The government on Thursday introduced in Lok Sabha a bill to repeal 58 old laws which, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said, are a source of inconvenience and trouble for people.
Opposition members accused the government of “rushing through” bills without giving lawmakers due time to deliberate on their content.
Mr. Prasad said the Narendra Modi government has already repealed 1,458 old and archaic Acts and the move to scrap 58 more laws is a part of the same exercise.
The government also rejected the Opposition’s claim that members were not given adequate time to study the bill, with Mr. Prasad saying that a two-day notice was given and added that there is already a consensus that it is a good exercise.
Members can debate the bill as it is only being introduced now, he said.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal said the bill was discussed in detail in business advisory committee, which has Members from all major parties.
Speaker Om Birla said he will work to ensure from the next session that members get a two-day period to study bills before they are introduced and added that British era laws should be scrapped and replaced with new legislations.
Some Members were heard saying that the Indian Penal Code is also a British era law.
During this debate, the BJD’s Bhartruhari Mahtab came to the government’s rescue and said it has stuck to the agenda decided in business advisory committee.
Bills were distributed among Members as a supplementary agenda by previous governments, something which has not happened yet, he said.
Congress Member Shashi Tharoor said he was not opposed to the Repealing and Amending Bill, 2019, while the attacking the government for its “bad habit” of rushing through bills.
Some of the old Acts that have been repealed are the Hackney Carriage Act 1879 which was legislated for the regulation and control of hackney-carriages, Dramatic Performance Act 1876 when theatre was being used a medium of protest against the British rule.
Mr. Prasad said the Centre has conveyed to States the need to repeal 225 old laws which are in their realm.