its existence cannot be pinpointed to any particular provision of the text. It was the “soul” of the Constitution.