SEPARATION OF POWER

Mains Marks Booster     29th July 2023        
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  • Meaning: It implies that each pillar of democracy - the executive, legislature and judiciary – performs separate functions and acts as separate entities. 
  • There are no specific clauses addressing the doctrine of separation of powers in our Constitution. However, there are some guiding principles.
     doctrine of separation

MODELS OF SEPARATION OF POWERS:

  • Separation of power: The US has strict separation of powers, but checks and balances help govern effectively.
  • In the UK, separation of power is informal, unlike in the US.
  • Separation of powers is not strictly observed in India. Function and personnel overlap.
  • Functional overlap: SC can declare any law void passed by the legislature and executive actions if they violate the constitution or legislature-passed laws.
  • Personal overlapping: However, the executive can influence the judiciary by appointing the Chief Justice and other judges. 
  • In Indira Nehru Gandhi vs Raj Narain (1975), it was found that the Indian constitution only has a broad separation of powers, unlike the American constitution.

     constitutional provisions

Overlapping of Power between various organs in Indian Constitution:

  • Legislature
  • Ministers are derived from the Legislature and Council is responsible/accountable to the Lok Sabha.
  • The legislature exercises judicial powers in cases of breach of its privileges, impeachment of the President under Article-61 and removal of judges.
  • According to Article 105(3), the legislative body has the ability to punish. 
  • Executive 
  • The President of India is the head of the Executive at the Union level, but he is also a part of Parliament (Article 53 and 74). 
  • He has the power to promulgate an ordinance under Article-123, also the Judicial powers under Article-103(1) and Article-217(3), he has the consulting power to the SC of India under Article-143 and also the pardoning power in Article-72 of the Constitution.
  • The executive impacts the judiciary through appointing judges to the position of Chief Justice of India and other positions.
  • Judiciary
  • Under Article-142 and Article-145, the Supreme Court has the power to declare the laws passed by legislature and the actions taken by the executive unconstitutional and void in case they violate any provision of the constitution.
  • Even the power to amend the constitution by Parliament is subject to the scrutiny of the Court. 

CHECKS AND BALANCES

  • Judicial Review: Judiciary has the power to review executive and legislative action to determine if it violates the Constitution (Article 13).
  • Executive control: The Executive (President) makes appointments to the office of Chief Justice and other judges.
  • Legislative control: The legislative has the power to amend laws declared ultra vires by the Court and revalidating it.
  • Through a no-confidence vote it can dissolve the Government. It also has the power to assess works of the executive through the question hour and zero hour. 

IMPORTANT JUDGEMENTS WITH REGARD TO SEPARATION OF POWER:

  • Kesavananda Bharati Case, 1973: In this case, Sc held that amending power of the Parliament is subject to basic features of the Constitution. 
  • Indira Gandhi Vs Raj Narain Case, 1975: The Doctrine of Basic Structure was reaffirmed. SC held that to adjudicate any dispute among the parties are purely judicial function and parliament cannot do this function even by using amending power under the constitution.
  • Swaran Singh Case, 1998: The SC held that the pardon act of the governor to the convicted is unconstitutional.

Rajya Sabha chairperson Jagdeep Dhankhar 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 “laxmanrekha”.


Way forward: 

The Constitution of India is a living document and needs to be amended with the needs of the society. A Parliamentary structure with a rigid division of powers is unnecessary and unsustainable for a democratic politics and complex population such as India.  

Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS)

What is MPLADS scheme?

Under the scheme, each MP has the choice to suggest to the District Collector for public works to the tune of Rs.5 Crores per annum to be taken up in his/her constituency.  The Rajya Sabha Members of Parliament can recommend works in one or more districts in the State from where he/she has been elected.

  • The nominated members of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha can select any one or more sates for giving suggestion regarding work in that area. 

How MPLADS scheme works

MPALADS

Recent Developments


   evolution of MPLADS

  • One MP – One Idea: With "One MP - One Idea," On the express request of an MP to promote such a scheme in his or her area, competition may be held annually in each Lok Sabha constituency to pick the top three ideas for cash awards.
  • Convergence with other schemes: For the creation of durable assets, MPLADS funds could converge with MNREGS and Khelo India Schemes.
  • Interest will go to the centre: The updated rules require MPs to return interest on their Rs 5 crore development fund to the Centre.
  • Present status: The Ministry would release the MPLADS fund at Rs. 2 crore per MP in one payment for the remainder of FY 2021-22, and at Rs. 5.00 crore per MP each year from FY 2022-23 to FY 2025-26 in two instalments of Rs.2.5 crore each.
  • The new MPLAD guidelines, effective from April 1, broaden fund utilization, simplify paperwork, and prioritize durable assets based on local needs. 
  • Funds can now be used for agriculture and natural calamities, easing previous restrictions. 
  • MP discretion in fund allocation is removed to prevent reckless use and ensure public purpose. 

Significance of MPLAD

    • Good number of projects completed: 19,86,206 projects and 54,171.09 crores have been completed since the scheme began.
    • People-centric MPs: MPs were involved, local aspirations were met, and regional imbalances were addressed.
    • Work for marginalised: The MPLADS fund allocates 20 lakh per year to disabled people.
  • Antidote to favouritism: MPLADS gave opposition MPs a chance to develop their constituency, countering this favouritism.

Criticism of MPLADS scheme:

    • The scheme violates the principal of Separation of powers: Legislators are effectively given executive powers under this scheme.
    • Implementation issues: According to CAG’s report - Though the scheme envisages that works under the scheme should be limited to asset creation, 78% of the works recommended were for improvement of existing assets.
    • Under-utilization of resources: A report published in IndiaSpend has highlightd that 93.55% of MPs did not, or could not, utilise the entire MPLADS amount between 2014 and 2018.
    • Final decision rests on district authorities: As MPs only recommend the projects, but the final choice and implementation rests with the district authorities.
  • Poor quality of work: CAG report of 2019-20 highlights the use of lesser quantities of material than specified by contractors resulting in excess payments and sub-standard works.

Conclusion

There is a notable gap between scheme formulation and implementation in India, along with breakdowns in record-keeping and internal control mechanisms. It is crucial to address these loopholes, ensure efficient fund utilization, and promote development in various areas within local societies.

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