~ Demand to institutionalize law repealing process ~

New Delhi, 24 November 2016: India’s leading public policy think, Centre for Civil Society (CCS) has embarked on Repeal of Laws Project and has proposed 26 November to be declared as the National Annual Repeal of Laws day which is also the Constitution day of India. The think tank representatives have officially written to the honourable Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi; Union Minister of Law and Justice, Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad; Chief Justice of India, Justice TS Thakur; Chairman of Law Commission of India, Justice BS Chauhan and Vice Chairman of Niti Aayog, Arvind Panagriya in this regard. CCS has suggested:

  1. Sunset clause to be added to all laws making it mandatory for all laws to be reviewed after certain years.
  2. A similar exercise of repealing laws should be conducted by all state governments;
  3. A day in the Parliament and state legislatures should be dedicated and celebrated as ‘National Annual Repeal of Laws Day’

Centre for Civil Society believes that as 2 October, Gandhi Jayanti was announced to kick-start the ‘Swacch Bharat Abhiyaan’, similarly, the Constitution day of India should be attributed as National Annual Repeal of Laws Day to repeal outdated laws. The essence of good governance is good laws. The antiquated laws promote red tape and corruption. In the Repeal of Laws Project, CCS in association with Tanikella Rastogi Associates has extensively researched and identified laws that warrant immediate repeal in Delhi, on the grounds of them being redundant, subsume by newer legislations. Some laws majorly pose an impediment to growth, development, good governance and individual freedom and ought to be done away with. CCS has shared a list of 100 such laws with the Prime Minister, Union Minister of Law and Justice, Law Commission of India and NITI Aayog.

During the election campaign for the 2014 General Election, BJP candidate Shri Narendra Modi had talked about making sincere attempt at statutory legal clean up. The Government has already weeded out about 1,175 obsolete laws in around two years and made a good progress. Centre of Civil Society undertook Repeal of 100 Laws Project. It has prepared a compilation of 100 National laws, 25 Delhi State laws and 25 Maharashtra State laws to be repealed.

In this context, Prashant Narang, Advocate leading iJustice heading the Repeal Laws Project said, “After Swachh Bharat and demonetization, it is time to clean the statute books. While Modi Government deserves appreciation for repealing more than 1100 laws so far, it must now focus on institutionalizing the process by dedicating a day in a year to repeal archaic, redundant, obsolete as well as unreasonable laws. Let there be an objective criteria and automated process for reviewing all laws after a certain period of time by say, the Law Commission of India. We propose 26th November to be dedicated for repealing laws.”

About Centre for Civil Society: Centre for Civil Society advances social change through public policy. Our work in education, livelihood, and policy training promotes choice and accountability across private and public sectors. To translate policy into practice, we engage with policy and opinion leaders through research, pilot projects and advocacy.

We are India’s leading liberal think tank, ranked 54 worldwide by the annual study conducted by the Think Tanks and Civil Society Program at the University of Pennsylvania.