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- The Largest Bench Of 13 Judges Was Formed On His Petition 47 Years Ago, Which Struck A Balance Between Parliament And The Judiciary.
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Sant Kesavanand Bharti challenged the Land Reform Act and the 29th Constitution Amendment. (File photo)
- Keshavanand challenged the 29th Constitutional Amendment to stop the acquisition of the property of 1200 year old Idnir Math
- Hearing in the Supreme Court for 68 days was continuous, Keshwanand won by a margin of just 1 vote
Sant Keshavanand Bharti (79), considered 'Shankaracharya of Kerala', died on Sunday. He was the head of the Idnir Math at Kasargod. He is remembered as a man who saved the constitution, because 47 years ago he fought a historic battle in the Supreme Court against the Kerala government over the wealth of the monastery.
He challenged the Land Reform Act and the 29th Constitution Amendment. At the time, a 13-judge bench headed by Supreme Court Chief Justice SM Sikri gave a historic verdict in his favor after a hearing lasting 68 days.
Seven of the 13 judges 'bench ruled by majority,' Parliament has the power to amend the Constitution, but the basic structure of the Preamble of the Constitution cannot be changed and no amendment can be against the spirit of the Preamble. The trial of the case lasted from 31 October 1972 to 23 March 1973.
Important constitutional principles born of the challenge of the saint, which limited the amendment power of Parliament
The famous Idnir Shaiva monastery of Kerala is 1200 years old. It is also considered to be the back of Adi Shankaracharya. Keshavananda became its head after the Guru's death at the age of just 20 years. Apart from spirituality, it also contributes to dance, art, music and social service.
Many schools and colleges of Idnir Math have been operating in Kasargod and its surrounding areas for decades to promote the dance tradition of India. The monastery has also been operating a variety of businesses for years. This monastery also owned thousands of acres of land in Kasargod in the 70s. This was the same period when the then leftist government of Kerala, under the leadership of EMS Namboodiripad, was striving for land reform.
The property of Idnir Math also came under this grip. Hundred acres of land in the monastery was now owned by the government. In such a situation, Swami Keshavanand, the youth head of Idnir Math challenged this decision of the government in the court. Apart from this, he also challenged the land reform laws of Kerala and Central Government.
Kesavanand did not meet his lawyer till the verdict comes
If he did not succeed in the Kerala High Court, he challenged the Supreme Court by consulting Nani Palkiwala, a renowned lawyer for constitutional matters. Swami Keshavanand Bharti became popular across the country due to this lawsuit. He did not meet his lawyer Nani Palkiwala until the verdict came. He could not understand the meaning of getting in the newspaper headlines. They thought it was just a matter of property dispute. Little did they know that this was a constitutional matter that Indian democracy had been grappling with for two decades.
Swami Keshavanand Bharti became popular across the country due to this lawsuit. He did not meet his lawyer Nani Palkiwala until the verdict came. He could not understand the meaning of getting in the newspaper headlines. He felt that this was only a matter of property dispute. Little did they know that this was a constitutional matter that Indian democracy had been grappling with for two decades.