The Ninth Schedule of the Indian Constitution was added through the First Constitutional Amendment Act of 1951. It provides a way for laws to be immunized from judicial scrutiny by courts on the grounds of violating fundamental rights.
In other words, any law included in the Ninth Schedule cannot be challenged in court on the basis of violating fundamental rights, as guaranteed under Part III of the Indian Constitution. This was done in order to protect laws that were passed to implement social and economic reforms from being struck down by courts.
Initially, the Ninth Schedule had only 13 laws, but over the years, many laws have been added to it. Today, it includes more than 250 laws. Some of the important laws included in the Ninth Schedule are:
However, in 2007, the Supreme Court in the landmark case of I.R. Coelho vs. State of Tamil Nadu declared that the laws included in the Ninth Schedule are not immune from from judicial review if they infringe the basic structure of the Constitution
This means that if any provision in the Ninth Schedule infringes the fundamental structure of the Constitution, it can be overturned by court. The basic structure doctrine refers to the idea that there are certain fundamental features of the Constitution that cannot be amended by the Parliament, even through constitutional amendments.
In conclusion, the Ninth Schedule of the Indian Constitution provides immunity to laws from being challenged on the basis of violating fundamental rights, but it is not absolute and laws can still be struck down if they violate the basic structure of the Constitution.
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