Bill to repeal pre-British laws likely in new session

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Jain panel suggested scrapping of 1,382 acts

BJP-led NDA government has decided to phase out all those laws that have outlived their utility.

The government will pilot a comprehensive bill in winter session of Parliament to phase out old laws some of which have their origin in pre-British days.

Recommendations of a committee set up to review administrative laws by the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government will be the basis for phasing out archaic rules and acts.

While the panel recommended scrapping of 1,382 acts and rules, only 415 acts have been repealed so far.

Prime minister Narendra Modi has set up a two-member panel to examine the feasibility of scrapping the remaining acts and rules based on the recommendations of that committee.

While R Ramanujam, secretary in the PMO, will head the panel, VK Bhasin, former secretary in the law & justice ministry, will be the other member.

The prime minister has called for a systematic and result-oriented exercise to weed out all archaic laws and rules, said a PMO statement.

After reviewing over 2,500 laws, the P C Jain committee had recommended scrapping of over 1,300 laws and rules on September 30, 1998. The panel had presented its two-volume report to then cabinet secretary Prabhat Kumar.

It had suggested repeal of 78 constitution amendment acts, 70 annual financial acts, 700 appropriation acts, 315 amending acts that came into force in 1984, eleven British statutes, 17 war-time permanent ordinances and old Bengal regulations.

The committee also readied another list of 114 acts that could be considered for repeal by different state governments.

The Jain panel had also identified some statutes, which were over 100 years old, that could be repealed as legislations operated on the dictum that “ a statute never dies unless specifically repealed”.

The committee had mooted the idea of ‘sun-set clauses’ for new laws being enacted as practiced in countries like the US.

badarinath@mydigitalfc.com

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