Thursday, February 23, 2017

Features of Parliamentary Form of Government Under Indian Constitution


Under the Constitution of India that was framed on 26th of November 1949, Parliamentary Form of Government should be formed at States and at the Center.

It is clearly stated in the Article 74 and 75 of the Indian Constitution.

It is a very popular form of government that establishes strong relationship between executive and legislative organs of the Indian government.

Under this government form, executive is the main person that is responsible for the enactment of policies and acts to the legislature.

This form of government is also known as Westminster Model of Government, Responsible Government or Cabinet Government.

Canada, Japan and Britain are other countries that have their own parliamentary form of government just like India.

Some of the salient features of the Parliamentary Form of Government is discussed under the following headings below:

Nominal and Real Executives - Prime Minister is the real executive while President is the nominal executive of the country.

Thus the former is the Head of the Government while the latter is the Head of the Center.

Under the Article 74, Prime Minister is assisted by Council of Ministers who would advise the President in exercising his functions.

The advice offered by the Prime Minister is binding on the part of the President.

Majority Party Rule - The political party that has the largest number of seats in Lok Sabha forms the government in India.

The leader of that political party is declared Prime Minister who is appointed by the Indian President.

On the advice of the Prime Minister, the President appoints the Council of Ministers.

In the event of no party getting majority votes in the election, the President can at his discretion invite a candidate to form a government from the coalition of the parties.

Collective Responsibility - It is the most important feature of the Parliamentary Form of Government and is guided by the bedrock principles of Indian constitution.

Under Article 75, each and every minister is responsible to the Parliament in general and Lok Sabha in particular.

Under the doctrine of collective responsibility, all ministers can be removed from their ministries by passing a vote of no confidence.

Political Homogeneity - Generally the Council of Ministers belong to the same political party that forms the government in India.

Hence all the ministers follow the same political ideology.

However the ministers are bound by consensus in the event of a coalition government.

Double Membership - The ministers are members of both executive as well as the legislature.

It means that an individual cannot be a minister until and unless he/she is a member of the Indian Parliament.

Under any circumstances any minister who is not a member of the Indian Parliament cannot hold the office for a period of more than six months.

Leadership of the Prime Minister - The Prime Minister plays a very pivotal and important role in the entire system of the government.

He is the head of the Council of Ministers, leader of the political party forming the government in India and leader of the Parliament as well.

So, it is obvious that the Prime Minister holds a very crucial and sensitive post and plays an active role in the overall functioning of the government in the country.

Dissolution of the Lower House - Lok Sabha which is known as the Lower House of the Indian Parliament can be dissolved by the Indian President after receiving proper recommendation from the Prime Minister.

In other words, the PM can advise President to dissolve the house even if the term is not expired.

Fresh elections will be held after the dissolution of the lower house.

Secrecy - The ministers in the Parliamentary Form of Government work under the principles of secrecy and they can never reveal any kind of information regarding the decisions, policies and proceedings of the government.

Every single minister is under oath which is undertaken at the time of assuming their job duties.

The President administers the oath of secrecy to the ministers.

There are numerous merits of the Parliamentary Form of Government and the important ones are discussed under the following headings below -

Harmony between Legislature and Executive - The best thing about the Parliamentary Form of Government is that there is very good co-operation and harmony between the executive and legislative organs of the Indian government.

Both executive and legislature are interdependent at work.

As a result of which, there is little or no conflicts or disputes between the two organs.

Responsible Government - The Parliamentary System establishes a very responsible and stable form of government at the center.

All the acts of commission and omission by the council of ministers are accountable to the Parliament.

Through devices like no confidence motion, adjournment motion, discussions, question hour etc, Parliament exercises proper control over its ministers.

Prevents Despotism - Under this kind of system, executive authority is not vested in a single individual but in a group of individuals who are a part of Council of Ministers.

This in turn prevents despotism and there are no dictatorial tendencies.

Moreover, the executive is answerable to the Parliament who in turn can be removed at any point of time through vote of no confidence.

Ready Alternative Government - Under any circumstance if the party that rules the government loses its majority, the President can invite the party in Opposition to form the government.

This clearly means that an alternative is always available and a second government can be formed without having to undergo the toils and troubles of fresh elections.

Wide Representation - The group of ministers jointly form the executive in the parliamentary form of government.

As a result of which, proper representation can be formed to all the regions and sections in the current form of government. 

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