Administrative Law Essay examples

Submitted By Bethadronee
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The concept of Separation of Powers [1] is a model for the governance of democratic states. The three branches of the government- the legislative, the executive and the judiciary are the three distinct activities in every government through which the will of the people are expressed. The legislature makes laws, the executive enforces them and the judiciary applies them to the specific cases arising out of the breach of law. Thus, it has become a model for the governance of democratic States. This model is also known as Trias Politica, which in the non-political context means ‘separation of duties’ which, for example, includes the segregation of accounting and custodial functions.

The proponents of the separation of powers believe that it protects democracy and forestalls tyranny. Whereas, the others say that there occurs considerable overlap of powers in parliamentary democracies. If we toe the middle line, we can observe that the Doctrine of Separation of Powers is like any other system with both merits as well as demerits. Thus, across the world, there isn’t any democracy with absolute separation of powers or complete absence of it. “This doctrine (of separation of powers) has got not only relevance to the question of separation of judiciary from the legislature and the executive, it has got a vital bearing upon the whole question of federalism,” said Brajeshwar Prasad on May 30, 1949, participating in the Constituent Assembly's discussion. [2]

Lord Acton had once aptly stated, “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. [3] ” Separation of power is a way of restraining the amount of power in the hands of any group or faction, making its abuse more difficult. “The premise behind the separation of powers is that when a single person or group has a large amount of power, they can become dangerous to citizens. [4] ” Therefore, separation of powers limits the unlimited exercise of power by any branch of the government. This doctrine also helps in checking corruption and unlawful activities against the interests of the common man whom the government is supposed to serve. Each organ while performing its activities tends to interfere in the sphere of working of another functionary because a strict demarcation of functions is not possible when it comes to dealing with the general public. Thus, even when acting in ambit of their own power, overlapping functions tend to appear amongst these organs. Thus, each organ will impose ‘checks and balances’ on the other.

In India, a lot of the present debate on the separation of powers is due to the active steps that the judiciary is taking to redress the sufferings of the common man. But behind the present brouhaha over the issue of judicial ac­tivism, what is often lost sight of is the politics of a turf-war among members of a troika who are also partners in running the Indian state. Although the Constitution mandates the separation of the judiciary from the