No archive record to be destroyed
The Bangladesh National Archive Bill, 2021 was passed in parliament yesterday, incorporating a provision which states that no record can be destroyed.
Besides, The Territorial Waters and Maritime Zones (Amendment) Act, 2021 was placed in parliament yesterday to make it more time-befitting.
NATIONAL ARCHIVE BILL
The bill aims to replace National Archive Ordinance, 1983, in line with a High Court judgment.
State Minister for Cultural Affairs KM Khalid placed the bill, which was passed by voice vote.
As per the proposed law, National Archives will provide records to any individual after receiving application and relevant fees. If anyone tampers with, destroys, erases or hacks any file of the archive, they will be imprisoned for three years or fined Tk 20,000.
If anyone takes any file illegally, smuggles it abroad or takes it out of the archive building with ill intention, they will be imprisoned for five years or fined Tk 1 lakh.
TERRITORIAL WATERS, MARITIME ZONES (AMENDMENT) ACT
Meanwhile, placing the bill, Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen said the proposed law will establish Bangladesh's sovereignty over its maritime boundary, which will facilitate search and extraction of marine resources.
The proposed law was sent to the parliamentary standing committee on the respective ministry for scrutiny. The committee was asked to submit its report within 45 days.
The old law, which was enacted in 1974, has to be amended amid evolving situations.
The bill proposes a maximum three years' imprisonment or fine of minimum Tk 2 crore and maximum Tk 5 crore for maritime pollution. The punishment was one year's imprisonment and Tk 5,000 fine in the old law.