Article 123 of the Constitution grants the President certain law making powers to promulgate Ordinances when either of the two Houses of Parliament is not in session and hence it is not possible to enact laws in the Parliament. An ordinance may relate to any subject that the parliament has the power to legislate on.
The limitation on ordinance are as follows:
- Ordinances must be approved by Parliament within six weeks of reassembling or they shall cease to operate. They will also cease to operate in case resolutions disapproving the Ordinance are passed by both the Houses.
- The ordinance is subjected to judicial review. In RC cooper case vs UOI , it was held that President decision could be challenged on the grounds that ‘immediate action’ was not required and ordinance had been passed primarily to bypass debate and discussion in the legislature.
- In DC wahdwa vs state of Bihar case the SC argued that re-promulgation of ordinance is a mal practice in a democracy. If ordinance making practice was made a usual practice, creating an ‘Ordinance Raj’ the Courts could strike down re-promulgated ordinance.
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