What is the mandate of Article 312 in the constitution with respect to delegated legislation? Discuss while highlighting what system is in place in India for scrutinizing the delegated legislation.

Published: November 20, 2017

Delegated legislation refers to regulations, orders, rules, by-laws and other instruments that are needed for effective implementation of the primary legislation. Usually, the primary legislation gives power to executive / implementation authority to make such rules and regulations. There are several places in the constitution where the phrase “Parliament may by law provide” has been used, generally empowering the parliament to make detailed law on particular subject. The same phrase has been used in article 312 also. The article says that Parliament may by law provide for creation of one or more All-India services …regulate the recruitment and the conditions of service of persons appointed.”
In accordance with that article, the All India Services Act, 1951 was enacted in which Section 3 gives delegated legislative power of framing rules to executive. In D. S. Garewal case, Supreme Court upheld All India Services act, 1951 allowing for delegated legislation with certain restrictions.
System for scrutinizing the delegated legislation
Delegated Legislation in India is subjected to several instruments of scrutiny. Firstly, there is direct general control via questions, notices, debate on act which contains legislation and resolutions. Secondly, there is direct special control by laying rules on the table of each house. Thirdly, there is indirect control via committee on subordinate legislation in each house of parliament. Legislative control over delegated legislation is crucial for system of checks and balance as envisaged in the constitution.

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