125 obsolete laws repealed; 945 more facing axe

Over 120 obsolete laws have been repealed by the Narendra Modi government, while another 945 which have lost relevance are awaiting Parliamentary approval to lose their place in statute books.

New Delhi: Over 120 obsolete laws have been repealed by the Narendra Modi government, while another 945 which have lost relevance are awaiting Parliamentary approval to lose their place in statute books.

According to the data compiled by the Legislative Department of the Law Ministry, with the passage of two bills in Parliament, 125 archaic laws have been repealed.

Another two bills are pending Parliamentary approval. Once these bills are cleared, another 945 laws will be repealed.

"We have identified 1,871 more laws which have lost relevance today. We plan to bring bills to get them repealed," Secretary, Legislative Department in the Law Ministry, Sanjay Singh told PTI here.

This is the first time since 2001 that such an exercise is being undertaken by the Law Ministry in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's agenda to do away with "archaic" laws which were "hindering efficient governance".

These bills are part of a periodical measure by which enactments that have ceased to be in force or have become obsolete or the retention as separate Act is unnecessary are repealed, the Law Ministry had said in one of the Cabinet proposals to repeal archaic laws.

Between 1950 and 2001, over 100 Acts were repealed.

A bill to repeal 758 Appropriation Acts, including Railways (Appropriation) Acts,  which have lost relevance and are clogging the statute books was introduced in Lok Sabha recently.

A large number of Appropriation Acts passed in the past several years have lost their meaning but these are still shown on statute books. Appropriation Acts are intended to operate for a limited period of time authorising expenditures for the duration of one financial year.

Though these Acts are not usually included in any list of Central Acts, either by the Law Ministry, or elsewhere, these laws still technically remain in the books.

The Bill also provides repeal of 111 State Appropriation Acts enacted by Parliament between 1950 and 1976. These Acts provide budgetary support to states and were enacted when the states were under President's Rule.

After 1976, the right to repeal such Appropriation Acts was given to states.

The repealing of Appropriation Acts whose terms have ended will in no way cause any negative impact on actions that were validly taken under these Acts, the Law Ministry had said recently.

The Legislative Department of the Law Ministry had also proposed that the repeal mechanism in vogue in the UK to systematically repeal Appropriation Acts usually two sessions in arrears may be followed.

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