The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today gave its approval to introduce the Appropriation Acts (Repeal) Bill, 2015 in Parliament so as to repeal 758 Appropriation Acts [including Appropriation (Railways) Acts and 111 State Appropriation Acts enacted by Parliament since 1950 to 1976]. This is in keeping with the Prime Minister’s commitment to bring reform in the country’s legal system, so as to make it more accessible to the common man. This is also in consonance with the recommendations of the Select Committee of Rajya Sabha to have a repeal clause in the Appropriation Acts. However, such clause shall be provided when the enactment of the Appropriation Act, 2016 is undertaken where under the Appropriation Acts of 2013 shall be repealed.
The Appropriation Acts [including Appropriation (Railways) Acts] enacted from the year 1950 to 2012 and 111 State Appropriation Acts enacted by Parliament since 1950 to 1976, in reality have lost their meaning and are still shown on the Statute-Books. The repealing of Appropriation Acts whose terms have ended will in no way cause any negative impact on actions that were validly taken under these Acts.
The Commission on Review of Administrative Laws (P. C. Jain Commission) gave its Report in 1998 identifying a large body of laws for the purposes of repeal. It has recommended the repeal of 700 Appropriation Acts passed by Parliament from time to time since 1950 as they are, in terms, temporary in nature. The Commission has recommended their repeal on the ground that these laws have become either irrelevant or dysfunctional.
Recently, the Law Commission of India in its 248th Report on “Obsolete Laws: Warranting Immediate Repeal” has observed that a large number of Appropriation Acts enacted during past several years, have lost their meaning but these are still shown on the Statute-Books.
The Legislative Department had also proposed that the repeal mechanism in vogue in United Kingdom to systematically repeal Appropriation Acts (on whose Appropriation Acts we model our own) usually two sessions in arrears may be followed.