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ANCIENT MONUMENTS PRESERVATION ACT

Ministry of Law and Justice

Act nº 7 of 1904


  • Act nº 7 of 1904

Preamble

THE ANCIENT MONUMENTS PRESERVATION ACT, 1904

[Act, No. 7 of 1904]

[AS ON 1957]

[18th March, 1904]

PREAMBLE

An Act to provide for the preservation of Ancient Monuments and of objects of archaeological, historical, or artistic interest.

WHEREAS it is expedient to provide for the preservation of ancient monuments, for the exercise of control over traffic in antiquities and over excavation in certain places, and for the protection and acquisition in certain cases of ancient monuments and of objects of archaeological, historical or artistic interest; It is hereby enacted as follows:

Section 1. Short title and extent

(1) This Act may be called the Ancient Monuments Preservation Act, 1904.

{Sub-section by the A.O.1950, for sub-section (2).} [(2) It extends to the whole of India {Sub-section by Act 3 of 1951, s.3 and Sch., for " except Part BStates ".} [except the State of Jammu and Kashmir].]

Section 2. Definitions

In this Act, unless there is anything repugnant in the subject or context,

(1) " ancient monument " 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, archological or artistic interest, or any remains thereof, and includes

(a) the site of an ancient monument;

(b) 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

(c) the means of access to and convenient inspection of an ancient monument:

(2) "antiquities" include any moveable objects which {Sub-section by the A.O.1937, for " the Govt.".} [the Central Government], by reason of their historical or archological associations, may think it necessary to protect against injury, removal or dispersion:

(3) "Commissioner " includes any officer authorized by {Subs.ibid., for "the L.G."} [the Central Government] to perform the duties of a Commissioner under this Act:

(4) "maintain " and " maintenance " include the fencing, covering in, repairing, restoring and cleansing of a protected monument, and the (doing of any act which may be necessary for the purpose of maintaining a protected monument or of securing convenient access thereto:

(5) "land " includes a revenue-free estate, a revenue-paying estate, and a permanent transferable tenure, whether such estate or tenure be subject to incumbrances or not: and

(6) "owner " includes a joint owner invested with powers of management on behalf of himself and other joint owners, and any manager or trustee exercising powers of management over an ancient monument, and the successor in title of any such owner and the successor in office of any such manager or trustee:

Provided that nothing in this Act shall be deemed to extend the powers which may lawfully be exercised by such manager or trustee.

Section 3. Protected monuments

(1) The {Substituted by the A.O.1937, for " L.G.".} [Central Government] may, by notification in the Official Gazette, declare an ancient monument to be a protected monument within the meaning of this Act.

(2) A copy of every notification published under sub-section (1) shall be fixed up in a conspicuous place on or near the monument, together with an intimation that any objections to the issue of the notification received by the {Substituted by the A.O.1937, for " L.G.".} [Central Government] within one month from the date when it is so fixed up will be taken into consideration.

(3) On the expiry of the said period of one month, the {Substituted by the A.O.1937, for " L.G.".} [Central Government], after considering the objections, if any, shall confirm or withdraw the notification.

(4) A notification published under this section shall, unless and until it is withdrawn, be conclusive evidence of the fact that the monument to which it relates is an ancient monument within the meaning of this Act.

Section 4. Acquisition of rights in or guardianship of an ancient monument

(1) The Collector, with the sanction of the {Substituted by the A.O.1937, for "L G".} [Central Government], may purchase or take a lease of any protected monument.

(2) The Collector, with the like sanction, may accept a gift or bequest of any protected monument.

(3) The owner of any protected monument may, by written instrument, constitute the Commissioner the guardian of the monument, and the Commissioner may, with the sanction of the {Substituted by the A.O.1937, for " L.G.".} [Central Government], accept such guardianship.

(4) When the Commissioner 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 Commissioner had not been constituted guardian thereof.

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

(6) Where a protected monument is without an owner, the Commissioner may assume the guardianship of the monument.

Section 5. Preservation of ancient monument by agreement

(1) The Collector may, with the previous sanction of {Substituted by the A.O.1937, for " the L.G "} [the Central Government], propose to the owner to enter into an agreement with {Substituted by the A.O.1937, for "the Secretary of State for India in Council''.}[the Central Government] for the preservation of any protected monument in his district.

(2) An agreement under this section may provide for the following matters, or for such of them as it may be found expedient to include m the agreement:

(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 to destroy, remove, alter or deface the monument or to build on or near the site of the monument;

(d) the facilities of access to be permitted to the public or to any portion of the public and to persons deputed by the owner or the Collector to inspect or maintain the monument;

(e) the notice to be given to {Substituted by the A.O.1937, for "the Govt.".}the Central Government in case the land on which the monument is situated is offered for sale by the owner, and the right to be reserved to {Substituted by the A.O.1937, for "the Govt.".}[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 {Substiutted by the A.O.1937, for " the Govt.".}[the Central Government] in connection with the preservation of the monument;

(g) the proprietary or other rights which are to vest in Government in respect of the monument when any expenses reinsured by {Substituted by the A.O.1937, for " the Govt."} [the Central Government] in connection with the preservation 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 preservation of the monument which is a proper subject of agreement between the owner and {Substituted by the A.O.1937, for " the Govt.".}[the Central Government]. {Sub-section (3) omitted by the A.O.1937.}

(4) The terms of an agreement under this section may be altered from time to time with the sanction of {Subs., ibid., for " the L.G.".} [the Central Government] and with the consent of the owner.

(5) With the previous sanction of {Substituted by the A.O.1937, for " the L.G.".}[the Central Government], the Collector may terminate an agreement under this section on giving six months notice in writing to the owner.

(6) The owner may terminate an agreement under this section on giving six months' notice to the Collector.

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

(8) Any rights acquired by {Substituted by the A.O.1937, for " Govt.".}[the Central Government] in respect of expenses incurred in protecting or preserving a monument shall not be affected by the termination of an agreement under this section.

Section 6. Owners under disability or not in possession

(1) If the owner 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 5.

(2) In the case of village-property, the headman or other village-officer exercising powers of management over such property may exercise the powers conferred upon an owner by section 5.

(3) Nothing in this section shall be deemed to empower any person not being of the same religion as the persons 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 7. Enforcement of agreement

(1) If the Collector apprehends that the owner or occupier of a monument intends to destroy, remove, alter, deface, or imperil the monument or to build on or near the site thereof in contravention of the terms of an agreement for its preservation under section 5, the Collector may make an order prohibiting any such contravention of the agreement.

(2) If an owner or other person who is bound by an agreement for the preservation or maintenance of a monument under section 5 refuses to do any act which is in the opinion of the Collector necessary to such preservation or maintenance, or neglects to do any such act within such reasonable time as may be fixed by the Collector, the Collector may authorize any person to do any such act, and the expense of doing any such act or such portion of the expense as the owner may be liable to pay under the agreement may be recovered from the owner as if it were an arrear of land-revenue.

(3) A person aggrieved by an order made under this section may appeal to the Commissioner, who may cancel or modify it and whose decision shall be final.

Section 8. 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, or at a sale made under the Bengal Patni Taluks Regulation, 1819, (Ben.Reg., 8 of 1819) an estate or tenure in which is situated a monument in respect of which any instrument has been executed by the owner for the time being, under section 4 or section 5 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.

Section 9. Application of endowment to repair of an ancient monument

(1) If any owner or other person competent to enter into an agreement under section 5 for the preservation of a protected monument, refuses or fails to enter into such an agreement when proposed to him by the Collector, and if any endowment has been created for the purpose of keeping such monument in repair, or for that purpose among others, the Collector 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 the decree of a Civil Court.

Section 10. Compulsory purchase of ancient monument

(1) If the {Substituted by the A.O 1937, for " L.G.".}[Central Government] apprehends that a protected monument is in danger of being destroyed, injured or allowed to fall into decay.{Substituted by the A.O 1937, for " the L.G.may proceed to acquire it ".}[the Central Government may direct the State Government to acquire it] under the provisions of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894, (1 of 1894)as if the preservation of a protected monument were a " public purpose " within the meaning of that Act.

(2) The powers of compulsory purchase conferred by sub-section (1) shall not be exercised in the case of

(a) any monument which or any part of which is periodically used for religious observances; or

(b) any monument which is the subject of a subsisting agreement executed under section 5.

(3) In any case other than the cases referred to in sub-section (2) the said powers of compulsory purchase shall not be exercised unless the owner or other person competent to enter into an agreement under section 5 has failed, within such reasonable period as the Collector may fix in this behalf, to enter into an agreement proposed to him under the said section or has terminated or given notice of his intention to terminate such an agreement. {Inserted by Act 18 of 1932, section 2.}

Section 10A. Power Central Government to control mining, etc., near ancient monument

(1) If the{Substituted by the A.O 1937, for " L.G.".} [Central Government] is of opinion that mining, quarrying, excavating, blasting and other operations of a like nature should be restricted or regulated for the purpose of protecting, or preserving any ancient monument, the {Substituted by the A.O 1937, for " L.G.".}[Central Government] may, by notification in the Official Gazette, make rules

(a) fixing the boundaries of the area to which the rules are to apply,

(b) forbidding the carrying on of mining, quarrying, excavating, blasting or any operation of a like nature except in accordance with the rules and with the terms of a licence, and

(c) prescribing the authority by which, and the terms on which, licences may be granted to carry on any of the said operations.

(2) The power to make rules given by this section is subject to the condition of the rules being made after previous publication.

(3) A rule made under this section may provide that any person committing a breach thereof shall be punishable with fine which may extend to two hundred rupees.

(4) If any owner or occupier of land included in a notification under sub-section (1) proves to the satisfaction of the {Substituted by the A.O.1937, for " L, G.".} [Central Government] that he has sustained loss by reason of such land being so included, the {Substituted by the A.O.1937, for " L, G.".} [Central Government] shall pay compensation in respect of such loss.]

Section 11. Maintenance of certain protected monuments

(1) The Commissioner shall maintain every monument in respect of which the Government has acquired any of the rights mentioned in section 4 or which the Government has acquired under section 10.

(2) When the Commissioner has accepted the guardianship of a monument under section 4, he shall, for the purpose of maintaining such monument, have access to the monument at all reasonable times, by himself and by his agents, subordinates and workmen, for the purpose of inspecting the monument, and for the purpose of bringing such materials and doing such acts as he may consider necessary or desirable for the maintenance thereof.

Section 12. Voluntary contributions

The Commissioner may receive voluntary contributions towards the cost of maintaining a protected monument and may give orders as to the management and application of any funds so received by him:

Provided that no contribution received under this section shall he applied to any purpose other than the purpose for which it was contributed.

Section 13. Protection of place of worship from misuse, pollution or desecration

(1) A place of worship or shrine maintained by the Government under this Act shall not be used for any purpose inconsistent with its character.

(2) Where the Collector has, under section 4, purchased or taken a lease of any protected monument, or has accepted a gift or bequest, or the Commissioner has, under the same section, accepted the guardianship thereof, and such monument, or any part thereof, is periodically used for religious worship or observances by any community, the Collector shall make due provision for the protection of such monument or such part thereof, from pollution or desecration

(a) by prohibiting the entry therein, except n accordance with conditions prescribed with the concurrence of the persons in religious charge of the said monument or part thereof, of any person not entitled so to enter by the religious usages of the community by which the monument or part thereof is used, or

(b) by taking such other action as he may think necessary in this behalf.