The Narendra Modi government may be facing the opposition hurdle in Rajya Sabha in enacting certain new laws, but its record of getting obsolete and redundant laws out of the statute book appears to be moving ahead without too much fuss.
Successive governments had repealed 1,301 such outdated laws in 64 years. But the present government has managed to weed out as many as 1,159 obsolete laws in less than two years.
Obviously, the opposition-dominated Upper House too had played its part when it passed those bills concerning repeal of the 1,159 central laws, including two dozen of them from the British era, that had lost relevance long ago due to enactment of other related laws, incorporating provisions of the earlier Acts, over the years.
RS had passed two such bills, repealing 1,053 Acts, during the recently concluded Budget session. While the passing of one — Appropriation Acts (Repeal) Bill 2015 — could repeal 758 old appropriation acts, the other one — Repealing and Amending (Third) Bill, 2015 — could weed out the other 295 Acts.
Laws on licence to kill and capture of wild elephants in certain circumstances, segregation and medical treatment of lepers, regulating the grant of titles to qualified persons in western medical science, prohibition of pledging of labour of children (child slavery), regulating recruitments of foreigners during pre-Independence period, agreement with Pakistan on exchange of prisoners, continuation of use of courts in Bengal, Assam and Punjab for those who migrated to Pakistan and power to regulate prices of newspapers are among others Acts which have been repealed.
There had been many more laws in the statute books which had been of no use as provisions of most of the old Acts had already been incorporated in new legislations.