The Bold Voice of J&K

Archaic laws

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To simplify redress of grievances, government has begun the process to weed out outdated laws and regulations. The Law Ministry, in consultation with other ministries, has identified 1,094 laws which can be repealed. To begin with, the Law Ministry has plans to bring a fresh bill in Parliament in the Winter session to repeal 287 obsolete statutes. The bill introduced in Lok Sabha during the Budget session to repeal 36 Acts is now with a Parliamentary Standing Committee which is expected to give its report ahead of the Winter session likely to begin in November. Based on the recommendation of the Law Commission, the Ministry is also planning to carry out “legal scavenging” to repeal 700 Appropriation Acts which remain on statute books though they have lost relevance. Appropriation Act is intended to give authority to the government to incur expenditure from and out of the Consolidated Fund of India. Out of the 1,382 Acts recommended for repeal by that committee, only 415 have been revoked so far. 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. The biggest challenge before the government is to ensure effective public service delivery and also seeing that economic success is felt by the people, and that no section of society is excluded from sharing the fruits of the economic success. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had in August constituted a separate committee to identify “obsolete” laws which, he believes, hamper governance by creating “avoidable confusion”. The poor conviction rates also substantiate the role of procedures in serving more as instruments of harassment than proving the effectiveness of law. What’s worse is that unlike other countries, India doesn’t have the practice of pare-trial consultations and conferences which can help fast settlement and weed out many cases before they reach court. The entire procedure is done in court, thereby stretching litigation time.

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