What the importance of Leader of Opposition in the Indian polity? Enumerate the constitutional officers in India whose appointment require and don't require the concurrence from the Leader of Opposition.

Each house of the Indian parliament has a Leader of Opposition. This post is statutory via Salary and Allowances of Leaders of Opposition Act, 1977. This office derives its importance from the importance of opposition as an essential organ of the democratic setup. Opposition is vital as it helps to keep suitable checks on the governmental policies and directions. The Leader of Opposition ensures accountability of executive to legislature which is bedrock of parliamentary democracy and keeps opposition united in the house and acts as source of alternative government.
Apart from his / her being member / chairperson  of several parliamentary committees, the concurrence of Leader of opposition is needed for appointment of several constitutional and statutory officers.

  • This concurrence was required in appointment of chairman of National Judicial Appointments Commission, which would be a constitutional body but has now been quashed by Supreme Court.
  • His / her concurrence is not needed in appointment of other constitutional posts such as CAG, Finance Commission, Election Commission, UPSC, NCSC, NCST etc.

However there are several statutory and executive bodies where appointment requires concurrence of Leader of opposition is needed. These include Central Vigilance Commissioner, Chief Information Commissioner; chairman of NHRC, Chairman of Lokpal etc.

Question for UPSC Mains:
What the importance of Leader of Opposition in the Indian polity? Enumerate the constitutional officers in India whose appointment require and don’t require the concurrence from the Leader of Opposition.

Published: November 20, 2017 | Modified:June 27, 2019

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