Repealing And Amending Of Enactments

MCO Legals


MCO Legals
In regular attempts to repeal the obsolete and archaic laws, the Parliament introduces certain bills for such purpose.
India Insolvency/Bankruptcy/Re-Structuring
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  1. In regular attempts to repeal the obsolete and archaic laws, the Parliament introduces certain bills for such purpose. The power of the legislature in repealing a law is similar and co-extensive to the power of enactment of a law.
  2. Repealing means to formally state a law to be no longer valid. Thus, when an Act is repealed, it ceases to have any force in law. Repealing of a law has the effect of abolition of a law.
  3. The Black's law dictionary defines the term repeal as a legislative act which abrogates or obliterates an existing statute.
  4. In Keshavan Madhava Menon vs. State of Bombay; AIR 1951 SC 128, the Supreme Court dwelled upon the effect of an Act being repealed. It was held that the effect of the repeal is to obliterate the statute repealed as completely as if it had never been passed, and it must be considered as a law which never existed, except for the purposes of those actions or suits which were commenced, prosecuted and concluded while it was an existing law.
  5. The Parliament undertakes this as a periodical measure by which statutes that have become obsolete and serve no purpose as such are repealed.
  6. Amendment, on the other hand, is the process for bringing about a change in an already existing law in the form of additions, deletions or substitutions.
  7. For instance, if a particular provision/s of an existing law are found to be ambiguous or incorrect or containing an error, then an Amendment Act is introduced to make certain changes in the existing statute such that the particular provision/s become clear, correct and errorless.
  8. Sometimes, an amendment is also brought when the provision in question requires certain changes or clarifications by reason of passage of time and the changing societal needs.
  9. Another instance of an amendment in such sphere is the insertion of provisions relating to digital evidences under various laws due to the technological advancements. Thus, amendments bring about a modification or insertion in an existing statute.


  1. The question of the archaic laws still being in force was brought before the Union Minister of Law and Justice while the Parliament was in session.
  1. The question essentially related to how such unnecessary laws were creating trouble for general public in understanding the statutes while the Judiciary and Ministry of Law and Justice are taking steps and measures to make the courts and laws more accessible to litigants and the public at large.
  2. The Hon'ble Union Minster of Law, Kiren Rijiju answered with data as to the number of laws that were repealed since 2014 and subsequently introduced The Repealing and Amending Bill, 2022.

The Repealing and Amending Bill, 2022

  1. The Statement of Objects and Reasons as provided under the Bill states that the Bill has been introduced for the purpose of repealing enactments which have ceased to be in force or have become obsolete or the retention whereof as separate Acts is unnecessary.
  1. The First Schedule and Second Schedule list the Acts to be repealed while the Third Schedule specifies an amendment in the Act mentioned therein.
  2. Thus, on the enactment of the said Bill, the Acts mentioned under the First and the Second Schedule would stand repealed while the amendment specified under the Third Schedule would stand amended.
  1. Clause 4 of the Bill has been introduced as a precautionary provision. It states that the repealing of the Scheduled Acts shall not affect the validity of any actions already taken or any rights already determined and acquired within the provisions of such Acts. It shall also not affect any principle or rule or law recognised from any of such enactments.
  1. The Bill does not introduce any new provision if a comparison is drawn to The Repealing and Amending Act of 2019 which repealed and amended certain Acts in a similar manner.
  1. Repeals may either be express or implied. An express repeal is a formal statutory measure undertaken for repealing of laws.
  2. An implied repeal is not a planned repeal, it comes into effect when a new law is enacted which is not in consonance with the already existing law in place on the same subject. In such case, the old law is deemed to have been repealed. The repeals and saving provisions under the new Act is referred to in determining the status of such laws.
  3. The Repealing and Amending Bill, 2022 is an example of an express repeal, i.e., a formal express repealing statute is enacted for the purpose of officially repealing the mentioned statutes.

The Schedules

  1. The First Schedule repeals certain archaic laws which serve no purpose anymore as well as Amendment Acts which by reason of being incorporated under the parent Act are of no use as a separate Act by themselves.
  2. After the insertion of the amended provisions into the Act, the Amendment Acts per se become irrelevant and only clog the system. Their existence in the statute books plays no pivotal role and hence the repealing laws are used to delist them from the statutory status.
  1. The Acts repealed under the First Schedule include The Land Acquisition (Mines) Act, 1885; The Telegraph Wires (Unlawful Possession) Act, 1950; The Coal Mines (Conservation and Development) Act, 1974; etc.
  2. Some of the Amendment Acts that have been repealed are, among others, The Companies (Amendment) Act, 2017; The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Act, 2018; The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act, 2018; The Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Act, 2019; The Right to Information (Amendment) Act, 2019; The Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Amendment Act, 2019; etc.
  3. The Second Schedule repeals certain Appropriation Acts (mostly relating to the Railways).
  4. The First and Second Schedule repeal 24and 41 Acts respectively.
  5. The Third Schedule amends The Factoring Regulation Act, 2011. The amendment has been defined as an amendment of a patent error in the statute.
  6. Section 31A of The Factoring Regulation Act, 2011 has been amended to the extent of the words "that Central Government" to be substituted with "that Government".


  1. The Repealing and Amending Bill, 2022 is thus a periodical measure undertaken by the legislature to ensure that no irrelevant and unnecessary laws are in existence under the legal system which can create confusion and difficulty for litigants.
  2. Such Acts also otherwise only take up space in the statutory books but may not be of any use or capable or being put to any purpose and hence are repealed through the repeal laws.

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