261 days: The time it takes laws approved by Parliament to be enforced | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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261 days: The time it takes laws approved by Parliament to be enforced

IndiaSpend | ByDevanik Saha
Feb 07, 2017 01:59 PM IST

It takes an average of 261 days for a parliamentary law to come into force, according to a report by Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy, a think-tank.

It takes an average of 261 days for a parliamentary law to come into force, according to . The second step – which is not essential but integral to the practical working of the law – is the framing of rules. Most laws require rules in accordance with the law–for its implementation–approved by the legislature, before they are presented to each house of parliament.

“Most members of Parliament (MPs) are unaware of how long it takes for rules to be framed for bringing a law into force,” Shashi Tharoor, Member of Parliament from Thiruvananthapuram, said in an email interview to IndiaSpend. “Though the rules are supposed to be tabled in Parliament, they are almost never discussed. So, they pass by unnoticed among the welter of other papers laid on the table by ministers.”

As many as 92 hours of Lok Sabha disruption cost India Rs 144 crore during the 10th session of the current Lok Sabha, which ended on 16th December 2016, IndiaSpend in India has recommended a time limit of 15 days for framing rules, after publication of approval in the official gazette. Such rules are called subordinate legislation and may be referred to as— rules, regulations, bye-laws, orders, and notification

However, only 34% (15 of 44 laws analysed) adhered to the time limit, while 49% of laws took 15-60 days in the Lok Sabha and 56% in the Rajya Sabha.

The time taken to present the rules before each house was calculated from the date they were published in the official gazette (if the house was in session) or from the date the next session began (when the house was not in session).

“Once a bill is passed, political leaders tend to move on to the next urgent issue, leaving such issues of detail to officials to work out. It is possible that the bureaucrats tasked with the writing of rules are themselves overburdened or distracted by other duties — I don’t know — but if so, remedies must be found to increase their number and ensure that the completion of this task is accorded due priority,” said Tharoor.

Two rules (National Commission for Protection of Child Rights Rules, 2006 before the Lok Sabha and Science and Engineering Research Board Rules, 2010 before the Rajya Sabha) faced delays of 174 and 166 days, respectively.

(Saha is an MA Gender and Development student at Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex.)

This story first appeared on IndiaSpend.

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