National Archive Bill, 2021 proposes ‘every record have to be archived’
Bangladesh National Archive Bill, 2021 was placed in the parliament today, keeping provisions that no record can be destroyed, and every record has to be archived.
The bill was brought to repeal the National Archive Ordinance, 1983 in line with a High Court judgment.
State Minister for Cultural Affairs KM Khalid placed the bill, which was sent to the respective Parliamentary Standing Committee for further examination. The Parliamentary Standing Committee will report back to the House within 30 days.
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.
According to the proposed law, 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.
As per the proposed law, National Archives will provide records to any individual upon application.
In regards to 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.
Also, 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.
Apart from this, 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.