Is The Indian Parliament A Sovereign Body?
The word ‘Sovereignty’ is derived from the Latin word “Superanaus” which means supreme. Sovereignty is a modern aspect of political authority defined as “supreme authority within a territory”. some important features and characteristics of sovereignty are permanence, exclusiveness, inalienability, absoluteness, imprescriptibility, unity, and all-comprehensiveness.
In India parliament is not considered a sovereign body because here is constitutional sovereignty rather than parliamentary sovereignty in India. The Indian Constitution puts limitations on all organs of the state and is bound to work in accordance with the constitution. The constitution is supreme law of the land that specifies the role and function of the state, its different organs, and mechanism. Certain necessary fundamental rights are also specified and provided to people by the constitution to keep a check on the government’s authority.
Sovereign means having supreme power without any external control but parliament has three major limitations:-
- Cannot frame law on the subject mentioned in state list in normal condition.
- If any law passed by parliament contradicts the provision of the constitution then the court has the power to declare that law null and void called judicial review.
- The basic structure of the constitution cannot be amended by the parliament laid down in the Keshvanand Bharti case in 1973.
Parliament sovereignty is decided by the provisions of constitutions like independent judiciary, judicial review, written constitution, federal structure, division of power between state and center, limited amending power, limited president’s vetoes, and so on.
As a result, the Parliament must act within the boundaries set by the Constitution. India follows a federal system with a constitutional separation of powers between the Union and the states in form of lists (Union list, state list, and concurrent list).
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