Govt. Can’t Refuse Survey of Private Lands; Hyderabad HC

AP Survey and Boundaries Act, 1923 : The Hyderabad High Court has ruled that the officials of survey department are bound to conduct survey of private land if anyone makes such a request after paying the required charges.

Justice M.S. Ramachandra Rao observed that just as experts in DNA analysis, ballistics and handwriting are extending their expertise to private persons even when they are working with the government, the experts of survey wing too must extend their services.

“Several circulars and GOs issued by the revenue department which directed the survey wing to conduct survey of private land are binding on the survey authorities”

the Court said.

The officials were citing the provisions of the Survey Act which did not ask them anywhere to conduct survey of private land.

The Court held that merely because there is no specific provision in the AP Survey and Boundaries Act, 1923 providing survey of private lands, it cannot be said that the authorities are prohibited from doing survey of private lands.

The Act did not say anywhere that they should not do it. the Authorities cannot deny this facility to people.

This case was filed by M Padmavathy of East Godavari district. The petitioner challenged the denial of the survey officials in conducting survey of her land and also to demarcate the boundaries.

The Court said that the Act 1923 makes it clear that the survey made under the said Act is mainly for the purposes of identification of the land and fixation of boundaries.

The Court also referred to the AP high court judgement in Hyderabad Potteries Pvt Ltd vs Collector, Hyderabad District, and said that the scheme of the AP Survey and Boundaries Act, 1923, would make it clear that there is no provision under the said Act for making any detailed enquiries with regard to right, title and interest of the persons in the land.

If anyone is aggrieved by the decision of the survey authorities, they need not file their appeals before the survey commissioner as is being normally done.

There is an appellate authority constituted under the Act and people can approach that authority and invoke section 11 of the Act, he said.

If the survey is sought by a person, after issuing notice to parties interested and in particular the registered holders of land, the concerned official should conduct survey and demarcation in their presence.

The High Court directed the survey authorities in East Godavari district to conduct survey as per the request made by the petitioner.

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