How to repeal a law?
Recently, Prime Minister of India in his address to the nation on November 19 announced the repeal of three contentious farm laws and assured farmer groups protesting against these laws that the legislative process for the repeal would be completed in the upcoming Winter Session of the Parliament.
What were the farm laws that have been repealed?
- The Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, which is aimed at allowing trade in agricultural produce outside the existing APMC (Agricultural Produce Market Committee) mandis;
- The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, which seeks to provide a framework for contract farming;
- The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020, which is aimed at removing commodities such as cereals, pulses, oilseeds, edible oils, onion and potato from the list of essential commodities.
- The government can repeal the three laws through a single repealing bill.
Repeal of Law
- The government can repeal the laws in two ways — it can either bring a Bill to repeal the three laws or promulgate an ordinance that will have to be subsequently replaced with a Bill within six months.
- A law can be repealed either in its entirety, in part, or even just to the extent that it is in contravention of other laws.
- For repeal, the power of Parliament is the same as enacting a law under the Constitution.
- Article 245 of the Constitution which gives Parliament the power to make laws also gives the legislative body the power to repeal them through the Repealing and Amending Act. The Act was first passed in 1950 when 72 Acts were repealed.
- Parliament draws its power to repeal a law from the same provision.
- The last time the Repealing and Amending provision was invoked was in 2019 when the Union government sought to repeal 58 obsolete laws and make minor amendments to the Income Tax Act, 1961 and The Indian Institutes of Management Act, 2017.
- The Act was sixth such repealing act, aimed at repealing laws, tabled by the Narendra Modi government. The Narendra Modi government already repealed 1,428 Acts during its first term.
- Generally, laws are repealed to either remove inconsistencies or after they have served their purpose. When new laws are enacted, old laws on the subject are repealed by inserting a repeal clause in the new law.
- The Repealing and Amending (Amendment) Bill will pass through the same procedure as any other Bills. It will have to cleared by both Houses of Parliament and the President would give his assent to make it a law.
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