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Reasons for clash

Experts feel that the basic structure theory is vague and undefined.

india Updated: Apr 13, 2006 11:51 IST

The confrontation between the judiciary and legislature is mainly because of a lack of critical appreciation of each other's role and limits. How can the presiding officers and MPs claim supremacy and sovereignty for Parliament? As both Parliament and the judiciary are creatures of the Constitution, the Constitution is supreme and sovereign and not the other way round.

Pran Chopra feels that the basic structure theory is a "vague and undefined concept". Herein lies the judiciary's "limitless power". He says that this theory propounded by the Supreme Court in the Keshavananda Bharati case has "deflected the balance of power decisively in favour of the judiciary at the cost of Parliament".

Renowned jurist Fali S Nariman agrees that the criticism that, having propounded the basic structure theory, the guardians of the Constitution have become guardians over the Constitution has "considerable validity". However, he argues that it was "an auxiliary precaution taken against the possible tide of majoritarianism".