Bill to repeal obsolete laws stalled

Bill to repeal obsolete laws stalled

A Bill seeking to repeal outdated laws was briefly debated in the Lok Sabha on Thursday but voting was put off to Friday owing to an Opposition boycott of proceedings over Minister Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti’s abusive remarks at a Delhi election rally.

After Law Minister D V Sadananda Gowda introduced the Repealing and Amending (Second) Bill, 2014 in the Lower House, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said that a discussion may take place but voting has to be put off to allow the Congress and other opposition parties to participate in an “important initiative taken by the government”.

Protesting over Niranjan Jyoti’s comment, members of the Congress, TMC, Left, NCP and Aam Aadmi Party had walked out in the morning.

“If you want to take up the voting (on the Bill) tomorrow, there is no problem... If Congress wants to debate (on the Bill) there is no problem,” Naidu said.

Later, the presiding officer also agreed to postpone the debate to next day and, instead, take up a discussion on natural calamities. “People’s expectations are high. We can sit till late night and into the morning also. Government is very clear. “We want to discuss, debate and decide,” he said countering opposition charge that the government was hurriedly pushing through its agenda in Parliament.

This is the second attempt to repeal obsolete laws with a colonial hangover.  During the previous National Democratic Alliance regime of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, many laws that had outlived its utility were taken off the statute through a single legislation in 1999.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi too had promised during the parliamentary poll campaign that outdated laws hindering smooth governance would be scrapped.

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