Constitutional & Administrative Law

Importance of Delegated Legislation

Previous Year Question(s):

Q. What are the various modes of judicial control of delegated legislation?

Q. While conferring the power of delegated legislation on the administration, the enabling Act may specify the procedural safeguards to be followed in the exercise of the power. What are the consequences of non-compliance with the requirements as laid down in the Act? Discuss with the help of decided cases. 

Q. Discuss the constitutionality of delegated legislation. What are the limits of delegated legislation? Explain. 

Q. “The need for administrative rulemaking entails delegated legislation.” Comment.

Important Observations:

  • As legislatures are faced with a great load of work, delegated legislation is a means to share this burden of administration.
  • To save its time, the legislature concentrates on defining the essential principles and policies in the legislation and leaves the task of enunciation of details to the administration.
  • The invalidity of delegated legislation may arise from any of the following reasons: (1) The enabling Act or delegating statute being unconstitutional. (2) The subordinate legislation violating the Constitution. (3) The subordinate legislation being ultra vires the delegating Act.  

Important Case Laws:

  • In re Delhi Laws Act – The legislature must declare the policy of the law and the legal principles which are to control any given cases and must provide a standard to guide the officials or the body in power to execute the law.
  • Consumer Action Group v. Tamil Nadu – The modern complex socio-economic problems cannot be met adequately without resorting to delegated legislation.
  • Tata Iron & Steel Co. v. Workmen – The Supreme Court has reiterated the inevitable need of delegated legislation. 
  • Kunj Behari Lal v. State of Himachal Pradesh – The most effective method to control delegated legislation is through the doctrine of ultra vires which means that a court can declare delegated legislation ultra vires if it falls outside the limits of the power to make delegated legislation which may have been conferred on the delegate. Delegated legislation is thus subject to judicial control.

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