The Law Commission’s first interim report notes that the Act is redundant because hotels are registered under state-level legislations.These are anyway matters in the State List of the Constitution and there is no logic for the continuance of a central law on the subject.You may be a non-smoker or even a non-inhaler, you may even be an extremely strait-laced person, who just happens to love reggae legend Bob Marley.But if you are in Kerala, just don’t wear a Bob Marley T-shirt or carry any Marley memorabilia.When the Modi government tabled two bills in Parliament within four months of each other, repealing many outdated and redundant laws, it appeared to be living up to Modi’s promise during the 2014 election campaign that his government would repeal 100 laws in 100 days.Between them, the two Repealing and Amending Bills (tabled in August and December 2014) are set to repeal 124 Acts, a fact the government has been tom-tomming.Though all the committees and commissions recommended repealing the principal Acts, governments have largely focussed on amendment Acts. Well, they—and appropriation Acts—are low-hanging fruits which do not require the government to apply its mind about the likely effects of their repeal.
In some cases, reference to the Act had to be removed from other Acts; in some other cases, pending litigation could be affected but this matter could be taken care of by enacting a saving clause.
According to reports, in March, the cabinet green-flagged a bill to repeal 758 appropriation Acts.
The rest—all 120 of them—are amendment Acts, that is, Acts which amended provisions of principal Acts and having done so, have served their purpose.
It’s called scavenging but, as the box “Junking Exercises” shows, this was a regular exercise between 19, but then ran out of steam.
Unless laws come with a sunset clause built into them, they continue to exist and could either become a source of harassment and misuse by authorities or provide convenient loopholes to escape more stringent laws that came later.
They authorize expenditure for one financial year, sometimes less, and cease to be relevant after that.