The Doctrine of Separation of Powers

Prelims level : Policies Mains level : GS-II Indian Constitution- Historical Underpinnings, Evolution, Features, Amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.
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Why in News?

  • Rajya Sabha chairperson Jagdeep Dhankhar recently said any incursion by the three organs of the government into each other’s domains has the potential to upset the governance apple cart and asserted that all should respect the “laxman rekha”.

What’s the issue?

  • There has been a “rush to file PILs on almost every issue” nowadays.

What is the doctrine of Separation of Power?

  • It refers to the model of governance where the executive, legislative and judicial powers are not concentrated in one body but instead divided into different branches.
  • It is not explicitly mentioned in the constitution.
  • Articles in the Constitution facilitating Separation of Powers are as follows.
  • Article 50: State shall take steps to separate the judiciary from the executive. This is for the purpose of ensuring the independence of the judiciary.
  • Article 122 and 212: Validity of proceedings in Parliament and the Legislatures cannot be called into question in any Court. Also, Legislators enjoy certain privileges with regard to speech and anything said in the Parliament cannot be used against them.
  • Judicial conduct of a Judge of the Supreme Court and the High Court cannot be discussed in the Parliament and the State Legislature, according to Article 121 and 211 of the Constitution.
  • Articles 53 and 154 respectively, provide that the executive power of the Union and the State shall be vested with the President and the Governor and they enjoy immunity from civil and criminal liability.
  • Article 361: The President or the Governor shall not be answerable to any court for the exercise and performance of the powers and duties of his office.
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