Separation Of Powers

Reviewed by Annapoorna | Updated on Aug 27, 2020

Introduction

Separation of powers implies the division of roles, responsibilities, and powers offered by two different positions in two different hands. The term can be understood better from the context in which it is used.

For a business concern, the powers granted by each of the different departments, such as finance, accounts, marketing, and product management, must be exercised by different individuals for achieving better results. At a national level, the powers of government are separate from the powers of the judicial system.

Separation of Powers in India

'Separation of functions' is followed in India and not separation of powers. Hence, the principle is not observed in its rigidity.

In India, strict separation of powers is not practised just like the USA. However, there are checkpoints in the system to empower the courts to strike down any unconstitutional amendments made via legislation.

The Constitutional makers have also carefully defined the roles of several wings of the states. Legislative and executive are considered as the two aspects of people of the country having all the powers vested with them, including finance.

A clear division exists between the chief of the state and the head of the government. The President is the executive, and the Parliament (including the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha) is the legislature. The Supreme Court, High Courts, and other lower courts form the judiciary. Likewise, the Governor is the executive along with the legislative body at each state.

Separation of Powers in a Business

While the separation of powers is most commonly associated with politics, business organisations also use this type of system. For instance, to improve and strengthen the checks and balances together with giving real integrity to corporate governance, separation of position of the chief executive officer (CEO) from the chairman is required.

CEOs holding both the roles are effectively monitoring themselves because the main job of the Board of Directors is to supervise management on behalf of shareholders. It leads to possible abuse of power and diminished transparency and accountability.