The Kesavananda Bench II: The Chandrachud Angle

“After all the 11 Judgments of the Court were orally pronounced on April 24, 1973 CJ Sikri produced and read out in Court a paper which was called “The View by the Majority” and passed it on for signatures of all 13 Judges on the Bench. 4 Judges, Justices Ray, Mathew, Dwivedi and Beg would have nothing to do with it and demonstrably refused to sign it. Never had Supreme Court seen such a spectacle. No discussions took place in Court at any time nor could they possibly have taken place in the Chambers of the Judges on what was “The View by the Majority”, arising from the 11 different Judgments. Justice Y.V. Chandrachud later in an interview said “The View by the Majority” paper was not circulated by the CJ. It was presented in Court and he and other Judges were constrained to sign it as the CJ was retiring the next day.”

T.R. Andhyarujina, The Kesavananda Bharati Case, (Universal Law Publishing, 2013).

Many leaders of the Indian Bar assert, Palkhivala should be given credit for creating ‘Doctrine of Basic Structure’. Indira Gandhi said, Judges had ‘invented’ the phrase because it did not exist in any Constitution.

Recently, at the release of Chintan Chandrachud’s book, “Balanced Constitutionalism: Courts and Legislatures in India and the United Kingdom“, Senior Advocate, K.K. Venugopal, stirred up a controversy by urging, Kesavananda must be revisited by a Bench of more than 13 Judges.

Several Advocates in a Writ Petition [Diary No. 43118 of 2016] before SC prayed for a declaration, concept of Basic Structure evolved Kesavananda Bharti v. Union of India, (1973) 4 SCC 225 “is nothing but blasphemy” and has no foundation in jurisprudence.

Hon’ble Justice Dr. D.Y. Chandrachud considered the prayer ‘frivolous‘: “Judgment has been rendered by a Bench of 13 Judges and constitutes a binding precedent.”