‘Constitutional Morality’ is rooted in the Constitution itself and is founded on its essential facets. Explain the doctrine of ‘Constitutional Morality’ with the help of relevant judicial decisions.

Sample Answer


The doctrine of ‘Constitutional Morality’ refers to the guiding values enshrined in the Constitution that must be protected to uphold the integrity of its vision. Several judicial decisions have helped define and apply this doctrine to safeguard fundamental rights, separation of powers and rule of law.


Judicial interpretations

  • In Manoj Narula v Union of India (2014), the SC defined ‘Constitutional morality’ as the principle that provides an ability to experience constitutional provisions from a moral and ethical point of view.
  • In Navtej Johar v Union of India (2018), it emphasized Constitutional morality as the soul of the Constitution embracing within itself virtues like justice, equality and human dignity. 
  • In Lilly Thomas v Union of India (2000), the Court struck down an MP ordinance that defied the ‘basic structure’ principle.
  • In Coelho case (2007), it reasserted that Constitutional amendments must comply with basic Constitutional morality and identity. 
  • In Krishna Kumar Singh v State of Bihar (2017), it maintained that all institutions must work jointly to attain vision of the Constitution guided by ‘Constitutional morality’.
  • In T S Thakur v State of Gujarat (1980), ‘(Constitutional morality’ was described as the responsibility of authorities to respect norms of constitutional objectives and goals in official conduct.
  • In Namit Sharma v Union of India( 2013), the SC highlighted that ‘Constitutional morality’ required transparent functioning of institutions which was intrinsic to rule of law.


The doctrine of ‘Constitutional morality’ is an essential tool for interpreting Constitutional provisions to protect citizens’ rights and ensure proper functioning of democratic institutions. As the final arbiter of the Constitution, the Judiciary has been pivotal in evolving and upholding this doctrine to defend the essence and spirit of India’s democracy.

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