Doctrine of Basic Structure

  • The Doctrine of Basic Structure states that the Constitution of India has some basic features that can’t be altered or wiped out through amendments by the parliament.
  • The basic features are not specified by the Judiciary and it is considered that federalism, democracy, secularism, independence of the judiciary, etc. are some basic features of the Indian Constitution.
  • Landmark casesShankari Prasad vs. Union of India 

It was claimed that the amendment that violates the fundamental rights of the citizens is not conceded by Article 13.

  • However, in case Golak Nath vs. the State of Punjab, the Supreme Court affirmed a new thought to see the powers of parliament that it can’t alter Part III of the constitution i.e Fundamental rights.
  • In Keshavanada Bharti vs. the State of Kerala the court held that the parliament cannot amend or disturb the basic structure of the Constitution. It was held that, however, the parliament has the power to amend the constitution and not to rewrite the constitution.

Doctrine of Harmonious Construction

  • When there is a dispute among two or more acts or two or more parts of an act then the doctrine of harmonious construction applies.
  • According to this law, a statute should be read as a whole and one provision of the Act should be formed with relating to other provisions to make a harmonious enactment of the whole act and to remove any discrepancy or repugnancy.
  • It brings harmony between the various lists referred to in Schedule 7 of the constitution. 

(Lists of Legislation: – Union list, State list, and Concurrent list).

  • In the landmark judgment of CIT VS. HINDUSTAN BULK CARRIERS (2003)3 SCC 57 the Supreme Court laid down five principles of rule of harmonious construction:-
  1. The courts must avoid a clash on opposing provisions and they must interpret to harmonize them.
  2. The provision of two sections respectively cannot overcome each other except the court, despite all its effort, is unable to reconcile their differences.
  3. When it is difficult to reconcile the distinctions in the contradicting provision, the courts must interpret them so that effect is given to both the provisions as much as possible.
  4. The courts need to consider that, the interpretation that makes the provisions ambiguous or worthless is not harmonious construction.
  5. To harmonize is not to destroy any statutory provision or to make it pointless.

Also Read: Doctrines of Indian Constitution [Part-1]

Doctrine of Laches

  • The term “Laches” means “Delay”. This doctrine is based on the rule that “equity aids the vigilant and not those who slumber on their rights”.
  • It states that a legal right or claim will not be permitted if a long delay in affirming the right or claim has prejudiced the adverse party. Anyone who claims remedy must come within a reasonable time before the court.
  • Fundamental rights cannot be denied under Article 32 based on delay as it is unjustified. It is necessary for the development of the individual.
  • In case Ravindra Jain vs UOI, the supreme court stated that on the ground of unreasonable delay, the remedy under article 32 can be denied. However, there has been no case to override the above-mentioned case law by the Supreme Court order.

Doctrine of Judicial Review

  • The power of Judicial Review comes from the Constitution of India under Article 13.
  • This doctrine is evoked to protect and enforce the fundamental rights guaranteed in Part III of the Constitution.
  • The Parliament and the state legislatures are prohibited from making laws that violate or abridge the fundamental rights provided to the citizens of the country under Article 13 of the constitution.
  • The judicial review ensures the protection of the fundamental rights and considers any law “inconsistent with or in derogation of the fundamental rights” as void.
  • The Doctrine of Judicial Review applies by the Supreme Court while striking down of Section 66A of the IT Act as it was against the Fundamental Rights guaranteed by the constitution.

Doctrine of Waiver

  • This doctrine states that a person who is entitled to any right or privilege can abandon the privilege if done intentionally.
  • It acts on the presumption that the man is the best judge of his interest under any legal liability, and he has the knowledge while willfully giving up privilege.
  • In case Behram vs. the State of Maharashtra the court states that the fundamental rights were not kept only for individual benefit but for the general public and therefore the doctrine of waiver not applied to fundamental rights.

-Mohit Goyal
Associate at Law Offices of Kr. Vivek Tanwar, Advocate & Associates

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