Top Law Firm in Bangladesh

Top Law Firm in Bangladesh

Leading Law Firm in Bangladesh

Leading Law Firm in Dhaka

What is the Land Survey Tribunal, its Jurisdictions, Powers, Scope, Appeals and Procedural Laws

Bangladesh is growing fast. It is one of the most densely populated countries in the world, with over 170 million in population, with an area of only 148,460 squared kilometers. As a result, the cities have grown in a haywire manner and industrial growth took place in an unplanned way. With such unplanned growth, comes the added issue of undermining the environment.

Land Survey Tribunal

Currently, the surveys or khatiyans which are taken into consideration are Cadastral Survey or CS Khatiyan, Revisional Survey or RS Khatiyan, State Acquisition Survey or SA Khatiyan and Bangladesh Survey or BS Khatiyan. For Dhaka Metropolitan in particular, there is also the Dhaka City Jorip Khatian. These are the primary surveys which are taken into consideration when a land is purchased in Bangladesh. The Land Survey Tribunal has been set up under the State Acquisition and Tenancy Act (1950) as amended under State Acquisition and Tenancy (Amendment) Act, 2004, to correct and dispose of suits which may arise from the final publication of the last revised record of rights. The Government has the right to state the limit of the jurisdiction of the Tribunal and the Supreme Court appoints the judges from among Joint District Judges.

The Land Survey Tribunal operates under the purview of the Code of Civil Procedure (1908). The Land Survey Tribunal has the following powers in terms of general procedure:

(a) summoning and enforcing the attendance of any person and examining him;

(b) requiring the discovery and production of any document;

(c) requiring evidence on affidavit;

(d) requisitioning any public record or a copy thereof from any office;

(e) issuing commissions for the examination of witnesses or documents; and

(f) such other matters as may be prescribed by rules

The Government also has the power to establish Land Survey Appellate Tribunal to hear any appeals arising out of the Land Survey Tribunal. These appellate tribunals shall be formed with Justices from the High Court Division of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh. Any appeal with regards to judgment from the Land Survey Tribunal can be brought to the Land Survey Appellate Tribunal within three months of the judgment. An appeal from a judgment or order of the Land Survey Appellate Tribunal shall lie to the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court only if the Appellate Division grants leave to appeal.

Only the finally published record of rights can be challenged at the Land Survey Tribunal. Previous record of rights can be used for evidential purposes to establish the ownership of the land. When a record is challenged at the Land Survey Tribunal, the Tribunal may upon examination of the requisite documents declare that the record under appeal is incorrect and direct the office concerned to correct the record in compliance with its decision; and that court may also issue any further order as may be appropriate in the particular instance. It is impertinent to note here that, the burden is on the person who challenges the records of rights to prove his claim that there is indeed a mistake on the record of rights.

The Land Survey Tribunal in its order will indicate why the previous order was not correct and then further indicate what will be the right information which shall be portrayed in the amended record of rights. There is a three month period after the decision within which an appeal can be filed against the decision.  In case, the appeal is filed after the requisite three months, the Land Survey Tribunal has the discretion to consider the grounds of delay and allow the appeal on the matter.

The Land Survey Tribunal’s decision in terms of order and judgments with regards to any matter shall be final, but this is subject to the decisions of the land Survey Appellate Tribunal and the Supreme Court of Bangladesh. Where there is an existing jurisdiction with regards to the Record of Rights, no other Civil Court will have the jurisdiction on the same.

Even though, it has been over 15 years since the State Acquisition and Tenancy (Amendment) Act, 2004 has come into effect, the Land Survey Tribunal especially the Appellate Tribunal is still progressing slowly. There will need to be some overall reforms with regards to the land registration procedure, which will make it more efficient for the Land Survey Tribunal to operate in the future.