Wednesday, Jul 06, 2022
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Inheritance Of Laws

Times have changed, but a few colonial relics still rule us

Inheritance Of Laws graphic by Bishwadeep Moitra

Period Pieces: Footprints Of The Raj

There are 1300 archaic laws which needs to scrapped/amended. Here are ten from the 1800s which still haunt us: 

  • Bengal Districts Act, 1836: The oldest existing law. Allows Bengal government unlimited number of new zilas.
  • Rent Recovery Act, 1853: Severe on the tenant, but still in use.
  • Indian Penal Code, 1860: Several committees have suggested changes. Most recommendations not implemented.
  • The Police Act, 1861: Examined time and again. But no amendments have been made.
  • The Sarais (shelter for travellers) Act, 1867: Still in use. Applies now to hotels and restaurants.
  • The Press and Registration of Books Act, 1867: Some amendments made post-Independence, but the act is still used to harass publishers.
  • The Evidence Act, 1872: Several attempts to bring about changes have failed.
  • Indian Telegraph Act, 1885: Enacted almost a century before TV became common in India; invoked a few times to favour DD.
  • Land Acquisition Act, 1894: Gives blanket powers to the government to acquire land in public interest.
  • The Lepers Act, 1898: Used to harass the leprosy-afflicted.
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