Dynamic Foundations: The Unfolding Narrative of Basic Structure Doctrine in Indian Jurisprudence, Safeguarding Fundamental Rights, Judicial Oversight in Constitutional Amendments, and its Contemporary Significance

  • Muhammed Shathil CK and Shifana PT
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  • Muhammed Shathil CK

    Student at Markaz Law College, India

  • Shifana PT

    Student at Markaz Law College, India

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The Basic Structure Doctrine is a fundamental principle in Indian constitutional law, introduced by the Supreme Court of India in the Kesavananda Bharati v. State of Kerala case in 1973. It asserts that certain constitutional features, such as democracy, secularism, socialism, judicial review, and fundamental rights, cannot be altered by Parliament under its constituent power. This doctrine has been a subject of intense debate and controversy, with proponents arguing it is necessary to safeguard the Constitution's core values from majoritarian rule, while opponents argue it is undemocratic and undermines Parliament's sovereignty. The doctrine has evolved over time through a series of judicial pronouncements, with the Supreme Court identifying seven fundamental features of the Constitution but leaving room for further determination by the judiciary. It has also been used by the Supreme Court to strike down constitutional amendments deemed violative of the Basic Structure, such as the First, Fourth, and Seventeenth Amendments in the Golak Nath case (1967). This comprehensive exploration delves into the evolution of the Basic Structure Doctrine in Indian Jurisprudence, focusing on its pivotal role in safeguarding fundamental rights, judicial intervention in constitutional amendments, and its contemporary relevance. The research reveals the doctrinal progression from pre-Kesavananda Bharti jurisprudence to the establishment of the Basic Structure Doctrine, elucidating its pivotal role in safeguarding fundamental rights by delineating limits on parliamentary authority for constitutional amendments.


Research Paper


International Journal of Law Management and Humanities, Volume 6, Issue 6, Page 2582 - 2599

DOI: https://doij.org/10.10000/IJLMH.116403

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