The concept of the basic structure of the Indian constitution has been prepared by the justice system. It is noteworthy that this concept is not mentioned either in the Constitution or in any law of the country as defined in the same form. Therefore, the judiciary also has not fully defined the basic structure of the Indian constitution concept.
In the year 1973, Kesavananda Bharati v. State of Kerala case, the Supreme Court has overturned its own judgment of the case of Golaknath v. State of Punjab (1967), the Supreme Court declared the basic structure. The Supreme Court said in its judgment that the power of Parliament under article 368 does not force Parliament to change the basic structure of the Constitution. Thus, Parliament has exercised its own constitutional amendment powers but the basic feature of the Constitution can not be changed.
The Supreme Court has not yet made it clear that the basic structure of the constitution is made up of it but in its separate judgments. Hence, the Supreme Court declared that the basic structure/features of the constitution are resting on the basic foundation of the constitution.
The following termed as the basic structure of the Constitution.
- Constitution supremacy
- The sovereign, democratic and republican nature of the Indian system
- Division power between the legislative, executive and judicial organs
- The unity and integrity of the nation
- Judicial Review
- Federal nature of the Constitution
- Welfare State and Social-Economic Justice
- Independence and dignity of a person
- Principle of governance
- The rule of law
- Harmony and balance between fundamental rights and directive principles
- Independent and impartial elections
- Effective procurement of justice
- freedom of judiciary
- Principle of equality
- Limited power to amend the Constitution of Parliament
- The powers of the Supreme Court under section 32, 136 141 and 142.
The Supreme Court’s position on constitutional amendments laid out in its judgments is that Parliament can amend the Constitution but cannot destroy its “basic structure”.