Delegated legislation

Delegated legislation

#GS-02 Governance

For Prelims

Delegated legislation

  • ‘Delegated legislation’ refers to the exercising of legislative power by an agent who is of a lower rank to the Legislature, or who is subordinate to the Legislature.
  • This type of legislation is also known as subordinate legislation or secondary legislation or subsidiary legislation.
  • Since 2005 such legislation came to be also known as Legislative Instruments.
  • Such a power can be bestowed to the executive by the legislature,
  • This authority is usually established in a parent act of parliament called a “enabling act.”
  • The enabling act establishes the framework of the legislation and then delegate’s powers to others to make more comprehensive law in the field.


For Mains

The need of Delegated Legislation

  • Delegated Legislation can help in improving the time management of Parliament and State Legislative assemblies.
  • It allows for the use of experts especially in fields such as IT security, money laundering, clinical research etc.
  • This is highly positive since most of the politicians in India have no education nor experience in technical fields.
  • Delegated Legislation allows the rules and regulations to be more flexible and allows for fast and updated regulations.

Concerns of Delegated Legislation

  • It threatens the separation of powers by allowing executive to insert itself in the work of legislature.
  • Delegated Legislation can lead to laws which curtails individual liberty, leads to arbitrariness and injustice.
  • This is highly probable as administrators are not responsible to the people even while making laws that affect their lives.
  • Delegated legislation can decrease the control of legislature over executives which affect the doctrine of checks and balances.
  • Parliament lack the adequate facilities to scrutinize every piece and section of delegated legislation.

Source “Delegated law should not travel beyond purview of parent Act: SC