Wednesday, Oct 01, 2014

Obsolete laws keep the Raj alive

The decision to set up the committee is a follow-up to Modi's first major statement after becoming Prime Minister that archaic laws hamper governance and need to be identified and weeded out. (Source: AP photo) The decision to set up the committee is a follow-up to Modi's first major statement after becoming Prime Minister that archaic laws hamper governance and need to be identified and weeded out. (Source: AP photo)
Express News Service | New Delhi | Posted: August 27, 2014 6:21 pm | Updated: August 28, 2014 2:13 am

Ministries following up on the Prime Minister’s instructions to do away with obsolete laws have discovered pieces of legislation up to 200 years old. This particular law, the Home Ministry has found, allowed the British monarch to review decisions of Indian provincial courts.

Even the Ministry of Minority Affairs, which was set up only in 2005, has discovered that a slip during the drafting of the Wakf (Amendment) Act 2013 — which was notified last September — has allowed the Musalman Wakf Validating Acts of 1913 and 1930 to stay valid till date. The cabinet secretariat has sent reminders to all ministries to draw up a list of the laws that need to be repealed. On Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the constitution of a committee to carry out a review to identify obsolete laws.

The committee, to be chaired by R Ramanujam, Secretary, PMO, will examine all acts recommended to be repealed by the Committee on Review of Administrative Laws appointed by the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government in 1998. The PM had expressed concern that out of the 1,382 Acts recommended for repeal by that committee, only 415 had been repealed so far, an official release said.

The Urban Development Ministry has identified a law from 1949 which empowers the government to force hotels in Delhi to provide rooms to it on demand, and to reserve at least 20 per cent of rooms for government guests.

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