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Question :What’s the difference between laws and rules? rulemaking to implement of laws suffers from specific problems. if rulemaking process needs overhauling. discuss ?

Answer :

Laws are legislations passed by the Parliament through a specific process for conversion of Bills into Acts/Amendments.

Rules are instruments of executive action framed to implement the laws and largely affect the public on a daily basis. Laws or Policies are the fountainhead of rules.

The Parliaments has suggested that rules be framed within 6 months from declaration of a law, but the same is not being followed truly.

Following are the problems faced for rule making:

  • Delay in framing of rules. Lack of accountability of executive in framing of rules. For eg: Many properties stayed immune from confiscation as per Benami Transaction Act 1988 due to lack of appropriate rules.
  • Lack of public participation which is erstwhile impact making in countries like USA.
  • Spirit of rules being lost in translation to local languages.
  • Varying interpretation of rules (esp. due to ambiguous drafting) leading to
    • varied actions in similar scenarios.
    • lack of of objectivity.
    • Unreasonable discretion to officers or rule implementors which was not envisaged as per the laws.
  • Limited resources with Parliament to scrutinize rules.
  • Federal tensions when states make rules for laws created by Centre. For eg:- States left to decide their own wetland rules which could cause encroaching of wetlands for construction activities without due diligence.

Rulemaking process indeed needs overhauling which can be done in the following ways:

  • Regular evaluation of effectiveness of rules whether they uphold the spirit and intention of the law.
  • Addressing public grievances arising from rule implementation.
  • Striking a balance between centralization & Decentralization as per the need of the rule implementation in order to eliminate unnecessary red-tapism.
  • Mandating drafting of Citizen charters to govt. agencies which include the resp. rules.

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