Modi Government likely to repeal Emergency-era law

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New Delhi, Nov 19: Nation is remembering former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on her 97th birth anniversary on Wednesday , Nov 19. Indira Gandhi was country's first woman PM and will always be remembered for imposing Emergency in 1975 for a period of nearly 18 months. Little do people know about what triggered the imposition of Emergency.

Modi Govt to repeal Emergency-era law?
There were several reasons - political turmoil born out of social, economic crisis in early 1970s - responsible for imposition of Emergency but it was the Allahabad High Court's verdict against PM Indira Gandhi for election malpractices which disqualified and barred her from contesting for next six years that triggered the proclamation of Emergency.

Following High Court's order on June 12 1975, Jai Prakash Narayan, who was already carrying out 'Total Revolution', demanded Indira's resignation. This was also one of the reasons for immediate imposition of Emergency.

After imposition of Emergency, Indira Gandhi introduced a special article in the Constitution. The Disputed Elections (PM & Speaker) Act of 1977 nullifies general procedure followed for disputing elections of an elected representative who becomes a PM. This provision was included in the Constitution under Article 329A to make the general procedure for disputing an election by presenting an election petition to the high court null and void.

According to this provision, any other law will not be applicable where the elected representative goes on to become the Prime Minister or Speaker of the Lok Sabha.

Although this article was not invoked after Emergency period but this provision holds no relevance in present situation. Hence, it needs to be junked to avoid misuse of this 37 year old act in future.

The law commission has submitted its fourth report on Tuesday, Nov 18, to the Centre for removing obsolete laws, including this one. Giving a fresh push to weed out archaic laws, the law ministry will bring a new bill in Winter Session of Parliament to repeal another 287 obsolete statutes, which have lost relevance are junked.

During the course of its study on archaic laws, the Law Commission had earlier found that a large number of Appropriation Acts passed during past several years have lost their meaning but are still shown on statute books.

Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had expressed concern that out of the 1382 Acts recommended for repeal by Committee on Review of Administrative Laws, 1998, only 415 have been repealed so far. He had called for a focused and result-oriented exercise to systematically weed out archaic laws and rules.

Hence, one hopes that the obsolete laws like this is repealed as the new government is serious on this.

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