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Archaic Laws to be repealed: Government

Gaurav Pathak
30 Sep 2014 9:02 AM GMT
Archaic Laws to be repealed: Government
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In line with the statement made by the Prime Minister regarding taking off archaic and useless laws off the statute book, the Union Law Minister has now said, “While a bill is pending in Parliament to repeal 32 amendment Acts and four principal Acts, we plan to bring another bill to repeal 287 similar Acts,”

It has also been reported that the ministry is working day and night to repeal around 700 Appropriation Acts.

The Law Commission of India had also recommended repealing of archaic laws. The law commission in its report had found that a large number of Appropriation Acts exist on the statute book, even though when they serve no purpose in this age.

The Union law Minister also said, "We are consulting the Finance Ministry. I have asked my department to take a considered legal view on repealing these Appropriation Acts,"

In its 248th interim report on Obsolete laws, the Law Commission of India had stated, "It is common knowledge that Appropriation Acts are intended to operate for a limited period of time-authorising expenditures for the duration of one financial year, or less, for example in the case of Vote on Account Bills. Though these Acts are not usually included in any list of Central Acts, either by the Ministry of Law and Justice, or elsewhere, these laws still technically remain on the books," The Commission had also said, "As a caution and not entertaining scope of any doubt it may be safe to recommend that only those Appropriation Acts that are older than certain date, say 10 years, may be repealed. This itself would result in the repeal of more than 700 laws,”

Moreover, as the law ministry had asked law commission to look into the obsolete laws that can be repealed, the Prime Minister also has formed a committee to look into the subject.  The Committee has been asked to look into all the enactments which were recommended to be repealed by the Committee on Review of Administrative Laws in 1998, which was appointed by the then Prime Minister, Sh. Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The Committee had recommended repealing of 1382 acts but only 415 have been repealed till date.

In its 248th report, presented on September 12 this year, the Law Commission had recommended repealing of 72 laws, highlighting the fact there is an urgent need to do the same.

Most of the laws that have been suggested were drafted during the British times. As the present report by the law commission was just an interim one, the Commission has also said that it will be further studying 261 more statutes "with a view to providing a firm recommendation for repeal of obsolete statutes and those inconsonant with modern times".

Earlier, the Union law Ministry had also demanded ‘nodal officer’ in all Ministries and Departments to hasten weeding out of obsolete laws.

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