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

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/when-parliament-passed-bills-but-govt-did-not-give-effect-to-those-laws-7157986/