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Report No. 251

"Obsolete Laws: Warranting Immediate Repeal" (Fourth Interim Report)

Table of Contents




1. Introduction 1-2
2. Laws Recommended for Complete Repeal 3-19

Chapter 1


This Report forms the fourth instalment of the study undertaken by the Law Commission titled 'The Legal Enactments: Simplification and Streamlining'. For this Report, a further 54 laws have been studied and 30 of these have been recommended for complete repeal.

1.2 Through the three Interim Reports submitted to the Government, the Law Commission of India recommended repeal of 258 archaic laws. While Report No.248, titled "Obsolete Laws: Warranting Immediate Repeal" - An Interim Report, identified 72 laws as having become obsolete, and were recommended for immediate repeal, the second instalment of this study, which formed Report No. 249, recommended 88 laws for wholesale repeal and 25 for partial repeal. In the third interim report, i.e., Report No.250, Commission identified 73 more laws for complete repeal.

1.3 Recently, the Centre for Civil Society brought out a project report titled "Repeal 100 Laws Project". The Commission, suo motu, decided to look into the project report and study the laws discussed therein, which have not already been included in its three interim reports mentioned in the preceding paragraph and it was found that 54 such laws needed examination. These were analysed and out of these 54 laws, the Commission found 30 laws to be fit for repeal.

1.4 Thus, Chapter 2 of this Report studies 30 laws recommended for complete repeal, and gives notes and recommendations on each. It must be kept in mind that while recommending the repeal of these laws, the legislature competent to repeal the law must also be established in accordance with Article 372(1) of the Constitution.

As explained in Chapter 4 of the 248th Report, pre-Constitutional laws, even where they have been passed by the Centre, can only be repealed by the Centre if the subject matter of the law now falls within List I or III of the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution. Where a law falls within the domain of List II, it should be referred to the relevant State Governments for repeal. Accordingly, the competent legislature has been indicated in each of the laws being studied for repeal.

1.5 In addition to the efforts put in by the Sub-Committee comprising Justice S N Kapoor, Member, Law Commission, Prof. Mool Chand Sharma, Member, Law Commission, Prof. Yogesh Tyagi, Member (Part Time), Law Commission, Mr. Arghya Sengupta and Ms. Srijoni Sen, Advocates from Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy, the Commission acknowledges the special efforts of Ms. Ritwika Sharma in finalizing this Report.


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