Power of the Supreme Court: Can it Declare an Act Unconstitutional?
The Supreme Court has the power to declare an Act unconstitutional. This power is derived from Article 13 of the Constitution of India, which states that any law that is inconsistent with the fundamental rights guaranteed under Part III of the Constitution is void.
The Supreme Court has exercised this power on a number of occasions to strike down laws that it has found to be unconstitutional. For example, in the landmark case of Kesavananda Bharati v. State of Kerala (1973), the Supreme Court held that the Parliament of India does not have the power to amend the Constitution in a way that would destroy its basic structure.
The Supreme Court's power to declare an Act unconstitutional is an important check on the power of the legislature. It ensures that the legislature does not pass laws that violate the fundamental rights of the people.
Here are some of the grounds on which the Supreme Court can declare an Act unconstitutional:
- The Act is inconsistent with the fundamental rights guaranteed under Part III of the Constitution.
- The Act is violative of the basic structure of the Constitution.
- The Act is passed by the legislature without the requisite competence or jurisdiction.
- The Act is procedurally defective.
If the Supreme Court finds that an Act is unconstitutional, it will declare it void. This means that the Act will be unenforceable from the date of its declaration as unconstitutional.
The Supreme Court's power to declare an Act unconstitutional is a powerful one. It is important to note that this power is not exercised lightly. The Supreme Court will only declare an Act unconstitutional if it finds that there is a clear and unambiguous violation of the Constitution.