New Delhi: The Cabinet Secretariat has told all Ministries that provisions of laws can be implemented in the interim period while the rules are in the process of being finalised as authorities are not denuded of their powers to act, citing a Supreme Court judgement of 2018.
This is significant as the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) has not been implemented for a year now in the absence of rules being framed
. The direction of the Cabinet Secretariat on December 28 has asked Ministries to comply with an earlier missive on November 2 of expeditiously bringing in rules and regulations to implement the laws passed by Parliament but also take note of the Supreme Court judgement given by Justice Indu Malhotra in 2018 “while administering or enforcing provisions of various statutes in the interim period when the process of finalisation of rules and regulations is underway.” ET has reviewed a copy of the latest orders.
The order citing the judgement says “where a statute confers powers on an authority to do certain acts or exercise power in respect of certain matters, subject to rules, the exercise of power conferred by the statute does not depend on the existence of rules unless that statute expressly provides for the same.” SC held that non-framing of any rules do not prohibit the exercise of powers given under substantive sections of the Act and where the exercise of power is hedged by conditions as prescribed but where no rules have been framed, authorities as empowered under substantive sections of the statute are not denuded of their powers to act.
On November 2, Cabinet secretary Rajiv Gauba had ticked off ministries for long delays in drafting rules for laws enacted by Parliament, saying such delays adversely affected the timely implementation of Acts and “defeat the purpose for which these are legislated”. In a letter written to all Secretaries then, he had asked for a thorough review of all legislations enacted since May 2014 in which the rules and regulations were yet to be notified. He also suggested a new detailed standard operating procedure by which rules would be notified within two months of the enactment of a law, and formulation of an action plan.
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