The High Court (HC) has expressed dissatisfaction with non-constitution of land survey appellate tribunals despite expiry of 17 years since amendment to the law and a previous order of the court requiring the same.
A division bench comprising Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice Md Mostafizur Rahman made the resentment during hearing of a rule related to a land dispute on Sunday. The rule arose out of a writ petition filed by an aggrieved land owner challenging the decision of a land survey tribunal.
The HC sent the message to the government authorities concerned through Deputy Attorney General Bipul Bagmar who is assigned to the bench.
Imposing a status quo on the land in question, the HC required clarification of the Land Secretary as to the failure in constituting land survey appellate tribunal.
Appearing for the state, Bipul Bagmar told the court that the government issued a gazette on constitution of appellate tribunals in 2013 notwithstanding the process of appointments is in motion.
The High Court sharply reacted to the reply and asked the DAG not to show “grammar” to the apex court.
The HC directed him to contact the land secretary and collect updated information about the appellate tribunal.
If the land secretary fails to submit an acceptable reply, he will be asked to appear in person, the HC said.
Ashrarul Azim, owner of four and a half kathas of land at Dogar Mouza at Demra in the capital, filed a writ petition with the HC challenging an order of the land survey tribunal.
Petitioner’s counsel Nasib Kaiser said the court issued status quo on the land in question meaning that Ashrarul Azim will be holder of the title and in possession of the property until further order.
On July 25, 2019, the HC passed an order asking for constitution of the land survey appellate tribunals. The apex court also directed the land secretary to form such tribunals within 90 days of receiving certified copy of its order.
In the order, the HC said tens of thousands of people are subjected to untold sufferings for the land ministry’s failure to constitute land survey appellate tribunals although 15 years elapsed since law was amended. The delinquent officials responsible for the sufferings must face public trial, the HC observes.
According to sources, State Acquisition and Tenancy Act, 1950 was amended in 2004 providing for constitution of land survey tribunals and land survey appellate tribunals. Following the amendment, the government already constituted the land survey tribunals headed by Joint District Judges. People aggrieved with the judgments, orders and decrees of such tribunals are now moving to the High Court in absence of the appellate tribunals.
BDST: 1515 HRS, SEP 27, 2021