Context: Recently, the government of India has offered to keep the three contentious farm laws on hold, to resolve ongoing stalemate between protesting farmers and the Centre.
More on the news:
- There have been precedents of the government not bringing a law into force for several years after it has been passed.
- The Parliament has the power to make a law and to remove it from the statute books. Also, a law can be struck down by the judiciary if it is unconstitutional.
Three steps for a bill to become a functioning law:
- The passing of a Bill does not mean that it will start working from the next day.
- The first step: The President giving his or her assent to the Bill.
- Article 111 of the Constitution specifies that the President can either approve the Bill or withhold his consent. The President rarely withholds their assent to a Bill.
- 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: Deciding the date on which the law comes into effect.
- In most of the cases, 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.
- There are also instances when the government does not bring a law into force for many years.
- Final step: The government frames the rules and regulations to make the law operational on the ground.
- 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.
- If the government does not make rules and regulations, a law or parts of it will not get implemented.
- For example, the Benami Transactions Act of 1988 is an example of a complete law remaining unimplemented in the absence of regulations.
- The government not only has the power to make rules but can also suppress rules made by it earlier.
- The completion of the above steps determines when the law becomes functional.
Image Source: The Week