18 January, 2021

India's Best Kept Secret

The Official Secrets Act, the state's regressive omerta code, was never notified. It isn't actually a law!

India's Best Kept Secret
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

An "Invalid" Act?

Here's the untold story of the Official Secrets Act (OSA) 1923:

  • It was passed in April 1923 by the Legislative Council.
  • The Act was never notified in the Gazette of India.
  • To become law, every Act must be notified in the Gazette of India. The National Archives of India, ministries of Home and Law say they are not in possession of any such notification. None exists in the 1923 Gazette of India either.
  • The OSA was amended twice, in 1951 and 1967, and made more stringent. But only the amendments were notified in the 'Extraordinary Gazette of India'.
  • Legal luminaries say that if an Act is not notified, it is an "invalid" law.

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Why The British Wanted OSA In 1923
  • Bolsheviks could fester unrest in India directly or indirectly
  • They have "increased our troubles on the North West Frontier and Waziristan". This could "lead to a rupture with Afghanistan"....
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