Separation of Powers under Indian Constitution

Separation of Powers under Indian Constitution

Separation of powers is the principle of distributing the powers of the government into different branches. The government is divided into the legislative, executive and the judiciary which are kept separate from each other. Every branch is given powers appropriate to their roles which they can exercise for the benefit of the nation. This is also known as checks and balance system as each branch is given certain powers by which they can check and balance the other branches also. One branch of the government cannot exercise the powers of the other branch.

This principle is based on the term coined by Charles-Louis de Secondat, who was a French social and political philosopher. His publication, Spirit of laws, is considered among the great works in the field of legal history and jurisprudence and it laid down the foundation of the doctrine of separation of powers.


The concept of separation of power is present throughout the constitution even if it is not mentioned explicitly. The doctrine of separation of powers does not only mean having different organs in the government but also proper coordination between the various branches of the government. In India, like stated earlier, the government is divided into three branches- the Legislative, the Executive and the Judiciary.

The Legislative branch is associated with the making of laws. It formulates laws, policies rules and regulations regarding various sections of the society. The Legislation consists of the parliament, which consists of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.

The executive branch is associated with the implementation of laws. The laws, once passed and approved in the parliament, are sent to the president for his assent. The president may send back a bill and provide suggestions if required in it. Once the necessary changes are made, the president then gives his/her assent and the bill becomes an Act . The executive branch consists of the president, the vice president and the council of ministers along with the Prime Minister as the head to aid and advise the president.

The judiciary is the third organ of the government and the role of the judiciary is to interpret the laws and protect the laws present in the constitution. The role of the court is to decide the cases by understanding the relevant facts of the case and applying the relevant laws to them. The work of the judiciary is to mainly provide justice to the aggrevied parties and to also maintain law and order. If there has been any violation of laws the judiciary has the power to rectify the problem by taking appropriate measures.



The principle of separation of powers divide the tasks of the government into three branches The powers are given in such a way that all 3 branches can keep a check on each other which does not allow concentration of power on one particular branch in a democracy and destroy the system.

By this system, a mechanism of proper powers is allotted to every organ and they can function in a systematic manner. By keeping every organ separate from each other, they can function independently and there is no interference.



Separation of powers between the three arms of the government to vital for ensuring free and fair governance, dispensation of justice and upholding of the law of the land.

Author: Vaishnavi Menon,
MIT WPU School of Law, 1st year

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