The structure, organization, and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary is a vast topic that should be covered in different parts. Read the article to know more about the Structure, organization, and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary.
India has a parliamentary system of government with a separation of powers among the executive, legislative, and judicial branches.
The executive and judiciary in India play distinct but interconnected roles in the governance of the country. While the executive formulates and implements policies, the judiciary ensures that these policies and actions are by the Constitution and the rule of law.
This separation of powers is essential for upholding democracy and protecting citizens’ rights in India.
The Union Executive
The Union Executive is included in Chapter I of Part V of the Indian Constitution (Articles 52 to 78). The Union Executive’s role in the Indian parliamentary system is extremely important.
The President, Vice-President, Council of Ministers, and Attorney-General make up the Union Executive. The leader of the state in whose name the executive powers are conferred but who does not exercise them is the President of the Union.
The nominal or titular executive is made up of them (de jure head). At the union level, the Prime Minister and his council of ministers execute all the authority granted to the nominal executive. They are the actual executive (de facto head).
The executive branch of the Indian State is headed by the President.
- The executive power of the Union is vested in the President under Article 53 of the Indian Constitution and may be exercised by him directly or through officers who report to him in conformity with the Constitution.
- He is the Armed Forces Supreme Commander.
- He has the first rank under the warrant of precedence and is the first citizen of India.
- In his name, every executive decision is made.
According to Article 63, there shall be a vice president. In the event of the current President’s death, resignation, or removal from office, he serves as President of the Rajya Sabha/Council of State ex officio (Article 65)During the President’s absence, illness, or for any other reason, the Vice President may also carry out the President’s duties (Article 65)
In addition to leading the Council of Ministers, the Prime Minister serves as the President of India’s top advisor.
- If he is a member of the Lok Sabha, he must be 25 years old, or he must be 30 years old if he is a member of the Rajya Sabha.
- He must be the head of the political party with a majority in the Lok Sabha, however, he may be a member of either of the two chambers of Parliament.
- All of the government’s policies are coordinated by him.
- The Prime Minister shall be selected by the President, and the other Ministers shall be appointed by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister, according to Article 75(1) of the Constitution.
Council of ministers
According to Article 74 of the Constitution, there shall be a Council of Ministers, headed by the Prime Minister, to assist and advise the President, who shall follow their recommendations when performing his duties.
- The total number of Ministers in the Council of Ministers, including the Prime Minister, shall not be more than 15% of the total number of House of People members (added by the 91st Constitutional Amendment Act, 2003).
- The President’s pleasure governs the ministers’ tenure in office.
- The Lok Sabha/House of the People is the body to whom the Council of Ministers is collectively answerable.
Cabinet: The Cabinet is a subset of the Council of Ministers and consists of senior ministers who hold key portfolios. The Cabinet discusses and decides on major policies and issues.
Civil Services: The Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and the Indian Police Service (IPS), among others, are part of the permanent executive bureaucracy. These civil servants play a crucial role in implementing government policies and programs.
- The nation’s top law enforcement official is the Attorney General.
- The position of Attorney General of India is established by Article 76 of the Constitution of India.
- On the recommendation of the government, the President appoints the Attorney General.
- The President has the authority to fire the attorney general.
Also Read: Attorney General – ClearIAS
An essential component of Indian politics is the executive. In times of emergency, the executive’s federal structure was changed to a unitary one, and the union executive was given complete control over the state executive.
The State Executive
The State Executive is the branch of state government in charge of administering the state and enforcing the law. The Governor serves as the official leader of the State Executive, while the Chief Minister leads the Council of Ministers and is the state’s attorney general.
The legislature, the executive branch, and the judiciary make up the three branches of the government, which is built on the separation of powers. Enforcing laws passed by the legislature and managing state governance are roles assigned to the state executive.
The following individuals make up the State Executive:
- Chief Minister
- Council of Ministers
- Advocate General of the State
- Non-Political Permanent Executive – Civil Servants
- Law enforcement: The major duty here is to uphold the rule of law and keep the state’s law and order.
- Developing policies: The executive is tasked with making policies and preparing for development.
- Lawmaking-related duties: Ministers also participate in drafting laws because they are legislators.
- Delegated Legislation: The legislature gives the executive branch additional power to enact laws.
- Financial Functions: Although the legislation is the guardian of all finances, the executive is in charge of creating budgets and collecting and disbursing tax money.
- Quasi-Judicial Functions: One of its quasi-judicial functions is to appoint judges for the lower courts and tribunal members.
An integrated judicial system with the Supreme Court at the top and the high court below it has been established under the Indian constitution.
There is a system of inferior courts below the HC. The Government of India Act of 1935, which was implemented, established a single system of courts to uphold both federal and state laws.
Supreme Court of India
The Supreme Court and the High Court are at the top and bottom, respectively, of an integrated legal system established by the Indian constitution. There is a system of inferior courts below the HC.
The Government of India Act of 1935, which was implemented, established a single system of courts to uphold both federal and state laws.
In the USA, however, separate courts—one at the federal level and the other at the state level—enforce both federal and state laws.
The GoI, 1935 provisions led to the establishment of the SC as India’s federal court. Part V of the constitution deals with the SC’s structure, independence, remit, authority, and processes in Articles 124 to 147. The legislature has the power to regulate them
High courts serve as lower courts in India’s judicial hierarchy than the Supreme Court. A high court and a system of lower courts make up the state’s judicial system. When the high courts were established in Bombay, Calcutta, and Madras in 1862, the High Court institution was born in India.
According to the Indian Constitution, there is a high court for each state, but the Parliament has the power to establish a common high court for two or more states.
A state’s territory and a high court’s territorial jurisdiction are contiguous. Additionally, the Parliament has the authority to increase or decrease a high court’s jurisdiction over a Union Territory.
Also Read: Writs jurisdiction
Below the High Courts are subordinate courts, which include district courts and other specialized courts. These courts handle cases at the district and lower levels, including civil, criminal, and family matters.
At the district and state levels, these courts serve as an adjunct to the High Court.
The following provisions are made by Articles 233 to 237 in Part VI of the constitution to control how subordinate courts are set up and to guarantee their independence from the executive.
District judge appointments: The governor consults with the high court before making any appointments.
Structure and jurisdiction
The organization, jurisdiction, and nomenclature of the subordinate judiciary are laid down by the states
There are three tiers of civil and criminal courts below the high court.
- Sessions judge’s court (district level)
- Chief Judicial Magistrate court
- Judicial magistrate court
- District Judge
- Subordinate Judge’s court
- Munsiff’s court
The district judge is the most senior member of the judicial branch. In both civil and criminal cases, he has both original and appellate authority.
He is referred to as the district judge when handling civil cases and as the session judge when hearing criminal proceedings. A convicted felon could get both life in prison and the death penalty from the session’s judge. However, the High Court should affirm such a judgment.
Independence of Judiciary
Although the idea of judicial independence is relatively new, it is largely acknowledged as a distinguishing feature of a liberal democratic society. However, there is no definition of independence in the Indian Constitution.
Judicial independence, in terms of law, is the capacity to uphold the Rule of Law, individual liberty and freedom, equality before the law, and impartial, effective judicial oversight of the administrative and executive functions of the Government free from bias or fear.
As a result, no other organ or branch of the government should have any authority over the judicial arm of the state. According to this perspective, judicial independence is founded on the fact that the courts have the power to exercise their authority free from influence from the executive branch.
When a claim is made by the impacted party, the judiciary has the authority to assess any act or order made by the legislative or executive branches and to rule on its constitutionality. The Indian Constitution itself confers the authority for judicial review (Articles 13, 32, 136, 142, and 147 of the Constitution).
India has an independent judiciary with broad authority over legislative and executive actions. It is possible to define judicial review as the doctrine that allows the judiciary to assess legislative and executive decisions. It is typically seen as the foundation of an independent judiciary (Indira Gandhi vs. Raj Narain case).
The three types of judicial review, however, are reviews of legislative activities, reviews of judicial decisions, and reviews of administrative actions. Judges must therefore uphold the correct balance of authority and defend citizens’ rights to life and liberty as well as human rights and fundamental freedoms.
Judicial Overreach and Judicial Activism
Judicial activism is a theory of judicial decision-making that substitutes constitutionalism for the judges’ individual opinions on matters of public policy.
Benefits of Judicial Overreach and Judicial Activism:
- Supports constitutional morality: The Naz Foundation Case, a significant case that creatively applied this idea, used constitutional morality to invalidate Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code and decriminalize homosexuality.
- Executive deficiency Political tenacity: In the Sabarimala ruling, Justice Chandrachud went against the majority of religious opinion by ruling that women should be permitted admission into the Sabarimala temple.
- Defend fundamental rights In 2017, triple talaq was outlawed because it violated Muslim women’s fundamental rights.
- If the executive branch or Parliament had proposed the legislation, it would not have been approved. For instance, Article 21 made the right to privacy a fundamental right.
- Most reliable institution: Indians had 80% trust in the Supreme Court, according to a People’s Survey of India survey. The supreme court is important to protect the rule of law, while not being a body that is elected. Ex: Until Parliament passed legislation on the matter, the Whistle Blowers Act was provided against corrupt authorities and politicians.
Article Written By: Atheena Fathima Riyas