Democratic country has a system of government in which the powers are divided among various branches which control different facet of government, India being a democratic country has its power divided into the branches namely Legislative, Executive and Judiciary, known as called the trias politica model with each branch having its separate independent power and responsibilities.
WHAT IS SEPARATION OF POWERS
Separation of powers is the mechanism of governance in three branches i.e., as specified above Legislative, Executive and Judiciary.
Three basic features of this division are-
- Each organ should have different persons in capacity
- One organ should not interfere in the functioning of the other organs, i.e., there shall be independency of powers.
- One organ should not exercise a function of another
Separation of power prevents misuse of power of accumulation of power in a few hands, separation of power safeguards the society from arbitrary and irrational power of the state.
NOW LET US UNDERSTAND EACH OF THESE BRANCHES SEPARATELY
Legislature is the law-making body; it has the authority to make laws for a political entity such as a country. Law enacted by the legislature is usually known as primary legislation. Legislature forms the base for the functioning of the other two organs.
Executive is the administrative head of the government which includes Prime/Chief Ministers and President/Governors. Executive is completely dependent on the powers the legislature grants it, and the actions of the executive may or may not be subject to judicial review.
The Judiciary is the watchdog of the democracy, as it guards the constitution, the judiciary comprises of the Supreme Court, the High Courts, District and other subordinate courts.
SIGNIFICANCE OF SEPARATION OF POWERS
Concentration of power in one centre/authority, can lead to maladministration, corruption, nepotism and abuse of power.
Separation of powers helps in-
- Preventing autocracy
- Create efficient administration
- Independency of power is maintained
- Prevents the legislature from enacting arbitrary or unconstitutional laws
CONSTITUTIONAL STATUS ON SEPARATION OF POWERS IN INDIA
Separation of powers is a part of the basic structure of the Constitution,
Let us take a look at some of the articles of the Constitution which suggest separation of powers-
Separation of judiciary from executive, this article suggests that the State shall take steps to separate the judiciary from the executive in the public services of the State.
The President, being the executive head of the country, is empowered to exercise legislative powers (Promulgate ordinances) in certain conditions.
Articles 121 and 211
These provide that the legislatures cannot discuss the conduct of a judge of the Supreme Court or High Court. They can do so only in case of impeachment.
The President and Governors enjoy immunity from court proceedings.
JUDICIAL PRONOUNCEMENT ON SEPARATION OF POWERS
Kesavananda Bharati and ors v. State of Kerala
The SC held that the amending power of the Parliament is subject to the basic features of the Constitution. So, any amendment violating the basic features will be declared unconstitutional.
I.R. Coelho v. State of Tamil Nadu
The Supreme Court held that the doctrine of basic structure as propounded in the above-mentioned case and the Ninth schedule grant blanket protection to certain legislations from judicial review is violative of this doctrine.
Ram Jawaya Kapoor V State of Punjab
The court held that the Indian Constitution has not indeed recognized the doctrine of separation of powers in its absolute rigidity but the functions of the different parts or branches of the government have been sufficiently differentiated and consequently it can be very well said that our Constitution does not contemplate assumption by one organ or part of the state of functions that essentially belong to another.
P Kannadasan V State of Tamil Nadu
The court held, “the Constitution has invested the Constitutional Courts with the power to invalidate laws made by Parliament and the state legislatures transgressing Constitutional limitations.
Golak Nath v. State of Punjab
It was observed that the three organs of the government are expected to exercise their functions within their limits and keeping in mind certain encroachments assigned by the constitution.
Kartar Singh v. State of Punjab
The judge stated, “it’s the function of the legislature to make the law, the executive to implement the law and the judiciary to interpret the law within the limits set down by the Constitution.”
From this article it can be concluded that separation of power is important in order to prevent its accumulation in a few hands, separation of power also helps in preventing the misuse of power. However absolute separation of power cannot be given as a result there is an inter-relation among all the three branches.
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ARTICLE WRITTEN BY VYSHNAVI