Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said his government has identified 1,700 outdated laws and that it was in the process of repealing them.
Modi, who was in the city for the concluding sesquicentennial function of the Advocates Association of Western India (AAWI), also said the country’s independent judiciary was one of its biggest selling points to the world, as the global investor community has faith in its judicial processes.
Ruing that the government lacked qualified manpower to draft laws, Modi said one of the reasons for high pendency of cases was outdated and poorly drafted laws, open to grey areas and multiple interpretations.
“That’s one of the reasons we are putting up all laws in public domain to call for strictest criticism and suggestions from the public, legal experts to keep grey areas minimal. A good government is not one that enacts too many laws,” said Modi.
“We have too many of them as it is and that’s why I think I will be successful if I can repeal one law a day. In my eight months of tenure, I have done work for five years by bringing 1,700 outdated laws under scanner,” he added.
He claimed the need of the hour, along with quick justice, was “quality justice” and that largely rests in the hands of the advocates.
The PM asked the association to think of the upcoming 150 years and equip themselves to address the changing world by exploring specialisations in cybercrime, economic offences, forensics, intellectual property rights and by keeping themselves abreast with international laws.
“The association should facilitate these things in pursuit of excellence and to ensure trust remains in the system. When trust goes, systems collapse and institutional credibility is very important,’’ said Modi, who also paid tributes to the association’s glorious legacy.
While in the city, Modi also inaugurated a new museum at the Bombay high court. “This museum takes you through the past 150 years journey of the Indian judiciary and has preserved all of its important aspects and moments. All law students must go and see it. We must also see if we can have a digital version of this,” he said.
The Union minister for law, Sadanand Gowda, who was also present at the event, pointed to some sweeping legal changes, including the Draft Road Transport Bill, amendment to Arbitration and Conciliation Act, setting up of commercial courts, among others.
“The government is looking into 36 original acts, 150 amending acts and 900 statute bills at the moment,” he said.