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Judicial Doctrines, List of Doctrines of Indian Constitution

Judicial Doctrines

Judicial Doctrine is a principle, concept, or stance that is frequently used and maintained by legal authorities. There are various judicial theories that evolve throughout time in accordance with the interpretations provided by the judiciary in Indian constitutional law as well.

Read More: Fundamental Rights of Indian Constitution

List of Judicial Doctrines in Indian Constitution

Here is the complete List of Doctrines in the Constitution of India provided below:

Doctrine Summary  Application 
Doctrine of Pith and substance Incidental effects or encroachments are permissible at times, keeping true nature & substance in mind. State of Bombay Vs. F.N. Balsara case: Bombay Prohibition Act was held valid by the court because it was in its pith and substance and fell under the State List though it was impacting the import of liquor, a subject in the union list.
Doctrine of
Colourable Legislation
If something can’t be done directly, it can’t be done indirectly. This applies in cases where the legislature seeks to do in an indirect manner which it cannot do directly. State of Bihar v. Kameshwar Singh Case: The Court applied the concept of the Doctrine of Colorable Law to declare Bihar Land Reforms Act 1950 as illegal.  Though the law was brought to lay down the principle of compensation, it laid down no such principle and therefore deprived the petitioner of any compensation.
Doctrine of
Delegated Legislation
Executive authority is given powers by primary legislation to make laws or other similar instruments. D.S. Gerewal v State of Punjab, 1959: Court had applied this doctrine to declare that the All India Service Act, 1951 was constitutional. It was held that there is nothing mentioned in Article 312 of the Indian Constitution that takes away the power of delegation.
Doctrine of Necessity Used to justify the violation of rights or extra-constitutional by the state in extreme situations to restore peace and stability. Gullapalli Nageshwar Rao vs State of Andhra Pradesh: The court ruled that this doctrine has to be invoked but only in exceptional cases.
Doctrine of Pleasure Except for the provisions provided by the Constitution, the civil servants hold the office at the pleasure of the President or the Governor as the case may be. Union of India v. Balbir Singh: The Supreme Court held that it had the power to examine the satisfaction on the basis of which the President or the Governor dismissed a public servant. If the satisfaction is unrelated to the security of the State then it would be considered irrelevant and the Court can hold such dismissal invalid.
Doctrine of Eclipse Fundamental rights infringing pre-constitutional law will only be deemed unenforceable, not declared null or void from the start. Bhikaji vs State of MP case 1955: The doctrine of the eclipse was applied in this case. Provisions of the CP and Berar motor vehicle amendment act 1947, were infringing the 19(1)(g). The court held that we will not make the full act void but eclipse those provisions which are violative of Article 19 (1) (g).
Doctrine of Severability If any of the laws enforced are inconsistent with the provisions of fundamental rights, then the courts will treat only the objectionable provision as unlawful and not the entire law. State of Bombay v. R. M. D. Chamarbaugwala:  This Principle was derived by the court in this case and has been applied in the A. K Gopalan vs State of Madras case where preventive detention was removed from Section 14 to make it lawful. In the Minerva Mills vs Union of India (1980), Section 4 of the 42nd Amendment Act, 1976 was struck down for being outside of Parliament’s amending competence, while the rest of the Act was found lawful
Doctrine of
Territorial Nexus
Any legislature can pass legislation on issues outside its territorial jurisdiction only if it creates a territorial nexus. Tata Iron And Steel Company vs. Bihar State:  The state of Bihar passed a Sales Tax Act for the levy of sales tax. But after that, the Issue arises whether the sale was concluded within the state or outside if the goods were produced, found and manufactured in the state. But the court held there was sufficient territorial nexus and upheld the Act as valid.
Doctrine of
Implied Powers
The powers that are not given directly by a Constitution to a certain authority like parliament or the Supreme Court. However, it is assumed that these powers are required for the proper discharge of the obligations set forth in the Constitution. Bidi Leaves and Tobacco Merchant’s Association v. The State of Bombay: In this case, the Supreme Court talked about the applicability of the Doctrine of Implied Powers. According to the court, this doctrine of implied power can only be invoked where the material provision of the Act would be impossible to enforce without the said power.
Doctrine of
Incidental or Ancillary powers 
It indicates that if a legislative body has the power to legislate on a particular matter, then they have the power to legislate on ancillary or connected topics, reasonably related to that matter. State of Rajasthan v. G Chawla (1958): In this case, the Supreme court held that “The power to legislate on a topic of legislation carries with it the power to legislate on an ancillary issue that can be regarded to be reasonably covered by the authority granted.
Doctrine of Precedent Hierarchy or precedence is established by Article 141 of the Indian Constitution which states that laws or decisions declared by the Supreme Court are binding on all courts within the territory of India. Mohd. Ahmed Khan v. Shah Bano Begum Case:  It was held that the Supreme Court’s interpretation of religious texts is a binding precedent.
Doctrine of
Harmonious Construction
In case of any inconsistency between statutes, proper harmonisation is to be done between the conflicting parts so that one part does not defeat the purpose of another. Sri Shankari Prasad Singh Deo Vs Union of India, 1951: Court used the Harmonious Construction Rule to bring harmonisation between  Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles of State Policy. It was determined that Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles of State Policy are two sides of the same coin that must be worked together for the greater good. In the case, it was held that the Fundamental rights may be revoked under certain circumstances and modified by Parliament to bring them into compliance with constitutional provisions.

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What does the meaning of judicial doctrine?

A judicial doctrine is a principle, belief, or position, often held by authorities such as courts

What are the doctrines of judicial review?

judicial review, power of the courts of a country to examine the actions of the legislative, executive, and administrative arms of the government and to determine whether such actions are consistent with the constitution.

What is Doctrine of Eclipse?

According to the Doctrine of Eclipse, laws that violate fundamental rights are not always unconstitutional.

What does Doctrine of Pith and Substance signify?

The doctrine holds that the state and union legislatures are made paramount within their respective areas and should not intrude onto the territory designated for the other.

What does doctrine of severability mean?

When a certain law provision violates or conflicts with a constitutional requirement and is severable from the remainder of the statute, only that provision will be found invalid.

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