The parliament and state legislatures of India

Bhat, M. Mohsin Alam (2022) The parliament and state legislatures of India. [Working papers (or Preprints)] (Submitted)

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This chapter provides an overview of some of the most significant features of India’s legislature at the parliamentary and state legislative levels. In providing this broad account, the chapter will also highlight the role of two themes that have particular relevance to scholarly and popular debates on India’s legislature. The first theme is the question of representation. As the chapter will show, the meaning of political representation has been both historically significant and contentious, as legislative institutions have evolved over time. India’s constitutional framers were invested in incorporating a system of representation that minimized the role of divisive identities in politics. But they also, despite deep reservations, accepted community representation. Political representation is also at stake in debates on federalism, particularly as to the role and capacity of Parliament’s upper house to represent the states. The section on political parties also reveals the importance of representation. Are legislators representatives of their constituents, or agents of political parties? Are political parties better understood as means of political representation? The second theme is the role of non-elected bodies in governing the country’s legislative schemes. The most important of such bodies is, of course, the judiciary. Each of the sections presents the dilemma of justiciability under a written constitution with a bill of rights. Which legislative activities are (or should be) subject to judicial review, what should be the standard of review, and hence, to what extent should courts regulate political actors? Another important institution in this regard is the Election Commission of India, which is a constitutional and bureaucratic body assigned with the task of conducting elections. These themes of representation and regulation are thus two conceptual sites where the contours of India’s parliamentary scheme continue to be shaped.

Item Type: Working papers (or Preprints)
Keywords: Parliament | Legislature | India | Westminster System | Commonwealth Model | Federalism| Representation | Democracy | Executive accountability
Subjects: Social Sciences and humanities > Social Sciences > Law and Legal Studies
JGU School/Centre: Jindal Global Law School
Depositing User: Mr. Syed Anas
Date Deposited: 05 Apr 2022 04:17
Last Modified: 05 Apr 2022 04:17
Official URL:


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