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Centre Passes Bills To Repeal 245 Obsolete Laws

Cong member demands decriminalisation of consensual sexual acts between members of the same sex

Prime News, Nation, (New Delhi), December 29:-The parliament on Friday passed two bills to repeal 245 obsolete and archaic laws, including the 158-year-old Calcutta Pilots Act of 1859 and Prevention of Seditious Meeting Act, 1911.

Replying to a debate, Minister of State for Law and Justice PP Chaudhary said the Centre was bringing reforms in the legal system by repealing all obsolete laws. He said the government has identified 1,824 laws that required repeal. The government is repealing 245 more obsolete laws through these two bills, he said.

On a demand made by Congress member Rajeev Gowda regarding amendments in Section 377 of Indian Penal Code (IPC), the minister said his suggestion would be examined. Gowda was demanding decriminalisation of consensual sexual acts between members of the same sex by amending Section 377.

Some of the old acts that have been repealed are the ‘Hackney Carriage Act, 1879’ which was legislated for regulation and control of hackney carriages; and the ‘Dramatic Performance Act, 1876’ when theatre was used as a medium of protest against the British rule.

Another such old act repealed by the Parliament is the ‘Ganges Tolls Act, 1867’ which provided for collecting toll “not exceeding 12 annas” on certain boats and steamers plying on the Ganga to improve navigation of the river between Allahabad (UP) and Dinapore (Bihar).

After the Modi government came to power, Chaudhary said a two-member panel was set up to look into the repealing of archaic laws, and the panel also consulted the Centre and the state government as well as administrative departments before recommending the legislations to be repealed.

-(NAV, Inputs: Agencies)

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