ASIATIC SOCIETY ACT, 1984
5 of 1984
23rd March 1984
STATEMENT OF OBJECTS AND REASONS The Asiatic Society, Calcutta is a society deemed to be registered under the West Bengal Societies Registration Act, 1961. It was established on the 15th January, 1784 through the exertion of the well-known indologist William Jones who was then a puisne judge of the then Supreme Court at Fort William in Bengal. The Society has all along served as the fountainhead of various literary and scientific activities in the country. The society has a rich collection of books, manuscripts, coins and various art objects. 2. Over the years, the activities of the Society have declined and its affairs have deteriorated. Recently, the society approached the Government for assistance and for declaring it as an institution of national importance. The society in its meeting held on 5th December, 1983 also resolved that the Government of India be requested to declare the Asiatic Society as an institution of national importance by an Act of Parliament and that the Government of India be requested to take expeditious steps to follow up action in this regard. 3. Having regard to the objects of the Society, it is considered appropriate that the society should be declared to be an institution of national importance. The bill makes such a declaration and provides for the requisite financial assistance to be given to the society and for suitable powers of control being exercised. -S.O.R. - Gaz. of Ind., 3-3-1984, Pt. II, S. 2, Ext., P. 16 (No. 9).
An Act to declare the institution known as Asiatic society having at present its registered office in Calcutta to be an institution of national importance and to provide for certain matters connected therewith. Be it enacted by Parliament in the lhirty-fifth Year of the Republic of India as follows :-
SECTION 01: SHORT TITLE AND COMMENCEMENT
(1) This Act may be called the Asiatic Society Act) 1984.
(2) It shall come into force on such date1as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint.
SECTION 02: DECLARATION OF ASIATIC SOCIETY AS AN INSTITUTION OF NATIONAL IMPORTANCE
- Whereas the late William Jones founded on the 15th day of January, 1784, an institution in calcutta which is now known as the Asiatic Society and the objects of which are such as to make the institution one of national importance, it is hereby declared that the said Asiatic Society is an institution of national importance.
SECTION 03: DEFINITIONS
- In this Act unless the context otherwise requires.-
(a) "memorandum" means the memorandum of association of the Society;
(b) "prescribed" means prescribed by rules made under this Act;
(c) "regulations" includes any rule or regulation (by whatever name called) which the Society is competent to make in the exercise of the powers conferred on it under the West Bengal Societies Registration Act, 1961, but shall not include any bye-laws or standing orders made under the regulations for the conduct of its day-to-day administration;
(d) "Society" means the Asiatic Society being a society within the meaning of the West Bengal Societies Registration Act, 1961 and hiving its registered office in Calcutta.
SECTION 04: GRANTS, LOANS, ETC., BY CENTRAL GOVERNMENT TO SOCIETY
-For the purpose of enabling the Society to discharge efficiently its functions, including in particular those relating to research, literary, library, scientific and mueological activities, collection of manuscript^ coins and art objects, and the publication of periodicals, books and other literature, the Central Government may, after due appropriation made by Parliament by law in this behalf, pay to the Society in each financial year such sums of money as that Government considers necessary by way of grants, loans or otherwise.
SECTION 05: AUDIT OF ACCOUNTS OF SOCIETY
- (1) The Society shall maintain proper accounts and other relevant records and prepare an annual statement of accounts including the balance sheet in such form as may be approved by the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India.
(2) The accounts of the Society shall be audited by the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India and any expenditure incurred by him in connection with such audit shall be payable by the Society to the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India.
(3) The Comptroller and Auditor-General of India and any person appointed fy him in connection with the audit of the accounts of the Society shall have the same rights, privileges and authority in connection with such audit as the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India has in connection with the audit of the Government accounts, and, in particular, shall have the right to demand the production of books, accounts, connected vouchers and other documents and papers and to inspect the office of the Society,
(4) The accounts of the Society as certified by the Comptroller arid Auditor-General of India or any person appointed by him in this behalf together with the audit report thereof shall be forwarded annually to the Central Government and that Government shall cause the same to be laid before each House of Parliament.
SECTION 06: ANNUAL REPORT
- The Society shall furnish to the Central Government ai such time each year as may be directed, its annual report giving full account of its activities, policies and programmes during the previous year and that Government shall cause the same to be laid before each House of Parliament.
SECTION 07: PRIOR APPROVAL OF CENTRAL GOVERNMENT NECESSARY FOR CERTAIN ACTION BY SOCIETY
- The Society shall not, except with previous approval of the Central Government.-
(a) alter, extend or abridge any of the purposes for which it has been established or for which it is being used immediately before the commencement of this Act, or amalgamate itself either wholly or partially with any other institution or society: or
(b) alter or amend in any manner the memorandum or regulations: or
(c) sell or otherwise dispose of any property acquired by the Society with money specifically provided for such acquisition by the Central Government: Provided that no such approval shall be necessary in the case of any such movable property or class of movable property as may be specified by the Central Government in this behalf by general or special order; or
(d) be dissolved.
SECTION 08: PLANNING BOARD
- (1) For the purpose of advising it with respect to the planning and implementation of the developmental programmes of the Society and other matters concerning the Society, the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, establish a board to be called the Planning Board (Asiatic Society).
(2) The Board shall consist of a Chairman and such other members as may be appointed by the Central Government.
(3) Subject to any rules which the Central Government may make in this behalf, the Board shall have the power to regulate its own procedure.
(4) The term of office of, the procedure to be followed in the discharge of their functions by, the manner of filling casual vacancies among, the allowances, if any, payable to, and other matters concerning, the members of the Board shall be such as may be prescribed.
SECTION 09: COMMITTEES
- (1) The Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, constitute as many committees, as and when it considers it necessary, consisting of such number of persons as it thinks fit to appoint thereto and assign to each such committee all or any of the. following duties, namely:-
(a) the preparation and submission to the Central Government, as far as possible before the commencement of each financial year of statements showing programmes of work agreed to be undertaken by the Society during that year for which the Central Government may provide funds as well as general financial estimates in respect of such work;
(b) the settlement on broad lines of the programmes of such work.
(2) A committee constituted under sub-section (1) shall, in discharging its duties with respect to any matter under this section have due regard to the advice, if any, tendered in respect of such matter under section 8-by the Board to the Central Government.
(3) Where the Society does not agree to undertake any work suggested by any committee referred to in sub-section (1), it shall give to the Central Government its reasons for not so agreeing.
(4) The procedure to be followed by a committee constituted under sub-sec. (1) in the discharge of its functions, the allowances if any, payable to the members of such committee and other matters relating to such committee shall be such as may be prescribed.
SECTION 10: REVIEW OF WORK DONE, INSPECTION OF ASSETS, ETC
- (1) The Central Government may by notification in the Official Gazette, constitute a committee consisting of such number of persons as it thinks fit to appoint thereto for the purpose of-
(a) reviewing the work done by the Society and the progress made by it;
(b) inspecting its buildings, equipment and other assets;
(c) evaluating the work done by the Society; and
(d) advising Government generally on any matter which in the opinion of the Central Government is of importance in connection with the work of the Society; and the Committee shall submit its report thereon in such manner as the Central Government may direct.
(2) The procedure to be followed by, the allowances, if any, payable to, the members of the Committee and other matters concerning the Committee shall be such as may be prescribed.
(3) The Committee shall, subject to the provisions of sub-section (4) and of any rules which the Central Government may make in this behalf, have power to regulate its own procedure.
(4) Notice shall be given in every case to the Society of the intention to cause a review, inspection or evaluation to be made, and the Society shall be entitled to appoint a representative who shall have the right to be present and be heard at such review, inspection or evaluation.
(5) The Central Government may address the President of the Society with reference to the result of such review, inspection or evaluation as disclosed in any report of the Committee referred to in sub-section (1), and the President shall communicate to the Central Government the action, if any, taken thereon.
(6) When the Central Government has, in pursuance of sub-section (5), addressed the President of the Society in connection with any matter, and the President does not within a reasonable time take action to the satisfaction of the Central Government in respect thereof, the Central Government may, after considering any explanation furnished or representations made on behalf of the Society, issue such directions as it considers necessary in respect of any of the matters dealt with in the report.
SECTION 11: SOCIETY TO AFFORD FACILITIES TO COMMITTEES
- The Society shall be bound to afford all necessary facilities to the Board constituted under section 8-and to every committee constituted under section 9-orsection 10-for the purpose of enabling them to carry out their duties.
SECTION 12: POWER TO ISSUE DIRECTIONS TO SOCIETY
- (1) The Central Government may, if it is satisfied that it is necessary so to do in the public interest, issue, for reasons to be recorded and communicated to the Society, such directions as it thinks fit to the Society, and such directions may include directions requiring the Society-
(a) to amend the memorandum or to make or amend any regulation within such period as may be specified in the directions:
(b) to give priorities to the work undertaken or to be undertaken by the Society in such manner as the Central Government may think fit to specify in this behalf.
(2) Any directions issued under this section shall have effect, notwithstanding anything contained in any law for the time being in force or in the memorandum or regulations of the Society.
SECTION 13: POWER OF CENTRAL GOVERNMENT TO ASSUME FUNCTIONS OF CONTROL
- (1) If, in the opinion of the Central Government,-
(i) the Society without just or reasonable cause has made default in giving effect to any direction issued under sub-section (6) of section 10-orsection 12-; or
(ii) the Council of the Society has exceeded or abused the powers in relation to the Society or any part thereof; the Central Government may, by written order, direct the Society within a period to be specified in the order to show cause to the satisfaction of the Central Government against the making of any appointment referred to in sub-section (2).
(2) If, within the period fixed by any order issued under sub-section (1), cause is not shown to the satisfaction of the Central Government, the Central Government may, by order published in the Official Gazette and staling the reasons therefor, appoint one or more persons to take over the management of the Society or of any of the activities of the Society for such period not exceeding two years as may be specified in the order.
(3) During the period specified in the order issued under sub-section (2),-
(a) where the order provides for any person or persons taking over the management of the Society-
(i) all persons holding office as Members of the Council, including the President, shall be deemed to have vacated their office as such;
(ii) the person or persons appointed under sub-section (2) to take over the management of the Society shall exercise all the powers and perform all the duties of the President or Council of the Society, whether at a meeting or otherwise, in respect of the Society;
(b) where the order provides for any person or persons taking over the management or any activities of the Society, the person or persons so appointed shall alone be entitled to exercise all the powers and perform all the duties of the President or Council in relation to those activities.
SECTION 14: ACT TO HAVE OVERRIDING EFFECT
The provisions of this Act shall have effect notwithstanding anything inconsistent therewith contained in the memorandum or regulations or the West Bengal Societies Registration Act, 1961or any other law for the time being in force.
SECTION 15: POWER TO MAKE RULES
(1) The Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, make rules to carry out the provisions of this Act.
(2) In particular and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power, such rules may provide for all or any of the following matters, namely:-
(i) matters with respect to the procedure to be followed by the Board under sub-section (3) of section 8-;
(ii) the term of office of, the procedure to be followed in the discharge of their functions by, the manner of filling casual vacancies among, the allowances, if any, payable to, and other matters concerning, the members of the Board under sub-section (4) of section 8-;
(iii) the procedure to be followed by a committee in the discharge of its functions the allowances, if any, payable to the members of the committee and other matters relating to the committee under sub-section (4) of section 9-;
(iv) the procedure to be followed by, the allowances, if any, payable to, the members of the Committee and other matters concerning the Committee under sub-section (2) of section 10-;
(v) any other matter which is required to be or in respect of which rules may be made under this Act.
(3) Every rule made by the Central Government under this Act shall be laid as soon as may be after it is made, before each House of Parliament, while it is in session, for a total period of thirty days which may be comprised in one session or in two or more successive sessions, and if, before the expiry of the session immediately following the session or the successive sessions aforesaid, both Houses agree in making any modification in the rule or both Houses agree that the rule should not be made, the rule shall thereafter have effect only in such modified form or be of no effect, as the case may be; so, however, that any such modification or annulment shall be without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done under that rule.
1. Act enforced on 25-6-1984 - See Gaz. of India, 25-6-1984 Pt. II, S. 3(i), Ext., p. 1. (No. 224).
ASIATIC SOCIETY RULES, 1987
G.S.R. 889 (E), dated 3rd November, 1987. 1-In exercise of the powers conferred bySec. 15 of the Asiatic Society Act, 1984 (5 of 1984), the Central Government hereby makes the following rules, namely:
RULE 01: SHORT TITLE AND COMMENCEMENT
- (1) These rules may be called the Asiatic Society Rules, 1987.
(2) They shall come into force on the date of their publication in the Official Gazette.
RULE 02: DEFINITION
-In these rules, unless the context otherwise requires,-
(a) "Act" means the Asiatic Society Act, 1984 (5 of 1984) :
(b) "Chairman" includes any person appointed by whatever designation to conduct the
proceedings of the Committee;
(c) "Committee" means a Committee constituted under Sec. 9 or the Committee constituted under Sec. 10;
(d) "Council" means the Council of the Asiatic Society, Calcutta :
(e) "Member" means a member of the Committee;
(f) "President" means the-President of the Asiatic Society, Calcutta and its council;
(g) "Section" means a section of the Act; and
(h) "Society" means the Asiatic Society, Calcutta.
RULE 03: TERM OF OFFICE OF THE MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE
-The terms of office of a member shall be such as in the opinion of the Central Government is necessary for preparation and submission of statements mentioned underSec. 9-and completion of the tasks mentioned under Sec. 10-and the Central Government may, at the time of constitution of a Committee, fix such terms and may, from time to time, extend it as circumstances may require.
RULE 04: FILLING OF CASUAL VACANCIES
-When a casual vacancy arises in the membership of a Committee other than an ex officio membership, for any reason, the person appointed to fill the vacancy shall hold office for the residual portion of the term of the outgoing member.
RULE 05: STAFF
- (1) The Central Government may appoint a Secretary to the Committee and such other staff as it may think necessary, and fix the salaries and allowances payable to them and specify their conditions of service.
(i) The Secretary shall be the Chief Executive Officer of the Committee. He may attend the meetings of such Committee but shall not be entitled to vote at such meetings.
(ii) The Secretary shall assist the Chairman in convening meetings and shall keep a record of the minutes of such meetings and shall take necessary measures to carry out the decisions of the Committee.
RULE 06: ELIGIBILITY FOR RE APPOINTMENT OF THE MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE
-An outgoing member shall be eligible for re-appointment for the membership of the Committee.
RULE 07: RESIGNATION OF THE CHAIRMAN AND MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE
-A member other than the Chairman, may, by giving notice in writing to the Chairman, resign his membership. The Chairman may resign by a letter addressed to the Central Government.
RULE 08: CESSATION OF MEMBERSHIP
-A member appointed by name shall cease lo hold office as such :
(a) if he becomes of an unsound mind and stands so declared by a competent court;
(b) if he becomes an undischarged insolvent;
(c) if, without, permission of the Chairman of the Committee, he is absent from three consecutive meetings ; or
(d) if he leaves the country with no intention of returning.
RULE 09: NOTICE OF MEETINGS
-The Chairman shall fix the date, time and place of every meeting and a notice in writing containing the aforesaid particulars along with a list of business to be conducted at the meeting shall be sent to each member at least 15 days before the date fixed for such meetings.
RULE 10: CHAIRMAN
- (1) The Chairman shall preside at the meetings of the Committee.
(2) In the absence of the Chairman at any meeting, the members shall elect from amongst themselves by a majority of votes, a member, who shall preside at such meetings.
RULE 11: MEMBERS
-There shall be a minimum of five and a maximum of eleven members of the Committee.
RULE 12: QUORUM
-No business shall be transacted at any meeting unless at least one- third of the members, subject to a minimum of three, are present.
RULE 13: DISPOSAL OF BUSINESS
-All business shall be considered at a meeting of the Committee and shall be decided by a majority of the votes of members present and voting. In the event of an equality of votes, the Chairman shall have a casting vote.
RULE 14: METHOD OF VOTING
-Voting shall ordinarily be by show of hands but if any member asks for voting by ballot or if the Chairman so decides, the voting shall be by secret ballot and shall be held in such manner as the Chairman may decide.
RULE 15: PROCEEDINGS OF THE MEETING
-The proceedings of each meeting showing inter alia, the names of the mem