Law panel recommends repeal of 72 archaic laws

As the government prepares to bring a fresh bill in Parliament to repeal archaic laws, the Law Commission on Friday recommended revoking 72 obsolete statutes, saying there is an "urgent need" to ensure that the legal structures are responsive to challenges of changing times.

New Delhi: As the government prepares to bring a fresh bill in Parliament to repeal archaic laws, the Law Commission on Friday 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 Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, 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".

The law panel said it would complete its study in "instalments" and submit a number of volumes to the government for necessary action.

"The government led by Narendra Modi is keen to repeal obsolete laws. Already a bill seeking to repeal 32 such Acts is pending in Parliament. We will take up the issue of repealing more such obsolete laws in the right earnest in the next session of Parliament," Prasad told a news agency after receiving the report.

The panel said there is a need to identify laws which have become obsolete "and as such keeping them on statute books is causing unwarranted burden on the system".

It said while studying the issue, the Commission found that a large number of Appropriation Acts passed during the past several years in reality have lost meaning but continue to be part of the statute books. 

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