Kesavananda Bharati Sripadagalvaru, the head seer of Edneer Mutt in Kerala since 1961 dies at 79. Bharati was famous for initiating the historic judgement of Supreme Court that “Basic Structure of Constitution” cannot be amended by the Parliament.

Govt Kerala had passed a land law with an objective to distribute land to the landless farmers. Kesavananda challenged the Kerala Govt in 1970 on this Kerala land reforms legislation. Bharati contended that the land reforms passed by the Kerala Govt will impose restrictions on management of the mutt property that was the only source of income.

The petition filed by Kesavananda Bharati challenged 3 Constitutional Amendments 24, 25 & 29 that were passed by the congress PM Indira Gandhi Govt to give power to the Parliament to change the fundamental rights. According to Bharti, the amendments breached his fundamental rights as follows

  • Article 25: Right to practice and propagate religion
  • Article 26: Freedom of religious denomination (managing and administering property)
  • Article 31: Right to property

Kesavananda Bharati Case

In 1970s, the GoI under former Prime Minidter Indira Gandhi enacted 24th, 25th, 26th and 31st constitutional amendments to get over the judgements of Supreme Court in Madhavarao Scindia (1970) and RC Cooper and that of Golaknath. In Madhavaroa Scindia case, the Supreme Court stuck down the bank nationalisation policy of Indira Gandhi and in that of the Madhavrao Scindia case, it annulled the abolition of privy purses of former rulers.

What is basic structure?

Till the Kesavanada Bharati case, there was no such reference called the basic structure of the indian constitution. The case of Kesavananda Bharti Vs the State of Kerala was heard for 68 days and brought out the basic structure. The supreme court, however, did not define the basic structure. It only listed a few principles such as secularism, federalism, and democracy. Kesavananda Bharati died Kesavananda Bharati died