Chapter

The Terms of the Armistice

O. Chinnappa Reddy

in The Court and the Constitution of India

Published in print May 2010 | ISBN: 9780198066286
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199081462 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198066286.003.0016
The Terms of the Armistice

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Subsequent to the Kesavananda Bharati case, the Supreme Court made occasional exploratory searches to identify the basic features of the Constitution. In Kesavananda itself, Chief Justice Sikri enumerated what he considered were some of the basic features of the Indian Constitution: supremacy of the Constitution; republican and democratic form of government; secular character of the Constitution; separation of powers between the legislature, the executive and the judiciary; federal character of the Constitution. Chief Justice Sikri and Justices Shelat, Grover, and Khanna had declared secularism as a basic feature of the Constitution even before the forty-second amendment by which the word ‘secular’ was introduced into the Preamble of the Constitution. Justice Khanna said that the principle of free and fair election was an essential postulate of democracy which in turn was a part of the basic structure of the Constitution. In State of Rajasthan v. Union of India, independence of the judiciary, judicial review, and separation of powers were held to be basic features of the Constitution.

Keywords: Supreme Court; Constitution; basic features; separation of powers; secularism; democracy; election; judiciary; judicial review; legislature

Chapter.  1318 words. 

Subjects: Constitutional and Administrative Law

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