REGISTRATION OF PERSONS ACT

Arrangement of Sections

1. Short title.

PART I A

Preliminary

2. Persons liable to registration.

PART I B

ADMINISTRATION

3. Appointment of officers and servants.

4. Powers and duties of officers.

5. Delegation of powers of the Commissioner.

PART II

REGISTRATION OF PERSONS

6. National Register of Persons.

6A. Duty to inform the Commissioner-General of change of information.

7. Order appointing the period within which persons liable to registration are required to apply for such registration.

8. Obligation of person liable to registration to apply for such registration.

9. Applications for registration.

10. Grounds on which application for registration may be rejected by the Commissioner.

11. Disposal of application for registration by the Commissioner.

12. Appeals to an appropriate Tribunal against decisions of the Commissioner on applications for registration.

13. Finality of decisions of the Commissioner on applications for registration.

PART III

National Identity Cards

14. National Identity Cards to be issued to a registered person.

15. National Identity card to be produced when required.

16. Issue of duplicate identity card in case of loss of original.

17. Issue of duplicate identity card in case of damage of original.

18. Recovery of lost National Identity Cards.

19. Surrender of an identity card.

20. Appeals to an appropriate Tribunal against decisions of the Commissioner on applications for duplicates of National Identity Cards.

21. Finality of decisions of the Commissioner on applications for duplicates of National Identity Cards.

22. Identity card not transferable.

23. Alteration of identity card.

24. Not more than one identity card to be issued to any person.

PART IV

REGISTRATION OF PERSONS TRIBUNALS

25. Registration of Persons Tribunals.

26. Jurisdiction of a Tribunal.

27. Record of proceedings before a Tribunal.

28. Power to summon witnesses.

29. Persons giving evidence before a Tribunal bound to state the truth.

30. Decision of a Tribunal to contain reasons.

31. Costs of proceedings before a Tribunal.

32. Procedure and practice before a Tribunal.

33. Decisions by a Tribunal.

34. Punishment of contempts.

35. Failure to obey summons, to give evidence.

PART V

GENERAL

36. Cost of copies of photographs.

36A. Waiver of fees.

37. Power of Commissioner or authorised officer, to require applicants for registration or duplicate National Identity Cards to furnish information.

38. Power Commissioner or authorised officer to require employers to furnish returns regarding persons in their employment.

39. Power of Commissioner or authorised officer to require information from persons generally, and to hold inquiries.

39A. Power of the Commissioner-General or an authorized officer to require information from a prescribed authority.

39B. The Commissioner-General or a prescribed officer to issue certified copies and furnish information upon request.

39C. Commissioner-General to disclose information on matters relating to national security, crime prevention etc.,

39D. Exemptions.

39E. Unauthorized access to the National Register of Persons.

39F. Official secrecy.

40. Certificate issued by certain officers for special purposes.

41. Limitation in regard to prosecutions.

42. Proof of instrument issued by the commissioner.

43. Commissioner-General deemed to be peace officers.

44. Offences.

45. Burden of proof cast on applicants for registration.

46. The operation of the Immigrants and Emigrants Act not to be prejudiced or affected by this Act.

47. Certain National Identity Cards invalid.

48. Offences to be triable summarily by a Magistrate.

49. Liability in case of offences committed by a body corporate or unincorporate.

50. Offences to be cognizable.

51. Compounding of offences.

52. Regulations.

53. Service of documents.

54. Fees, fines and penalties to be credited to the Consolidated Fund.

55. Interpretation.

32 of 1968,

28 of 1971,

37 of 1971,

11 of 1981,

8 of 2016.

AN ACT to provide for the registration of all citizens of Sri Lanka: for the issue of National Identity Cards to the eligible citizens so registered, and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

[Long title rep and subs by s 2 of Act 8 of 2016.]

[Date of Commencement: 5th April, 1971]

[General Note: Section 3 of the Registration of Persons (Amendment) Act, 8 of 2016 amended in Registration of Persons Act, 32 of 1968, the words:

(1) “Commissioner for the Registration of Persons”, wherever it occurred of the words “Commissioner-General for the Registration of Persons”;

(2) “Register of Persons” whereever it occurred of the words “National Register of Persons”;

(3) “Identity Cards” wherever it occurred of the words “National Identity Cards”;

(4) “three copies of the photograph or a photograph” wherever it occurred of the words “photographs”.]

1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the Registration of Persons Act.

PART I A

Preliminary

[Part IA ins by s 4 of Act 8 of 2016.]

2. Persons liable to registration.

(1) From the date of commencement of this Act, every person who is a citizen of Sri Lanka and who has attained or attains the age of fifteen years shall be liable to registration under this Act.

(2) A person liable to registration shall, apply for such registration under this Act—

(a) for the purposes of section 6; and

(b) for the issue of a National Identity Card,

within a prescribed period.

[S 2 rep and subs by s 5 of Act 8 of 2016.]

PART I B

ADMINISTRATION

[Part I B ins by s 6 of Act 8 of 2016.]

3. Appointment of officers and servants.

(1) For the purposes of this Act, there may be appointed—

(a) a person, by name or by office, to be or to act as the Commissioner-General for the Registration of Persons;

(aa) a person by name or by office, to be or to act as the Additional Commissioner-General for the Registration of Persons;

[S 3(1)(aa) ins by s 7 of Act 8 of 2016.]

(aaa) a person, or two or more persons by name or by office, to be or to act as a Commissioner;

[S 3(1)(aaa) ins by s 7 of Act 8 of 2016.]

(b) a person, or two or more persons, by name or by office, to be or to act as a Deputy Commissioner, or Deputy Commissioners, for the Registration of Persons; and

(c) two or more persons, by name or by office, to be or to act as Assistant Commissioners for the Registration of Persons.

(2) For the purposes of this Act, there may be appointed such number of persons, by name or by office, to be or to act as Registration Officers and Certifying Officers, and such number of other officers and servants, as may be necessary for such purposes.

4. Powers and duties of officers.

In the exercise, performance or discharge of the powers, duties or functions, conferred, imposed or assigned by or under this Act—

(a) the Commissioner shall be subject to the general or special directions of the Minister; and

(b) the Additional Commissioner-General, any Commissioner, any Deputy Commissioner, any Assistant Commissioner, any Certifying Officer and any Registration Officer shall be subject to the general or special directions of the Commissioner General.

[S 4(b) ins by s 8 of Act 8 of 2016.]

5. Delegation of powers of the Commissioner.

(1) The Commissioner-General may, either generally or specially authorize the Additional Commissioner-General, any Commissioner, any Deputy Commissioner, any Assistant Commissioner, any District Secretary, Divisional Secretary or any officer of the Department for the Registration of Persons to exercise, perform or discharge any power, duty or function conferred or imposed upon, or assigned to, the Commissioner-General by or under this Act:

Provided however, that the preceding provisions of this section shall not apply to the power to compound offences conferred upon the Commissioner-General by section 51.

[S 5(1) rep and subs by s 9(1) of Act 8 of 2016.]

(2) Any District Secretary or any Divisional Secretary may, subject to the general direction and control of the Commissioner, exercise, perform or discharge any power, duty or function conferred or imposed upon, or assigned to, the Commissioner by or under this Act.

[S 5(2) am by s 9(2) of Act 8 of 2016.]

(3) The Commissioner-General may establish an office of the Department for the Registration of Persons at provincial level, district level or divisional level as the case may be, and appoint an officer to be in charge of such office.

[S 5(3) ins by s 9(3) of Act 8 of 2016.]

(4) The Commissioner-General may authorize the officer in charge of the office referred to in subsection (3) to exercise, perform or discharge any power, duty or function vested in, or imposed or conferred on the Commissioner-General in respect of registering persons and issuing of national identity cards under this Act .

[S 5(4) ins by s 9(3) of Act 8 of 2016.]

PART II

REGISTRATION OF PERSONS

6. National Register of Persons.

(1) For the purposes of this Act, the Commissioner-General shall establish and maintain a database to be called the “National Register of Persons” in the prescribed form and manner, in which every person who is a citizen of Sri Lanka, shall be registered.

(2) There shall be recorded the following information in respect of each person referred to in subsection (1)—

(a) name;

(b) date of birth;

(c) place of birth;

(d) gender;

(e) the address;

(f) family details; and

(g) any other information as may be prescribed.

[S 6 rep and subs by s 10 of Act 8 of 2016.]

6A. Duty to inform the Commissioner General of change of information.

Every holder of a national identity card issued under this Act, shall inform the Commissioner-General of any change of circumstances affecting the information relating to such person recorded in the National Register of Persons, in the prescribed manner and form within the prescribed period, for the purpose of updating the National Register of Persons.

[S 6A ins by s 11 of Act 8 of 2016.]

7. Order appointing the period within which persons liable to registration are required to apply for such registration.

(1) The Minister may, by Order published in the Gazette, appoint, in respect of all districts, a period within which persons liable to registration who are in any such district are required to apply for such registration under and in accordance with the provisions of this Act. The period so appointed shall commence on the same date, and shall, subject to the provisions of any Order published by the Minister under subsection (2), expire on the same date, in respect of all districts.

(2) The date of the expiration of the period appointed by Order published in the Gazette by the Minister under subsection (1) may be altered, in respect of any district, from time to time by the Minister by a like Order.

(3) The Minister shall cause copies of any Order made under the preceding provisions of this section to be published in such Sinhala, Tamil and English newspapers, and to be exhibited in such conspicuous place or places in all or any Districts, as he may deem best calculated to give publicity thereto.

(4) Regulations may be made under this Act prescribing the period within which persons who are not liable to registration, but who subsequently become so liable, shall apply for such registration under and in accordance with the provisions of this Act.

8. Obligation of person liable to registration to apply for such registration.

A person liable to registration shall, within the appropriate appointed period, apply for such registration under and in accordance with the provisions of this Act.

9. Applications for registration.

(1) Every application for registration shall be addressed to the Commissioner, and shall be delivered to the appropriate Certifying Officer for transmission to the Commissioner-General.

[S 9(1) am by s 12(1) of Act 8 of 2016.]

(2) Every application for registration—

(a) shall be in writing;

(b) shall be in the prescribed form and shall contain the prescribed particulars;

(bb) shall—

(i) if no certificate of waiver in respect of the fee for such registration which the Minister is hereby authorized to fix by notification published in the Gazette has been issued to applicant under this Act, accompany a proof of payment of such fee or substantiate such payment through any prescribed mode of payment; or

[S 9(2)(bb)(i) rep and subs by s 12(2)(a) of Act 8 of 2016.]

(ii) if such certificate has been issued to the applicant, have such certificate attached to the application;

[S 9(2)(bb) ins by s 2 of Act 28 of 1971.]

(c) shall be signed by the applicant manually or electronically; and

[S 9(2)(c)rep and subs by s 12(2)(b) of Act 8 of 2016.]

(d) …

[S 9(2)(d) deleted by s 3 of Act 37 of 1971.]

(3) An application for registration shall contain—

(a) —

(i) prescribed biometrics taken by the Commissioner- General or by a person authorized by him;

(ii) photographs of the applicant of the prescribed dimensions, specifications, standards and quality; and

(b) an image of the applicant taken by the Commissioner- General or by a person authorized by him.

[S 9(3) rep and subs by s 12(3) of Act 8 of 2016.]

(4) It shall be the duty of the appropriate Certifying Officer, upon being requested so to do, to make the endorsements referred to in paragraph (d) of subsection (2).

[S 9(4) am by s 3 of Act 37 of 1971.]

(5) Upon the receipt of an application for registration, the appropriate Certifying Officer shall—

(a) if such application is not returned to the applicant as required by paragraph (c) of this subsection, make a written acknowledgment of the receipt of such application to the applicant; and

(b) if such application has been duly made under and in accordance with the provisions of this Act or any regulation made thereunder, transmit such application, within seven days of its receipt, to the Commissioner; or

(c) if such application has not been so made, return it to the applicant for compliance with such provisions.

10. Grounds on which application for registration may be rejected by the Commissioner.

(1) An application for registration may be rejected by the Commissioner—

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