The concept of the basic structure of the Constitution included:
- The Supremacy of the Constitution.
- A Republican and democratic form of government.
- The secular character of the Constitution.
- Separation of powers between the legislature, executive and the judiciary.
- The federal character of the Constitution.
- The mandate to build a welfare state contained in the Directive Principles of State Policy.
- The unity and integrity of the nation.
Hegde and Mukherjea identified a separate and shorter list of basic features:
- Sovereignty of India
- Democratic character of the polity
- Unity of the country
- Essential features of the individual freedoms secured to the citizens
- Mandate to build a welfare state
Jaganmohan Reddy stated that elements of the basic features were to be found in the Preamble of the Constitution and the provisions into which they translated such as:
- Sovereign democratic republic.
- Parliamentary democracy.
- Three organs of the State.