Bangladesh National Archives Bill 2021: The Key Points to Know

Bangladesh National Archive Bill, 2021 was placed in the parliament on  June 06, 2021, keeping provisions that no record can be destroyed.

KM Khalid, State Minister for Cultural Affairs placed the bill and it was sent to the respective parliamentary standing committee for further examination. The committee was asked to submit its report within 30 days.

Key points:

  • The bill was brought to repeal the National Archive Ordinance, 1983 in line with a High Court judgment.
  • The provision of destroying any record has been dropped from the proposed law. So, no record stored in the archive can be destroyed.
  • The soft copies of classified documents will have to be stored in Kaliakoir Data Centre after a certain period.
  • There will be a 17-member advisory council for a 3-year tenure. The director-general of the National Archives will be appointed by the government.
  • The National Archives will provide records to any individual upon application.
  • Sending any file abroad, which is above 75 years old and has historical, cultural, and literature value, permission from the director-general will be required.
  • The DG could refuse to permit if they think sending the file can potentially harm the country’s interests.
  • The aggrieved person can apply to the government within 14 days following his application rejection, and the decision of the government will be final.
  • If anyone tempers, destroys, erases, or hacks any file of the archive, said person will be imprisoned for three years or incur Tk. 20,000 as fine.
  • If anyone takes any file from the archive illegally, smuggle that home or abroad, or takes a file outside with ill-intent, the person will either be imprisoned for five years or fined Tk 1 lakh.

Main source: The Daily Star