The democratic deficit in regulation making

We require special care when giving unelected officials the power to write law

Ajay Shah

In a liberal democracy, the power to coerce private persons can flow only from law, and law can come only from the legislature. In that case, how can we have mere officials of an agency writing law, as is the case with regulators? Unaccountable officials wielding power is the path to low state capacity. The solution lies in a narrow parliamentary mandate, in displayed technical expertise, in public consultation and in control by a board that is dominated by independent directors. India has begun on this important journey on numerous fronts. If a policeman says I am not permitted to ...