This paper provides an overview of the jurisdiction and power of the Land Survey Tribunal. However, before discussing the powers and procedures of the Land Survey Tribunal, it is important to know what exactly the Land Survey Tribunal is.
What is the Land Survey Tribunal?
The Sections 145A-145I, of the State Acquisition and Tenancy Act (SAT) was inserted by Section 2 of the State Acquisition and Tenancy (Amendment) Act 2004. By inserting this chapter, the legislature has created a special forum and an alternative way of the civil court for the rectification of the record-of-rights in a summary proceeding. Section 145A(1) of the SAT Act provides that the Government may establish special Tribunals specially created for the purpose determination of the disputes arising out of the final publication of the last revised record-of-rights. The Government has already created a Tribunal called “the Land Survey Tribunal” under Section 145A(1) in almost all District of the country.
What is record-of-rights?
The term record-of-rights, which is often termed as “Khatian”, is basically a survey of the record of rights that persons have on lands.
Jurisdiction of the Land Survey Tribunal
The Land Survey Tribunal has been established to correct only the last revised record-of-rights. Section 145A(1) of the SAT Act states that such tribunal shall have jurisdiction upon those suits only which have been arisen out of final publication of the ‘last revised record or rights’, i.e. BS/BRS/RS, Dhaka City Jorip Khatian. Therefore, in Land Survey Tribunal suit can be filed for correction of only the last record-of-rights.
Powers of Land Survey Tribunal
An applicant firstly challenges a record-of-right in the Land Survey Tribunal. Upon the application, the Land Survey Tribunal can declare the record under challenge to be incorrect and direct the concerned office to correct that record according to its decision; and that tribunal may also pass such other order as may be necessary. Every order of the Tribunal must first declare the record to be incorrect and then provide another order to correct the said record according to its said declaration.
Limited scope of the Land Survey Tribunal
Land Survey Tribunals have no jurisdiction to decide on disputes as to title and possession of the parties, and therefore any decision of the Tribunal must be limited to correctness of the record-of-rights only. Such a decision will have no upshot to any person who acquired any right or title to the self-same land either by virtue of possession or by bona fide purchase for valuable consideration from ostensible owner. Hence, any such person acquiring title may resort to the civil courts for establishing his right and title. However, in a suit for correction of record-of-rights the plaintiff at first shall prove his legal right to the lands in question and then that he is also in possession of that land.
Appeals to the orders and decisions of the Land Survey Tribunal
From the judgment, decree or order of the Land Survey Tribunal, appeal shall lie in the Land Survey Appellate Tribunal. Further, 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. But, unfortunately, till now Land Survey Appellate Tribunal has not been formed by the Governmnt.
The Barristers, Advocates, and lawyers at CLP in Gulshan, Dhaka, Bangladesh are highly experienced at assisting clients in dealing with correction of record-of-rights at the Land Survey Tribunal. For queries or legal assistance, please reach us at:
Phone: +8801700920980 | +8801947470606
Address: House 39, Road 126 (3rd Floor) Islam Mansion, Gulshan 1, Dhaka.