Process for Repealing a Law

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    In News

    • The Prime Minister announced that the three contentious farm laws passed last year would be repealed. 
      • He also said that the process of repealing the laws which are currently stayed by the Supreme Court will take place in the upcoming Winter Session of Parliament.

    Three Farm Laws

    • The three farm laws are:
      • 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.
      • Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, which seeks to provide a framework for contract farming;
      • 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.

    Over Statistics

    • The BJP government has passed six Repealing and Amendment Acts since it came to power in 2014, in order to repeal over 1,428 statutes that are obsolete.
    • Income Tax Act, 1961 and The Indian Institutes of Management Act, 2017: 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.

    What does Repealing a law mean?

    • Repealing a law is one of the ways to nullify a law.
    • A law is reversed when Parliament thinks there is no longer a need for the law to exist.
    • Legislation can also have a “sunset” clause, a particular date after which they cease to exist.
      • For example, the anti-terror legislation Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act 1987, commonly known as TADA, had a sunset clause and was allowed to lapse in 1995.
    • For laws that do not have a sunset clause, Parliament has to pass another legislation to repeal the law.

    How can the Government do it?

    • Article 245 of the Constitution gives Parliament the power to make laws for the whole or any part of India, and state legislatures the power to make laws for the state.
      • Parliament draws its power to repeal a law from the same provision.
      • The Act was first passed in 1950 when 72 Acts were repealed.
    • A law can be repealed either in its entirety, in part, or even just to the extent that it is in contravention of other laws.

    The process

    • Laws can be repealed in two ways:
      • Either through an ordinance,
      • Or through legislation.
    • In case an ordinance is used, it would need to be replaced by a law passed by Parliament within six months. If the ordinance lapses because it is not approved by Parliament, the repealed law can be revived.
    • The government can also bring legislation to repeal the farm laws.
      • It will have to be passed by both Houses of Parliament, and receive the President’s assent before it comes into effect.
      • All three farm laws can be repealed through single legislation.
      • Usually, Bills titled Repealing and Amendment are introduced for this purpose.

    Source: IE