On 28th Dec, 2017, the parliament passed two bills to repeal 245 obsolete and archaic laws, including the 158-year-old Calcutta Pilots Act of 1859 and Prevention of Seditious Meeting Act, 1911. Minister of state for law and justice P P Chaudhary said the Centre was bringing reforms in the legal system by repealing all obsolete laws. He said the government has identified 1,824 laws that required repeal. The government is repealing 245 more obsolete laws through these two bills.
Rajeev Gowda was demanding to decriminalise consensual sexual acts between members of the same sex by amending Section 377.
Some of the old acts that have been repealed are the ‘Hackney Carriage Act, 1879’ which was legislated for regulation and control of hackney carriages; and the ‘Dramatic Performance Act, 1876’ when the theatre was used as a medium of protest against the British rule. Another such old act repealed by the Parliament is the ‘Ganges Tolls Act, 1867’ which provided for collecting toll “not exceeding 12 annas” on certain boats and steamers plying on the Ganga to improve navigation of the river between Allahabad (UP) and Dinapore (Bihar).
After the Modi government came to power, a two-member panel was set up to look into the repealing of archaic laws, and the panel also consulted the Centre and the state government as well as administrative departments before recommending the legislations to be repealed.
By- Nikita Goel, Convenor, Student Reporter Committee, INBA