Difference Between Legislative and Executive | Executive vs Legislative

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

The difference between legislative and executive is that the former is a body to enact laws while the latter is a body that implements laws enacted by the legislature. In India, parliament is the legislative body, and the government is the executive body. It is important for all UPSC aspirants to learn the difference between executive and legislative as it is a crucial part of the Indian polity syllabus.

Difference Between Legislative and Executive PDF

A parliament in the political system is divided into three branches, namely, legislative, executive, and judicial. All these three branches have been made keeping in mind power distribution in an unbiased and balanced way. However, sometimes people get confused about the difference between legislative and executive, which has been mentioned below.

Difference Between Legislative and Executive

The functions of a legislative body are to enact laws and approve bills. In contrast, an executive body is responsible for implementing laws and presenting bills to the legislative. The difference between legislative and executive is tabulated below.

Executive vs Legislative

Difference Between Executive and Legislative



The legislative body is the parliament of the country.

The executive body is the council of ministers, led by the country’s Prime minister.

It is responsible for passing new laws and policies.

It is responsible for properly implementing the laws and policies passed by the legislative body.

The legislative body in India does not have the authority to sign foreign treaties.

The executive body in India can sign or approve foreign treaties.

All the new rules and regulations made by the legislation must be presented to the executive body for approval.

The executive body can independently make new rules and regulations under the Constitution’s Acts.

During the question-answer session, the member of the parliament can directly ask questions without categorizing them as starred or unstarred.

During the question-answer session, the questions are divided into two categories, starred and unstarred; the minister verbally answers the starred question, and unstarred questions are answered in a written format.

Another difference between Legislative and Executive is that in the legislative the ordinance must be shelved within 6 weeks after the beginning of the Parliament session.

The President can proclaim the ordinance on the recommendation of the Prime Minister if the Parliament is not in session.

Legislature has the power to give its authorization to all Government expenses.

All the Government expense concerned items need to be tabled in Parliament; it is normally done when Union Budget is tabled in Parliament.

Legislative and Executive

The Parliament of India is included under Legislative Unit, whereas the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers are included under the Executive branch. Read further to understand the roles and responsibilities of legislative and executive in India.

What is Legislative?

The legislative body in India is the Parliament of India, composed of the president of India and the two houses, namely, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.

  • The president is the head of the legislature and can summon and defer either of the two houses of parliament.
  • The head of the legislature also has the authority to dissolve Lok Sabha.
  • During British colonial rule, the legislative body was the Imperial Legislative Council, created in 1861.
  • The imperial legislative council was dismantled when India gained independence in 1947.

What is Executive?

Some functions of the executive in India are as follows:

  • The executive body of the parliament is the council of ministers, led by the Prime Minister of the country
  • The executive branch enforces the law, implements policies, and governs all the states of the country


Key Difference Between Legislative and Executive

The key Difference Between Legislative and Executive is that one is in Government and the other in Parliament. The executive body implements laws and policies at the national and state levels, while the legislative body is concerned with making laws and policies for the country.

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