THE PUBLIC RECORDS ACT, 1993 No. 69 of 1993
The Public Records Rules, 1997
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THE PUBLIC RECORDS ACT, 1993 No. 69 of 1993

DEPARTMENT OF DELHI ARCHIVES
NOTIFICATIONS

New Delhi, the 13th January, 1999
Pausa 1, 1915 (Saka)

No.F. 9(25)/97-Archives-The following is published for general information: -
MINISTRY OF LAW JUSTICE AND COMPANY AFFAIRS
(Legislative Department)
New Delhi, 22nd December, 1993

The following Act of Parliament received the assent of the President on the21st, December, 1993 and is hereby published for general information:-




[22nd December 1993.]

An Act to regulate the management, administration and preservation of publicrecords of the Central Government, Union territory Administration, public sectorundertakings, statutory bodies and corporations, commissions and committeesconstituted by the Central Government or a Union territory Administration andmatters connected therewith or incidental thereto. BE it enacted by Parliamentin the Forty-fourth Year of the Republic of India as follows:-


1.

This Act may be called the Public Records Act, 1993.
It shall come intoforce on such date as the Central Government may, by notification in theOfficial Gazette, appoint.

 
2. In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,-
  1. "Board" means the Archival Advisory Board constituted under sub-section (1)of section 13;
  2. "Director General" means the Director General of Archives appointed by theCentral Government and includes any Officer authorised by that Government toperform the duties of the Director General;
  3. "head of the Archives" means a person holding the charge of the Archives ofthe Union territory Administration;
  4. "prescribed" means prescribed by rules made under this Act;
  5. "public records" includes-
    1. any document, manuscript and file;
    2. any microfilm, microfiche and facsimile copy of a document;
    3. any reproduction of image or images embodied in such microfilm (whetherenlarged or not); and
    4. any other material produced by a computer or by any other device, of anyrecords creating agency;
  6. records creating agency includes,-
    1. in relation to the Central Government, any ministry, department or office ofthat Government;
    2. in relation to any statutory body or corporation wholly or substantiallycontrolled or financed by the Central Government or commission or any committeeconstituted by that Government, the offices of the said body, corporation,commission or committee;
    3. in relation to a Union territory Administration, any department or office ofthat Administration;
    4. "records officer" means the officer nominated by the records creating agencyunder sub-section (1) of section 5.
Definitions.
3.
  1. The Central Government shall have the power to coordinate, regulate andsupervise the operations connected with the administration, management,preservation, selection, disposal and retirement of public records under thisAct.
  2. The Central Government in relation to the public records of the recordscreating agencies specified in sub-clause (i) and (ii) of clause (f) of section2 and the Union territory Administration in relation to the public records ofthe records creating agencies specified in sub-clause (iii) and (iv) of the saidclause, may, by order, authorise the Director General or the head of theArchives, as the case may be, subject to such conditions as may be specified inthe order, to carry out all or any of the functions, namely:-
    1. supervision, management and control of Archives;
    2. acceptance for deposit of public records of permanent nature after suchperiod as may be prescribed;
    3. custody, use and withdrawal of public records;
    4. arrangement, preservation and exhibition of public records;
    5. preparation of inventories, indices, catalogues and other reference media ofpublic records;
    6. analysing, developing, promoting and coordinating the standards, proceduresand the techniques for the improvement of records management system;
    7. ensuring the maintenance, arrangement and security of public records in theArchives and in the offices of the records creating agency;
    8. promoting utilisation of available space and maintenance of equipments forpreserving public records;
    9. tendering advice to records creating agencies on the compilation,classification and disposal of records and application of standards, proceduresand techniques of records management;
    10. survey and inspection of public records;
    11. organising training programmes in various disciplines of Archivesadministration and records management;
    12. accepting records from any private source;
    13. regulating access to public records;
    14. receiving records from defunct bodies and making arrangement for securingpublic records in the event of national emergency;
    15. receiving reports on records management and disposal practices from therecords officer;
    16. providing authenticated copies of, or extracts from, public records;
    17. destroying or disposal of public records;
    18. obtaining on lease or purchasing or accepting as gift any document ofhistorical or national importance.

4. No person shall take or cause to be taken out of India any publicrecords without the prior approval of the Central Government: Provided that nosuch prior approval shall be required if any public records are taken or sentout of India for any official purpose.

5.
  1. Every records creating agency shall nominate one of its officers as recordsofficer to discharge the functions under this Act.
  2. Every records creating agency may set up such number of record rooms in suchplaces as it deems fit and shall place each record room under the charge of arecords officer.

6. The records officer shall be responsible for -
  1. proper arrangement, maintenance and preservation of public records under hischarge;
  2. periodical review of all public records and weeding out public records ofephemeral value;
  3. appraisal of public records which are more than twenty five years old inconsultation with the National Archives of India or, as the case may be, theArchives of the Union territory with a view to retaining public records ofpermanent value;
  4. destruction of public records in such manner and subject to such conditionsas may be prescribed under sub-section (1) of section 8;
  5. compilation of a schedule of retention for public records in consultationwith the National Archives of India or, as the case may be, the Archives of theUnion territory;
  6. periodical review for downgrading of classified public records in suchmanner as may be prescribed;
  7. adoption of such standards, procedures and techniques as may be recommendedfrom time to time by the National Archives of India for improvement of recordmanagement system and maintenance of security of public records;
  8. compilation of annual indices of public records;
  9. compilation of organisational history and annual supplement thereto;
  10. assisting the National Archives of India or, as the case may be, theArchives of the Union territory for public records management;
  11. submission of annual report to the Director General or, as the case may be,head of the Archives in such manner as may be prescribed;
  12. transferring of records of any defunct body to the National Archives ofIndia or the Archives of the Union territory, as the case may be, forpreservation.
Responsibilities of records officers.
7.
  1. The records officer shall, in the event of any unauthorised removal,destruction, defacement or alteration of any public records under his charge,forthwith take appropriate action for the recovery or restoratie may deem necessary subject to the directionsif any given by the Director General or, as the case may be, head of theArchives.
  2. on of such publicrecords.
  3. The records officer shall submit a report in writing to the Director Generalor as the case may be, the head of the Archives without any delay on anyinformation about any unauthorised removal, destruction, defacement oralteration of any public record under his charge and about the action initiatedby him and shall take action as h
  4. The record officer may seek assistance from any Government officer or anyother person for the purpose of recovery or restoration of public records andsuch officer or person shall render all assistance to the records officer.
Records officer to take appropriate action in theevent of unauthorised removal, destruction, etc., of public records in hiscustody.
8.
  1. Save as otherwise provided in any law for the time being in force, no publicrecord shall be destroyed or otherwise disposed of except in such manner andsubject to such conditions as may be prescribed.
  2. No record created before the year 1892 shall be destroyed except where inthe opinion of the Director General or, as the case may be, the head of theArchives, it is so defaced or is in such condition that it cannot be put to anyarchival use.
Destruction or disposal of public records
9.

Whoever contravenes any of the provisions of section 4 or section 8 shall bepunishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to five years or withfine which may extend to ten thousand rupees or with both.

Penalty for contraventions
10

No public records bearing security classification shall be transferred to theNational Archives of India or the Archives of the Unionterritory.

Public records bearing security classification.
11
  1. The National Archives of India or the Archives of the Union territory mayaccept any record of historical or national importance from any private sourceby way of gift, purchase or otherwise.
  2. The National Archives of India or as the case may be, the Archives of anyUnion territory may, in such manner and subject to such conditions as may beprescribed, make any record referred to in sub-section (1) available to any bonafide research scholar.
Receipt of records from private source
12.
  1. All unclassified public records as are more than thirty years old and aretransferred to the. National Archives of India or the Archives of the Unionterritory may be, subject to such exceptions and restrictions as may beprescribed made available to any bona fide research scholar. Explanation. -Forthe purposes of this sub-section, the period of thirty years shall he reckonedfrom the year of the opening of the public record.
  2. Any records creating agency may grant to any person access to any publicrecord in its custody in such manner and subject to such conditions as may beprescribed.
Access to public records.
13.
  1. The Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette,constitute an Archival Advisory Board for the purposes of this Act.
  2. The Board shall consist of the following members, namely:-
    a. Secretary to the Government of India in the Ministry of CentralGovernment dealing with culture Chairman ex-officio;
    b. one officer not below the rank of Joint Secretary to the Government ofIndia, each from the Cabinet Secretariat, Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry ofDefence, Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Finance and Ministry ofPersonnel, Public Grievances and Pension Members ex-officio
    c.two representatives not below the rank of Joint Secretary in the Unionterritory Administrations to be nominated by the Central Government Members
    d.nbsp; three persons to be nominated by the Central Government for a periodnot exceeding three years, one being an Archivist and two being Professors inthe Post-graduate Department of History in any recognised University. Members
    d. &nbdp; Director General Member- Secretary ex-officio
  3. The members nominated under clause (d) of sub-section (2) shall be paid suchallowances as may be prescribed.

14
    The Board shall perform the following functions, namely:-
  1. advise the Central Government and Union territory Administrations on mattersconcerning the administration, management, conservation and use of -publicrecords;
  2. lay down guidelines for training of Archivists;
  3. give directions for acquisition of records from private custody;
  4. deal with such other matters as may be prescribed.
Functions of the Board.
15.

The Director General shall have the power to lay down norms and standards forcourses curricula, assessment and examinations relating to the training inarchival science and other ancillary subjects.

Power of the Director General to lay down norms and standards for courses inarchival science.

16.

No suit, prosecution or other legal proceedings shall lie against any personin respect of anything which is in good faith done or intended to be done inpursuance of this Act or the rules made thereunder.

Protection of action taken in good faith.

15.

The Director General shall have the power to lay down norms and standards forcourses curricula, assessment and examinations relating to the training inarchival science and other ancillary subjects.

Power of the Director General to lay down norms and standards for courses inarchival science.

16.

No suit, prosecution or other legal proceedings shall lie against any personin respect of anything which is in good faith done or intended to be done inpursuance of this Act or the rules made thereunder.

Protection of action taken in good faith.

17.
  1. The Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, makerules to carry out the provisions of this Act.
  2. In particular and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoingpower, such rules may provide for all or any of the following matters, namely:-
    1. the period after which public records of permanent nature may be acceptedunder clause (b) of sub-section (2) of section 3;
    2. the manner in which and the conditions subject to which public records canbe destroyed under clause (d) of sub-section (1) of section 6;
    3. the manner in which periodical review of classified public records fordowngrading shall be undertaken under clause (f) of sub-section (1) of section6;
    4. the manner in which the records officer will report to the Director Generalor the head of the Archives under clause (k) of sub-section (1) of section 6;
    5. the manner in which and the conditions subject to which public records maybe destroyed or disposed of under sub-section (1) of section 8;
    6. the manner in which and the conditions subject to which records ofhistorical or national importance may be made available to research scholarunder sub-section (2) of section 11;
    7. exceptions and restrictions subject to which public records may be madeavailable to a research scholar under sub-section (1) of section 12;
    8. the manner in which and the conditions subject to which any records creatingagency may grant to any person access to public records in its custody undersub-section (2) of section 12;
    9. the allowances payable to members of the Board under sub-section (3) ofsection 13;
    10. the matters with respect to which the Board may perform its functions underclause (d) of section 14;
    11. any other matter which is required to be, or may be, prescribed.

Power to make rules.

18.

Every rule made under this Act shall be laid, as soon as may be after it ismade, before each House of Parliament, while it is in session, for a totalperiod of thirty days which may be comprised in one session or in two or moresuccessive sessions, and if, before the expiry of the session immediatelyfollowing the session or the successive sessions aforesaid, both Houses agree inmaking any modification in the rule or both Houses agree that the rule shouldnot be made, the rule shall thereafter have effect only in such modified form orbe of no effect, as the case may be, so, however, that any such modification orannulment shall be without prejudice to the validity of anything previously doneunder that rule.

Laying of rules before Parliament.


K. L. MOHANPURIA,
Sec. To the Govt. of India
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