Basic Structure Doctrine: Political Science YouTube Lecture Handouts

Get unlimited access to the best preparation resource for competitive exams : get questions, notes, tests, video lectures and more- for all subjects of your exam.

  • This Doctrine was propounded by Hans Raj Khanna
  • It held that Parliament cannot altered basic features of the Constitution
  • It is Supreme Court power to constitutional amendments.
  • The Basic structure features are dynamic

Evolution of the Basic Structure Doctrine

  • It evolved with the question whether Fundamental Rights can be amended or not.
  • In the Shankari Prasad Case 1951, the First Amendment Act was challenged.
  • Supreme Court ruled that the Parliament cannot amend Fundamental Rights under Article 368.
  • Article 13 doesnีšt includes Constitutional Amendment Act.
  • In Golak Nath Case 1967, it challenged the Seventeenth Amendment Act of 1964
  • The Supreme Court ruled that Parliament cannot take away any of the Fundamental Rights
  • A Constitutional Amendment is a law within Article 13
  • The Parliament enacted the 24th Amendment Act of 1971 which amended Article 13 and 368
  • It held that Parliament can take away any of the Fundamental Rights
  • In Kesavananda Bharati Case 1973 , the Supreme Court upheld the Validity of the 24th Amendment Act
  • It held that Parliament can take away any of Fundamental Rights but introduced the Doctrine of Basic Structure and hence, Parliament cannot amend Fundamental Rights that are a part of the Basic Structure of the Constitution
  • Parliament enacted the 42nd Amendment Act of 1976 which amended Article 368 and declared that Parliamentary Amendments cannot be questioned on any grounds.
  • Supreme Court invalidated it in Minerva Mills Case , 1980 as it excluded Judicial Review
  • The Supreme Court adhered to the Doctrine of Basic Structure in Waman Rao Case, 1981.

Basic Features of the Constitution

  • Supremacy of the Constitution
  • Sovereign, democratic and republic nature of the Indian Polity
  • Secular Character of the Constitution
  • Separation of powers between the legislature, executive and the judiciary
  • Federal Character of the Constitution
  • Unity and Integrity of the Nation
  • Welfare State
  • Judicial Review
  • Freedom and Dignity of the Individual
  • Parliamentary System
  • Rule of Law
  • Principle of Equality
  • Free and Fair Elections
  • Independence of Judiciary
  • Limited power of Parliament to amend the constitution
  • Effective access to Justice
  • Principles underlying Fundamental Rights
  • Harmony between Fundamental rights and Directive Principles of State Policy

Significance of Basic Structure

  • Prevent damage to Constitution of India
  • It limits totalitarian power of the Parliament
  • It help to retain basic tenets of Indian Constitution
  • It upheld Indian Democracy
  • It strengthens Democracy
  • It upheld basic rights of the citizens
  • It is progressive as it is not rigid in nature

Developed by: