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Day 7 – Q 1.The doctrine of separation of powers is imperative for the smooth functioning of a vibrant democracy. Substantiate.

1. The doctrine of separation of powers is imperative for the smooth functioning of a vibrant democracy. Substantiate. 

एक जीवंत लोकतंत्र के सुचारू कामकाज के लिए शक्तियों को अलग करने का सिद्धांत अनिवार्य है। पुष्टी करें।


The principle of separation of powers states that the executive, legislative, and judiciary powers of government should be divided into different branches and not concentrated in one. These departments should be separate and distinct because of the corrupting nature of power. If the body that made the laws could also enforce them and adjudicate disputes, it would likely do so in a preferential manner, undermining the rule of law and basic fairness. Power, in other words, must be checked, or it will be abused, and it is important to be imperative for the smooth functioning of a vibrant democracy.

Democratic government is characterised by the separation of powers:

  • There are ‘checks and balances’ within our political system that limit the power of each branch in order to prevent the abuse of power.
  • This system divides the state into three branches – the legislative, executive and judicial branch – and gives each the power to fulfil different tasks. These branches are also known as the ‘organs of government’.
  • Tasks are assigned to the different branches and their institutions in such a way that each of them can check the exercise of powers by the others. As a result, no one branch or institution can become so powerful as to control the system completely.

In Indian constitution, the separation of powers is supported through Article 50, Articles 121 and 211 and Article 361. Such steps, along with presence of checks and balances, help in creating a vibrant democracy in the following ways:

  • No single branch can act as a hegemon over the others, by influencing their members.
  • No single branch can endanger the democratic principles of the country.
  • It provides a channel of grievance redressal for the citizens through an independent judiciary.
  • The executive remains accountable to the legislature for the implementation of policies and consequent results.
  • Helps in creating a feedback channel to the executive where the citizens can put forward their demands in the Assembly, without being afraid of the authorities.

The separation of powers is important because it provides a vital system of ‘checks and balances’:

  • Firstly, it ensures that the different branches control each other. This is intended to make them accountable to each other – these are the ‘checks’;
  • Secondly, the separation of powers divides power between the different branches of government – these are the ‘balances’. Balance aims to ensure that no individual or group of people in government is ‘all powerful’. Power is shared and not concentrated in one branch.


The separation of powers doctrine also intends to improve the energy and efficiency of government by allowing each branch to specialize, in effect, in order to fulfil its unique function. That is why we also often refer to the ‘separation and balance of powers’. The main purpose of the separation of powers is therefore to prevent the abuse of power.

Best Answer: Sherlock

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