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20/06/2024
Laws of Bangladesh

The Official Secrets Act, 1923

( ACT NO. XIX OF 1923 )

Penalties for spying
3.(1) If any person for any purpose prejudicial to the safety or interests of the State-
 
 
(a) approaches, inspects, passes over or is in the vicinity of, or enters, any prohibited place; or
 
 
(b) makes any sketch, plan, model, or note which is calculated to be or might be or is intended to be, directly or indirectly, useful to an enemy; or
 
 
(c) obtains, collects, records or publishes or communicates to any other person any secret official code or pass word, or any sketch, plan, model, article or note or other document or information which is calculated to be or might be or is intended to be, directly or indirectly, useful to an enemy;
 
 
he shall be guilty of an offence under this section.
 
 
(2) On a prosecution for an offence punishable under this section with imprisonment for a term which may extend to fourteen years, it shall not be necessary to show that the accused person was guilty of any particular act tending to show a purpose prejudicial to the safety or interests of the State, and, notwithstanding that no such act is proved against him, he may be convicted if, from the circumstances of the case or his conduct or his known character as proved, it appears that his purpose was a purpose prejudicial to the safety or interests of the State; and if any sketch, plan, model, article, note, document, or information relating to or used in any prohibited place, or relating to anything in such a place, or any secret official code or pass word is made, obtained, collected, recorded, published or communicated by any person other than a person acting under lawful authority, and from the circumstances of the case or his conduct or his known character as proved it appears that his purpose was a purpose prejudicial to the safety or interests of the State, such sketch, plan, model, article, note, document or information shall be presumed to have been made, obtained, collected, recorded, published or communicated for a purpose prejudicial to the safety or interests of the State.
 
 
(3) A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be punishable,-
 
 
(a) where the offence committed is intended or calculated to be, directly or indirectly, in the interest or for the benefit of a foreign power, or is in relation to any work of defence, arsenal, naval, military or air-force establishment or station, mine, minefield, factory, dockyard, camp, ship or aircraft or otherwise in relation to the naval, military or air force affairs of Bangladesh or in relation to any secret official code, with death, or with imprisonment for a term which may extend to fourteen years; and
 
 
(b) in any other case, with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years.

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Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs