Comment on the nature of Ordinance-making power of the President of India. What safeguards are there against possible misuse?

Published: July 11, 2019

The power to promulgate an ordinance is the most important legislative power of the President of India. Under Article 123, the President can promulgate an ordinance, when

  • ​​both the Houses of Parliament are not in session (only one House is in session), and
  • ​​he is satisfied that circumstances exist which render it necessary.

The ordinance has same force and effect as an Act of Parliament so cannot be challenged on the grounds of malafide. It must be passed on any of the matters upon which Parliament has power to make laws.

Constitutional Safeguards against possible misuse:

Article 123(a) says that such ordinance

  • ​Shall be laid down before both Houses of Parliament on reassembly of Parliament.
  • ​​It shall cease to operate if not passed by both Houses.
  • ​​It may be withdrawn before the period of six weeks by passing a resolution disapproving it.
  • ​​It may be withdrawn by the President.
  • ​Its Constitutionality can be challenged in the same way as an Act of Parliament.

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