Judicial, Legislative and Other Controls over Delegated Legislation in India

Pankhuri Swarnim
Symbiosis Law School, Pune

Volume III, Issue III, 2020

The Parliament of India was established by the Constitution of India to act as the supreme legislature of the country so that national laws could be made and Union government could be held accountable for its policies; the most important function of the parliament being legislation or enactment of laws. The legislature is responsible for making laws in the form of primary legislation. Any other legislation which is subordinate or auxiliary to primary legislation is known as delegated or ancillary legislation, which is the exercise of legislative power by an agency subordinate to the legislature. This subordinate body, which may be the executive, cabinet, council of ministers or a specific administrative agency, acquires such a power from an act of parliament itself. Delegated legislation because of its increasing growth, complexity and the dangers it poses to individual liberty and freedom, has occupied a significant place in the administrative law.

The main question, in today’s scenario, is not whether delegated legislation is desirable or not, but what controls and safeguards can be introduced so that the conferment of legislative power on the Administration by the Legislature is not abused or misapplied. Therefore, the paper, firstly, seeks to evaluate the various controls that are laid down over delegated legislation in India. Since, it is the Legislature which delegated legislative power to the Administration, the paper, secondly, explores how it is the legislature’s primary responsibility to supervise and control the actual exercise of this power, ensuring it is not used objectionably by the Administration. Thirdly, the paper highlights the validity of delegated legislation with respect to Judicial Control or Judicial Review and how the courts have to see whether the power delegated is within the ambit of the constitution. Lastly, the paper puts into perspective the various issues with regard to Delegated Legislation and recommends solutions for the same.

Keywords: Delegated Legislation, Legislature, Judicial Review, Parliament.


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