By Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneswar, September 13, 2020: Odisha once again is working on a plan to repeal 699 Acts and laws found to be obsolete and redundant in the present day context.

Odisha had undertaken such an exercise more than four decades back by rescinding more than 100 such Acts through Odisha Repealing Act 1976.

In Centre, the Narendra Modi government has repealed more than 1,400 obsolete Acts after it came to power in 2014. The move came after the Law Commission found that a large number of Appropriation Acts passed earlier still continued.

Early this week, the law department has sought suggestions from various government departments pm on has proposed whether 699 Acts and laws passed between 1973 and 2016 need to be repealed as many of them may have become obsolete and redundant.

The letter by principal secretary of law department Shashikant Mishra to the various departments seeks drawing up a schedule of discussion for the repealing of unnecessary legislation from the statute book.

Once the Law Department gets the feedback from the 33 departments, it would move the state law commission to examine them for further action. “This would take a considerable time as lots of discussion needs to take place,” Mishra said.

The department has asked 33 departments to put forth their view points on whether the Acts (amendment acts and validation acts) have become redundant and obsolete over the passage of time and whether any provisions of the Act is currently under challenge by any court.

It has also sought to know whether any provisions of the Acts that can be repealed are yet to be brought into force and if any provisions of the Act are independent of the principal Acts and are necessary.

In 1978, Odisha had repealed over 100 old and obsolete Acts during the rule of Janata Party headed by the then chief minister Nilamani Routray. Among the 699 Acts and laws that the Odisha Repealing Bill 2020 wants to scrap is the Odisha Lokpal and Lokayuktas (Amendment)Act, 1983 that has become redundant after Odisha Lokayukta Act 2015 came into existence.

Similarly, Acts like the Orissa Police Amendment Act, 1976 – which regulates black-marketing in cinema halls – and Orissa Police Amendment Act, 1975 – which made it liable for people of an area to pay penalty if they failed to provide timely help in case of destruction of property – have also gone redundant.

At least eight Acts under Bihar Odisha Excise Amendment Act between 1974 and 1998 have become obsolete after the Odisha Excise Act 2005 was passed.

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