241. Powers of entry and inspection

  1. Subject to such restrictions and conditions as may be prescribed, the Secretary of a Panchayat or any person authorised by him or by the Panchayat may enter on or into any place, building or land, with or without assistants or workmen in order –
    1. to make any inquiry, inspection, test examination, survey, measurement or valuation or to execute any other works which is authorised by the provisions of this Act or of any rule or bye-law or order made under it or which it is necessary to make or execute for any of the purposes of this Act or in pursuance of any of the said provisions; or
    2. to satisfy himself that nothing is being done in such place, building or land for which a licence or permission is required under any of the said provisions without such licence or permission or otherwise than in conformity with the terms of the licence or permission obtained.
      Provided that –
      1. no such entry into a building shall be made between sunset and sunrise.
      2. no dwelling house or place shall be so entered except with the consent of the occupier thereof or without giving the occupier at least twenty-four hours notice of the intention to make such entry;
      3. reasonable opportunity and facility shall be allowed to the women occupying any part of a dwelling house to withdraw; and
      4. due regard shall, so far as feasible, be paid to the social and religious customs and usages of the occupants of the premises entered into.
  2. It shall be lawful for any officer authorised by the Secretary or by the Panchayat to open or cause to be opened any door, gate or other barrier to made any entry into any place -
    1. if he considers the opening thereof necessary for the purpose of such entry; and
    2. if the owner or occupier is absent or, being present, refuse to open such door, gate or barrier.
    3. Before making any entry into any such place or opening of causing to be opened any such door, gate or other barrier under sub-section (2), the person authorised in this behalf shall call upon two or more persons of the locality in which the place to be entered into is situated to witness the entry or opening and may issue an order in writing to them or any of them so to do.