New Delhi: Terming weeding out archaic laws as a priority agenda for the government, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad Tuesday said he would introduce a fresh bill in Winter Session of Parliament for repealing "hundreds" of obsolete statutes.
The NDA government has already introduced a bill in Lok Sabha during the Budget Session for repealing 32 Acts. The Repealing and Amending Bill, 2014 seeks to remove certain Amendment Acts and Principal Acts from the statute books as they have outlived their utility.
This is the first time since 2001 that such an exercise is being undertaken by the Law Ministry.
"There is already a bill pending to repeal 32 Acts. The work is there in the PMO, the Law Commission has given a recommendation and I think in the next session I am going to come with another bill to repeal hundreds of laws. Therefore, it is a priority agenda for us," Prasad told reporters here on the sidelines of an event.
While the Law Ministry had mandated the Law Commission to recommend laws that can be repealed, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had last month constituted a separate committee to identify "obsolete" laws which, he believes, hamper governance by creating "avoidable confusion".
The newly constituted Committee will examine all Acts recommended to be repealed by the Committee on Review of Administrative Laws which had been appointed by Atal Bihari Vajpayee government in 1998.
Out of the 1382 Acts recommended for repeal by that Committee, only 415 have been repealed so far.
On September 12, the Law Commission had recommended revoking 72 obsolete statutes, saying there is an "urgent need" to ensure that the legal structures are responsive to challenges of changing times.
One of the laws -- Bengal District Act -- recommended for repeal dates back to 1836. Several other laws recommended for revoking belong to period dating from 1838 to 1898.
In its 'interim' report to the Law Ministry, the Commission said it will further study 261 more statutes "with a view to providing a firm recommendation for repeal of obsolete statutes and those inconsonant with modern times".