Kesavananda Bharati, head of 'Edneer Mutt', passes away

Kasaragod: Kesavananda Bharati, the seer from Edneer Mutt whose property rights case in the Supreme Court in 1973 helped define basic rights under the Constitution, died early on Sunday at his 'ashram' in Kasaragod.

He was 79.

Kesavananda had filed a case challenging the Constitution (29th Amendment) Act, 1972, questioning the Kerala government move to take over the mutt property.

It came at a time when the Indira Gandhi-led government had made changes to the the 24th, 25th, 26th and 29th amendments of the Constitution to get the court to rule in favour of the government in bank nationalisation and privy purses cases.

Senior lawyer Nani Palkhivala fought the case for Kesavananda, an ardent follower of 'Advaita' philosophy, in which the then chief justice of India Sarv Mitra Sikri formed a 12-judge panel to preside over the case.

The Constitution bench ruled a wafer-thin 7-6 verdict that Parliament cannot alter the basic structure of the Constitution. Asianet Online