Meaning, Merits And Demerits of Checks And Balances
Checks and balances imply the control, overlap and supervision of organs of government by the other organs to prevent arbitrary use of power. The principle is established to augment the principle of separation of power.
This principle ensures accountability and responsibility of leaders, protection of fundamental human rights, and prevention of abuse of power.
This principle is also propounded by Baron Charles de’ Montesquieu to check the problems inherent in the Principle of Separation of Power.
Merits of Checks and Balances:
(i) It prevents excessive use of power by any organ of government.
(ii) It promotes accountability and responsibility of government.
(iii) It promotes respect for fundamental human rights.
(iv) It checks and controls the excesses of the government thereby preventing dictatorship of government.
(v) It promotes efficiency and orderliness in government as overlapping of functions enhances quick decision making and implementation.
Demerits of Checks and Balances:
(i) One organ of government may interfere with the functions and powers of the other organs.
(ii) The veto power of the executive can be overridden by the legislature.
(iii) It may encourage dictatorship of the government (executive) due to increasing powers of the executive in recent times.
(iv) Decision making and implementation may be delayed thereby causing emergency situations and exigencies’ not to be responded to promptly.
(v) It may cause a rift or political instability due to power tussles or conflicts over areas of jurisdiction among the organs of government.