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Protecting Basic Structure from judicial arbitrariness

  • Published
    11th Dec, 2023

Recently, the Basic Structure Doctrine will observe its 50th anniversary and let discuss its origins, arguments supporting it, and concerns about judicial arbitrariness, proposing solutions for relevance.

Origin of Basic Structure Doctrine

  • Contributions of Dietrich Conrad: Conrad's 1965 lecture influenced the Basic Structure Doctrine in KesavanandaBharati case.
  • Judicial interventions: Urged limitations on amending power to prevent extreme constitutional changes.
  • Significance: Emphasized the need for checks and balances on institutional powers.

Arguments in Support of Basic Structure Doctrine

  • Importance of Limitations: Doctrine recognizes the need for limitations on all institutional powers. Safeguards against legislative excesses, as seen during the Emergency.
  • Supremacy of Constitution: Constitution is supreme; judiciary interprets its meaning. Judiciary uniquely positioned to define Basic Structure.
  • Supporting Judiciary: Judiciary's role in constitutional protection is crucial in the information age.Addresses concerns of potential abuse of power by the government.

Strengthening the Doctrine

  • Concerns and Solutions: Acknowledges the ongoing debate on judicial arbitrariness in Basic Structure interpretation. A doctoral dissertation suggests ways to reduce risks of arbitrariness.
  • Need to Understand:Emphasizes the need for a reimagined, transparent, and legitimate Basic Structure Doctrine.
  • Temporal Relevance: Trust in judiciary requires legitimacy and transparency.Formulating Basic Structure in clear terms prevents reduced legitimacy.
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