Law implies a system of rules, recognized by a country to regulate the actions of the citizens. On the other hand, Act is that segment of legislation, that deals with specific circumstances and people. Many use the two legal terms interchangeably, but there is notable difference between act and law, as the former is a subset of the latter.
Laws plays a pivotal role in every country’s legislation, i.e. whether we talk of market, factory, office, school or any any other place, it safeguards people from unfair practices. It applies equally to all the citizens of the country, i.e. all the citizens irrespective of their caste, race, gender or even designation, are equal in the eyes of law. Hence, no person is above the law. In contrast, Act is situation-specific, as it all the provisions relating to a particular situation only. To know more differences on the two legal terms, check out the given article.
Content: Act Vs Law
|Basis for Comparison||Act||Law|
|Meaning||Act alludes to the statutes created by the legislature, that concentrates on a particular subject, and contains provisions relating to it.||Law refers to the principles and rules that governs the affairs of the society, created and enforced by the stipulated authority.|
|What is it?||It is a bill, that is passed by both the houses of parliament.||It is an established phenomenon.|
|Outlines||Why and how laws are enforced.||What should be and should not be done.|
|Objective||To protect people from unfair practices and to maintain public order.||To let people know the rules and regulations about specific situations.|
Definition of Act
In legal terminology, Act is used to mean the statutes approved by the parliament. Originally, it is a bill, which when passed by both the houses through a specific procedure, turns out as an act. Act either creates a new law or make amendment in the existing one. An act focuses on the particular subject and contains various provisions relating to it.
The bill is first introduced in either house of the Parliament, after which discussion is held for its consideration and provision, followed by voting. When the votes cast in favor of the bill are greater than the votes cast against it, it gets the approval from the first house and then sent to the other house.
In the other house, it goes through the same procedure, and if amendments are made by the second house, then it goes back to the originating house, and when it is passed by both the houses, it is sent for President’s approval, after which it becomes an act. This process is known as an enactment.
Definition of Law
The term law is defined as the set of official rules and regulations set up and enforced by the government. It is aimed at governing the conduct of the citizens of the country, protecting their rights and also ensuring equality among them, i.e. every person is treated in the same way. It prescribes rights and duties to the members of the society.
Every country has its own system of laws that differs from other countries of the world. However, these are universally accepted principles, which are binding in nature. To enforce justice in every situation, laws are being created by the country’s judicial system and are meant to be followed by all. Non-obedience of law or its violation, are subject to penalties or fines and even punishment like imprisonment.
Key Differences Between Act and Law
The difference between act and law can be better understood with the points provided below:
- The statutes created by the legislature, that concentrates on a particular subject, and contains provisions relating to it, is known as Act. Law is described as the rules and principles, set up by the stipulated authority and are meant to regulate the conduct of the members of the society.
- Law is generic in nature, that covers all rules and regulations made by the government at any point in time. On the other hand, the act is specific, as it is limited to a specific situation, like all the provisions relating to the contract are covered under Contract Act, or provisions relating to the partnership are included in partnership act and so forth.
- A law is an established phenomenon, whereas an act is originally a bill, which is proposed in the parliament first, and when it gets approval from both the houses, i.e. the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha and the President as well, it becomes an Act.
- An act is descriptive, which explains why and how laws are enforced. Conversely, law explains what should be and should not be done in any context.
- Law is enforced to protect people from unfair practices and to maintain public order. As against this, the fundamental reason for the creation of act is to let people know the rules and regulations about specific situations.
Imagine a situation, when there is no law or act for any crime or offence, then what will happen? There will be total chaos and danger, people will do whatever they like, and this is because they will lack fear of punishment or penalty. Laws and Acts are extremely important for the organisation and functioning of the country’s administration. These help to resolve the matters of people in a just and fair manner and also to ensure a peaceful society.