In India, both Centre and States have misused the provision of issuing ordinances, even though it amounts to seizing the legislative powers by the executive. Critically examine.

Article 123 provides for issuance of ordinances by executive in extraordinary circumstances when legislative is not in session.

Ordinance-route – Usurpation of power by executive:

  • Legislative/law-making is a domain of the legislative in our democratic setup.
  • Escape of parliamentary oversight over laws.
  • Against principles of representative democracy, as parliament is the forum of people’s representation.
  • Reduces acceptability of bills & laws, as seen in farm protests against farm laws recently.

Constitution envisages Article 123 to be an extraordinary tool, to be used occasionally, despite this, it has been used without restraint:

  • Bihar government promulgated around 200 ordinances in a matter of short period, inspiring DC Wadhwa judgement.
  • Frequent resort to adjournment of sessions deliberately to promulgate ordinance.
  • Crucial laws such as Aadhar law, farm ordinances – promulgated via ordinance route.

In DC Wadhwa judgement, SC stated that repeated promulgation is a fraud on constitution. Thus, there is a need for objective criteria & executive restraint in this regard.


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