Non-Implementation Despite Legislation: Lipsky’s Theory of Street-Level Bureaucracy and Certain Procedural Criminal Provisions of the Bengal Excise Act, 1909 and the Narcotic Drugs & Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985

Subrata Biswas

Abstract


Public policies are reflected in the public domain more by how laws are implemented on the ground than by what their legislative content is. The departures from legislative intent are often scripted by the non-legislative actors at the cutting edge level in public organizations and people outside of the reference frame are often at their wits’ end as to why such departures take place at all. This essay takes up two Indian laws—one provincial and the other federal—and relying upon Michael Lipsky’s theory of street level bureaucracy, seeks to explore why two critical provisions thereof remained mostly unimplemented right since their legislation. Why do the street level bureaucrats mostly intend to depart from the avowed intent? Do they really stand to gain in such a scenario of non-implementation? If so, how? These questions are discussed in an expanded way in regard to the Bengal Excise Act, 1909 and the Narcotic Drugs & Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.11114/ijlpa.v4i1.5106

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International Journal of Law and Public Administration   ISSN 2576-2192 (Print)     ISSN 2576-2184 (Online)

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