Constitutional Amendments struck down by the SC: 7 partial and 1 wholly so far
Constitutional Amendments repealed by the Supreme Court : 7 partial and 1 wholly so far
The NJAC amendment was repealed (struck down) wholly by the Supreme Court and other listed amendments were repealed (struck down) partially.
In Union of India vs. Rajendra N.Shah Case
On 20th July 2021, The Supreme Court repealed (struck down) most of the parts of the 97th Constitutional Amendment.The Court one with cord stated that the 97th Constitutional Amendment required confirmation by at least half of the state legislatures. Since such ratification did not take place in the case of the 97th constitutional amendment, part IXB of the Constitution inserted by this amendment has been canceled. The majority ruling invoked the doctrine of separability to make Part IXB operational only to the extent that it concerns multi-state cooperatives both within the various states and in the territories of the Union of India.
In the past, the Supreme Court has also overruled changes to the Constitution.This article examines 7 other Supreme Court rulings that overturned (in whole or in part) the constitutional amendments passed by Parliament.
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1. “Supreme Court Advocates-on-Record -Association vs. Union of India(2015) and Constitution 99th Amendment Act on NJAC”
‘The Supreme Court (Constitutional Bench with 4: 1 majority) stated the 99th Constitutional Amendment and the National Judicial Commission (NJAC) unconstitutional in 2015 because it violates the basic structure of the Indian Constitution.’
2. “L Chandra Kumar vs Union of India (1997) – Parts of Constitution (42nd Amendment) Act, 1976 relating to administrative tribunals”
‘Part XIVA of the Constitution was incorporated through Section 46 of the Constitutional Law (42nd Amendment) of 1976 with effect from March 1, 1977. It included two provisions, Articles 323A and 323B. The Court ruled clause 2 (d) of article 323A and clause 3 (d) of article 323B to be unconstitutional, to the extent that they exclude the jurisdiction of the High Courts and the Supreme Court under Articles 226/227 and 32 of the Constitution.’
3. “Kihoto Hollohon Vs. Zachilhu and Constitution (52nd Amendment) Act on anti-defection law”
‘The court overturned paragraph 7 and invoked the doctrine of severability to support the remainder of the paragraphs of the tenth schedule. “The elimination from the jurisdiction of the courts u/paragraph 7 was incidental and to reinforce the main purpose which was to curb the evil of defection. It cannot be said that the constituent body would not have enacted the other provisions of the tenth schedule if he had known that paragraph 7 was not valid. Nor can it be said that the rest of the provisions of the Tenth Schedule alone cannot stand even if the paragraph is deemed unconstitutional. The provisions of paragraph 7 can, therefore, be considered to be separable from rest of the provisions. “, the court stated.’
4. “P. Sambamurthy Vs. State of Andhra Pradesh(1986) and Constitution (32nd Amendment) Act 1973 – limitations of judicial review”
‘The Supreme Court declared unconstitutional and void cl. (5) of art. 371D (introduced 32 Amendment Act 1973) together with the proviso. Clause (5) of Art. 371-D provided that the order of the Administrative Tribunal that definitively ordered a case shall becomes effective only after its confirmation by the state government or at the expiry of three months from the date of the order, whichever is earlier.’
5. “Minerva Mills Ltd. and others Vs. Union of India(1980) and Constitution (42nd Amendment) Act ,1976 – Limitations on judicial review”
‘The Supreme Court stated that Section 4 of the Constitutional Amendment Act 42 is outside the amending power of Parliament and is void since it damages the fundamental or essential characteristics of the Constitution and destroys its basic structure.’
6. “Indira Gandhi vs Raj Narain(1975) and Constitution (39th Amendment) Act, 1975 which barred judicial review over Prime Minister’s election”
‘The Constitutional Bench annulled Clause 4 of Article 329A of the Constitution. Article 329A, paragraph 4, was found to fall outside the amending powers of the Parliament since, by adopting separate and special provisions regarding the elections to Parliament of the Prime Minister and the President, it destroyed the basic structure of the Constitution.’
7. “Kesavananda Bharati Vs. the State of Kerala(1973) and Constitution (25th Amendment) Act, 1971”
‘The constitutional law (twenty-fifth amendment) of 1971 inserted article 31C which provided for the safeguarding of laws that implement certain directive principles. “Notwithstanding the provisions of article 13, no law implementing the policy of the State aimed at ensuring all or any of the principles set out in Part IV is considered void for the reason that it is incompatible with, or subtracts or abrogates any of the rights conferred by the Article 14 or Article 19 and “no law containing a declaration implementing this policy may be challenged in any court for the reason that it does not give effect to that policy“. The part in italics has been declared invalid in the Kesavananda Bharati case.’
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