• Disaster Management Act, 2005: Bare Act

  • An Act to provide for the effective management of disasters and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

    An Act to provide for the effective management of disasters and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

    BE it enacted by Parliament in the Fifty-sixth Year of the Republic of India as follows:-

    CHAPTER I : PRELIMINARY

    1. Short title, extent and commencement.-(1) This Act may be called the Disaster Management Act, 2005.

    (2) It extends to the whole of India.

    (3) It shall come into force on such date as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette appoint; and different dates may be appointed for different provisions of this Act and for different States, and any reference to commencement in any provision of this Act in relation to any State shall be construed as a reference to the commencement of that provision in that State.

    2. Definitions.-In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,-

    (a) "affected area" means an area or part of the country affected by a disaster;

    (b) "capacity-building" includes-

    (i) identification of existing resources and resources to be acquired or created; 

    (ii) acquiring or creating resources identified under sub-clause (i); 

    (iii) organisation and training of personnel and coordination of such training for effective management of disasters;

    (c) "Central Government" means the Ministry or Department of the Government of India having administrative control of disaster management;

    (d) "disaster" means a catastrophe, mishap, calamity or grave occurrence in any area, arising from natural or man made causes, or by accident or negligence which results in substantial loss of life or human suffering or damage to, and destruction of, property, or damage to, or degradation of, environment, and is of such a nature or magnitude as to be beyond the coping capacity of the community of the affected area;

    (e) "disaster management" means a continuous and integrated process of planning, organising, coordinating and implementing measures which are necessary or expedient for-

    (i) prevention of danger or threat of any disaster; 

    (ii) mitigation or reduction of risk of any disaster or its severity or consequences; 

    (iii) capacity-building; 

    (iv) preparedness to deal with any disaster; 

    (v) prompt response to any threatening disaster situation or disaster; 

    (vi) assessing the severity or magnitude of effects of any disaster; 

    (vii) evacuation, rescue and relief; (viii) rehabilitation and reconstruction;

    (f) "District Authority" means the District Disaster Management Authority constituted under sub-section (1) of section 25;

    (g) "District Plan" means the plan for disaster management for the district prepared under section 31;

    (h) "local authority" includes panchayati raj institutions, municipalities, a district board, cantonment board, town planning authority or Zila Parishad or any other body or authority, by whatever name called, for the time being invested by law, for rendering essential services or, with the control and management of civic services, within a specified local area;

    (i) "mitigation" means measures aimed at reducing the risk, impact or effects of a disaster or threatening disaster situation;

    (j) "National Authority" means the National Disaster Management Authority established under sub-section (1) of section 3;

    (k) "National Executive Committee" means the Executive Committee of the National Authority constituted under sub-section (1) of section 8;

    (l) "National Plan" means the plan for disaster management for the whole of the country prepared under section 11;

    (m) "preparedness" means the state of readiness to deal with a threatening disaster situation or disaster and the effects thereof;

    (n) "prescribed" means prescribed by rules made under this Act;

    (o) "reconstruction" means construction or restoration of any property after a disaster;

    (p) "resources" includes manpower, services, materials and provisions;

    (q) "State Authority" means the State Disaster Management Authority established under sub-section (1) of section 14 and includes the Disaster Management Authority for the Union territory constituted under that section;

    (r) "State Executive Committee" means the Executive Committee of a State Authority constituted under sub-section (1) of section 20;

    (s) "State Government" means the Department of Government of the State having administrative control of disaster management and includes Administrator of the Union territory appointed by the President under article 239 of the Constitution;

    (t) "State Plan" means the plan for disaster management for the whole of the State prepared under section 23. 

    CHAPTER II : THE NATIONAL DISASTER MANAGEMENT AUTHORITY

    3. Establishment of National Disaster Management Authority.-(1) With effect from such date as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette appoint in this behalf, there shall be established for the purposes of this Act, an authority to be known as the National Disaster Management Authority.

    (2) The National Authority shall consist of the Chairperson and such number of other members, not exceeding nine, as may be prescribed by the Central Government and, unless the rules otherwise provide, the National Authority shall consist of the following:-

    (a) the Prime Minister of India, who shall be the Chairperson of the National Authority, ex officio;

    (b) other members, not exceeding nine, to be nominated by the Chairperson of the National Authority.

    (3) The Chairperson of the National Authority may designate one of the members nominated under clause (b) of sub-section (2) to be the Vice-Chairperson of the National Authority.

    (4) The term of office and conditions of service of members of the National Authority shall be such as may be prescribed.

    6. Powers and functions of National Authority.-(1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, the National Authority shall have the responsibility for laying down the policies, plans and guidelines for disaster management for ensuring timely and effective response to disaster.

    (2) Without prejudice to generality of the provisions contained in sub-section (1), the National Authority may -

    (a) lay down policies on disaster management;

    (b) approve the National Plan;

    (c) approve plans prepared by the Ministries or Departments of the Government of India in accordance with the National Plan;

    (d) lay down guidelines to be followed by the State Authorities in drawing up the State Plan;

    (e) lay down guidelines to be followed by the different Ministries or Departments of the Government of India for the purpose of integrating the measures for prevention of disaster or the mitigation of its effects in their development plans and projects;

    (f) coordinate the enforcement and implementation of the policy and plan for disaster management;

    (g) recommend provision of funds for the purpose of mitigation;

    (h) provide such support to other countries affected by major disasters as may be determined by the Central Government;

    (i) take such other measures for the prevention of disaster, or the mitigation, or preparedness and capacity building for dealing with the threatening disaster situation or disaster as it may consider necessary;

    (j) lay down broad policies and guidelines for the functioning of the National Institute of Disaster Management.

    (3) The Chairperson of the National Authority shall, in the case of emergency, have power to exercise all or any of the powers of the National Authority but exercise of such powers shall be subject to ex post facto ratification by the National Authority.

    11. National Plan.-(1) There shall be drawn up a plan for disaster management for the whole of the country to be called the National Plan.

    (2) The National Plan shall be prepared by the National Executive Committee having regard to the National Policy and in consultation with the State Governments and expert bodies or organisations in the field of disaster management to be approved by the National Authority.

    (3) The National Plan shall include-

    (a) measures to be taken for the prevention of disasters, or the mitigation of their effects;

    (b) measures to be taken for the integration of mitigation measures in the development plans;

    (c) measures to be taken for preparedness and capacity building to effectively respond to any threatening disaster situations or disaster;

    (d) roles and responsibilities of different Ministries or Departments of the Government of India in respect of measures specified in clauses (a), (b) and (c).

    (4) The National Plan shall be reviewed and updated annually.

    (5) Appropriate provisions shall be made by the Central Government for financing the measures to be carried out under the National Plan.

    (6) Copies of the National Plan referred to in sub-sections (2) and (4) shall be made available to the Ministries or Departments of the Government of India and such Ministries or Departments shall draw up their own plans in accordance with the National Plan.

    CHAPTER III : STATE DISASTER MANAGEMENT AUTHORITIES

    14. Establishment of State Disaster Management Authority.-(1) Every State Government shall, as soon as may be after the issue of the notification under sub-section (1) of section 3, by notification in the Official Gazette, establish a State Disaster Management Authority for the State with such name as may be specified in the notification of the State Government.

    (2) A State Authority shall consist of the Chairperson and such number of other members, not exceeding nine, as may be prescribed by the State Government and, unless the rules otherwise provide, the State Authority shall consist of the following members, namely:-

    (a) the Chief Minister of the State, who shall be Chairperson, ex officio;

    (b) other members, not exceeding eight, to be nominated by the Chairperson of the State Authority;

    (c) the Chairperson of the State Executive Committee, ex officio.

    (3) The Chairperson of the State Authority may designate one of the members nominated under clause (b) of sub-section (2) to be the Vice-Chairperson of the State Authority.

    (4) The Chairperson of the State Executive Committee shall be the Chief Executive Officer of the State Authority, ex officio:

    Provided that in the case of a Union territory having Legislative Assembly, except the Union territory of Delhi, the Chief Minister shall be the Chairperson of the Authority established under this section and in case of other Union territories, the Lieutenant Governor or the Administrator shall be the Chairperson of that Authority:

    Provided further that the Lieutenant Governor of the Union territory of Delhi shall be the Chairperson and the Chief Minister thereof shall be the Vice-Chairperson of the State Authority.

    (5) The term of office and conditions of service of members of the State Authority shall be such as may be prescribed.

    18. Powers and functions of State Authority.-(1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, a State Authority shall have the responsibility for laying down policies and plans for disaster management in the State.

    (2) Without prejudice to the generality of provisions contained in sub-section (1), the State Authority may-

    (a) lay down the State disaster management policy;

    (b) approve the State Plan in accordance with the guidelines laid down by the National Authority;

    (c) approve the disaster management plans prepared by the departments of the Government of the State;

    (d) lay down guidelines to be followed by the departments of the Government of the State for the purposes of integration of measures for prevention of disasters and mitigation in their development plans and projects and provide necessary technical assistance therefor;

    (e) coordinate the implementation of the State Plan;

    (f) recommend provision of funds for mitigation and preparedness measures;

    (g) review the development plans of the different departments of the State and ensure that prevention and mitigation measures are integrated therein;

    (h) review the measures being taken for mitigation, capacity building and preparedness by the departments of the Government of the State and issue such guidelines as may be necessary.

    (3) The Chairperson of the State Authority shall, in the case of emergency, have power to exercise all or any of the powers of the State Authority but the exercise of such powers shall be subject to ex post facto ratification of the State Authority.

    23. State Plan.-(1) There shall be a plan for disaster management for every State to be called the State Disaster Management Plan.

    (2) The State Plan shall be prepared by the State Executive Committee having regard to the guidelines laid down by the National Authority and after such consultation with local authorities, district authorities and the people's representatives as the State Executive Committee may deem fit.

    (3) The State Plan prepared by the State Executive Committee under sub-section (2) shall be approved by the State Authority.

    (4) The State Plan shall include,-

    (a) the vulnerability of different parts of the State to different forms of disasters;

    (b) the measures to be adopted for prevention and mitigation of disasters;

    (c) the manner in which the mitigation measures shall be integrated with the development plans and projects;

    (d) the capacity-building and preparedness measures to be taken;

    (e) the roles and responsibilities of each Department of the Government of the State in relation to the measures specified in clauses (b), (c) and (d) above;

    (f) the roles and responsibilities of different Departments of the Government of the State in responding to any threatening disaster situation or disaster.

    (5) The State Plan shall be reviewed and updated annually.

    (6) Appropriate provisions shall be made by the State Government for financing for the measures to be carried out under the State Plan.

    (7) Copies of the State Plan referred to in sub-sections (2) and (5) shall be made available to the Departments of the Government of the State and such Departments shall draw up their own plans in accordance with the State Plan.

    CHAPTER IV : DISTRICT DISASTER MANAGEMENT AUTHORITY

    25. Constitution of District Disaster Management Authority.-(1) Every State Government shall, as soon as may be after issue of notification under sub-section (1) of section 14, by notification in the Official Gazette, establish a District Disaster Management Authority for every district in the State with such name as may be specified in that notification.

    (2) The District Authority shall consist of the Chairperson and such number of other members, not exceeding seven, as may be prescribed by the State Government, and unless the rules otherwise provide, it shall consist of the following, namely:-

    (a) the Collector or District Magistrate or Deputy Commissioner, as the case may be, of the district who shall be Chairperson, ex officio;

    (b) the elected representative of the local authority who shall be the co-Chairperson, ex officio:

    Provided that in the Tribal Areas, as referred to in the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution, the Chief Executive Member of the district council of autonomous district, shall be the co-Chairperson, ex officio;

    (c) the Chief Executive Officer of the District Authority, ex officio;

    (d) the Superintendent of Police, ex officio;

    (e) the Chief Medical Officer of the district, ex officio;

    (f) not exceeding two other district level officers, to be appointed by the State Government.

    (3) In any district where zila parishad exists, the Chairperson thereof shall be the co-Chairperson of the District Authority.

    (4) The State Government shall appoint an officer not below the rank of Additional Collector or Additional District Magistrate or Additional Deputy Commissioner, as the case may be, of the district to be the Chief Executive Officer of the District Authority to exercise such powers and perform such functions as may be prescribed by the State Government and such other powers and functions as may be delegated to him by the District Authority.

    31. District Plan.-(1) There shall be a plan for disaster management for every district of the State.

    (2) The District Plan shall be prepared by the District Authority, after consultation with the local authorities and having regard to the National Plan and the State Plan, to be approved by the State Authority.

    (3) The District Plan shall include- (a) the areas in the district vulnerable to different forms of disasters;

    (b) the measures to be taken, for prevention and mitigation of disaster, by the Departments of the Government at the district level and local authorities in the district;

    (c) the capacity-building and preparedness measures required to be taken by the Departments of the Government at the district level and the local authorities in the district to respond to any threatening disaster situation or disaster;

    (d) the response plans and procedures, in the event of a disaster, providing for- (i) allocation of responsibilities to the Departments of the Government at the district level and the local authorities in the district; (ii) prompt response to disaster and relief thereof; (iii) procurement of essential resources; (iv) establishment of communication links; and (v) the dissemination of information to the public; (e) such other matters as may be required by the State Authority.

    (4) The District Plan shall be reviewed and updated annually.

    (5) The copies of the District Plan referred to in sub-sections (2) and (4) shall be made available to the Departments of the Government in the district.

    (6) The District Authority shall send a copy of the District Plan to the State Authority which shall forward it to the State Government.

    (7) The District Authority shall, review from time to time, the implementation of the Plan and issue such instructions to different departments of the Government in the district as it may deem necessary for the implementation thereof.

    CHAPTER V : MEASURES BY THE GOVERNMENT FOR DISASTER MANAGEMENT

    35. Central Government to take measures.-(1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, the Central Government shall take all such measures as it deems necessary or expedient for the purpose of disaster management.

    (2) In particular and without prejudice to the generality of the provisions of sub-section (1), the measures which the Central Government may take under that sub-section include measures with respect to all or any of the following matters, namely:-

    (a) coordination of actions of the Ministries or Departments of the Government of India, State Governments, National Authority, State Authorities, governmental and non-governmental organisations in relation to disaster management;

    (b) ensure the integration of measures for prevention of disasters and mitigation by Ministries or Departments of the Government of India into their development plans and projects;

    (c) ensure appropriate allocation of funds for prevention of disaster, mitigation, capacity-building and preparedness by the Ministries or Departments of the Government of India;

    (d) ensure that the Ministries or Departments of the Government of India take necessary measures for preparedness to promptly and effectively respond to any threatening disaster situation or disaster;

    (e) cooperation and assistance to State Governments, as requested by them or otherwise deemed appropriate by it;

    (f) deployment of naval, military and air forces, other armed forces of the Union or any other civilian personnel as may be required for the purposes of this Act;

    (g) coordination with the United Nations agencies, international organisations and governments of foreign countries for the purposes of this Act;

    (h) establish institutions for research, training, and developmental programmes in the field of disaster management;

    (i) such other matters as it deems necessary or expedient for the purpose of securing effective implementation of the provisions of this Act.

    (3) The Central Government may extend such support to other countries affected by major disaster as it may deem appropriate.

    36. Responsibilities of Ministries or Departments of Government of India.-It shall be the responsibility of every Ministry or Department of the Government of India to -

    (a) take measures necessary for prevention of disasters, mitigation, preparedness and capacity-building in accordance with the guidelines laid down by the National Authority;

    (b) integrate into its development plans and projects, the measures for prevention or mitigation of disasters in accordance with the guidelines laid down by the National Authority;

    (c) respond effectively and promptly to any threatening disaster situation or disaster in accordance with the guidelines of the National Authority or the directions of the National Executive Committee in this behalf;

    (d) review the enactments administered by it, its policies, rules and regulations, with a view to incorporate therein the provisions necessary for prevention of disasters, mitigation or preparedness;

    (e) allocate funds for measures for prevention of disaster, mitigation, capacity-building and preparedness;

    (f) provide assistance to the National Authority and State Governments for- (i) drawing up mitigation, preparedness and response plans, capacity-building, data collection and identification and training of personnel in relation to disaster management; (ii) carrying out rescue and relief operations in the affected area; (iii) assessing the damage from any disaster; (iv) carrying out rehabilitation and reconstruction;

    (g) make available its resources to the National Executive Committee or a State Executive Committee for the purposes of responding promptly and effectively to any threatening disaster situation or disaster, including measures for- (i) providing emergency communication in a vulnerable or affected area; (ii) transporting personnel and relief goods to and from the affected area; (iii) providing evacuation, rescue, temporary shelter or other immediate relief; (iv) setting up temporary bridges, jetties and landing places; (v) providing, drinking water, essential provisions, healthcare, and services in an affected area;

    (h) take such other actions as it may consider necessary for disaster management.

    CHAPTER VI : LOCAL AUTHORITIES

    41. Functions of the local authority.-(1) Subject to the directions of the District Authority, a local authority shall-

    (a) ensure that its officers and employees are trained for disaster management;

    (b) ensure that resources relating to disaster management are so maintained as to be readily available for use in the event of any threatening disaster situation or disaster;

    (c) ensure all construction projects under it or within its jurisdiction conform to the standards and specifications laid down for prevention of disasters and mitigation by the National Authority, State Authority and the District Authority;

    (d) carry out relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction activities in the affected area in accordance with the State Plan and the District Plan.

    (2) The local authority may take such other measures as may be necessary for the disaster management.

    CHAPTER VII : NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF DISASTER MANAGEMENT

    42. National Institute of Disaster Management.-(1) With effect from such date as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette appoint in this behalf, there shall be constituted an institute to be called the National Institute of Disaster Management.

    (2) The National Institute of Disaster Management shall consist of such number of members as may be prescribed by the Central Government.

    (3) The term of office of, and vacancies among, members of the National Institute of Disaster Management and manner of filling such vacancies shall be such as may be prescribed.

    (4) There shall be a governing body of the National Institute of Disaster Management which shall be constituted by the Central Government from amongst the members of the National Institute of Disaster Management in such manner as may be prescribed.

    (5) The governing body of the National Institute of Disaster Management shall exercise such powers and discharge such functions as may be prescribed by regulations.

    (6) The procedure to be followed in excercise of its powers and discharge of its functions by the governing body, and the term of office of, and the manner of filling vacancies among the members of the governing body, shall be such as may be prescribed by regulations.

    (7) Until the regulations are made under this section, the Central Government may make such regulations; and any regulation so made may be altered or rescinded by the National Institute of Disaster Management in exercise of its powers.

    (8) Subject to the provisions of this Act, the National Institute of Disaster Management shall function within the broad policies and guidelines laid down by the National Authority and be responsible for planning and promoting training and research in the area of disaster management, documentation and development of national level information base relating to disaster management policies, prevention mechanisms and mitigation measures.

    (9) Without prejudice to the generality of the provisions contained in sub-section (8), the National Institute, for the discharge of its functions, may -

    (a) develop training modules, undertake research and documentation in disaster management and organise training programmes;

    (b) formulate and implement a comprehensive human resource development plan covering all aspects of disaster management;

    (c) provide assistance in national level policy formulation;

    (d) provide required assistance to the training and research institutes for development of training and research programmes for stakeholders including Government functionaries and undertake training of faculty members of the State level training institutes;

    (e) provide assistance to the State Governments and State training institutes in the formulation of State level policies, strategies, disaster management framework and any other assistance as may be required by the State Governments or State training institutes for capacity-building of stakeholders, Government including its functionaries, civil society members, corporate sector and people's elected representatives;

    (f) develop educational materials for disaster management including academic and professional courses;

    (g) promote awareness among stakeholders including college or school teachers and students, technical personnel and others associated with multi-hazard mitigation, preparedness and response measures;

    (h) undertake, organise and facilitate study courses, conferences, lectures, seminars within and outside the country to promote the aforesaid objects;

    (i) undertake and provide for publication of journals, research papers and books and establish and maintain libraries in furtherance of the aforesaid objects;

    (j) do all such other lawful things as are conducive or incidental to the attainment of the above objects; and

    (k) undertake any other function as may be assigned to it by the Central Government.

    CHAPTER VIII : NATIONAL DISASTER RESPONSE FORCE

    44. National Disaster Response Force.-(1) There shall be constituted a National Disaster Response Force for the purpose of specialist response to a threatening disaster situation or disaster.

    (2) Subject to the provisions of this Act, the Force shall be constituted in such manner and, the conditions of service of the members of the Force, including disciplinary provisions therefor, be such as may be prescribed.

    45. Control, direction, etc.-The general superintendence, direction and control of the Force shall be vested and exercised by the National Authority and the command and supervision of the Force shall vest in an officer to be appointed by the Central Government as the Director General of the National Disaster Response Force.

    CHAPTER IX : FINANCE, ACCOUNTS AND AUDIT

    46. National Disaster Response Fund.-(1) The Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, constitute a fund to be called the National Disaster Response Fund for meeting any threatening disaster situation or disaster and there shall be credited thereto-

    (a) an amount which the Central Government may, after due appropriation made by Parliament by law in this behalf provide;

    (b) any grants that may be made by any person or institution for the purpose of disaster management.


    (2) The National Disaster Response Fund shall be made available to the National Executive Committee to be applied towards meeting the expenses for emergency response, relief and rehabilitation in accordance with the guidelines laid down by the Central Government in consultation with the National Authority.

    48. Establishment of funds by State Government.-(1) The State Government shall, immediately after notifications issued for constituting the State Authority and the District Authorities, establish for the purposes of this Act the following funds, namely:-

    (a) the fund to be called the State Disaster Response Fund;

    (b) the fund to be called the District Disaster Response Fund;

    (c) the fund to be called the State Disaster Mitigation Fund;

    (d) the fund to be called the District Disaster Mitigation Fund.

    (2) The State Government shall ensure that the funds established-

    (i) under clause (a) of sub-section (1) is available to the State Executive Committee;

    (ii) under sub-clause (c) of sub-section (1) is available to the State Authority;

    (iii) under clauses (b) and (d) of sub-section (1) are available to the District Authority.

    50. Emergency procurement and accounting.-Where by reason of any threatening disaster situation or disaster, the National Authority or the State Authority or the District Authority is satisfied that immediate procurement of provisions or materials or the immediate application of resources are necessary for rescue or relief,-

    (a) it may authorise the concerned department or authority to make the emergency procurement and in such case, the standard procedure requiring inviting of tenders shall be deemed to be waived;

    (b) a certificate about utilisation of provisions or materials by the controlling officer authorised by the National Authority, State Authority or District Authority, as the case may be, shall be deemed to be a valid document or voucher for the purpose of accounting of emergency, procurement of such provisions or materials.

    CHAPTER X : OFFENCES AND PENALTIES

    51. Punishment for obstruction, etc.-Whoever, without reasonable cause-

    (a) obstructs any officer or employee of the Central Government or the State Government, or a person authorised by the National Authority or State Authority or District Authority in the discharge of his functions under this Act; or

    (b) refuses to comply with any direction given by or on behalf of the Central Government or the State Government or the National Executive Committee or the State Executive Committee or the District Authority under this Act, shall on conviction be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year or with fine, or with both, and if such obstruction or refusal to comply with directions results in loss of lives or imminent danger thereof, shall on conviction be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years.

    52. Punishment for false claim.-Whoever knowingly makes a claim which he knows or has reason to believe to be false for obtaining any relief, assistance, repair, reconstruction or other benefits consequent to disaster from any officer of the Central Government, the State Government, the National Authority, the State Authority or the District Authority, shall, on conviction be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, and also with fine.

    53. Punishment for misappropriation of money or materials, etc.-Whoever, being entrusted with any money or materials, or otherwise being, in custody of, or dominion over, any money or goods, meant for providing relief in any threatening disaster situation or disaster, misappropriates or appropriates for his own use or disposes of such money or materials or any part thereof or wilfully compels any other person so to do, shall on conviction be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, and also with fine.

    55. Offences by Departments of the Government.-(1) Where an offence under this Act has been committed by any Department of the Government, the head of the Department shall be deemed to be guilty of the offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly unless he proves that the offence was committed without his knowledge or that he exercised all due diligence to prevent the commission of such offence.

    (2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), where an offence under this Act has been committed by a Department of the Government and it is proved that the offence has been committed with the consent or connivance of, or is attributable to any neglect on the part of, any officer, other than the head of the Department, such officer shall be deemed to be guilty of that offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.

    56. Failure of officer in duty or his connivance at the contravention of the provisions of this Act.-Any officer, on whom any duty has been imposed by or under this Act and who ceases or refuses to perform or withdraws himself from the duties of his office shall, unless he has obtained the express written permission of his official superior or has other lawful excuse for so doing, be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year or with fine.

    57. Penalty for contravention of any order regarding requisitioning.-If any person contravenes any order made under section 65, he shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year or with fine or with both.

    58. Offence by companies.-(1) Where an offence under this Act has been committed by a company or body corporate, every person who at the time the offence was committed, was in charge of, and was responsible to, the company, for the conduct of the business of the company, as well as the company, shall be deemed to be guilty of the contravention and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly:

    Provided that nothing in this sub-section shall render any such person liable to any punishment provided in this Act, if he proves that the offence was committed without his knowledge or that he exercised due diligence to prevent the commission of such offence.

    (2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), where an offence under this Act has been committed by a company, and it is proved that the offence was committed with the consent or connivance of or is attributable to any neglect on the part of any director, manager, secretary or other officer of the company, such director, manager, secretary or other officer shall also, be deemed to be guilty of that offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.

    Explanation.-For the purpose of this section -

    (a) "company" means any body corporate and includes a firm or other association of individuals; and

    (b) "director", in relation to a firm, means a partner in the firm.

    59. Previous sanction for prosecution.-No prosecution for offences punishable under sections 55 and 56 shall be instituted except with the previous sanction of the Central Government or the State Government, as the case may be, or of any officer authorised in this behalf, by general or special order, by such Government.

    60. Cognizance of offences.-No court shall take cognizance of an offence under this Act except on a complaint made by-

    (a) the National Authority, the State Authority, the Central Government, the State Government, the District Authority or any other authority or officer authorised in this behalf by that Authority or Government, as the case may be; or

    (b) any person who has given notice of not less than thirty days in the manner prescribed, of the alleged offence and his intention to make a complaint to the National Authority, the State Authority, the Central Government, the State Government, the District Authority or any other authority or officer authorised as aforesaid.".

    61. Prohibition against discrimination.-While providing compensation and relief to the victims of disaster, there shall be no discrimination on the ground of sex, caste, community, descent or religion.

    66. Payment of compensation.-(1) Whenever any Committee, Authority or officer referred to in sub-section (1) of section 65, in pursuance of that section requisitions any premises, there shall be paid to the persons interested compensation the amount of which shall be determined by taking into consideration the following, namely:-

    (i) the rent payable in respect of the premises, or if no rent is so payable, the rent payable for similar premises in the locality;

    (ii) if as consequence of the requisition of the premises the person interested is compelled to change his residence or place of business, the reasonable expenses (if any) incidental to such change:

    Provided that where any person interested being aggrieved by the amount of compensation so determined makes an application within the thirty days to the Central Government or the State Government, as the case may be, for referring the matter to an arbitrator, the amount of compensation to be paid shall be such as the arbitrator appointed in this behalf by the Central Government or the State Government, as the case may be, may determine:

    Provided further that where there is any dispute as to the title to receive the compensation or as to the apportionment of the amount of compensation, it shall be referred by the Central Government or the State Government, as the case may be, to an arbitrator appointed in this behalf by the Central Government or the State Government, as the case may be, for determination, and shall be determined in accordance with the decision of such arbitrator.

    Explanation.-In this sub-section, the expression "person interested" means the person who was in actual possession of the premises requisitioned under section 65 immediately before the requisition, or where no person was in such actual possession, the owner of such premises.

    (2) Whenever any Committee, Authority or officer, referred to in sub-section (1) of section 65 in pursuance of that section requisitions any vehicle, there shall be paid to the owner thereof compensation the amount of which shall be determined by the Central Government or the State Government, as the case may be, on the basis of the fares or rates prevailing in the locality for the hire of such vehicle:

    Provided that where the owner of such vehicle being aggrieved by the amount of compensation so determined makes an application within the prescribed time to the Central Government or the State Government, as the case may be, for referring the matter to an arbitrator, the amount of compensation to be paid shall be such as the arbitrator appointed in this behalf by the Central Government or the State Government, as the case may be, may determine:

    Provided further that where immediately before the requisitioning the vehicle or vessel was by virtue of a hire purchase agreement in the possession of a person other than the owner, the amount determined under this sub-section as the total compensation payable in respect of the requisition shall be apportioned between that person and the owner in such manner as they may agree upon, and in default of agreement, in such manner as an arbitrator appointed by the Central Government or the State Government, as the case may be, in this behalf may decide.

    71. Bar of jurisdiction of court.-No court (except the Supreme Court or a High Court) shall have jurisdiction to entertain any suit or proceeding in respect of anything done, action taken, orders made, direction, instruction or guidelines issued by the Central Government, National Authority, State Government, State Authority or District Authority in pursuance of any power conferred by, or in relation to its functions, by this Act.

    72. Act to have overriding effect.-The provisions of this Act, shall have effect, notwithstanding anything inconsistent therewith contained in any other law for the time being in force or in any instrument having effect by virtue of any law other than this Act.

    74. Immunity from legal process.-Officers and employees of the Central Government, National Authority, National Executive Committee, State Government, State Authority, State Executive Committee or District Authority shall be immune from legal process in regard to any warning in respect of any impending disaster communicated or disseminated by them in their official capacity or any action taken or direction issued by them in pursuance of such communication or dissemination.

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