Prime Minister Narendra Modi Saturday hinted at amendments to outdated and “ vague” laws that lend themselves to differing interpretations as the government seeks to ensure ease of business and attract higher investment.
At the closing ceremony of the sesquicentennial celebrations of the Advocates Association of Western India on Saturday evening, Modi said his government had annulled 1,700 Acts since the BJP-led government assumed office in May 2014. He said the very nature of laws should be simple and non-discriminatory. “The world is watching us with expectant eyes. This country is proving to be conducive for the outside world which wants to invest here,” Modi said.
The prime minister said someone showed him a law dating back to 1800. “They should not mar developmental growth,” he said, adding that outdated and vague laws led to a huge backlog of cases in Indian courts. “The Indian judiciary is being trusted by people world over. People know they will get justice,” Modi said.
Modi credited the judiciary for playing a pivotal role in financial development. “While all grey areas could not be eliminated while enacting laws, the government could work on minimal grey areas,” he said.
Earlier, Modi inaugurated the Bombay High Court museum. Lauding the efforts of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and curator Rajan Jayakar, he said people were not conscious about history in India. “World over, people want to preserve and nurture their history. The High Court has artifacts and documents of great historical value. There should be a digital version and law students should benefit from such a rich legacy,” Modi said.
The prime minister also stressed the need to ensure not just quick justice but “quality justice” too. “Quality justice is not the prerogative of the judiciary but the responsibility of lawyers and how formidably they argue their cases,” he said.
Also in attendance were Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Governor C Vidyasagar Rao. Fadvanis said there were requests coming in for the construction of a new High Court building. “There is an upsurge of lawyers as well as the number of cases. Let me assure you that the government will take a decision and find land for a new HC building having much larger space,” he said.