Ancient monument

Ancient Monuments Preservation Act, 1904

“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, archaeological 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;

Acquisition of rights in or guardianship of an ancient monument —(1) The Collector, with the sanction of the 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 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) When a protected monument is without an owner, the Commissioner may assume the guardianship of the monument.

5. Preservation of ancient monument by agreement —(1) The Collector may, with the previous sanction of the Central Government, propose to the owner to enter into an agreement with 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 in 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 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 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 preservation of the monument;

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

(4) The terms of an agreement under this section may be altered from time to time with the sanction of the Central Government and with the consent of the owner.

(5) With the previous sanction of 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 theCentral 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.

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.