THE INDIAN GOVERNANCE SYSTEM : PARLIAMENTARY OR PRESIDENTIAL

There are primarily two types of governance system – Parliamentary and Presidential. The Indian Constitution has established a Parliamentary form of government. This system is similar for both the Central and State governments. It is also similar to the governance system of England.

The main reason for adopting this form of government was that its foundation in India had already been laid before the implementation of the present Constitution and we had become accustomed to it. The structure of government under the Government of India Act, 1935 was similar to it. The Constituent Assembly adopted such structure on the basis of historical tradition without considering any other option.

In the Parliamentary system, the position of the President is same as the Emperor of England. The President is the titular head of the government. The real powers are vested in elected representatives called Council of Ministers. The Prime Minister is the Head of the Council of the Ministers. The Council of Ministers is collectively responsible to the Parliament.

Although, according to the Constitution, all executive powers vest in the President, but he uses them only on the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers. There will be a Council of Ministers to assist and advise President in accordance with Article 74 (1). According to Article 75 (3) the Council of Ministers will be collectively responsible to the Parliament. Similarly, according to Article 163 (1) in respect of States, there will be a Council of Ministers and Chief Minister is the Head of the Council of Ministers in State. Article 164 (2) lays down that the Council of Ministers will be collectively responsible to the Legislative Assembly.

     The constitutional position of the Governor in the State is similar to that of the President in Centre i.e. he is the Constitutional Head of the State for name sake.

Legislative process: According to Article 110, Bills which are passed in both the Houses of the Parliament are accorded President’s assent. He is bound to give his assent on Money Bills. For other Bills he can deny his assent and send it back to the Parliament for reconsideration and if Parliament passes the same again with or without altering it, then the President is bound to give his assent. The same position is with respect to the Governor in the State under Article 200.

In Ram Jawaya Kapoor v. State of Punjab (1955) the Supreme Court determined that our Constitution has adopted the system of Parliamentary government of England. Basic principle is that the President is the Constitutional Head of the executive while the actual executive powers are vested in the Council of Ministers. In Shamsher Singh v. State of Punjab (1974) the Supreme Court held that the power to appoint and dismiss the judicial officers working in subordinate courts lies with the executive, which can be used by the President and the Governor on the advice of his Council of Ministers.

Constitution makers adopted the Parliamentary system because they had some experience of implementing it and there were many benefits of continuing well established institutions. They believed that in a  highly pluralistic and diverse society like India Parliamentary system will be the most favorable for the purpose of keeping alive the interests people.

Author & Former Judge

Comments (0)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *