The provision of destroying any record has been dropped from the proposed law
The Bangladesh National Archive Bill, 2021, was placed in parliament on Sunday having a provision that no record can be destroyed.
The bill was brought to replace the National Archive Ordinance, 1983, in line with a High Court judgment.
State Minister for Cultural Affairs KM Khalid 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.
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 of time.
There will be a 17 member advisory council for three years for the National Archives and its director general will be appointed by the government.
As per the proposed law, National Archives will provide records to any individual upon application and payment of applicable fees.
Regarding sending any file --which is above 75 years old and has historical, cultural and literary value-- abroad, it is necessary to take permission from the director general.
If the DG thinks that this will go against the country then the DG can refuse to give 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 tampers 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 ill intention, that person will be imprisoned for five years or fined Tk1 lakh.