Over 40 years after Odisha repealed more than a hundred obsolete and redundant Acts through Odisha Repealing Act 1976, the state government would repeal about 200 such laws.

The state cabinet, which met today, gave its approval for repeal of 206 old and obsolete Acts that were passed between 1976 and 2016. Principal secretary of law department Shashikant Mishra said since September this year, 33 departments in the state were asked to list the obsolete laws that can be repealed. “From the initial list of 699 laws, we have decided to repeal 206 laws in the first phase. After the State Law Commission recommended for their repeal, the Cabinet approved it. The laws would be repealed through Odisha Repealing Bill 2021 to be moved in the Budget session of the Assembly,” he said.

Among the 206 Acts and laws that the Odisha Repealing Bill 2021 wants to scrap is the Odisha Motor Spirit (Taxationon sales) Amendment Act, 1974, Odisha Entertainment Tax (Amendment)Act, 1975, Odisha Electricity Duty (Amendment) Act, 2010, Orissa Police Amendment Act, 1976 – which regulates black-marketing in cinema halls – and Orissa Police Amendment Act, 1975 – which made it liable for people of an area to pay penalty if they failed to provide timely help in case of destruction of property – have also gone redundant. Similarly, Orissa Prevention of Gambling Act, 1955, would also be repealed.

Orissa Eyes (Authorities for use for therapeutic purposes) Act, 1985, that is no longer valid after Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Act was passed by the Parliament in 1994, and Orissa Fireworks and Loudspeakers Amendment Act 1979 that empowered the district collectors to stop the display of fireworks and use of loudspeaker in an area for six months, would be repealed. Similarly, at least eight Acts under Bihar Odisha Excise Amendment Act between 1974 and 1998 have become obsolete after the Odisha Excise Act 2005 was passed.

The last time Odisha had repealed over 100 old and obsolete Acts was in 1978 when the Janata Party government, headed by the then chief minister Nilamani Routray, was in power in the state. In Centre, the Narendra Modi government has repealed more than 1,400 obsolete Acts after it came to power in 2014. The move came after the Law Commission found that a large number of Appropriation Acts passed earlier still continued.

The Odisha Cabinet also approved a resolution proposing quota in medical and engineering courses for students of government-run schools in the state. As per the proposal, students completing their education in state-run schools will have a reservation during admission into medical and engineering courses.

A high-powered committee will be formed under the chairmanship of a retired Orissa High Court judge to fix the modalities in three months for the effective implementation of the recommendations from the next academic year.

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