Bill to repeal 105 ancient, redundant laws introduced in Lok Sabha

Hindustan Times, February 09, 2017

A 150-year-old law providing for collection of toll from steamers and boats plying on river Ganga to improve navigation and another seeking to prevent dissemination of publications “harmful” to the youth, are among the 105 redundant Acts that could be repealed in the coming days.

According to the Repealing and Amending Bill 2017 introduced in the Lok Sabha on Thursday by law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, the laws which amended the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and the ones dealing with salaries and pensions of the President and the vice-president will also be repealed.

The Ganges Tolls Act, 1867 which provided for collecting toll “not exceeding 12 annas” on certain boats and steamers plying on the Ganga to improve navigation of the river between Allahabad (UP) and Dinapore (Bihar) is also in the list of laws which are to be repealed. In 1993, the law commission had recommended its repeal.

A 165-year-old law which enabled remunerating the sheriffs of Calcutta, Madras and Bombay for executing court orders is also heading for the chopping block.

The 105 laws which would be repealed once the bill is passed by Parliament, include 2008 amendments to the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, the Presidents Emoluments and Pension Act, the Vice-Presidents Pension Act, the Sheriffs Fees Act, 1852 and the Young Persons (Harmful Publications) Act, 1956.

A two-member committee constituted by the PMO, the law commission and the legislative department had identified 1824 redundant and obsolete Central Acts for repeal.
Four Acts have so far been enacted to repeal 1175 central laws between May, 2014 and August, 2016 by Parliament.

Of the 1824 Acts, 227 including Appropriation Acts enacted by the parliament for the states under President’s Rule have been identified for repeal by the respective state governments. Various ministries have also “disagreed” to the repealing of about 139 Acts due to various reasons.

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