An Act to provide for the administration of the National Library and certain other connected matters.
BE enacted by Parliament in the Twenty-seventh Year of the Republic of India as follows:--
Section 1. Short title and commencement
(1) This Act may be called the National Library of India Act, 1976.
(2) It shall come into force on such date as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint.
Section 2. Definitions
In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,--
(a) "Board" means the Board established under section 3;
(b) "Chairman" means the Chairman of the Board;
(c) "Fund" means the Fund referred to in section 23;
(d) "Library" means the institution located at Calcutta and known at the commencement of the Constitution as the National Library;
(e) "member" means a member of the Board and includes the Chairman;
(f) "prescribed" means prescribed by rules made under this Act.
Section 3. Establishment and incorporation of Board
(1) With effect from such date as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint, there shall be established for the purposes of this Act, a Board to be known as the National Library Board.
(2) The Board shall be a body corporate with the name aforesaid, having perpetual succession and a common seal with power, subject to the provisions of this Act, to acquire, hold and dispose of property and contract and may by the name sue and be sued.
(3) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (2) the Board shall not, except with the previous approval of the Central Government, sell or otherwise dispose of any manuscripts, books, articles things belonging to the Library, other than articles of furniture, stationary and dead stock of like nature:
Provided that where any such manuscripts, books, articles or things donated by any person to the Library are proposed to be sold or otherwise disposed of, no approval under this sub-section shall be accorded unless the donor or his successor-in-interest as the case may be, has permitted in writing to do so.
Section 4. Composition of the Board
The Board shall consist of the following members, namely:--
(i) a Chairman, being a person of academic distinction, to be nominated by the Central Government;
(ii) three persons to be elected by Parliament, two from the House of the People by the members of the House of the People and one from the Council of States by the members of the Council of States;
(iii) three persons to be nominated by the Government of the States by rotation in the alphabetical order;
(iv) four persons to represent the Universities in India, to be nominated in the prescribed manner.
Explanation.-- For the purpose of this clause "University" has the meaning assigned to it in the University Grants Commission Act, 1956 and includes an educational institution declared by Parliament by law to be an institution of national importance;
(v) the Chairman of the University Grants Commission or a member of that Commission to be nominated by the Chairman thereof,
(vi) the Chief Librarian, by whatever name called, of one of the public libraries within the meaning of clause (b) of section 2 of the Delivery of Books and Newspapers (Public Libraries) Act, 1954, but not including the National Library, Calcutta, to be nominated by the Central Government by rotation in the alphabetical order;
(vii) the Chief Librarian by whatever name called, of one of the public libraries in India [not being a library referred to in clause (vi)] containing important collections of manuscripts of historical, literary or aesthetic importance, to be nominated by the Central Government;
(viii) one person to be nominated by the Indian Library Association, a society registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860;
(ix) the Director, National Archives of India;
(x) eight scholars of repute in different disciplines covering humanities, science, social science, medicine, engineering and technology and law, to be nominated by the Central Government;
(xi) two persons to be elected by the officers and other employees serving in the Library from amongst themselves in such manner as may be prescribed:
Provided that at least one such person shall be a member of the technical staff of the Library.
Explanation.-- For the purposes of this clause "member of the technical staff means the Librarian, Deputy Librarian, Assistant Librarian, Technical Assistant, Junior Technical Assistant, Lecturer, Microphotographer, Chemist and such other like categories of persons as may be prescribed;
(xii) two persons, not below the rank of Joint Secretary to the Government of India, to be nominated by the Central Government, to represent respectively the Ministry or Department of the Central Government dealing with matters relating to the Library and the Ministry of the Central Government dealing with Finance.
(xiii) one person to be nominated by the Government of West Bengal to represent that Government;
(xiv) the Director of the Library, who shall be the Member-Secretary.
Section 5. Disqualification for office of member
A person shall be disqualified for being nominated, or, as the case may be, elected as and for being a member of the Board or the Executive Council referred to in section 11,--
(a) if he has been convicted and sentenced to imprisonment for an offence which involves moral turpitude; or
(b) if he is an undischarged insolvent; or
(c) if he is of unsound mind and is so declared by a competent Court; or
(d) if he has such financial or other interest in the Board as is likely to affect prejudicially the discharge by him of his function as a member.
Section 6. Term of office, etc., of members
(1) Every nomination or election, as the case may be, of the Chairman and the other members under section 4 shall be notified by the Central Government in the Official Gazette and their term of office shall be three years from the date of such notification;
Provided that the term of office of a member elected under clause (ii) of sub-section (1) of section 4 or under clause (xi) of that sub-section shall come to an end as soon as he ceases to be a member of the House from which he was elected or, as the case may be, he ceases to be in the employment of the Board.
(2) Any nominated or elected member may resign his office by giving notice in writing to the Central Government and, on such resignation being notified by the Central Government in the Official Gazette, he shall be deemed to have vacated his office.
(3) A casual vacancy created by the resignation of a nominated or elected member under subsection (2) or by any other reason may be filled by fresh nomination by the authority which nominated the member or, as the case may be, by fresh election by the House or body which elected the member and such nomination or election shall be notified by the Central Government in the Official Gazette and a member so nominated or elected shall hold office for the remaining period for which the member in whose place he is nominated or elected would have held office.
(4) An outgoing member shall be eligible for re-nomination or re-election.
(5) If any nominated member is by infirmity or otherwise rendered temporarily incapable of carrying out his duties or is absent on leave or otherwise in circumstances not involving the vacation of his office, the authority which nominated the member may nominate another person to act in his place during his absence.
Section 7. Vacation of office of member
The Central Government shall remove a member of the Board or the Executive Council referred to in section 11 if he--
(a) becomes subject to any of the disqualifications mentioned in section 5:
Provided that no member shall be removed on the ground that he has become subject to the disqualification mentioned in clause (d) of that section unless he has been given a reasonable opportunity of being heard in the matter; or
(b) is, without obtaining leave of absence from the Board, absent from three consecutive meetings of the Board or the Executive Council, as the case may be.
Section 8. Vacancies, etc., not to invalidate acts
No act of the Board shall be invalid merely by reason of--
(a) any vacancy in, or defect in the constitution of the Board, or
(b) any defect in the nomination of the person acting as a member thereof, or
(c) any irregularity in its procedure not affecting the merits of the case.
Section 9. Members to disclose their financial or other interest in the Board
Any member who is in any way directly or indirectly interested in a contract made or proposed to be made by the Board shall, as soon as possible, after the relevant circumstances have come to his knowledge, disclose the nature of his interest at a meeting of the Board and the disclosure shall be recorded in the minutes of the Board and the member shall not take part after the disclosure in any deliberation or decision of the Board with respect to that contract.
Section 10. Meetings of Board
(1) The Board shall meet at least twice a year, ordinarily at the premises of the Library, and shall, subject to the provisions of sub-sections (2), (3) and (4), observe such rules of procedure in regard to the transaction of business at its meetings including the quorum at meetings, as may be provided by regulations made under this Act.
(2) The Chairman or, in his absence, any member chosen by the members present from among themselves, shall preside at a meeting of the Board.
(3) If any member, being an officer of the Government, is unable to attend any meeting of the Board, he may, with the previous approval of the Chairman, authorise, an officer of the Ministry or Department not below the rank of Deputy Secretary to the Government of India, in writing to do so.
(4) All questions at a meeting of the Board shall be decided by a majority of the votes of the members present and voting and in the case of an equality of votes, the Chairman or, in his absence, the member presiding, shall have a second or casting vote.
Section 11. Executive Council
(1) There shall be an Executive Council of the Board consisting of nine members.
(2) The Director of the Library shall be the Chairman of the Executive Council and the other members thereof shall be appointed by the Board partly from among the members of the Board and partly from outside:
Provided that a representative each from the Ministry of the Central Government dealing with Finance and the Ministry or Department of the Central Government dealing with the Library and a representative of the Government of West Bengal shall be members of the Executive Council:
Provided further that without prejudice to the provisions of the preceding proviso not more than three persons shall be appointed from outside.
(3) The Executive Council shall assist the Board in the exercise of its powers and the performance of its duties under this Act and shall exercise such of the powers and perform such of the duties of the Board as may be prescribed or as the Board may delegate to it subject to such conditions as the Board may deem fit.
(4) With the previous approval of the Board, it shall be competent for the Executive Council to entertain and adjudicate upon any grievance of the officers and other employees of the Board.
(5) The term of office of those members of the Executive Council who are not members of the Board shall be conterminous with the term of office of the members of the Board.
Section 12. Temporary association of persons with Board for particular purposes
(1) The Board may associate with itself in such manner and for such purposes as may be provided by regulations made under this Act, any person whose assistance or advice it may desire in performing any of its functions under this Act.
(2) A person associated with it by the Board under sub-section (1) for any purpose shall have the right to take part in the discussion of the Board relating to that purpose, but shall not, by virtue of this section, be entitled to vote.