Parliament has the power to make a law and to remove it from the statute books (a law can be struck down by the judiciary if it is unconstitutional). But it does not mean the passing of a Bill that it will start working from the next day. To make it a functioning law there are three more steps for to it.
- The first step is the President’s accent to the Bill. Then the law comes into effect from a particular date.
- The government frames the rules and regulations to make the law operational on the ground after president’s assent
The completion of these steps determines when the law becomes functional. Syllabus of UPSC GS paper 2 has Polity and International Relations in its syllabus in it. And students should be clear with the concepts of polity and the functioning of the government. It is also very essential for the students to keep a track of current affairs related to polity.
- Presidents stand on the bill
- Deciding the date on which the law comes into effect.
- Rules and Regulations
PRESIDENT’S ASSENT TO THE BILL
- Article 111 of the Constitution specifies that the President can either sign off on the Bill or withhold his consent.
- The President very rarely withholds their assent to a Bill. The last time a bill was withheld was in 2006 when President A P J Abdul Kalam refused to sign a Bill protecting MPs from disqualification for holding an office of profit.
- A Bill is sent to Parliament for reconsideration if the President withholds his or her assent on it. And if Parliament sends it back to the President, he or he has no choice but to approve it.
THE NEXT STEP – DATE FOR LAW COMING INTO EFFECT
- Parliament delegates to the government the power to determine this date. The Bill states that the law “shall come into force on such date as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint and different dates may be appointed for different provisions of this Act”. For Example
- Parliament passed the Recycling of Ships Act in December 2019. In October 2020, the government brought Section 3 of the law into force. This section empowers the government to designate an officer to supervise all ship recycling activities in India.
- There are also multiple instances where a law specifies when it will come into effect. The 2013 land acquisition law put an outer limit of three months for the Centre to bring it into force after the President approved it.
- A Bill can also specify the exact date on which it will come into effect. Bills replacing ordinances sometimes do that. In such cases, the Bill sets the date on which the President signed the ordinance (since Parliament was not in session) as the day the law will come into force.
- For example, the law banning e-cigarettes came into effect from September 18, 2019 (date of Ordinance) after Parliament passed the Bill to replace the Ordinance on December 2, 2019. Similarly, the three farm Bills replacing their ordinances came into force on June 5, 2020.
- There are many occasions when the government did not bring a law into force for many years. For Example :
- The National Environment Tribunal Act and
- the Delhi Rent Control Act, which Parliament passed during Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao’s tenure.
The government never brought these laws into force, which were passed in 1995 and cleared by the President. The National Green Tribunal Act finally repealed the environmental tribunal law in 2010. And a Bill to repeal the Delhi Rent Control Act introduced in 2013 is still pending in Rajya Sabha.
RULES AND REGULATIONS
- A Bill passed by Parliament is the outline of a law. For the law to start working on the ground, individuals need to be recruited or given the power, to administer it.
- The implementing ministry also needs to finalise forms to gather information and provide benefits or services. These day-to-day operational details are called rules and regulations. And Parliament gives the government the responsibility of making them.
- These regulations are important for the functioning of law. If the government does not make rules and regulations, a law or parts of it will not get implemented.
- The Benami Transactions Act of 1988 is an example of a complete law remaining unimplemented in the absence of regulations. The law gave the government power to confiscate benami properties. For 25 years, such properties were immune from seizure in the absence of framing relevant government rules. The law was finally repealed in 2016 and replaced with a new one.
Passing of bills and other functions of the government is one of the most important part of UPSC Syllabus To read more articles on Economics click here