Kesavananda Bharti Case: A Political Fight masqurading in Legal Garb
Volume I, Issue IV, 2018
Separation of power to an extent that all democratic machineries function with utmost efficiency is a utopian dream. Where there is power, there is struggle for it. Power binds and breaks, and when the struggle of power is between the organs of government, namely, legislature, executive, and judiciary, it becomes a threat to democracy. Absolute separation of power is impossible and difference of opinion among the three pillars is natural. However, these differences must not turn into fights. Such conflicts or latency of such conflicts are often explicitly visible between the legislature and the judiciary. An example of such a fight or struggle for supremacy is the Kesavananda Bharati v. State of Kerala (1973, Supreme Court of India). This case not only overruled or nullified several judgements and provisions of Constitutional Amendments but also changed the course of Indian Judiciary. Thus, this case is of paramount importance not just for lawyers but also for students and scholars in the social sciences. This papers along with legal aspects of the cases also explores the political angle of the case. The paper also elucidates the conflict both inside and outside court. The paper mentions how Indira Gandhi government tried to influence the judiciary and made several changes in the structure and functioning the apex court.