Highlight the indispensability of the doctrine of separation of powers for a democracy. Elucidate the principle of ‘checks and balances’ and discuss it in context of India.
Doctrine of separation of powers is integral to any democratic setup.
- Ensures proper checks and balances.
- Prevents tyranny of the executive.
- Ensure sanctity of constitution and fundamental rights.
- Provides avenues for citizens who have been wronged by any organ of the state.
Constitutional provisions in India:
- Article 50: separation of executive from judiciary.
- Article 121 and 211: conduct of judges cannot be discussed in Parliament or Legislative Assembly.
- Article 122 and 212: courts cannot enquire into proceedings of legislature.
- Parliament cannot curtail powers of the Supreme Court and the High Courts.
- Judges have security of tenure and fixed service conditions.
The principle of ‘checks and balances’ stands for protecting citizens against overreach by any organ of the state.
- Judicial review: courts can inquire into legislative and executive decisions.
- Impeachment of judges: Parliament can exercise control on conduct of judges.
- Ban against repeated promulgation of ordinances: As observed by the Supreme Court in Wardha and Krishna kumar cases, attempt to subvert legislative domain unconstitutional.
- Parliamentary committees scrutinizing executive actions.
The functioning of each organ in a democratic polity is important, while also ensuring they do not overstep their boundaries. Various constitutional, legal and judicial safeguards are in place to ensure separation of powers.