Friday, May 9, 2014

Counting the Law

How many central statutes are there in all? Bibek Debroy estimates in this ET piece the number to be between 2500 and 3000. The oldest are the 'Bengal Districts Act' and 'Bengal Indigo Contracts Act' both dating to 1836! There are 140 laws that go back to the 19th century and another 200 that predate independence. No one has a count of state level statues. That means that there is no compendium of all the laws applicable at the state level.

So how do the law enforcement agencies keep track of this huge number? How many statues are actually enforced, even occasionally?