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THE NATIONAL SERVICE ACT, 1972

Title : THE NATIONAL SERVICE ACT, 1972

Year : 1972



(1) Every person who-

(a) Is a qualified person at the commencement of this Act, or

(b) Becomes a qualified person after such commencement,
shall, if he has not attained the age of thirty years at such commencement, or, as the case may be, on the date on which he becomes a qualified person, be liable until he attains the age of thirty years to be called up for national service for a period of not more than four years.

(2) The period of national service for which a qualified person shall be liable to be called up under this Act shall begin from the date on which he is required by an enlistment notice served under this Act to present himself to the authority specified therein and shall end on the day when his term of national service is completed in accordance with the provisions of this Act.



(1) If a qualified person has been enlisted under any other law for the time being in force, for service in one of the Armed Forces of the Union for a period of not less than four years, he shall perform the service required of the members of that Force in lieu of the national service required under this Act.

(2) If a qualified person has rendered or is rendering service other than service in one of the Armed Forces of the Union and such service is declared by the Central Government to be equivalent to national service, the period of such service shall be deemed to be service in lieu of the national service required under this Act and he shall (unless he has ceased to be liable under this Act to be called up for national service), be liable to be called up for national service for such term as will, together with the service completed by him, be equivalent to the term of service for which persons are liable to serve under this Act.

(3) If any qualified person has been enlisted as a member of-

(a) The Indian Reserve Forces, regulated under the Indian Reserve Forces Act, 1888,

(b) The Territorial Army constituted under the Territorial Army Act, 1948,

(c) The Air Force Reserve or the Auxiliary Air Force Reserve constituted under the Reserve and Auxiliary Air Forces Act, 1952,

(d) The Indian Naval Reserve Forces raised and maintained under the Navy Act, 1957, or

(e) Any other Force of the foregoing nature, he shall not be called up, so long as he continues to be a member of that Force to render national service under this Act:

Provided that he shall, after he has ceased to be a member of such Force, be liable to render national service (unless he has ceased to be liable under this Act to be called up for national service) for such term as will, together with the actual service rendered by him as a member of that Force be equivalent to the term of service for which persons are liable to serve under this Act.



If any qualified person serving in the Armed Forces of the Union ceases to serve therein before he has completed four years of such service he shall, unless he has ceased to be liable under this Act to be called up for national service, be liable to be called up to serve for such term as will, together with the service completed by him, be equivalent to the term of service for which persons are liable to serve under this Act.



Subject to the provisions of section 3, the Central Government may, by order, require a qualified person to render service in the Armed Forces of the Union or such other national service, as it may specify in this behalf, for such period and at such place as may be specified in the order.



(1) Every qualified person enlisted under this Act for national service in the Armed Forces of the Union shall, subject to such conditions as may be prescribed, be bound to serve in any branch of the Armed Forces to which he is for the time being attached, and shall be subject to all laws, rules, regulations and orders in force for the time being in relation to such branch.

(2) Every qualified person enlisted for any national service, other than service in the Armed Forces of the Union shall, subject to such conditions as may be prescribed, be bound to serve in any position or post to which he is appointed for the time being, and shall be subject to all laws, rules, regulations and orders in force for the time being in relation to such position or post.



(1) The Central Government may, by order in writing, require any employer to release any qualified person for employment in national service within such time as may be specified in the order.

(2) Where an employer releases a qualified person for employment in national service, such employer shall not be liable to pay the salary, wages and other emoluments, if any, of the qualified person for the period during which national service is or has been rendered by the qualified person.

(3) No contract, subsisting between a qualified person and his employer on the date of release of the qualified person for employment in national service, shall be enforceable until such qualified person has been discharged from national service.

(4) In computing the period specified in any contract of service in relation to a qualified person who has been called upon to render national service, the period of national service actually rendered by such qualified person shall be excluded.

(5) If any employer fails without sufficient cause to comply with the order made under sub-section (1), he shall be liable to be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and also with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees.



The Central Government may by regulations make provisions for enabling or requiring a qualified person rendering national service in any branch of the Armed Forces of the Union to be transferred to any other branch of that Force or to any other branch of national service or vice versa.



(1) No qualified person rendering national service under this Act shall leave such service until he is discharged therefrom under section 17.

(2) No qualified person who has been served with a notice under sub-section (1) of section 13 or an enlistment notice under section 14 shall, if he is in any employment at the date of service of such notice, leave such employment or be discharged therefrom except in accordance with the provisions of this Act.-

Provided
that nothing in this sub-section shall apply where the employment of a qualified person is terminated for the reason that the said person has been guilty of gross insubordination, habitual absence from work, or serious misconduct or has been convicted of an offence.

(3) If a qualified person who has been served with a notice under sub-section (1) of section 13 or an enlistment notice under section 14 leaves any employment in which he is engaged at the date of service of such notice or is discharged therefrom otherwise than in accordance with the provisions of this Act, he or, as the case may be, the person by whom he is discharged, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to five years and also with fine which may extend to two thousand rupees.

Last updated on July, 2016

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