The Doctrine of Separation of Powers

The most significant impact of the Doctrine of Separation of Powers is seen and felt in terms of the institutional independence of the Judiciary from other Organs of the State. Judiciary, in terms of personnel, the Judges, is independent. Constitutional Bench Judgments have uniformly ruled that the Doctrine of Separation of Powers, though not specifically engrafted, forms part of the Basic Structure of the Constitution as its sweep, operation and visibility are apparent. Constitution has made demarcation, without drawing formal lines, amongst the Three Organs with the duty of the Judiciary to scrutinize the limits and whether or not the limits have been transgressed. Adjudication results in what is often described as Judge-Made Law. It is apparent that law-making within certain limits is a legitimate element of a Judge’s role, if not inevitable. It can be argued that there have been occasions when this Court has ‘legislated’ beyond what can be strictly construed as pure interpretation. These are extraordinary cases that mandate a larger debate and discussion.”

Hon’ble Justice Sanjiv Khanna, Dr. Ashwani Kumar v. UOI, [Writ Petition (Civil) No. 738 of 2016].