LS passes Bill to repeal 295 obsolete Acts

LS passes Bill to repeal 295 obsolete Acts

A bill seeking to scrap a set of 295 obsolete Acts dealing with several issues including changes in marriage laws and cement hoarding was today passed by Lok Sabha which continued to witness boycott by Congress and several other opposition parties.

The Repealing and Amending (Fourth) Bill, 2015, pertains to annulling 295 Acts, several of them over 30 years old, which have been declared as redundant by respective central ministries.

Replying to a brief debate on the bill, Law Minister Sadananda Gowda said the repealing and amending of Acts cleans the statute book and makes it easy for common man to understand.

"We are trying to see that all the Acts which have been identified are repealed as early as possible," Gowda said, while noting that the Centre proposes to repeal 1,863 redundant Acts as and when it receives concurrence from the state governments.

He said the government is working to ensure that all future Appropriation Acts have automatic repeal clause.

Like 'Sunset clause', automatic repeal would be brought in at the time of bringing such Acts, the Law Minister said.

"We have written letters to state chief ministers to repeal the obsolete acts and 289 such acts have been identified," Gowda said.

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.

The opposition benches remained empty as Congress and several other opposition parties are boycotting the House as a mark of solidarity with 25 Congress MPs suspended for five days for causing disruptions. 

In the Repealing and Amending (Fourth) Bill, 2015, one of the Acts deals with amendments in marriage laws, the other was aimed at checking hoarding and black marketing of cement.

125 archaic laws have already been repealed and another two bills are pending parliamentary approval. Once these bills are cleared, another 945 laws -- including 758 Appropriation Acts -- will be repealed.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 over 1,870 more laws which have lost relevance today.

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.

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