After months of protests, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on Friday, November 19, that the Union government’s three contentious farm laws will be repealed during the Winter Parliament session slated to begin later in November. The repeal of these laws was the primary demand of the protesting farmers, who began agitating in September 2020.
Now that the announcement has been made, what legal steps must be taken for the laws to be scrapped? According to legal experts, a Bill must be passed in Parliament to repeal the laws. "For repeal, the power of Parliament is the same as enacting a law under the Constitution," former Union Law Secretary PK Malhotra told PTI.
Former Lok Sabha Secretary General PDT Acharya said that the government can repeal the three laws through a single repealing Bill. In the statement of objects and reason of the Bill, the government can mention the reasons why it intends to repeal the three laws, he said. "When a repeal Bill is passed, it is also a law," PK Malhotra said.
“The three agriculture laws have not been implemented, but the fact remains that they are laws passed by Parliament which have received assent of the President,” said Malhotra, noting that they can be repealed by Parliament alone.
Addressing the nation on the occasion of Guru Nanak Jayanti, PM Modi insisted that the laws were in the benefit of farmers, and went on to apologise to the people of the country, claiming that the government could not convince a section of farmers of the same.
"I have come to tell you that we have decided to repeal the three farm laws. In the upcoming Parliament session starting at the end of this month, we will complete the constitutional process to repeal the three farm laws," PM Modi said.
The three contentious farm laws are The Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act 2020, which were passed by the Union government in September last year.