IR Coelho vs. State of Tamil Nadu Case Summary 2007 SC

IR Coelho vs. State of Tamil Nadu Case Summary 2007 SC

IR Coelho vs. State of Tamil Nadu case gave the landmark judgement which interpreted the Doctrine of Basic Structure which was laid down in the Kesavananda Bharati case. The court stated the difference between the word “essence of the rights test” and the “rights test”. The 9 judges decided on this case and the bench was headed by Y.K. Sabharwal who decided referred by 5 judges’ bench.


AIR 2007 SC 861


  1. Hon’ble Justice Y.K. Sabharwal Singh
  2. Hon’ble Justice S.H. Kapadia Thakker
  3. Hon’ble JusticeBalasubramanyam Jain


  1. Schedule 9 of the Indian Constitution contains the list of central and state laws which cannot be challenged in the court.
  2. Article 31-B of the Indian Constitution states the validation of certain acts and regulations.


  1. This is also known as the ninth schedule case, the court upheld the judgement delivered by 9 judges’ bench on the validity of the doctrine of basic structure in the Kesavananda Bharati case.
  2. Court also upheld the power of the judiciary to review the law which violates the doctrine of the basic structure of the constitution. Thus, in this way, this case brings an end to the entire dispute regarding the validity and implementation of the above-said doctrine.
  3. This case arises because Supreme Court struck down the reserved land in the Janman Estates in the state of Tamil Nadu as per Gudalur Estates (Abolition and Conversion into Ryotwari) Act, 1969 in Balmadies Plantations Ltd vs. State of Tamil Nadu because this was not found to be an agrarian reform protected under Article 31-A of the Indian Constitution.
  4. Therefore, 9 judges’ bench was asked to review the Waman Rao Judgement and determine if it needs to be overruled.


  1. Is the 9th schedule allowed to be protected from the judicial review of the Supreme Court?
  2. Whether the basic structure test include judicial review of the laws of the Ninth Schedule on the Fundamental Rights test?


Court held that it was not possible for the legislature to escape the scrutiny of the doctrine of basic structure. This doctrine is an essence of the Indian Constitution and any act, rule and regulation that violates its essence cannot be allowed in this way. If any law in the 9th schedule were inconsistent with Part III, they are liable to be struck down by the court. Therefore, the court has the power to review schedule 9 w.e.f. April 24th, 1973.


  1. Keshavananda Bharti Sripadagalvaru v. State of Kerela 1973 (Also known as Keshavananda Bharti case)


We can conclude that if any constitutional amendment violates the doctrine of basic structure, then the court has the power to strike down that depending upon its impacts and consequences.

IR Coelho case 2007 is also important for UPSC preparation; particularly it is in the syllabus of GS 2. I hope you got the clarity of the basic structure doctrine in this IR Coelho Case Summary.

Found IR Coelho vs. State of Tamil Nadu case summary useful? We have a bunch of useful topics from constitutional law that will help you in your preparation here >>> CONSTITUTIONAL LAW

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