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Parliamentary form of Government




Author:

Shivalika Verma,

BVDU, New Law College, Pune


Synopsis


1. Introduction

2. Features of Parliamentary government

3. Merits and Demerits of Parliamentary government

4. Reasons for adopting Parliamentary system

5. Distinction between Indian and British models


The Constitution of India provides for a parliamentary form of government both at Centre (Article 74, 75) and in the states (Article163, 164).


There are two forms of Modern Democratic governments:


a. Parliamentary form of government (Cabinet government/ Responsible government)

The executive is responsible to the legislature for its policies and acts.


b. Presidential form of government (Non-responsible government/ Non-parliamentary government)

The executive is not responsible to the legislature for its policies and acts.


Features of Parliamentary form of government:


1. Nominal and real Executives:

The President is the nominal executive and Prime Minister is the real executive. Article 74 of the Indian Constitution provides for the Council of Ministers which is headed by the Prime Minister to aid and advice President.


2. Majority Party Rule :

The political party which secures majority seats in the Lok Sabha forms the government. The leader of that particular party becomes the Prime Minister. Other ministers are appointed by the president on the advice of Prime Minister.


The political party which secures majority seats in the Lok Sabha forms the government. The leader of that particular party becomes the Prime Minister. Other ministers are appointed by the president on the advice of Prime Minister.


1. Collective Responsibility:

(Bedrock principle of Parliamentary government)

Ministers are responsible collectively to the Parliament in general and to the Lok Sabha in particular. (Article 75).

The Lok Sabha can remove the ministry from office by passing a vote of no confidence.


4. Political Homogeneity :

All the members of the parliamentary system share the same political ideology


5. Double Membership:

The ministers are both the members of Legislature as well as Executive. The Constitution stipulates that a minister who is not a Member of Parliament for a period of six months ceases to be a minister.


6. Leadership of the Prime Minister:

The Prime Minister is the leader of the Council of Ministers and has a crucial role in the functioning of government.


7. Dissolution of the Lower House:

The Lok Sabha can be dissolved by the President on the recommendation of Prime Minister.


8. Secrecy :

Any member cannot reveal any information about the proceedings. They take the oath of secrecy which is administered by the President.


Merits of parliamentary system:


1. Harmony between Legislature and Executive:

Both the Legislature and Executive are independent in their spheres which results in less disputes.


2. Responsible Government:

The ministers are responsible to the parliament.


3. Prevents Despotism:

Under this system, the executive authority is vested in a group of individuals that is the Council of Ministers and not in a single person.


4. Ready Alternative Government:

Jennings says “The leader of the opposition is the alternative Prime Minister”. If the ruling party loses the majority the head of the state can invite the opposition party to form the government.


5. Wide representation:

The executive consists of a group of individuals. Hence it is possible to provide representation to all sections and regions in a government.


Demerits of the parliamentary system:


1. Unstable government:

There is no guarantee that the government can survive its tenure. A no-confidence motion or political defection or evils of a multiparty coalition can make the government unstable.


2. No continuity of policies:

There can be a non-continuance of policies due to the uncertainty of the tenure of the government.


3. Dictatorship of the cabinet:

The cabinet becomes autocratic and enjoys nearly unlimited powers.


4. Against separation of powers:

The legislature and the executive are together a UN inseparable. The cabinet is the leader of the legislature as well as the executive.


The reasons for adopting a parliamentary system:


1. Familiarity with the system:

This system has been in India since the British route so our country is somewhat familiar with the system.


2. Preference to more responsibility:

B. R. Ambedkar pointed out in the Constituent Assembly that a democratic Executive must satisfy two conditions that are: Stability and Responsibility.


3. Nature of Indian society:

The Parliamentary system offers greater scope for giving representation to various sections and regions in a government.


Distinction between Indian and British models of parliamentary system:


1. System

Indian Model: Republic System

British Model: Monarchical System

2. Head of state

Indian Model: President

British Model: King/Queen

3. Doctrine of Sovereignty of Parliament

Indian Model: No such doctrine is applicable

British Model: The doctrine is applicable

4. Membership of the Prime Minister

Indian Model: Can be a member of any of the two Houses.

British Model: Must be a member of Lower House.

5. System of Legal Responsibility of the Minister

Indian Model: There is no existence of such a system.

British Model: There is an existence of such a system.

6. Shadow cabinet

Indian Model: No such institution present.

British Model: Shadow Cabinet is a unique institution of British Cabinet System Shadow


Disclaimer: Kindly note that the views and opinions expressed are of the author, and not Law Colloquy.


#law #lawcolloquy #parliament #parliamentaryssystem #constitution #government

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