Nepal | August 07, 2020

‘Delegated laws not based on main laws’

Jagdishor Panday
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Kathmandu, August 24

The Delegated Management and Government Assurance Committee of the National Assembly has pointed out in its annual report that most government bodies and corporations had not framed delegated laws (Regulations, bylaws and directives) on the basis of the main Acts or laws.

“We have found that around 80 per cent delegated legislations are not based on the original act,” said Ram Narayan Bidari, chair of DMGAC. He said if government bodies followed the principle of drafting delegated legislation
on the basis of mother laws, then wrong elements could not frame bylaws to suit their interests
and this could reduce corruption by 50 per cent.

Ministries, constitutional bodies and government and semi-government bodies can frame delegated legislations on the basis of main laws. Bylaws are framed by the relevant bodies after the Parliament enacts the main laws.

The parliamentary panel also said in its report that government and semi-government bodies were drafting rules and regulations without coordinating with the relevant bodies. “Delegated legislations have been drafted without mentioning the main acts,” the report read. The report also suggested that government and semi-government bodies strictly abide by the main laws while drafting delegated laws.

The panel had collected delegated legislations  from all the ministries, including the Prime Minister’s Office and constitutional bodies, to check what they had been doing till now.

The panel found that in some offices, regulations were not based on main laws and bylaws framed under the delegated laws were also not based on original laws.

Secretary of the panel Sudershan Khadka told THT that the committee has been working with  each ministry to check if the  delegated legislations were in consonance with the main Acts. There hasn’t been proper monitoring
of delegated legislation in the country till now.

Bidari said his committee had directed the government to ensure that delegated legislations were drafted on the basis of main acts without violating the spirit of the main acts.

The Parliament used to monitor delegated legislations before 1959, but that system ended after late King Mahendra took over power in 1960.

In 1991, the Parliament established a monitoring mechanism to check whether or not bylaws were as per the spirit of the
main laws, but this system did not work effectively.

After the country was declared a federal democratic republic in 2007, parliamentary panels were entrusted with the responsibility of looking after delegated legislations. But these panels only focused on the constitution drafting process and other issues. They didn’t look into delegated legislations.

This time, a separate committee of the National Assembly was formed to ensure that delegated legislations were as per the main laws. Bidari said his committee would ensure that bylaws were not framed on whims but that they were based on the main laws.

A version of this article appears in print on August 25, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.

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