Delegated Legislation

  • IASbaba
  • January 12, 2023
  • 0
Governance, Indian Polity & Constitution
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Context: Recently, the majority ruling of the Supreme Court upheld the validity of the delegated legislation in the Centre’s 2016 decision on demonetisation.

About Delegated Legislation:

  • Parliament routinely delegates certain functions to authorities established by law since every aspect cannot be dealt with directly by the lawmakers themselves.
    • This delegation of powers is noted in statutes, which are commonly referred to as delegated legislation.
  • The delegated legislation would specify operational details, giving power to those executing the details.
  • Regulations and by-laws under the legislation are classic examples of delegated legislation.
  • In 1973, the Supreme Court ruling explains the concept as:
    • The practice of empowering the Executive to make subordinate legislation within a prescribed sphere has evolved out of practical necessity and pragmatic needs of a modern welfare State”.

Delegation of power in the demonetisation case

  • Section 26(2) of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934 essentially gives powers to the Centre to notify that a particular denomination of currency ceases to be legal tender.
  • A 1959 landmark ruling in Hamdard Davakhana v Union of India, the Supreme Court had struck down the delegation of powers on the grounds that it was vague.

Supreme Court’s recent opinion on Delegation of powers:

  • The majority verdict held that since the delegation of power is to the Centre which is anyway answerable to the Parliament, the delegation power cannot be struck down.
  • In case the Executive does not act reasonably while exercising its power of delegated legislation, it is responsible to Parliament who are elected representatives of the citizens for whom there exists a democratic method of bringing to book the elected representatives who act unreasonably in such matters.

Source: Indian Express

Previous Year Question

Q.1) Consider the following statements:

  1. Pursuant to the report of H.N. Sanyal Committee, the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971 was passed.
  2. The Constitution of India empowers the Supreme Court and the High Courts to punish for contempt of themselves.
  3. The Constitution of India defines Civil Contempt and Criminal Contempt.
  4. In India, the Parliament is vested with the powers to make laws on Contempt of Court.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct? (2022)

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 1, 2 and 4 only
  3. 3 and 4 only
  4. 3 only

Q.2) With reference to Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha, consider the following statements:

  1. As per the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Lok Sabha, the election of Deputy Speaker shall be held on such date as the Speaker may fix.
  2. There is a mandatory provision that the election of a candidate as Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha shall be from either the principal opposition party or the ruling party.
  3. The Deputy Speaker has the same power as of the Speaker when presiding over the sitting of the House and no appeal lies against his rulings.
  4. The well-established parliamentary practice regarding the appointment of Deputy Speaker is that the motion is moved by the Speaker and duly seconded by the Prime Minister.

Which of the statements given above are correct?

  1. 1 and 3 only
  2. 1, 2 and 3
  3. 3 and 4 only
  4. 2 and 4 only


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