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OPA At Your Service

Questions and Answers

Application for copy of Marriage Certificate

Question: Having learned that most records are perished I applied to the Registrar of District Secretariat Nuwara Eliya on 30.10.2008 under registered post 3,660 to obtain a copy of my marriage certificate from the Central Record Office Maligawatte.

The application was made on the advice of the Legal Aid Commission. I affixed to the application stamp for Rs. 50 and a reply envelope affixing Rs. 30.00 stamps.

As there was no response to my application I sent a fax message to the Registrar on 14.11.2008 drawing his attention.

Up to date I have not heard from the registrar's office. I shall be grateful if the O.P.A. could help me in the problem.

- D. H. de Saram, Dehiwela

Answer: Although your marriage record at the Nuwara Eliya District Secretariat is claimed to be perished, the Central Record Room at Maligawatte, we are sure will have it.

The procedure you seem to have followed as stated in your question seems to be incorrect. The Central record room does not and will not entertain any direct request from persons regarding any registration.

The correct procedure is to send the request along with relevant forms and stamp fee through the Nuwara Eliya District Secretariat.

The District Secretariat in Nuwara Eliya will on request give you the reference number and a copy of the form filled by them, forwarding your application to the Central Record Room. With this copy and reference No. anyone can follow it up with the Central Record Room at Maligawatte in order to expedite. There is no alternative other than to apply again through the Nuwara Eliya District Secretariat.


Land Survey Plan

Question: With reference to the above question and answer as appeared in the Daily News of October 2, 2008 we produce below the response received from the Land Survey Council.

Quote:" We refer to the answer provided by the OPA under the heading "Land Survey Plan" in the "OPA at your service" columns in the Ceylon Daily News of October 2, 2008.

Whilst we appreciate the service the OPA is rendering the public in this regard, it is essential that the answers provide a true reflection of the accepted professional practices in regard to the problems posed by the public. The Land Survey Council is concerned that this is not the case in regard to the article under reference. This matter was discussed at the meeting of the Land Survey Council on October 24 and it was decided that request be made to the OPA to take corrective action.

The correct position with respect to the questions raised by S. Gamage of Moratuwa is as follows:

Question: 1 "Is it in order for a Registered Licensed Surveyor to issue a "True Copy of a plan prepared by a Licensed Surveyor now dead and gone, certifying it as a 'True Copy of a Photocopy".

Answer: In surveying practice the certificate "True Copy" is issued by a Registered Licensed Surveyor only when it is based on the original plan issued by the registered Licensed Surveyor who has carried out the survey and his services are no longer available, to the client. If the Registered Licensed Surveyor who has issued the original plan had permitted and access or handed over his Registers/Field Notes/Plotting Sheets/Master Copies to a colleague for the express purpose of issuing "True Copies" it would be in order for such a Registered Licensed Surveyor to issue a "True Copy". It is standard practice for a Registered Licensed Surveyor to hand over or permit access to a colleague to his records, at the time of retirement from practice in order to ensure that the future requirements of his clients are fulfilled.

The statement "True copy of a photo copy" is contradiction in terms. Such a copy carries no more validity or credence than the photocopy. As indicated above the term "True Copy" has special meaning in connection with practice of surveying.

Question 2: "By doing so has the Surveyor who issued the certificate "True Copy of a Photo copy" deceived his Client.

Answer" If he had informed the Client that such a copy certified by him has more validity or credence than that of a photocopy he had in fact deceived his client.

Question 3:"Can the DC make an order to a Registered Licensed Surveyor to redefine the boundary" on the basis of a "Photo copy".

Answer: The DC would not make such an order.

Question 4: "Can the Surveyor General demarcate the correct boundary on the basis of a photo copy or certified copy of a photo copy".

Answer: Surveyor General will not do so.

Whilst the explanations given by the OPA in the said issue, in respect of why a "True Copy" of a survey plan cannot be made from a photocopy. are correct, the further explanation given to justify the issue of a "True Copy of a photo copy" are misleading and/or erroneous. The loss of the original plan in no way negates or reduces the rights of the owner of the land to develop it, mortgage it or transfer it.

In view of the position stated above it is suggested that you take action to inform Mr. S. Gamage and the general public, the correct position with regard to the questions raised by Mr. Gamage. This could be done conveniently, by having this letter published in the next issue of "OPA at your service" column in the "Ceylon Daily News". Your kind cooperation in this connection will be much appreciated.

Chairman - For and on behalf of the Land Survey Council.


Payment of W & OP pension to spouse

Question: I was a permanent and pensionable government officer. I joined the Govt, Service in 01.07.1959. In 1992 I got dismissed due to an offence under bribery act. Throughout my service period I contributed to W & OP. My wife was a govt. teacher who is now drawing a pension. My two sons are unmarried and over 20 years of age. Please let me know whether my wife is entitled to W & OP benefits after my death.

- D. Sirisena-Gokarella

Answer: You have not stated whether you are currently receiving a pension as you have stated that you were dismissed. Very likely you are not receiving any pension.

However, since you have contributed to the W & OP Fund, your wife will be entitled to the W & OP pension after your demise. Even though your wife is drawing a pension, she will still be entitled to your W and OP pension.

As your two sons are over 20 years of age there is no entitlement to them. Anyone who joined the government service after 1981, if his or her service is terminated on disciplinary grounds, the spouse will not be entitled to W & OP pension. Since you joined in 1959 your wife is entitled.

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