Do you remember the last time you used a horse-cart instead of a car? Probably not. Yet, the 1861 stage carriage act, which regulates horse-drawn carriages, continues to be on the statute book, long after it ceased to be useful.
Or did you know a law gives the state the power to induct people into forced labour? As shocking as it sounds, the Madras compulsory labour act, which allows forced labour, continues to be a valid law, even after the Constitution came into force in 1950.
The law commission, which had recommended repeal of 72 obsolete laws last month, is set to recommend the repeal of these laws, and over a hundred other obsolete statutes that have outlived their utility.
Law commission chairman justice AP Shah will submit the second report on the repeal of archaic laws to law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Monday. “We are recommending complete repeal of 88 laws and partial repeal of 25 laws in our latest report, Justice Shah told HT, adding, “We are further examining 167 old laws and we hope to submit our third report on archaic laws next month.”
Prasad has said the NDA government intended to repeal obsolete laws in the winter session.
The Commission has undertaken a study, “The Legal Enactments: Simplifications and Streamlining”, at the behest of the government which wants to get rid of archaic, absurd and irrelevant laws.
In the second phase of the study, the commission will work towards updating and modernising existing laws, particularly those dealing with business and commerce, he said, adding industry bodies such as FICCI and CII would also be consulted.