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Law Commission Recommends Repeal of 73 more Obsolete Laws
Nov 12, 2014

The count for laws to be repealed touched 258 with the Law Commission’s latest report to the Centre recommending scrapping of 73 additional statutes that have become obsolete. The Commission, which has undertaken the exercise to identify archaic laws, with some dating back to pre-World War II era, said that the statute book was kept unnecessarily heavy with these statutes which are either outdated or have lost relevance in present times. For instance, one of the laws proposed for repeal includes a British era legislation titled Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 1938 which punished Indians who dissuaded persons to join war.

It was enacted to punish persons who made public speeches to dissuade people from enlisting in the defence forces and from taking part in any war in which the British Empire was engaged. By this law, the British Empire even punished acts prejudicial to the recruitment of persons to serve in the armed forces of the Union. This Act was meant to serve the needs of the British Empire and is now redundant. There is no evidence of recent use of this Act. Hence, the Central Government should repeal this Act,” said the Commission in its 250th report titled Obsolete Laws: Warranting Immediate Repeal.

The Commission in its third interim report examined 150 laws of which it recommended 73 laws for complete repeal. Another Act recommended for repeal is the Hindu Inheritance (Removal of Disabilities) Act, 1928. It said that no person governed by Hindu law would be excluded from any right or share in joint family property by reason only of any disease, deformity, or physical or mental defect. However, the Act excluded a person who had been from birth a lunatict. The purpose of the Act has now been subsumed by Section 28 of the Hindu Succession Act, 1956 which provides that no person shall be disqualified from succeeding to any property on the ground of any disease, defect or deformity. The 1928 Act is now redundant. 

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