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SUBMITTED BY: GUNNEET KAUR 126/10, 4th semester


And I would also like to express my special gratitude and thanks to my parents and my friends. However. it would not have been possible without the kind support and help of my teacher Ms Nancy Sharma. Gunneet Kaur 1 . I would like to extend my sincere thanks to her.Acknowledgement I have taken efforts in this project.

p. State of Punjab.R.11 Kesavananda Bharati v State of Kerela.10 Re Delhi Laws Act case. State of Tamil Nadu. p. AIR 1975 SC 2299. p. AIR 1967 SC 1643.Golak Nath v State of Punjab.Table of Cases       I.10 Indira Gandhi Nehru v.9 2 . AIR 1955 SC 549. p.11 Ram Jawaya Kapoor v. Raj Narain. AIR 2007 SC 8617. AIR 1951 SC 332.C. Coelho vs.11 I. AIR 1973 SC 1461. p. p.

Separation Of Powers Under Indian Constitution 4. Conclusion 8. 1. Historical background 3. Separation of Powers and Judicial Pronouncements in India 5. Importance of the Doctrine 6. Introduction 2.Index TOPIC PAGE NO. Bibliography 4 5 7 10 13 14 16 17 3 . Criticism 7.

but acknowledging that governments have historically been the major violators of these rights.html Basu. making it more difficult to abuse. 1 2 3 http://legalservicesindia. 2004 4 .html http://www. The concept of Separation of Powers is one such measure. even when acting in ambit of their own power. in a free democracy. always be kept separate and be exercised by three separate organs of the Government. the Executive cannot exercise legislative or judicial and the Judiciary cannot exercise legislative or executive power of the Government. the executive enforces them and the judiciary applies them to the specific cases arising out of the breach of law. executive and judicial functions of the government. 2 According to the theory of separation of powers.Introduction “To become truly great. „Administrative Law‟. overlapping functions tend to appear amongst these organs. not above them. one has to stand with people. a number of measures have been derived to reduce this likelihood.legalserviceindia. Thus. Thus. These are the legislative.com/article/article/separation-of-power-in-india-usa-483-1.1 There are three distinct activities in every government through which the will of the people are expressed. The premise behind the Separation of Powers is that when a single person or group has a large amount of power. these three powers and functions of the Government must. legislature cannot exercise legislative or judicial power. they can become dangerous to citizens.. Sixth Edition. The legislative organ of the state makes laws.” Charles de Montesquieu Understanding that a government's role is to protect individual rights. Kolkata. D.com/article/l16-Separation-Of-Powers.3 But each organ while performing its activities tends to interfere in the sphere of working of another functionary because a strict demarcation of functions is not possible in their dealings with the general public.D. namely the legislature. the executive and the judiciary. Kamal Law House. Corresponding to these three activities are three organs of the government. The Separation of Power is a method of removing the amount of power in any group's hands.

4 http://legalservicesindia. scientifically and clearly in his book „Esprit des Lois‟ (The Spirit of the Laws).com/article/article/separation-of-power-in-india-usa-483-1. Legislative and the Judiciary. In the 16th and 17th centuries. published in the year 1748. Montesquieu found that if the power is concentrated in a single person‟s hand or a group of people then it results in a tyrannical form of government. Executive. To avoid this situation with a view to checking the arbitrariness of the government he suggested that power of governance there should be clear cut division of power between the three organs of the state i. Montesquieu had clearly misconstrued the statement pertaining to the British constitution and later on he was criticized and in a very sarcastic manner its criticism was made.4 Montesquieu’s Doctrine Though the doctrine of Separation of Power is traceable to Aristotle but the writings of Locke and Montesquieu gave it a base on which modern attempts to distinguish between legislative. This made Montesquieu propound the above said theory and according to this it was held that each organ of the state should be confined to its own spheres i. The model was first developed in ancient Greece and came into widespread use by the Roman Republic as part of the un-codified Constitution of the Roman Republic. But it was Montesquieu who for the first time formulated this doctrine systematically. Montesquieu studied the English constitution for two years and after that he came to the conclusion that the stability of the English Constitution is because of its adherence of the separation of power. Its origin is traceable to Plato and Aristotle. executive and judicial power is grounded.e.Historical Background The separation of powers is a model for the governance of both democratic and federative states.e. French philosopher John Bodin and British politician Locke expressed their views about the theory of separation of powers.html 5 . The doctrine of separation of powers has emerged in several forms at different periods. there should not be any overlapping of jurisdictions of the organs of the state.

The constituent Assembly of France in 1789 was of the view that “there would be nothing like a Constitution in the country where the doctrine of separation of power is not accepted”. However the Jacobins.in/law/ejournals/previous/article3-v1i2. Later Rousseau also supported the said theory propounded by Montesquieu. 5 5 http://www. In France.pdf 6 . The mere existence of the cabinet system negates the doctrine of separation of power in England as the executive represented by the cabinet remains in power at the sweet will of the parliament. England follows the parliamentary form of government where the crown is only a titular head.After the end of the war of independence in America by 1787 the founding fathers of the American constitution drafted the constitution of America and in that itself they inserted the Doctrine of separation of power and by this America became the first nation to implement the Doctrine of separation of power throughout the world.nirmauni.ac. But it again found its place in the French Constitution of 1871. Napoleon I and Napoleon III discarded the above theory for they believed in the concentration of power. where the doctrine was preached with great force by Montesquieu. it was held by the more moderate parties in the French Revolution.

The High Courts and the Supreme Court has been given the power of judicial review and they can declare any law passed by parliament as unconstitutional.Separation of Powers under Indian Constitution On a casual glance at the provisions of the Constitution of India. The Supreme Court and High Courts are given the power of judicial review and they can declare any law passed by the Parliament or the Legislature unconstitutional. Functional overlapping: The President‟s function and powers are enumerated in the Constitution itself.C. Lucknow.6 No rigid separation of powers: In Indian constitution. Judiciary is independent in its field and there can be no interference with its judicial functions either by the executive or the legislature. Parliament is competent to make any law subject to the provisions of the Constitution and there is no other limitation on it legislative power. 2005 7 . executive powers are with the President. by articles 53(1) and 154(1). respectively. I. one may be inclined to say that that the doctrine of Separation of Powers is accepted in India. Eastern book Company. The Judiciary is independent in its field and there can be no interference with its judicial functions either by the Executive or by the Legislature. The judges of the S. High Courts and Subordinate Courts). there is express mention that the executive power of the Union and of a State is vested by the constitution in the President and the Governor. Sixth Edition. legislative powers with Parliament and judicial powers with Judiciary (Supreme Court. but there is no corresponding provision vesting the legislative and judicial powers in any particular organ. Constitution restricts the discussion of the conduct of any judge in the Parliament. It has accordingly been held that there is no rigid separation of powers. are appointed by the 6 Massey.. Under the Indian Constitution. Although prima facie it appears that our constitution has based itself upon doctrine of separation of powers. „Administrative Law‟.P.

C. in certain matters Parliament exercises judicial functions too. It is noteworthy that Article 50 of the constitution puts an obligation over state to take steps to separate the judiciary from the executive. It can decide the question of breach of its privilege. In a similar fashion certain constitutional provisions also provide for Powers. Like while issuing an ordinance. The President and the Governor enjoy immunity from civil and criminal liabilities. the Real head is the Prime minister along with his Council of Ministers. The executive is a part of the legislature. the executive power vests in the President but. Privileges and Immunities to the MPs.C. The Constitution provides for conferment of executive power on the President. The reading of Article 74(1) makes it clear that the executive head has to act in accordance with the aid and advice given by the cabinet. under some specified circumstances President is also empowered to exercise legislative functions. it is clear that doctrine of separation of powers has not been accepted in India in its strict sense. President performs judicial functions also under article 103 (1) and article 217(3). Generally the legislature is the repository of the legislative power but. etc. in reality he is only a formal head and that. has power to make Rules for efficient conduction of business.President in consultation with the CJI and judges of the S. It is responsible to the legislature for its actions and also it derives its authority from legislature. But. both the houses take active participation and decide the charges 8 . if studied carefully. But. since it is a parliamentary form of government. His powers and functions are enumerated in the constitution itself. These were some instances of the executive head becoming the repository of legislative functioning. framing rules and regulations relating to Public service matters. Parliamentary executive: In India. However. in a way. therefore it is based upon intimate contact and close co-ordination among the legislative and executive wings. The S. Immunity from judicial scrutiny into the proceedings of the house . formulating law while proclamation of emergency is in force. Such provisions are thereby making legislature independent. On the other side. since it is a Directive Principle of State Policy. therefore it‟s unenforceable. and in case of impeaching the President.

Also. it is clear that a legislature is created by the constitution and detailed provisions are made for making that legislature pass laws. The doctrine has. this doesn‟t mean that this doctrine is not followed in India at all. it‟s quite evident from the constitutional provisions themselves that India. in India. It has legislative power also which is reflected in formulation of rules regulating their own procedure for the conduct and disposal of cases So. that.html 9 . wherein.J. In essence they imported the modern doctrine of separation of powers. C. Thus. This observation was made by the Supreme Court in the re Delhi Laws Act case7.. 8 7 8 · AIR 1951 SC 332 http://www.com/article/l16-Separation-Of-Powers. But. rather based upon fusion of powers. The reason for the interdependence can be accorded to the parliamentary form of governance followed in our country.legalserviceindia. observed-Although in the constitution of India there is no express separation of powers. Except where the constitution has vested power in a body. thus. in some form or the other. it was held by a majority of 5:2. every organ of the government is required to perform all the three types of functions. But. As Kania. it was also held that except for exceptional circumstances like in Article 123 and 357.Judiciary. the theory of separation of powers is not part and parcel of our Constitution. where a close co-ordination amongst the principal organs is unavoidable and the constitutional scheme itself mentions it. dependant on the other organ which checks and balances it. not been awarded a Constitutional status. being a parliamentary democracy. the principle that one organ should not perform functions which essentially belong to others is followed. each organ is. too can be seen exercising administrative functions when it supervises all the subordinate courts below. does not follow an absolute separation and is. it is evident that constitution intends that the powers of legislation shall be exercised exclusively by the Legislature.

who exercise both legislative and executive functions. namely the union. State of Punjab9. Later in I. The executive. the Executive and the Judiciary.C. in Ram Jawaya Kapoor v.Golak Nath v State of Punjab10 Subha Rao. for its legitimacy. there were times where the judiciary has faced tough challenges in maintaining and preserving the Doctrine of separation of power and it has in the process of preservation of the above said Doctrine has delivered landmark judgments which clearly talks about the independence of judiciary as well as the success of judiciary in India for the last six decades. It creates three major instruments of power. we follow a separation of functions and not of powers. C.Separation of Powers and Judicial Pronouncements in India As clearly mentioned about the separation of power. It demarcates their jurisdiction minutely and expects them to exercise their respective powers without overstepping there limits. namely the Legislature. An example of it can be seen in the exercise of functions by the Cabinet ministers. They should function with the spheres allotted to them” The above opinion of the court clearly states the change in the courts view pertaining to the opinion in the case of Ram Jawaya v state of Punjab related to the doctrine of separation of power. we don‟t abide by the principle in its rigidity.C. thus. This was the observation made by the Hon‟ble S. In India. And hence. the state and the union territories. Article 74(1) wins them an upper hand over the executive by making their aid and advice mandatory for the formal head. 9 10 AIR 1955 SC 549 AIR 1967 SC 1643 10 .J opined that “The constitution brings into existence different constitutional entitles. is derived from the legislature and is dependent on it.

election was pending before the Supreme Court. State of Tamil Nadu. The principle of Separation of Power is a principle of restraint which has in it the precept. None of the three separate organs of the republic can take over the functions assigned to the other. There are attempts made to dilute the principle. it discharged a judicial function which according to the principle of separation it shouldn‟t have done.On the question that where the amending power of the Parliament does lies and whether Article 368 confers an unlimited amending power on Parliament.C. where the dispute regarding P. took the opinion opined by the Supreme court in Kesavananda Bharati case pertaining to the doctrine of basic structure and held that the Ninth Schedule is violative of the above said doctrine and hence from now on the Ninth Schedule will be amenable to judicial review which also forms part of the basic structure theory. Beg. the parliament does not have the jurisdiction to perform a function which the other organ is responsible for otherwise there will be chaos as there will be overlapping of the jurisdictions of the three organs of the state.M. in Kesavananda Bharati v State of Kerela11 held that amending power was now subject to the basic features of the constitution. any amendment tampering these essential features will be struck down as unconstitutional.R. So. Then in Indira Gandhi Nehru v. No constitution can survive without a conscious adherence to its fine check and balance. And hence. won‟t be void. 11 12 AIR 1973 SC 1461 AIR 1975 SC 2299 13 AIR 2007 SC 8617 11 .M. the main ground on which the amendment was held ultravires was that when the constituent body declared that the election of P. the S. added that separation of powers is a part of the basic structure of the constitution.e. even under constitutional amending power. cannot exercise i. that discretion is the better part of valor. This scheme cannot be changed even by resorting to Article 368 of the constitution. opined that adjudication of a specific dispute is a judicial function which parliament. Chandrachud J. innate in the prudence of self preservation.13 S. J. to the level of usurpation of judicial power by the legislature.C. Raj Narain12. Also in I. The place of this doctrine in Indian context was made a bit clearer after this judgment. also observed that the political usefulness of doctrine of Separation of Power is not widely recognized. Coelho vs.

which constitute a part of „basic structure‟ doctrine so much so that.Though in India strict separation of powers is not followed but. Therefore. 12 . not even by amending the constitution and if any such amendment is made. the principle of „checks and balances‟. the court will strike it down as unconstitutional. none of the three organs can usurps the essential functions of the organs. a part of this doctrine is.

14 14 http://www.e. Also the importance of the above said doctrine can be traced back to as early as 1789 where the constituent Assembly of France in 1789 was of the view that “there would be nothing like a Constitution in the country where the doctrine of separation of power is not accepted”. Hence the Doctrine of separation of power do plays a vital role in the creation of a fair government and also fair and proper justice is dispensed by the judiciary as there is independence of judiciary. The judiciary is the scale through which one can measure the actual development of the state if the judiciary is not independent then it is the first step towards a tyrannical form of government i. power is concentrated in a single hand and if it is so then there is a cent percent chance of misuse of power.e.airwebworld. it should be free from the other organs of the state and if it is so then justice would be delivered properly.php?article=1512 13 . The main object as per Montesquieu in the Doctrine of separation of power is that there should be government of law rather than having willed and whims of the official Also another most important feature of the above said doctrine is that there should be independence of judiciary i.Importance of the Doctrine The doctrine of separation of power in its true sense is very rigid and this is one of the reasons of why it is not accepted by a large number of countries in the world.com/articles/index.

pdf 14 . may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny. executive and judicial in the same hands whether of one. According to Justice Frankfurter “Enforcement of a rigid conception of separation of powers would make modern government impossible. The distinction must be drawn between essential and incidental powers and that one organ of government cannot usurp upon the essential functions belonging to another organ Practical difficulties in its acceptance: in practice it has not been found possible to concentrate power of one kind in one organ only. Chaos would prevail if the same man or the same body were to exercise the three powers.Criticism The legislature. 15 http://www.” 15 Division of function: The assumption behind the doctrine of separation of powers is that the three functions of the government are divisible from each other.” Adherence to it not possible in welfare state: As we know the legislature can only legislate and the executive can only punish anyone who commits a breach of privilege. The legislature does not act merely as law making body. The fact however is that it is not so in reality. or many and whether hereditary. legislative. In principle each organ should be able to perform its function independent of the other organs and no organ should perform functions that belong to the other. self-appointed or elective. Organic separation: The theory is criticized on the ground that the government is an organic unity and absolute demarcation of powers is impossible. It is neither practicable nor desirable to divide it into three water-tight compartments.ac. a few. “The accumulation of all powers. So this theory cannot be accepted in its entirety because separation of powers can only be relative and not absolute. the Judiciary and the Executive are the three pillars of a stable government. The aim of the doctrine of the Separation of Powers is to “bring exclusiveness in the functioning of the three organs.nirmauni. There is overlapping with each other.in/law/ejournals/previous/article3-v1i2. neither of these two can assume the powers of the other.

In the words of Finer. the administrative organ has legislative function.but also act as an overseer of the executive. The judiciary has not only judicial functions but also has some rule making powers. „Administrative Law‟. JJR. Central Law Agency. At one point of time this theory held great value against the despotism of a king and later of a parliament. Although Montesquieu‟s doctrine aims to secure the liberty and freedom of the individual yet it is impossible to achieve the same through the mechanical division of functions and powers. What is required is not separation of powers but „co-ordination‟ or „articulation‟ of powers. Some have argued that while functions may be demarcated powers should always remain supreme.16 Thus separation of powers is not only practically impossible but theoretically absurd too. Such despotism does not exist today.” 16 Upadhya. 7 th ed. “the theory of separation of powers throws government into alternative conditions of coma and convulsion. 2006 15 . Although this doctrine of separation of powers ensures a certain degree of efficiency it can even give rise to jealousy. The modern day governments require protection against the domination of parliament and of civil servants. Rule of Law accompanied by eternal vigilance are the mainstay of freedom and liberty. But it is impossible to perform functions without the necessary powers. The separation of powers is too mechanical in nature to be of any avail against these types of domination. suspicion and internal friction.

even after distinguishing the functions. then providing absolute and sole discretion to the body in the matters regarding its sphere of influence may also cause abuse of such power. the doctrine of separation of powers is a theoretical concept and is impracticable to follow it absolutely The doctrine of separation of power in its true sense is very rigid and this is one of the reasons of why it is not accepted by a large number of countries in the world.Conclusion “Power corrupts and absolute Power tends to corrupt absolutely” -Lord Acton Conferment of power in a single body leads to absolutism. So the framers of the Indian constitution did not incorporate a strict doctrine of separation of powers but envisaged a system of „checks and balances. But. Therefore.. 16 . when an authority wields public power.

„Administrative Law‟.D. D.ac. Central Law Agency.P. „Administrative Law‟..Bibliography BOOKS: Basu.pdf 17 .com/articles/index. 2004 Massey.. Kamal Law House.airwebworld. 2006 WEBSITES: http://legalservicesindia.html http://www. JJR. Sixth Edition.in/law/ejournals/previous/article3-v1i2. I. Sixth Edition. 7th ed.nirmauni.com/article/article/separation-of-power-in-india-usa-483-1. 2005 Upadhya. Eastern book Company. Lucknow. „Administrative Law‟.php?article=1512 http://www. Kolkata.

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