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Indian Police Act, 1861:

Framed by the British in 1861, the Indian Police Act of 1861 gives all the control of the police force in the hands of the state Government. It was framed by the British after the revolt of 1857, to bring in efficiency in the administration of the police force, and to prevent any further revolts. With a state’s Chief Minister having the powers of directing the Police, the Indian Police Act has often led to heavy political involvement in the police administration, a fact that was corroborated by The Second Administrative Reforms Commission in 2007. Police reforms have been a much-talked about subject over the decades, with numerous commissions and committees set up by the Supreme Court over the years. While the Model Police Act was drafted in 2006, in order to bring in a professional police service into the country, and around 15 states including Assam, Punjab, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Kerala and Delhi have passed their own laws, however, they are all based on the original Act of 1861. Image credit: By Kmanoj - Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2642041

Independence Day Special: Archaic acts from pre-independence era that are still in practice today

The Lok Sabha recently passed a bill to scrap 58 archaic acts in continuation of the cleaning up act that had started under the previous BJP-led government. According to Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, a total of 1,428 such acts have been repealed since the Modi government came into power.

Among the legacies that the British left behind were the numerous laws that they had enacted during their rule, in a bid to govern the country as per their convenience. However, many of these laws have no standing in the current situation, yet remain as they are.

As we approach India’s 73rd independence day, let us take a look at some obsolete Acts from the British era that are still used today.