Kesavananda Bharati Sripadagalvaru, the Kerala seer who stood for protecting the Constitution, has passed away. Bharati, whose property rights case in the Supreme Court in 1973 helped define basic rights under the Constitution, breathed his last at his ashram in Edaneer in Kasargod district of north Kerala this morning. He was 79.
He had filed a case challenging the Constitution (29th Amendment Act, 1972, questioning the Kerala government’s move to take over the mutt property. The timing of his move was significant as it came around the time when the Indira Gandhi-led government had made changes to the 24th, 25th, 26th and 29th amendments of the Constitution to get the court to rule in favour of the government in bank nationalisation and privy purses cases.
Bharati’s case was fought by senior lawyer Nani Palkhivala. The then chief justice of India Sarv Mitra Sikri had formed a 12-judge panel to preside over the case. The Constitution bench ruled that Parliament canot alter the basic structure of the Constitution.
The case of Kesavananda Bharati vs State of Kerala continues to hold the top spot for the longest hearing ever to have taken place in the apex court. In 2018, Bharati was conferred the Justice VR Krishna Iyer award by the then Governor and Former CJI P Sathasivam.
Latest India News
Fight against Coronavirus: Full coverage