New Delhi, January 21
Days after Vice-President Jagdeep Dhankhar questioned the doctrine of basic structure propounded by the Supreme Court in the famous Kesavananda Bharati case in 1973, Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud on Saturday described it as the North Star which guided its interpreters and implementers alike when the path looked convoluted.
What Dhankhar had said
- Vice-President Jagdeep Dhankhar had on January 11 questioned the Supreme Court’s landmark verdict in the Kesavananda Bharati case
- Addressing the 83rd All-India Presiding Officers Conference in Jaipur, Dhankhar had said the verdict set a bad precedent and if any authority questioned Parliament’s power to amend the Constitution, it would be difficult to say “we are a democratic nation”
Doctrine of basic structure
The basic structure of our Constitution, like the North Star, guides and gives certain direction to the interpreters and implementers of the Constitution when the path ahead is convoluted. DY Chandrachud, chief justice of india
"The basic structure of our Constitution, like the North Star, guides and gives certain direction to the interpreters and implementers of the Constitution when the path ahead is convoluted. The basic structure or the philosophy of our Constitution is premised on the supremacy of the Constitution, rule of law, separation of powers, judicial review, secularism, federalism, freedom and the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the nation,” the CJI said, delivering the 18th Nani A Palkhivala Memorial Lecture organised by the Bombay Bar Association in Mumbai. The CJI said the doctrine of basic structure has shown that it might be beneficial for a judge to look at how other jurisdictions dealt with similar problems for them.
Justice Chandrachud said, “The craftsmanship of a judge lies in interpreting the text of the Constitution with the changing times while keeping its soul intact.”
Noting that India's legal landscape has undergone a significant change in the recent decades in favour of removing “strangulating regulations, augmenting consumer welfare and supporting commercial transactions”, CJI Chandrachud said, “The identity of the Indian Constitution has evolved through the interaction of Indian citizens with the Constitution, and has been accompanied by judicial interpretation.”
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