Bill in Parliament likely this week to repeal obsolete laws

Bill in Parliament likely this week to repeal obsolete laws

Government is set to bring a new bill in Parliament this week to repeal another set of obsolete laws, including Railways Appropriation Acts, which have outlived their utility.

The Law Ministry has already identified 892 Appropriation Acts of the Finance Ministry and the Railway Ministry which can be repealed.

While the Railway Ministry has given a go-ahead to the Law Ministry to repeal its set of old Appropriation Acts, the Finance Ministry is in the process of taking a call on the issue.

A large number of Appropriation Acts passed in the past several years have lost their meaning but these are still shown on statue books. Appropriation Acts are intended to operate for a limited period of time -- authorising expenditures for the duration of one financial year, the Law Commission has said.

Though these Acts are not usually included in any list of Central Acts, either by the Law Ministry, or elsewhere, these laws still technically remain in the books.In its recent report to the government, the Law Commission had also recommended repeal of Appropriation Acts.

"It must be emphasised that repealing Appropriation Acts whose terms have ended will in no way cause any negative impact on actions that were validly taken under these Acts. It will, however, serve the purpose of clearing the statute books and reducing the burden," the panel had said in a report.

Mechanisms exist in many other countries to systematically remove Appropriation Acts that have served their purpose. But in India no such mechanism is in place and Appropriation Acts continue to sit on statute books, the report had pointed out.

During the monsoon session of parliament, a bill was introduced to repeal 36 Acts. The bill, pending with a Parliamentary standing committee, seeks to remove certain Amendment Acts and Principal Acts from the statute books as they have outlived their utility.

This is the first time since 2001 that such an exercise is being undertaken by the Law Ministry.

The decision is in tune with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's agenda to do away with archaic laws hindering efficient governance.

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