Updated: Sunday April 04, 2010/AlAhad Rabi' Thani 20, 1431/Ravivara Chaitra 14, 1932, at 11:58:45 PM
Punjab Settlement Manual (Indian)
Rights of State and private land owners in land and its produce- In India the State has always claimed a share of the produce of the land from the persons in whom it recognized a permanent right to occupy and till it or arrange for its tillage. It is needless to discuss the various ways in which in which this the right of the ruler to his share and the right of the occupier to hold the land he cultivated and pass it on to his children both formed part of the ancient customary law of the country, however, the latter might occasionally be denied in practice by an unjust Government.2
of land in
3. Rent under native system of assessing land revenue. Native rulers sometimes took their share in kind dividing the crops with the cultivator on the threshing floor (batai). For certain crops, known as zabti, which it was inconvenient to provide, e.g., cane and poppies; fixed money rates were charged per bigha or Kanal. At other times the State officials resorted to appraisement (kan or kankut), estimating the amount of the Government share of the crops, and usually taking its value in money Numerous cesses (abwab) were levied in addition to the land revenue proper (mal).
prudent or ruler forbore to make the burden too heavy to be borne, and it is
obvious that the collections were roughly adusted to the character of the
seasons, and pressed much less heavily than a fixed cash demand equal to the
average of the fluctuating amounts realised would have done. Rent in the usual
sense of the word hardly existed in the districts now included in the
North-Western Provinces or in the cast of the
statements are not fully applicable to the state of things which existed in
many parts of the
adopted of a moderate cash assessment fixed for a term of year. A civllad
Government like our own naturally prefers to commute its claim to a part of the
produce of the soil into an annual money payment fixed for a term of year.
British officers gradually learned that, if land revenue was to be collected in
this shape with any sort of regularity, the dernand must be pitched well below
the native standard. The tendency to moderation was reinforced by
considerations of humanity and belief that the best way to promote the
extension and improvement of agriculture was to render the land a source of
increasing profit to its owners by limiting the land revenue and making it
incapable of enhancement for a considerable period. This policy is especially
associated in the northwest of
5. Twofold object of settlement. To assess the land revenue is the primary object of a settlement. It is necessary at the same time to decide who shall pay the sums assessed or, in technical language, with whom the settlement shall be made. To permit an individual to contract to pay the land revenue is usually an acknowledgement that he possesses a proprietary right in the soil, and the drawing up of lists (khewats) showing the landowners in every estate, the extent of each man’s right, and the amount of revenue for which he was primarily responsible, involved in our early settlements a determination for the first time of the ownership of every parcel of land in the country. It soon became evident that there were other persons who had rights in the soil besides those who could claim the offer of a settlement, and the advisability of making a complete record of all rights and liabilities connected with the land, including even those of tenants from year to year, was recognized. A settlement, therefore, consists of two main branches.
(a) the assessment; and
(b) the framing of a record of rights.
6. Purpose of hand-book. It is purpose of the following pages to show haw
these two operations are now carried out in the
The making of the
Territories included in the
8. Acquisition of
9. History of these territories from 1803
to 1858. Grandually by the
eschew of life jagirs and the
confiscation of other grants from disloyalty most of the territory came under
the direct rule of the paramount power, the last and most important cases of
confiscation being caused by the events of the mutiny of 1857. Relics of the
policy adopted in 1805-06 Karnal, in 1803 the territory beyond the Ghaggar,
which from 1858 to 1884 formed the Sirsa District, now divided between, now
divided between Hissar and Ferozepore, was a wild desert tract Known as
Bhattiana or the Bhatti territory, and no effective control was exercised over
it till 1818. Down to 1832 the
II. The Cis-Sutlej and
10. Cis-Sutlej and Hill States taken under
protection- The Mahrattas were
unable to set up again in any permanent shape the sway of Delhi over the
territories lying to the north and west of Karnal and stretching from the Jamna
to the Sutlej, which had been wasted from the Moghal Empire by the Sikhs after
the battle of Sirhind in 1763. There was a few important States in this tract,
but the rest of it was parcelled out in an extraordinary fasnied among
confederacies of Sikh horsemen, each of whom held a very petty share, Several
of the Sikh chiefs fought against us under the Mahratta standard in 1803, and
some of them had to be chastised again next year when Holkar was threatening
our newly acquired authority to the west of the Jamua. An amnesty was
peroclaimed in 1805, and for a few years, in pursuance of the policy which
sought to restrict our obligations be yound the Jamna, the Sikh States between
that river and the
11. Development of protection into dominion. It was impossible that the relations between the
paramount power and the protected chiefs
embodied in the proclamations of 1809 and 1811 should be permanently
maintained. They were in fact issued under ami apprehension, it being imagined
that” a few great chiefs only existed between the Jamana and the
12. Administration of the Cis-Sutlej and
14. Annexation of the Punjab west of the Bias
in 1849 and administration of the province down to 1859 :– After the Wazir Raja Lal Singh had been banished
for instigating Sheikh Imam-ud-din to resist the occupation of Kashmir by Gulab
Singh, an agreement was executed in December, 1846, between the British
Government and the Principal Sikh Sardars, by which a Council of Regency was
appoinhted, which was to be controlled by a British Resident siationed at
Lahore. Henry Lawrence was the first Resident, but his brother John more than
once officated for him. They had under them a staff of able assistants, and one
of the duties on which the latter were employed when the second Sikh war broke
out in 1848 was the makin of summary settleemnts in the different districts
under the control of the Darbar. On the 21st of February, 1849, the Khalsa army
was finally broken in the battle of Gujarat ; on the 30the of March the
proclamation annexing the Punjab was read at
V. Subsequent Changes
14-A. Formation of the North-West Frontier and
of Settlement policy in the North-Western Provinces down to the period of the
annexation of the
15. The Punjab Settlement system brought from North-Western Provinces — The Settlement system of the Punjab was in its inception of the system of the North-Western has been less in the provinces as it stood in 1849, and it is a curious fact that the deviation from that model has been less in the province which adopted it than in the province which gave it brith. In his despatch establisling the Board of Administration Loard Dalhousie indicated that a Revenue Code for the newly conquered territory would be found" in the four printed circulars of the Sadr Board of Revenue, North-Western Provinces, and the pamphlets published under the orders of the Lieutenant - Governor."
pamphlets referred to were Thomason's "Directions for Settlement Officers
and Collectors", which appeared in three parts between 1844 and 1848. But
quite as imprtant as these written instructions was the fact that the revenue
policy of the
16. Early settlements in North-Western
Provinces, 1801 to 1822. – The
"ceded provinces" and the "conquered provinces" as the
districts now included in the North-Western Provinces were called, came under
British rule in 1801 and 1803, respectively. As regards their revenue
management they were till 1831 under the Board of Revenue at
These early settlements were very rough and ready proceedings. There were no field drvey maps, no reliable returns of the cultivated area or of the crops grown, and no trust worthy records from which the profits of the landholder could be deduced. A Collector here and there might attmept to estimate the net produce of the land by calculating the value of the gross outturn and deducting the expenses of cultivation. But the ordinary procdure followed in the early years of the century was that desribed by Mr. Thomason's Chief Secreatry, Mr. John Thornton, in Volume XII of the "Calcutta Review" : "The early settlments..............were effected in a very easy and cursory way. The Collector sat in his office at the sadr station. attended by his right-hand men. The Kanungos, by whoem he was almost entirely guided. As each estate came up in succession, the brief record of former settlements was read, and the..............fiscal register for ten years immediately preceding ten cession or conquest was inspected. The kanungos were then asked who was the zamindar of the village. The reply to this questio pointed sometimes to the actual bona fide owner of one or of many estates, sometimes to the headman of the village community; sometimes to a non-resident Saiyyid of Kayath, whose sole possession consisted in the levying a yearly sum from the real cultivating proprietors, and sometimes to the large zamindar or talukdar , who held only a limited interest in the greater portion of his domain. Occasionally a man was siad to be zamindar who had lost all connection for years with the estate..........thought his name might have remained in the kanungo's books. As the dicta of these officers were generally followed with little further enquirey it may be imagined that great injustice was thus perpetrated. Then followed the determination of the amount of revenue. On this point also reliance was placed on the daul or estimate of the kamungo checked by the accounts of past collections and by any other offers of mere farming speculators which might happen to be put forward at the time Mistakes of course occureed, and it was often necessary to readjust the demand even during the currency of the short lease then granted, but, on the whole this part of the system succeded betten than might have been expected."
17. Rights of peasant owners over-ridden by farmers, talukdars and sadr malguzars.– One great evil in these settlements was the extent to which engagments were taken from farmers. This was soon recognised to be an abuse, and was partially corrected as time went on. But a real dislike on the part of the landholders to undertake resp. sibility for the payment of of a cash assessment frequently led to the offers of talukdars and farmers being accepted. Even where owners engaged, this as a rule only menat that a few of the leading landholders had been admitted as sadr malguzars and allowed to make what arrangements they could for collecting from their co-parceners, who were styled in the revenue literature of teh day the 'under-tenants'. There was no recored to show what the rights and liabilities of these co-parceners were. The sadr malguzar was called zamindar, and was treated as if he was the sole proprietor of the estate, however small his actual share might be. If once an engagement had been taken from him, the other landholders were only permitted to engage with his consent at a subsequent settlement. The rights of large bodies of peasant owners were thus over-borne and were in imminent danger of destruction.
18. Vicious system of collection.- Bad as the process of assessment, the means employed for collection were far worse. The most drastic process known to the Revenue Code was constantly and indicriminately applied when villages fell into arrears, and the abuses of the sale law became the scandal of the administration. If the sadr malguzar made default the whole patti or estate for which he had engaged was put up to auction, and all private rights of ownership annulled in fagour of the puchaser, who was very free quently the tahsildar or one of his underlings. Indeed, we are told that “by some strange misapprehension the rule applicable to cases of sale for arrears of reyenue appears to have been extended not only to the sales of estate under decrees of court for private debts, but even to the private transfers of the sadr malguzars.” The powerful machinery of a civilized Government was rapidly breaking up communities which had survived the crushing exaction of the petty tyrannies which it had replaced. The extent of the evil may be gauged by the extraordinary nature of the remedy applied with very partial successar 1821. In that year a commission was apointed with power to annual, should equity require it, any public or private transfer of land which had taken place before the 13th of September, 1810.
19. Over-assessment and bad revenue
parhaps forunate that a great part of the
20. Protection of rights of peasant owners. The last object was secured by providing that the fact that a person had not hitherto joined in the settlement lease should be no bar to his being admitted to engage in future, and by taking power in those cases in which the oareners did not become jointly responsible to make what we should now call a subsetlement with them determining exactly the amounts which they should pay to the farner talukdar, or sadr malguzar. At the same time their interests were nrotected from fisljkd in canseqnence of the defauit of the sadr maiguzar.
22. Record of rights to be framed after exhaustive local enquiry.- A very minute enqure arding the extent of the rights and interest of every person sharing in the sqsr of the soil was to be made, and the rates of rent demandable from all resident whether possessing the right claimed. His decision, even when upheld by the Board of Revenue was not indeed final as the defeated party might bring a regular civil in th zillah Court. But an immense step forward was taken when disputes regarding rights in land were in the first instance submitted to an officer whose duties forced him temake a careful study of the peculiartities of Indian tenures, and who could hear the cases line villages in the prese of the assembled brotherhood. It is the great merit of Holt madenzie’s scheme that it moved every part of settlement work from the kachahari to the camp.
23. A moderate assessment to be based on
careful enquiry.– The preamble
to Regulation VII of 1822 declares that “a moderate assessment being equally
conducive to the true interest of Government and to the well-being of its
subjects, “the officers engaged in revising the settlement were to aim not at
“any general and extensive enhancement.” But at “the equalizing of the public
burthens.” The demand was to be “fixed with reference to the produce and
capabilities of the land” (section 7) and the Government share of the rental,
which, following the precedent of the permanent settlement of
24. Failure of the scheme.- The plan was a masterly one, but it fell for the time being by its own weight. The procedure contemplated was much too elaborate. But in any care to make a record-of rights for the first time in a country where the interests of different persons in the land were of so complex and often of so doubtful a character was a immense undertaking, and the task became hopeless when it was entrusted to Collectors fully occupied with the ordinary work of district administration. Ten or twelve villages were taken up at a time, and it was found after eleven years that nowhere was the settlanent nearly finished, and that the periods regarded as necessary for its completion in different districts varied from three to sixty years.
25. Two ways of determining the land revenue assessment.- Nor was the assessment work practically successful. There are two ways of determining the land revenue just a there are two ways of assessing the income-tax. In both cases a standard has been fixed by Government. If the rental of the landowner or the profits of the tax-payer are certainly known the matter is simple. A Treasury Officers finds no difficulty in taxing an official’s salary, and a Sewttlement Officer can easily assess land which is cultivated by tenants paying in cash. If the rents are honestly recorded. But accounts of the income derived from trade or from land may be untrustworthy, or so complicated that it is almost impossible to unravel them. A money0lender may receive his payments and a landlord may collect his rents in grain, and even if the amounts realised can be determined , it may be hard to calculate their real money value. In the case of land further difficulties arise when the owners themselves till most of their fields and let the remainder to tenants at rents which are customary rather than competitive. When a Collector finds it impossible to assessa shop-keeper by an examination of his books and a minute calculation of profit and loss. He resorts to a more rought and readly process. He finds out what the man has paid in fromer years, and equires whether there has been any apparent change in his circumstances since the last assessment, or whether there is anything of indicate that this incaing hitherto under-estimated. Has he spent lavishly on the wedding of his osn or build for himself a finer house ? What is the opinion of respectable neighbours and of the officails who are personally acquainted with his circumstances as to the amount of taxation which he may fairly be called upon to pay ? A similar process may be followed in assessing the land revenue of an estate, though the enquiry in this case is naturally much more complicated. An assessment then may be based either on an attempted calculation of net assets or that are called "general considerations." Or both processes may be followed and the result of the one used to check the result of the other.
26. In settlements under Reuglations VII of 1822 assessment proposals supported by elaborate attmepts to calculate net assests. - In the third decade of the centruy cash rents were apparently by no means uncommon in the North-Western Porvinces, but the record of them by the patwaris was untrustworthy. Assessment proposals were not based on rent data, but were supported by elaborate but unconvincing calculations of the gross produce and its value, and after deducting from this the wages of labour, the profits of stock, and the percentage of the net assets allowed by the law to the landowners, the residue was assumed to be the share of Government. To quote again from the papaer of Mr. John Thornton referred to in paragraph 16 :-
"To much detail was required on all points. In determining the revenue especially broad principles were laible to be lost sight of in the intricacies of a laborius calculation. Arbitrary rates were applied to innumerable arbitrary gradations of soil. No positive objecting could be made to any step of the process, but no faith could be placed in the result."
27. Regulatin VII of 1822 amended by
Regulation IX of 1833.- When
Regulation VII of 1822 had been in force for eleven years an amending Act,
Regulation IX of 1833, was passed. This is the law under which the
(A) that the amount of jama to be demanded from any mahal shall be calculated on an escertainment of the quantity and value of actual produce, or on a comparison between the cost of production and value of produce." and
(b) that the judicial investigation of claims connected with rights in the land shall be conduced simultaneously with the assessment of the revenue."
For the future of Governer'General in Council was to determine the order in which mese mater should be disposed of.
28. Birds influence on settlement policy. – In the next eight years the revision of the settlment of the North-Western Provinces was nearly completed. During this period merttins Bird was the Member of the Board of Revenue in charge of settlments, and he stamped his own ideas on the young settlments officers whom he chose, and through them on the work. Four at least of the men who moulded the early settlement policy of the Punjab, Lasrence, Montgomery, Edmonstone and Thorton, learned in his school and with Donal McLeod, George Barnes, Charles Raikes, John Morris, and Richard Temple, served under his most distinguished pupil in revenue matters, James Thomason who become Lieutenant-Governor of the North-Western Porvinces in 1843. Thomason's relation to Bird is weel expressed by Sir Richard Temple in his stetch of Thomason's life (pages 86,87) :-
(Bird) "was the foreunner into whose labours Thomason entered the pioneer, the original the inventor, whose work Thomason took up, carried on to its conclusion and fully effective. "Bird's onw description of his system is contained in th Settlement Circular issued by the Board of Revenue in 1839, which is the first of the four Circulars referred to in Loard Dalhousie's despatch. But it will be better to draw our account of the scheme from the masterly exposition of it given by Thomason in the "Directions for Settlement Officers" Few Punjab officers probably referred to the Circular, but all studied the "Directions".
29. Survey and record of rights. - All settlement were to be made and reported on
separately for each pargana. The
first operation was the laying down of village boundaries, a matter in those
days often of great difficulty and one of the first importance for the peace of
the country. As soon as this was effected the topographical survey of the
villages by the professional Survey Department of the scale of four inches to
the mile could proceed. The Survey Officer also superintended the cadastral or
field survey made by amins after the
native fashion, but eh maps (shajras)
and field registers (khasras) which
they prepared were also checked by the Settlment. Officer and his subordinated.
The contents of the Settlement records were not very different from those of
the records afterwards framed in the
30. Assessment based mainly on genearl consideration. - The Circular and the “Directions” both contemplate an assessment based mainly on general considerations. The proper demand for each pargana was to be determined by a careful enquiry into the resources and past revenue history of the estates comprised in it more than by any elaborate attempt to ascertain the net assets of the landowners and take a definite proportion there of as the Govenment share.
31. Thomason’s plan of assessment.-The fact is obscured by the additions made to the
text of the “Directions” in the
Paragraph 47.- “The object of the fiscal part of the settlement is to fix the demand..........for a certain period o years within such limits as may leave a fair frofit to the proprietors and create a valuable and marketable property in the land.”
paragraph 48.- “This end cannot be ascertained with certainty by any fixed arithmetical process or by the prescription of any rule that a certain portion of the gross or net produce shall be assigned to the Government and to the proprietors.”
Paragraph 49.- “If the net produce of any one year or any given number of past years could be determined, it would afford no certain guide to the produce of years to come. The future produce may be more, if there is waste Land to come into cultivation, if the former system of cultivation were faulty and expensive, if the products are-likely to come into demand in the market, or if the opening out of new channels of commercial inter course is likely to improve the local market. The future produce may be less, if the reverse of all these is the case.”
Paragraph 50.- Not only would the actual ascertainment of the net produce of an estate be a fallacious basis on which alone to found any certain determination of the demand, but it is in itself often most difficult to accomplish, and the attempt to effect it is likely to produce many serious evils. In village where the collections are in kind, or where the proprietors cultivate themselves and pay then jama by a bachh or rate upon their sir land, it is almost impossible to ascertain either the net or gross produce with any certainty. When once it is known that the Government demand is to be limited to a fixed portion of the proved produce there is a general combination to deceive and mislead the Settlement Officer. Village accounts are forged or the true ones suppressed, falsehood and perjury are unhesitatingly resorted to.” Paragrahp 51. “Still the settlement Officer should not neglect any opportunities that present themesleves for ascertaining the net produce of every estate for a single year or for any series of years, but he should not, harass himself to attain accuracy in this respect, no, when he fancies that he has ascertained the equal net produce, should he treat this as any certain basis on which to found his settlement. it is better to acknowledge at once that the operation is not one of arithmetical calculation but to judgment and sound discretion, and to proceed openly on that assumption. It is necessary, therefore, to point out the object which the Settlement Officer should keep in view and the meas which he has for attaining the proposed end."
32. Standard of assessment and assessment guides. - Thomason went on to say that Government should not demand more than two-thirds "of what may be expected to be the list produce to the proprietor during the period of settlement." The five-sixth net assets standard laid down in Regulation VII of 1822 was still in force when the Settlment Circular of 1839 was issued. But it was lowered to two-thirds in the first edition of the 'Directions for the Settlement Officers' which appeared in 1844. After declaring the standard of assessment and giving a definiation of net produce which is substantially the same as that of net assets in the Punjab Settlment Instructions of 1893 (see Appendix I) Thomason proceeded :-
Paragraph 53. - "In order to enable him to come to a correct opinion on the subject, the Settlement Officer has an accurate return of the cultivated and cultivable area of the village, of the irrigated and unirrigated land, and of the different kinds of soils.............Except in a newly acquired country the Settlment Officer has also the experience of past years to guide him, and this should always be insured by memorandum from the office, not only to past settlements and collections, but also of everything bearing on the condition of the village, such as previous litigation.......................Price realized if ever brought to sale, mortgages, farming leases, etc. etc. He may also know pretty nearly the net produce or gross rental of the village under settlement, or of several in the same tract with which hermay compare it. He knows the character of the people, the style of cultivation, the capability of improvement, the state of the market for the produce. He has to aid him the experience of past years, the opinions of the pargana officers, and the estimate of neighbouring zamindars."
Paragraph 54.- "All this information he will lay himself out diligently to collect by personal inspection of the country, by free communication with the people, and by careful enquiry from every person and in every quarter whence he is likely to derive information. Such of his information as is capable of being exhibited numerically and compared he will reduce to a tabgular from in such manner as is best calculated to bring the corresponding facts well under his eye together. He will group the villages in his table according as he may find them placed in similar circumstances or subject to similar influences.”
Paragraph 55.- "Great assistance may be obtained from the following processes. A rough pargana map is formed............Upon this map the Settlment Officer before commencing his assessment notes down the rate at which the old jama falls on each village, so that a single glance may show where any discrepancy exists in the rates paid any neighbouring villages. On suc a map, moreove,r lines may be drawn or colouring used to point out where any marked change takes place in the quality of the soild, for instance, where the low and moist khadi ceases and the high bangar begins, or wher the level and uniform plain rises into an uneven and sandy tract, the number and depth of the wells, population are numerous other interesting and important particulars may be noted within the area of each village in the map. A map thus prepared and gradually completed during eh period that the Settlement Officer is making his personal survey of the pargana cannot fail to be of the greatest use in fixing the future assessment."
Paragraph 58. - "The Settlment Officer will find it prodent not to finally at once, byut having roughly assumed at first what seems in each case to be fair, hence to determine the new jama to the pargana by taking the gotal of these, and then by the revedrse process to re-distribute either himself by the help of others the pargana total over the several village. Respectable zamindars may often be advantageously consulted on the comparative assessment to two villages with which they have no concern. In the end he will propose the result of his deliberations to the proprietors themselves and be guided in his ultimate decision by the circumstances under which they may accept or reject his terms."
33. Warnings against probable mistakes in assessment. - Mr. Thomason proceeded to offer some general warnings which amy be thus summarised :–
(1) It is a more fatal error to over-assess than to under-assess.
(2) Too much stress should not be laid on the former assessement of, or even the former collections from, an estate.
(3) It must not be too readily assumed that the demand is fair because the proprietor accepts it.
(4) Too great a desire to maintain equal averages is a mistake.
(5) Good and bad cultivators be assessed alike, but there is a strong tendency to assess the former too heavily and to let off the latter too easily.
(6) Caution is required against increasing the demand too rapidly.
34. Character of first N.W. Provinces settlement under Regulation IX of 1833. - The first series of settlments made in the North-Western Provinces under Regulation IX of 1833 were far better than any that had preceded them. Their defects were such as resulted naturally from the attempt to carry out very rapidly a difficult and complicated piece of work. The survey maps were usually mere skeleton plans without topographical details, and the shajras were rough and the records often imperfect. But the rights of the great body of peasant owners were for the first time defined and safeguarded. Mr. Vincent Smith, in his Settlment Officer's Manual for the North-Western Provinces, writes with reference to the assessment :-
"There was little or no real enquiry into the real rental assets of the time.......................Mr. Thomason indeed formally declared that it is imposible to fix what is the fair share of the assets of a mauza, which should be taken as the Government demand...............The Government jama is not necessarily a definite portion of the assets'............Many Officers, therefore, working on the principle thus frankly expounded, though, in accordance with the rules of the Board of Revenue, they framed sets of rent rates, in practice utterly disregarded their rates and assessed without regard to the valuation obtained by applying the rates; and some officers who did so, for example, Messrs Muir and Allen in Bundlkhand, were among the most successfuly. But many officers made use of the rates arrived at by summary inquiry and were misled by them."
35. Settlments in
36. Term of settlement. - The term of most of the North-Western Provinces
settlments was fixed by Act VIII of 1846 at thirty year or upwards. The only
exception among districts now included in the
37. Main features of settlement policy
(a) A proper field survey with the results embodied in a map and field register.
(b) A full enquiry into the rights and liabilities of all persons having an interest in the soil, and the record of these rights and liabilities in permanent registers.
(c) A moderate assessment based more on general considerations than on an attempt to deduce the demand from an exact calcuation of the landlord's net assets and the share thereof claimable by Government.
The Sikh Revenue System
38. Land Revenue under the Sikhs. - An excellent account of the revenue systme or the
Muslim rulers of northern
39. Their administrative sytem. - Under such a system everything depended on the
local governor or nazim and the kardars under him. So long as he sent enough money to
nazim was not only entrusted with the
entire receipts............but he was likewise reponsible for all
disbursements; the fiscal, military, and miscelaneous stated time for
rendering...........accounts to the State, sometimes two or three years
would.........elapse before he was called upon to give an explanation of his
strewardship. But he was obliged to be always prepared to give up his papers
and to pay the balance whenever Government might demand an
adjustment..........Over every pargana
was appointed the kardar,
who...........derived his appointment from the nazim............Sometimes (the kardars) undertook the farm of their
several jurisdictions.........taking their chance of remuneration in the
opportunities for extortion which their position conferred upon them. IN such
case the kardar held himself
responsible for all the collections and disbursements. ..............the people
were literally made over for a given period to his mercy and the rapacity of
the kardar was limited only by his
discretion. In most case the kardar
received a personal salary of Rs. 700 or Rs. 1,000 a year........Of course the
mere pay was not the only inducement to accept office. Under every native
Government there are certain recognised perquisties............which are at
least equivalent to the fixed emoulments, and under so lax a systme the
official was moderate indeed who did not overstep these reasonable
limits..........a kardar seldon stayed more than three
years. He obtained his office probably by the payment of a large propitiatory
bribe, and the smae agency by which he had succeeded in outsting his
predecessor was open to others to be directed against himself. Occasionally the
people would repair in formidable bodies to
40. Diwan Sawan Mal's revenue system . - Diwan Sawan Mal was the greatest of the
governors and a revenue farmer on a very large scale, paying into the
41. Machjeasures taken to extend cultivation. - The Sikhs were anxious to increase the same by extending cultivation and at the smae time to diminish the influence of the anlandowning tribes and ruling families. With these objects they effected in sme parts the country a great and on the whole beneficent, revolution in landed property by adding in the extensive waste lands to the older estates numerous settlemnts of industries cultivators of lower castes. The coflicting claims of the old lords of the soil and the land-holders raised difficult questions when our first records of rights were framed.
42. Early Summary Settlements :— In the Cis-Sutlej States when the villages held
by any chief lapsed for want to heirs they were summarily assessed for short
period. These settlements were generally most oppressive. This is not
wonderful, as the common way of makin them seems to have been to calculate the
average money value of the Sikh collections for a short term of years, and,
afer striking out the cesses and allowing a deduction of 5 per cent for inam, to take the balance as the
Government demand. It was not realised that a fixed cash assessment must be far
lower than revenue paid by division of crops and therefore fluctuating
automatically with the character of the seasons. The revenue management was
extremely bad, and excessive demands were wrung from the people by harsh and
often illegal methods. The summary settlemnts of the Jullundur Doab made in
1846 by John Lawrence and his Assistants were much more reasonable, especially
in the two plain districts were he Settlements Officers were a good deal
influenced by their knowledge of the success of Misr Rup Lal's assessments. Nearly the whole of the Punjab,
west of the Beas with the exception of the districts included in the Governorhsip
of Diwan Sawan Mal and his successor Diwan Mulraj, was summarily settled in the
cold weather of 1847-48 by the Assistants of the Residence at
43. Later Summeary settlements. - In 1852 and the next few years it became
necessary to revise the summary settlements in districts in which the
operations of the first regular settlemnts had not been started, as the demand
first imposed could not be maintained in the face of the heavy fall of price.
In some districts a thrid summary settlement was made, in
44. Difference between summary and regular settlements. - A summary settlement is defined in the first Land Revenue Act, XXXIII of 1871, as "a provisional settlement made pending a first regular settlement. "Legally the chief difference between the two lies in the fact that no presumption of truth, such as is attached to entries in records-of rights prepared at regular settlements (section 16 of Act XXXIII of 1871), belongs to similar entries made at a summary settlement. An officer making a record-of-rights at the first regular settlement could alter any entry made at a summary settlement simply on the ground that he considered it incorrect. An officer making a re-settlement under Act XXXIII of 1871 had no such power with reference to the entries in records-of-rights framed at a first regular settlment (section 19 of Act XXXIII of 1871). In some of the summary settlement there was not even the roughest sort of khewat to show how the revenue was distributed over holdings, in most there was no attempted at a field measurement. Some of the later sumary settlements on the other hand were much more elaborate proceeding. There was for example, little to distinguish such a summary settlement as Captain Hector Mackenzie made of the Leiah and Bhakkar tahsils in 1862 from a regular settlement.
of Settlement Policy in the
45. History of Punjab settlements dividen
into five periods.- The history
I. First period of Punjab Settlement, 1846-1863
46. Settlement made in first period. - During the first period the whole of the
territory included in the
47. Terms for which settlement were made. - Following the example of the North-Western
Provinces, a term of thirty years granted in the districts east of the Beas and
48. Assessements based on general considerations.
- The assessments were to still
greater degree than those made in the North-Western Provinces after passing of
Regulation IX of 1833 based on general considerations. The standard of
assessment was recognized to be two-thirds. and at the end of the period
one-half, of the net assets. Mr. John Colvin, the Lieutenant-Governor of the
North-Western Provinces, reduced the standard thereto "about one-half' in
1855. and this change was accepted a few years
later as applicabel as a matter of course to the Punjab also.2 But
the assessments were not founded on any attempt to determine with exactness by
the help of rents what the amount of a standard revenue demand really was.
Rents, which in the settlement literature of the day meant cash rents, were common
enough in the North-Western Provinces, but it was considered impossible to get
a trustworthy record of them before the announcement of the new assessment.3
and rent rates were therefore sometimes of little value. In the
49. Soil and assessement circles. - In framing revenues rates regard was rarely paid to nattiral varieties of soil. Lands were merely classed according to theri adventitious qualities as well-irrigated or canal-irrgated, flooded or dry. But assessment circles were maller than at present, and estates within circles were often arranged in several classes. This device of classes within circle was held to be open to considerable objection, but it had at least the result of indirectly recognizing soil distinctions.
50. Assessment guides. - Great stress was laid on the working of the summary settlments. Villages were sometimes grouped with reference to their past revenue history as highly, moderately, and lightly assessed. The rates paid by estates of the second class gave a clue to the rates which would probably be suitable as general average rates. The opinions of native officials and of respectable landowners were weighed, those of the latter being considered specially useful as regards the distribution of the gross assessemnt over estates. Statistics olf cultivation, irrigation, population, ploughs, wells, and other matters throwing light on the economic condition of each estate and circle were tabulated. Towards close of the period the statistical enquiry became under Mr. Prinsep's influence exceedingly through and elaborate tables and maps were prepared with the object of furnishing the assessing officer and his superiors with a complete comparative view of the state of different villages and circles.
51. Assessment of different classes of land.
- The importance of testing the
real capacity of the wells and not trusting of the khasra entries for the determination of the irrigated area was
early recognized, but the meanse for reaching accurate
conclusions on the subject which we now possess in a continuous record of crops
did not then exist. Of the present perennial canals the only at work was the
Western Jamna Canal, the irrigation from which was almost entirely confined to
the districts of the Delhi territory, which remained part of the North-Western
Provinces down to 1858. The old
52. Character of the Assessments. - In the first regular settlements the demands
imposed at the summary settlements were generally much reduced. The first
administrators of the
of demand is not only due morally and actually to the people, but is also
conducive to the best interests of the Government...............The Chief
Commissioner would entreat all the revenue officers to recollect that the same
causes which heretofore have assitated moderation of..............assessment,
namely low prices, concentration of industry upon the land alone, excess of
production over consumption, cessation of service and such like employments,
the want of markets, the unavoidable subtraction of cash from the country at
the very time when money payments of the revenue are in vogue, .............are
still in operation and may probably so continue." The drift of opinion
towards great moderation in assessment became still more marked after the
Mutiny and the famine of 1860-61, and its strength may be gauged by the
sweeping remark of teh Financial Commissioner. Mr. Robert Cust, when reviewing
the Multan Settlment Report in 1860, that "our
53. Supervision of settlement.- By orders issued in 1851 the Board of
Administration required Settlement Officers to report separately on the
assessment proposed for each tahsil.
In this way, they remarked, "the Commissioners and the Board would be able
to exercise a more satisfactory supervision over the work." Commissioners
might allow one the rest after the introduction of teh new demand to elapse
before reporting to the Board. These orders were constantly neglected. It seems clear that the Board, or.after
its abolition, the Financial Commissioner, was rearely asked to sanction an
assessment till the final settlement report of the whole district was received
and the new demand had some times been in force for years before the Settlement
Officer found time to write his report. The papers sent up with the tahsil reports were a volume of survey
maps (No.1), a file of villages note-books (Nos. II to IV), and three general
statements or village lists (NOw. V to VII) for the remarks of the Settlement
Officers on the grounds of his assessment were appended to Sttement III in the
village note-bbok. A supervising officer who wished to exercise any check by
means of these papers must have relied largely on his power to refer to these
remarks. Statment V formed a sort of index to direct his attention to estates
in which the proposed demand fell at an exceptionally high or low rate on
cultivation. The elaboration of settlment statistics was begun by Mr. Prinsep,
when he was Settlement Officer of
54. Judicial part of Settlement .- The judicial part of these settlements, by which is to be understood the determination of the rights of all persons interested in the soil, was quite as important as the fiscal. But any remarks required under this head, and regarding the field survey and the contents of the record-of-rights, will be reserved for the chapters tracting generally of these subjects.
II. - Secord period of Punjab Settlement. 1863-71
55. Sources of information as regards second
period.- The chief sources of
information for the second period are the final reports of the settlements of
Lahore, Gujarat, and Gujrhwala by Mr. Saunders and Captian Waterfield and
Nisbet, the portion of Mr. Purser's Montgomery Settlement Report which deals
with Mr. Roe's assessment of the two Ravi tahsils
certain printed selection (New Series, Nos. 12, 13 and 14) from the records of
the Financial Commissioner's office, and some circulars issued by Mr. Prinsep
and Settlment Commissioner, especially one entitled "Paper showing how a system of assessment can be
adopted in districts where no rent rates prevail." To these may be added
the report in the first regular settlement of
56. Settlement effected. - Mr. Prinsep became Settlement Commissioner in
1863. He had the immediate direction of the revised settlements of
57. Policy of lenient assessments.- As noted above, the current of opinion had set trrongly in favour of very lenient assessments. The country was on the eve of a great development of trade and an extraordinary rise in the money value of agricultural produce, but at the time it was doubted whether any very large increase of revenue was likely to be secured in future,and the main object was to keep the country quiet and content and to encourage agricltural improvements. The policy of making settlements permanent in well-developed tracts was under discussion, and had been accepted in principle by the orders issued by the Secretary of State in 1862.
58. Mr. Prinskep’s views regarding well
assessment. - Mr Prinsepwhen
engaged on the first regular settlement of
59. Change of system required in assessing canal lands. - At the saine time, it was necessary to decide how the rapidly extending irrigation from the new Bari Doab Canal should be dealt with, and in this matter Mr. Prinsep was influenced by the discussion as to the treatment of irrigation from the Ganges canal, which was being carried on simultaneously in the North-Western Provinces in connection with the proposed permanent settlement. Here no questions of taxing the capital expenditure of the landowner arose. The tendency of the system in force on the Western Jamna Canal was to compel Government ot go on supplying water to any village which had once taken it, even if profitable cultivation was quite possible without it, and the water was sorely needed in more add tracts. At the same time landowners were tempted to take water in seasons when it was not really required. The system was specially unsuited to any country in which irrigation was being rapidly developed, and great inequality of treatment would ensue if in such a condition of things a permanent settlement was introduced.
60. Separation of land revenue and water revenue. - The ground-work of Mr. Prinsep’s assessment scheme was the separation of the assessment of land as such from the assessment of the additional advantages accruing to the landowners from the supply of it rigation of his own exertions or at the cost of the State. In the produce estimates framed under the instructions the crops entered were the actual crops grown, but the outturn represented “the average yield in ordinary unirrigated land for a year of average rain “as “ascertained from chaudhries, patwaris and other for each chakla (assessment circle) separately.” This involved the absurdity of assuming unirrigated yields for certain crons.Which in some of the tracts under assessment were never grown on unirrigated were never grown ono unirrigated land. The produce was valued at the average princi currtent in the past thirty years. Now that the halfassets rule had been adopted, Mr. Phnsep held that one-sixth of the gross produce fairly represented the amount due to the State and instructed his subordinates to use this fraction on their estimates. But it may be doubted whether as Settlement Commissioner he attached more impotrace to the produce estimates then he had done as Settlement Officer of Sialkot when he described as after all but an anxiliary jama” which “answers the purpose for which it is required pretty fairly, “Plough estimates were framed and the opinions of native officials and respectable landowners recorded. But Mr. Prinsep’s chief reliance was on a very careful study of the past fiscal history and present resources natural and acquired, of each estate and circle.
61. Well abiana and canal water-advance rate.- The land being asseseed in its unirrigated aspect, he proposed to impose on each well as a small fixed sum, and on canal lands a light fluctuating land revenue rate in addition to the water-rate and levied like it on the acreage actuallywatered. The additinal charge on account of irrigation was known as ablana or water-advantage rate or revenue,. As regards the irrigated part of his assessment, Mr. Prinsep cannot be siad to have formally abandoned the half-net assets rule. But he practically did so. He arrived at the conclusion that one rupee an acre was as much as the State could, justly claim as well abiana in the districts under settlement, and he seems to have thought that this rare might properly be adopted throughout the province. Starting from this assumption, the actual abiana in each circel was determined by the average area served by an average well. In deciding what this was Mr. Prinsep fixed his attention on the amount of the rainfall and the nearness or distance of water from the surface, dividing the country into rain zones and zones of approximately equal water level. These two factors have of course a very marked effect on the acreage watered by wells, to check his conclusion, and his estimates of the irrigating capacity of wells were exceedingly moderate. The abiana throughout a circle was fixed at so many rupees per well. The amount did not change from village to village, and it seems to have been part of the original scheme that every well in an estate should pay an equal amount though this was not consistently carried out in the distribution of the revenue over holdings.
62. Water-advantage rate not uniform. - The water-advantage rate on the Bari Doab canal
was not uniform. It was Rs. 1-4-0 per acre near its head in the Pathankot tahsil of Gurdaspur falling gradually
lower down till it reached twelve annas in
63. Proposals regarding well abiana.- At first Mr. Prinsep though that the dry assessment and the well abiana would both be fixed in perpetuity in a large number of estates. He admitted that his plan involved the surrender of a considerable amount of revenue in some of the districts then under settlement, but he argued that Government would only be giving up what it ought never to have taken, and that the loss would be confined to a few districts near the hills in which the difference between chahi and barani rates exceeded one rupee. If the settlement was made permanent and new wells were not assessed, some inequality would arise, but in view of the lightness of the water-advantage revenue this was not a matter of great importance and in any case it could be obviated by redistributing the abiana every five years over all wells at work. Many new wells would be sunk, and in this way the abiana would become lighter and lighter. But, if Government was not ready to accept for ever the reduction of revenue involved in his proposals, it could gradually be recovered by assessing new wells with the circle abiana rate after a short period of exemption, the abiana on wells falling out of use being remitted. When at last it was decided that a permanent settlement not be made, Mr. Prinsep suggested that the well abiana might remian unchanged for fifty years.
64. Well abiana system condemned. - His proposals were reported to Government, but for years no orders were passed, and, when the system was finaly condemend, it was too late to prevent its application to the districts under Mr. Prinsep's supervision. But a resolution issued in 1872 (Department of Agriculture, Revenue, and Commerce, No. 818, dated 14th June, 1872) forbade its adoption in future settlements.
65. Objection to the system. - The objections brought against the scheme were as follows. It violates the principle that the State is entitled to half the net assets. It involves much inequality, for under it villages with good wells will be more lightly assessed that villages with poor wells. It will cause a loss of revenue which is some districts, such as Jallandhar, will be very serious. This loss is unnecessary, for it is far from certain that the proposed methods of assessment will stimulate the sinking of new wells more than the existing system. The scheme conflicts with the orders for the grant of protective leases for new wells issued by the Board of Administration in 1850, by which the expenditure of capital in well-sinking was already sufficiently protected. The plan also weakens "the principle of village unity and responsibility" by taking out of the hands of landowners the power of distributing the whole revenue over different classes of land in whatever proportions they think fit. It might also have been urged that to assume that one rupee an acre was a proper water-advantage rate throughout the province was a rash generalization from the facts observed in a few contiguous districts in one corner of the Punjab, and that the inevitable tendency of the plan would be to force up the assessment of unirrigated land to compensate for the reduction of well assessments. But the fatal objection to the scheme was that it assumed a much greather equality of conduct. In wells than reaily exists. A good deal may be said for the imposition of that part of the assessment of the land attached to a well which represents the difference between the product of irrigated and unirrigated rates in the shape of a lump sum abiana.2 But it will rarely be found that the same sum is suitable for every well in a large village and it is absurd to imagine that it could be suitable to every wel in an assessment circle. The result, as was seen at the time, was sure to be the reduction of the assessment to a level suitable for villages with the weakest wells.
66. Controversy regarding Mr. Prinsep's assessments.-At the same time the warnings Mr. Prinsep uttered as to the tendency to lay undue burdents on well lands were salutary, and th eattention be paid to the ascertainment of the irrigating capacity of wells was a good lesson to later Settlement Officers. In the recent re-settlment of the districts in his charge his view that great moderation was requisite in assessing their wells has been to a large measure vindicated. The initial demand in the three districts for whose settlment Mr. Prinsep was immediately responsible was somewhat below the demand of the first regular settlement. The assessments were condemned as unduly lenient and only sanctioned for ten year, but the term was soon after extended to twenty years. It must be remembered taht the part of his scheme which involved the assessment of new wells was never put in force, and that, as he had anticipated, the receipts from the canal water-advantage revenue rose rapidly.
67. Improvements in compilation of statistics.-The improvements which he effected in the compilation of statistical information were of permanent value. A good form of village note-books took the place of the Nos. II, III and IV statments. The tables contained in these note-books wre abstracted in a statement for each assessment circle with the remarks of the Settlement Officer justifying his proposed assessment noted upon it. Till the Settlment Commissioner had passed orders on the cirlce statment the work of assessing the revenue village by village was not to be undertaking. The assessment statements prescribed in the rules under the first Land Revenue ACt, XXXIII of 1871, were to a great extent modelled on returns devised by Mr. Prinsep.
III. - Third Period of
68. The third period of Punjab lasted from
1871 to 1879.- The third period
69. Settlement effected during this period.-The settlements which belong to this period tal into four groups :-
(1) the first regular settlement of the six frontier districts and of Muzaffargarh;
revised settlements of three south-western districts,
revised settlement of
revised settlement of the greater part of the old
of these settlements had been begun before the opening of this period, and some
were not finished its close. The work in the districts included in the first
two groups, except in the case of
70. Attempt to make one-sixth gross produce
the standard.- The Financial
Commissioner, Mr. Egerton held that the absence of competitive cash rents made
the half net assets standard unsuitable to the Punjab, and set it aside with
the sanction of the Lieutenant Governor, declaring that the basis of assessment
should in future be a share of the gross produce to be fixed by the Local
Government. This proportion, as in Mr. Prinsep's
satements, was put at one-sixth approximaterly, unless for special reasons a
different rate was adopted, but the value of grain and money rents as applied
to the crop and area statements was also to be noted. Statistics of prices for
twenty years were to b tabulated2 and experiments were to be made in
all districts to ascertain the average yield of the principal crops3.
In the instructions to the Settlement Officers of Gurgaon, Delhi and Karnal,
which he framed under section 9 of the Land Revenue Act for the sanction of
Government, the one-sixth produce standard was laid down, but the Government of
India, disapproving of any departure from the rule of half assets refused to
sanction the instructions, and in thosue which were finally issued in 1873 the
standard was distincley declared to be "one-half of the share of the
produce of an estate ordinarily recivably by the landloard either in money or
in kind." The importance of the produce estimate in the country where the
landowners as a rule divided the crops withe their produce estimate in a
country where the landowners as a rule divided the crops with their tenants,
was admitted.4 These were the insturctions in accordance with which
assessments were made till the second Land Revenue Act was passed in 1887. All
reference to the one-sixth standard was omitted in the final text of the rules
under the Land Revenue Act, but in the form of produce estimate appended to
them it continued to be shown as the measure the State's claim. Mr. Purser had
shown that in the part of Montgomery which he settled only sixth of the produce
would absorb two-thirds, and in part of Ferozepore more than the whole, of the
landlord's receipts, Accordingly in the settlements under Mr. Lyall's control
the estimate of one-sixth of the gross produce was usually supplemented by a
calculation based on half the actual rental. But in most of the districts of the
71. The produce estimate. - There seems to have been tendency to discriminate more between soils than hitherto, but the classification was usually made on broad and single lines. Considerable attention was paid to the elaboration of produce estimate Mr. Lyally's sep's abiana system having disappeared irrigated as well as unirrigated rates were shown, but an attmept was not always made to discriminate between diffierent soils in the produce estimate, even when they were separatly recorded for assesment purpose. The yield was determined with reference to experimental cuttings and to information obtained by verbal enquiry. The experiments were many, but the area observed in each case was very small, and the results were generally regarded as of little worth. The prouce was as a rule, valued at the average of the prices prevailing during the past twenty years. As the general trend of prices since 1861 had been upwards, the valuation was genearlly a moderate one with reference to existing circumstances. The difficulty of determining what was an average crop was felt to be extreme, and naturally the rates of yield adopted were pretty low. The area sown was known to vary largely in many traots from year to year, but the basis of the figures given in the produce estimates was the crop entries for each field made at the time of survey in the measurement khasra and not, as at present the average area deduced from a continuous record founded on fairly accurate harvest inspections. Major wace, who succeeded Mr. Lyall as Settlment Commissioner, in 1879 maintained that having regard to the sytem of cultivation generally followed, at least in the case of unirrigated lands, the record made at survey was bound to produce grossly in accurate results, and Mr. Lyall, while scarcely prepared to admit this, looked on produce estimates, as only a rough guide, and, like the other revenue authorities of the day in the Punjab, allowed wide divergence from them in actual assessment. Not only the area sown, but the yield also was known to fluctuate greatly. Mr. Lyall expressed his own opinion of produce estimates in the pithy remarks, that they "are not, of course, accurate instruments, but they are like an old gun which sends a ball somewhere near the mark sometimes low, sometimes high." In practice the estimates were generally considered to shoot too high for assessment purposes. Mr. Lyall held that it was impossible to assess peasant proprietors up to the half-assets standard where the population was at all dense and rent were high owing tot he competition for land, gratuated greatly.
72. Fluctuating assesments;- This period was distinguished by the wide extension
of the plan of fluctuating assessements, the first example of which in the
Punjab was Mr. Princiseps water-advantage rate for the lands irrigated by the
Bari Doab Canal. Act XXX of 1871, which applied only to the Punjab and the
73. In reased control over settlement; - The lax control over settlement which had highetto prevailed gave place to much closer supervision. A settlement could now only undertaken with the sanction of the Governmet of India (Act XXXIII of 1871, section) and the officer put in charge of it was furnished with instructions, stating the principle on which the revenue was to be assessed, approved by the same authority (section 9). A report on the rates to be adopted in each tahsil was submitted for the orders of Financial Commissioner and of the Lieutenant-Governor, but it was not the usual parctice for the latter on examine the rates closely or often, at this stage of the proceedings; any detailed remarks on the rates closely or often, at this stage of the proceedings; any detailed remarks on the assessments, unless some important change, such as the introduction of the owner's rate, was in contemplation. A settlement was considered to be in progress will sanctioned by Local Government (section 17). this sanction ws not formally given till the final report for the whole district had been reviewed by the Local governement, and even by the Government of India. It was then too late to alter assessments which had generally been in force for years an example of the fact that checks which are to eleborate are worthless. After receiving orders on his tahsil assessment report, and amouncing his village jamas, the Settlement Officer forwarded a detailed list of the latter for the Financial Commissioner's approval (section 31 and rules under Act XXXIII of 1871, Chapter C.V. 5)
74. The local rate.- The local rate was first imposed during this period. Its history and that of other cesses will be given in the next chapter.
IV- Fourth Period of
75. Fourth period, 1879-1889.- The fourth period of Punjab settlements embraces
the ten years from 1879 to 1889, during which Major Wace held successively the
offices of the settlement Commissioner and Financial Commissioner. For the
first four years Mr. Lyall was financial Commissioner and for the last two he
was Lieutenant-Governor. The Settlement Commissioner was abolished in 1884 when
a second Financial Commissioner was appointed, and the control which the
Commissioners of divisions had exercised over settlements in the early days of
the Punjab Administration was restored to them. The first regular settlement of
Simla and the revised settlements of
76. Policy underlying the changes introduced in this period.- The keynote of the new policy was assimilation of settlment work and ordinary district revenue work. Its success depended on the possibility of so improving the latter as to avoid the necessity of extensive surveys and revisions of records at future settlements and of basing the assessments largley on a continuous record of agriculature statistic compiled by a well-trained staff of patwaris.
77. Patwaris and village revenue records
before 1885. - The importance of
having an efficient body of patwaris in every district and of embodying in the
village reocreds all changes of ownership and occupation was early recognised
in the Punjab2 but the orders issued on the subject bore little
fruit. Generally speaking it may be said that patwaris spent the time between two settlements in forgetting what
they had learned in the first Year by year the records were allowed to get more
and more out of date, so that when the time for a new settlement arrived much
money and labour had to be spent in entirely recasting them. In the third period
78. Shaping of the new policy in the United Provinces. - The new policy first took shape in the United Provinces, where it was clearly outlined about the year 1874 in a note written by Sir Edward Buck when officiating as Secreatary to the Board of Revenue2. He pointed out that the object to be aimed at was to secure -
(a) a correct record of occupancy crops, and, as far as possible, rents, based on yearly field-to field inspections; and
(b) a correct record of agricultural statics excepted from (a).
The mean to this end were-
(a) the provision of a properly educated staff of patwaris;
(b) the strengthening of the supervising staff of kanugos; and
(c) the appointment of a special officer for the Province charged with the oversight of record work and the collection of the agricultural statistics on a uniform system.
So far as settlements were concerned the fruit of these measures would be a great saving of time and money-getting rid of necessity of framing new records, and laying a much more solid foundation for assessement. In 1877 these ideas were embodied in the United Provinces in a new set of patwari rules and a further development was given to them by making provision" for the systematic maintenance of village maps up to date, so that they shall each year represent existing facts............with the view of obviating, as far as possible, largely increased and a Director of Agriculture was appointed. The adoption of similar measures in other provinces was one of the recommendations of the Famine Commission and in 1880 and succeeding years was urged on Local Governments by the Government of India.
79. Introduction of the new system into the
Punjab.- In the
1. Since 1 issued my Circular No. 3, dated 8th january, 1880, a material simplification of settlenent work has been attained in the settlement recently commenced. We have also succeeded in working almost entiraly through the patwari agency. But the most important change which has taken place is expressed in the Government of India’s resolution NO. 2 dated 4th October, 1881.2
2. “The main position which it is proposed to take up in order to forward the Government of India’s policy is that settlement operations shall not, so far as they are concerned with the record-of-ritghts, be of a nature different to the patwari’s ordinary work, but that they shall merely continue that work under closer supervision and with improved accuracy. The previous scheme of settlement operations which involves the suspension of the patwari’s ordinary work, and the elaborate preparation of a new record in four distinct stages (boundary survey, field survey, attestation, and fairing) must be regarded as a thing of the sat. And the efforts of the Settlement Officers and his establishment must be given to securing correct annual papers of the same nature as those filed when settlement operations are not in progress; re-measurement being resorted to only so far as necessary, and being made in such cases so simply and accurately that attestation and fairing shall be unnecessary.
4. “Usually, before re-measuring any village at least one set of annual papers should have been prepared under the supervision of the settlement establishment; that is to say there will have been a kharif girdawari followed separately byu a rabi girdawari, all mutation and partitions not previously incorporated in the annual papers will thereby be brougbht up to date; and the efficiency of the field map and its shortcomings will thereby be brought up to date; and the effeciency of the field map and its shortcomings will be teste. In short, the Settlement Officer will, by this operation, amend and correct the villlage jamabandi so far as it its possible to do so without re-measurement. He will then be in a position to say whether re-measurement is desirable or not. If re-measurement is necessary, the corrected jamabandi and the girdawaris by which it was preceded will have given a complete and accurate list of the holaings; and the measurement will not be ttinually checked by the necessity for making numerous entries in the list of mutations.
6. “The Settlement Officer’s record work then will be -
(i) to secure accurate girdawaris of each harvest separately throughout the team of settlement operations;
(ii) to see that throught this term complete annual papers are prepared and filed on the same system as will be carried out after settlement operations are finished, and to perfect that system, and to drill the patwaris thoroughly into it;
(iii) gradually to provide new field surveys of the villages in which re-survy is required.”
7. “The revised settlement record will be.-
(i) in villages that are re-surveyed, the measurement papers as described in the enclosed instructions, plus the jamabandi of some year of measurement-
(ii) in village that are not re-surveed, the jamabandi of some year shortly preceding the introduction of the new assessment.
“In both cases the introduction of the revised assessment will be a subsequent and entirely separate operation, not to be attempted until the record has been revised so far as may be necessary. The revised administration paper will be added to the revised recort by the Superintendents as they find leisure.”
8. “Your reports on the new assessment rates of each tahsil can be submitted, as soon as you consider that you have sufficiently reliable data for each tahsil. These data will best made up-
(i) partly of the data of villages re-surveved; and
(ii) partly of data taken from the annual papers of villages not yet re-surveyed, or which it is not intended to re-survey.”
80. The new system made general. In 1885 the kanungo staff was orgnized and greatly strengthened and a Director of Land Records was appointed. At the same time new patwari and kanungo rules, largely founded on the settlement instructions reforred to above, were issued. Their object was explained to be the securing of -
(a) real efficeency among the patwaris and kanungos,
(b) improved field-to-field inspection, and record of the result of each harvest;
(c) the continuous record in convenient tables ofthe total results of each harvest and each year’s husbandry, these tables being kept first by villages, secondly be assessment circles, and thirdly by tahsils;
(d) the punctual record and attestation of all mutations of rights and their prompt in corporation into the jamabandi;
(e) the cessation of the present practice, under which in numerous cases mutation orders are passed in the absence of the parties, or after calling them away from their villages to the tahsil office;
(f) the release of the tahsildars and naib-tahsildars from a large amount of revenue case work, which under the procedure hitheroto prescribed for such work, ties them to their tahsil offices, and overburdens their small office establishment with clerical duties;
(g) and, as a consequence, the systematic visiting of each village either by the tahsildar or naib-duties;
The statistical tables referred to under (c) weree embodied in village assessment circle, and tahsil revenue registers. The volume containgin the village register took the place of the old village not-book.
81. The Land Revenue Act of 1887 and the first settlemtents made under it. - In the Land Revenue Act of 1887 the policy of assimiating settlement and ordinary revenue work was carried to its logical conclsions. The term settlement disappeared altogether. The Settlement Officer was henceforth a revenue officer invested with most of the powers of collector and charged with the duty of making a general re-invested with most of the powers of a collector and charged with the duty of making a general re-assessment. The records drawn up at settlement and the annual records prepared by patwaris were put on precisely the same legal footing, and a special revision of the record-of-rights, though provided for, was regarded as and exceptional proceeding, having no necessary connection with the ressessment of the land revenue. The officers put in charge of the settlements started about the time of the passing of the Act were enjoined only to underatde the re-measurement of an estate where the necessity for it was clearly proved. Where the old maps on being tested proved accurate enough for revenue work, they were to be retained, and brought up to dro, No special rvision of records was orderd. The pronciple was laid down that the disst revenue staff as recently strengthened by the re-organisation of the kanungo agency slould be fully utilized, and the extra establishments allowed were small. The old plan of making the Deputy Commissioner himself reassess hi district was received in some and it was intended that the tahsildar should take a large share in the settlement work of his tahsil.
82. The assessment instructions under section 49 of the Act and the Assessment Circular issued in 1888. - About the same time assessment instructions under section 49 of the Act of 1887 superseded those which had been in force since 1873 (see Appendix (I) and a circular was issued bringing assessment procedure into conformity with the new policy.2 A broad and simple classification of soils and grouping of villages into assessment circles was advocated. For his assessment data the Settlement Officer was henceforth to rely on the new revenue registers (paragraph 80), and especially on the continuous record of crops, which they contained. The elaborate returns hitherto compiled for assessment purposes were given up. “The proposed rats,” it was said, “should be justified by broad and simple arguments such as will command equally the confidence of superior revenue authorities and the assent of the landowners. In short, provided that a sufficient account is given of the reasons by which the proposed rates are supported, every practicable abbreviation and simplification of these reports is much to be desired. The points on which the new assessment turns should be approached with all practicable directness, avoiding detailed notice of collateral issues except so far as they are of major importance. As a general rule Government has no desire to materially alter pre-existing rate. They may be raised where there I a marked rise in prices, where they are unduly low as compared with well established rents or the rates of adjacent districts, or where the provision of new means of irrigation has completely altered the circumstances of the tract. They may be lowered where there is reason to think them above the half assets standard, or where when applied to circles in which the area of cultivation has greatly increase, they given percent ages of enhancement which cannot be safely taken."
The circular as drafted by Colonel Wace relinquished the produce estimate altogether as an assessment guide. Bur. Sir James Lyall was not prepared to go this length and required Settlement Officer to frame as estimate of the "net value of rent to proprietors said by batari-paying tenants at will in an average year for an average holding for as many classes of land as are necessary to be taken for separate revenue rates in each circle.'
He also required them to submit two reports, a preliminary one deducing the half net assets standard rates from the rent data, and a further one dealing with the actual assessment which it was proposed to impose, and the revenue rates to be used as a general guide in its distribution over estates. He observed :-
"The preliminary report will be based entirely on actual facts, no allowances being made with regard to results, and will be termed the preliminary report on assessment circles, prices, yields, rent rates, and half net assets. The Financial commissioner on receiving the report will consider if the proper number of assessment circles and of classes of soil have been used, and whether the prices and rates of yield and zabti rates adopted are fair, the facts as to customary rent rates and competition cash rents may be accepted as correct, and the theoretical half net assets soil rates accepted as fair estimates. When the Financial Commissioner has approved this report, the Settlement Officer will begin the actual work of detailed assessment. He will apply his theoretical standard rates to a number of average villages in each assessment circle, which there is no special reason for assessing below the standard, and devise revenue rates suitable for assessing such average village in each circle. If these rates are for general reasons considerably below the theoretical rates, he should be prepared to give us general reasons for going below in his assessment report. Having thus got his revenue rates to be used as assessment implements for each circle, should inspect and assess each village, going above or below his rates according as the village is above or below average, but making allowance for special circumstances of all kinds such as comparative habits and circumstances of the proprietors, proximity of markets, communications, incidence of past assessments, profits from grazing, sale of good, young stock, ghi, fruit, & c. He will then report this proposed gross assessment for each circle based on his revenue rates and rough detailed village assessments for approval. This will be is assessment report. It is not necessary, of course, that his revenue rates should bring out his proposed assessment. As a fact they should ordinarily bring out something higher if they are fairly and properly framed."
83. Death of Colonel Wace in 1889.- The remodeling and settlement procedure in the
V. - Fifth period of Punjab Settlements, 1889 to present day
84. Fifth period 1889 to present day. - Of the fifth period extending from 1889 to the present time little need here be said, for the greater part of this book is an attempt to explain settlement procedure and policy as it now exists. It may be described as a time in which the old assessment policy and the new procedure were put to the test. The procedure was known to be essentially sound, thought it would have been wiser to make the passage from the old to the new system more gradually. But the idea which underlie the changes in revenue and settlement procedure should suffer no disparagement from the fact that they were carried to their logical results too suddenly. - As regards assessment it may be said with truth that Settlement Officer of the present day have in the revenue registers aids such as none of their predecessors enjoyed, and that year by year these aids will become more valuable.
85. Expectation that operations could at once be much simplified not fulfilled.- The expectation that re-survey could in most cases be avoided and that the correction of the old field maps would be a comparatively simple process proved to be fallacious, and the small establishment originally provided for the new settlements were found to be insufficient. Bu it these settlements lasted longer and cost more money, they at the same time. Elded larger enhancements that they been originally contemplated, and a better foundation was laid for future revenue work on the now lines than would have resulted from more summary operations. Some of the changes introduced by the assessment circular of 1888 had to be reconsidered. The substitution of a produce estimate for an average holding for an estimate of the total produce of an assessment circle and the plan of dealing with half assets standard rates and revenue rates in separate reports were soon abandoned. Early in this period, Sir James Lyall introduced an important change in the assessment of nahri lands by which a fixed canal-advantage rate took the place of the old fluctuating water-advantage rate (see Chapter XXVI). A fresh set of assessment instructions was sanctioned by the Government of India in 1893 (Appendix I. The new arrangements for the control of settlement adopted in the previous period did not work well, and the appointment of a special Settlement Commissioner was revived in 1897.
Recent development of the system of revising the record of rights. - In the
districts that came under settlement from 1902 onwards commencing with
86-B. Recent development of settlement policy.- The period to which the preceding paragraph
relates was also marked by certain developments of settlement policy. The
subject of the assessment of well lands was again taken up and more lenient
rules were prescribed (of paragraph 441). The unsuitability of fixed
assessments for cultivation on inundation canals and in the wide river valleys
of the south-west Punjab was recognised, and various systems of fluctuating
assessment were introduced in that part of the province. The fluctuating system
was also applied to the large tracts recently brought under irrigation by the
construction of the Lower Chenab and
86.-C. Post-Reforms Settlement Policy.- With the introduction of the reformed scheme of Government of 1919 began an agitation for the general re-casting of the policy and standard of land revenue assessment. The ball had been set rolling by the recommendations that these matters should be the subject of legislative enactment. A bill to give effect to the proposal was introduced in the Provincial Legislative Council in 1822. After various vicissitudes it eventually became law, in a form very different in many important matters from that in which it had been originally introduced in 1928, in the Punjab Land Revenue Amendment, Act III of that year.
The Act codifies the main principles governing the standard of assessment, the amount of enhancement permissible and the period of settlement, and provides machinery to make rules for determining the money-value of net-assets, allowances of exemption from assessment for improvements, the extent of enhancement permissible, and other minor matters. The new Act lowers the maximum standard of assessment from one-half of the net-assets to one-fourth. It limits the increase permissible in any assessment circle to 25 per cent, over the former assessment, except where canal irrigation has been introduced since the last assessment was imposed, and fixes the principal processes involved in revising assessments are brought under the control of the council and the revenue payers are consulted during their progress to a much greater extent than previously. But with the exception of the changes of principle indicated above the new Act and the rules there under in the main merely codify the existing instructions and procedure.
87. Classification of cesses. - Cesses may be ranged under three heads-
(a) Cesses imposed on landowner by authority of Government.
(b) The malba cess imposed by landowners on themselves in order to meet common village expenses.
(c) Cesses paid to the landowners by other residents in the village.
The first two classes are described in the Land Revenue and Tenancy Acts as "rates and cesses," and are broadly distinguished from the third class by being "primarily payable by landowners," thought they often form part of the rent taken from occupancy tenants.
88. Cesses imposed by law. - The cesses imposed by law are -
(b) The village officer's cess (section 29 of the Land Revenue Act.)
(c) An annual rate imposed on owners to meet the cost of drainage operations by which their land is improved (section 59 of Act VIII of 1873)
(d) The local rate payable under section 5, and any fee leviable under section 33, of Act XX of 1883.
No cess, not distinctly authorised by law, can be levied, even with the concurrence of the people from whom it is proposed to realise it, without the previous consent of the Government of India.2
89. Annual drainage rate Zaildari and village officer's cesses. - Little use has so far been made of the power given by section 59 of the Canal Act to meet the whole or part of the cost of drainage projects by imposing a cess on the landowners, who are benefited by their execution. The Settlement Officer has nothing to do with the amount of such a cess, but he may have to make a distribution of it over holdings.
existing position about the zaildari
and village officers cesses is as follows. It is not now usual in the
A brief reference to the history of these cesses is added. Formerly the village officers cess used to include the patwari cess also. In the earlier period of settlement a normal rate for the patwari cess was considered to be 6 pies per rupee of land revenue which is equivalent to a surcharge of 31/3 per cent, an additional quarter of half per cent being taken on amount of patwaris stationery; later on it was found impossible to meet the expenditure which the new standards of revenue work demanded, with so light a cess, and the rate was increase, 6¼ percent being commonly taken. By section 29 of the Punjab Land Revenue Act, 1887, the maximum rate of village officer's cess was legally fixed at 6¼ per cent on the "annual value" of the land as defined in Act XX of 1883 (see paragraph 90 below) equivalent of 12½ percent on the land revenue and canal owners rate. The patwari cess was entirely remitted in 1906, the village officers cess being reduced to 2½ per cent on the annual value where only the p0achotra of ordinary village headmen has to be provided and 3 percent where there are also chief headman except in the case of estates in the Kulu and Saraj tahsils mentioned in the preceding sub-paragraph (Punjab Government, Department of Revenue and Agriculture/Revenue notification Nos. 268 and 269, dated 22nd November, 1906). Subsequently by the Repealing and Amending (rates and Cesses) Act, 1907 the maximum rate for the village officers cess was reduced to half an anna for every rupee of the annual value equivalent to 6¼ percent on the land revenue and canal owner’s rate. It was also definitely laid down that the village officer's cess was to be used only for the remuneration of headmen and chief headmen and for defraying other expenditure directly connected with their supervision or the performance of their duties.
90. The local rate. - The local rate has grown from small beginnings.2
It was usual in early settlements to level a road cess at one percent the land
revenue3 and subsequently education and postal or dak cesses amounting to surcharges of
one percent and one percent respectively were added. During the
Viceroyalty of Lord Mayo measures were adopted to give Local Governments
greater powers as regards provincial expenditure. Financial pressure, however,
forced the Supreme Government to make assignments to the Local Government
falling short of the estimated expenditure of the departments of which the
charges were transferred to them. The gap had to be filled up somehow and it
was decided to meet the difficulty by imposing a local rate on land.
Accordingly the levy of an additional cess not exceeding six pies in the rupee
of the annual value of the land was authorized by Act XX of 1871. "Annual
value" was defined as double the land revenue for the time being assessed
on any land whether such assessment be leviable or not" (section 2). The
local rate therefore amounted to a surcharge of 6¼ percent on the land revenue.
The occurrence of severe famines in Bengal in 1874 and in
91. Act XX of 1883. - When the District Boards Act (XX of 1883) was passed the opportunity was taken of amending the definition of annual value by declaring that term to mean double the land revenue or in areas where the water-advantage or owner's rate system was in force, double the sum made up of the land revenue and the rate. The road-education and postal cesses were at the same time merged in the local rate and the legal limit of the latter was raised to 5¼ percent on the annual value which is equivalent to 12¼ percent on the land revenue and owner's rate of 1¼ percent in excess of the amalgamated local rate and minor cesses. But when the bill was discussed in the Legislative Council it was explained by the Member in charge of it (the Hon'ble Mr. Lawley) that one anna has been adopted as the maximum partly for the sake of simplicity and partly because in some districts where the land revenue is small and lightly assessed, it may be found advantageous to have the power somewhat to increase that rate in order to provide funds for purposes clearly for the benefit of the neighbourhood. In other places some reduction of the rate may be desirable. The power given to increase the actual burden on the land was not immediately exercised and the percentage at which the local rate was levied almost every where throughout the Punjab was Rs. 5.3.4 per cent on the annual value, which is a lower rate than the combined amount of the local rate under Act V of 1878 and the three minor cesses. The quarter share of the old cess which had been allotted to the Local Government in 1882 was, by section of Act XX of 1883 replaced by an approximately equal contribution one one-fifth out of the proceeds of the new local rate. The rate was reduced by one-fifth with effect from Ist April, 1906 as the result of the abolition of the famine cess and the legal maximum reduced from one anna to ten pies per rupee of annual value by Act II of 1906. In 1922 the rate was fixed at a maximum of twelve pies and a minimum of ten pies per rupee of the annual value.2 All district boards have now raised the rate to the maximum. The whole of the rate goes to district boards. Except in cases where Government have issued a direction under section 9 of the District Boards Act (XX of 1883), that the lands within certain specified urban areas shall be credited to funds of the urban local bodies concerned. Government have not so far adopted any universal policy in this connection, as there are many divergent factors to be considered. In colony towns where land revenue and consequently local rate is assessed on building sites as well as on agricultural land, there is generally no justification for the rate being credited to district boards but in other towns where the rate is assessed on agricultural land only it is generally very small in amount, and it is often found that the district board maintains institutions, particularly in the smaller towns, on which its expenditure is far in excess of its receipts from local rate within the urban limits. In such cases no justification for a direction under section 9 arises.
92. Cesses on State lands. - Cesses may be levied on State lands, which being under the control of district officers are leased to private individuals or contractors; but no cesses may be levied on State lands administered in the Revenue of Military Department which are actually in possession of Government Officers or used bona fide for Government purposes or on lands reserved and placed under the control of the Forest of the Irrigation Department whether held under direct management by those Departments or leased to private individuals or contractors.
93. The malba cess. - The malba cess in its nature is wholly different from other rates and cess described above. It amount and its expenditure are matters with which the Government has no direct concern. It is a "village cess" according to the definition of the term given in the Land Revenue and Tenancy Acts but it was classed among rates and the see because occupancy tenants who hold at rents fixed in terms of the land revenue and as set, usually contribute to the malba. The malba is the fund into which the common income of the village community from all sources is paid and out of which its common expenses are met. These latter properly consist of such items as the cost of repairing survey marks, the fees due on account of warrants issued for the payment of arrears, the expenditure incurred by the headmen when they go to the tahsil to pay in the revenue the entertainment of passing strangers who put up in the village rest-house and occasionally grant of money & c., to village shrines or holy men. At one time it was considered part of the duty of the patwari to keep the malba accounts but the people should be left to make whatever arrangement they think proper. The receipt and disbursements are usually entered in the book of a village shopkeeper and the expenditure managed by teh headmen, but the right of any landowner to demand an account is generally recorded in the village administration paper. The necessary amount is sometimes raised by distributing the exact sum required periodically over the landowners (kacha malba); in other cases a fixed percentage on the revenue is charged (pakka malba). The former plan is some check upon petty the speculation by the headmen and should not be set aside if the people desire its continuance. It may become unsuitable where any considerable part of the land has passed into the hands of non-resident purchasers or mortgagees; who find it easier to evade the duty of contributing to village expenses if their liability is not commuted into a fixed sum payable to the headmen along with the revenue and cesses. Certain orders on the subject of the malba were issued by the Financial Commissioner in 1860 (Book Circular IV of 1860); but they should not be regarded as of strict obligation; for it is now thought best to interfere as little as possible in a matter of this kind.2 It is not safe, moreover, to assume, as is done in these orders, that the proportion which the malba cess should bear to the revenue will be lowest in the largest villages. It is such villages which have to spend most on hospitality. The requirement depend on many things, such as the amount of other common income, the position of the estate, etc.
The Settlement Officers should record in the wajib-ul-arz usages relating to the malba or if these cause dissatisfaction and there is general desire to alter them, he may properly assist the people to make better arrangements for the future. But his interference should be consist the people to make better arrangements for the future. but his interference should confined within the narrowest possible limits and should be exercised by way of friendly counsel and not of authoritative direction.
As some misapprehension appears to exist in the mind of District officers whether malba can be collected as arrears of land revenue, it is important that all revenue officer should understand the legal position about malba dues in the dhal bachh as before; since without the patwaris assistance landowners cannot ascertain how much each man should pay. Government wish also to emphasize the fact that it is optional with villagers either to have or not to have a malba fund and that the money can be handed over either tot eh lambardars or to a village panchayat or on any kind of trust that they may like to set up for the purpose.
Malba is village cess within the
meanings of section 3(10) and section 145 of the Punjab Land Revenue Act. It
has also been included in the definition of rates and cesses being a sum
payable on account of village expense; vide section 3(9) (e) of that Act. The
nature and scope of this cess is fully described in the above paragraph to
which particular attention is invited. Although rules 60 of the Land Revenue
Rules provides that rates and cesses due at of land revenue due from the same
estate on account of the same harvest is cesses is entitled to withhold the
proceeds of any cess levied on account of village expenses it appears that sums
levied on account of village expenses are not recoverable as arrears of land
revenue under section 98 of the Land Revenue Act Sub-section (a) of the section
provides for the recovery of fees, fines, costs and other charges, including
the village officer's cess payable under the Act. If rates and cesses, as such
were recoverable as arrears of land revenue, the reference to the village
officer's cess, which is included in the definition of "rates and
cesses" [Section 3(9)(d)], would not have been necessary. The only way of
recovering malba, therefore, is by a
regular suit under section 77, Second Group. (i) of the
Although the levy of malba cess is optional with the villagers, yet government Consider that in the interest of village communities its collection should continue where the villagers pay it, but the fund should be properly administered and utilized of such purposes as cleaning up the villages, disinfecting ponds and the like. For the proper administration of malba funds Government have decided that where Panchayats exist the money realised from the malba cess should be handed over to Panchayats and where Panchayats do not exist a Committee should be appointed with whom the money should be kept and spent, in both cases, under the instructions of the Health Department.
94. Village cesses. - All the cesses noticed above are charges for which landowners are liable. But there is another class of cesses, which they themselves sometimes realize from the other residents in the village or from particular classes of residents, or from persons making use of the village lands. These are called in the Land Revenue Act "village cesses". it is convenient to notice them here, but, strictly speaking, they should be described in the next chapter, which deals with the rights of landowners. According to the interpretation clause village cess" includes any cess, contribution or due which is customarily leviable within an estate, and is neither a payment for the use of private property or personal service nor imposed by or under any enactment for the time being in force", Section 145 (4) and (5) provide that "the Governor-General in Council may, on a reference from the Local Government declare whether any cess, contribution, or due, levied within an estate is, or is not, a village cess, and that such a declaration shall not be liable to be questioned in any Court." Village cesses are really in their origin seigniorial dues, such as the found in primitive societies in which certain persons of classes are dependent on other persons or classes directly derived from the land. Similar examples are the kudhikan or hearth cess of the Eastern Punjab, and the corresponding door cess (hakk-buha) some of the western districts, the kaminana, ahtrafi or muhtarafa paid by artizans to the proprietors of the village in which they ply their trade (hirfa), the dharat or weighment fee levied on sales of village produce, and marriage fees known by various names, such as put barki, thana, patti, & c.
95. Legal provisions as to village cases. - The rules under the Land Revenue Act of 1871 required Settlement Officer to notice in the wajib-ul-arz any cesses paid to the proprietors by the non-agricultural community or by cultivators. Section 145 of the present and Revenue Act (XVII of 1887) provided that :-
(1) At any of the following times, namely :-
(a) When a record-of-rights is being made or specially revised for an estate,
(b) When the local area in which as estate is situate is being generally re-assessed and before the assessment has been confirmed,
(c) at any other time on an order made with respect to any estate by teh Local Government, with he previous sanction of the Governor-General in Council, a revenue officer shall prepare a list of village cesses, if any, levied in the estate which have been generally or specially approved by the Local Government or the title to which has before the passing of this Act been judicially established.
(2) When a list has been prepared for an estate under sub-section (1), a village cess not comprised therein shall not be recoverable by suits in any Court.
(3) The Local Government may impose on the collection of village cess comprised in the list such conditions as to police or other establishment connected with the village market or fair in or on account of which the cess is levied, as it thinks fit.
These provisions were copied from the revenue law in force in the United Provinces. But it was let to be wrong in principle to make the exercise of a right depend upon the care with which the administrative act of preparing a particular record had been carried out. and the 2nd clause of section 145 has been repealed by section 3 of Act XVII of 1896. So far no action has been taken under section 145(3).
96. Present policy of Government as regards village cesses. - The latest declaration of policy as regards the malba and village cesses is contained in Punjab Government No. 196, dated 18th October, 1893. In that letter Sir Dennis Fitzpatrick expressed his entire agreement in the view set forth by Sir Denzil Ibbetson in the annexed passage from a letter written by him as Commissioner of Rawalpindi with reference to a proposal to abolish certain village cesses and to take advantage of the power given by section 145 (3) of the Land Revenue Act to regulate the expenditure of any which were allowed to be levied including the malba.
"I do not agree that in respect of such matter........'It is high
time that village administration in the
97. Cesses levied by jagirdars. - Where cesses of the kind noticed in the foregoing paragraphs are levied by jagirdars, the same considerations do not apply. Strictly speaking it is only where a jagirdar is found to be in possession of some sort of superior proprietary title, that his right to levy cesses would ordinarily be admissible. Few, if any, undecided cases can now remain. The question has been dealt with in recent years in connection with the settlement of some of the Kangra Jagirs and of the jagir of the Kathak Khan in Kohat.
THE RECORDS OF RIGHTS
Of tenures and the rights of landowners
98. It must be decided at settlement who is responsible for payment of revenue. - A settlement which merely determined the revenue to be paid, without at the same time recording who should be responsible for its payment, would obviously be a futile operation. That the Settlement of the persona who engaged to pay the dues of the State was essential, and it came in time to be seen that it was desirable to give him power also to determine what the rights in the soil of different individuals.
99. Importance of making landowner directly responsible for payment. - In ordinary circumstances the persons to give the State its share of the produce are evidently those who are found to be in possession of an exclusive right to till the soil and reap the harvest themselves, or to make it over to other for village. To be allowed to engage for the payment of the revenue naturally implies that the engager will have the power to arrange for the cultivation of the land, and, whenever the engager and the right-holder have been different persons, the tendency has been for the former to encroach upon the privileges of the latter and finally to destroy them altogether. Section 61 of the Land Revenue Act, therefore, very properly declares that "the landowners shall be liable for the land revenue."
100. Importance of clear determination of rights in land. - It bacame necessary, therefore, to determine who were in possession of such permanent rights in the soil as to entitle them to engage. Such persons were, in Western phraselogh, said to have an proprietary right in the land. Whenever, by the limitation of the Government demand and the establishment of order, rights in land became valuable enough to be an object of desire, it was important for the peace and prosperity of the country that they should be clearly do fined.
101. Experiment of leaving the determination to the civil courts failed. - The experiment of leaving such matters to the arbitrament of the civil courts was tried and failed. These courts had not the knowledge requisite for the disentanglement of a confused we of rights in the soil which were often ill-defined and apparently contradictory, and they could derive small assistance from codes of Hindu and Muhammadan law or from the legislation of the British Government. Moreover, they could only deal with cases as they arose, and what was wanted was a determination, once and for all, of the rights exists, in every field in every village in the country.
102. The task entrusted to Settlement Officers. - The decision embodied in Regulation VII of 1822, to entrust the task, in the first instance, to the officers engaged in the assessment of the land-revenue was a statesmanlike one. At the same time it was not attended with danger. If the action of the courts was to slow, that of the Settlement Officer might be too summary. Individual idiosyncracies and theories of what was best for the country were apt to lead men to disregard or to curtail rights which they though to be antiquated or hurtful, to exalt one class in the community and to depress the status of another. Sympathy with old tribes and families which had been the victims of the political and social convulsions preceding our rule, led one man to seek to revive dormant rights, and sympathy with the actual tillers of the soil induced another to treat lightly rights which still had a substantial existence. Some security was provided by declaring that the Settlement Officer's proceedings "shall be founded on the basis of actual possession," and by allowing a man who was dissatisfied with his decision, or who claimed a right of which he was admittedly not in possession to bring a suit in a civil Court.3 No doubt the result was not perfectly uniform, or even in all cases perfectly equitable, but the vital end was secured of settling titles in land on a stable basis.
103. Advisability of recording all rights in land, and the customary rights and obligations of all classes in villages. - It soon became apparent that the tenure of land was sometimes very complex, and that the proprietary right was not enjoyed as a whole by a single individual or by a village community in common, but was split up among two or more individuals possessing titles, none of which could properly be regarded as full ownership. The tenures of land under which the proprietary right is divided will be described later on. It is enough to say here that three classes were early recognized, superior proprieptors or talukdars, inferior proprietors, and hereditary tenants. All these classes had permanent rights in the soil, the record of which was essential. By showing as separate holdings the fields held by each tenant-at-will under each landowner and noting the rent paid in each case, and by exhibiting in a separate statement the customary rights and liabilities of all members of the village community in its widest sense, including owners, hereditary tenants, tenants-at-will, shopkeepers and menials, the record was made complete.
104. Framing of record extremely important in
first regular settlements. - In
the lst regular settlements in the
105. Large powers in land case given to the first Settlement Officer in the Punjab.- The judicial powers conferred on Settlement Officer for the determination of titles in land were very large. In fact the policy adopted was to give them exclusive jurisdiction in land cases and to put off any final decision as to rights in the soil till a regular settlement could be undertaken. The orders on the subject are referred to in Appendix IV. Their practical orders effect was that the entries in the record-of-rights, as it stood when settlement operations came to an end, were conclusive as to the rights of all persons having permanent interest in the land.
106. Doubtful conditions of rights in soil at annexation. - The task which the first settlement Officer had to perform in connection with the determination of titles was no right one. Rights in the soil were round to be in a very confused and doubtful condition. It would however be a mistake to suppose that landownership is either a creation of our rule, or that, having existed previously, it had been entirely destroyed by the rough domination of the Sikhs.
107. Temple account of the effect of Sikh rule on property.- Sir Richard Temple, when reporting in 1851 on the first regular settlement of Jullundur, gave an excellent account of the effect of Sikh rule in that part of the Punjab, and of the popular ideas, which he found to exist as to property in land. After describing the heaviness of the demand and noting that joint responsibility for its payment was not enforced, he went ton to say :-
“It may be held that the cultivator must get one-half the produce to sustain life and carry on the cultivation and.... If the State takes all the remaining half, nothing is left for the proprietor.........If the proprietor cultivates he gets only his share as cultivator............If the matter is looked at in this light, it may be thought that the Sikhs practically at least disregarded proprietary right, and that............ownership was nothing more than an empty name.............Such was indeed too often the case. Still I maintain they attached to maliki or proprietorship the same ideas as we do, and theoretically at least recognised its existence.
108. Position of cultivators and proprietors in
“But in those estates where there was a party in the position of proprietor, he was allowed to accompany the tax-gatherers when they went their rounds and, after their demands had been satisfied, he might glean a santy serina or a certain number of sers out of the maund....It will be marked that under the kankut and batai system the Sikhs always realized their revenue from the cultivator. The proprietor, when there was one, might collect something on his private account, but he was not expected to pay the revenue....A non-resident malik was almost a nonentity........without the power to interfere in the management of an estate, which indeed he could scarcely call his own. His perquisites were certainly precarious, and probably very inconsiderably....The cultivator while he held the position also bore all the burdens and calamities of a malguzar. He it was who withstood the incessant drain of presents, cesses and extra collections, who bribed the kinias and chaudhris, and who fed the hungry retainers of repacious kardars. But in estates where the Government demand was more moderate, the proprietors, being generally chaudhris or mukaddims, were able to assert their rights, and moreover, their rights were worth asserting. If the collections were in kind, the Government would still realize direct from the cultivator, but the proprietor would take some interest in the collections, would hold himself responsible that nothing went wrong, would bring the waste into cultivation........replace absconded cultivators, etc. Then, perhaps, a money commutation would be effected, and in such a case the proprietor would himself engage for the payment of the revenue. Still if he chose he might allow the cultivators to engage and content himself with the receipt of his malikana dues, and his title would be in no way alienated or even weakened whereby..........In these kinds of cases, however, the proprietor was exposed to one kind of risk. If the proprietor, having accepted one jama, was outbid by some one else who offered more (than he was prepared to give).....it would outbid by some one else who offered more (than he was prepared to give)..........it would be very uncertain whether he would ever afterwards regain his hold upon the estate. But such instances would be very rare.........
109. Engagements for payment of revenue sometimes taken from non-cultivating proprietors.- “Teh practice of Misr Rup Lal exactly illustrates the system which recognized two parties in an estate.......Some of his pattas are extant, in which it is declared that the engagements have been taken from certain parties, cultivators, while an additional amount is to be levied as payable to certain other parties, proprietors...He fixed moderate jamas..........The proprietors, broken by long misfortunes, were often content to receive their malikana and forego the privilege of engaging. But sometimes this privilege would be contended for........The misr, perhaps, thought that the cultivators were the fittest persons to engage, and closed with them. Then proprietors would appeal to Lahore, and........a warrant would come from the Maharaja setting forth that whereas certain parties, cultivators had been admitted to engage, to the exclusion of certain other parties, who were proprietors, and claimed their fright to engage, therefore, the engagements concluded with the former were to be cancelled............
110. Sikhs did not ignore property in land.- “From the tenor and tone of......public documents, it is clear that the Sikh rulers did..........look upon private property..........as a matter of original abstract right, which was coeval with Government and society (and) had been recognized by all dynasties.........Authenticated deeds of sale and other transfer were regarded not as obsolete nullties applicable to a system that passed away with the Government from which t sprung, but as instruments of immutable validity.............
111. Popular ideas of proprietary rights.- “I have yet to consider what was the popular
notion of proprietary right, and in what way (the people) recognized it among
themselves independent of any public sanction it might receive. The
112. Transfer of land and exclusion of strangers.- “When the proprietors were not in direct possession of the land, one partner might transfer his share to an alien. But such transfers would rarely have much effect, and would often be fraudulently made in favour of persons supposed to be capable of ejecting the cultivators. Strangers were jealously excluded from cultivating communities, and what is known as the right of pre-emption was closely watched. Transfers among the members of the community by gift, bequest, mortgage, or sale, were not infrequent.
113. Importance attached to construction of wells as an evidence of proprietary after.- “In a country were much depends on artificial irrigation........the building of a well was the first attribute of a proprietor, and its existence was the best proof of his title. Communities of cultivators, who saw that the landlord’s hold on the estate was getting weaker, were eager to build wells and thereby found a proprietary claim in spite of the landlord’s opposition.......The proprietors were reluctant to allow a cultivator to sink a well, plant a grove, or lay out garden.”.......
114. Effect of Sikh rule on property different
in different parts of the country.- This is a faithful picture but it does not represent the state of things
existing everywhere in the
115. Privileges conceded by the Sikhs to
mukaddims, maliks & c. - Where
the Sikr rule was most levelling in its character there were still men who held
their heads above their neighbours. They did so rather in virtue of official
position than of ancestral right, though thee position was usually conceded to
them on account of local influence founded on old descent and hereditary
connection with the land. Thus the mukaddim
was generally also a malik, in
the sense in which that word is used in the
116. Investigation of claims to proprietary
right by early Settlement officer.- Another quotation from
“The broad question at issue has been this - who has held the land paid the revenue for twelve years previous to the present settlement ? Discrimination has been exercised not only in tracing the foundations of original right, but also in discovering the signs and tokens of bona fide possession......We have been anxious that every claim and right. whether admitted and confirmed or not, should at lest be understood. Ancient rights that have long been held in abeyance must sometimes be extinguished in defence to law and policy. But we have never non-suited claims by technicalities.”
117. Tendency to favour the claims of the actual cultivators of the soil.- It is not to be expected that in the conflict between old rights, which had been partially in abeyance, and new ones which were for the first time becoming profitable, exactly the same course would be followed in settlements made at various times by different officers. The tendency was to commute the superior right where they were established into a moderate percentage on the revenue, and to take engagements from the inferior proprietors and allow them the sole management of thee estate. The latter were looked upon as the valuable element in the community, the former as an interesting survival of a state of society which had passed away and should not be revived. Still less were our officers disposed to assist in the process which had been making the mukaddims or headmen, virtual proprietors in some parts of the country; and the allowance of 5 per cent on the revenue, which they were allowed to collect from the community as lambardar’s fees or pachotra was a small recompense for the privileges which they were forced to relinquish.
118. Change in official opinion after Mutiny.- The policy of the settlement of rights in land
effected in the
119. General description of rights in land.- A general description of the rights in land which have been commonly found to exist will be useful. The object with which it is written is the practical one of enabling officials to recognize and understand tenures with which they may be brought into contact in their daily duties. An attempt will be made to indicate the general type of the tenures in different parts of the province. For details reference must be made to settlement reports and gazetteers. Attention will be confined to tenures as they exist now, or have exited in very recent times, speculations as to their origin being for the most part ignored.
120. Main features of proprietary right.- It is unnecessary to attempt any exact definition
of proprietary right in land in
a) a) that the right-holder is entitled to the use and occupation of the land during his lifetime;
b) b) that on his death this title passes to his descendants, subject to customary rules of inheritance, which usually exclude females;
c) c) that the right-holder is entitled to let the land to tenants on such terms as he thinks fit;
d) d) that the right-holder can sell or mortgage the land subject to customary and legal restrictions which give the members of the same family or village community a right to interfere in certain circumstances. This right is based originally off kinship real or assumed and not on any claim on the part of the objector to superior title. Mr.Thomason regarded freedom of transfer as a necessary feature of proprietary right. But the Indian idea or property in land is that it is vested in a family and not in an individual. In many parts of the country the possession of unlimited powers of alienation by the recorded right holder was entirely opposed to native sentiment and restriction on the power of alienation have never been wholly wanting in the Punjab and have been greatly extended by the Alienation of Land Act, XIII of 1900.2
e) e) that the right-holder is entitled to engage for the payment of the land revenue.
This last feature of proprietary right is mainly creation of our rule. The Land Revenue Act does not attempt definition of land-owner. It merely states that the term does not include a tenant or an assignee of land revenue but does include a person to whom a holding has been transferred or an estate or holding has been let in farm, under this Act for there recovery of an arrear of land revenue........and every other person not hereinbefore in this clause mentioned who is in possession of an estate or any share or portion there of or in the enjoyment of any part of the profits of an estate.3 of course some of the person included are only. “land-owners” for the purpose of the Act.
121. Ownership undivided or divide and communal
122. Classification of different kinds of proprietary right. - Proprietary right may, before, be classified as :-
(1) Undivided ownership -
(a) Communal. Example-village community in which there are no superior proprietors or occupancy tenants.
(b) Non-communal. Example-malik kabza
(2) Divided ownership-
(b) Inferior or adna malik 1. Communal
(c) Occupancy tenant 1. Communal
The tenures of superior and inferior proprietors may be either communal or non-communal, but each occupancy tenant is only responsible for the rent of his separate holdings, and though he may have rights of user in the village common land, they are merely appendages of his cultivated holding and have no communal character.
123. Mauzas or villages and mahals or estates. - Before describing the village community it will be convenient to explain exactly what is meant by the two terms mauza which is usually translated "village" and mahal or which the English equivalent is "estate". A mauza is defined by Mr. Thomason as "a parcel or parcels of land having a separate name in the revenue the whole property of the persons settled within the mahal being held hypothecated to Government for the sum assessed upon it." There are two elements in this definition, the separate assessment, and where more than one person own the some estate, their joint responsibility for the payment of its revenue. "Village" is not defined in the Land Revenue Act, but the meaning of "estate" is explained to be "any areas
(a) for which a separate record of rights has been made; or
(b) Which has been separately assessed to land revenue or would have been so assessed, if the land revenue had not been released, compounded for, or redeemed, or
(c) Which the Local Government may, by general rule or special order, declare to be as estate."2
The joint responsibility of all the landowners of an estate for its revenue is provided of section 61 of the Act. In practice it is rarely enforced. A rule made under clause (c) of the section quoted above declares "all demarcated areas of uncultivated and forest land owned by Government1 to be estate.
A village, as a rule, consists of a single block of land, But occasionally the whole of its and does not lie in a ring fence and some outlying fields are found mixed up with the lands of another village.
124. The village and the estate generally
identical. - Several estate may
be included in a single village. This may be brought about the process known in
revenue rules as "complete partition," by which any one or more of
the coparceners in a village community is able to separate off his or their
lands and form them into a separate estate. This has led to a great
multiplication of estates in the United Provinces. But complete partition has
always been discouraged in the
125. Definition of holdings. - Holding is defined as "a share or portion of an estate hold by one landowner or jointly by two or more landowners."3
126. The village community. - A village community is a body of proprietors who now or formerly owned part of the village lands in common, and who are jointly responsible for the payment of the revenue. As time goes on the tendency is for the area held is severalty to increase but it is rare indeed to find a village which was one of the communal type, in which there is no common property remaining. Joint responsibility has been made a prominent feature of village tenure by the British Government. Under native rule it did not exist when the State realized its dues by division of crop or by appraisement. Even when a cash assessment was made only a few leading members of the Community became responsible and they generally occupied the position of revenue farmers in their dealings with the rest of teh brotherhood. But joint responsibility occupies a far more prominent position in our codes than in our practice.
127. Reluctance to admit strangers. - The members of the proprietary body in a true village community are often united by real or assumed ties of kinship. The admission of strangers into the brotherhood was always in theory at least, a thing to be guarded against and village customs in the matter of inheritance and pre-emption are founded on this feelings. But under native rule the repugnance to admit strangers often yielded to the pressure of the Government demand, and outsiders were allowed to share in rights which has become burdens. The almost complete freedom of transfer for long enjoyed in practice under British rule has a still more disintegrating effect on village communities. As will appear in the sequel there are parts of the province where village communities of the above type never existed and others where the village organization has fallen into a very decayed condition.
128. Division of village into patties & c. - Villages often consist of several main divisions known by various names such as taraf, patti2 or pana, and these again are sometimes divided into smaller sections (thoks, thulas, &c.). The lands of two patties may separate (chakbat) or intermixed (khetbat) and the proprietors of a patti may have common lands of their own and also a share in the general village common.
129. The village panchayat and the headmen. - The affairs of the brotherhood were formerly managed by an informal village council or panchayat. But this body was too numerous and loosely constructed to fittingly represent the community in its dealings with Government officials. A few of its leading members were, therefore, selected as head or lambardars and the appointment of headmen naturally came to be confined to particular families. (From a revenue point of view the most important function of the headmen is to collect the revenue from the coparceners and pay it into the treasury). The special position assigned to the lambardars and the action of our courts stripped the panchayat of its influence, and practically it has ceased to exist. The administration of the malba or fund out of which the common expenses of the brotherhood are met is usually left in the hand of the headmen, but it is generally recognized that each member of the proprietary body has a right to demand an account of its expenditure.
130. Residents in village communities who are
not proprietors. - An
131. The abadi. - The houses of the members of the brotherhood and of their dependents are usually built close together in some convenient part of the village. It may be noted that this inhabited site or abadi is excluded from the operation of the Land Revenue Act "except so far as may be necessary for the record, recovery, and administration of village cesses."2 The house of the village menials are usually placed on the outskirts of the abadi and those occupied by men of impure castes sometimes occupy a separate site or sides at the time distance from it.
132. Degree to which separation of rights has occurred and rule determining the measure of rights. - It is important to ascertain the extent of which the lands of villages community or as it is sometimes called, a coparcenary estate, are still held in common an also the rule by which the measure of the rights and liabilities of the different share holders and the division of the joint income are determined. Of the farmer every degree is recognized from complete commonality to complete severally, but either extreme is rare. The rule, which governs the measure of the rights of each member of the brotherhood far from uniform. The estate may be held in accordance with definite and well known customary shares of each man's occupancy may be the measure of his interest. The customary shares may be expressed in various ways, as by parts or of a rupee, or of some common land measure, or by ploughs. Thus the whole state may be regarded as consisting of twenty biswas or one bigha, of which each patti possesses o many biswas, and each individual share-holder so many biswas or biswasis.
133. Ancestral and other customary shares.- In an estate in which the bond of kindship uniting the different members of the brotherhood is a real one, a Settlement Officer, with a genealogical tree of the landowners before him, may be able to see that the shares are really ancestral or, in other words. (a) that the owners all claim descent from common ancestor who is alleged to have founded the village, or (b) that the original division of the estate was determined by the relationship which its founders bore to a common ancestor, and in either case that the subsequent devolution of property has been in conformity with the rules of inheritance followed in the tribe to which the proprietors belong. Ancestral shares were inheritance followed in the tribe to which the proprietors belong. Ancestral shares may never have existed or may no longer be traceable : The first occupants of the village lands may have divided the property on a scheme of shares based on each man's ability to bring land under cultivation, thought the subsequent descent of property has been in accordance with the ordinary rules of inheritance. The prevalence of a division of ploughs is probably are indication that this method of distributing the land was common
134. Cases in which possession is the measure of rights. - Again no definite division by shares may ever have existed. and each man may simply have occupied as much land has he could manage. This will rarely if ever be found as an original feature of a communal village, but holdings of this sort may subsequently be clubbed together into coparcenary estates by the action of Government officials. Or, where customary shares once prevailed. All use of them may have died out owing to the admission or intrusion of strangers into the brother hood in troubled times or to other causes.
135. Official classification of village tenures. - The recognition of these features of village tenures has led to an official classification of them which is neither complete nor of much practical value, but which requires notice as it is often referred to in settlement literature.
Tenures are arranged under the following heads :-
(1) Zamindari (a) landlord (khalis)
(b) Communal (mushtaraka)
(2) Pattidari .... (a) perfect (mukammil)
(b) Imperfect (na-mukammil)
(3) Bhaichara (a) perfect (mukammil).
(b) imperfect (na-mukammi)
the next few paragraphs free use is made of Mr. Barkelys edition of the
Directions and of the excellent account of
136. Zamindari tenures. - Zamindari tenures of the landlord type or estates possessed in full proprietary right by a single owner require no particular notice. Such tenures are not coparcenary Zamindari tenures of the communal type are those in which the whole of the land is held and managed in common. Whatever land the owner cultivate themselves is occupied by them as tenants of the community. "Their rights are regulated by their shares in the estate, both as regards the extent of the holdings they are entitled to cultivate and as regards the distribution of profits, and if the profits from land held by non-proprietary cultivators are not sufficient to pay the revenue and other charges, the balance would ordinarily be collected from the proprietors according to the same shares."
137. Confusion in use of terms pattidari and
bhaichara. - Some confusion
exists in the use of the words Pattidari
and bhaichara. Thomason employed patidari
to include both, and bhaichara, or customs of the
brotherhood, means now something quite different from what it meant when first
adopted as a revenue term. Pattidari was once applied only to estates
held on ancestral shares, and villages in which other kinds of customary shares
prevailed were called bhaichara. But
138. Pattidari tenures. - Perfect and complete pattidari tenures are those in which all the lands are divided and held in severalty by the different proprietors according to ancestral or other customary shares, each person managing his own lands and paying his fixed share of the revenue while all are jointly responsible in the event of any one shareholder being unable to fulfil his obligations to Government. Tenures of this class are very rate. Where they occur the right of pre-emption and joint responsibility are almost the only ties binding the members of the community together. Imperfect or incomplete pattidari tenures are those in which part of the land is held in severalty and part in commonality, and the interest of the landowners in both correspond to well-known customary shares.
139. Bhiachara tenures. - In perfect bhaichara
tenures all the lands are held in severalty, but customary shares, if they ever
existed, have disappeared and each man's holding, or rather the portion of the
total revenue which he pays, has become the sole measure of his rights and
liabilities. In a pattidari tenure
the share regulates the revenue payable, in a bhaichara tenure the revenue
payable regulates the share. All are jointly responsible if any individual
share-holder. becomes a defaulter. The tenure of inferior proprietors in
villages in the south-west of the
140. Many estates cannot be placed in any one of these classes. - It is often impossible to refer the tenure of a particular estate to any one of these classes, and a settlement officer must be on his guard against a tendency on the part of his subordinates to label a tenure by some familiar official term instead of carefully describing its actual incidents. One sub-division or patti may be pattidari, while another may be bhaichara. In the case of the separate proprietary holdings, possession may have become the sole measure of right, though the customary shares are not forgotten, and are recognised as governing rights in the common land and followed as the rule of partition when it comes to be divided. In our early settlements it was found that the people were sometimes willing to revert to the old customary shares even in the case of their separate holdings, but such a measure involves a disturbance of existing rights and can only be enforced with the consent of all concerned, which in these days would very rarely be obtainable.
141. Different forms of tenures not permanent. - The different forms of tenure described above are not in their nature permanent. An estate may easily pass from one class to another the joint responsibility remaining intact. A landlord zamindari estate at once becomes a communal zamindari estate when the sale owner dies leaving several sons behind him. If they again effect a partition of any part of the joint property an imperfect pattidari tenure results. But the commonest of all changes is the passing of a pattidari into a bhaichara tenure. As we have seen this may be caused by the exactions of a native government. Under our own rule the actual holdings may never have corresponded closely with the acknowledged shares and even if they did, the unequal improvement of different holdings hand sales and mortgages of land to outsides may have made the system of paying the revenue according to customary shares unsuitable. Accordingly when an estate is reassessed and the new demand is distributed over holdings, the amount of cultivated land of different classes in each man's possession and do not his ancestral or customary share is made the basis of the calculation of the revenue, which he shall in future pay. Under these circumstances a bhaichara tenure is at once created, and as a rule each settlement shows a large addition to the number of estates classed as bhaichara.
142. Malik kabza. - Owners are sometimes found in village
communities who do no belong to the brotherhood and are not shares in the joint
rights, profits, and responsibilities of its members. Their proprietary title
is a complete or undivided one, but it is confined to certain fields and does not
include any share in the village waste. The name by which this tenure is
officially known in the
143. Superior and inferior owners. - Where the proprietary right is divided the
superior owner is known in settlement literature as ala malik or talukdar,
and the inferior owner as adna malik.
The local names given to these tenures are not uniform. Thus in the Cis-Sutlej
tract the superior owner is called biswadar,
and the inferior zamindar. In the
144. Usual policy to make the settlement with
the inferior proprietor- As the
greater part of the profits of landowning in India is derived from the
limitation of the Government demand by the British Government, the question of
the persons with whom settlement should be made was, where the proprietary
right was divided, a matter of great practical importance. In the Punjab
following the precedent of the united Provinces, it was almost invariably
decided in favour of the inferior proprietor, the claim of the superior owner
to a share of the crop being commuted into a moderate sum levied as a surcharge
upon the revenue and calculated at a small percentage on its amount. The
general effect was that the benefit of the action of the State in limiting its
claim against the produce accrued almost entirely to the communities, which we
found in actual cultivating possession of the land. This policy represents the
extreme rebound from that which in
145. Cause from which talukdari rights have sprung. - The circumstances from which talukdari rights have sprung are very various. In a good many cases the superior owners are descendants of persons who once exercised political sway or enjoyed a lordship over the soil, from which they were ousted during the dominion of the Sikhs thought they managed to collect at harvest with greater or less regularity some small proprietary fee such as a ser in every maund of the produce (sermain) from, the persons in actual possession of the land, In other cases the connection of the ancestors of the present talukdars with the land was in its origin purely official. They were revenue farmers of jagirdars who enjoyed under native rule large rights of management, which grew into rights of property. These two sources of talukdari right were often united in single individual.
146. Rights of inferior proprietors sometimes do not extend to the waste. - The rights of the inferior proprietors sometimes extend over the whole estate including the waste. In other cases they are confined to the separate holdings and the waste is at the disposal of the talukdar subject of certain rights of user enjoyed by the village community. In the latter case the rights of the inferior proprietor are not very different from those of the malik kabza described in paragraph 142 and his liabilities are not in practice much greater.
147. Division of the Punjab and
plains of the Eastern and
(2) The Himalayan tract to the north of these plains is so far as it is British territory.
Pathan tract lying mainly beyond the Indus and comprising the districts of
North-Western Punjab and Hazara embracing the districts of
It must not be supposed that definite limits can be assigned to divisions of this sort. Tenures do not adjust themselves to geographical, and still less to administrative boundaries. All that is implied is that there are broad distinctions in the tenures characteristic of these different parts of the province, and typical forms can generally be recognized which were probably once more widely spread than they are at present
I - Tenures of the Plains
of the Eastern and
148. The plains of the Eastern and
II - Tenures of Kangra and Simla
149. Source of information as to tenures of Kangra and Simla. - When we pass from the plains to the hill country which bounds them on the north a very marked changed of tenures is apparent. The best account of the hill tenures is be found in Sir James Lyall's Kangra Settlement Report of which very free use has been made in the following paragraphs.
150. Absence of real village communities. - In the hills no village communities in the proper sense exist. Historical causes can be plausibly assigned for this peculiarity, but in any case the physical nature of the country by itself would have prevented the growth of compact groups, each holding a well-defined area of arable and pasture land. The village recognized in our records are artificial collocations of hamlets or holdings corresponding with the tappas or circuits which the hill Rajas formed for the sake of fiscal convenience and each of which they put in charge of a single manager. The individuals in possession of these grouped holdings are united by no real or pretended bound of relationship.
151. The Raja also the landlord. - "Each Raja was the landlord of the whole of his raj or principality, not merely in the degree in which everywhere in India the state is in one sense the landlord, but in a clearer and stronger degree.........Each principality was a single estate divided for management into a certain number of circuits...........The waste lands greater and small, were the Raja's waste, the arable lands were made up of the separate holdings of his tenants."2
152. Titles derived from deeds of grant given by the Raja. - Every holder of land derived his title from a patta or deed or grant given to himself or his ancestor by the Raja which assigned to him "certain specified fields or culturable plots...........He called his rights a waris or inheritance, not a maliki or lordship.3 The waris had a permanent title in his holding. In the state of society which existed when our hill tracts were still ruled by Rajput chiefs legal rights do not exist, but popular feeling distinguishes clearly between what a ruler ought and what he ought not to do. "A good Raja never evicted an old cultivator without a very strong cause...........But there was no protection against a bad Raja for a cultivator of humble position, though a strong family of good caste or social standing had little to fear...........The rent due from the holder of each field was payable direct to the Raja..........
The agents who collected these dues and rents from the wazir down to the village headman were the Raja's servants appointed and paid directly by himself."
153. Rights of user in the waste. - As regards the waste the landholders had merely rights to user which were not measured by the amount of land in their possession and were in fact shared by residents in the same tappa who had no land at all. Grazing fees were expected from all alike. The cattle were not confined within the limits of the particular tappa in which their owner lived. The rights of the landholder were not allowed to interfere with the power of the Raja to make allotments to new cultivators out of the waste, and there was no real difference between the title of the oldest and that of the latest grantee. There were often indeed certain hayfields near the cultivated holdings which landholders enclosed during part of the year, and a grant of land of land to an outsider from these would have been looked upon as an act of tyranny on the part of the Raja. Exclusive rights of user were granted to shepherds in particulars runs during a portion of each year, and these men were often not ever subjects of the Raja, but merely drove their flocks into his territory for convenience of pasturage at particular seasons. Portions of the waste were also set apart as shooting preserves for the Raja.
154. Effect on tenures of the first regular
settlement. - The Sikhs drove
the hill Rajas of Kangra into exile or degraded them into mere jagirdars and the British Government,
when it took over the country, did not restore them to their old position. The
first regular settlement was made in 1850-52, and its effect on tenures is a
curious example of the extent of which officials in defining tenures are apt to
mould them after some familiar model. The Settlement Officer had a competent
knowledge of the facts with which he was dealing, but the only settlements with
which he was acquainted were village settlements and his native staff knew the
procedure of the
155. Talukdari rights in Kangra.- In some cases jagirdars in Kangra who are representatives of old ruling families enjoy talukdari rights. These as regards cultivated holdings have been commuted into a percentage of the land revenue, but the rights enjoyed over the waste are some times very considerable.2
III. - Pathan Tenures
156. Source of information as to Pathan tenures. - The settlements of the Pathan tribes in the country to the east of the Suleiman Hills began perhaps 1,200 years ago and have continued down to our own time. The following account of Pathan tenures is largely drawn from Captain Hasting's Settlement Report of Peshawar. But forms of landholding of the same general type in different stages of development are common in the other districts occupied by Pathan tribes.
157. Partition of a newly occupied tract. - When a tract was occupied by an invading tribe a partition took place. The lot of each main sub-division of a tribe was sometimes called a tappa and described as its daftar, the individual proprietors being known as daftaris, Where circumstance required it, the lot was divided into vands according to the nature of the soil, facilities for irrigation, & c. and the number of bakhras or shares, which was to be the basis of division was calculated, one being often allotted to each man, woman and child. Each share properly included an allotment from each vand at least from each kind of land, so that a man's possessions might be a good deal scattered. But the whole or the main portion of the property of a sub-section (khel) of a tribe usually consisted of a single block of land, in the middle of which it built a village called after its name. The block was divided into vand, so that all might share alike. The maliks or leading men, and even the khan or chief, got on more than any one else in the division, but the latter sometimes received certain lands, as seri or a free gift from the tribe.
158. Vesh or periodical re-distribution. - To secure a continuance of the original equality
of conditions, it was customary to make a
vesh or re-distribution of the land by lot fixed intervals, if a majority
of the community so desired. It is said that in
159. Dependents of Pathan tribes. - A Pathan village did not consist wholly of proprietors. There were dependent cultivators known as fakirs and also village servants and artizans. Both classes held land free of charge in return for service in peace and war to the daftris. Hamlets (Bandas) were established on the outskirts of the tappas and occupied largely by melatars (loin-girders) or hamsayas who held land on condition of repelling rails on the territory of the tribe under whose shade (saya) they sat, and assisting in making raids on its rivals, but were free from any obligation to render the ordinary village service exacted from farkirs, manials and artizans.
160. Shares in land and shares in water. - The original division by shares tended in course of time of break down especially as regards unirrigated lands. It is natural that each man should strive to keep the field he has himself reclaimed from the waste and once he has become responsible for the revenue assessed upon them the old exact partition by share is at an end. It is more fully preserved in a the case of lands irrigated from springs and canal cust, and the water itself is usually carefully divided in accordance with ancestral or at least ancient shares. In an arid tract rights in water are more valued than rights in the soil. Where cultivation depended on irrigation the partition of the country between the main sub-divisions among sub-sections might depend on the amount of canal excavation performed.2 Where the supply is abundant the pressure of teh demands of native Government has sometimes led to a levelling up as regards rights in water, the tribesmen and their dependants giving labour and taking water on equal terms. where it is scanty the old proprietary shares were more tenaciously upheld and the soil and the water are distinct properties, which are brought and sold separately.3
161. Daftri's inams.- The Government which preceded our own often gave the whole body of the daftris or the maliks a considerable share of teh ruler's portion of the lands near the village site, which probably represented the original holdings of the daftris, were exempted altogether (inam bawajah daftarial).
162. Encroachment of rights by the khans. - His personal energy and prowess, the favour of the ruler or the official position he had acquired as a revenue farmer or jagirdar often enabled a khon to assert large rights in the unoccupied waste included within the bounds of a sub-section of a tribe, and enjoyed for common purposes of pasturage, etc. In some cases the primitive tribal division was entirely overborne by the power of the khan, the latter becoming virtually owner of the whole of the land. He would have been concerned by the voice of the countryside had he turned out a tribesman from the land he actually held or debarred him from grazing cattle in the waste so long as he bore arms in war, paid the customary cesses and rendered the customary services. But all the fields which he could not cultivate were at teh khan's Disposal, as was the land of tribesmen who left the country or died childless, and he could grant it on allotments out of the waste as seri to men who helped him with their swords on their prayers. Their gifts were irrevocable so long as the services was duly rendered, but there were other grants especially to under of this own family which were held during the khan’s pleasure.2 The similarity of the tenures thus developed to the hill tenures described in paragraphs 150-155 is striking.
163. Tenures in independent territory to the north of the Peshawar District. - It is interesting to compare the above with an account of the tenures in Dir, Swat, Bajaur and Utman Khel written by Sir A.H. McMohan in 1901 :-
"Owing to their greater isolation the people of this country have maintained the primitive form of their land tenure in its original simplicity. Here also the portion of each main sub-division of a tribe is called a tappa and described as its daftar. Each tappa is sub-divided by division (vesh) between the sub-sections (khel) of the sub-division and then again in each khel into a share for each individual. A man possessing any share, however, small, of the land composing a daftar is cllaed a daftri. Such is the importance attached to the status of daftri that a man who ceases to be a daftri is no longer entitled to the name Pathali and becomes a fakir with no voice in village or tribal councils."
"Individual shares bakhra or brakha are calculated in multiples and fractions of some recognized unit of measurement known diversely in each locality as pucha, nimkai, tirao, rupiya, paisa, tura, or ghwaya. Lands of various kinds are here also distinguished one from the other as vands bearing different names and a daftri." individual share of land may include bits in several vands. Portions of land in the land belonging to sub-sections are village are sometimes excluded from further sub-division and allotted to Khans and sometimes to members of the religious fraternity such as Mullahs, Saiyyids, Mians, Akhundzadas. These lands are called seri. Those given to the priestly class are generally lands on the border between two villages, disputed lands, and lands, which for some reason or other are difficult to hold by other than those whose religious status enables them to hold them in peace and at the same time form useful buffers for the rest of the community. I might mention here that the inheritance of shares of daftar follow as a rule the system of chundanand and very seldom that of pagvand."
" The system of periodical redistribution of lands in these countries is (except is Sam Ranizai as hereafter described) universal. Redistribution takes place at fixed intervals which vary in each locality from 5 to 10, 15 and 20 years. This distribution called in some localities khasanve, in other vesh, extends, to the exchange of whole tappas as well as to redistribution of the general shares of daftris. The redistribution of tappas, is as might be imagined the sources of serious dispute. Heavy fighting is at the present moment (February, 1901) taking place over the khasanve of the tappas of sub-divisions of the Bahozai tribe in Upper Swat, the object of which after a long period of 25 years without redistribution is to give the other sub-divisions of the tribe a turn in the possession of Mongaora not only one of the strongest and most important villages in upper Swat, but a place whose position on the main trade route gives it a heavy income from tills. Seri lands are excluded from redistribution of other lands within tappa. The system of fresh calculation of shares, at time of vesh called khula vesh is not followed in Dir, Swat and Bajaur. As far as we know lands have always since the occupation of this country by Pathans been carefully divided and never appropriated by families indiscriminately."
"The description given in paragraph 159 of a Pathan village in former times applies verbatim to present conditions obtaining in most villages of this country. With however the increase of peace and order in this country especially Lower Swat the need for armed retainers, malatars is decreasing. In some cases banda which is the past were wholly occupied by malatars have been reappropriated by the landlords. Sam Ranizai which up to some years ago was the property of the Ghar Ranizai of the Swat valley, was largely occupied by bandas of malatars and succeeded moreover in maintaining it until our occupation of the country where upon it has become permanent. In this tract only is the system of periodical redistribution of lands non-existent."
"There are up to the present no signs of any breaking up in this country of the original division of shares in lands whether irrigated or unirrigated. Owing the pernicious system of redistribution of lands no change has occurred in their origin condition. Lands which might without difficulty be irrigated by new water channels remain unirrigated, for what Pathan will do a stroke of work for the benefit of his successor" ? Why should he plant trees or make orchards for some one else to enjoy at the next vesh ? The lands remaining the same the old division of shares remains the same.
* * * * * * * *
The only lands which show signs of improvement on which more than ordinary care is devoted are seri lands not liable to redistribution."
"A portion of village or trible lands is often set apart for the enjoyment of the village or tribal jirga who manage all matters connected with the community. These lands are treated as seri lands. On the super session periodically of the jirga in office by the jirga of the faction in opposition these lands change hands."
In Dir and Bajaur where individual chiefs such as Umra Khan, the Nawab of Dir, and the Khan of Newagi, having gained greater power, certain lands have at times been handed over by them in free gift for services rendered. Such gifts have not however interfered with interior distribution of the shares composing the daftar or daftars concerned, but it has of the course led in some cases to the absorption by teh Khan of seri lands etc., as opportunities offered."
164. Pathan tenures pass into ordinary village and talukdari tenures.- It is easy to see how tenures of the kind described above might pass in a period of enforced peace into forms of property not widely different from the ordinary village community and talukdari tenure, and that this process might be hastened by the tendency of officials to mould tenures into share with which they are already familiar. As a matter of fact the development of rights in land on the North-West Frontier has been to a considerable extent on these lines.
IV. - Tenures of
165. True village communities rare in S.W. Punjab. - The rarity of true village communities which we have noted as a feature of the land tenures of the hills is reproduced under entirely different physical conditions in the arid plains of the South-Western Punjab. Here, the climate by itself is enough to account for the prevalence of holdings in severalty. The rainfall is extremely scanty, and outside the river valleys the country was once, and to a considerable extent still is a grazing ground for sheep and a browsing ground for goats and camels. These animals have to wander over wide tracts in search of food. Some limits were not doubt recognised within which the cattle of this or that can grazed, but it would not have profited smaller groups to appropriate or have assigned to them, allotments of waste on consideration of being excluded from the remainder. Hence (one of the most essential features of the village tenure, the common waste, could not exist. The nature of the cultivation also opposed insurmountable obstacles to the growth of a village system. Tillage is very largely dependent on the provision of artificial means of irrigation of true barani cultivation is practically unknown. In the uplands the scattered wells are deep and costly. Even in the wide river valleys wells are required to supplement of the flood water which is led on to the lands through artificial channels. The unit of property is the well, or, in the lands adjacent to hill torrents, the larger embanked field or band. The wed holding is know as "chah" or "patti" and even where no well actually exists the holding is often assumed to be a well estate and is called a "banjari well" or a "patti". How purely artificial the estate is in Dera Ghazi Khan may be judged by the following extract from Mr. Diack's Gazetter of the District :-
“The village is a fortuitous aggregation of independent units. The units in the Sind tract are wells, i.e. the well and the land irrigated by it, or even not unfrequently, a compact holding, though no well may exist in it; in the Pachadh the unit is the area included within one irrigation embankment, and hence known as a band or embankment. Several of these wells or embankments as the case may be, are collectively called a village, and are looked upon from an administrative point of view as forking one community but they are not properly speaking sub-divisions of a village but a series of proprietary units not really in any way knit together but thrown into association either by the necessity for mutual protection or still more often, by the accident of having been included for administrative purpose within a common village boundary, and now maintaining that association simply as the result of the revenue system of the country.
* * * * * * * * * *
In the Pachadh wide tracts belong to
the members of teh same tribe, but even here the lands of each village are said
to have been parceled out to the members of the tribe by the tumandar when the tribe first settled in
the plains; and each members of the tribe has held his land ever since in
complete independence. This view of the formation of villages in the district
is amply borne out by the absence of village common, even in Pachadh village
held by families belonging to one tribe. In the
166. Attempt to introduce the village tenure in
167. Division of proprietary right between two classes. Superior proprietors or zamindars.- A widespread though far less universal feature of land-holding in the Sough-Western Punjab is the recognition of two distinct classes having separate proprietary interests in the soil. The existence of certain dominant families and clans enjoying and admitted social superiority over the large body of men of very miscellaneous castes, who cultivate the greater part of the land, is noticeable. The overlordship of the soil, which whatever its actual origin in each case, was the adjunct of this social rank was here less completely overborne by the leveling effects of Sikh rule than in Jhelum or Rawalpindi (see paragraph 174), and was in some cases recognised in our early settlements, and in others survived without distinct recognition. An excellent account of the tenure referred to above was given by Mr. O' Brien in the sixth chapter of his Settlement Report of Muzaffargarh.
"At the head of the agricultural system is a large body of what are now called superior proprietors. Most of these are descendants of tribes who came here for grazing at a time when the country was depopulated. With or without the leave of the Government of the time being, they occupied tracts, the boundaries of which were not very clearly defined...........other superior proprietors are the descendants of jagirdars and former governors or officials who lost their position in troubled times were able to retain a right to a small grain fee in the tract over which they once exercised power. Others are the descendants of .............holy men who formerly held land free of revenue but whose rights have been circumscribed by successive Governments. The superior proprietors above-described were from the first in the habit of introducing settlers to till the lands, but the great development of the settler class was due to Diwan Sawan Mal. When he took the farm of the revenue of this district from Ranjit Singh, he saw at once that cultivation could not be restored or increase by the representatives of former governors, holy men, broken down jagirdars and loosely connected tribes whom he fond in nominal possession of the lands. He, therefore, encouraged strangers and Hindu capitalists to sink wells, dig canals, and cultivate the lands of the nominal owners. At the same time he secured to the latter a share of the produce generally half a ser in each maund of weight or one pai in each path (1/4 th) where the crops were divided by measure. In some cases the old proprietors were strong enough to levy an institution fee, when a shelter was located on their lands. In this two distinct classes of proprietors were formed :-
(1) The old possessors who were know as zamindars and makaddims in modern official language malikan 'ala and talukdars.
(2) The settlers formerly called riaya and chakdars and now generally malikan adman. The chakdar was so called from the wooden frame on which the masonry cylinder of a well is built. The name was meant to express that the chakdar has acquired his rights in the land by his having sunk the well. For this reason he was also called the silhdar or owner of teh bricks of the well."
The superior proprietary right had sometimes a different origin from that described above. Writing of Multan Mr. Maclagan remarked -
"We have been how outside were introduced, either by the zamindar himself or by the State, and how they had to pay hakk zamindari. But it often happened when the zamindari family was numerous, and their land limited that no outsiders were introduced. The various members of the family divided the lands amongst themselves or as was more commonly the case each man brought what he could under cultivation without regard to any regular shares. Each became full proprietor of his own holding, but he had to pay half a ser in the maund as hakk zamindari or mukaddimi to the head of the family. Sometimes, however where the head was weak, or there was a dispute the due was not levied. There can be little doubt that the zamindari and mukaddimi are one and the same due, that the original form was the mukaddimi, and that this was somewhat the same as our lambardar's fee. Indeed this is admitted by most men who are not directly interested in maintaining the contrary. This due would originally be collected by the headman from all the proprietors, but when the number of outsiders became sufficiently great to give the headman a fair income from them alone, he would cease to collect from the proprietors of his own tribe. He would also do so when he was weak and required their support, for instance, when a young man wished to succeed his father to the exclusion of richer or more powerful uncle, and in extreme cases he would promise not only to exempt his kinsmen but even to divide amongst them due collected from others. When this last practice has become firmly established the due has ceased to be a mukaddimi or headman's fee; it has become to property of a whole family or zamindari hakk, and the family speak to themselves as zamindars or ala maliks in distinction to the setters of other tribes, who are adna maliks or chakdars."2
168. Inferior proprietors of chakdars.- The best account of the chakdar or inferior proprietor of the South-Western Punjab is to be found in the Multan Gazetter (pages 170-171)
"The settlers introduced by the State or by teh zamindar himself into a zamindar's village are known as chakdars. The name is also applied to those proprietors of the zamindar's tribe who have continued to pay the hakk zamindari or mukaddimi to their chief well under direct permissions of the State in tracts where there has never been any one to claim a zamindari due. Thus when Diwan Sawan Mal made his new canal, the Diwanwah, through the mailsi bar, he gave direct grants to settlers proclaiming at the same time that if any one could establish a claim to zamindari it should be allowed, no such claim was established, but still the settlers were generally described as chakdars. The supposed connection of the name with the woodwork of the well. zamindari gave rise to the idea that the chakdar owned the well only; in fact that he was a capitalist who had sunk a well for the zamindar who remained the true owner of the soil and could buy out the chakdar on repaying him the money expended. This idea was still further encouraged by the fact that the chakdur sometimes did not cultivate himself, but let his well to tenants, and it occasionally happened that the tenant was one of the old zamindars. There was consequently rather a tendency at the commencement of our summary settlements to regard the chakda as an interloper who by the power of money was ousting the old family from its original rights. But this was quite a mistake; the chakdar whether he got his title from the zamindar direct or through the Stated always held his land in full proprietary right subject only, to the payment of a quit rent in the shape of the hakk zamindari. Of course if he abandoned his land it reverted to the zamindar but this was because the latter was the owner of all the waste land and not in virtue any contract entered into at the time of purchase. On the other hand any right of cultivation enjoyed by the zamindar was acquired by a distinct contract between him as tenant on the one side and the chakdar as proprietor on the other the terms of the contract might very from that of a tenancy-at-will of a full rent to that of a permanent occupancy on a quit rent; but the original rights of the zamindar in no way influenced his position as tenant."
When the chakdar was an outsider introduced by the zamindar he paid the latter an installation fee known as jhuri, lungi, pagg or siropa.
169. Rights of superior owners and of chakdars. - The position of the two classes Muzaffargarh was explained by Mr. O' Brien as follows :-
"The superior proprietors claim
to be owners of all unappropriated land. The malikan adna are full proprietors of the land in their possession,
subject of the payment of the share of the old proprietors and not liable to
eviction on failure to pay it and are entitled to introduce tenants without
reference to the superior proprietors. The superior proprietors as such, have
no right to interfere in the agreement of the cultivation of the appropriated
lands of a village. The settlement has in no case been made with them, except
where they are also inferior proprietors. Their rights are restricted to
receiving their fee in grain or cash and disposing of the unappropriated, waste
in the village **** the fee is know as hakk
zamindari, hakk mukaddimi and malikana,. or more often the specific rate at
which the share is fixed e.g. adh sera man and pai path are used instead of the
generic word. In Sanawan it is called satan
pawan, or the seven quarters of a rupee which equal Rs. 1-12-0 the
percentage on the land revenue at which it is paid.**** The inferior
proprietors in a village have usually no common of clanship. They are a
miscellaneous body each member of which was originally introduced either by the
Government or by the superior proprietors. In villagers where superior
proprietary right exits, the inferior proprietor is usually entitled only to
the land superior proprietors. The inferior can graze his cattle in it
subject to the tirni rules, but
cannot cultivate it without leave of the superior. In other respects the tenure
of inferior and absolute proprietors differs only in that as regards the later
the superior right has ceased to exist. If an inferior proprietor cultivates
through tenants he receives a grain fee which is called lichh on the Indus and kasur
170. Division of the produce where this form of tenure prevails. - Where this form of tenure prevails the primary division of the produce is no into the mahsul which presents the share of the State when revenue was realized in kind, and the balance, sometimes known as the rahkam. Under our rule the person who pays the land revenue receives the mahsil. Our settlements have been made with the inferior proprietor and he is therefore entitled to it, but private arrangement sometimes transfer liability for the revenue and the right to the mahsul to the superior proprietor or to the tenant or even to some person who has no connection with the land. Out of the rahkam has to be paid the pai fee of the superior proprietor and where the cultivator is a tenant also the lichh or kasur of the chakdar.
"Under native rule the revenue or mahsul was taken in kind and as the rate approached in many cases that of a full rent, there remained after deducing the cultivator's and the State share's but a small fraction for the non-cultivating proprietors. This fraction was called kasur (the plural of kasur, and meaning fraction). While to go perhaps some distance to personally superintend the division of the crops; the rent he received from the cultivator with tone hand was immediately almost entirely paid away with the other in the shape of the Government revenue and he would remain responsible for any balances. Hence the custom would naturally spring up of the chakdar allowing his tenant to pay the Government share direct to the Government officials, and to give the chakdar a fixed allowance in lieu of the actual balance. It is this fixed allowance, which is now and has for sometimes been generally known as the hakk kasur and, its general rate is two sers in the maund one-twentieth of the gross produce. The Chakdar who received this allowance is called the kasur khor or kasur-khwar, the eater of teh kasur but the word is often corrupted into kasur-khwah. From his kasur the kasur-khwah has to keep in repair the brick-work of the well, and pay the hakk zamindari of half a ser in the maund if there is one. Under the system of fixed cash assessment the permission to engage direct for the Government revenue has grown into a very valuable right the chakdar finds that he cannot recover his former position, and the only right left to him is the nominal ownership of the well, and the right to receive kasur. This chakdar who has lost his right to engage is now the person generally meant by kasur-khwar, and this position has frequently been conferred as a compromise on a man who has claimed a well of which he or his ancestor was undoubtedly the original proprietor, but from all possession of which he as long been excluded. * * * * * The word kasur is however; still used occasionally in its original sense of the profits of the chakdar who pays the revenue himself, and such a man is occasionally known as kasur khwar. In Dera Ghazi Khan, where the division of ownership into superior and inferior does not appear to exist, them proprietor takes form the tenant, both the mahsul and a small fraction of the rahkan as lichh, but in come places, the double payment has been consolidated into a simple fraction of the gross produce."
171. Effect of land revenue settlement of
tenures of superior proprietors. - The tenure described above was at annexation the prevailing type of
landholding in Muzffargarh and a large part of
172. Acquisition of proprietary right by
farmers. - In the Dera Ismail
Khan district farmers appointed by Government made permanent and treated as
superior proprietary right. In Muzaffargarh similar arragnemtnes were
frequently made by the people themselves, the farmer being known as mahsul-khor becuse on condition of
paying the cash assessment he was entitled to the mahsul or ruler's share of
the crop. In Jhang and
"Sometimes a community of zamindars to obtain a lighter
asssessment would valuntarily create this right (to taken hakk zamindari) against themselves in order to put themselves under
a man of power and influence. By a fictitious slae they professed to sell him
thie entire village; he become the normaol proprietor and by his influence
obtained a light assessment, this was paid by the villagers and the new
proprietors received from them the usual hakk
zamindari of half ser in the
maund, but beyond this he had not right in the village." In Jhange on the other and the hathrakhaidar seems to have takne the mahsul for himself and paid the demand
of the estate, giving a small fee to the land-owner. But his "right to
take the proprietor's share of the produce minus a fee varying a amount in
recognition of the title of the original proprietor has there crystallized into
a permanent tranferable and hereditayr right. An account of the curious process
by which the revenure farmer in Jhang has developmed into a right-holder will
be found in the 83rd paragraph of Mr. Steedman's Settlment report. In the same
way he has often been converted in
173. Adhalpi and taraddadkar tenures. - The adhlapi
tenure of the south-western
Dhiapi Tenure — A man who sinks a well in land with owner's permission becomes preprietor of half of the land which it commands—It cannot be considered as gift and become registration required – The person acquiring Adhlapi Tenure could exchange or transfer the land. Raj Singh V. Prem Singh, 1987 Recent Revenure Reports 291 (P&H.)
V. - Tenures of the
of the North-Western Punjab Moulded or created by official action :- The
tract is bounded on the south by the
175. Forms of ownership recognized :– Our officers had in fact to seek for a fair compromise of conflicting claims. In Gujrat, which was the first of the districts to be settled, and where the Sikh mill had ground exceeding small the old owners, known as warisan do not seem to have pressed their claims very hotly.3 But in Jhelum and Rawalpindi, which then included tahsils now in Attock, the former lords of the soils vehemently contested the proprietary right with the cultivating communities. The original villages of the leading clans often covered very large areas, and cultivators had been located in outlaying dhoks, or hamlets, whose occupants now claimed to be treated as entirely independent communities. Tenants in the parent villages alleged that they also possessed full right as owners on the ground that the old landholders had received from them no sort of recognition of proprietorship. A similar state of things existed in Hazara, where the settlement did not begin till 1868. Four classes of owners emerged —
(a) talukdars or 'ala malikan,
(b) Malikan or warisan,
(c) adna malikan, and
(d) malikan kabza.
nature of the tenure of ownership of the last class has been described in
paragraph 142. It was introduced into the settlement of the North-West
districts of the
176. Tenures of Gujrat and
177. Tenures of Attock. - This is also feature of the land tenures of the
Attock District. Some of the leading families there were able to maintain so
strong a position that we still find large properties conssiteing of several or
even many villages owned by a single person or by a small group of near
relations. Some of the talukdars not
only receive allowances from the inferior owners, but also own the waste. We
have the smae curious combination as in
178. Tenures of Jelum .- This combination of inferior ownership with the malik kobza tenure is in fact a characteristic featuer of all original tenures of the latter class trhroughout the old Jhelum District. But there is a curious variation variation in some estates, "the proprietors being divided into three classess -
(1) 'asl malikan' or 'asl warisan'
(2) warisan kabza;
(3) malikan kabza
***** In general the third class has as usual no share in the shamilat; the second takes is share therein calculated on its own holdings only; and he first takes a share calcuated on the holdigs of teh malikan kabza aas well as on its own."
Talukdars with no share in the waste, and merely having a right to receive a percentage on the land revenue as an acknowledgement of ancient claims, are found in some seventy villages.
178-A. Tenures of Hazara.- The dominant tribes of the Hazara District won their possessions (wirasat) by the swork in the century and a half which preceded British rule. The Gakhars of the Khanpur tract form an exception. "The waris was the last conqueror." The conquering tribe might leave or locate bodies of cultivators on border lands, from whom little was exacted but feudal aid in war as lakbans or loin-girders. Or it might hold the fat lands in the plains, and let the older inhabitants keep the hill lands on payment of ligh rents supplemented by personal services. The conquerors had in th end to yield to teh Sikhs. Some fled the country, but most submitted. The Sikhs as usual treated the waris and cultivators alike, making exceptions, in the cases of some powerful men and families whom it was worthwhile to conciliate. They introduced a further element of confusion by giving leases of villages in a number of cases to revenue farmers, who had no hereditary connection with the soil, and some fo these survived down to the Regular Settlement made in 1868-1874. When British rule began the usual struggle between the old waris class and the actual possessors of the soil began and was only concluded twenty-five years later at the Regular Settlment. The Settlement Officer, Captain Wace, described the general result as follows :- "The cases are few in which a member of the old waris class has been denied all footing in his old status, we have maintained in a privileged positiong as owners or as hereditary tenants, those who obtained possession during Sikh rule, and had continuedto hold the land under our rule." The revenue farmer pure and simple was dispossessed. In one case at least where the Jagirdar had always treated the person in possession of the soil as tenants and levied grain rents, he was recoginsed as proprietor though an exception was amde when the occupant was a member of an old waris family. The loyalty of teh Gakhars was rewarded by the restoration to them to their ownership fo the Khanpur tract, which had been in abeyance for 40 years, and most of the cultivators there were recorded as occupancy tenants. The malik kabza tenure was introduced in Hazara, though not on a very large scale, the more usual course being to protect subodinate rights by the grant of herditary tenancies. There are in a few villages persons holding an intermediate position between full owners and malikan kabza. They are known as malikan ba rasad kabza or in the Khanpur tracts as guzara-khwars and their rights in the waste are the same as those of warisan kabza in Jehlum. Of course in the hill villages of Hazara where the people live in homesteads of little hamlets scatterd over a large area, the communal bond is very weak.2
179. Policy adopted as to the assessment of jagir estates and other revenue-free holdings. - Under native rule, where rent and revenue are almost synonymous terms, a revenue assisgnment conveyed to the grantee the right to take from the cultivators all that a landonwer would now realize. The principle was gradually established that the limitation by the British Government of its claim on the produce and the commutaion of this claim into a cash demand in khalsa villages involved similar action in jagir estates. The 43rd paragraph of the despatch consituting the Board of Administration provided that in order to prevent jagirdars or other revenue-free holders from deriving more from the land than would be taken by the Government whose place they occupied, each village or tract which consituted a separate revenue-free tenure should be assessed. Accordingly the Board of Administration issued orders that, when any of the districts annexed in 1849 came under rgular settlement, the revenue payable all the jagir estates included in it should be determined by the Settlement Officers. Shortly before this the Settlement Officers in Cis-Sutlej States had been directed to bring all assigned villages, under assessment2. Hitherto only those jagir estates had been assessed in which a settlement asked for either by the jagirdar or by the landowners. For one reason or antoerh there orders were not fuly carried out, and they did not really apply to the petty grants, the fields included in which were treated ans minhai, i.e. excluded from the assessable area. In the early days of our rule landowners were very sceptical as to the benefits of a cash assessement, and sometimes preferred to give the jagirdar, his pure in the way to which they had always been accustomed, and in a few instance, wher the regular settlement broke down and had to be revised, our officers shrank from further reducing the income of assignees already affected by the change from grain to cash collections, and gave the proprietors of jagir estates the option of continuing to pay the excessive revenue assessed or resuming grain payments. To make a cash assessment of the small plots held by Brahamans and village servants and limit the right of the assignees to the receipt of it, would have entirely altered the character of these assignments and made them almost vlauless to the grantees. The Financial Commissioner's BOok Circular LIII of 1860 brought together the instructions issued from time to time as to assignees of land-revenue. It is there laid down that any exception from the rule that all revenue-free holdings should be assessed, must be supported by special orders of the Financial Commissioner. Where both parties the proprietors the Government assignees were satisified, absolute compliance with the terms of settlment had not been enforced but in case of dispute the courts must enforce complaince with them and, when once introduced, they could not afterwards be departed from.
179-A. Existing practice. - Section 48(3) of the Land Revenue Act (XVII of 1887) provides that "land may be assessed to land-revenue notwithstanding that revenue, by reason of its having been assigned, released, compunded for, or redeemed, is not payable to the Government and it is the general policy of the administration to make no distinction in this respect between jagir and khalsa land.As the revenue must, in the absence of a special order of the Local Government to the contrary passed under section 48(2) of the Act, be assessed in money (see the 5th of the Assessement Instructions of 1893 in Appendix I). It is the duty of a Settlement Officer either to determine a cash demand for assigned estates and holdings where grain collections have hitherto prevailed, or, if he thinks that the existing system should be continued, to apply for sanction to the adoption of this course. Even where the assignee is also land-owner, the revenue must be assessed in order that the cesses may be calculated in the usual way.
180. Assignee's connection with the land sometimes amounted to a proprietary status.- While it was the general policy to treat jagirdars and m' afidars merely as standing in the place of Government, it was hard to deny that their connection with the land had in many cases grown into something much stronger. As assignee under the Sikh Government constantly interfered freely in the management of the lands included in his grant, especially as regards the waste, sinking wells, locating new cultivators and planting gardnet.s In this respect the merely claimed the same powers as the kardars exercised in khalsa estates, but with this difference that, as he hoped by one means or another to make his assignment a permanent one, he was prepared sometimes to spend his own money on the improvement of the property. In the case of small m'afi plots the assignee often cultivated himself or arranged for the cultivation. From this state of things difficult questions as to the ownership of assigned lands arose in our early settlemnts, and it was felt that in some cases the assignee had a claim either to the rights of a full proprietor or of a talukdar. The disposition to recognize such claims was somewhat strengthened by the change of feeling produced by the events of 1857, to which allusion has made in paragraph 118. When as assignee was recognized as onwer of a m'afi plot, his proprietary right was usually confiend to the land actually in his possession. He was a malik kabza merely, with notile to a share in the profits of the village common land. The superior title of th original owners of the estate was sometimes recognized by the imposition of a small proprietary fee or malikana, in which case the m' afidar combined the tenures of malik kabza with that of an inferior proprietor (malik adna) or became an occupancy tenant.
181. Settlement with assignees or with their heirs. - The question of the status to be assigned to an assignee was, of course closely connected with that of his right of claim a settlement when his grant was resumed. His admission to one involved the idea that he possessed a proprietary title of some kind. In Book Ciruclar LIII of 1860 the following rules on the subject were laid down, and these were reproduced with some alterations in the rules issued under the Ist Land Revenue Act (XXXIII of 1871)
The ex-m' afidars or heirs of decease m'afidars are only entitled to demand the privilege of a sub-lease supposing -
(i) they reside in the village and own or cultivate the land.
(ii) they have planted gardens, or have tombs, temples or buildings on the land.
(iii) they have sunk wells and improved the land.
(iv) they can show some particular casue connection them with the land. It is obvious that the great majority of m'afidars cannot urge these claims. In cases of peculiar hardship the Deptuy Commissioner may recommend that the settlement be made with the ex'm' afidars
"If their claim be admitted they are entitled to a sub-lease on half-assets, but they will pay their assessement through the lambardars.......Of the assessment thus calculated 10 per cent is deducted and left at the disposal of the lambardars to over pachorta patwari's fees, road fund, school fund, malba, and chaukidari, the expenses of management and village cesses, but if the m'afidars was in the habit of paying malikanathe sub-lessees wil pay it still. The sub-lesses will have power to locate cultivators but they are liable to the ousted from the lease at once as in intermediate tenure, should they fail to pay on demand to the lambardars, the assessement and the 10 percent and malikana (where this last is proved to be demandable at any time within one month before the instalments of the Goverment revenue fall due."
Provision was also made for the settlement of lapsed grants with the heirs fo the late assignees at half the usual rates of assessemnt if the Deputy Commissioner considered the case one of hardship proprietary or occupancy rights remaining undisturbed."
182. Existing ruel on the subjecte. - When the late assignee is not recorded in the cord-of-rights as owner of the land of which the revenue has been resumed, the Collector must neverthelss consider whether his occupation or enjoyment of the land has been, as a matter of fact, such as to entitle him or his heir to be made liable for the land-revenue and if son, he must make him or his heir liable for the same forthe term of the settlement
183. Insturctions issued with reference to the rule. - The following instructions have been issued with reference to the last section :-
"When an ex'm'afidar or the heir of a m'afidar claims to become responsibel for the payment of the revenue of a lapsed assignemnt, the Collector will enquire whether the history and cirucmstances of the holding lead to the consulsion that the m'afidars have actually held and enjoyed an interest in the land equivalent to a proprietary or sub-proprietary tenure, and entitling the claimant to a settlement under section 61 of Act XVII of 1887. The mere fact that another person or the village community is shown as owner in the record-of-rights must be taken as justifying the summary rejection of the claim. It throws the burden of proof on the petitioner, from whom the Collector will require satisfactory evidence before holding that he is entitled to a settlement. It must be remembered that it is often difficult to decide from some of the older settlement record whether or not a m'afidar was admitted to be the owner of his mafi plot.His name was usually shown in the ownership column with the title of m'afidar. Sometimes a note was added that he was owner as well as assignee, or that on other person was owner. The tendecy in later settlement has been to assume that the m'afidar had no proprietary title, and to record his felds as common land of the village if no individual proprietor appeared to have any special connection with them. When a settlement is claimed, a careful inquiry must, therefore, be made. The manner in which the gratn was originally acquired and the quetions whether at that time the land was waste or under cultivation and whether m'afidar putting in and ejecting tenants at plesure, are of great importance. Although possession for three generations does not entitle the heir of a m' afidar to settlement if another person really has exclusive ownership of teh land, length of possession may be a weightly element in the consideration. If it is proved that the m'afidars have tombas, temples, or building on the land, or that they have planted gardens, sunk wells or effected other improvements, due weight must be given to these facts. The mere fact that a m'afidar always realized his dues by a share of the produce as a landlord would have done does not prove that he was owner. In our earliest settlements m'afi plots wre excluded from assessemnt and the assignee was frequently allowed to realize as before the old hakimi hissa in grain, and, notwithstanding that a cash assessemnt may afterwards have been fixed at re-settlment in pursuance of standing orders or to facilitate the calculation of the amount of local rate, the former arangements as between the assignee and the cultivator were often continued without dispute. On the other hand the fact that the m'afidar paid a small proprietary fee or malikana in grain or cash to the village community or some individual member of it, must not be taken as conculsive proof that he had no kind of inferior title (malkiyat adna). His heir will still be liable to pay malikana though a settlement is made with him. When such a settlement is made in future the assignee's heir will be responsible for all local rates and cesses in addition to the revenue imposed on the adopted. Settlements at favourable rates should be rarely adopted, and, when adopted, they should be distinctly noted and the reasons for them expalined in the half-yearly statement of lapsed and resumed assignments. Such favourable assessments will hold good for the lfie or lives of the persons with whom they are made. The principle laid down in paragraph 174 of the Land Administration Manual will apply.Should a general revision of the assessemnt of a districk take place during the life or lives of such person the land will be re-assessed in the usual manner, and the settlemnt will be made at the same proportionate rate on the new assessement. In dealing with cases of the nature above described, it cannot be too clearly kept in view that the status of the assignee as such is distinct from any status to which he may be entitled as proprietor, subproprietor, makarraried. of lenant with right of occupancy. The latter status is not like the former, exculded from the operation of the civil courts, and in cases of dispute in regard to such matters the ultimate resort to the court is always availabel. But the revenue officer who is charged with the duty of settlin lapsed revenue assignements should not refer the parties to the court before taking action under the rules for assessement of such assignments adn section 61 of the Land Revenue Act. He should make the settlement witht the village proprietary body, the owner in severalty or the assignee or his heirs, in accordance with the same validity and finality as that of an officer charged with a general assessemnt of the land-revenue acting under sections 50 and 61 of the Acts. Mutation of names may follow subject to the provisions of section 37 of the Act or a civil suit determining the proprietary status of the parites may possible involve the necessity of a reconsideration of th settlment of the resumed assignement, but the claim of any person to be laibel for an assessment of land-revenue is by section 158 clause (viii) of the Act, excluded from the cognizance of the civil courts and the revenue officer's decision in regard to this matter will, therefore, not be liable to be disputed in the court.
184. Rights acquired by lessess.-The rights acquried by the lessees of Government waste land, who have fulfilled the terms of their lease have differed greatly at differnet times. They must be decided with reference to the stipulations on the subject embodied in the deeds of lease, the provisions of the rules in force when they were made, and, where the intention, of the rules is obscure, by the interpretation put upon them by the orders of Government. The matter is dealt with at greater lenght in the Land Administration Manual Appendix III.
185. Native Governments claimed large rights
over waste. - We have seen that
native Governements claimed large rights over the waste, whether it was
included in the somewhat uncertain boundaries of villages or consisted, as in
186. Three ways of dealing with waste-1. To
include all of its in the boundaries of estates.- Without entering into details it maybe said that
Government has dealt with the waste in one of three ways. Where the village
system was strong, the limits within which the cattle of each community grazed
were known. It was the policy of Government define these limits exactly so as
to prevent disputes between adjoining estates which ofter ended in riot and
bollodshed and to treat all unoocupied waste included within the boundary of
each estate as the common property of its owners. This was the plan generally
carried out in the Eastern and
187. Excess waste included in villae boundaries. - But at the same time the Government was prepared to a certain extent to follow the practice of the native rulers whom it had succeeded by plating new settlements in villages which had more waste than they could manage or bring under cultivation within a reasonable period. Accordingly it was provided in section 8 of Regulation VII of 1822 that "where the waste land belonging to or adjoining any mahal is very extensive, so as considerably to exceed the quantity required for pasturage or otherwise usefully appropriated, it shall be competent to the revenue officers to grant leases for the ame, to any person who may be willing to under take the cultivation, in perpetuity or for such periods as the Governor-General in Council shall determine, and to assign to the zamindara or others who may establish a right of property in the lands so granted an allowance equivalent to 10 percent on the amount payable to Governemtn by the lessees in lieu and bar of all claim to or in the waste lands so granted."
188. Second way of dealing with waste to acknowledge that it belongs to the people, but reserve certain treees. - In Kangra, as we have seen, the State cold properly have claimed the ownership of all the waste with some unimportant exceptions. But the policy fo the settlements in the plains was unfortuanately followed in dealing with an entirely different set of circumstances, and the waste became village property except that the State's rights in certain valuable kinds of trees were reserved. In Kulu the waste has been retained as the property of the State, subject to rights of user enjoyed by the people.
189. Third way of dealing with waste to include
an ample area in village boundaries and claim the rest. - In the
190. Appropraition of land thrown up by rivers for plantations :- It will sometime be found certain lands on the banks of rivers or islands in streams are recorded as Governemtn properly. Mr. E. Thornotn, when Commissioner of Rawlapindi, proposed that when lands suitable for plantations were thrown up by rivers, arrangements should be made for the appropriation of a portion of them of them for this purpose. Sir John Lawrence approved of suggestins, and in drawing attention to it, the Financial Commissioner remarked : "Where the extent of land thrown up is very large as compared with area of the village adjoining, to which it would ordinarily appertain, the right of the village to the possession of the whole may well admit of questions. Every case............will......be reported to the Commissioner.........and the Deputy Commissioner should state whether any, and what compensation should be given to the proprietors of the adjoining village."2 The rules on the subject issued under the Land Revenue Act of 1871 were reproduced among the executive instructions contained in Revenue Circular No. 33, when it was first issued in 890. But they were omitted in the revised edition and would now perhaps be regarded as obsolete, and the provision that under certain circumstances lands exposed by the recession of a river will be claimed as Government property should not be acted on by a Settlement Officer without first obtaining the sanction of the Financial Commissioner. A purposal to assert that Government has a proprietary title in riverbeds was negatived in 1877.3 But orders were issued that in the administration paper of all villages adjoining or including rocky rivers or streams a clause should be inserted reserving to Government the right to take without compensation boulders lying in the beds of rivers and streams in the village concerned.
191. Ownership of mines, quarries and
(a) from the record or report made by he assessing officer at the time of assessement or
(b) if the record or report is silent, then from a comparison between the assessment of vilalges in which there existed, and the assessemnt of villages of similiar character in which there did not exist any foreste, or quarry or any such land or interest,
that the forest, quarry, land, or interest was taken into in the assessement of theland-reveneu."
The legal provisions referred to above carry out the policy laid down in a despatch from the Secretary of State, No. 35 of 25th March, 1880, and Government of India letter No 1-43 dated 15th May 1880.
192. Kankar - The following instructions were issued in 1876 with reference to the claim of Government to the ownership of kankar found in village lands :-
"In the case of all village in which kiankar beds are known to exist, or in which there is any probability of their being hereafter discovered an entry is to be made in the administration paper. When framed at settlment declaring all kankar ready discovered or which may hereafter be discovered to be the property of Governement, and in such villages kankar is not to be reckoned as an asset of the village for the purpose of assessment."
"Where kankar beds are claimed as the property of the village or of individuals, the setttlement Officer will investigate the claim and if it is supported by any relinquishment of the Government rights made by compenet authority wiht response the case for special orders. If in any such case it is decided that the Government rights have been lost or relinquished the kankar should be taken into account of framing the assessement of the village."
193. Saltpetre not treated as Governement property. - The question of the rights of Government in saltpetre was raised in 1891 in connection with the settlement of the Hissar District when the Punjab Government held that neither the saltpetre earty or the educed saltpetre can properity be brought under the term spontaneous produce other interest in land, "within the meaning of Section 42 of the Land Revenue Act. It was added that Sir James Lyall believed that" " in practice the Government nowhere in the Punjab claims proprietary right in saltpetre eart or a title to a monopoly of the rights of educting saltpertre though preceding native Governmentn may have claimed such a title. All that Government claims is the right of regulation or preventing the manufacture." Seltpetre of shora must not be recorded therefore as Government property in the village administration paper, and any profits which the land-owner derive from it may be taken into account in assessing the land-revenue. If for the any reason they are left unassessed the fact that Government has not abandoned its right to assess them at some future time should be distinctly noted.
194. Management, sale and lease of Government waste lands. - The exisiting rules regarding the management, sale and lease of Government waste lands are noticed in the Land Administration Manual, Appendices III and IV.
On the rights of tenants
195. Classes of tenants.- Tenants are usually considered to be of two kinds, occupancy tenants and tenants-at-will. The vernacular equivalents are maurusi or hereditary, and ghair-maurusi or non-hereditary. An occupancy tenants has a right to hold his land so long as he pays the rent fixed by authority, and to pass it on to his descendants on the same terms. A tenants-at-will is a tenant from year to year, andhis rent is determined by the areement between himself and his landlord, The status of the occupancy tenant depends on law whether statute or customary, the status of the tenant-at-will depends on contract, though certain stipulations, if included in a contractr of letting, will be treated by the courts as invalid.2 A more detailed and precise classification of tenants is into..
(1) occupancy tenants whose rights are determined by the provisions of Act XVI of 1887;
(2) tenants of Government lands whose tenancies have been created under Act V of 1912;
(3) tenants for a fixed tem exceeding one year under a contract or decree or order of a competent authorty;
(4) tenants from year to year;
But even this classification cannot be regarded as quite exhaustive. It does not include the mortgagor tenant whose fixity of tenure is secured by one of the statutory forms of mortgtage allowed by the Punjab Alienation of Land Act, XIII of 1900, or some of the local forms of tenure referred to in paragraph 215. The position of the former is explained in the 41st paragraph of the land administration Manuai.
196. Early history of occupancy right in the
United Provinces.- The
197. Accepted ideas as to occupancy right at annexation of Punjab.-The accepted ideas on the subject of renant riht fifteen years later, that is to say, about the time of the annexation of the Punjab, may be gathered form the following extracts from the Directions for Settlement Officers:-
“There can.....be no doubt that many non-proprietary cultivators are considered to have rights of occupancy, and thus two classes are commonly recognized, those who are entitled to hold at fixed rates, and those who are mere tenants-at-will. cultivators at fixed rates, and those who are mere tenants-at-will. Cultivators at fixed rates have a right to hold certain fields and cannot be ejected from them so long as they pay those rates. are notable to alienate them without the consent of the proprietors, but theri sons or their immediate heirs, residing with them in the village, would succeed on the same terms as them selves. NOr are they compentent of themselves to perform any act which is considered to indicate proprietary right, such as the digging of a well, or the planting of a garden, or the laocation of a labourer. The simple right is to till their fields themselves, or to provide for their tillage, and for these fields they pay certain rates and afe in some cases liable to be called upon to perform certain services or to pay certain fees to the proprietors. So long as these conditions are fulfilled they cannot be ejected form their fields, and if an attmpt is made to eject them, they have their remedy by summary suit before the collector. If they fail to pay the legally demandable, the proprietor must sue them summarily, for the arrears; and, on obtaining a decree.........and failing........to collect his dues, he may apply to the collector to eject them......It is impossible to lay down any fixed rule defining, what classes of cultivators are to be considered entitled to hold at fixed rates. They are known in different parts of the country by different names as chapparband, khudkasht, kadimi, maurusi hakkdar, & c,. all of which terms imply attachment to the soil or prescriptive right. Those who have no such right ar commonly called kacha asamis or pahikasht. It has sometimes been suppposed that all raiyats resident in the village (khudkasht) are of the former class, and that those who reside in another village (khudkasht) have no rights, But there are frequent excepitions to this rule, Many cultivators residing in neighbouring village may have marked and recognized rights. Prescription is the best rule to follow. Those who have for a course of years occupancy whilts those whose tenure is not similarly sanctioned are considered tenant-at-will.” Mr. Thomason was unable to lay down any fixed directions as to the dettermination of the rents of occupancy tenants.2
198. Grounds of occupancy right recognized in early Punjab settlements.- It seems to have been common in United Provinces to admit twelve year’s uninterrupted possession of a holding at the same rate of rent as a sufficient proof of occupancy righ the twelve years rule3 was very generally adopted in early Punjab settlements, though the best revenue officers held that it should not be regarded as the sole criterion, and that the quality, as well as the length, of occupation should be considered.4 Afterwards it became usual to draw a distinction between resident tenants, to whom the tem asami was some times exclusively applied and on-residents tenants, to whom the tem asami was some times exclusively applied and on-resident or pahikasht tenants, and to accept twelve possession as sufficent in the case of the former and twenty years in the case of the latter.
In some settlements a file embodying the decisions as to the status of all every estate, and this is of great value in case of disputesp. As a matter of fact in the absence of definite rules every Settlement Officer decided such cases as came before him according to his own view of what was right and proper. For example, grounds which one man whould have considered enough to establish a claim to a proprietary title, anothe might regard as only sufficient to justify him in treating a cultivator as an occupancy tenant. Patwaris and other infreor native officials, who practically decided the status of cultivators in a great many cases naturally followed the only definite rule they knew, which was that bases on length of possession, landlords had not awakened to the profits to be dervid from a cash assessment, and indeed these profits were mostly prospective. They were, therefore, little disposed to contest entries, the immediate effect of which was to make tenants share in teh bured of a money demand which they dreaded, and where land was abundant and hands scarce the landwner was sometimes more eager to concede, than the tenant was to accept, an occupancy title.2 In some places tenant right was held to betransferable, in other not, and the local customs on this point were really various.
199. Determination of rent in early
200. Tenant-righ controvesy arguments for
restricting occupancy rights.- In
the sisxties when th first regulare settlements of the districts of the
201. Arguments on the other side. - It was urged on the other side that, although the name by which occupancy right was described was new, the thing itself had a substantial existence before our rule began. The liabilites of very many tenants had been the same as those of the landlords and their privileges had been little, if at all les.. Resident tenants had often been settled on the land by the Sikh kardars and would have been maintained in possession had any landloard attempted to oust them. Even where they got the land originally frome the landwoners the latter had never thought of evicting them. It was only equitable that men who had borne the burdens of native rule should share in the benefits of the more liberal adminsitration which had succeeded it. The statement that the entries at the first regular settlements had been made without inquiry was exaggerated. Native subordinate had to guide them by the decisions of Settlement Officers in contested cases. If there were not numerous, it showed that at all parties were satisfied with what was being done. At any rate it would be unjust and impolitic to distrub at a revised settlement entries which had been acted on for years, and in fact no legal power to do so existed.
202. Alteration in Mr. Prinsep's Settlements of entries of former settlements. - There was a large element of truth in Mr. Prinsep's contention. The degree of protection which tenants enjoyed and the ground which entitled them to protection differed in different parts of the country. The rule that twelve years' possession conferredc occupancy right was quite arbitrary. The sinking of a well would probably have been accepted even rywhere as a sufficient foundation for a claim to permanent title of some sort. But in the case on non-proprietary cultivators fixity of the tenure as a thing which could be earned by bringing waste land under the plough or by ordinary improvements had perhaps no real existence except in the hills and in the south-western districts. When a body of loose and varying local customs is poured into the mould of rigid definition it is certain to be changed in the process, and it is well to delay the operation till the customs have been fully escertained. It might have been better, therefore, at the first regluar settlements to record tenants by the names by which they were locally known and to note carefully the incidents of the tenure in each case. But the policy of altering former records of right was open to grave doubt. This, is however, what Mr. Prinsep did with the sanction of the Financial ! Commissioner.2 A few of the recorded occupancy tenants were made proprietors a muct larger number continued to be shown as maurusi, but the majority were treated either as tenants-at-will or as protected (panahi) for life, for the term of settlement, some religious institution maintained, or some revenue-free grant was continued.
203. Passing of Act XXVIII of 1868. - The tenant-right controversy which arose in connection with Mr. Pirnsep's settlements led to the passing of the first Punjab Tenancy Act, XXXVIII of 1868, the main features of which ahve been reporduced in Act XVI of 1887. The changes in status of tenants effected by Mr. Prinsep were held to be invalid and measures were taken to restore the netries of the first regular settlement. These were not carried out completely, and at the resettlement of the districts concerned it was found that a number out completely, and at the resettlement of the districts concerned it was found that a number of teants were still shown as panahi or protected for various periods. It was held that under section 37 of the Land Revenue Act of 1887 the record could only be altered by agreement of the parties or in consequence of a decree of court declaring whether the tenant was or was not an occupancy tenant.
204. Working of Act XXVIII of 1868. - A full account of the provisions of Act XXVII of 1868 will be found in paragraphs 145-147 of the Direction for Collectors (Barkley's edition). With its passing it eceased to be the duty of a Settlement Officer to revise the rent of occupancy tenants at a re-settlement. Rents consisting of the land revenue and cases with or withoug the addition of malikana were re-adjusted in the manner described below (paragraph 217), and in a few cases ht eold rents were left untouched at the request of the landowners.2 The provisions of the Act relating to enhancement were unsatisfactory and diffcult to work. But fortunately for many years very few enhancement suits were instituted. "This was partly due to ignorance of the law and partly to the fact that the proprietors with very few, exceptions (did) not believe that they had any real right to claim an suuhanced rent.3 Entries in the village administration papers of teh first regular settlement declaring that rents should not be changed during settlement, which operated as agreements between landlords and tenants under section 2 of the Act, were also a bar to enhancedment during the term of settlement.
205. Act XVI of 1887. - The apprehansion that difficulties would arise
in Hoshiarpur and elsewhere when this bar was removed by revision of settlement
was one of the reasons for the passing of Act XVI, of 1887. The tenancy law of
206. History of rent in the
207. Acquisition of occupancy right. - Under Act X2VI of 1887 no tenant can obtain a right of
occupancy by mere lapse of time (section 9), and, unless a special custom to the
countrary is proved, no joint owner of land can acquire one in any part of the
land (section 10). For example, a proprietor who is in cultivation possession
of field in the village common, cannot claim of right of occupancy under
section 5(1) (a), though all the cirucmstance exist which would enable another
person to so successfully. The first of these provisions embodies a marked
difference between the law of the Punjab and that of other parts of
208. Classes of occupancy tenants. - Considered with reference to the incidents of their tenures occupancy tenants fall into three classes :–
(1) Tenants under section 5 (1) (a)
(2) Tenants under section 5 (1) (b), (c) and (d).
(3) Tenants under section 6 and 8.
209. Occupancy right of the first clas how
established. - The first class
includes every tenant, who on Ist Nov. 1887 had "for more than two
generations in the male line of descent through a grand-father or grand-uncle
and for a period fo not less then twenty years been occupying ladn paying no
rent therefor beyond the amount of the land-revenue thereof and the rates and
cesses for the time being chargeable tereon. " [section 5(1) (a)]. The
date mentioned is that on which the Act came into force. Thirty year's
occupation at the rent named raise a presumption that the tenant possesses the
qualifications described above, but this presumption may be rebutted.2
It must be remembered that "tenant" in Act XVI of 1887 includes
"the predecessors and successors in interest of tenant,"3
and that words in section 5(1) (A) denoting natural relationship denote also
relationship by adoption, including the customary appointement of an heir and
spiritual relationship by adoption, including the customary appointment of an
heir and spiritual relationship, such as that of a chela to his guru or
father in the faith. Sir james Lyall construed "land-revenue" in section
5(1) (a) as including batai and zabti collections made by jagirdars before a cash assessment had
been introduced. He considered that the definition of "land-revenue"
in section 4(10) as "land-revenue assessed under any law for the time
being in force" did not prevent this interpretation, whic was clearly
equitable and in accordance with the intentions of the Act. He remarked :-
"I am of opinion that it is necessary to construe the word (an) here as it
was equivalent with Act. I believe there was no Act or Regulations for the
assessement of the land-revenue, strictly speakin, in force in the Punjab
before 1871, and the present day in
aside the question of intrepretation of the work law in section 4(10) of the
Act, and coming to section 5(a) it is manifest that section is intended to deal
with a question between the landlord and tenant, and the question is, has the
tenant paid as rent (i.e., as due to teh landloar-seee definition of rent)
anything more tha land-revenue and rates and cesses chargeable ? Now, as a
matter of fact, unless the tenants we are concerned with (i.e.those who have
paid revenue and cessess without malikana
since Settlement) paid the proprietors a sermani
fee while barat was in force (in
which case we may be sure a cash malikana
was put on in place of sermani as
that was the invariable rule in the old settlements), they really paid the
landlord no rent at all so long the jagirdars
maintained bata collections in
respect to both proprietors and tenants of this class, for teh jagirdars collected direct from these
tenants as from theproprietors; these men, therefore, paid nothing in those
days as rent to the landlords, and what they paid direct to the jagirdars they paid undoubtebly as the
old land-revenue and cesses of the country. These batai and Zabti collections
are teh ancient from of teh land-revenue of
210. Occupancy right of the second class how establised. - The second class includes every tenant. -
(1) "Who, having owned land, and havig ceased to be land-onwer there of otherwise then by forfeiture of the Government or by any voluntary act, has, since he has ceased to be ladowner, continuously occupied the land," [section 5(1) (b)]. The right may be claimed by the representative of the person who lost the proprietary right (Revenue judgement No. 6 of 1895 in Punjab Record of September, 1895).
claim is realy maintain under this sub-section.
A man who has sold his land but continues to cultivate it is of course a mere tenant at-will of the purchaser
(2) "Who, in a village or estate in which he settled along with or was settled by, the founder thereof as a cultivatior therein, occupied land on the twenty-first day of Oct., 1868, and has continuously occupied the land since that date" [Section 5(1) (c)], unless the landloar proves "that the tenant was settled on land previously cleared and brougth under cultivation by, or at the expenses of, the founder." The 21st October, 1868, is the date on which the first Punjab Tenancy Act came into force.
(3) "Who, being jagirdar of the estate or any part of the estate in which the land occupied by him is situate, has continuously occupied the land for not less than twenty years, or having been such jagirdar, occupied the land while he was jadirdar and has continuously occupied it for not less than twenty years." [section 5 (1) (b)]. Jagridar includes any assignee of land other then a village servant. A jagridar under a grant made by a former Native Government falls within the definition of that term in the Tenancy Act (Revenue judgments 2 of 1892 and 2 of 1897 in Punjab Record of March, 1892 and February, 1897, respectively).
211. Occupancy right of the third class how establised. - The third class includes
(1) any tenant entered in a record of rights sanctioned by the Local Government be fore the passing of Act XXVIII of 1868, as a tenant having a right of occupancy in land which he has continuously occupied from the time of the preparation of that record unless by a decreee of a competent court in a suit instituted before the passing of Act XVI of 1887 he has been declared not to posses such a right (section 6), and
(2) any tenant who can establish a right of occupancy on any gorund otherthan those described in section 5 and 6 (section 80. This refers specially to the rights which by the custom of particular parts of the country persons efecting improvements or bringing waste under cultivation acquire. Exampies are the lathband or lathmar tenant of Dera Ismail Khan and Dera Ghazi Khan who obtains hsi title by embanking fields and the butemar, or mundhimar who earns it by clearing/jangla. The rights of the tardaddadkar tenants of th Jhang District seem to have been acquired by merely engaging to keep in cultivation the lands attached to a weel constructed by the owner. They mist by distinguised from those of the well constructed by the owner. They must be distinguished from those of the taraddadkar owner described in paragraph 173. It is very doubtful whetehr the right of taraddadkar to sublet is limited by section 58(2) of the Tenancy Act. According to Mr. Steedman "all taraddadkars have the power of arranging for the cultivation. It does not matter wheter the taraddadkar cultivates himself for by a tenant."2 The mukarraridar tenant of Attock cannot be considered as falling under secion 8 or any other section of the Punjab tenancy Act for the has by custom more unrestriced powers of alienation than any class of occupancy tenant enjoys under Act XVI of 1887, and holds his land at a fixed rent which can not be altered during the term of settlement. It has been judicially decided that some mukadmadairs descend like owner's holdings, and are not subject to the special rules referred to in the next paragraph. 3
The mukarraridar almost invariable acquired his title by sinking a well. But there and few mukarraridars in Attock whose holdings consist of irrigated lands. The kumhar tenant of Dera Ghazi Khan got his itle in the same way, and "his tenure lasts as long as the pakka brick or wooden well he has sunk last."4 In Hazara wefind that curious feature of occupancy tenants holding their land not from the proprietors, but as sub-tenants of otehr occupancy tenants.5
(3) During Mr. Barry's settlement of the Attock District (1923-27) the Punjab Tenacny Act, XVI of 1887, was amended in 1925 at the instance of the Settlement Officer in order in include specific provisions regarding muqarraridars in that district. The amending Act XI of 1925, defined a muquarridar in that district. The amending Act XI of 1925, defined a uqarraridar as any person who holds land in the Attock District and who, on the date of the commencement of the Punjab Tenancy (Amendment) Act 11925, was recorded in the revenue records as muqarraridar in respect of such land or who, after the said date, was so recored with his consent and the consent of the proprietor of such land and includes the successors in interest of a muqarraridar. It futher provided that for the purpose of section 22 of the Teancy Act a muqarraridar shall be deemed to be a tenant of the class specified in section 5 (1) (a) of the Act, and that for the purpose of sections 24, 27, 27-A, 38 and 39 of the Tenancy Act a muqarraridar shall be deemed to be a tenant having a right of occupancy. The amending Act also provided that the provisions of chapter IV of teh Tenancy Act shall not apply to nuqarraridars.
212. Devolution of occupancy right. - On the death of an occupancy tenant his holding passes on a like tenure -
(a) to this male lineal descendants in the male line of descent,
(b) failing them, to his widow for life or until remarriage, but without any pwoer of sale, gift, or mortagage, or of subletting for a period exceeding one year
(c) failing male descendants and a widow, or when a widow succeeds, then after her death or remarriage, or in the event of her abandoning the land, to agnates or male collateral relatives in the male line of descent, provided that the common encestor of the later tenant and the agnates occupied the land. Among agnates the right of occupancy falls to the person of persons who would have inherited the land if it had been owned by the deceased. On failure of legal heirs the holdings revers to the landlord (section 59)
213. Rights possessed by all classes of occupancy tenants. - Every occupancy tenant has a right to make improvements as defined in section 4 (19) of the Act (section 63), not withstanding any conditions in a record-of-rights, or in an agreement between himself and his landfor a term not exceeding seven year (section 58). He can, with the consent of his landlord, transfer his land to all the memeber of a co-operative society, for the consolidation of holdings of which both he and his landloar are mambers, and obtain from them any othe hand in exchange land so obtained in exchange being subject to the same right of occupancy as the land given for it (section 58-A)]. He forfeits his right if for over a year he fails withoug sufficient cause to cultivate his holdings either by himself for some other person and to arrange for payment of the ent (section 38), but he can only be ejected (a) in execution of a decree for adjectment, or (b) when adecree for an arreas of rent has been passed and remains unsatisfied of a revenue officer (section 44). A decree for ejectment wll only be passed on one or other of the following grounds :-
(a) that the tenant "has used the land comprised in the tenancy in a manner which reders it unfit for the purpose for which he held it."
(b) "where rent is payable in kind, that he was without sufficeint cause failed to cultivate that land in the manner or to the extent customary in the locality in which the land is situate." (section 39)
214. Occupancy right how far tranferable. - A tenant belonging to eighter of the first can transfer his right of occupancy by sale, gift, or morgage. But the must first give notice of his intention through a revenue officer of his landload, and the latter may then claim to purchase the right as it fall value as determined by a revenue officer (section 53). The landlord's power of pre-emption does not arise in the case of collateral mortgages not involving any actual or constructive transfer of possession to the mortgagee unless the transaction to be of the dexription known as bai-bil-wafa, or mortgage by conditional sale. Tenant righ of the third class cannot be transferred by private contract without the previous written consent of the landlord (section 56). Nor can it be attached or sold in execution of a decree or order of Court (section 56). Tenant right of the first two classess is not protected from sale in execution, but the landlord has a right of pre-emption if it is sold (section 55).
215. Rights not expressly provided for by law. - Rights possessed by any class of occupancy tenants, which are not expressely provided for by law, should be carefully described in the village administration paper. Under orders issued in 1887 Settlement Officers were enjoined to "notice in their records of local usage the custom relating to the right of occupancy tenants of lands submerged by fluvial action and subsequently restored."
216. Enhancement and redcution of rent. - Where an occupnacy tenant pays a grain or zabti rent it can be enhanced or reduced if the quality of the cultivation is changed by the land becoming, or ceasing to be, irrigated or flooded (sections 20 and 21). If he pays a cash rent it may be enhanced on the suit of the landlord on the grund that, after deducting the land revenue and the rates and cesses chargeable on the holding, the balance does not amount to a malikana -
(a) of two annas in the rupee, or 12-1/2 per cent, on the land revenue in the case of a tenant of the first class;
(b) of six annas in the rupees, or 37-1/2 per cent, on the land revenue in the case of a tenant of the second class;
(c) of 12 annas in the rupee, or 75 per cent, in the case to tenant of the thrid class. Enhancement may be decreed up to the limited fixed for the class of tenants to which he defendant belongs (section 22). Subject to these limits a Revenue Courth has full discreation as to the amount of enhancement to be decreed (section 25). Too much weight should not be given to the class to which the occupancy tenant belong. Tenants of old standing who have hitheto paid a very light malikana may often only be able to prove that their status falls under section 6. The most important points to consider are the rate of malikana hitherto paid and those commonly realized from similar occupancy tenants in the neighbourhood. The law has given the landowners a claim to an increased rate of profit, an this must be fairly satisfied. But sudden and severe enhancemnets drawn up by the Settlement Officer has been approved as a useful general guide for Revenue Courts. But of course they are in no way bound to follow it exactly.
If enhancement has been decreed or a suit for enhancement has been dismissed on the merits no further suit will lie for ten years, unless the land has menawhile become irrigated of flooded [section 24(3)]. The cash rent payable by an occupancy tenant may be reduced on the ground that the productive powers of his holding have eben lessened by a casue beyond his own control (section 23). The reduced rent must in no case be less than the land revenue and cesses payable on the holding (section 25).
251. Common base line for a large number of
estates. - In the case of
estates near a river the plan introduced by Mr. Francis of having a common base
line may be usefully adopted. Where possible there should be a corresponding
base line paralleled to the first on the opposite bank. By this device the difficulty of relaying
boundaries which are liable to be obliterated is diminished. The full benefits
of the plan are secured where the boundaries of the estates which face each
other on eithe side of the stream are fixed. In the last settlement of
252. Survey work in Hissar and hill tracts. - In the settlement of the Hissar district carried out betwen 1887 and 1892, the field measurements were based on a somewhat elaborate traverse made by the Survey Department byt his plan has not been followed in other plain districts, except in the case of riverain tracts as noticed in the last paragraph, as it is found that the squares laid down by the patwaris furnish an accurate framework for cadastral surveys. But in hilly tracts the sqaure system is impossible. Recourse has therefore, to be had to a modification of the plane-table system, and no great accuracy can perhaps be looked for unless the patwari is supplied with mapping sheets on which the positiong of several conspicuous points been marked by the Survey Department.3 In the tracts under reference, and possibly in others, an increasing amount of assistance of this kind will, it is anticiapted, be required as time goes on, from the Survey Department. Plotted sheets showing survey marks fixed and traversed by the Department were supplied in the Kangra District for th epurpose the facilitating settlement measurement and mapping. In all settlements for which such plotted sheets are supplied, three traverse points in each esstate should be marked with stone pillars under the orders of the Settlement Officer. It may be possible to utilize tri-junctions as traverse points and thus to reduce the expense of laying pillars.
253. Re-measurement avoided where possible. - It is the policy of Government to get rid as soon as possible of the necessity of re-measuring villages at settlement, and one of the first tasks which a Settlement Officer must take in hand is to decide to what extent remeasurement is required. The field maps should be not only accurate enough for revenue purpose, but also capable of being utiltized after reduction for topographical purpose by the Survey Department. Unless the old maps were really accurate when made it is a mistake to attempt to retain and correct them. When really good maps have once been provided no re-survey should hereafter be necessary in tracts unaffected by the action of streams the spread of ravines, unless great extensions of cultivation and changes in field boundaries have taken place by the introduction of canal irrigation.
35. Testing of old maps. - It will be well to note some of th tests which can be applied to the old plane table survey maps. One of the best is to see whether the patwari with the map in his hand can or cannot register the crops with ease and accuracy. If he find it immpossible or vary difficult to make it the foundation of girdawari work, it is better without more ado to prepare a new map on the square system. Even though the old one is drawn pretty accurately to scale, its correction would under such circumstance take a long time and it is better to have a really good map as the basis of future operations than a patchwork of old and new measurements. It the old map was incorrect from the first to any serious mind on this point a Settlement Officer can apply several tests. The maps of adjacent villages should be compared to see if the boundaries dovetail, and testlines can be drawn across the map connecting well marked points, such as tri-junciton platforms, and the results of chaining along these lines noted. If the total length as chained and as read off scale from the old map, and also the distance between the field instersection compared in the same way, agree very closely, and the result of carrying the chain right the left along sides of some of the fields traversed by the test line is satisfactory, the map is probably a good one. Or squares may be laid down on the ground and marked on the map, and tests noted by Mr. Francis in Appendix III of his Manual applied.
255. Boundary disputes. - Section 101 of the Land Revenue act gives a Settlement officers power to define village boundaried. Fortunately boundary diputes are now rare except in the case of estates subjecte oto river action. The subject of boundaries and of riverain custom is dealt with fully in the Administration Munual.2 A Settlement Officer must remember that is the case of a boundary dispute between a British Village and an estate lying the territory of an Indian chief, he can only investigate and report his opinion to the commissioner of the division. Recent orders of Government require that -
"Where a regular settlement is in progress along the boundary line of an Indian State due intimation of the fact will be given to the State by the Commissioner of the division in which the operations are being carried on. This intimation will be to the effect that survey operations along the boundary with be presently under taken, and that the Settlement Officer will give due notice of the date when the measurement work in each estate will actually approach the boundary, and it will contain a request that the necessary orders may be issued to the proper State oficials to be present both when measurements are being made, and when it is desired to attest the boundary resulting from these measurements. It will also request that the names of these officials may be at once intimated so that the Settlement Officer may correspond direct with them in all unimportant matters conncect with the subject in question. During the first stage of operations above mentioned it will usually be sufficient for the State patwari or kanungo or other subordinate revenue officer to be present. If during the progress of this accepted boundary line, the Settlement officer must first intimate the necessity to the State and obtain its assent, unless the work is done with the assent and in the presence o the revenue officials to be present. If during the progress of this accepted boundary line, the settlement officer must first intimate the necessity to the State and obtain its assent, unless the work is done with the assent and in the presence of the revenue officials of th state. On the occasion of the actual attestation of the boundary an officers corresponding the rank of Tahsildar or Extra Assistant Commissioner should be deputed by the state, and in any special case in which the Settlement Officer himself may think it desirable to be present an official of suitable rant should be sent to meet him. The procedure to be followed thereafter will be the same as that laid down in paragraphs 2 and 3."
The procedure referred to it as follows :-
"If an agreement be arrived at it will be
carefully recorded by the revenue officials of the British district in the
necessary papers which should always include a map showing the accepted line.
The finding and the map should be attested by the officials on both sides. In
case in which no agreement can be arrived at or not, the proceedings will be
submitted to the Commissioner. The Commissioner will make any enquiries which
he may deem, necessary from the British authorities and from the Indian State,
and if the dispute is between a village or villages in his division and in an
Indian State under his political control, will pass orders in the case. If
other fixed, forwarding a copy of his report to the Deputy Commmissioner and to
the proper officer of the
256. Procedure in case of complete re-measurement.- The existing instructions as to the procedure to be followed by patwaris when complete re-measurement of a village takes place will be found in Appendix VII. The directions given there as to soil classification should be compared with the remarks on the subject in the next chapter.
Classes of Land and Soils
258. Soils and classes of land. - The knowledge of soils which a settlement Officer should possess must be the fruit of close and constant observation. But as an aid to the understanding of what he observes or hears from the people he will find the 3rd Chpater of Moreland's "Agriculature of the United Porvinces" useful. Soils differ naturally one from another in respect of their mineralogical and chemical composition, and (what is often more important in a country of scanty or capricious rainfall) in respect of the mechanical arrangement of their components parts. Thus we have the broad classification of clay, loam, and sand. They are also distinguished by adventitious difference as irrigated and unirrigated, manured and unmanured, dofasli and ekfasli. It is the best of use the word "soil" only to denote varieties due to adventitious qualities as "classes", but this distinction is not always observed. When the differences whether natural or adventitious, are so great as to cause a marked inequality of renting value, theri recognition in the record is essential both for assessment purpose and for the proper distribution of the demand over holdings. A Settlement Officer must make up his mind at an early stage of his operations what classification of land he will adopt. Till this is decided the field entries in the khatauni must remain incomplete.
259. Classes of land. - In a country of small rainfall the most important division of land into classes is that founded on the source from which the moisture required for the growth of the corps is derived. Thus land is classified as -
(a) barani - dependent on rainfall;
(b) sailab - flooded or kept permanently moist by rivers;
(c) abi - watered by lift from tanks, jhils or streams. This term is also applicabel to land watered from springs;
(d) nahri- irrigated from canals. Where a Goverment canal and small private canals exist in same district the land served by the former is sometimes distinguished as shah nahri;
(e) chahi - watered from wells. The term is sometimes sketched so as to include irrigation form jhalars erected on the bank of a steam. It is better to describe land dependent on jhalars as or abi.
The first two classes full under the general head of unirrigate, and the last three under that of irrigated land.
260. Limits of chahi and nahri lands. - All land should be recorded as chahi or nahri which is watered by a well or canal from time to time in the ordinary course of hunbandry. The limits of well or canal irrigation can be fixed by the indications on the ground, and especially by the evidence of the water channels, and if any doubt remains, examination of the entries in the crop insepction registers for a few years will solve it. Much of the land recorded in the khatauni as chahi or nahri is not irrigated every year. There are some parts of the province where the whol attached to a well yields at least one irrigated crop in each year. But it many tracts the whole of the land for the protection of which a well has been sunk cannot be watered annually. It is sometimes found, for example, that the regular practice is to irrigate one-half of the land attached to a well in one agricultural year and the other half in the following year. And where the average rainfall is fairly large, but subject to great variations from year to year, the extent of irrigation fluctuates to an extraordinary degree with the character of the seasons.
261. Classes based on use of manure in course of
husbandry.- Manured land has
sometimes been treated as a separate class under the names of niai or gora. The latter term was imported from the United Provinces, and
properly denotes the block of land lying immediately round the village site,
which is often the only part of an estate that is regularly manured. In the
eastern districts the gora land is
usually occupied by wells, and there is much double cropping. In some of the
districts north of the
262. Soils.- The first Punjab Settlement [Officers brought from the United Provinces
the distribution of soil into
263. Arguments against recognition of soil distinctions. - The arguments put for ward in favour of such extreme simplicity are as follows. In a great part of the province the rainfall is so seanty and capricious that water is everything and soil notihing. The best land is of small value without the existence of artificial means of irrigation or advantages of position on the bank of a river or in abollow which receives surface drainage. The effect of irrigation is to diminish the natural differences between soils. In the level country away from the hills the land over large areas is often of very equal quality and, even where this is not the case and distinctions are clearly discernible and are recognized by the people, one soil passes imperceptibly into another, and the question under which variety a particular field should be classed is often a fine one. Our surveying staff is only fitted to record obvious distinctions, and by setting it to decide disputable questions involving the amount of revenue which a petty landowner is to pay for the next twenty or thirty years we open a wide door to contention and corruption. The dnowledge which a seettlement Officer acquires in his village inspections enables him to give due weight in actual assessment to variatins in he value of teh landd in different estates. Moreover, it is the crops that we really assess, and we have now sufficient evidence in the crop returns to ensure that good and bad soils are not assessed at equal rates. A Settlement Officer who makes a proper use of these instruments is in no danger of pitching the demand in a sandy village in which th autumn crops consist chiefly of bajra and month as high as in an estate with a soil capable of producing maize. Even where differential soil rates have been framed it has often been found that the peple disregarded them in disturbing the revenue over holdings.
264. Arguments for recognition of soil
considerations are of weight, but it does not follow that the ermarcations of
soils is a useless refinement in all parts of the
265. Classification should be simple. - No general rule can be laid down, for everything depends on local circumstances. All that can be said that the classification should be as simple as possible, and be based on broad difference of fairly permanent character which affect in a marked degree the economic rental of the land. The test ot be applied to it is its sufficiency for practical pupsoses, for, as has been well remarked, a “Settlement Officer must remembers that he is a land values, and not a mineralogist”. The use of such of stinctions an niai and dofasli is dangerous, unless it is cerain that the conditions these tems denote are permanent attributes of the land to which the terms to record separately the unirrigated manured land near houses (see paragraph 261) for the people themselves recognize that such lands are far more doubtful whether another distinction in vogue in these districts between embanked land or las and ordinary loam or maira is worth retaining in our records, for landowners often refuse to make any difference between them in distributing the revenue over holding. Poor stony or very sandy land below the hills is known as rakar and very sloping land on hillsides as kalsi, and they ought to be so recorded, because the assessment rates appliesd to them must be far lower than those adopted for maira. A wide divergence between the cash rents usually paid on two classes of land is the best proof of the necessity of showing them separately in the record. This affords ample justification for recording sendy uneven land as bhur in some of the south,-eastern districts. Where the produce is divided, both the share taken by the landlords and the crops grown must be considered. Any change in the classification hitherto followed in the annual returns, unless it be in the direction of greater simplicity. must embarrass a Settlemen Officer in his use of the statistics which they contain. But this should not prerent the alteratin at settlement of an existing classification which is clearly insufficeient. The scheme adopted must be on the same lines throughout a district, but a division of land among different so ls which is found necessary in one circle should not carried on into another where it is not required. Every needless elaboration should be avoided, for example it may be quite useless to record for irrigfated lands the soil dirrerences which are of practical imporatnce in the case of unirrigated lands. But it is sometimes advisable to record the difference between lands irrigatyed by sweet and bitter wells.
266. Marking of soils on maps. - The plan follwed in the United provinees of
colouring the boundaries of the different blocks of soil in the field map is a
good one. A similar device is used in
267. Classification of uncultivated land.- So far we have been dealing only with cultivated land. For assessment purposes all land is regarded as cultivated which is under crop or fruit ftees in the three previous harvests.2 Uncultivated land is classes as banjar jodid, banjar kadim, and ghair mumkin. If for four successive harvests land which once was cultivated has not been sown it is classed in the last of the series as jodid or new fallow. If it continues to be uncultivated this entry should be maintanined for the next four harvests after which the land will pass into the category of kadum or old fallow. But kadim also incluturable waste whether it has evr been under the plough or not and it is proper to class all grazing land of fair quality as kadim, even though existing conditions of rainfall and sub-soil water level preclude its cultivation unless canal irrigation can be, and is, introduced. The term ghairmumkin is reserved for barren land. It is necessary to instruct patwaris carefully as to the distinction between kadim and ghair mumkim, otherwise they are apt to record land which isuseless either for tillage or pasture as kadim because it yields for a dbief period in the rains a scanty supply poor grass. Lands under buildings, roads, streams, canals, tanks, etc. and barren and (ret)or kalar should be entered as ghairmumkin any further desctitpin whcih seems necessary being added. e.g., ghair mumkin abadi, ghairmumkin sarak, gharmumkin ret. However, the classification of land affected by thus or sem in villages under thus and sem girdawari the classification contained in paragraph 9.3 (x) (i) of Land Records Manual, should be followed. For the colours and signs used in field maps to ditinguish the different kinds or unclutivated land the specimen map given in the Patwari's Manual of Land Measurement may be consulted. Copies of a sheet of conventional signs to be used in cadastral maps for depicting natural and artificial features, as approved by the Survey Department of India, are supplied to Settlement Officers.
The Record of Rights
268. Elaborate revisions of records of rights at settlement to be avided. - It was as we have seen, the object of the framers of Act XVII of 1887 to avoid elaborate penodical revisions of village records of rights by the expensive agency of a settlement establishment. The complete records drawn up at regular and revised settlements before 1887 and the measures introduced by Colonel Wace for the improvement of the patwais and kanugo establishment made this improtant change in settlement procedure reasonable, thought it has not been possible to go as far in the direction of making the action of the district record agency at settlement identical with its action at the other times as Colonel Wace contemplated. Before dealing with the records framed under the provisions of the present Land Revenue Act, a brief description of the contents of the record of earlier settlements and of the principles on which they were prepared may be useful.
269. Thomason's remarks on records of rights. - mr. Thomason's remarks on the duflies of a Settlement Officer in connection with the framing of records of rights apply to a condition of things now past. But some of them are still worth quoting, not only because of thier interest from an historical point of view, but also because the principles laid down are of permanent value. In the fifth chapter of the Directions for settlement Officers he observed :-
"The object of the investigation is not to create new rights but to define those that exist. The full exercise of old acknowledged and still existing rights may have been partially in abeyance, and these it may be necessary more fully to develop, but, generally speaking, no change should be made in existing rights, or in the mode of their exercise, without the full concurrence of those whose interests may be thereby affected.
"The process (of forming the record) is essentially judicial; it is judging between man and man; but all authoritative decisions should be avoided as much as possible. The great advantage of the procedure is that the Settlement Officer comes amongst the people as their friend and peacmaker rather than as their judge.
*** "The task is a delicate one, and he must be very careful lest in th attmept to prevent disputes he exciste them, and lest whilst endeavoring to allay animosities. He only inflame them. "The Settlement Officer will find his end best answered by doing everything as much as possible through the people and deciding nothing himself that he can avoid, and also by being most careful that every minute feature of a tenure and every possible bearing of a right is fully recorded. * * * *
"Completness of record can only be ensured by great vigilance on his part. The villlagers are themselves reluctant to lay open to public scrutiny the internal economy of their village. They are distrustful and slow to appreciate the mjotives which lead to the enquiry. The strong, the crafty, and the dishonest wish to avoid a procedding which will tie their hands and close every door against future encroachment and intrigue. Again, the process is a laborious one, which the persons employed in the formation of the record are apt ot slur over. Each peculiarity of the tenure probably has to be elicited by repeated questions and the expressions to be very carefully adjusted, so as exactly to meet the case. The natives of this country not excepting those in official employ as well as all persons, who work for show and effect rather than from principle, are peculiarly prone to accuracy and slovenliness. Here then all depends upon the Settlement Officers. By well selecting his agents and thoroughly tutoring them, and by marking gradations of scrutineers, he may lesses his work or increase its polish, but all must ultimately centre in hiself. He must understand the subject hiself thoroughly, he must accustom his mind to classify and methodize his work, he must learn to detect the weak or incomplete points of a statement, he must call into practice all these powers with unremitting watchfulness and diligence; above all he must be actuated by a simple desire to promote the interests or the people; and by the uniform and conciliating exhibition of this feeling, he must win their confidence and attachment. In proportion as he possess these qualifications. He will be entitled to the character of being a good Settlement Officer."
270. Records of rights in early
(1) Naksha thakbast or sketch map of the boundary with a record showing how each boundary was laid down.
(2) Shajra or field map.
(3) Khasra or register of fields.
(4) Tharij Asamiwar.- An abstract of the khatauni showing tenant's holdings with their areas and rents but without any detail of fields.
(6) Darkhwast malguzari, or engagement of landowners accepting the assessment.
(7) Khewat showing the area and revenue of each proprietor's holding. This was no a separate document, but formed part of the next paper No. (8)
(8) Ikrarnama or wajid-ul-arz, i.e., the village administration paper which the Thomason regarded as "the most important of all the papers, for it is interested to show the whole of the constitution of the village."
(9) The Jamabandi.- A list of holdings cultivated by owners, occupancy tonure and tenants-at-will with the fields contained in each and the sums payable either as rent or revenue. It was based largely on the khatauni, but was prepared at the close of settlement, and was intended to be the first of the patwari's annual jamabandis.
(10) The rubakar-i-akhir-, or brief abstract of the settlement proceddings.
The preparation of a shajra-nasb or genealogical tree of the proprietors was not as a fule considered necessary.
271. Imperfections fo early records of rights.- It was inevitable that these first records should be in many respects imperfect. Mr. Prinsep, whose zeal for reform made him a severe critic of the past traced their deficiencies mainly to the prominence given in the directions, framed origianally for a province in which settlement officers had no judicial powers, to possession as their rule of decision, and to the tendency or our officers and the establishments to think that "possession meant actual cultivation of the land." He classified the principal errors to be found in them consisting of -
(1) failure to understand correctly records village tenures, very many estates being described as bhachara, where the members of the community were of one ancestral stock, the land divided in shares whether ancestral or customary, and the profit and loss regulated by such shares ;
(2) mistakes as to separate holdings the most common being -
(a) the omission of names of coparceners, and of windows, minors and absentee owner; because they were not in actual cultivating possession;
(b) the description of common holdings as separate and the divided interest as comjon
(c) the clubbing together of two holdings, occupied on different tenures, as one;
(3) the indiscriminate creation of occupancy tenant right.
272. Question whether records of rights could be corrected at a revised settlement. - He believed that a revised settlement the record of a firts regular settlment could be corrected by a simple order of the revenue officer, and that a judicial decision in regular suit was not required, and in the settlements under his supervision he acted in this belief. This appreas to have been also the view held in the North-Western Provinces when the second adition of the Directions for Settlment Officers appeared in 1858 and Mr. Thomson develto several paragraphs (245-252) of teh directions for Collectors scription of the imperfections of the records of the first regular settlement and the duty of the Colector to amend them.2 Some of the best revenue officers of the day, however, held that in a records of rights could be corrected at a subsequent settlement except by agreement or in consequence of a degree of a court, and their view was accepted as sound in policy and embodies in Section 19 of Act XXXIII of 1871.
273. Measures taken to improve the record of rights.- Mr. Princep took great pains to temedy the defects indicated in paragraph 271, and essayed to close the door against future litigation by makding his records exceedingly minute. To ensure a correct account of village tenures he made very elaborate genealogical trees of the proprietors, tracing the existing owners back whre possible to the first founder or founders of the estate. Notes were added at the foot of the shajra-nasb showing the measures of right followed in each sub-division of the estate, and describing its early history and circumstances out of which its existing tenure sprung.3 To guard against the second class of errors, parchas showing the entries to be subsequently made in the khewat khatauni with reference to each owner's holding were compiled in duplicate from the khasra as measurements proceeded, and one copy was given to the proprietor concerned so that he might have an opporunity of satisfying himself that his rights had been fully secorded. These parchas and khataunis based upon thme showed not only fields, but the number of trees, and the holder. "The omission of these particulars in former records had in Mr. Prinsep's opinion been a fertile cause of litigation2. Particular pains were also taken to make a complete record of rights of irrigation from wells and chambers (marshes).
274. Documents included in Mr. Prisep's record of rights. - While he aimed at marking his records minutely accurate he sought ot reduce their bulk by getting rid of all superfluous papers. He dropped the tahrij which some of his predecessors had also discarded; and he combined the khewat and the khatauni into one form. While he made very full enquiries into village customs he got rid of the separate village administration papers (wajib-ul-arz) in which these had hietherto been recorded, substituting for them general records of customs drawn up for tribes or groups of villages (see paragraph 560). References to these codes and any special entries as to custom required by the circumstance of any particular village or holding were scattered through the other documnets included in the record of rights. Thus customs relating to irrigation were noted on the well statement, and those concerning the rights of tenants in the khewat khatauni. Mr. Priscep's settlement record consisted of (a) the general index. (b) shajra kishtwar, (c) khaw (d) shajra nasb, (e) khewat khatauni (f) naksha chhat, (g) darkhwast malgujani, (h) bakar-i-akhir
275. Records of rights Act XXXIII of 1871. - The records of rights perscribe by the rules under section 15 of Act XXXIII of 1871 consisted of the same document with the addition of a list of revenue assignees and their holdings (naksha lakhriaj of a wajib-ul-arz. Mr. Princep's plan to distributing among the other parts of the record of rights entries which had hitherto been grounded under appropriate heads in the wajib-ul-arz was considered inconvenient.
276. Records of rights under Act XVII of 1887. - It is provided in Act XVII of 1887. That there shall be a reocrd of rights for each estate (setion 33(1)) or in exceptional for group of neighbouring estates (seciton 47(1)). Any records framed before the passing of the Act are, so far as may be, deemed to have been framed under the Act (section (3) If the local Government finds that there is no record of rights for an estates, or that an isting record requies special revision, it may be notificiation direct the making of special revision of such a record (section 32(1)). A specially revised record-of-rights supersedes the former record, but the entries in it do not affect any presumption in favour of Govenment which has alrealy arisen from any previous record of rights (section 32(2)). A reference to paragraph 193 will show that this exception might possibly have important consequences.
277. Standing records and annual records. - A record framed at a settlement made fore Act XVII of 1887 was passed, or in pursuance of a notification issued under section 32 of the Act, is known as a "standing record" as a convenient way of distinguishing if the from the "annual record", an amended edition of the record of rights prepared for each estate yearly or at such intervals as the Financial Commissioner may precribe in which changes which have occureed since the standing record was framed are, or should be, corporated (section 33)
278. Presumption of truth attaching to entries in a record of rights. - Under the sent Land Revenue Act entries in standing record and in an annual record have presumption of truth attached to there. An entry in either is :presumed to be true until a contrary in proved, or a new entry lawfully substitued therefore." (section 44)
279. Alteration of entries in records of rights. - Existing entries in standing annual records, except entries relating to change of yearly tenants, can only be varried in subsequent records by -
(a) making entries in accordance with facts proved or admitted to have occurred.
(b) making such entries as ae agteed to by all the parties therein, or are supported by a decree or order binding on those parties.
(c) making new maps where necessary (section 37)
Section 37 of the present Act differ from section 19 of Act XXXIII of 1871 no limit of time within which the facts justifying the alteration of an entry must have accured. Perhaps the change was accidnetal, at any rate its effect was not perceived by the of author of the Act, Colonel Wace, who wrote in 1888 :-
"This section repeats the law on the subject, which was first enacted section 19 of the Act 1871. The main provision of both these sections is that the alterations made must be based on changes which have occurred since the settlement record was drawn up". In reveneu judgement No. 4 of 1888 he held, that "the law does not give the revenue officer authority to make an alteration of this kind except with the consent of the parties, or pursuant to a decree, or in order to make the record agreee with facts which have occurerred since it was made."
This is the reasonable construction to put on section 37 (a). It follows that an entry which was incorrect when it was made cannot be altered except by consent or in consequence of a decree or oder binding on the parties. It is of course open to a revenue officer to apply under section 15 of the Act, for sanction to review an order by one of his predecessors didecting the erroneous entry to be made.
280. Questions of exclusion of names of absentees. - The provisions of section 19 certainly cause some ambarrassment in dealing with questions of teh entry of the names of co-shares who were in possession of their shares, but whose names did appear in the record, and of the striking out of the law was strictly carried out in the case of absentees, the result was the maintenance of considerable number of obsolete entries. The question was raised after the passing of Act XVII of 1887 in connection with the re-set-question was raised after the passing of Act XVII of 1887 in connection with the re-setment of Guranwala, where the records were found to be burdened with the names of good many persons who had been absenteven at the first settlement in 1856. The Finacial Commissioner ruled that -
"Al questions regarding the exclusion of the names of absent right-holders, who have long been out of possession, from the record-of-rights, must be dealt with strictly in accodance with the provisions of secion 37, Act XVII of 1887. These provisions are not in any way affected or relaxed by the provisions of section 107, 108 of the Evidence act (1 of 1872) or by those of the Law of Limitations (Act XV of 1877). Thus no lapse of time, however long, will of itself justify the removal of the name of an absentee from the record."
The question was afterwards recognised in 1896, and the Government Advocate gave opinion, the most material parts of which are quoted below:-
"Death and intentional abandonemnt are both 'facts'......As regards the fact of death..........as soon as a person proves to the satisfaction of the courth that another person has not been heard of for seven years by certin individulas described in section 108 (of the Evidence Act), the burden of proof is placed by th law on those who assert that the absentee is still alive and the court is entitled to say to them : "well you must prove the fact; if you fail to do so, I shall find the fact against you and decide that he is dead." As regards international abandonment the proof of this would scarcely ever be direct proof of a specific declaration to this effect. It would almost invariably be a fact to be gathered, inferred from conduct; an I have no hesitation in thinking that actual abndonment, if sufficiently prolonged and continuous, does under the general power given by section 114, justify the court in presuming, i.e. regardings as 'proved' the element of intention in the absence of explanation warranting a contrary inference.
"It seems to me perfectly clear that if the fact of death or the fact of internationl abandonment be thus legally held as 'proved' to have occurred, this does, under section 37(a) of Land Revenue Act, justify the making of an entry in accordance with that fact.
* * * *
"The record is prepared in accordance with facts believed at that moment to be ture. If at any later date it be proved that this belief was enormous, e.g. that a person entered as merely absent had as fact died at an earlier date, although his death was not known or suspected when the entry was being written, - this in my opinion is undoubtedly a fact, prooft of which warrants an alteration of the entry.
281. Existing rules on the subject. - The existing rules the subject are as follows -
"(1) When a right-holder entered in the record-of-rights or annual record whetehr he is or is not described therein as an absentee (ghar hazir) or as out of possession (ghair kabiz), has not been heard of for seven years by those who would natually have heard of him if he had been alive, the officer attesting a mutation may (unless he seed reason to the contrary) presume that he is dead and pass orders on the case accordingly; but before ordering the omission of his name from the record-of-rights or annual record such office should satisfy himself that all reasonable endeavour has been made to ascertain whether the absentee is alive and to give him an opportunity of appering."
"(2) When a right-holder entered in the record-of-rights or annual record as ghair hazir or ghair kabiz has been heard of within seven years, but has been so entered for more then twlve years. The patwari shall enter the case in his register of mutation and shall report it to a Revenue Officer. The Revenue Officer to whom the case is reported shall enquire into the question whether the right-holder has abandoned the land or his interest therein. All reasonable endeavour shall be made to give the right-holder an opportunity of appearing and stating his claim. Directe evidence of an intention of abandonment will rerely be forth coming; but the intention of the right-holder may be inferred from what can be ascertained in regrard to his conduct. Long absence coupled with entire sevenace from all concern with land or interest is a strong circumstance to be takne into consideration in determining whetehr there, has been abandonment or not. If the Revenue Officer finds that the right-holder has abandoned the land he shall pass an order accordingly.
"Provided that, if the right-holder was minor when first recorded as ghair hazir or ghair kabiz, no such order shall be passed until it appears that he is, or if still living would be, thirty years of age.
"(3) No new entry o fnay one as ghai hazir should be mad. A right-holder should not be entered as ghair hazir if he is himself in legal or constructive possession as when he has put some one else in possession on his behalf or the land is lying waste, or he is by reason or poverty unable to cultivate it. A familiar instance would be where a sepoy has left his land in his brother's possession while he is with his regiment. In such a case the sepoy should be entered as in possible of the land through his brother. An entry of ghair kabiz should not be made unless some other perosn than the righ-holder is in adverse possession.
"(4) No effect shall be given to any order (1) directing the ommission from the record of the name of a right-holder who has been entered as ghair hazir or ghair kabiz, or (2) directing the entry of right-holder as ghair kabiz, until such order has been confirmed by the Collector or Revenue Extra Assistant Commissioner.
"(5) All such orders shall be preserved as orders sanctioning mutations is the records."
282. Record of mutations. - As the rules which regulate the in-corporation of mulations in records-of rights are exactly the same whether the record is a standing one framed under the supervision of a Settlement Officer, or an annual one prepared in the course of the ordinary routine of district work, they will be found in the Land Administration Manual. The procedure connected with the framing of the record-of-rights where the complete re-measurement of an estate is ordered has been noticed in Chaper XII.
283. Documents included in standing records and annual records. - A standing re ord and an annual record must include-
(1) Statement shwoing-
(a) the persons who are land-owners, tenants, or assigness of land revenue in the estant, or who are able entitled to receive any of teh rentgs, profits or produce of teh estate, or to occupy land therein;
(b) the nature and extent of the interest of those persons, and the conditions and liabilities attaching thereto; and
(c) the rent, land revenue, rates, cesses, or other payments due from and to each of those persons and to the Government;
(2) such other documents as the Financilal Commissioner may, with the previous sanction of the local Government, prescribe.
A standing record must also comprise-
(3) a statement of customs respecting rights and liabilites in teh estae;
(4) A map of the estate.
2Under clause (2) above the Fiaancial Commissioner with the previous sanction of the local Government has prescribed that the record-of-rights for an estate shall include a document recording the parentage, casete and residence of the persons described in paragraph (a) of clause (1) above provided that if such parentage, caste and residence are entered in any document prepared accordance with clause (1) above, a separate document need not be prepared for the pupose of this prescription.”
3Under clause (2) above the Financial Commissioners with the previoous sanction of the provincial Goverment, have prescribed that the record of rights for estate shall include a detail plan of any nronerty belonging to the Crown in the estates.”
284. Contents of the annual records.- The annual record should consist usually of (a) the jamabandi, (b) a list of revenue assignments, and pensions and (c) such map as are required to show the changes in teh maps of the estates that have occurred since the previous record was prepared. Under existing orders a fresh jamabandi of each estate is only prepared once in four years, so that the legal description of the record as the “annual record” has become a misnomer. Attached to the jamabandi is a copy of all entries in the register of mutations attested by a revenue officer since the last jamabandi was field. The annual record must also include an amended copy of the genealogical tree. Certain statistical returns are filed with the jamabandi but they form no part of the annual record.
283. Contents of standing records.- A standins record should contain the following documents:-
(1) A preliminary proceeding.
(2) A shajra kishtwar or field map and a detailed plan of any property belonging to the Crown in the estate. 2
(3) a shajra nasb or genealogical tree.
(4) A jamabandi or register of the holding of owners and tenants showing the fields comprised in each, the revenue for which each owner is responsible, and the rent payable by each tenant.3 It should also show particulars about the owner and tenants as given below:
(i) In the case of the owner, the father’s name, tribe or caste, got or sub-tribe, if any, and residence.
(ii) In the case of the tenant or the cultivator the father’s name tribe, or caste, got or sub-tribe, if any, residence, and status (c.g., maursi or ghair maurusi).
(5) A list of revenue assignment and pensions.
(6) A statements of rights in wells.
(7) A statements or rights in irrigation, if any, from other sources.
(8) A wajib-ul-arz or statement of customs respecting rights or liabilities in the estate.
(9) the order of the settlement officer determining the assessment.
(10) The order of teh settlement officer distribuing th assessment over holding.
286. Advantage of issuing a notification under section 32(1).- The chief difference between an annual record made after complete re-measurement and a standing record is that the former does not include the wajib-ul-arz. If no wajib-ul-arz exist or if it is considered desirable to revise the entries in an existing wajib-ul-arz, a notification under section record 32 (1) directing a special revision of the record-of-rights must be issued. It has become the rule to issue such a notification whenever a general re-assessment of a district is ordered. By doing so certain technical difficities are got rid of, and the principle of assimilating settlement and ordinary district procedure in the matter of framing records is not infringed to any extent wroth mentioning.
287. Language, &c, of records or rights.- records of rights are written in the Urdu language. The sheets of which the field may consist are most congeniently kept in steel cases with shelves on which they can be laid flat. The other documents should be bound in one or more volumes. If the genealogical tree is prepared on a coutinuous sheet, it may be placed in a pocket in one of the volumes. If it is desired to alter the authorised forms of any of these documents to suit local conditions or requirements, the sanction of the Financial Commissioner should be obtained.
288. Preliminary proceeding.- The preliminary proceeding should state-
(a) the authority under which, and the collector by whom, it has been prepared;
(b) the documents comprised in the record;2
(c) the date of the beginnig and completion of the record.
289. Shajra Kishtwar.- the shajra kishtwar will be an entirely new field map or an ammended copy of the old map according as complete remeasurement has, or has not, been ordered (see Chapter XII).
290. Shajra nasb, jamabandi, list of revenue assignments and statements or rights wells.- The form of the shajra nasb with instructions for its preparation are given in andix VIII. If and older and more complete shajra nasb already exist and a new one is drawn up in less detail a note should appear on the latter showing where the former documents will be found.
The jamabandi and the list of revenue assignments and pensions should be in the same form as the similar documents included in the annual record with the addition inthe jamabandi of a column to show the former field number. The forms of these statements and instructions rearding their preparation will be found in Financial Commissioner’s Standing Order No. 23. The khatauni prepared in accordance with the instructions in Appendix VII supply nearly all the aterial for the jamabandi which is to be included in the standing record-of-right and that jamabandi for the most part a transport form the kholaunis. The arrangement by which the is only prepared for each estate once in four years cannot be carried out when a district is under settlement.
The form of the statement of rights in wells with instructions for filling it up will be found in Appendix VIII. It may be useful to add a culumn showing the area irrigated form the well in each harvest of the past four years in order to ascertain what is the average actually watered. No special form has been laid down for the statement of rights in gation from other souces. Records showing in the shares enjoyed by different estates individual proprietors in the water of hill torrent and provate canals, and the manner in which the water is distributed,are very valuable. It is usually convenient to prepare such records for groups of villages or for all the estates on a stream or a canal. A good burns Settlemen report of Bannu. When the local Government has ordered the preparation of such records under sections 28 and 356 of the Punjab Minor canals Act longs to entries in a record-of-rights made under the provisions of the Land revenue Act (No III of 1905), the same presumption of truth attaches to entries made in them as belongs to entries in a record-of-rights made under the provisions of the Land Revenue Act, section 28(3) of the former Act gives similar authority to statements of the sort drawn up at past settlemens.
The statements of rents, sales and mortgages, forms of which are given in appendix IX, are prepared when an estate is re-measured or its map revised at settlement.
291. Survey and record work to be carried out simultaneously. - Settlement Officers should bear in mind that their record work is of even more importance to the welfare of the people than the assessment, and should not sacrifice the accurancy of the record merely to the convenience of their assessment work. It is of course much more satisfctory to a Settlement Officer to have the figures of the new measurements before framing his assessment proposals, more especially in tracts where cash rents are common. But where the previous recourd-of-rights and the past crop-returns are fairly accurate he need wait till the survey of a tract is finished before writing its assessment report. When a sufficint number of villages have been re-measured to enable him to judge of the trustworthiness of the statistics of each assessment circle, as a whole, he will ordinarily be in a popsition to sibmit a report proposing revenue rates and the total assessments o be imposed. The new knataunis of a lestates should be complete before the assessment is announced and distributed over holdings and the Settlement Officer must make his arrangements in connection with survey and record work to secure this end. But a considerable time usually eiapes between the writing of the report and the receipt of orders.
It is sometimes necessary (as, for instance, in a tract where it is difficult to get water in the dry season, or where the floods make it impossible to carry on measurements in the summer or the rains, or where the ground is covered by snow in winter) to push on measurement work as fast as possible, leaving some part of th record work to be completed. later on, but this should be allowed only be the express permission of the Settlement Officer. It is only in such circumstances that permission should ever be given to collecute establishment, or any part of it in one place; even if the Settlement Officer finds it necessary to allow time for a re-examination of finished work in the cirucmstances to which reference is made in paragraph 291-A, there is no neet to collect the establisment in one place for that purpose. There is no objection, however, to their being collected for the preparation of the statements required for the assessment report. The Settlement Officer is required to report his action for the information of the Commissioner and Financial Commissioner if he decides to collect establishment at one place.
In ordinary measurement work he should insist that the record be made in all repects complete from day to day along with the map. Field measurements should not be begun in any village until all the squares of triangles have been laid, marked and checked, or where the area of the village is very large, a sufficient number for the working of one field season, and until the pedigree-table has been corrected and khataunis up to date written out by the kanungo. The patwari should not be allowed to map a new field until he has calculated the area of the last, and entered it up in the field book, the khatauni, the lard owner’s parcha and all lists in which it is ultimately to appar. He should total up each page in his field book as soon as it is completed and should enter up at once in the mlltation register any mutation that comes to his notice. No patwari should be allowed to begin measurement work in a new village until the records connected he has finished are in every respect complete so far as he can make them so. Nor shold any village entere in the quarterly business statement as having its measurements finished until all the conected papers have been completed also. Each inspecting officer should devote its himself correct as mmany as possible of teh mistakes and ommissions he may discover, and he should see that any others he points out are corrected without delay Whenever naibtahsidar or tahsildar visits the village he should attest as many as possible of the pending mutations, and when in the couse of his check or attestation of the record, he finds that a mutation has taken place and has the parties before him, he should have it entered up and attest it at once, instead of leaving it to be entered up after he has gone and attesting it at his next visit, after the parties have been summoued before him again. As far possible each survey party should be inspected by the kanungo weekly, by the naib-tahsidar once in each month, and by the tahsidar once in each quarter.
291-A. Attestation to be done promptly.- The chief guarantee of correctness of the whie it is proceeding, by the tahsildar and their suberdinates. There is a stron tendency to hurry through the mere mapping measurement work leaving the attestation of the record-of-right to be completed at a later date. This leads to hasty and inaccurate work and to the introduction of many mistakes which take much longer to correct in the end than if they had been avoided from the *first by careful attention of the record work. the tendency is due chiefly to two cuases, first the desire of the Settlement Officer to obtain as accurate staatistics as possible for his assessment report; and second, the desire of the subordinate staff to show a large out-turn of work in their business statements and to get through as quickly as possible the irksome work done in the field leaving the reocrd work to be completed in the office. The risk of a final attestaion legging far behind survey is greatly increased when many extra patwaris as amins are employed. It should be one of the chief aims of the Settlement Officer organizing the work of his staff to have the attistion done as soon as possible after measurements are completed while the facts are still fresh in the minds of all concerned and before there has been time for many changes to take place. Time should not be wasted on minute investigation in the interval between the completion of field work and the naib-tahsildar attestation of the work already finished which if the instructions in paragraph 291 have been complied with should require no further checking at this stage. If as a result of tax supervision by kanugos or nabi-tahisldar the Settlement Officer is compelled to allow it, it should bot unless the supervision has been grossly inefficient, materially add to the time allowed to the patwari to complete the totaling of his field book and khataunis and the preparation of the list of rents, sales or mortgages which ordinarily calculated at one day for every hundred khasra numbers.
292. Order in which work should be done. - When the shajra nasb, the khataunis, the jamabandi, the list of revenue assignments, the statement of the rights in well and other statements regardings irrigation rights and the village lists of rents, morgages and sales (Appendices VII and IX) are ready they must be finally approved after attestation by teh Settlement Officer himself or one of his subordinates with the powers of an Assistant Colector. In the ordinary course, however, all these statements are finally attested first by the kanungo then by the naib-tahsildar and lastly by the tahsildar. Final Attestation should take place in the village concerned or at a place in its immediate vicinity and all interested persons should be summoned to attend.
When measurement are finished the patwari whould inform the girdawar that he is ready for final attestation. After the gridwar's final attestation the patwari should begin the preparation of the copies of the field map (part tahsil and latha giridwari). This will keep him employed till the naib-tansildar can come round of attestation. At the naib-tahisldar can come round for final attestation he should prepare the wajib-ul-arz for the Extra Assistant Settlment Officer's attestation, take up the report on all cases of exemption certificates for wells, prepare mafi files for the tahsildar's attestation and get ready the bacch file. After the naib-tahsildar's attestation the patwari should write up both copies of the jamabandi (with statements), colour the maps and prepare the khasra girdawari. He should then and not till then go on the another village. The only subsequent formal visits paid by the Settlement staff to the village will be -
(a) the tahsildar's visit for final attestation and report of mafis;
(b) the Extra Assistant Settlement Officer's visit to attest the wajib-ul-arz;
(c) The Settlement Officer's visit to announce and distribute the new demand.
293. Naib-tahsildar's attestation. - The naib-tahsildar should read out the explain to the persons interested all the entries in the khataunis paying special attention to those regarding ownership and occupancy rights. He should at the same time pass orders on all outstanding mutations and incorporate them in the khataunis. In short he should see that the khataunis represent accurately the state of affiars at the time of his attestation as regards soils, rights of owner and tenants, rents, etc. and should file with them a certificate to the effect tha the has done so and is satisfied that the khataunis are fit to be accepted as correct material for the standing record-of-rights. The khatunis will ordinarily be full of corrections and possible difficult to decipher and as soon as possible, after the naib0tahsildar's attestation the attested material contained in them should be transcribed into jamabandi from and the naib-tahsidar after satisfying himself that this jamabandi from of the standing record of rights. In the case of each of the other statements, mentioned in the preceding paragraph, the naib-tahsilar should ascertain by such inquiry as he deems sufficient that it has been duly and correctly prepared, and on being so satisfied, he should sign it adding at the foot an order of attesation declaring it to be correct in all respects.
In dealing with the well statement, the chief matters to be attested are the shares in the well and the wate; and any entries as to the area of crops matured in the past years. Seeing that rents are basis of the assessment it is obvious that the list of those actually paid should be attested very carefully. The standing record of rights is prepared in duplicate, the object being that each duplicate shall have the same degree of evidential value as the other. In the case of the documents to be included in it the naib-tahsildar should see that both copies are correct and enter his certificate on both in identical terms in the manner described above.
293-A. Tahsildar's attestation. - When the tahsildar checks the attestation of khataunis or jamabandi, he should ordinarily re-attest at least 20 per cent of the entries and should satisfy himself that they correctly represent the state of things at the time of the naib-tahsildar's attestation, leaving any changes that have taken place since to be incorporated in the next jamabandi. He should have any errors or omissions he may discover corrected at once and should then endorse the certificates entered by the nabi-tahsildar on the khatauni and both duplicates of the jamabandi. He should also as far as possible satisfy himself of the correctness of the other statements mentioned in paragraph 292 and having done so endorse the naib-tahsildar's certificates on them. No village should be entered in the bunsiness statements as having been attested by an officer until he has certified that all mistakes have been corrected and that the papers are complete in every respect.
294. In what circumstances the measurment jamabandi should be accepted as the jamabandi of the standing record.- When the tahsildar's final attestation has been completed, the map, khataunis, jamabandi, etc. should be filed in the tahsil kanungo's office and it will be for the Settlement Officer to decide whether he will accept this measurment jamabandi, that is to say, the jamabandi prepared from the attested material contained in the khataunis, as the jamabandi of the standing record-of-rights. It is not necessary that the standing records of different villages should be of the same date either throughout a district or throughout a tahsil. The accuracy of the record is the first consideration. As a rule the measurement jamabandi need brought up to date throughout a tahsil. The accuracy of the record is the first consideration. As a rule, the measurement jamabandi, need not be brought up to date towards the end of settlement operations. For instance the measurement jamabandi attested as above described may be accepted as the standing record when the Settlement Officer is satisfied that it correctly represents the state of things at the time of the settlement naib-tahsildar's attestation and that no important changes have taken place since. A new up-to-date jamabandi to form the jamabandi of the standing record must be prepared, if the Settlement Officer is not satisfied that the measurment jamabandi was correct and complete up to the time of the settlement naib-tahsilda'r attestation. A new jamabandi for inclusion in the standing record should not be ordered merely because a number of changes have occurred since the naib tahsildar's attestation as these will be brought to record in the next quadrennial jamabandi
When the Settlment Officer decides that the measurement jamabandi may be accepted for inclussion in the statindi record either he or the Extra Assistant Settlment Officer should enter on both duplication of it an order to that effect. When, however, he determines to have a frest jamabandi prepared for the Standing record, he should have a girdwari made and checked with sepcial care and all changes brought to light incorporated in the new jamabandi, special attention being paid to changes in ownership and occupancy right. Changes in field boundaries should not be shown on the original map but on suppliementary sheets. CHnages in cultivation and in the holdings of tenants-at-will whould be given effect to in the new jamabandi. The jamabandi prepared in accordane with the results of this girdawari should be very carefully checked and all changes made in the entries relating to ownership or occupancy rights since the preparation of the measurement jamabandi should be attested by teh kanungo, nabi-tahsildar and thsildar. When all errors and ommissions brought to light have been rectified, the naib-tahsildar and tahsidar should record on both copies of the jamabandi a certificate to the effect that has been attested and is fit to be considered as the jamabandi of the standing record-of-rights. The Settlement Officer or the Extra Assistant Settlment Officer, if they agree, should also record on both duplicates of it an order to that effect.
294-A. When should a new jamabandi be prepared to form the basis of distribution of assessment. - The list showing the distribution of the revenue over different holdings (fard bachh khatewar) will usually be compiled direct from the jamabandi which has been declared to be the jamabandi of the standing record, but where there has been any long interval between the completion of the standing record jamabandi of the standings record jamabandi and the distribution of the revenue, a quadrennial jamabndi should, when the new assessment is about to be announced, be drawn up after a specially careful girdawari. In this should be incorporated all mutations that have taken place since the date of naib-tahsildar's attestation. It should be attested only as a quadrannial jamabandi is attested and should rank only as such. From it should be prepared the fard bachh khatewar of the new revenue which should be included in the standing record-of-rights as a part thereof so that if at any subsequent time it should be necessary in any case of dispuute to refer to the standing record, the authoritative paper will be for a question of rights the jamabandi which incorporates the entries contained in the carefully attested khataunis, and for a questions of revenu, the original fard bacch khatewar itself. In this connection it should be rememebred that changes in holdings of tenants-at-will are of much less im-offical importance where the assessment fluctuates with the area cropped at each harvest or where the owners agree to distribute the new revenue on shares or on the soils as classed in the measuremnet jamabandi. Where, however, the onwers wish a re-classification of soils a bsis for the distribution of revneue, it will ordinarily be necessary to prepare a new up-to-date jamabandi.
294. Standing record in killabandi measurements. - Where the boundaries of ownership have been altered by Killabandi operations, the standing record should be a jamabandi specially drawn up and attested after careful insepction of the cropping (girdawari) the two harvests after killabandi in order to make sure that the villages have understood and acted upon their new field boundaries.
295. Wajib-ul-arz. - The wajib-ul-arz, or village administration paper should be a record of existing coustoms regarding rights and liabilities in the estate. It should not be used for the creation of new rights or liabilities, or for what may be called village legislation. Entries have sometimes been made which do not profess to embody existing usage, but to declare a course of action which the landowners agree to follow for the future. An example of this is the insertion of a stipulation that a fixed amount of the common grazing land will always be excluded from partition. It is doubtful whether this is strictly legal wotj referemce to the words used to describe the wajib-ul-arz in section 31(2) (b) of the Lnad Revenue Act, and, even if it is, it is questionable whether it is a wise use to make of the village administration paper. There is always a danger that some stipulation may be inserted as an agreement of all the landowners on which all are not as a matter of fact of one mind, because adherence to it is likely to produce results which offical think would be beneficial to the people. But orders issued by Government in 1881 distinctly allowed entries to be made in the wajib-ul-arz to facilitate the setting apart of portions of the common village waste for the planting of trees if the landowners agreed. With reference to the provisions of section 42(2) of the Land Revenue Act it is a convenient, though somewhat anomalous, arrangement to recrd the rights of Government in quarrie, kankar, etc., in the wajib-ul-arz (see paragraph 194)
296. Wajib-ul-arz of early settlements. - The wajib-ul-arz in the first regular settlement was sometimes a formidable document but its real value as an evidence of village custom was not always proportionate to its length. Some remarks by Mr. Arthur Brandreth as to the way in which it was often drawn up may be quoted:
"The paper deciaring the customs and containing the Code of rules for the future management of the manor (called now the administration paper) is always considered a most important document. Indeed, if fairly, an properly drawn up it is all-important, but this can so seldom be done that its value has been much exaggerated, and I fear that many officers have been in the habit of too rigidly acting upon it. It has often been merely an elaborate Persian document in the best office language, drawn up be some learned Hindiustani Munshi, and copied for every man or of the pargana. Some few points have been ascertained in each case, but in general the villagers did not know their customs very well, and when they put their seals to the paper, no doubt they thought it very grand, though they did not know what it was about, as they could little understand the language. The rules are of two sorts one, the rules laid down by Government, or points on which the whole paragna have the same custom, and secondly, the special customs of the particular manor; these together take up a great number of pages, and the villagers are confused by the ong code of rules and merely say 'yes, yes' and put their seals to the paper, hoping it is nothing very dreadful."2
The existing rules on the subject are reproduced in Appendix VIII-E.
296-A. Revision if Wajib-ul-arz. - when the tahsildar's final attestation has been finished the tahsildar or the Extra Assistant Settlement Officer should proceed to revise the wajib-ul-arz in according with the above rules, those rules are subject to section 37 of the Act, which says that entries in the record of rights shall not be varied in subsequent records otherwise than by making the changes there detailed. The revising officer shold not attempt to re-arrange the old wajib-ul-arz, but bringing an existing one up to date. In case of a dispute the object of the revising officer should be to ascertian what the actual existing custom is and how far it differs from that entered in the wajib-ul-arz under revision. If he can arrive at no definite and satisfactgory finding on this questions of fact he should repeat the former entry and leave the parties to a suit in the courts. If on the other hand he is able to arrive at such finding he should amend the existing record by entering the custome actually found to exist. Such a procedure is not contrary to section 36(1) or 37 of the Land Revenue Act, while any entry so made would of coruse be subject to the operation of section 45 of that Act. Tahsildars are authorised finally to attest undisputed entries only in a wajib-ul-arz. All entries which at the time of their attestation they find to be disputed should be referred by them for decision to the Collector or to an Assistant Collector of the Ist grade. When the wajib-ul-arz has been faired it can be filed in the district record office as part of the standing record, any necessary addition being left to be made to it as a supplement after the new assessment has been announced, and the village can then be old that revision of its records is complete, and that its settlement is over except for the announcement and distribution of the new assessment.
297. Orders determining assessment and its distribution over holdings; - The orders of the Settlment Officer determining the assessment and its distribution over holdings are referred to in paragraph 518 and 534.
Preparation for Assessment
298. Clear understanding of principles and methods necessary. - A Settlement Officers should start with some general idea of assessment work. It is not enough that he has learnt to survey and prepare records and obtained some idea of a principles of land revenue assessment. In the course of the short deputation for settlement training. He should if he is to employ his time from the first to the best advantage have a clear understanding not only of these principles but of the methods of enquiry which have in practice been found most fruitful. A warning of this sort may appear needless, but the daily work of a Settlement Officer is very absorbing, and there is real danger that he may become so occupied with its details as to forget to acquaint himself sufficiently with the literature of the subject. In that case he may some times fail to see the wood for the trees. He may be reduced into the use of methods which have already been found faulty, or may neglect lines of enquiry which experience has shown to be valueable. Or, again having himself arrived at sound conclusion, he may fail to present them to the controlling authorities in the way most likely to carry conviction to their minds. Besides mastering some general treatise on settlement work, he will find it useful to study carefully one or more assessment reports of special merit, as, for example, Mr. Purser's reports for Jullundur, Mr. Kenisington's for Ambala, or Mr. Wilson's for the Shahpur district these being supplemented by reports of recognised excellence published within recent years. Some of the reviews which Colonel Wace wrote when Settlement Commissioner are worth perusal as examples of the way in which assessment statistics should be handled.
299. Study of agriculture of tract. - A competent knowledge of the agriculture of the tract under assessment is necessary for a Settlement Officer everywhere and under all circumstance, but is of very special improtance in tracts where cash rents cannot be appealed to as a test of the values of different soils and classes of land. Such knowledge is only to be got by careful observation and enquiry in the field supplemented by an intellignet use of the crop statistics. If a Settlement Officer sets himself from the first to the acquire it he will lay the best foundation for his work. To learn the husbandry of each class of land and soil in the different circles, the crops grown and their yield, the ordinary rotations, the extent to which the strength of the land is restored by fallows and manuring the labour expended in preparing it and keeping it free from weeds, the amount and numebr of waterings required, the kind of the cattle used and the cost of procuring and feeding them, the expenditure by which artifical means of irrigation are supplied and maintained, is the first step towards a proper valuation of the land. Failing cash rents, the Settlement Officer's chief reliance in calculating the standard assessment at one-fouth net assets referred to in the next chapter must be on the produce estimate, and his power to prepare a good produce estimate depends largely on his knowledge of the local agriculature. In practical assessment work a proper understanding of the processes and instruments of farming, of what they are, and what they cost, is the best corrective of any tendency of over-assess highly farmed land simply because the produce is valuable, or to under-assess soils of which the tillage is easy and cheap, because the crops growns are not of a high class.
Assessment circles and circle rates
300. Wide diversities of agricultural conditions
in most districts. - A
Settlement Officer making a general survey of one of the submontane districts
may find below the hills a rough country seamed with revines. As he marches
southward the uneven land may pass gradually into a wide plain of good easily
worked one to be succeeded in its turn perhaps by stretches of stiff clay. On
lasm side the plain drop abruptly or in a long slope of broken land into the
valley of one of the great rivers, part of which may now be beyond the reach of
ordinary floods, while the remainder is subject to all the vicissitudes of
fortions which the vagaries of a
301. Necessity of assessment circles. - No set of rates could be devised which would be of any use in assessing all the villages of a district. This is one reason for making Settlement Officers draw up proposal for each tahsil separately, but there are few, if any, tahsils which it is wisw to treat as units for rating purpose. If after weighting the matters referred to above the Settlement Officer can break up the country with which he is dealing into more or less homogeneous block, the estates in each of which have, with many individual peculiarities, a strong general likeness as regards the chief factors affecting the value of land, his own task in devising a fair assessment will be much assisted, rates can framed as general guides, and the scrutiny of the assessment proposal by controlling authoriteis will be greatly simplified. Such blocks or gourps of villages are known assessment circles. As noticed in paragraph 227 the division of the tract under settleent into assessment circles is one of the matters on which the Settlement Officer must obtain the orders of the Financial Commissioner at any early stage of his proceedings. If further knowledge shows theat the original proposals were faulty, he should not hesitate to suggest their amendment at any stage of settlement. It is important that the next Settlement Officer should find the statistical information referred to in the next chapter tabulated according to circles which he himself can accept. It must also be remebered that assessment circles are not only useful to Settlement Officers, but ought to be so defined as to aid Deputy Commissionera in the ordinary revenue management of the district, and especially in the matter of land revenue collections.
302. Assessment circles and circle rates. - An assessment circle then is a group of estates sufficiently homogeneous to admit of a common set of rates being used as a general guide in calculating the demands which can fairly be imposed upon them. This does not imply that the revenue of each village shall be the exact product of the application to its lands of the sanctioned circle rates. The general similarity which will admit of a single set of rates as a guide is quite compatible with difference leading in individual case to greater or less divergence from them in actual assessment. But such a detviation must be justified by reasons to be recorded in the village note-book, and if it amounts in any estate to as much as 20 per cent, the Settlement Officer must give a special explanation of the divergence in the detailed village assessment statement submitted to the Financial Commissioner (see paragraph 522). The rates should bring out the demand considered suitable for the whole circle within a margin of 3 per cent, either way of the demand approved of by Government.
303. Change of policy as regards the size of assessment circles. - As noticed in the last chapter it was usual in the earlier Punjab settlements to form a larger number of circles than is now deemed necessary, and inside these circles to group villages supposed to possess similar revenue-paying capacity in classes for each of which a separate set of rates was framed. In some settlements very big circles have been adopted in accordance with the view advocated by the late Colonel Wace as part of his general policy of simplifying in every possible way the work of the patwari and kanuugo staff both during and after settlement. It is to be feared that the reduction of the number of circles has in some instances been carried too far.
304. Objections to very small circles. - The plan of having very small circles is undoubtedly open to criticism. It increase the labour of reporting assessment for approval and of maintaining annual returns after settlement. It is liable to the more serious objection that it prevents a Settlement Officer from taking a wide enough view of his subject and encourages a machanical application of rates without sufficient regard to the circumstances of individual estaes. The conclusion to be drawn from statistics becomes more reliable when the area to which the figures relate is fairly large, for in that case accidental and temporary aberrtions on this side or that to great extent neutralize one another.
305. Very large circles, when inconveninet. - No fault can be found with very large circles if the natural features and the rainfall of the country produced a broad equality of condition over a wide area. But if estates which are in no sense homogeneous are grouped together, the simplicty which results is only anotehr name fro confusion. An examination of the different villages and a study of their statistics produce no distinct impression regarding the circle as a whole the picture is blurred by a mass of inconsistent details and the Settlement Officer's work is reduced to a village by village assessment, which may be excellent in itself, but which he cannot justify to himself or to others by any general arguments. The rates are in no true sense assessment guides; they are merely the averages deduced from the sum of the village assessments.
306. Proper policy. - A middle course is the best. In grouping estates into circles attention should be steadily directed to those matters which must have a marked effect on the pitch of the assessment or on revenue management by the Deputy Commissioner, and small points of difference should be neglected. Where the existing classification is too minute it will genearlly be possible to reatin the old circies unbroken, merely clubbing them together in larger groups. It is not worthwhile to make small changes simply because a more symmetrical arrangement could be obtained by moving as estate here and there from one group to another. The Settlement Officer has power in his village assessment to make the existence of small inequilities harmless. If the old circles are broken up much trouble arises from the necessity of retabulating past statistics from the village note-books stead of taking the figures straingt from the circle registers. But where great changes have been brought about be the action of rivers or torrents, or by the introdcution of a new means of irrigation, it may be necessary to face in inconvenience involved in a redical construction of assessment cirlces, the Settlement Officer should also consider the desirability of the formation of urban assessment circles under sub-section (4) of section 51 the Land Revenue Act 1887. His proposals in this connection should be submitted through the Commissioner for the approval of the Financial Commissioner. Draft notifications for publication, declaring the areas as urban assessment circles, in case they have not alreday been so declared, should be forwarded at the same time.
307. Village, assesment circle, and tahsil revenue registers. - It was one of the chief objects of the reorganization of the land record agency effected in 1885 that Settlement Officer should have ready to hand in a convenient form a continuous record of statistics which could be utlilized as assessment data (see paragraph 82). A Settlement Officer of the present day finds most of the statistical information he requires in the village assessment circle and tahsil revenue register, and the time and labour are saved which were formerlyt spent in compiling elaborate special assessment returns. A description of the contents of these registers will be found in the Land Administration Manual, Chpater XI. The abstract village note-books will be found useful. Each Settlement Officer should report before he finishes his work whether the form in use is suited to the district. It ought to present in a striking way the data which will help the Deputy Commissioner to decide whether a suspension of revenue is needed in any particular harvest, or whether on the which the revenue registers contain are the crop returns. Settlement Officers have now in many cases a failry accurate record of the harvests of past years in each estate, which no amount of diligence could obtain for them under the old system. Men will certainly wonder in future that village assessments were made with any measure of success, when no trustworthy information regarding so vital a matter existed. It is necessary when a tract is being reassessed to supplement the information respecting rents and land transfer to be found in the registers by drawing up village lists of rents, mortgages and sales in the forms given in Appendix IX.
The Standard of Assessment, Net Assets and Rents
308. The standard for assessment of a
proporation of the net assets. -
The preamble to the first Punjab Land Revenu Act, XXXIII of 1871, declares that
"the Government of India is by law entitled to a proportion of the produce
of land of the
309. Assesment must not exceed one-fourth net assets. - The successive steps by which the Government share of the net assets has been reduced from five-sixth to one-foruth have been shown in Chapters III and VI. A Settlment Officer should enquire what the "full fair rent" of an assessment circle would be if it were all cultivated by tenants-at-will not holding the land on specially favourable terms. If he can determine what is a "full fair rent" rate for each class of land in as assessment circle in the case of fields held by ordinary tenants-at-will, he can, for the purpose of calculating the assessment, assume a rental for the whole assessment circle by applying the rates not only to the area in the possession of tenants-at-will, but also to the areas cultivated by the owners themselves or by privileged tenants, and 25 per cent of this rental and of the net income from miscellaneous sources will be the highest revenue which he can impose. In future "rental of an estate" and "net assets of an estate" will be used as synonymous tersm.
330. The net assets estimate must be honestly framed. - It is admitted in the instructions [(see rule 6, appendix I (D)"] that the process of determining the net assets of an estate is in, Punjab genearlly very difficult, and that in case in which the bulk of the land is cultivated by the petty proprietors themselves "the calculation, becomes not only difficulty but hypotetical, and the results of greater uncertainty and less value." Could we, more over, calculate with perfect accuracy the standard assessment, many circumstances might convince us of the prudence of foregoing a part of it when fixing the revenue demand. This is implied in the fourth of the rules of 1893 revised in 1914 [(appendix I (D)]. Which after asserting the claim of Government to a share of the produce of the land to be fixed by itself, adds - The exact share to be taken is a question to be settled separately for each tract and estate under assessment according to the circumstances of the case," and also in rule 7 - "The assessment of an estate will be fixed according to circumstances, but must exceed one-half the value of the net assets." This limit of assessment for particular esates has now bheen modified and the standard of assessment for assessment circle reduced. But the main principles determining the pitch of assessment in relation oto the net assets still apply. Neither the admitted difficulty of determining the true rental nor the fact that the circumstances of the tract under settlement seem to him to make it expedient to deviate pretty widely from the theoretical standard in actual assessment absolves a Settlment Officer from the duty of framing the most carefull estimate possible of the net assets. It is dishonest to manipulate the estimate in any way with a view to diminish the divergence between it and the proposed demand. If the reasons for deviating from the standard are really strong the Settlement Officer should be able to convince his superiors of thier validity.
311. The net assets estimate founded on an analaysis of rents. - The net assets estimate must be founded a careful analysis of existing rents with a view to discover what is the normal rental to each class of land for which it is proposed to frame a separate revenue rate. All rents which are obviously of a favourable character. Such as those paid by occupancy tenants, or rents whose very form suggests that they are purely customary, as when a tenant-at-will pays the land revenue with the addition of a small proprietary fee, must be excluded from the calculation. The extent to which ohter abnormal rents can be eliminated will be considered later on. For further remarks on the nature and purpose of the net assets estimate reference should be made to paragraphs 2 and 3 of appendix XX and to rules 1-12 of the rules framed under section 60 of the Land Revenu Act.
312. Classification of rents. - The kinds of rent which are commonly met with are-
(a) a definite share of the crop. (batari rents);
(b) cash rents for particular crops which cannot conveniently be divided, at fixed rates per kanal or bigha (zabti rents);
(c) Cash rents paid on land irrespective of the crop grown upon it. (nakdi rents);
(d) lump grain rents or rents consisting of fixed amount of grain in the spring and a fixed amount of money in the autumn harves (chokota rents).
The crops for which money rates are usually taken are sugarcane, cotton, opium, tabacco, vegetables and chari.
313. Cultivating occupancy of land in the
(a) Paying in kind with or without an addition of cash......................33
(b) Paying the land revenue with or without a proprietary fee (malikana)......................4
(c) Free of rent or at a nominal rent............................9
More than a third of the area under "other cash rents" is in three districts in the South-Distt. of the provinces.
314. Rent data available to be clearly stated. - The extent of the date on which a Settlement Officer can rely in estimating the assumed rental or net assets of the trach under assessment is a matter of such importance that it always well to give in an assessment report a table showing for each circle the percentages of the cultivated area tilled by :-
(2) tenants with rights of occupancy
(a) free of rent or paying rents consisting of the revenue alone or the revenue plus a malikana;
(b) paying other cash rents;
(c) paying batai or zabti rents;
(d) paying chakota rents.
Under the head 3(a) will come all rents paid by tenenat-at-will which can be rejected without further discussion as uneless in etimating the net-assets. Further examination may show that some of the rents under the next three heads must also be excluded, but prima facts they furnish material for calculating the real renting value of the tract. Separate estimates should be deduced from the rents grouped under each of these three heads, unless the area under any one of them is so small that conclusions drawn from it as to the under fixed and pert under fluctuating assessment, it is a good plan, if possible, to frame separate net assests estimates for each of these parts.
The Net Assets Estimate based on batai and zabti rents
315. Produce estimate. - The estimate based on batai and zabti rents is sometimes called the produce estimate, as the framing of it involves an attempt to determine the money value of the whole yearly produce of the tract under assessment. Strictly speaking, the estimate of the value of the gross produce and that of the share thereof due to the State should be distinguished. The latter is properly called the one-fourth net assets estimate. Both are best conbined in a single statement, a suitable form for which is given in Appendix XII. A separate estimate is framed fro each assessment circle. It is good plan to prepare one also for each estate as a guide to the distribution of the revenue fixed for a whole circle over the villages contained in it.
316. Factors contained in produce estimate. - The evaluation of a correct net-assets estimate based on batai and zabti rents depends on our knowledge of four things namely :-
(a) the average acreage of each crop on each class of land for which it is proposed to frame senarate rates.
(b) the average yield per acre of each crop so grown for which rent is taken by division of produce;
(c) the average price obtainable by agriculturists fro each of the crops referred to under (b); and
(d) the actual share of the gross produce received by land-owners in the case of crops which are divided and the rent rates in the case of zabti crops.
In the actual condition of agriculture in the Punjab it would be absurd to estimate a fixed money assessment to be paid for the next twenty or thirty years on the results of any single year. Acreage, outturn and prices all vary within wider or narrower limits, and the fluctuations of the past will tend to repeat themselves in the future.
317. Deduction or ental and standard assessment. - The process of deducing the rental of any class of land from the above four factors is simple. In the case of crops which are divided the acreage multiplied by the yield gives the gross produce, and the last divided by the price gives the money value. The portion of the crop taken by the landlord being known, the rental can at once be deduced from the value of the whole produce. In the case of zabti crops no estimate of yields or price is necessary. The acreage multiplied by the rent rate gives the rental. One-frouth of the rental is the full theoretical assessment. To deduce theoretical revenue rates the assessment may be divided by the area to which the assessment or revenue rates will be applied. This will usually be the cultivated area of some particular year as shown in the area statement or milan, rakba, or where the estates have been remeasured, the cultivated area of each when it came under survey. It has been more usual in recent years to divide the sum of the half net assets which was then the standard of assessment by the average cultivated areas of teh years of which the average crop areas have been embodied in the produce estimate. This plan should mutatis mutandis be adopted where the record of the cultivated area contained in the past milan-rakba statements is fairly reliable, which is not always the case. All the steps of the process described above are exhibited in the from given in Appendix XII. It is on the whole, to be preferred to that used in some settlements which showed under each crop not the actual acreage, but the percentage which that acreage bore to the total cultivated area. Where this plan was adopted the result was of course, to give a prodcue estimate for 100 acress of each class of land, the 100 acres being an exact type of the whole cultivated area of that class. The produce divided by 100 gave the half net assets rate. and this multiplied by the cultivited area gave the maximum assesemnt. In some recent settlement assessment rates have been framed for, and applied to, the average area of harvested crops under each class of land, and not eh cultivated area under each class recofed in the milan-rakba. In very insecure tracts this is the better plan
318. Entry in produce estimate of everage crop areas. - The reforms introduced in 1885 with the object of securing accurate crop inspections and the continuous record of harvest results have a very direct bearing on the value to be attached to produce estimates. It now possible to deude the acreage under each crop from the figures for a considerable member of years, adn prima facie, the more harvests that can be brought into account the better. But no use should be made of any statistics whose substantial accuracy is doubtful. Enquiry and his own observation of the way in which the patwaris carry out the crop inspections at the beginning of settlements can be trusted. In a tract where the process of bringing waste lands under the plough is proceeding rapidly or wher the character of the cultivtion has been changed for example by the introduction of canal irrigation, attention must be confined to those recent years in chwih the conditions have been similar to those traviling at the time. The object is to take the data of a period whose reuslts have been such as are likely to be repeated in the near future. The oders of the Finanical Commissioner should be obtained at as early settlment as possible in regard to the cycle or period of years of which the averge mature crop areas are to be taken basis of the produce restimates in the different tahsils under settlment. In submitting his proposals on this subject the Settlement Officer should give figures for matured crops by assessmnet circles for each year of the expired settlement.
319. Character of harvests.- The ground for considering the Series of harvests from which the averages are duduced to be a fair sample of the ordinary fluctuations characteristic of the agriculture of the tract should b stated in the assessment report and some account should be given of each these harvest. This is specially important when the Settlement Officer finds that he can nonly rely on the statistics of a few years. He will find some information regarding harvest which he has not himself observed in the reports which the Collector sends to the Director of Land Records with the half yearly crop returns.
320. Failure to record kharaba- Another point of importance is the degree of correctness with which the patwaris record the area on which the crops have failed to come to katurity (kharaba). To under-estimate this is certainly their tendency when they have a motion that to themselves. To do so saves them trouble, and thye are left it is well to make the entry which may be supposed to be most favourbale to the intersets of Government. If a Settlement Officer is convinced that the failed area have not been fully recorded, he must make allowance for this either in framing or in using his produce estimate. He should expalin in his assessment report in what way he has made this allowance.
321. Irritations entries in milan-rakba and jinswar. - Another difficulty in connection with these estimates arose from the disagreeement between the record of land on the one hand and of crops on the other as irrigated and unirrigated. In the jamabandi and the yearly area statment (milan-rakba) all lands should be put down as irrigated which in he ordinary course of hunbandry are watered from time to time but at harvest inspection only those crops are entered as irrigated which have actually been watered. A very slight equaintance with the agriculture of the Punjab will show how much this detracted from the worth of the produce estimate so far as is professed to show separately in the rental of the differnt classes of land. In the unirrigated columns of the estimate thousands of acres of steps might appear which were actually raised on land which had been recorded and would be assessed, as chahi or nahri. Occasionally in a season of drought irrigation may be pushed beyond its normal limits and crops on barani lands be watered. But the usual effect on produce estimates of the different methods followed in preparing the area and crop statements was to inflate the rental of unirrigated and reduce that of irrigated lands. The discrepancy 'betwen the two systems of record often made it impossible to lay any stress on the produce estimate for each class of land as a separate item, but it did not seriously affect the trustworthines of the aggregate of these separate estimates as showing what the value of the outturn of all classes of land was. There are, as will appear in the sequael, other ways of arriving at an estimate of the relative vaule of the various classes of land and framing differentail soul rates, and if, when all was said and done the Settlement Officer made a mistake under this head, the people had an opportunity of correcting it when the demand was distributed over holdings neverthless, it is very desirable that the produce estimate for each class of Land should show all the crops grown on that clas,s and there is no great difficulty in excerpting the required information from teh khasra girdwari. Orders were, therefore, issued fro the amendment of the annual area statement by adding a new column to show "the total area of crops grown on each class of soil * * * irrespective or irrigation". Settlement Officers will be wise not to rely on entries under this head in the area statements without having them carefully teste; but when this process has been applied the annual averages of such entries fro the years comprising the sanctioned cycle should be included in the statistics funished with the assesment report. It may be observed that even with the aid given by the figures contained in the additinal columns the calculation of accurate differntial net asset soil rates is generally nor practicable without resort to certain further assumptions and adjustments the nature of which depends on loacl conditions. As an exmaple reference may be made to paragraph 33 of the Zira tahsil assessemnt report of 1912.
322. Fodder deductions. - In the drier parts of the Punjab, where rain crops are few and the fodder to feed the well bullocks must be grown on the well lands, a landlord must allow his tenants to devote part of area to the raising of turnips, gree wheat and jowar fro their oxed. Of the crops grown on that area he receives no share adn they should therefore, be omitted in calculating the rental. After a careful observation of local usages a Settlement Officer must make the best estimate he can of the crop areas to be excluded on this account. The actual amount a tenant is allowed to appropriate doubtless averies with the character of the season. Thus in his assessment report of tahsil Chiniot in the Jhang district, Mr. Steedman wrote - "Practically tehre is no limit to a tenant's privileges in cuting jowar and wheat for fodder. I have always been given the same answer to my enquiries. A tenant ought not to cut more than so much, but in a year of deficient pastuarage he cuts as much as is required to support his well bullocks." It was formerly usual in produce estimates to exclude the value of the straw of grain crops, and Settlement Officers had authority for this practice in the 60th paragraph of Barkley's edition of the Directions. But the proper course is to show in the combined produce and net assets estimates the value of the whole of the crops both grain and straw, but ot deduct before calculating the amount of the net assets all items of which the landlord does not take a share. It is always well to know what share of the gross produce the one-fourth net assets really represents. In case where the straw is divided it will often be found that teh tenant retains a larger proportion of it than he does of the grain.
323. Difficulty of estimating average yield. - To estimate the avergae yield of each crop on the different classes of land in a tract as large as an ordinary assessment circle is a task of great diffculty. Since the attempt to record soils with any minuteness has been abandoned, it is quite usual to find all the land dependent upon rain in a large circle put into a single class. Obviously the thousands of cres so classified will vary widely in natural fertility and the avergae outturn will be greatly affected by the degree of skill and industry possessed by teh cultivators. The yield of different harvest also varies to an extraordinary extent, especially in the case of unirrigated crops. In essaying to make the best estimate in his power a Settlement Officer must be guided by the results of experimental cuttings, by his own observations and information gathered from trustworthy persons, by the accounts of land-owners or mortagegess, where obtainable, and by the yields assumed for similar tracts else where.
324. Crop experiments. - Teh defects of the system of experiments carried out under the orders contained in Financial Commissioner' Book Circular XX of 1871 and the improved parctice introduced by Colonel Wace in 1879 have been noticed in Chapter VI. The exdisting instructions on the subject will be found in Financil Comissioner's Standing Order NO. 9-A, and in Appendix X. The quality of the experiment is more important than their mere number. No experimetn should as a rule be accpeted unless its selection has been approved after inspection by an officer not below the rank o tahsildar. An exception may be made under the orders of the Settlement Officer, in the case of very experienced naib-tahsildars. The Settlement Officer hiself or the Extra Assistant Settlement Officer, and the Extra Assistant Settlement Officer should themselves see and approve of as many of the plots as possible, and accordingly and instructions lay stress on the necessity of the inspection of as many as possible of the fields selected by the Settlement Officer, and on the actual carrying out of experiments being entrusted only to trustworthy subordinates. When inspecting a field the Settlement Officer should make a preliminary estimate of its outturn which he can afterwards compare with the results of actual weighment by the official in charge of th experiment. In using the results of crop experiments some allowance may be made for the fact that in fields selected fro experiment less wastage is probably allowed to cocur than in ordinary fields.
325. Eye should be trained to estimate outturn. - It is hopeless to make in the curse of a settlement sufficient experiments to justify an assessing officer in accepting their average results without further inquiry as a true indication of the yield of crops. Experiments are only one among several guides in arrivng at a conclusion upon this point. A Settlement Officer's power of, making a realiable estimate of average yield for the purposes of produce estimate largely depends on the degree in which his eye has been trained to appraise crops.When the girdwari is being made otehr work must give way, especially in the early stages of a settlement, to the supervision of the patwaris in this branch of their duties and the assessing officer should make it his aim to get by personal observation a sufficient acquiantance with the state of the crops in every part of his charge, and some good general idea of the yield of the harvest. He should be constantly making his own metnal estimates of the outturn of the crops which he sees in the course of his inspection and comparing them with those of respectable landowners and of his own sabordinates.
326. Yield of dofasli crops. - Care is needed in estimating the yield of the spring harvest in double cropped land. The fact that a field bears two crops in the year is often not a sign of good soil or good tillage but of the reverese. Any one who uses his eyes can see the miserable results which frequently follow from the common practice of sowign barely or masri after rice, and double-cropping in riverain lands sometimes merely marks the struggle to get the most out of a poor over-saturated soil. In hilly tracts, where maize is the great crop on manured homestad land,s the rabi crop which follows it is often very ligth. At the other extrme we have the heavy wheat crops raised after maize on richly manured well lands in Ludhiana of Jullundur.
327. Produce estimate of each harvest observed. - For every harvest which he observes a Settlement Officer should, if possible, prepare a produce estimate according to what he conceives to be the actual average yield of each crop in that particular season. If he does son, he wil be less likely to make gross blunders in his final calculations.
328. Accounts of landowners and mortgagees. - No opportunity should be lost off examining the accounts of large landowner or mortgages, who coolect in kind. It is sometimes possible to get valuable information from the rent relatzations of estates under the Court of Wards, and occasionally a Settlement Officer may be able to refer to the results of kham tahsil management by Government. Where fulctuating (batai) and fixed (chakota) grain rents exist side by side, the amount of the latter per acre should be compared with the estimated amount of the former.
330. Enquiry into prices. - A Settlement Officer must at an early stage of his operations obtain the sanction of the Financail Commissioner to the commutations prices which he proposes to use in the produce estimate.
The object of the enquiry into prices is two-fold-
(a) to determine the commutation prices; and
(b) to ascertain the general rise or fall in the prices of agricultural produce since the last settlement.
For the latter purpose the investigation must be carried further back than would other wise be necessary.
331. Prices to be adopted. - For commutation prices we would use were they ascertainable the average prcies which will be obtained fro their crops by agriculatureists from village traders during the coming settement or, if its term is a long one, during the first ten or fifteen years of its currecny. But eschewing matters of speculation the only safe plan is to take the average of a sufficiently long period in the past, and assume that the range of future prices will not be dissimilar. Accrdingly the rules under the first Punjab Land REveneu Act (XXXIII of 1871) required Settlement Officers to submit with their assessment reports as statment showing the changes in the value of produce during the last twenty years divided into quinquennial periods, and the 58th paragraph of Barkley's edition of the Directions, published in 1875, precribes the use of the average prices of twenty years int he produce estimate. It is a mistake to lay down any geneal rule to this sort. In deciding what period should be taken for the calculation of avergaes much will depend on th past history of the district. If a tract formerly isolated has been recently opened up by the construction of a railway, and access to new markets has led to a large and apparently permanent rise of prices, it may be right to neglect, the figures for the years before the change took place. But a Settlement Officer must be on his guard against that common weakness of the human mind which leads us to attirbute to existing conditions a greater degree of stability than they actually possess. When high prices or low prices have ruled for several years we are too apt to tassume a permanent rise or a permanent fall and it is quite pssible to mistake the effects of short harvest for those of extended markets. Once a firm grasp of th facts is obtained the matter is one for the excercise of commonsense.
332. How far back history of prices should be traced. - The history of prices during, the whole term of the expiring settlement must be traced in order to determine the rise or fall of agricultural values since the assessment under revisin began to run. But it is well to carry the enquiry back to a priod five years befroe it introduction. In this wa we learn not only the prices at which the assessemnt has worked, but hose which wre present to the Settlement Officer's mind when he made it. The argument for enhancement to be drawn from th rise of values will be dealth with in a later chapter.
333. Scope of enquiry - Insturction regarding the inquiry into prices will be found in Appnedix XI. The commutation prices should be based on the prices which the farmer obtain fro his produce. On may parts of the country he still sells on the sopt to the village grain-dealer at rates fixed once for all soon after harvest. Subsequent fluctuations of th market do not affect him one way or the other. In examining shop-keeper's books in selected villages the transactions of teh month in which the harvest rate is fixed should be scrutinize. The results of the inspection of grain-dealer's books should be compared with the harvest prices for each assessment circle reported by the field kanugos for entry in the circel note-books. These should also represent prices got by farmers from the locak ship-keepers. The data for a series of years derived from the above enquiry are sometimes, except in the case of the chief crops, frametary, and the figures for different villlages are occasionally conflicitng. They should therefor, be supplemented and checked by tabulating the harvest prices derived from the returns publised in the Gazette, which will usually be a good deal higher than the village prices. An officail record of the prices of agricultural produce has been made at first monthly, and afterwards forthnightly, in an districts ever since 1851, and tables showing the yearly average prices of the principal agriculaturla staples in each district were appended to the Financial Commissioner's Annunal Revenue Administration Reports from 1856-57 to 1900-1901, and are now published in the yearly Season and Crops Report.
If it is found that in any tract most of farmers take their produce to market towns and dispose of it there, the line of enquiry must be adapted to that state of things, and it will be necessary to make allowance for the cost of cartage and for any fees paid at the markets to agents, weighmen, etc.
334. Methods of reckoning prices. - Formally the method of ascertaining the average price of any grain was to add together the number of sers per rupee at which it was sold in each year and to divide the total by the number of years, of which the prices were tabulated.The result (so many sers per rupee) was entered as the prices in the produce estimate. Mr. Francis pointed out that this method is arithmetically incorrect. Thus if the price of wheat in two years in Rs. 4 and Rs. 2 per maund, or 10 and 20 sers per rupee respectively the average price is Rs. 3 per manund, and estimated in sers, in not 15 (as usually shown), but 134/2 sers per rupee. In the net assets estimates prices should be expressed in even tamas per maund.
335. Exclusion of famine prices. - The prices of years of amine or serve scarcity should be excluded from the calculation in the case of crops grown on soils or classes of land of which the outturn is much affected by seasons of drought. But even when this has been done the remaining years will consist of seasons of very varying productiveness, and it must not be assumed that the bare average of the prices prevailing in them should necssarily be taken. Other things being equal, low prices mean good and high prices bad harvest. If follows that while the average produce of two years is half of the total outturn of both, the avergae price cannot be got by a similar process; for the part of the whole produce sold at the lower rate is far greater, perhaps in the case of unirrigated crops three or four times greater, than the part sold at the higher rate. If we assume that the outturn of fulfield is in one yaer 10, and the next 4 maunds, and thatt eh prices of the two years are Rs. 2 and Rs. 4 per maund. respectively, the whole produce is sold at an average price of Rs. 2-4/7 and not Rs. 3. The old method of calculating prices, though arithmatically wrong, had the accidental merit of makin some allowance for the low outturn in years of high prices.
336. IIIustrations from case of wheat and gram. - The greater the fluctuations in prices the less regard should be paid to bare averages. It is worthwhile to illustrate this by condiering as typical cases wheat and gram. In the Punjab the former is either an irrigated crop or is grown where the rainfall is comparatively abundant or the land is kept moist by the neighbourhood of a river. Gram on the other hand is an irrgated crop mostly raised in tracts of scanty and uncertain rainfall. The effect of the seasons on the area sown and the yield is of course great in the case of both crops, but it is far more sweeping as regards gram than as regards wheat. In a year of drought gram practically diappears in insecure tracts. Again there is a steady foreign demand for wheat, but practically none fro gram. The result is that the fluctuations in the value of wheat are comparatively small, and it is rerely very cheap. One good seasn may sent the prices of gram down very low, while in famine years it may easily be dearer than wheat. If an acre of wheat yields 16 manuds in a good and 8 maunds in a bad year, and the prices Rs. 2 per maund in the former and Rs. 2-8-0 per maund later, the true average price is Rs. 2-2-8 or very little less than avergae of Rs. 2-4-0 calculated in the usual way. But suppose an acre of gram yeilds 8 maund in a good season and nothing in a bad, and the proces are Rs. 1-2-0 per maund in the former Rs. 2-8-0 in the latter. The second figure is obviously of no use in framing an estimate of the avergae price the former receives, and it would be of very little use, if the field yielded one or two maunds instead of nothing at all. It follows that in fixing the commutation prices of a crop the Settlement Officer should carefully note how often in past years the price current has fallen below that which he proposes to adopt. The fact that the latter is less than the average dedue arithmetically will not make the estimate a safe one, if the actual prices in lower whenever the are favourable.
337. Tendency to assume too low prices. - It must admitted that, if we accept some settlement made in the first few years after annexation, the prices assumed by Settlment Officers have genearlly been markedly lower that those which have prevailed for any long period during the currency of their assessments. This has been due to serveral casues. The general trend of prices since 1861 has been upwards, a fact which could not have been foreseen.Again, some officers in their desire to make cautious estimates included the figures for too many years, and even the very low prices which prevailed before 1860-61 in striking their averages while others reached the same end by assuming prices is the most speculative part of the produce estimate, and caution is no doubt called fro, casution must not degenerate into anything which may fairly be described as playing fast and loose with facts.
338. Deductions on accound of dues of villages menials, etc. - We are now in a position to calculate the money equivalent of the total produce and when this has been done it only remains to estimate the value of the landlords share one-fourth of which is the maximum assessment. The rent is usually expressed in some simple fraction one-half; two-fifth, one-third & c. But it is customary before the landowners and the tenant divide the grain on the threshing floor to set aside a portion of it for payments to village artisans and menials and for charitable purposes. The amount varies greatly with the caste of the proprietors and the nature of the cultivation. It wil usually be largest in the case of crops irrgated from wells. In making deductions on this account it must be remembered that only those payments must be considered which are made from the produce when the land is tilled by tenants. A landloard who cultivates his own fields may find it convenient to employ reapers and to pay them by giving them a part of the crop, but it does not follow that the will allow a tenant to do the same. It is only when tenants usually engage reapers and are permitted to pay them out of the produce that any deduction should be made on this account. So far as the payment of artisans and menials are given for help in tillage, or for the supply or repair or agricultural implements, or in fact for any work subsidiary to agriculture done for the benefit of the tenant, they form part of the cost of production and should be subtracted before calculating the rent. But when they are the reward of personal services tendered to the landloar, or of a purely charitable character they should be left out of account. When we know the proportion of the crop payable to artisans and menials which can farily be included in the cost of production and the fractions which represents that rent, it is easy to calculate the landlord's share of the gross produce. Thus, if the payments absorb 10 per cent of the crop and the rent rate is one-half the landlord's share is 45 per cent.
339. Batai share not always true measurment of rent.- But the matter is not alwasy quite so simple as would at first sight appear. Where landlords take their share by appraisment it is well to enquire whether the fractional share which is recorded as the rent witht he consent of both parties is really taken. How are payments to artisans and menials provided for in this case ? It may be found, for example, that there is an understanding which is regularly acted on that one-half is to mean in appraisement, tow-fifths. The tenant sometimes pays lower rate of Batai for crops whose cultivation is expensive owing to the need of irrgation, manure, & than for ordinary crops; sometimes the retn-rate is the same, but the landlor meets part of the cost of production. Thus, he may defray part of the cost of seed or manure, or weeding, or he may maintian the woodwork of the well or he may pay a share of the acreage duty on poppy, or of the water-rates in the case of canal irrigated crops. In Shahpur, where the rate for sugarcane as for other crops was one-half, Mr. Wilson found that the landlord met so much of the cost of cultivation that his real share of the total yield was only one-fifth. On the other hand, landowners sometimes get payments in excess of their batai share under the name of kharch, lichh, & c. or on account of the whole or a portion of the canal advantage or canal owner's rate, and these must be included in the rent.
340. Village produce estimates. - In the village produce estimates the circle rates of yield and rent may be used. If an estate is above or below the average. The Settlement Officer will allow for the fact when using the estimate as an assessment guide.
341. Well and plough estimates. - So far as we have been dealing with produce estimates which treat as a unit the total area of each soil or class of land in an estate or assessment circle. It may be useful to work out a separate estimate for an ordinary well holding, actual or supposed, All crops raised within the will area whetehr watered or not should be taken into account. Two estimates may be framed one on the supposition that the land is cultivated by tenants paying a share of the produce, the other on the supposition that it is tilled by the owners themselves with or withoug the aid of farm servants. In the latter case the deductions from the value of the gross produce in order to obtain the netassets will include reasonable interest on the initial cost of purchasing the bullocks, the expenditure on annual repairs and replacing the livestock, the cost of seed, the wages of labour, & c. If the bullocks are also used for ploughin other lands their full value must not be debited to the wll expenditure, and if the owenrs cultivate themselves a reasonable sum must be allowed as the price of their laboure. Whether anything should e included in the account for interest on the capital sunk in the construction of the well depends on the questions whether the concession of assessment at unirrigated rates allowed by the rules for the grant of protective leases (see Chapter XXIX and rules 24-28 of the rules framed under section 60 of the Land Revenue Act) is sufficient to cover interest charges and also to replace the capital within the period for which the concession is made. A plough estimate can be framed on the same lines after the average area worked by each plough has been determined, but it serves no very useful purpose.
342. Date of produce estimate uncertain. - It is well frankly to recognize the ract that a net assets estimate on rent paid by divisions of crops rests on date of a somewhat uncertain character. With an improved system of record the average area of successful crops can now be determined with a fair degree of accuracy, but a good deal of doubt must surround the estimates of yield, however careful the observations on which they are founded. The prices assumed must in the nature of things be speculative and even the rent rates are subject to deductions, the real amonut of which it is difficult to determine. There are indeed some deductions not yet mentioned to which it is impossible to assign any definite value. Who sahll say how much of the growing ccrop the tenant and his family appropriate without the owner's leave ? Or how much of the produce on an average is damaged by weather after the crop has been reaped, but before the garin is divided ? In some parts of the province tenants are so much in demand that they can make pretty walthier own terms, and can inssit on receiving advaces which the landlord often finds great diffuculty in recovering. High rates of batai may sometimes be a measure not of the real value of the land, but of the anxiety of landlord to protech himself against dishonesty on the part of the tenant. Or the rate may be what it is not as the result of competition for land, but because the native ruler claimed that particular share of the crop as his due. Even so its pitch is not withoug significance, for our predecessors had a very shrewed idea of what land could pay and still remain under tillage, and they varied their demands roughly in accordance with the productive qualities of different tracts.
343. Conclusion as to produce estimates. - But while recognizing the defects inherent in produce estimates, a Settlement Officer should never forget that it is his duty to use all means at his disposal to make them as close an approximation to the truth as possible. In the process he will be led into lines of inquiry which would be most useful to him in assessment work even if no formal estimates were rquired and the result of his labour will probably be an estimate to which he can point with some confidence as one among several guides to the determination of a fair demand. He will generaily find that his estimates are more relaible indications of the relatives assessable values of different circles and estates than of the actual assessable value of any one of them and show pretty clearly where there is most room for enhancement. But the uncertainly surrounding produce estimates shows how needful it is to make the best possible use of the data supplied by cash rents when any considerable portion of the area is let on these terms.
The Net Assets Estimates based on Fixed Cash and Grain Rents.
344. Importance of using cash rent data. - The evolution of economic money rents in the Punjab has been a gradual process, and there are still many parts of the country where cash rent other than the land revenue, with or without a small additional payment as malikana or proprietary fee, are too uncommon to furnish any guide to as assessing officer. Rents of this description have a historical origin, but their persistence in any part of the country may be a sign that the returen from tillage are there neighter very certain nor very large; in secure submontane tracts it is observable that cash rents tend to be confined to inferior lands. The only districts in which economic cash rents furnish data for assessment, such as are often available in the United Provinces, are Gurgaon and Rohtak. But in many tracts they now exist in sufficient quantity to be used as an assessment guide, and where this is the case they furnish evidence of the landlord's net assets and of the relative assessable values of different classes of alnd more direct and certain than any that can be drawn from fluctuating king rents.
345. Soil rents and lump rents on holdings. - A primary division of cash rents is into rents paid on holdings containing only one soil or class of land and lump rents paid on holdings including several soils or classes, In some tracts the soil rents2 mostly resolve themselves into a few simple kanal, ghumao, or bigha rates, in other the rates are so various as to defy classifiaction. The soil rents and the lump rents should be analyzed separately whe. the former are numerous, and an examination of them has hsown the proportion that exists between the rents for the different classes of land, the lump rents can be resolved into soil rents. Thus if the proportion established between the separate soil rents in barani 100, Sailab 125 and chahi 175, a lump rent of Rs. 48 paid on holding of 12 acres, consisting of equal parts of barain, sailab and chahi land, can be resolved into the following soil rates :-
Barani ……………………………… :3
Sailab ……………………………… :3 3/4
Chahi …………………………………… :5¼
This seems to be the best way of treating such rents when they are too common to be neglected altogether, but it must not be forgotton that the deducted rates are not actual, but assumed rents. General soil rents can be obtained by combining the results of the separate analysis of soil and lump rents, regard being of course paid to the area of each class. In the annexed example it is supposed that there are 6000 acres held in separate soil rents amounting to Rs. 3½ and Rs. 6½ in the case of barani and chahi lands, respectively and that holdings containing mixed soils with a total area of 4000 acres are left for Rs. 17000 :-
Separate Soil rents
Rs. A. P.
3 2 6
5 3 9
4 1 7
The proportion between the chahi and barani rent rate is column 3 is 13 : 7 to obtain the barani date in the penultimate column convert the total chahi area of 3,500 acres inter barani by multiplying by 13 and dividing by 7. The product is 6,500. Adding this to the similar area of 6,500 recorded as barani we get 13,000 as the divisor and the divident is the total rents or Rs. 41000. This gives a barani rent rate of Rs. 3-2-6 and the rental of 6,500 acres of theat rate is Rs. 20,525. The balance, Rs. 20,485, is the rental of 3,500 acres of chahi land and the chahi rent rate is, therefore Rs. 5-13-9. If there are three classes of land and the proportion between chahi, sailab and barani rent rates in column 3 is 13, 9 and 7 the chahi and sailab areas cna first be converted into barani and the barani rental deduced by the above process. The balance of teh rent can be distributed between chahi and sailab and by reapeating the same process.
346. Arithmetical avergae may be misleading. - So far we have dealth merely with such analysis of records rents as any clerk in an office might make. But this by itself is of little value and may be positively misleading. When employing cash rents as an assessment guide, a Settlement Officer is seeking to determine the farirenting value of a whoel estate or assessemnt circle from the rents shown in the jamabandi as paid by tenants-at will for a part, and sometimes a comparatively small part of the cultivated area.
347. Tests which rents used much satisfy :- Before he can do so with any confidence he must be prepared with answers to the followin questions:-
(a) Are the rents correctly recorded ?
(b) How far do they flucturate with the rise and fall of prices ?
(c) Are they paid in full and with regularity ?
(d) How far is allowance made for fallow areas ?
(e) Is the land paying cahs rents a fair average of its class ?
(f) Are the rents in fact, to use the phrase, employed in the settlement instructions "full fair rnets" for the land for which they are taken?
348. Careful scrutiny necessray. - No reply to these question and especially to the last two, is possible without a careful scrutiny of rents as each village comes under the Settelemnt Officer's inspection. This duty is carried out very throughly in the United Provinces, where cash rents are much more common than in the Punjab, and where well nigh the beginning and end of a Settlement Officers' task is to make by the help of cash rent data such a valuation of every estate as will enable him to determine its afair rental. To accomplish this he must ascertain what the "prevailing" rent rates are for all classes of land for which separate revenue rates will the proposed, and apply the rates to the wholcultivated areas of these calsses. The "prvailing rate" is defined as "the average rate actully paid on any class of land deducting those fields wich pay an abnoramally high or low rate". Ther are three steps in the process namely, the recognition in the record of distinction of soil, or class which are usually accompained by marked differences of renting value, the correct record of the rents actually paid and the elimination of rents which are shown by inquiry on the spot to be clearly abnormal.
349. Procedure in United Provinces. - The different soils in an estate usually lie in blocks, and in the United Provinces the limit of each block is graphically show on the village map. The rate of rent paid for each field let to tenants-at weill is also sometimes entered in the map, and this plan greatly assists the Settlement Officer's scrutiny of the rent data. When inspecting an estate he must satisfy himself that the limits of the various blocks have been correctly laid donw, must test the accuracy of te rent entries, especially where the rate appears to be very high or very, must discover the reasons for apparently termine the prevailing rate for each class of land in the village. By collating the results for the different estates in a circle or paragna, he at last makes up his mind as to the rats which may
be accepted as fair circle or pargand rent rates for each class of land.
350. Firts three questions referred to above >- Settlement Officers must be on theri guard against false entries of rents. If the landowners suspect that cash rents are being used as an assessment guide a combination to procure an untrue record of them is possible. Attmepts of this sort will fail if the annual papers have been carefully prepared int he interval between two settlements, when landlords are under no temptation to state theri rents at less their actual amounts.
The effect of fluctuations in prices on cash rents has not yet been investigated in the Punjab, but it may be doubted whether it is at all rapid.
The question whether the recorded rents are collected in full in bad seasons must not be overlooked. This probably depends more on the demand that exists for land on the part of tenants than on the security or insecurity of the outturn. WHere the demand is keen, rents may be paid wonderful regularity in the worst of seasons, or where this is impossible and the land is abandoned, it may be customary before re-entry to pay up all arrears.
351. Questions whether leased land is fair sample of its class. - The question whether the leased land is a fair sample of its class must be a very difficult one where, as has often happened in the Punjab all soil distinctions other than those based on the presence or absence of irrigation or inundation have been given up. As already noted in Chapter XIII, where it is intended in assessment to lay much stres on cash rent date, a somewhat more minuted classification will often be found expedient. But event if this is adopted, the question is one to which a Settlement Officer must give spcial attention in his village upections. If the landowners are themselves industrious husbandmwen, it may be found that they only let the worst patches of land in the village. Proprietors often prefer to take frind rents where the produce is secure, and only accept cash where it is uncertain. But careless onwers may let their best lands because, tey are unwilling themselves to under take then hard work required for the cultivation of the most valuable crops. And the fact has to be remembered that many landlords are mortgages, and the tendency is for moneylends only to grant loans on the security of good land Land is sometimes rented only for the harvest. The rents must in that case be ejected as an assessment guide unless the usual system of tillage is to leave the land fallow in the other harvest.
352. Elimination of abnormal rents.- The question of the elimination of abnormal rents is a very delicate one. To exclude rents whose very form suggests that they are not true economic rents is indeed easy. Rents consisting of the land revenue, with or without a small additional payment as proprietary fee, are of this class, and it is only in exceptional immstances, where for example, the revenue is high and the lease land poor, that such rent may be a true economic rent. Where such circumstances do not exist these rents may at once rejected. But it needs a very nica discretion to go further, and, by sifiting out normal and abnormal rents, to reach a “prevailing rate” for each soil in every estate and finally in whole paragna or assessment circle, as a Settlement Officer is required to do in the United Provinces. If it is to be done at all, the only possible way is to carry out the operation village by village on the spot. Where it is proposed to lay much stress on cash rents as an assessment guide, and they cannot be resolved into a few common kanal or bigha rates this is the only procedure likely to yield any soild results. At present where the cash rents are at once numerous and various the data presented in an assessment report may only serve to confuse the mind. It may be clear that, as they stand, no reliance can be placed upon them as assessment instrument, but there are the strongest objections to any attempt to improve them by eliminating rates because on paper they look abnormally high or low. If cash rents are not paid on a large area and it is only proposed to use them as throwing a side-light on an assessment confessedlyu based on other data, a less detailed examination than is required in the United provinces will suffice. If the Settlement Officer thinks that the average recorded cash rents applied to the whole area would give a false idea of the true renting value of the land, it will be enough for him to explain the general repasons which have led him to that conclusion. The plan followed in the United provinces implies that great reliance is placed on teh judgement of the Settlement Officer. If the officer under whole immediate control the Settlement Officer works vigilant, he will find no great difficulty in satisfying himself by testing his subordinate’s prceeding in a few estates on the spot whether this confidence is deserved. And it behoves the assessing officer to explain his procedure exactly in his assessment report, and comparing his corrected rent rates with those representing the bare average of all the cash rents except those whose form by itself auggests that they are not economic, to show what proportion of the rents he has excluded form his calculations and for what reasons.
353. Examples of abnormal rents.- A certain proportion of the rents he will reject as clearly privileged, being by rleations and dependents who are allowed to till pataches of land for more or less nomial payments. He may also find that some of the rents in his village list are paid for odds and ends of very inferior land, and though fair in themselves, are useless for general assessment puposes. But the questions of the exclusion of rents becasue they look very high is more diffiuclt. A Settlement Officer in the Punjab is allowed a considerable discreation to deviate from the estimated standard revenue in actued assessment, and the cash rent estimate will rerely be his only guide in calculating tbe net assets. It is, therefore, a safe reule to decide all doubtful cases by reataining the rent. But rates so exorbitant as to be plainly no index of the air rental of the land should be rejected. No definite rules can be laid down. In an estate where the bulk of the hodings are too small to support their owners, the latter will sometimes pay very extravagant rates for a little extra land. And estates and holdigns may be found which are notoriously rack-rented. Governenttn will not one-fourth of a rach-rental as land revenue even form the rack renting landlord, still less can it use rack-rents as the basis of an assessment to be paid by landowners, who still their own fields. But in many estates it will probably be found that customary rent rates for different classes of land are recognized and that most of the actual conform pretty closely to these rates.
354. Comparison of produce and cash rent estimate .- Further instructions regarding the elaboration of the cash rent estimate will be found in paragraphs 4,5 and 6 of Appendix XX. Its results should be compared with the produce estimate, and an attempt made to trace the causes of any large discrepancies between them. If a Settlmenet Officer has made a careful study of the causes which have determined the pitch of cash and kind retns, respectively, in the tract under assessment, he may be able to furnish a clue to the reason of variations which at first sigh appear very curious. It may be found sometimes in historical ratehr than in economic causes. Finally he should endevour to arrive at a definite estimate of the "true" not assets of the assessment circle concerned on the lines indicated in paragraph 8 and 9 of Ap
355. Fixed grain rents. - Chakota rents include lump grain rents and rents consisting of a fixed amount of grain, almost invariably wheat, in the spring and a fixed sum of money in the autumn harvest. This form of rent is otten met with in some of the central districts and it is in favour with mortgages. Chakota-rents are usually pretty fulents. They are useful as a check on the produce estimates, especially in respect of assumed yield of wheat and, where sufficiently numerous, may make the basis of a separate net assets estimate. It will be well to inquire whether they are as a rule collected in full in bad seasons.
Miscellaneous Sources of Income conneted with Land.
306. Sayer income. - So far we have only been considering the agricultural rental of the soil, but the proprietors may, in addition, derive an income from the spontaneous production the waste and cultivated lands from the leasing of water power or the right to direct salpetre from the soil, & c. All such items of profit over and above the agriucltural rental are known in settlement language as sayter (from the Arabic work sa'ir meaning remainig over or siwai. If they are of any importance, they must not be neglected in calculating the net assets. In pastoral tracts it is only possible to make a rough estimatee of arrangement receipts from the sale of live-stock, ghi, hides, horns and wool. In a country where the seasons are very capricuous all income of this sort is of necessity extremenly actuating. It may be part of the rural economy to derive the cattle away during part of the years to tracts where pasturage has to be paid for, Allowance must also be made for the labour employed on rearing and tending the cattle and for the extent to which they are fed agricultural produce. Where landowners let large blocks of pasture land, the rents they will be found too high for the calculation rent rates for the whole uncultivated area, orgazing let in this way is usually of a superior class. The rents paid to private owners may be compared with the annual sums for which Government waste in the smae neighbour is leased. In some pastroal tracts residents who are not proprietors pay a poll tax (why or bhunga) at fixed rates for different kinds of cattle. An application of these rates to the whole of the village cattle is a rough, but useful, indication of the annual value of the runining. The state usually walves its clam to share in the pretty cesses referred to in paragraph 94, which landowners have sometimes a customary right to levy from the other irhabitants of the villages. But in some tracts, especially in the hills, the seigniorial dues thomey or labour taken from tenants form a very large addition to their rents and many well be taken into account when deciding the pitch of the assesement.
Reasons for deviating from the One-fourth Net Assets Estimate in Assessment
357. Uncertainty of estimate net assets. - It has been shown that the difficulty of framing a trustworthy net assest estimate in the Punjab is great. The produce estimate involves a chair of assumption and a flaw in any one of the links will protanto vitiate the calculation. The paucity of cash and chakota rents will often make it hard to rely on them as assessment instruments, and the questions whether the land on which they are paid is of avergae quality and whether any given rent has passed the bounds of a full fair rent and become a rack-rent are very nice ones for decision. On this ground alone some divergence from the one-fourth net assets estimate in actual assessment may in any particular case justifiable.
358. The standard in itself somtimes too high. - The standard of assessment has recently been lowered by the Land Revenue (Amendment) Act of 1928 from one-half of the net assets to one-quarter. No experience has yet been acquired of the working of this standard, but the spirit of moderation and firmness in which the old assessments were determined shall continue to be the guiding principle in future as wel, and the following which was originally written about the half net-assets standard, mutanis, mutandis, still holds true :-
"But the best opinion in the Punjab has gone further and held that the standar of half net assets deduced from the rents paid on a comparatively small area may in itself be too high for assessing land mostly tilled by peasant proprietors. It is one thing to claim as revenue half the well ascertained rental of a big land owner, and quite another to argue that half the rent paid on say 20 per cent of the area of a large tract is a fair criterion of what a host of small farmers cultivating their own ancestral fields can pay. Where the population is dense, and there is keen competition for land among owners who have not enough, to fully employ their ploughs and to feed their families, and among tenants who are in a still worse strait, rents may be forced up to a height which makes them dangerous assessment guides. It is a strking fact that for two-fifths of the land paying rent by division of crop in the Pujnab the landlord's share is recorded as half the produce. Small farmers who let any little surplus land they have are hard landlords all the world over, and the better husbandman a man is himself, the more likely to let land are exacting landlords. It may be urged that the Sikhs often took half the produce as revenue, and that half of rental consisting of the some proportion of the crop ought not to be an excessive demand. But the Sikhs very commonly twenty seers in the maund. It may be said that the Settlement Officer can elimitimate. But this process becomes impossible when excessively high cash rents are not the exception but the rule or where the pressure on the tenant takes the from of a serve current rate of batai. It behaves an assessing officer to make a very careful study of the historical and economic causes which have determined the existing state of the rents in his district, to mark how far custom has yielded to competition as the determining factor, and where the latter has full play. whether it has forced the tenant to accept very severe terms. It is the wish of Government to fix an assessement moderate enough to ensure the prosperity and development of the country, but hot so light as to encourage sloth and bad framing. It is also desirable that some measure of equality in the pressure of the demand in different parts of the country should be preserved. This would be impossible if the assessements wre to be based solely on the rent data. The degree to which rents have ceased to be customary varies greatly in different parts of the country. Where land is abundant and tenants are few, a case can easily be imagined in wich the rent statistics blindly followed would enforces a needless sacrifice of revenue. An actual instance of the kind will be found described in Sir J.B. Lyall's remarks on the assessment of the Kaithal tahsil in the Punjab of economis causes, may differ much in severtiy. No single fraction of the gross assessing officer should always have before his mind, and hsould notice prominently in his assessment reports, not only the share of the net assets, but also the proportion of the whole out-turn of each assessment circle which he is proposing to absorb in the Government demand. This is sepcially necessary when the assessement of similar tracts in which the rent rates differ are compared."
359. Other matters besides rent data must be take into account. - The discussion of the use to be made by a Settlement Officer of his rent data is now complete. It has shown how necessary it is in the Punjab to pursue also that other line of inquiry which in considering how far an existing assessment can be enhanced or must be reduced regards not this relation to a theoretical standard, but its working and effects as shown in the past fiscal history and present cirucmstances of the estate or circle, its suitbaility or unsuitability when first imposed as evidenced by teh ease or difficulty with which it was paid, the grounds for raising it furnished by the increase of resources which has occurred since loast settlemnt its pitch as compared witht he demand paid successfully in other similar tracts and estates, and the obstacel to largely enhancing it whic the caste and ancestral customs of the land-owners, the smallness of their holdings, and other practical considerations may oppose. The next two chapters will deal with matters other than rent, which data should be taken into account in framing an assessment.
General Considerations affecting the amount of the Assessment.
360. General considerations affecting assessment :- The inquiry which is concerned with what are vaguely termed "general considerations" does not ask how far the existing demand must be enhanced or reduced to make it confirm to the standard of the one-fourth net assets, but how far it can be nehanced or must be reduced so as to secure to the State the iighest revenue which is compatible with the prosperity and contentment of its subjects and the continued extension and improvement of cultivation. The bearing of "general considerations" on the determination of the land revenue to the caid by an estate was recognized in the seventh of the Assessment Instructions of 1893, revised in 1914, which provided that "the assessment of an estate will be fixed according to circumstances, but must not exceed half the value of the net assets." The lowering to the standard of assessment due to the recent legislation has lessened the force of the considerations ssuggesting moderation in assessment, but the general principles still apply.
361. Fiscal history to the studied :- When the problem of assessment is approached from this side a survey of the fiscal history of the tract becomes indispensable. Lessons are to be learned from all its past land revenue settlements, and also it may be, from th fiscal arrangements of former rulers. But these have probably for the most part been weighed and recorded, and naturally a Settlement Officer's chief concern is with the character and working of the assessment which he is revising, and the growth or decay of the resources of each estate and circle since it was introduced. If the past settlement was originally fair as between the State and the landowners and as between village and village, the pratical force of the argument for enhancement grounded on an increase of resource is clear. But not only the fairness or unfairness of the result, but the method by which it was reached, is important. A Settlement Officer has to build on another man's foundation, and must plan his house accordingly. Even mistakes in the assessment of particular soils or estates may have to be accepted as matter which cannot be wholly put right at a revised settlement.
362. Character of assessment under revision :- In weighting the merits and defects of the past settlement, it is necessary to trace the way in which the assessment was determined, especially the use made of soil distinctions and of revenue rates, he incidence of the demand when first imposed on the whole cultivated area and on different classes of a land, its distribution over estates, and the ease or difficulty of its collection, especially in the early years of its currency before any great change in the resources of the land owners had occured.
363. Distribution over estates and holdings :- The distribution of the assessment over estates and holdings is often more important than its gross amount. Nothing gives more trouble than the reassessment of a tract in which the land revenue demand has been from the first, or has become by force of circumstances, grossly unequal. A high assessment justily distributed over estates and holdings is less oppressive than one which is moderate as regards its gross amount, but unfair as regards its distribution.
364. Past fiscal management :- The history of past revenue collections, the extent to which resort to the coercive powers confer by the Land Revenue Act has been necessary, and the frequency or infrequency of remissions and suspensions should be considered. An endeavour should be made to ascertain whether, speaking generally, the fiscal management has been prudent and considerate and whether relief has been afforded in seasons when it was required.
365. Cesses :- The history of the cesses paid by landowners in the Punjab has been given in Chapter VII. They paid levied at so much per cent on the land revenue Recentmissions of taxation have reduced the burden very considerably and cesses now usually amount to a surcharge on the land revenue *of between 13 and 15 per cent. This is excluve of any amounts raised for village police and common village expenses. The claim of the State to one quarter of the net-assets as land revenue is not affected by the levy of cesses, and no man has a right to have his assessment lowered because it and the cesses together absorb 33 or 34 per cent of the rental. But, where holdings are small, nd the margin left after providing a bare livelihood for the landowners and his family is usually slender, the fact that a large sum is paid on account of cesses, and that it increases parisses with the increase of the land revenue, may undoubtedly limit the amount of cahancement which can prudently be taken.
366. Survey of economic history and condition of each estate and circle :- In studying the history of an estate of any area for assessment purposes, a Settlement Officer cannot confine his attention to the way in which its land revenue and cesses have been assessed and collected. He must embrace, in his inquiry all evidences of the growth or recline of the resources of the landowners. Nothing in the past which has had a lasting effect good, bad on their well being, and nothing in the present which shows their power to pay a larger assessment, or their inability to bear existing burdens and prosper, should to overlooked. In fact, a survey of past economic history and present economic conditions as complete as time and opportunity permit should be made in the case of each estate and circle. A prudent man will not forget that "human begins and not merely acres of land" are being assessed and will not refuse to consider any difficulties which the character and encestrat habits and customs of the landowners may put in the way of very large enhancements.
367. Increase of cultivated area and of means of irrigation :- Obviosuly one of the best reasons for raising the revenue is an increase of the cultivated area. The extension of artifical means of irrigation is also a ground for enhancement care being taken to ensure to the landowners a fair return for any capital sunk in improvements. Difficulties in comparing the cultivated area of different settlement arise from the fact that in the earlier Punjab settlements "cultivated" and "new fallow", did not mean exactly what they do at present, a good deal of land now shown as cultivated being then classed as jadid. Mafi plots and the sir land of jagirdars were formerly excluded from the assessable area. More necurate measurement will account for some additions to the recorded cultivated area. If there has been a real increase of any importance, its position can be pointed out on the map.
368. Means of checking survey figures :- Where cultivation if of a very fluctuating character, as, for example where it depends on uncertain floods, the extent of the cultivated area will vary greatly accordingly to the season in which the measurements happen to be made. In such cases survey statistics by themselves may lead to wrong conclusions, and they should be viewed in connection with the indications furnished by the growth or decline of population and more especially by the crop returns for past years. In fact, in such cases it is often trudent to frame assessment rates not for the recorded cultivated area of any particular year, but for the average area of matured crops in a series of years. An increase in the recorded chahi area should be checked with the figures, showing the number of wells at work at the two settlements.
369. Character of new cultivation :- The character of the new cultivation as compared with the old should be noticed. It is well, as already hinted, to fix its position by comparing he former and present maps, and also to see when the village is inspected. Naturally the hands which are first brought under the plough are the best, or at least the most favourably situated or the most tractable. The effect of the spread of cultivation on the older lands is sometimes injurious. In very dry tracts, where successful tillage largely depends on drainage from the surronadings waste, the breaking up of the latter increases the insecurity of the crops.
370. Exhaustion of soil :- Assertions that the soil has become exhausted must be received with caution but in the case of some light sandy lands in the Punjab it is undoubtedly true. Settlement Officers should now be able to turn with some confidence to the annual crop statements for proof or disproof of alleged detrioration of the older cultivation or inferiority of the new and on the other hand, for evidence of improved farming. Unfortunately before 1885 we have few trustworthy returns based on harvest inspections and as explained in Chapter Vi the crop statistics of settlements made before 1880 were expected from the measurement khasras and are not really accurate. Still an attempt to compare the former and present crop statements should be made. Wide differences between the will indicate actual changes of agricultural practice though smaller variations may be explained by the improved system of record.
371. FLuctuating nature of income derived from land :- But the great advantage derived from the continuous record of the crops which ripened and of the area sown which yielded no harvest is the light it has thrown on the extremely fluctuating nature of to income derived from land in many parts of the country. Though the jinswar returns are imperfect instruments for measuring the insecurity of the harvests, they at least supply a Settlement Officer with evidence of ascertained facts for a considerable number of years wherewith evidence to supplement and correct the impressions made on his mind by his own partial observation of the harvests of a few seasons. Whre the land-owners are small farmers living from day to day, it is pratically impossible, other things being equal, to impose a fixed land revenue of equal amount on two tracts of equal average assets if the yearly variations from the average are in one case small and in the other extreme. Elasticity of collection is only a partial remedy for the caprices of the seasons, and it is one of uncertain operation. While the demand can absorb a great share of the gross produce in a secure, than in an insecure estate or circle, the revenue in the latter may often approach more closely to the assets standard than in the former. High rents rates and very small holdings are two great obstacles in the way of assessing up to the standard, and these are more likely to be met with a secure, than in an insecure, tract.
372. Comparison of cultivated and average crop areas :- Tables showing in percent ages on the cultivated area the average acreage under each of the principal crops and the average acreage on which the crops sown fail to come to maturity are very useful as a rough comparative test of the value of the produce of different soil and classes of land and of different estates and assessment circles. In assessment work it is well to pay more heed to acres of crops than to acres of land, and a prudent Settlement Officer will think more of the rate at which his proposed assessment in each case falls on the average area of crops harvested than of its incidence on the recorded cultivated area. This specially true in the case of tacts whose harvests are of an uncertain character.
373. Rainfall :- In connection with the crop statistics the returns which show the amount and distribution of the rainfall in different parts of the district should be studied. The variations in the rainfall even within the limits of a single district are sometimes very remarkable, and the total amount received in any year is less important than the time at which it came.
374. Rise of prices :- The subject of prices in its relation to the calculation of a full net assets assessment has been discussed in Chapter XIX. There remains for considerations the practical question of the effect of a permanent rise of prices on the ability of the Land owners to pay an increased reenue. If the demand fixed at last settlement was paid without difficulty at a time when prices were much lower than they now are or will probably be in the future there are substantial grounds for urging that it is capable of considerable enhancement. One must decide in the first place what has been the general rise of prices ? What are the two periods whose average prices should be compared ? And how is the general rise to be determined seeing that the value of each crop has risen in a different proportion ?
375. Prices to be compared :- The commutation prices used in the produce estimate must be accepted as the average prices at which the new assessment will have to work. The orders of the Government of India require that there shall be compared with the prices assumed by the officer whose assessment is under revision or, if he left no record of the prices on which he based his assessment with the prices prevailing for a reasonable period before the settlement. In using such a comparison as an aid it is of course assumed that the last assessment would have proved a fair one if the prices adopted by the Settlement Officer in his produce estimate had in the event turned out to be the prices at which his assessment had to work. The orders contained in Punjab Government letter No. 132 dated 25th June, 1895, also directed that a comparison should be made between the commutation prices and the lowest prices which prevailed during the currency of the expiring settlement. But is was pointed out in the Lieutenant Governor's remarks on an assessment report of the year 1898 that this particular method of dealing with the rise prices is open to the criticism that it compres actuals with estimates. It is always desirable to consider carefully the lowest and highest prices which prevailed for any length of time during the currency of the expiring settlement, and to mark how the settlement worked when prices were most unfavorable. If the assessment stood the test of low prices, while its incidence had not been lightened by large extensions of cultivation or irrigation, it may fairly be held that the demand was from the beginning a lenient one, and the argument based on the rise of prices can be used with confidence.
376. Calculation of general rise of prices :- An easy way of calculating the general rise of prices, which was employed by Mr. Francis, is shown in the following diagram. It is assumed that 90 per cent of the crops consist of maize, jawar, wheat and gram. It is unnecessary to take account of crops covering small areas unless they are very valuable, as, for example, sugarcane :-
Percentage of total area of crop
Rise of price per cent
Multiple of column 3 by column
The total of column 4 divided by 90 gives the general rise. If the cropping of tahsil is simple enough to enable one to make a rough general estimate of the yield per acre of each crope the statement can be amplified and improved.
Percentage of total area of crop
Yield per acre in manuds
Total yield in maunds
Rise of price per cent
Multiple of column 3 by column