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Government decides not to scrap Official Secrets Act 1923

Government decides not to scrap Official Secrets Act 1923 against Administrative Reforms Committee’s Recommendations

Scrapping of Official Secrets Act, 1923

The Second Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC), in its Report of June 2006, had, inter-alia, recommended that the Official Secrets Act (OSA), 1923 should be repealed, and substituted by a chapter in the National Security Act, containing provisions relating to official secrets.

The ARC had made this recommendation ostensibly on the ground that the Law Commission had recommended in 1971 that an ‘umbrella Act’ should be passed to bring together all Acts/Laws relating to national security. However, in 1980, the National Security Act (NSA) was enacted only to provide for preventive powers to deal with likely threats to maintenance of public order and security of the country etc., besides maintenance of essential services. In such a situation, the Government decided not to repeal the OSA as the other enactments relating to national security such as the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, the Criminal Law Amendment Act, Chapters 6 and 7 of the Indian Penal Code etc. have also not been merged in the NSA.

This was stated by the Minister of State for Home Affairs, Shri Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary in a written reply to a question by Shri Salim Ansari in the Rajya Sabha today.

Source: Press Information Bureau

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