The Bangladesh National Archive Bill, 2021 was passed in Parliament on Thursday with a strong provision that no record can be destroyed.
State Minister for Cultural Affairs KM Khalid moved the Bill, brought to replace the National Archive Ordinance, 1983 in line with a High Court order, was passed by voice vote.
The provision of destroying any record has been dropped from the law. So, no record stored in the National Archives can be destroyed.
The soft copies of classified documents will have to be stored in Kaliakoir Data Centre after a certain period of time.
There will be a 17-member advisory council for three years for the National Archives and its Director General (DG) will be appointed by the government.
As per the proposed law, the National Archives will provide records to any individual upon application and provide applicable fees.
Regarding sending any file, which is above 75 years’ old and has historical, cultural and literature value, to abroad, it will require permission from the Director General.
If the DG thinks that this will go against the country then the DG can deny the permission.
The aggrieved person can apply to the government within 14 days of informing him officially and the decision of the government is final.
If anyone tempers or destroys or erases or hacks any file of the Archive that person will be imprisoned for three years or fined Tk 20,000.
If anyone takes any file from the Archive illegally, smuggles it abroad or takes it outside the Archive building with an ill intention, that person will be imprisoned for five years or fined Tk one lakh.