HC issues norms on land survey, slams bribe culture

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HC issues norms on land survey, slams bribe culture
Kaushik Kannan | Oct 10, 2020, 04:20 IST
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Madurai: Observing that it is very unfortunate that officials are demanding bribes even for doing their duties by forgetting the fact that they are paid salary by the government, the Madras high court has issued a series of guidelines with regard to survey of properties.
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The court was hearing a petition filed by Asaithambi, who sought to forbear the authorities from conducting repeated surveys of the property owned by him at Ponmeni village in Madurai district. There was a civil dispute between the petitioner and another person, Mahendran over the property.
“We are now in the era of global digitalization and by use of advanced technology / machinery, the survey could be easily done, so as to bring the issue to a logical end with the satisfaction of both parties,” justice S Vaidyanathan observed. Hence, the judge directed the tahsildar to depute an honest surveyor to survey the said property in the presence of both the parties within two months.
“Some of the surveyors think that they are inducted into the revenue department to accumulate wealth for themselves and not to generate revenue for the government,” the judge added.
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The judge issued guidelines to be followed by the authorities in respect of survey of the properties in future: On receipt of charges towards survey, the survey should be completed within 30 days, else the cost of application shall be returned to the parties along with recovery of a sum of Rs 2,500 from the salary of the concerned officials.
The judge said that departmental proceedings should be initiated against such officials and they could be placed under suspension and even dismissed from service for their misconduct and dereliction of duty, so as to deprive their entire gratuity and terminal benefits under the head ‘moral turpitude’, for failing to perform their duties. Adverse remarks against such officers should be entered in their service register to deprive their future promotions and such officials shall be displaced to a non-sensitive post.

The authorities shall make use of drone technology in order to conduct accurate surveys of the property, which will throw light with regard to encroachment on government lands, said the judge.
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