Census Act,1948

 Census Act,1948

ACT NO. 37 OF 1948 (As amended in 1994) [ 3rd September, 1948.]

An act to provide for certain matters in connection with the takin of Cencus

WHEREAS it is expedient to provide for the taking of cencus in 1***India or any part thereof whenever necessary or desirable and to provide for certain matters in connection with the taking of such cencus;

It is hereby enacted as follows:

1.Short title and extent.

1.(1)This Act may be called the Cencus Act, 1948 .

2[(2)It extends to the whole of India. 3***]

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1.  The Act has been extended to:-

 Goa, Daman and Diu by Reg. 11 of 1963, S.3 and Sch. with  modifications to the whole of the Union Territory of Lakshdweep  vide Reg. 8 of 1956, S.3 and Sch. (w.e.f. 1-10-1987).

The State of Sikkim vide Notification No. 3465 dated 21.9.1976  (w.e.f. 13.9.1976).

2. The words “the Provinces and Acceding States of” rep. by A.O. 1950.

3. Subs, ibid, for the former sub-section.

2.Definitions.

1In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,-

(a) “premises” means any land, building or part of a building and includes a hut, shed or other strcuture or any part thereof”

(b) “prescribed” means prescribed by rules made under the act;

(c) “vehicle” means any vehicle used or capable of being used for the purpose of road transport, whether propelled by mechanical power or

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1. Subs. by Act 11 of 1994, S.2, for S.2.

2A. Rule of construction respecting enactments not extending to Jammu and Kashmir.

Any Reference in this Act to the Indian Penal Code, the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 or the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 shall, in relation to the state of Jammu and Kashmir, be construed as a reference to the corresponding enactment in force in that state. (45 of 1860 1 of 1872 2 of 1974)

3. Central Government to take Cencus.

The Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, declare its intention of taking a cencus in the whole or any part of the territories to which this Act extends, whenever it may consider it necessary or desirable so to do and thereupon the census shall be taken

4. Appointment of cencus staff.

(1) The Central Government may appoint a cencus Commissioner to supervise the taking of the cencus throughout the area in which the cencus in intended to be taken, and 1[Directors of Cencus Operations] to supervise the taking of the cencus within the several States.

(2) The State Government may appoint persons as cencus-officers 2[with such designations as the Government may be necessary] to take, or aid in, or supervise the taking of, the census within any specified local area and such persons, when so appointed, shall be bound to serve accordingly.

(3) A declaration in writing, signed by any authority authorized by the State Government in this behalf, that any person has been duly appointed in cencus-officer for any local area shall be conclusive proof of such appointment.

(4) The State government may delegate to such authority as it thinks fit the power of appointing cencus-officers conferrd to sub-section (2).

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1. Subs. by Act 56 of 1974, S.3 and Sch. II for “Superindent of Cencus Operation” (w.e.f. 20.12.1974).

2. Ins. by Act 11 of 1994, S.3.

4A. Staff of every local authority to be made availbale for taking cencus.

1Every local authority in a state shall, when so directed by a written order by the Central Government or by an authority appointed by the Government in this behalf, make available to any director of Cencus Operation such staff as may be necessary for the performance of any duties in connection with the taking of cencus.

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1. Ins. by S.4 ibid.

5. Status of Cencus authorities as public servants.

The Cencus Commissioners, all 1[Directors of Cencus Operations] and all cencus-officers shall be deemed to be public servants within the meaning of the Indian Penal Code. (45 of 1860)

1. Sybs. by Act 56 of 1974, S.3 and S.II “Superintendent of Cencus Operations” (w.e.f. 20.12.1974).

6. Discharge of duties of cencus officers in certain cases.

(1) Where the District Magistrate, or such authority as the State Government may appoint in this behalf, by a written order so directs-

(a) every officer in command of any body of men belonging to the naval, military or air forces, or of any vessel of war, of India,

(b) every person (except a pilot or harbourmaster) having charge or control of a vessel,

(c) every person in charge of a lunatic asylum, hospital, workhouse, prison, reformatory or lock-up or of any public, charitable, relgious or educational institution,

(d) every keeper, secratary or manager of any serial, hotel, boarding – house, emigration depot or club,

(e) every manager or officer of a raliway or any commercial or industrial establishment, and,

(f) every occupant of immovable property wherein at the time of the taking of the cencus persons are living,

shall perfom such of the duties of a cencus-officer in relation to the persons who at the time of the taking of the cencus are under his command or charge, or are inmates of his house, or are present onor in such immovable property or are employed under him as may be specified in the order.

(2) All the provisions of this Act relating to cencus-officers shall apply, so far as may be, to all persons while performing such duties under this section, and any person refusing or neglecting to perform any duty which under this section he is directed to perform shall be deemed to have committed an offence under section 187 of the Indian Pendal Code. (45 of 1860)

7. Power to call upon certain persons to give assistance.

The District Magistrate, or such authority as the State Government may appoint in this behalf for any local area, may by written order which shall have effect throughout the extent of his district or of such local area, as the case may be, call upon-

(a) all owner and occupies of land, tenure-holders, and farmers and assignees of land revenue, or their agents

(b) all members of the district, municipal, panchayat and other local authorities and officers and servants of such authorities, and

(c) all officers and members to staff of any factory, firm or estbalishment, to give such assistance as shall be specified in the ;order towards the taking of a cencus of the persons who are, at the time of the taking of the cencus, on the lands of such owners, occupies, tenure-holders, farmers and assigneers, or in the premises of factories, firms and other establishments, or within the areas for which such local authorities are establishment, as the case may be, and the persons to whom an order under this section is directed shall be bound to obey it and shall, while acting in pursuance of such order, be deemed to be public servant within the meaning of the Indian Penal Code. (45 of 1860)

7A. Requisitioning premises, of vehicles, etc., for taking of a cencus.

1(1) If the appears to the Central Government that, in connection with taking of a cencus, –

(a) any premises are needed or are likely to be needed, or

(b) any vehicle, vessel or animal is needed or is likely to be needed,

the Government may be order in writing requisition such premises, or vehicle, vessel or animal, as the case may be, and make such further orders

(2) The requisition shall be effected by an order in writing addressed to the person deemed by the Central Government to be owner or possession of the property, and such shall be served in the prescribed manner on the person to whom it is addressed.

(3) Whenever any property is requisitioned under sub-section (1), the period of such requisition shall not extend beyond the period for which such property is required for any of the purposes mentioned in that sub-section.

7B. Payment of compensation.

(1) Whenever in pursuance of section 7A the Central Government requisitions any premises, there shall be paid to the persons interested compnensation the amount of which shall be determined by taking into consideration the following, namely:-

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

(ii) if in consqeuence of the requisition of the premises the person interested is completed to change his residence or place ofbusiness, the reasonable expenses (if any) incidential to such change:

Provided the where any person interested being aggireved by the amount of compensation so determined makes an application within the prescribed time to the Central Government 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 may determine:

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

Exlpanation – In this sub-section, the expression “person interested” means the person who was in actual possesion of the premises requisitioned under section 7A immediately before the requisition, or where no person was in such actual possession, the owner of such premises.

(2)     Whenever in pursuance of section 7A the Central Government requisitions any vehicle, vessel or animal, there shall be paid to the owner thereof compensation the amount of which shall be determined by the Central Government on the basis of the fares or rates prevailing in the locality for the hire of such vehicle, vessel or animal:

Provided that where the owner of such vehicle, vessel or animal being aggrieved by the amount of compensation so determined makes an application within the prescribed time to the Central Government 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 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 difficult of agreement, in such manner as an arbitrator appointed by the Central Government in this behalf may decide.

7C. Power to obtain information.

The Central Government may, with a view to requisition any property under section 7A or determining the compensation payable under section 7B, by order, require any person to furnish to such authority as mey be specified in the order such information in his possession relating to such property as may be so speified.

7D. Power of entry into and inspection of premises etc.

Any person authorised in this behalf by the Central Government may enter into any premises and inspect such premises and any vehicle, vessel or animal therein for the purpose of determining whether, and if so in what manner, an order under section 7A should be made in relation to such premises, vehicle, vessel or animal, or with a view to securing compliance with any order made under that section.

7E. Eviction from requisitioned premises.

(1) Any person remaining in possession of any requisitioned premises in contravention of any order made under section 7A may be summarily evicted from the premises by any office empowered by the Central Government in this behalf.

(2) Any office so empowered may, after giving to any woman not appearing in public reasonable warning and facility to withdraw, remove or open any lock or bolt or break open any door of any building or do any other act necessary for effecting such eviction.

7F. Release of premises from requsition.

(1) When any premises requisitioned under section 7A are to be released from requisition, the possesion thereof shall be delivered to the person from whom possession was taken at the time when the premises where requisitioned, or if there were no such person, to the person deemed by the Central Government to be the owner of such premises, and such delivery of possession shall be a full discharge of the Central Government from all liablities in respect of such delivery, but shall not prejudice any rights in respect of the premises which any other person may be entitled by due process of law to enforce against the person to whom possession of the premises is so delivered.

(2) Where the person to whom possession of any premises requisitioned under section 7A is to be given under sub-section (1) cannot be found or is not readliy ascertainable or has no agent or any other person empowered to accept delivery on his behalf, the Central Government shall cause a notice declaring that such premises are released from requisition to be affixed on some conspicuous part of such premises and publish the notice in the Official Gazzete.

(3) Whan a notice reffered to in sub-section (2) is published in the Official Gazzete, the premises specified in such notice shall cease to be subject to requisition on and from the date of such publication and be deemed to have been delivered to the person entitled to possession thereof, and the Central Government shall not be liable for any compensation or other claim in respect of such premises for any period after the said date.

7G. Delegation of functions of the Central Government with regard to requisitioning.

(1) The Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazzete, direct that any powers conferred or any duty imposed on that Government by any of the provisions of section 7A to 7F shall, under such conditions, if any, as may be specified in the direction, be excercised or discharged by such officer as may be specified.

7H. Penalty for contravention of any order regarding requisiting.

If any person contravenes any order made under section 7A or section 7C, he shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year or with fine or with both.

8. Asking of questions and obligation to answer.

(1) A cencus-officer may ask all such questions of all persons within the limits of the local area for which he is appointed as, by instructions issued in this behalf by the 1[Central Government] and published in the Official Gazette, he may be directed to ask.

(2) Every person of whom any question is asked under sub-section (1) shall be legally bound to answer such question to the best of his knowledge or belief:

Provided that no person shall be bound to state the name of any female member of his household, and no woman shall be bound to state the name of her husband or deceased husband or of any other person whose name she is forbidden by custom to mention.

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1. Subs. by Act 11 of 1994, S.6.

9. Occupier to permit access and affixing of numbers.

Every person occupying any house, enclosure, vessel or other place shall allow cencus-officer such access there to as they may require for the purposes of the cencus and as, having regard to the customs of the country, may be reasonable, and shall allow them to paint on, or affix to, the place such letters, marks or numbers, as may be necessary for the purposes of the cencus.

10. Occupier or manager to fill up schedule.

(1) Subject to such order as the 1[Cencus Commissioner] may issue in this behalf, a cencus-officer may, within the local area for which he is appointed, leave or cause to be left a schedule at any dwelling-house or with the manager or any officer or any commercial or industrial establishment, for the purpose of its being filled up by the occupier of such house or of any specified part thereof or by such manager or officer with such particulars, as the 2[Cencus Commissioner] may direct regarding the inmates of such house or part thereof, or the persons employed under such manager or officer, as the case may be, at the time of the taking of the cencus.

(2) When such schedule has been so left, the said occupier, manager or officer, as the case may be, shall fill it up or cause it to be filled up to the best of his knowledge or belief so far as regards the inmates of such house or part thereof or ther persons employed under him, as the case may be, at the time afforsaid, and shall sign his name thereto and, when so required, shall deliver the schedule so filled up and signed to the cencus-officer or to such person as the cencus-officer may direct.

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1. Subs. by Act 11 of 1994, S.6.

2. Subs. by S.7, ibid.

11. Penalties.

(1) 1[(a) Any cencus-officer or any person lawfully required to give assistance towards the taking of cencus who refuses to perform any duty imposed upon him by this act or any rule made thereunder, or any person who hinders or obstructs another person in performing any such duty, or

(aa) any cencus-officer or any person lawfully required to give assistance towards the taking of a cencus who neglect to use reasonable diligence in performing any duty imposed upon him or in obying any order issued to him in accordance with this act or any rule made thereunder, or any person who hinders or obstructs another person in performing any such duty or obying any such order, or;

(b) any cencus-officer who intentionally puts any offensive or improper question or knowingly makes any false return or, without the previous sanction of the Central Government or the State Government, disclose any information which he has received by means of, or for the purposes of, a cencus return, or

(c) any sorter, complier or other member of the cencus staff who removes, secretes, damages or destroyes any cencus documents or deal with any cencus document in a manner likely to falsify or impair the tabulations of cencus results, or

1[(ca) any local authority which fails to comply with an order made under section 4A, or;]

(d) any person who intentionally gives a false answer to,or refuses to answer to the best of his knowledge or belief, any question asked of him by a cencus-officer which he is legally bound by section 8 to answer, or

(e) any person occupying any house, enclosure, vessel or other place who refuses to allow a cencus-officer such reasonable access thereto as he is required by section 9 to allow, or

(f) any person who removes, obliterates, alters, or damages any letters, marks or numbers which have been painted or affixed for the purposes of the cencus, or

(g) any person who, haveing been required under section 10 to fill up a schedule, knowingly and without sufficient cause fails comply with the provisions of that section, or makes any false return therunder, or

(h) any person who trespasses into a cencus office,

shall be punishable with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees and in case of a conviction under part 1[(a), (b) or (c) shall also be punishable with imprisonment which may extend to & three years.]

(2)    Whoever abets any offence under sub-section (1) shall be punishable with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees.

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1. Subs. by Act 11 of 1994, S.8.

12. Sancttion required for prosecutions.

1[Without prejudice to the provisions of section 197 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, no prosecution under this act shall be institued except with the previous sanction,- (2 of 1974)

(a) in the case of a person who is employed or was at the time of commission of the alleged offence employed-

(i)    in a company, as defined in section 3 of the Companies Act, 1956, in which not less than fifty-one percent of the paid-up capital is held by the Central Government or any company which is a subsidiary thereof within the meaning of the Act, (1 of 1956)

(ii) by a corporation or a local authority establishment by or under a Central Act which is owned or controlled by the Central Government, of the Central Government or of an authority authorised in this behalf by that Government; and

(b) in the case of a person other than referred to in clause (a) of the State Govrnment.]

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1. Subs. by S.9, ibid.

13. Operation of other laws not barred.

13. Nothing in this Act shall be deemed to prevent any person from being prosecuted under any other law for any act or omission which constitutes an offence udner this Act:

Provided that no sush prosecution shall be insitituted except with the previous sanction referred to in section 12.

13A. Certain offences to be connizable and triable summarily.

1(1)Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, no police office or court shall take cognizance of any offence under part (a), (b) or (c) of sub-section (1) of section 11, except upon information received from or on a complaint mady by, as the case may be, the Director of Cencus Operations or any other authorised by him in this behalf. (2 of 1974)

(2) Nothwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal procedure, 1973, every offence punishable under part (a), (b), or (c) of sub-section (1) of section 11 may be tried summarily.] (2 of 1974)

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1. Ins. by Act 11 of 1994, S.10.

14. Jurisdiction.

No court inferior to that of a 1[Metropolitan Magistrate or a Judicial Magistrate of the first class], shall try, whether under this act, or under any other law, any act or omission which constitutes an offence under this Act.

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1. Subs. by Act 11 of 1994, S.11

15. Records of cencus not open to inspection nor admissible in evidence.

No person shall have a right to inspect any book, register or record made by a cencus-officer in the discharge of his duty as such, or any schedule delivered under section 10, and notwithstanding anything to the contrary in the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, no entry in any such book, register, record or schedule shall be admissible as evidence in any civil proceeding whatsoever or in any criminal proceeding other than a prosecution under this Act or any other law for any act or omission which constitutes an offence under this Act.

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1 of 1872

15A. Protection of service interests of members of cencus staff.

1No member of the cencus staff shall suffer any disability in service by him on such cencus duty shall be deemed to be the duty under his leading employer and any duty performed under this Act shall not in any manner affect the right of promotion or other advancement in his original service.

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1. Ins. by S.12, ibid.

15B. Protection of action taken in good faith.

No suit, prosecution or other legal proceeding shall lie against the Cencus Commissioner or any Director of Cencus Operations or any cencus-officer or any member of the cencus staff for anything which is in good faith done or intended to be done under this Act or the rules made thereunder.

16.Temporary suspension of other laws as to mode of taking cencus in municipalities.

Notwithstanding anything in any enactment or rule with respect to the mode in which a cencus is to be taken in any municipality, the municipal authority, in consultation with the 1[Director of Cencus Operations] or with such other authority as the State Government may authorise in this behalf, shall, at the time appointed for the taking of any cencus cause the cencus of the municipality to be taken wholly or in part by any method authorised by or under this Act.

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1. Ins. by Act 56 of 1974 S.3 and Sch II “Superintendent of Cencus Operations” (w.e.f. 20-12-1974).

17.Grant of statistical abstracts.

1[Subject to the provisions of section 15, the Cencus Commissioner or any Director of Cencus Operations] may, if he so thinks fit, at the request and cost to be determined by him of any local authority or person, cause abstracts to be prepared and supplied containing any such statistical information as can be derived from the cencus returns for 2[India or any State] as the case may be, being information which is not contained in any published report and which in his opinion it is reasonable for that authority or person to require.

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1. Act 11 of 1994, S.13.

2. Subs. by the AO 1950, for “the Provinces of India or the Province”.Act 11 of 1994, S.13.

17A. Power to extend the provisions of Act to other operations.

1[The Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, extend the provisions of this Act, with such restrictions and modifications as it thinks fit, to pre-tests, pilot studies, cencus of houses which precede the population count and post enumeration check and evaluation studies or statistical surveys or any other operation as may be deemed necessary for the purpose of cencus.]

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1. Ins. by Act 11 of 1994, S.14

18 .Power to make rules.

(1) The Central Government may make rules by notification in the Official Gazzete for carrying out the purposes of this Act.

(2) In particular, and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power, the Central Government may makes rules providing for the appointment of cencus-officers and of persons to perform any of the duties of cencus-officers or to give assistance towards the making of a cencus, and for the general instructions to be issued to such officers and persons 1[and providing for the manner of service of orders regarding requisitioning of premises, or vehicle; vessel or animal and the time within which the application may be made to it by any interested person aggrieved by the amount of compensation determined under section 7 B for referring the matter to an arbitrator.]

(3) 2[Every rule made under this Section shall be laid, as soon as may be after it is made, before each House of Parliament, white it is in session, for a total period of 30 days, which may be comprised in one session or in two or more successive sessions, and if, before teh expiry of the session immediately following the session or the successive sessions aforesaid, both House agree that the rule should not be made, teh rules 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.]

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1. Added by S.15, ibid.

2. Ins. by Act 4 of 1986, S.2 & Sch. (w.e.f. 15-3.1986).

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