A parliamentary panel has asked the Modi government to repeal archaic laws that hurt people to provide “real relief” to the people rather than just focus on laws that aren’t even invoked.
Head of the standing committee on law, Rajya Sabha MP EM Sudarsana Natchiappan, suggested that the political leadership had not acted adequately on Modi’s advice to simplify laws and should take a closer look to identify areas that need improvements.
“The committee felt a simple periodic scavenging of the statute book wouldn’t make a world of a difference. We need to have easy and understandable codification of the law,” Natchiappan said.
The advice comes weeks after the government piloted a bill through the Lok Sabha to repeal 90 amendment laws. A second bill – proposing repeal of 36 more laws – had been referred to the parliamentary standing committee in September.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi has often spoken about simplifying laws, removing those that create problems ordinary people and businesses alike…. This intention should be reflected in the bills brought before Parliament too,” Natchiappan told HT.
In its report tabled in Parliament this week, the panel accused the government of exceeding its powers for trying to repeal a 1993 law, banning employment of manual scavengers without approval of at least two state legislatures.
Incidentally, the law ministry had made the same point in 2012 but forgot its own advice two years later in its hurry to repeal bills.
Of the 36 bills that came before the panel, 32 were amendment laws. These are laws that were enacted to amend an existing law. Once this purpose has been achieved, it does not really matter if they remain on the statue or are removed except for congesting the statue book.