The Parliament on Friday passed a Bill to repeal 58 laws, some of which dated back to the mid 19th century. The Repealing and Amending Bill, 2019, was passed in the Rajya Sabha by a voice vote after a short discussion which lasted about an hour.
Introducing the Bill, which was passed by the Lok Sabha on July 29, Union Minister for Law and Justice Ravi Shankar Prasad said that the government believes that “the country should be troubled minimum by laws”.
“For ease of living, ease of doing business and ease of governance, superfluous, uncalled for, irrelevant or those laws which have lost their utility need to go,” Prasad said. He also said that for the country and states, “periodic review of obsolete and irrelevant laws must become a part of good governance”.
The minister mentioned a law which was to regulate horse-carts in Kolkata as an example of laws becoming obsolete.
He told the House that a committee had identified 1,824 old laws that were redundant, of which the government has repealed a total of 1,428 laws since 2014. He said another 137 Acts have been identified to be repealed in future.
Calling the “merger” of two or more Bills a “good exciting idea”, the Law Minister said that the government will also think about it. He also said that 75 laws drafted by the Centre for states under President’s Rule have also been repealed.
The Bill was supported by members from across party lines, including the Opposition. However, Subhashish Chakraborty of the TMC said that half the laws being repealed by the Bill on Friday were “formulated after 2014”. He said, “The government has a history of passing legislation hastily, many only to be repealed a few years later.”