New Delhi: India’s law commission has suggested scrapping 77 obsolete laws including a 135-year one that makes it compulsory for farmers in certain parts of Bengal to grow Indigo.

The move is part of the National Democratic Alliance’s promise to unclutter statue books by repealing obsolete laws.

On 12 September, the commission had suggested repealing 72 laws.

In the Monsoon session of Parliament, law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad tabled a bill to repeal 36 laws.

In 1998, a committee set up to study and recommend the repeal of obsolete laws estimated that there were around 30,000 state-level laws in addition to the 3,000 central ones.

All the laws recommended for repeal so far—by Prasad, and by the law commission on two occassions—are central laws.

Of the 3,000 laws, around 200 are at least 100 years old. One of them, the Bengal Indigo Contracts Act of 1879, was recommended for repeal on Wednesday by the commission.

There have been previous efforts to repeal obsolete laws in India, dating back to the 1950s.

The process, however, picked up steam in the 1990s and seems to have gathered even more momentum under the new government.

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