News Detail

I.R. Coelho vs Tamil Nadu

Brief facts- The question involved in the present case was whether an Act or a regulation which or a part of which is found to be violative of Fundamental Rights can be included in the 9th Schedule or; whether it is only a constitutional amendment amending the 9th Schedule which damages or destroy the basic structure of the constitution that can be struck down.
The another question of law involved was whether on and after 24.4.1973 when the basic structure doctrine was propounded , it is permissible for Parliament under Art.31-B to immunise legislations from fundamental rights by inserting them into the 9th Schedule and ,if so , what is its effects on the power of judicial review of the Court.

Relevant Provisions – Article 31 A and Article 31-B and 9th schedule of Indian Constitution.

Judgement – The Hon’ble Supreme Court held that any law abridgesor violates Fundamental Rights even inserted in the 9th Schedule will have to be invalidated in exercise of the judicial review power of the Court , the validity or invalidity would be tested on its own merits in the lights principles laid down in this Court. Further , the Hon’ble Court held that all amendments to the Constitution made on or after 24.4.1973 by which the 9th Schedule is amend by inclusion of various laws therein shall have to be tested on the touchstone of the basic or essential features of the Constitution as reflected in Art.21 r/w Art. 14 & 19 and the principles underlying them.

Note – The nine Judges’ Bench presided by Mr. Justice Y.K. Sabharwal, the then C.J.I. delivered this unanimous verdict on 11.1.2007 whereby upholding the ‘Basic Structure Doctrine’, and the authority of the judiciary to review any such laws , which destroy or damage the basic structure as indicated in Art.21 read with Art.14, Art.19 and the principles underlying there under, even if they have been put in 9th Schedule after 14th April, 1973. This case is popularly known as The Ninth Schedule Case due of the politics involved and the exhaustive discussions on the validity of the Article 31 (b) of our Indian Constitution.