On January 11, Vice President Jadgeep Dhankhar criticised the basic structure doctrine of the Supreme Court, contending the court had invoked this principle to transgress its powers and curtail the legislature’s right to act according to the will of the people. Dhankhar said that this decision could not stand.
The Supreme Court had laid down the basic structure doctrine in 1973, maintaining that the legislature cannot make amendments that remove certain essential features of the Constitution.
Dhankhar’s criticism comes at a time when the executive and the judiciary have been in a war of words over how judges are to be appointed to the higher judiciary. The basic structure lies at the heart of this debate, given that the Supreme Court used this doctrine to strike down the National Judicial Appointments Commission in 2015. This commission had given the executive a more active role in appointing judges.
The contents in the letter to hon’ble CJI are exactly in conformity with the observations and directions of the Supreme Court Constitution Bench. Convenient politics is not advisable, especially in the name of Judiciary. Constitution of India is supreme and nobody is above it.
— Kiren Rijiju (@KirenRijiju) January 16, 2023
The debate on appointments
The tussle about how judges are to be appointed is not…