Kesavananda Bharati is no more
Kesavananda Bharati, on whose petition the Supreme Court delivered the landmark judgement on the celebrated doctrine of basic structure of the Constitution, died in Kerala on 6 September 2020. Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi were among a host of leaders who condoled the demise of the 79-year old Kerala-based seer, saying he will be remembered for his service to the people. Kesavananda Bharati Sripadagalvaru died at the Edaneer Mutt due to age related ailments.
- The case in which Bharati had challenged Kerala Land Reform laws nearly four decades ago set the principle that the Supreme Court is the guardian of the basic structure of the Constitution and the verdict involved 13 judges, the largest bench ever to sit in the apex court.
- The case became significant for its landmark judgment which clipped the widest power of Parliament to amend the Constitution and simultaneously gave the judiciary the authority to review any amendment.
- The 29th Constitutional Amendment was adopted by Parliament giving protection to Kerala laws, the seer moved the Supreme Court challenging it.
- The apex court ruled that the 29th Amendment is valid and held that the two Kerala land Acts that were included in the Ninth Schedule are entitled to the protection of Article 31B of the (validation of certain acts and regulations) Constitution.
- The verdict had held that though Parliament had power to amend under Article 368 of the Constitution, it did not have the power to emasculate its basic features.
- The case of Kesavananda Bharati vs State of Kerala was heard for 68 days and continues to hold the top spot for the longest proceedings ever to have taken place in the top court.
- The hearing in the case commenced on October 31, 1972, and concluded on March 23, 1973 and it's the most referred to case name in Indian Constitutional law.