Prepared by Assist. Professor Rekha Khandelwal
Is Constitutional amendment a ‘law’ under article 13(2).-
Whether the word ‘law’ in clause (2) of article 13 also includes a ‘Constitutional amendment’. The question was considered for the first time by the supreme court.
In Shankari Prasad V Union of India, AIR 1951 SC 458
The court held that the word ‘law’ in clause (2) did not include law made by Parliament under Article 368. The word ‘law’ in Article 13 should mean rules or regulations made in the exercise of general legislative power and not amendments to the constitution made in the exercise of constitutional powers, and therefore, do not affect amendments made under Article 13 (2).
Sajjan Singh v. State of Rajasthan,AIR 1965 SC 845
In this case the interpretation of Shankari Prasad’s case was followed by the majority.
Golak Nath v. State of Punjab,AIR 1967 SC 1643
But in this case the supreme court overruled the decision of the aforesaid cases, and held that the word ‘law’ in article 13(2) included every branch of law, statutory, constitutional, etc.,and hence, if an amendment to the constitution took away or abridged fundamental right of citizens, the amendment would be declared void.
In order to remove the difficulty created by the supreme court’s decision in Golaknath’s case the Constitution (24th Amendment) Act, 1971 was enacted. By this amendment in new clause (4) was added to article 13 of the constitution which makes it clear that constitutional amendments passed under Article 368 shall not be considered as ‘law’ within the meaning of article 13 and, therefore, cannot be challenged as infringing the provisions of a part III of the constitution.
Keshavanand Bharti Case v. State of Kerala, AIR 1973 SC 1461
In this case the validity of the constitution (24th Amendment) Act, 1971 was considered by the Supreme Court. The court overruled the Golaknath case and upheld the validity of the 24th amendment.
 Shankari Prasad V Union of India, AIR 1951 SC 458
 Sajjan Singh v. State of Rajasthan, AIR 1965 SC 845
 Golaknath v. State of Punjab, AIR 1967 SC 1643
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