THE ARCHITECTS ACT, 1972

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In India, the privileges and responsibilities of an Architect is governed by the Architects Act, 1972. An architect is a person affianced to present numerous services with setting up drawings, plans, and fashion buildings to facilitate approval from the authorities for construction. The desires and necessities of an architect diverge according to their aptitude and aspiration.

The main aim of the Act, as the Preamble states, is to facilitate the registration of these professionals and other issues in relation to the vocation. According to the Act, an individual whose name appears in the register is deemed to be an architect. The Act empowers the Central Government to establish a Council of Architecture having the powers of a company. The elected members act as the President and Vice President of the Council, whose tenure shall be three years. But the President or the Vice President shall hold office until new person is elected. The Act provides a provision for resignation by the President or Vice President.

The authorities and role of the President and Vice president shall be determined by formulating regulations. The manner of election is stipulated by rules and any disagreement regarding election shall be submitted to a tribunal constituted by the centre. The Council is entrusted with the task of appointing registrar, staffs and officers and to fix their salary and allowances with prior approval of the Central Government. The Act empowers the Council to fix the fundamental values of the profession in order to obtain approved qualifications from the universities. The values of proficient behavior, ethical values and decorum of professional are recommended by the Council through regulation. The Central Government is required to prepare a register which shall be maintained by the council in the manner stipulated under the Act. The register shall contain the details like name, address, and qualification etc. of an architect as mentioned. A tribunal is constituted by the Central Government to prepare the register and a registrar shall also be appointed.

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Where an architect is found responsible of professional transgression, such a person shall be reprimanded or his practice can be suspended or his name shall be detached from the register. On the exclusion of name or death of an architect, his registration certificate shall be surrendered by his legal heirs to the registrar. When the certificate is submitted, the name of the architect can be detached from the register by publication in the official gazette.

The Act penalizes a person whose name not actually included in the register, acts as an architect as if the name is entered. The Act imposes fine on the person who did not submit or intends to submit the certificate even after his name is detached from the register. The First Class Judicial Magistrate is empowered to take cognizance of the offence upon receiving a complaint. A grievance cannot be initiated under the Act in opposition to the Central Government or members of the Council for the steps done by them in good faith. Where there arises any difficulty in the application of the provision of the legislation, the Central Government can formulate methods which are consistent with the current Act. The Act also authorizes the Central Government make such rules and regulations for the effective implementation of the legislation.

In 1989, the Council of Architecture formulated Architects (Professional Conduct) Regulations, 1989 to uphold the value of professional demeanor and the decorum of the profession. The regulation has undergone amendment in 2003. The Architects (Amendment) Bill, 2010 is before the consideration of the Rajya Sabha which imposes a clause that empowers the Central Government to supersede the Council in case, it fails to comply with the directions of the Central Government.

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The Architects Act can be assumed as a beneficial legislation to espouse the dignity and value of the profession of architecture. The only security available to the architects was under the Indian Copyrights Act, 1957 which affords protection for copyright in architectural work. The Architect Act is a comprehensive legislation aimed at the protection of the architects which ensues a uniform standard for maintaining the quality of the profession.