Explained: What is the procedure to repeal a law in India?
PM Narendra Modi in his address to the nation on Guru Nanak Jayanti (November 19, 2021) announced that the government will scrap the three contentious farm laws in the upcoming Winter session of the Parliament.
He said "Whatever I did, I did for farmers. What I'm doing is for the country. In the coming Parliament session, we will take constitutional measures to repeal these farm laws."
He further said, "There may have been some shortcoming in our efforts due to which we could not explain the truth, as clear as the light of the diya, to some of our farmer brothers."
He assured farmers groups who are protesting that the legislative process for scrapping or repealing these laws would be completed in the upcoming Winter Session of the Parliament.
What is the procedure to repeal a law in India?
The law can be repealed by the government in two ways; first to bring a Bill to repeal the three laws, and second is to promulgate an ordinance that will have to be consequently replaced with a Bill within six months.
According to the former Union Law Secretary P.K. Malhotra "For repeal, the power of Parliament is the same as enacting a law under the Constitution."
Article 245 of the Indian Constitution empowers the Parliament to enact as well as to repeal any law. That is, the Parliament has the power to make laws and also to repeal them through the Repealing and Amendment Act. In 1950, the first Act was passed and 72 Acts were repealed.
In 2019, Repealing and Amendment provision was invoked when Union Government scrapped 58 obsolete laws and made minor amendments to the Income Tax Act, 1961 and also the Indian Institutes of Management Act, 2017.
Narendra Modi led government already scrapped or repealed around 1,428 Acts during its first term.
Like any other Bill, the Repealing and Amendment Bill will pass in the same way as any other Bill. It will have to be passed by both Houses of Parliament and the President's assent will be required to make it a law.
Have a look at the Lok Sabha secretariat note, "Just as the Legislature has the power to enact laws, similarly it has the power to repeal laws. The efficacy of the Legislature depends upon the possession of the power to repeal the existing law, for without this attribute the power to enact would be a nullity, and the body of the law a series of contradictory enactments. Consequently, the legislative power to repeal prior laws is not inhibited by any constitutional prohibitions but exists as a necessary part and increment of the legislative power and function. No statute can make itself secure against repeal."
Why are laws repealed?
Basically, laws are scrapped or repealed to either remove inconsistencies or after they have served their purpose. Also, when new laws are enacted, old laws are repealed on the subject by adding or inserting a repeal clause in the new law.
Highlights from PM Narendra Modi's address
- He congratulates and wishes people on Gurpurab across the world. After a gap of one and a half years, on this occasion, the Kartarpur corridor is open again. Our government is committed to serving, taking forward Guru Nanak's message.
- He said that farm laws were introduced with good intentions but have not been able to convince farmers about their merits and so decided to withdraw the three contentious farm laws.
- In 2014, the country has given us an opportunity to serve as Pradhan Sevaks, so, it is our top priority towards agricultural development and farmer welfare.
- To overcome the challenges of the small farmers of the country, we worked all-around on seeds, insurance, markets, and savings.
- Along with good quality seeds, the government also connected the farmers with facilities like neem-coated urea, soil health card, and micro-irrigation.
- Various steps were also taken for the farmers to get the right price for their produce in return for their hard work.
- Fasal Bima Yojana also helped farmers. Rural market infrastructure has been strengthened, and the minimum support price (MSP) has been raised.
- The fund for micro-irrigation has been doubled and also crop loan. In favour of farmers, annual budgets have been raised.
- To improve financial well-being, efforts are being made by the government. Our government is committed to farmers' welfare, especially small farmers. We are committed to serve them fully.
- He said that the intention of bringing farm laws was good but we have not been able to convince farmers. Some sections of them have been opposing the laws, even as we keep trying to educate and inform them.
- We tried our best to explain to farmers. Also, we were ready to modify the laws or to suspend them. The matter reached the Supreme Court as well.
- In view of all this, we are scrapping or repealing the farm laws.
- On this auspicious occasion of Gurpurab, we appeal to farmers to return to their homes, to their fields. I assure you that I will work even harder to realise your dreams.