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ANCIENTMONUMENTS AND ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES AND REMAINS ACT

Ministry of Law and Justice

Act nº 24 of 1958


  • Act nº 24 of 1958

Preamble

THE ANCIENT MONUMENTS AND ARCHAEOLOGICAL

SITES AND REMAINS ACT, 1958

[Act, NO. 24 of 1958]

[28th August, 1958]

PREAMBLE

An Act to provide for the preservation of ancient and historical monuments and archaeological site and remains of national importance, for the regulation of archaeological excavations and for the protection of sculptures, carvings and other like objects.

BE it enacted by Parliament in the Ninth Year of the Republic of India as follows:-

Section 1. Short title, extent and commencement

(1)This Act may be called the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites andRemains Act, 1958.

(2) It extends to thewhole of India, 1 [***]

(3) It shall come intoforce on such date as the Central Government may, by notification in theOfficial Gazette, appoint.

1.Sub-section(2) substituted by the Antiquities and Art Treasures Act (52 of 1972), section33(i) (05-04-1976) prior to sub-section (2) was as under "butsections 22, 24, 25 and 26 shall not apply to the State of Jammu and Kashmir."


Section 2. Definitions

In this Act unless the context otherwise requires,-

(a) "ancient monuments" means any structure, erection or monument, or any tumulus or place of interment, or any cave, rock-sculpture, inscription or monolith, which is of historical, archaeological or artistic interest and which has been in existence for not less than one hundred years, and includes-

(i) the remains of an ancient monument.

(ii) the site of an ancient monument,

(iii) such portion of land adjoining the site of an ancient monument as may be required for fencing or covering in or otherwise preserving such monument, and

(iv) the means of access to, and convenient inspection of, an ancient monument;

(b) "antiquity" includes-

(i) any coin, sculpture ,manuscript, epigraph, or other work of art or craftsmanship.

(ii) any article, objector thing detached from a building or cave,

(iii) any article, objector thing illustrative of science, art, crafts, literature, religion, customs, morals or politics in bygone ages,

(iv) any article, objector thing of historical interest, and

(v) any article, objector thing declared by the Central Government, by notification in the Official Gazette, to be an antiquity for the purposes of this Act.

which has been in existence for not less than one hundred years;

(c) "archaeological officer" means an officer of the Department of Archaeology of the Government of India not lower in rank than Assistant Superintendent of Archaeology;

(d) "archaeological site and remains" means any area which contains or is reasonably believed to contain ruins or relics of historical or archaeological importance which have been in existence for not less than one hundred years, and includes-

(i) such portion of land adjoining the area as may be required for fencing or covering in or otherwise preserving it, and

(ii) the means of access to, and convenient inspection of, the area;

1['(da) "Authority" means the National Monuments Authority constituted under section 20F;

(db) "competent authority" means an officer not below the rank of Director of archaeology or Commissioner of archaeology of the Central or State Government or equivalent rank, specified, by notification in the Official Gazette, as the competent authority by the Central Government to perform functions under this Act:

Provided that the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify different competent authorities for the purpose of sections 20C, 20D and 20E;

(dc) "construction" means any erection of a structure or a building, including any addition or extension thereto either vertically or horizontally, but does not include any re-construction, repair and renovation of an existing structure or building, or, construction, maintenance and cleansing of drains and drainage works and of public latrines, urinals and similar conveniences, or, the construction and maintenance of works meant for providing supply of water for public, or, the construction or maintenance, extension, management for supply and distribution of electricity to the public or provision for similar facilities for public;]

(e) "Director-General"means the Director-General of Archaeology, and includes any officer authorised by the Central Government toper form the duties of the Director-General;

(f) "maintain, with its grammatical variations and cognate expressions, includes the fencing, covering in, repairing, restoring and cleansing of a protected monument, and the doing of any act which may be necessary for the porpoise of preserving aprotected monument or of securing convenient access thereto;

(g) "owner" includes-

(i) a joint owner invested with powers of management on behalf of himself and other joint owners and the successor-in-title of any such owner; and

(ii) any manager or trustee exercising powers of management and the successor-in-office of any such manager or trustee;

(h) "prescribed" means prescribed by rules made under this Act;

1[(ha) "prohibited area" means any area specified of declared to be a prohibited area under section 20A;]

(i) "protected area" means any archaeological site and remains which is declared to be of national importance by or under this Act;

(j) "protected monument" means an ancient monument which is declared to be of national importance by or under this Act.

1[(k) "re-construction" means any erection of a structure or building to its pre-existing structure, having the same horizontal and vertical limits;

(l) "regulated area" means any area specified or declared under section 20B;

(m) "repair and renovation" means alterations to a pre-existing structure or building, but shall not include construction or re-construction;]

1. Inserted by the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological sites and Remains (Amendment and validation) Act, 2010 w.e.f. 23.01.2010.


Section 2A. Construction of references to any law not in force in the State of Jammu and Kashmir

1[ 2A. Construction of references to any law not in force in the State of Jammu and Kashmir.

Any reference in this Act to any law which is not in force in the State of Jammu and Kashmir shall, in relation to that State, be construed as a reference to the corresponding law, if any, in force in that State.]

1. Section 2A inserted by the Antiquities and Art Treasures Act (52 of 1972), section 33(ii) (05-04-1976).


Section 3. Certain ancient monuments, etc., deemed to be of national importance

All ancient and historical monuments and all archaeological sites and remains which have been declared by the Ancient and Historical Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (Declaration of National Importance) Act, 1951 (71 of 1951), or by section 126 of the States Reorganisation Act, 1956 (37 of 1956), to be of national importance shall be deemed to be ancient and historical monuments or archaeological sites and remains declared to be of national importance for the purposes of this Act.

Section 4. Power of Central Government to declare ancient monuments, etc., to be of national importance

(1) Where the Central Government is of opinion that any ancient monument or archaeological site and remains not included in section 3 is of national importance, it may, by notification in the official Gazette, give two months' notice of its intention to declare such ancient monument or archaeological site and remains to be of national importance; and a copy of every such notification shall be affixed in a conspicuous place near the monument or site and remains, as the case may be.

(2) Any person interested in any such ancient monument or archaeological site and remains may, within two months after the issue of the notification, object to the declaration of the monument, or the archaeological site and remains, to be of national importance.

(3) On the expiry of the said period of two months, the Central Government may after considering the objections, if any, received by it, declare by notification in the Official Gazette, the ancient monument or the archaeological site and remains, as the case may be, to be of national importance.

(4) A notification published under sub-section (3) shall, unless and until it is withdrawn, be conclusive evidence of the fact that the ancient monument or the archaeological site and remains to which it relates is of national importance for the purposes of this Act.

Section 4A. Categorisation and classification in respect of ancient monuments or archaeological sites and remains declared as of national importance under sections 3 and 4

1[(1) The Central Government shall, on the recommendation of the Authority, prescribe categories in respect of ancient monuments or archaeological sites and remains declared as of national importance under sections 3 and 4, and while prescribing such categories it shall have regard to the historical, archaeological and architectural value and such other factors as may be relevant for the purpose of such categorisation.

(2) The Central Government shall, on the recommendation of the Authority, classify all the ancient monuments or archaeological sites and remains declared as of national importance under sections 3 and 4, in accordance with the categories prescribed under sub-section (1) and thereafter make the same available to the public and exhibit the same on its website and also in such other manner as it may deem fit.]

1. Inserted by the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological sites and Remains (Amendment and validation) Act, 2010.


Section 5. Acquisition of rights in a protected monument

(1) The Director-General may, with the sanction of the Central Government, purchase, or take a lease of, or accept a gift or bequest of, any protected monument.

(2) Where a protected monument is without an owner, the Director-General may, by notification in the Official Gazette, assume the guardianship of the monument.

(3) The owner of any protected monument may, by written instrument, constitute the Director-General the guardian of the monument, and the Director-General the guardian of the monument, and the Director-General may, with the sanction of the Central Government, accept such guardianship.

(4) When the Director-General has accepted the guardianship of a monument under sub-section (3), the owner shall, except as expressly provided in this Act, have the same estate, right, title and interest in and to the monument as if the Director-General had not been constituted a guardian thereof.

(5) When the Director-General has accepted the guardianship of a monument under sub-section (3), the provisions of this Act relating to agreements executed under section 6 shall apply to the written to agreements executed under the said sub-section.

(6) Nothing in this section shall affect the use of any protected monument for customary religious observations.

Section 6. Preservation of protected monument by agreement

(1) the Collector, when so directed by the Central Government, shall propose to the owner of a protected monument to enter into an agreement with the Central Government within a specified period for the maintenance of the monument.

(2) An agreement under this section may provide for all or any of the following matters, namely:-

(a) the maintenance of the monument:

(b) the custody of the monument and the duties of any person who may be employed to watch it;

(c) the restriction of the owner's right-

(i) to use the monument for any purpose,

(ii) to charge any fee for entry into, or inspection of, the monument,

(iii) to destroy, remove, alter or deface the monument, or

(iv) to build on or near the site of the monument;

(d) the facilitates of access to be permitted to the public or any section thereof or to archaeological officers or to persons deputed by the owner or any archaeological officer or the Collector to inspect or maintain the monument;

(e) the notice to be given to the Central Government in case the land on which the monument is situated or any adjoining land is offered for sale by the owner, and the right to be reserved to the Central Government to purchase such land, or any specified portion of such land, at its market value;

(f) the payment of any expenses incurred by the owner or by the Central Government in connection with the maintenance of the monument;

(g) the proprietary or other rights which are to vest in the Central Government in respect of the monument when any expenses are incurred by the Central Government in connection with the maintenance of the monument;

(h) the appointment of an authority to decide any dispute arising out of the agreement; and

(i) any matter connected with the maintenance of the monument which is a proper subject of agreement between the owner and the Central Government.

(3) The Central Government or the owner may, at any time after the expiration of three years from the date of execution of an agreement under this section, terminate it on giving six months' notice in writing to the other party:

Provided that where the agreement is terminated by the owner, he shall pay to the Central Government the expenses, if any, incurred by it on the maintenance of the monument during the five years immediately preceding the termination of the agreement or, if the agreement has been in force for a shorter period, during the period the agreement was in force.

(4) An agreement under this section shall be binding on any person claiming to be the owner of the monument to which it relates, from, through or under a party by whom or on whose behalf the agreement was executed.

Section 7. Owners under disability or not in possession

(1) If the owner of a protected monument is unable, by reason of infancy or other disability, to act for himself, the person legally competent to act on his behalf may exercise the powers conferred upon an owner by section 6.

(2) In the case of village property, the headman other village-officer exercising powers of management over such property may exercise the powers conferred upon an owner by section 6.

(3) Nothing in this section shall be deemed to empower any person not being of the same religion as the person on whose behalf he is acting to make or execute an agreement relating to a protected monument which or any part of which is periodically used for the religious worship or observances of that religion.

Section 8. Application of endowment to repair a protected monument

(1) If any owner or other person competent to enter into an agreement under section 6 for the maintenance of a protected monument refuses or fails to enter into such an agreement, and if any endowment has been created for the purpose of keeping such monument in repair or for that purpose among other, the Central Government may institute a suit in the court of the district judge, or, if the estimated cost of repairing the monument does not exceed one thousand rupees, may make an application to the district judge, for the proper application of such endowment or part thereof.

(2) On the hearing of an application under sub-section (1), the district judge may summon and examine the owner and any person whose evidence appears to him necessary and may pass an order for the proper application of the endowment or of any part thereof, and any such order may be executed as if it were a decree of a civil court.

Section 9. Failure or refusal to enter into an agreement

(1) If any owner or other person competent to enter into an agreement under section 6 for the maintenance of a protected monument refuses or fails to enter into such an agreement, the Central Government may make an order providing for all or any of the matters specified in sub-section (2) of section 6 and such order shall be binding on the owner or such other person and on every person claiming title to the monument from, through or under, the owner or such other person.

(2) Where an order made under sub-section (1) provides that the monument shall be maintained by the owner or other person competent to enter into an agreement all reasonable expenses for the maintenance of the monument shall be payable by the Central Government.

(3) No order under sub-section (1) shall be made unless the owner or other person has been given an opportunity of making a representation in writing against the proposed order.

Section 10. Power to make order prohibiting contravention of agreement under section 6

(1) If the Director-General apprehends that the owner or occupier of a protected monument intends to destroy, remove, alter, deface, imperil or misuse the monument or to build on or near the site thereof in contravention of the terms of an agreement under section 6, the Director-General may, after giving the owner or occupier an opportunity of making a representation in writing, make an order prohibiting any such contravention of the agreement:

Provided that no such opportunity may be given in any case where the Director-General, for reasons to be recorded, is satisfied that it is not expedient or practicable to do so.

(2) Any person aggrieved by an order under this section may appeal to the Central Government within such time and in such manner as may be prescribed and the decision of the Central Government shall be final.

Section 11. Enforcement of agreements

(1) If an owner or other person who is bound by an agreement for the maintenance of a monument under section 6 refuses or fails within such reasonable time as the Director-General may fix, to do any act which in the opinion of the Director-General is necessary for the maintenance of the monument, the Director-General may authorise any person to do any such act, and the owner or other person shall be liable to pay the expenses of doing any such act or such portion of the expenses as the owner may be liable to pay under the agreement.

(2) If any dispute arises regarding the amount of expenses payable by the owner or other person under sub-section (1), it shall be referred to the Central Government whose decision shall be final.

Section 12. Purchasers at certain sales and persons claiming through owner bound by instrument executed by owner

Every person who purchases, at a sale for arrears of land revenue or any other public demand, any land on which is situated a monument in respect of which any instrument has been executed by the owner for the time being under section 5 or section 6, and every person claiming any title to a monument from, through or under, an owner who executed any such instrument, shall be bound by such instrument.