A legislature in India is a deliberative assembly with the authority to make laws for a political entity such as a country or city. Legislatures form important parts of most governments; in the separation of powers model, they are often contrasted with the executive and judicial branches of government.
Laws enacted by legislatures are known as legislation. Legislatures observe and steer governing actions and usually have exclusive authority to amend the budget or budgets involved in the process.
The members of a legislature are called legislators. In a democracy, legislators are most commonly popularly elected, although indirect election and appointment by the executive are also used, particularly for bicameral legislatures featuring an upper chamber.
The legislature in India discharges various functions in the political system:
The primary function of the legislature is legislation. According to the doctrine of the separation of powers, the chief function of the legislative body is to enact laws. The legislature not only enacts the new law, but it also abolishes old and vexatious laws.
The financial functions of the legislature are very important. The Legislature controls the finance of the country. It discusses and determines the government’s revenues and expenditures; it lays down the principles of taxation; it authorizes the imposition of taxes and the modes of raising them. In other words, it passes the budget and financial bills.
Sometimes the legislature performs certain executive functions as well. For example, in the U.S.A, the President appoints highly placed government officials with the approval of the Senate, the Upper House of the legislature. In certain states, judges of the higher courts are appointed by the legislature.
In the cabinet form of government, the ministers are individually and collectively responsible and accountable to the legislature. The legislature in India controls the council of ministers by discussion, debates, and deliberations, and, if necessary, can even force the cabinet to resign by passing a motion of no-confidence against it.
In some countries, the Head of State is elected by the legislature. In India, for example, the President is elected by the elected members of both the Houses of Parliament and the elected members of all state legislatures. The Vice-President of India is also elected by the members of both the Houses of Parliament. The Indian Parliament also reserves the right of removing the President and the Vice-President from their offices.
The legislature performs certain judicial functions also. The British House of Lords acts as the highest court of appeal with regard to certain cases and the American Senate has the right, like that of the Indian Parliament, to impeach the highest executive, the President.
The legislature of certain countries enjoys the exclusive right of amending the Constitution. Parliament of the Indian Union can amend the Indian Constitution. Parliament of Switzerland is the supreme and final interpreter of the federal Constitution.
The debates and discussions on various issues and policies in the legislature by the members are conducive to the growth of political consciousness and public opinion. But if the legislative deliberations are made from the viewpoint of the interest of political parties instead of national interest, then such deliberations fail to play the constructive role.
Legislature forms different committees and commissions on different burning political, social and economic issues from time to time. The legislature also considers different reports submitted by various commissions and committees formed under the Constitution.