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Cabinet decisions: 295 obsolete laws face the axe in legal pruning

The Repealing and Amending (Fourth) Bill, 2015, will be introduced in Lok Sabha for annulling 295 Acts

BS Reporter  |  New Delhi 

Continuing with the exercise of repealing obsolete Acts, the Cabinet on Thursday approved a Bill seeking to scrap a set of 295 obsolete Acts dealing with several issues, including changes in marriage laws and cement hoarding.

The Repealing and Amending (Fourth) Bill, 2015, will be introduced in Lok Sabha for annulling 295 Acts, several of them over 30 years old, which have been declared as redundant by respective central ministries.

While one of the Bills deals with amendments in marriage laws, the other is aimed at checking hoarding and black marketing of cement.

The measures seek to repeal enactments which have ceased to be in force or have become obsolete or their retention as separate Acts has become unnecessary. Such Bills are also used to correct defects or flaws detected in laws.

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Department of the Law Ministry, with the passage of two similar Bills in Parliament, 125 archaic laws have already been repealed.

Another two Bills are pending parliamentary approval.

Once these Bills are cleared, another 945 laws - including 758 Appropriation Acts - will be repealed.

Over and above the 945 laws, the law ministry has identified 1,871 more laws which have lost relevance today.

"We have identified 1,871 more laws which have lost relevance today. We plan to bring Bills to get them repealed," a senior official said.

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".

Between 1950 and 2001, over 100 Acts were repealed.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.

First Published: Fri, July 17 2015. 00:28 IST
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