Text not available, but law in force since 1841

There are at least six laws which are in force for nearly two centuries now, one of them enacted way back in 1841, but their texts are not available with any government department today which indicates that they have lost relevance.

PTI| Last Updated: Oct 15, 2014, 15:37 PM IST

New Delhi: There are at least six laws which are in force for nearly two centuries now, one of them enacted way back in 1841, but their texts are not available with any government department today which indicates that they have lost relevance.

Therefore, the Law Commission has now recommended that such statutes should now be scrapped.

In its second interim report submitted to the government yesterday on laws which need to be repealed immediately, the Commission has said since most of these Acts deal with land revenue, the Centre should ask relevant states to repeal them.

Land revenue is a state subject.

One of the laws recommended to be sent to the chopping board is the Bengal Land Revenue Sales Act, 1841. The law panel has recommended its repeal in consultation with relevant the state.

"The text of this Act is not available on the Law Ministry's website, or from any other readily available source, an indication that it is not in use. Neither are there any other documented instances where this Act has been used in the last few decades.

This Act should therefore be repealed," the Commission said in its report.

The second Act recommended for repeal is the Revenue, Bombay, Act, 1842. In this case too, the panel recommended that as the text of the statute is not available, it should be repealed.

The Revenue Commissioners, Bombay, Act, 1842, Sales of Land for Revenue Arrears Act, 1845, Boundary-marks, Bombay, Act, 1846, and the Police (Agra) Act, 1854 are the other laws that have been recommended for repeal.

Incidentally, all these laws were recommended for repeal by the 1988 P C Jain Commission on review of administrative laws, the Law Commission pointed out in the report.

The Law Commission has also recommended repeal of 11 World War II era ordinances, as part of its ongoing exercise to help the government weed out unwanted statutes clogging the books.

The Commission has made individual recommendations for 11 permanent ordinances promulgated during World War II.

One of the ordinances recommended for repeal is the War Injuries Ordinance, 1941. It empowered the central government to make schemes providing for the grant of relief in respect of injuries sustained during the War.

The purpose of the ordinance was subsumed by the War Injuries (Compensation Insurance) Act, 1943 which imposes a liability on employers to pay compensation to workmen sustaining war injuries and provides for the insurance of employers against such liability.

Yet another ordinance recommended to be scrapped is the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Ordinance, 1942 which was promulgated to suppress the Quit India Movement.

The provisions of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 overlap with the ordinance, the panel said.