This law note provides you with information concerning the powers of the revenue officers provided under the Madhya Pradesh Land Revenue Code, 1959 (MPLRC).
Revenue officers are the officers who collect taxes on behalf of the government or another organisation. The State Government appoints the revenue officers. Section 2(1)(u) of the Madhya Pradesh Land Revenue Code, 1959 states that any officer that is mentioned in section 11 of the MPLRC is a revenue officer. Further, section 11 provides for 19 classes of revenue officers. These are:
- Principal Revenue Commissioner
- Additional Commissioner
- Commissioner Land Records
- Additional Commissioner Land Records
- Additional Collector
- District Survey Officer
- Sub-Divisional Officer
- Deputy Survey Officer
- Assistant Collector
- Joint Collector
- Deputy Collector
- Additional Tahsildar
- Assistant Survey Officer
- Superintendent of Land Records
- Nasib Tahsildar
- Assistant Superintendent of Land Records
Powers of Revenue Officers
Revenue officers have several powers under the Madhya Pradesh Land Revenue Code, like:
- Power to enter upon and survey the land.
- Conferral of the status of courts.
- Power to require attendance and to oblige the attendance of witnesses.
- Power to adjourn the hearing.
- Power to award costs.
- Order can be reversed or altered.
1. Power to Enter Upon and Survey the Land
Section 28 of the MPLRC confers the following powers to the revenue officers, their servants and workers working under his supervision and control:
- To enter upon and survey the land.
- To demarcate or define the boundaries.
- To perform any other activities related to their duties provided under MPLRC or any other enactment.
Further, this section prohibits revenue officers, their servants, and workers from causing more damage than is necessary for properly performing or discharging their duties. It also restricts them from entering any building or enclosed garden attached to a dwelling house without the occupier’s consent and without giving the occupier prior notice of at least twenty-four hours.
2. Conferral of the Status of the Courts
The condition where the revenue officer has the status of the revenue court is set forth in section 31 of the MPLRC. This section states that while exercising its power to enquire into or decide any question arising for determination between the state government and any person or between parties to any proceedings under the MPLRC or any other enactment currently in force, the revenue officer will have the status of a revenue court.
3. Power to Require Attendance and to Oblige Attendance of Witness
According to section 33 of the MPLRC, revenue officers have the following powers:
- To take evidence.
- To summon any person whose attendance he believes is required, either to:
- Be examined as a party.
- Give evidence as a witness.
- Produce any document in support of any enquiry or case.
However, this power of the revenue officer is subject to the provisions of sections 132 and 133 of the Civil Procedure Code and to rules made under section 258 of the MPLRC.
Further, section 34 of the MPLRC states that if a person summoned to appear as a witness or produce a document fails to comply with the summon, the officer who issued the summons has the authority to do the following:
- Issue a bailable warrant of arrest.
- Order him to furnish security for evidence.
- Impose a fine of not more than 1000 rupees.
4. Power to Adjourn the Hearing
As provided under section 36 of the MPLRC, revenue officers have the power to adjourn the hearing of a case or proceeding before them for the purpose of recording the reasons. It further states that no party must be granted more than three adjournments during the course of the hearing of the case, and each of such adjournments should be granted only with costs.
5. Power to Award Costs
The revenue officers have been vested with the power to award costs under section 37 of the MPLRC. The revenue officers can award such costs incurred in the case or the proceeding as it deems appropriate to them.
However, the fees of legal practitioners are not to be allowed as costs unless such officers believe that it is required to be recorded by him in writing.
6. Order Can Be Reversed or Altered
The order passed by the revenue officer has the capacity to be reversed or altered in appeal or revision if there is any error, omission or irregularity in the summons, warrant, notice or order. However, such error, omission or irregularity must be such that it results in the failure to deliver justice.
Provision Related to Holding Enquiries
Provision related to holding enquiries is provided under section 27 of the Madhya Pradesh Land Revenue Code. Accordingly, the revenue officers are prohibited from investigating or hearing any case at a place which is outside the local limits of his jurisdiction or not in his local limits of jurisdiction. However, revenue officers can record reasons in writing at any location, even if it is outside the local limits of the jurisdiction.
The section further provides a condition that a Sub-Divisional Officer can enquire or hear any case at any place or location within the district.
Who Can Make Applications to Revenue Officers
According to section 39 of the Madhya Pradesh Land Revenue Code, the appearances and applications can be made to the revenue officer either by the parties themselves, by their recognised agents or by any legal practitioners.
1. Appeal, Revision and Review Under MPLRC
2. Provisions Related to Consolidation of Holdings Under MPLRC
3. Revenue Board Under Madhya Pradesh Land Revenue Code (MPLRC)
4. Provisions Related to Village Officers (Patels & Kotwars) Under MPLRC