(a) PATWARIS AND KANUNGOS (PARAS, 264-304, PUNJAB LAND ADMINISTRATION MANUAL)
264. Patwari and Kanungo staff before 1885:-The term village officer as used in the land Revenue Act, means a headman, a chief headman, and a patwari. In this chapter we are only concerned with the patwari or village registrar and accountant, and with his immediate superior, the Kanungo. No efficient revenue administration of a district is possible unless the patwari staff is strong, properly trained, and strictly supervised by the Kanungos, Tehsildars, Revenue Assistant, and Deputy Commissioner.
265. Object of reforms initiated in 1885:- In the Course of years effective measures have been taken to secure the proper performance by the patwari of his three chief duties.–
(1) the maintenance of the crops grown at every harvest;
(2) the keeping of the record-of-right up-to-date by the punctual record of mutations; and
(3) the accurate preparation of statistical returns embodying the information derived from the harvest inspections, register of mutations, and record-of-rights.
These duties will be fully described in the 9th, 10th, and 11th Chapter of this work.
266. Principles of revenue policy, sound, but machinery for carrying them out wanting:- The revenue policy of the Punjab from the beginning was founded on the principles laid down in Thomason’s valuable treatise, the “Direction for Settlement Officers” and the “Directions for Collectors”. But the official machinery was too weak to secure effective compliance.
267 To 270. Cancelled.
271. Indian Finance Commission of 1880 Proposed: (1) Formation of Agricultural Department in each province:- Inspite of efforts to secure improvement, the revenue statistics of the province remained incomplete and unreliable until late into last century. But the lessons learned in the famine of 1877-1878 made it impossible to leave things where they were. In the report of the Indian Famine Commission, which was presented to presented to Parliament in 1880, great stress was laid on the necessity of creating in each province a special agricultural Department. The Commissioner remarked:-
“Such an office in each province would have charge of all the records of post famines, and take note of all that is being usefully done or learnt in neighboring provinces, so that the gathered results of past experience might be collected and made accessible, which has hitherto been hardly possible. Through this office should be brought together the more comprehensive and exact record of the agricultural withal, and economic condition of the people to the urgent necessity of which we have already drawn attention. Especially, when a famine is thought to be impending such an office would become important, as it would supply the Government with all statistics bearing on this subject, and would be responsible for working out from them the conclusion on which the decision as to future action would mainly rest. When a famine is in progress all the information relating to relief measures, their extent, their results, would be collected in it and presented in a uniform and intelligible manner, and through it all orders of the local Government to famine administration would be issued.
272. Reform of patwari and Kanungo agency:- (2) “ The efficiency of such a special department , as we have proposed, will depend mainly on the completeness and accuracy with which the agricultural, vital and economic statistics with which it has to deal are collected in each village and compiled in each sub-division and district throughout the country ****** “The revenue system in the greater part of British-India is such as to present unrivalled means of ascertaining, in the fullest manner, all necessary facts relating to agriculture, and to the different incidents of landed tenures in every village; but those means have nowhere been completely utilized and made as efficient as they might be. We recommend that, the body of village accountants should everywhere be put on a sound and satisfactory footing as responsible public officers, with a clearly defined set of duties, but with due consideration to the importance of their permanent connection with their own village.”****** “Over the village accountants there should be a staff of active sub-officers employed in keeping them to their duty, inspecting their work, visiting each village in turn, and checking the accuracy of all the items recorded concerning it.”
273. Appointment of Revenue Assistant in each district:– (3) “Above these there should be a special officer in every district who would be, as a rule, of the rank of Deputy Collector, and whose main or only duty should be to take charge of all matters connected with the economic condition and well-being of the people. He would test and compile the agricultural returns and examine the market prices and ascertain form these and other data the relative value of each year’s crop, according as it is below or above the average. Form such a continuous record of the harvests he would obtain date for judging whether the landed classes were in a depressed or a prosperous condition, and how far they were prepared to meet a calamitous season. It would be his object to obtain similar information as to all section of the population, and to learn what are the causes of depression, and what classes would be the first to succumb under the pressure of scarcity and high prices. The accurate regulation of vital statistics and the investigation of causes of any abnormal mortality, would he within his province, and he would be the agent of the health officer of the district for the purpose of scrutinizing the record of births and deaths. The extent of the food stocks, the ebb and flow of local trade, the current rate of interest charged on loans to different classes, the deficient or superabundant supply of any kinds of labour and the customary wages paid to each kind, these and other kindred topics in which information is at present far from precise, would fall within the scope of his enquiries. These officers, while generally subordinate to the Collector, would be specially under the orders of the Agricultural Department in respect of the system on which their returns are to be prepared and checked.
274. Appointment of Director of Agriculture in each province. – “A Director of Agriculture should be appointed in each province as executive head of this Department, chosen for his knowledge of the condition of the people and particularly of the agricultural and statistics. In ordinary times he would discharge these duties and superintend all measures designed to improve the agriculture of the country; and in times of famine he would be the officer responsible for warning the Government as to the agriculture outlook, and for preparing such a forecast as should guide it in issuing instructions and setting on foot measures of relief.”
275. Introduction of reforms in Punjab. – The measures proposed by the Commission, therefore, embraced–
(a) the reform of the patwari staff;
(b) the provision of sufficient staff of supervisors or Kanungos;
( c ) the appointment of a revenue assistant in each district; and
(d) the appointment of a Director of Agriculture in each province. It fell to Colonel Wace, first as Settlement Commissioner and later as Financial Commissioner, to carry out these reforms a task which he welcomed with enthusiasm. To enable him to deal with the matter effectively he was appointment in 1882 Director of Agriculture which retaining the post of Settlements Commissioner. In 1883 a Revenue Assistant was appointed in each district, except Simla. In the same year Colonel Wace prepared a scheme for the re-organization of the Kanungo staff, which was sanctioned with some modifications next year, and carried out in 1885. Hitherto the establishment in each district had consisted of a sadr Kanungo at headquarters on Rs. 60 at each Tehsil. The staff was now doubled. The Kanungo at the Tehsil headquarters became the officer Kanungo and a staff of field Kanungos was provided to supervise the patwaris’ work in their villages. The pay and prospects of Kanungos were much improved. A Director of Land Records was appointed in 1885.
276. Object of reforms in land record agency and procedure. – These changes and the procedure connected with the reformed system of record were embodies in a new code of patwari and Kanungo rules, the object of which was explained to be the securing of —
(a) real efficiency 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 of the total results of each harvest and each year’s husbandry, these tables being kept first by villages, secondly, by assessment circles, and thirdly, by Tehsils;
(d) the punctual record and attestation of all mutations of rights and their prompt incorporation in the Jamabandi;
(e) the cessation of the practice, under which in numerous cases mutation orders were passed in the absence of the parties, or after calling them away from their villages to the Tehsil office;
(f) the release of the Tehsildars and Naib-Tehsildar from a large amount of revenue case work, which, under the procedure hitherto prescribed for such work tied them to their Tehsil offices and overburdened their small office establishment with clerical duties; and
(g) as a consequence the systematic visiting of each village, either by the Tehsildar or Naib-Tehsildar.
277. Effect of reforms. — The new system was embodied in the Punjab Land Revenue Act of 1887 and the rules issued under it. Since it was introduced it has been modified in some of its details. But no change affecting its main features has been made, and the soundness of the scheme has been proved by a steady improvement in the work of the patwaris and in the revenue administration of the districts.
278. Organization of patwari and Kanungo staff reconsidered at settlement. – The organization of the patwari and Kanungo staff is carefully reconsidered when a district is being assessed, and it is rarely necessary to make many changes in the interval between two settlements. The limits of patwaris’ circles are matters for the Commissioner to decide; the number, grading and pay of patwaris as also the revision of the limits of field Kanungos’ circles require the sanction of the Financial Commissioner.
279. Points for consideration in forming patwaris’ circles. – In fixing the limits of a circle the chief points to consider are the number of fields to be worked over at the harvest inspections and the number of owners’ holdings and cultivators’ holding, for which entries have to be made in the record-of-rights. The number given to each field in the village map is known as the Khasra number, that assigned to each owner’s holding in the record-of-rights is called the Jamabandi number, and that allotted to each cultivator’s holding the khatauni number. A patwari should usually be able keep up the records of a circle containing from 4,000 to 5,000 Khasra and 1,200 to 1,600 khatuni numbers, but regard must be paid to the distances patwari will have to travel, the nature of the country, the simplicity or complexity of the land tenures, and the inclusion in the circle of estate subject to river action or under fluctuating assessment, and the degree of fragmentation or consolidation of holdings. A circle generally consists of several adjoining estates, but some large estates require the whole services of a patwari and a few have more than one.
280. Grading of patwaris. – Before 1885 there was a separate patwari cess, and each patwari received the amount levied in the villages of his circle. A man which a small circle of right highly cultivated estates drew much more pay than his fellow incharge of a much larger and more difficult circle containing villages where the precariousness of the crops had enforced a light assessment. Now the patwaris of a district are distributed into grades with varying rates of pay, Patwaris are graded as under: —
1st grade, on Rs. 26 per mensem … 20 per cent.
2nd grade, on Rs. 23 per mensem … 40 per cent.
3rd grade, on Rs. 20 per mensem … 40 per cent.
281. Village officers’ cess. – Section 29 of the Land Revenue Act, XVII of 1887, provided for the levy of a cess at a rate not exceeding 12 ½ percent., on the land revenue and canal owner’s rate of remuneration of village officers, that is to say, headmen, chief headmen and patwaris. The headman retains a surcharge of 5 per cent on the land revenue and owner’s rate which he collects, and 1 per cent is payable to the chief headman, if there is one. The balance used to be available for the remuneration of the patwari staff, but in 1906 the liability of the land-owners for the pay of the patwari staff was abolished.
282. Assistant patwaris. – It is usual to have a few young assistant patwaris receiving Rs. 15 monthly. Assistants should be used to help patwaris whose work is very heavy or to fill temporary leave vacancies. Except in the latter case, they should not ordinarily be given any independent charge.
283. Pay of patwaris. – Salaries are drawn monthly and care should be taken that they are punctually disbursed. Besides their pay patwaris receive a two-fifth’s share of the fees levied for the entry of mutation in the record-of-rights, and are allowed to make certain small charge for allowing the inspection of their records and giving certified extracts. It is rule to which no exceptions are allowed that the whole of the pay and all the fees must be given to the person who actually performs the duties of patwari.
284. Appointment, punishment and dismissal of patwaris. – No Revenue Officer below the grade of Collector can appoint, punish, or dismiss a patwari. With this exception that the Revenue Assistant may impose on a patwari a fine not exceeding Rs. 2 and a Tehsildar a fine not exceeding Re. 1 on any one occasion. But the Deputy Commissioner should keep the power to sanction appointments and dismissals in his own hands. Recommendations should be received from the Revenue Assistant, and where he is an impartial and sensible man, they should usually be accepted. Upon him mainly depends the efficiency of the patwari and Kanungo staff. He cannot have the proper amount of authority over it or be accepted to work with zeal if his subordinates are given any reason to suspect that he has not the support and confidence of his chief.
285. Patwari candidates. – A register of patwari candidates is kept up for each Tehsil. In most districts it is now possible to exclude men who have not passed the Middle School examination. Near and clear handwriting in the Urdu character and the power to work out simple sums in arithmetic quickly and correctly are essential, and no candidate, however well qualified otherwise, should be accepted who has not good physique and health and good eyesight. Candidates must be between the age of 15 and 25 years. It is undesirable that a large proportion of the candidates should belong to the money-lending or trading class, and the sons of agriculturists should be encouraged to come forward as candidates. A clever and well-educated lad who enters Government service as a patwari has very fair chances or promotion to higher posts. The appointments of Tehsil revenue accountant (wasil baki navis) and siyaha navis are, whenever possible, reserved for them, and two-thirds of the Kanungos must be promoted patwaris. Once he becomes a field Kanungo a patwari may hope to climb still higher on the official ladder. Patwaris are also eligible for the post of Tehsil judicial muharrir.
286. Patwari school. – Every candidate must attend the Patwari School and appear at the patwari-examination. His name should ordinarily be struck off the register if he fails to pass within three years. The Patwari School in each district should be opened on the 15th of April and closed at the end of August. Before joining the school the candidate should be required to attend for instruction at the Rabi Girdawari. The principal subjects taught with the aid of books are arithmetic and mensuration, on which special manuals have been written for the use of patwaris, and the directions contained in the Financial Commissioner’ standing Orders Nos. 15, 16, 22, 23, 24 (now incorporated in Chapters 3, 4, 7 and 10, respectively Punjab Land Records Manual) and Appendices VII, VIII, X and XXI of the Punjab Settlement Manual. But the teaching should be of a thoroughly practical character and a great deal of it should be given in the field. In survey work a pound of a practice is worth a of instruction. A candidate who passes the examination held at the end of the school term, attends the kharif Girdawari for further practical instruction, and unless he does so, he is not entitled to pass certificate.
287. Filling up of vacancies. – The most “suitable” candidate must be selected, and relationship to the former patwari confers no claim. But the Deputy Commissioner is bound to consider any representation made by the land-owners of the vacant circle, and, if it is evident that they really with for the appointment of a relation of the late incumbent, who is fit for the post, some regard should be had to this in weighting claims. The fact that the candidate is already a resident of the circle and has the confidence of the proprietors, has a strong bearing on his “suitability”. However well-qualified to he seems to be, a candidate should not be chosen if any of his near relations lend money in the circle.
288. Residence of patwari in his circle. – Every patwari is bound to reside with his family in his circle, and must not leave it without permission. The Deputy Commissioner may free him from this obligation, but circumstances in which it would be right to do so very rarely arise. Where a suitable patwarkhana exists, the patwari must keep his records in it, live in it with his family and repair it when necessary. Land-owners must not be asked to spend any part of the common village fund (malba) in buildings of maintaining patwarkhanas, and only in special circumstances will the expenditure on these objects be met by Government. Where no patwarkhana exists the patwari must make his own arrangements, but reasonable help enabling him to do this will be given to him by the revenue authorities.
It is intention of Government to provide additional patwarkhanas steadily year by year.
289. Disabilities of patwaris. – A patwari is forbidden to engage in trade, or to have any interest whatever in the lending of money to agriculturists, and he must not tour for any legal practitioner or borrow from any agriculturist in his circle. He cannot acquire land in his circle, except by inheritance, and if he possesses any interest in land anywhere he must report the fact to the Tehsildar. Nor can he purchase or bid for either agriculture land for building sites in colonies without the sanction of the Local Government previous obtained. A patwari sometimes tries to evade these rules by buying or taking mortgages in the name on of his sons, but transparent subterfuge of this sort are easily brushed aside. He is not permitted to write, attest or witness deeds for private individuals. He may be dismissed if he is deeply in debt, as well as for misconduct, neglect of duty, or incompetence. As soon as he becomes unfit through age or chronic ill health to do this work properly he must be relieved of his office. Small rewards are payable on retirement to well-conducted patwaris who have served for a long time.
290. Employment of patwari on other but his proper duties forbidden. – Care must be taken that no patwari is employed on any duties except those laid down in the Financial Commissioner’ standing Order No. 15 (now see Chapter 3, PLR Manual) which are only sufficient to occupy his whole time. The chief branches of this work, the registration of the crops, the maintenance of the record-of-rights, and the writing up of the statistical register of each estate will be described in latter chapters. But the other duties which he has to discharge may be briefly noticed here.
291. Miscellaneous duties of patwaris. – It is his business to report at once all serious calamities affecting the land or the crops, and all severe outbreaks of disease among man and beast. He must bring to the notice of inspecting officers encroachments on Government lands, the death of pensioners and assignees, the emigration or immigration of cultivators, and the unauthorised cultivation of groves held revenue free on condition to the extend noted in Chapter XV. He must allow any one interested to inspect his records, and, if required, give certified extract from them.
292. Patwari’s diary. – He keeps up a diary (Roznamcha) and a word-book. The first part of the diary, which is renewed annually, should contain a record of all facts of importance regarding the cultivation of the land, the state of the crops, the condition and relations of land-owners and tenants, and the interests of Government. The entries should be made on the day on which the events come to the notice of the Patwari. At the end of each Sambata month a careful general note on the crops and the cattle of the circle should be added. Orders received by the patwari from the Kanungo or from any Revenue officer should also be entered in part of the diary. Where, however, an order consists of directions of a general nature it should be inserted in Part II, which is not renewed every year. The diary, like all other revenue records, is kept by the agricultural year, beginning on 16th Bhadon, corresponding to the 1st September.
293. Kanungo staff: – The Kanungo establishment consists of field Kanungos, office Kanungos, and a district Kanungo, Its strength in each district can only be altered with the sanction of the local Government. Ordinarily there is one field Kanungo for about twenty patwaris, an officer Kanungo at each Tehsil, and a district Kanungo with at least one assistant at headquarters.
294. Duties of field Kanungo:– The field Kanungo should be constantly moving about his circle supervising the work of the patwaris on the spot, except in the month of September, when he stays at the Tehsil to check the Jamabandi received from the patwaris.
295. Duties of office Kanungo:– The office Kanungo is the Tehsildar revenue clerk. His chief word, the maintenance of the statistical revenue records will be described in a latter chapter. He has also charge of the forms and stationery required by patwari, keeps the accounts of mutation fees, records the rainfall, and maintains the register of assignees of land revenue and other miscellaneous revenue registers. He is custodian of all the records received from patwaris, and a well-ordered Kanungo office is an important factor in the revenue management of Tehsil.
296. Duties of district Kanungo:– The district Kanungos, is responsible for the efficiency of both the office and the field Kanungos, and should be in camp inspecting their work for at lest fifteen days in each month from 1st October to 30th April. He is the keeper of all records from Kanungos and patwaris, maintains with the help of his assistant copies of the prescribed statistical register for each assessment circle, Tehsil and the whole district. It is necessary, as already noted, to give him one or more assistants for office work. The pay of a Sadar Kanungos is Rs. 75—5/-2—100 per mensem, and his assistant receives Rs. 60 per mensem, except in Simla where he receives Rs. 50—5—75 per mensem, while special Kanungo entertained in connection with the scheme for making the contents of revenue records more readily accessible to litigants in Civil and Revenue Courts are paid at Rs. 65 per mensem.
297. Kanungos to be employed only on their proper work:- All Kanungos must be strictly confined to their own allotted work. It would, for example, he improper to allow the district Kanungo to be used by the Revenue Assistant as reader. Nor should a Tehsil office Kanungo be used for casework.
298. Grades and pay of Kanungos:- Field and office Kanungos are graded on a single list, office Kanungos being chosen from among the older field Kanungos. On first appointment a field Kanungo receives Rs. 40 per mensem. His appointment is on probation pending the obtaining of a certificate of efficiency from the Director of Land Records. No Kanungos is confirmed unless and until he has obtained this certificate, and it he does not obtain it within 2 years of his first appointment, his name is struck off the list of Kanungos and he is reverted to his original post, if any, no longer remaining a Kanungo candidate. Field Kanungos in the highest grade, on one-fourth of the whole number, draw Rs. 50 monthly. All field Kanungos receive Rs. 20 per mensem as horse allowance. Settlement Kanungos are paid at the same rates as field Kanungos on the district staff. Field Kanungos not employed in settlement work get a stationery allowance of Re. 1 per mensem. Tehsil office Kanungos receive Rs. 60 per mensem.
299. Kanungo candidates. – A register of accepted candidates for the post of Kanungo is maintained. Patwaris on the district, establishment and settlement patwaris drawing Rs. 20 or more per mensem are eligible for this register, provided they have completed three year’s approved service as such and have passed the middle school examination; but a lower educational qualification may be accepted in special cases with the sanction of the Financial Commissioner obtained through the Director of Land Records. Patwaris of three years service and belonging to the 1st or 2nd grade are eligible. Most of the candidates should be drawn from this class, as two-third of the vacancies along Kanungos must be given to patwaris. In choosing candidates it should be remembered that a patwari whose age exceeds thirty-five year should not, as a rule, be promoted to a kanungoship. A few men below the age of twenty-five who have passed the Entrance Examination of the Punjab University may be accepted. But such candidates must not be given appointments till they have served two years as a patwari’s or as apprentice learning patwari’s work. No one should be accepted as a candidate who is no of active habits and able to ride. There is no such thing as a hereditary claim to a Kanungo’s post, and the caution given as to the classes from which the bulk of the candidates should not be drawn in the case of patwaris applies equally tot that of Kanungos. Candidates must appear at the local examination held by the Director of Land Records. On passing it and giving evidence that they have received a practical training they are entitled to certificates of efficiency.
300. Claims of Kanungos to higher post. – Great care should be taken in choosing Kanungo candidate and there is no much difficulty in getting suitable men. The post itself is a respectable one as regards pay and position, and it carries the chance of promotion to the office of district Kanungo, the appointment of district receive accountant (Sadar wasil baki navis), or a Naib-Tehsildar-ehip. Any Kanungo who has served Government for five year including at least two year’s approved services as field Kanungo may be selected as a Naib-Tehsildar candidate. The Commissioner’s register should always contain some names drawn from the kanungo’s list. It is true that few promoted Kanungos are likely to rise above the ran of Naib-Tehsildar by becoming Tehsildars. They are usually, at least when they have started as patwaris, made Naib-Tehsildars too late in life to do so. But their previous training fits them to do very good work at Naib-Tehsildar, and the post of a 1st Grade Naib-Tehsildar is sufficiently honourable and well paid to satisfy the ambition of most men of the class from which the Kanungo staff is mainly drawn. A permanent or officiating district Kanungo is entitled to appear at the Naib-Tehsildar’s examination, and, if he passes his name is put on the register of candidates. A district Kanungo of not less than two years standing may be selected by the Financial Commissioner as a candidate for the post of Tehsildar.
301. Kanungos in districts under settlements. – When a district is being reassessed, the kanungos work under the orders of the Settlement Officer who finds it necessary to employ in addition a number of extra or settlement kanungos. He also becomes responsible for the training of candidates. At the end of the settlement he ought to leave in the district a thoroughly efficient kanungo staff with a number of qualified candidates.
302. Training of kanungo candidates in settlement work. – Where possible the Director of Land Record arranges to give kanungo candidates from districts not under settlement a practical training in settlement work.
303. Filling up of post of district kanungos. – A vacancy in the office of district kanungo must be filled by the promotion of an office or field kanungo. The post is on which can only properly be filled by a well-educated man of active habits, of god natural ability, and sufficiently acquired experience. A fair knowledge of English is an indispensable qualified for appointment. No particular examination test has been prescribed, but ability to read and write English reports intelligibly and fairly quickly is demanded. The Deputy Commissioner should consult the Director of Land Records demi-officially when a vacancy in the post for six months or more is to be filled. If they do not agree as to the person to be appointed each should state his case for the consideration of the Commissioner of the Division, who will make the final selection. An appeal from the decision will lie to the Financial Commissioner.
304. Disabilities of kanungos. – The rule regarding residence is the same mutatis mutandis for field kanungos as for patwaris, and kanungos are under the same regulations as patwaris as regards trading, borrowing and lending, holding land, writing and attesting documents.
(b) VILLAGE HEADMAN, INAMDARS AND ZAILDARS
(Paras. 305—348. Punjab L. A. M.)
305. Value of unofficial agency. – In the last two chapters the strong body of Government servants, of which the Deputy Commissioner is the haad, has been described. It is a powerful piece of administrative machinery, but as links between the higher officers and the communities for whose welfare they are responsible, its inferior members have the defect which belong to purely official agency. They have, therefore, been supplemented by representatives of the land-owners in the shape of village headmen, inamdars and zaildars.
306. Convenience of dealings with village communities through headmen. – It is obviously convenient for the State to deal with bodies like village communities through headman. The internal affairs of such communities used to be, and in some placed still in a measure are, managed by informal councils or panchayats. But these have fallen into decay, and in any case their constitution was too loose for them to serve intermediate between the rulers and the landowners. The Sikh Government, like our own, found it useful to have such intermediaries. The chaudhris and muskaddims through whom it dealt with the people corresponded roughly with or zaildars and Lambardars.
307. Duties of headmen. – The headmen of a village act on behalf of the landowners, tenants and other residents in their relations with the State. They are bound to attend when summoned by officer of Government, and to aid them in the execution of their public duties. Their important functions as regards the prevention and detection of crime do not fall within the scope of this work. Their chief duties are set-forth in some detail in a vernacular memorandum which is given to each headman on his appointment. Those concerned with land administration may be summarized as follows: — A. Duties to Government: —
1. To collect and pay into the treasury the land revenue and all sums recoverable as land revenue.
2. To report to the Tehsildar: —
(a) The death of assignees and pensioners, and their absence for over a year.
(b) Encroachments on, or injury to, Government property.
3. To aid—
(a) In carrying out harvest inspection, surveys, the record of mutations and other revenue business;
(b) In providing, on payment, supplies or means of transport for troops and officers of Government.
Duties to land-owners and tenants of estate: —
1. To acknowledge every payment received from them to their parcha books.
2. To collect and manage the common village fund (malba), and account to the shareholders for all receipts and expenditure.
The duties of headmen as regards the collections of revenue (A 1 and B 1 above) are dealt with in Chapter XV. Those which fall under head A 2 (a) and A3 (a) call for no remark. The financial Commissioner’s Standing Order No. 58 deals with transport and supplies for troops. As regards the village malba (B 2) the 93rd and 94th paragraphs of the Settlement Manual may be consulted.
308. Remuneration of headmen. – The manner in which headmen are remunerated for their services has already been noticed. The pachotra or surcharge of 5 per cent on the land revenue to which they are entitled is calculated not on the demand, but on the amount collected. A suspension or remission of the land revenue, therefore, involves the suspension or remission of a corresponding share of the pachotra. As headmen collect their own pachotra, it may be doubted whether this rule is always carried out, but, in case of dispute, it must be enforced. Headmen usually receive and allowance of 3 per cent on account of collections of canal occupier’s rate.
309. Appointment and dismissal in districts under settlement.—When a district is under settlement, headmen are appointed by the Settlement Officer, When the question of dismissing a headman arises, he settlement officer deals with the matter if the malfeasance was connected with work under his control, otherwise the Deputy Commissioner is the final authority, The officer with whom the actual decision rests should consult his colleague before passing orders.
310. Headman must be landowner of village.— The headman or headmen must be chosen from among the landowners of the village. In the case of Government estates, or estates in which Government owns a considerable share, he may be one of the Government tenants.
311. Too many headmen often appointed at first regular settlement. — The existing Lambardari arrangements in most villages were made when they were first brought under a regular settlement. It was often found that a considerable number of the owners had in fact received a share of the pachotra, and that there were many claimants for the office of headman. The original arrangements can be recast and the number of headmen reduced with the sanction of the Financial Commissioner (See paragraph 329). When a readjustment of pachotra is advisable for any reason, the Collector can take action under Land Revenue Rule 21 (iv).
312. Matters to be considered in making new appointments.— In making new appointments, as distinguished from the filling up of vacancies in existing posts, the chief matters to consider are—
(a) the constitution of the community to be represented,
(b) the family claims of the candidates,
(c ) the extent of their landed property and their freedom from debt.
(d) their character, ability and personal influence, and
(e) any services rendered to the State by themselves or the families to which they be long.
The first point is important in deciding how many headmen are required. The number should be as small as possible, having regard to the claim of each principal branch of the community to have its own representative.
313. New appointments of headmen. — New appointments are nowadays exceptional, save in the case of estates carved out of the Government waste. Where such an estate is leased to a single lessee, he becomes ipso facto headman for the period of his lease. In the village which have recently been planted in hundreds on state lands brought under cultivation b means of the Upper and Lower Chenab, the Upper and Lower jhelum, the Lower Bari Doab and the Sutlej Valley Canals, the Lambardari arrangements are governed by the constitution of the groups of colonists while have occupied the new settlements. In an ordinary district new appointments are only necessary when the family in which the post is hereditary becomes extinct, when a headman resigns or is dismissed, or in the rare cases in which an increase in the number of headmen is sanctioned by the Commissioner.
314. Ordinarily headman must perform duties himself.—A headman once appointed holds office for life unless the Deputy Commissioner dismisses him or accepts his resignation, No man should ordinarily be retained in office who either does not, or cannot, carry out the duties efficiently, But is some cases where inability to do so is of a temporary nature, and in others where it springs from unavoidable circumstances, the Lambardar is allowed to retain the title, and even in some cases a share of the emoluments, while a substitute is appointed to do the work.
315. Appointment of substitutes in certain cases. – The commonest instance of a temporary inability is that of a headman being too young to act. In that case the appointment of a substitute is imperative. Another instance is absence from the village with the Deputy Commissioner’s consent for a period not exceeding one year. Old age or physical infirmity is a disability which it might savour of harshness to treat as a ground of dismissal. A wide discretion is left to the Deputy Commissioner for he can allow a substitute or sarbarah not only in the circumstances mentioned above, but in any case in which “good cause” can be shown for the lambardar’s unfitness to do the work himself. An absentee landlord owning a whole estate may nominate for the approval of the Deputy Commissioner any of the residents to be his substitute. As a rule, he will have an agent on the spot whom he will naturally put forward. Should he fail to nominate a fit person, the Deputy Commissioner chooses one of the resident tenants. Where in an estate owned by more than one person an absentee headman is responsible either individually or as a representative of other absentees for more than half of the land revenue, the Deputy Commissioner may appoint any resident owner to tenant to be sarbarah. In this, and indeed in all cases in which substitutes are appointed for a Lambardar, who is not a minor, the wishes of the substantive holder of the office should be put on record and fully considered. Other things being equal, the best plan, when the headmen has become unfit to do his work, is to choose as his substitute the man who wound naturally succeed him in the office in the event of his death. If this is his son, he will usually not be a “land-owner”, but this is no obstacle, for “regard shall be had to the property which the candidate will inherit from the person he is intended to represent in like manner as if he has already inherited it.” In the case of minor lambardars, their mothers often ask for the appointment of maternal uncle as sarbarah. Ordinarily he is ineligible because he owns no land in the village, and in any case it is generally much more in accordance with local sentiment to select a near relative of the boy’s father.
315-A. Appointment in canal colonies. – In the colonies it has been the practice from the foundation of each estate to restrict the number of lambardars to one or two. Where service condition exist as, for instance, in the horse-breeding chaks of the Lower Jhelum Canal Colony it is usually considered preferable to have only one lambardar. These posts are so much coveted that the ordinary objection against having too few lambardars does not hold good. Hereditary claims need not be regarded since the landholders are not proprietors, and, therefore, the Collector is free to select the most suitable landholder. In the newer colonies, where service conditions do not exist, two lambardars are ordinarily appointed.
It making such appointments care should be taken to ensure that the lambardar appointed resides, or will reside personally in the chak. It must be remembered that the post of lambardar has been created in order to ensure the performance of services necessary for the efficiency of the administration of the province and the district. These posts are not created to add to the prestige and influence of influential and wealthy land-owners, who have no intention of fulfilling the obligations of the post. An additional objection to the appointment of such posts as lambardars is that in many chaks the result of their appointment would be that the work of the lambardar to all intents and purposes, would be performed by a servant, and that land-holders of considerable social standing, such as retired Commissioned military officers, would occupy a position of subordination to the sarbarah lambardar—a state of affairs to which they naturally have a strong objection. The land revenue rules with regard to the appointment of substitutes should, therefore, be most carefully observed. The only concession which can property be made to influential and wealthy non-resident land-holders is that they should be appointed lambardars for the land which they hold themselves. In such cases they should not be permitted to have any hand in the management of the land allotted to the menials of the village.
316. Division of pachotra. – It is permissible to divide the pachotra between the headman and his substitute. If it is intended to do so, the arrangement must be noted in the order of appointment, otherwise the substitute will receive the whole on the principle that the man who does the work should get the pay. In any case the substitute’s share must not be fixed at less than one half.
317. Removal of substitute. – The Deputy Commissioner may remove a substitute for any reason which would justify the removal of the headman himself or for any other sufficient reason.
318. Resignation of headman. – When a headman resigns he generally asks for the appointment of his son to succeed him, and, in order to give him the landowner’s qualifications, offers to transfer a share of his holding to him by gift. Arrangements of this sort, being apt to lead to quarrels over the division of the family holding after the father’s death, should be discouraged. Where the lambardar has done nothing to merit dismissal, it is better to retain him as nominal headman and to appoint his son to be his substitute.
319. Dismissal of headman. – The chief grounds on which a headman may properly be dismissed are four–
(a) loss of the status of landowner in the estate.
(c) persistent neglect of duty.
The first calls for no remarks. Dismissal in such a case in imperative.
320. Poverty as ground of dismissal. – As regards the second, the collection of the dues of the State cannot safely be entrusted to a man who is himself insolvent. If a headman has mortgaged his own holding, and has ceased to be the person from whom its revenue is due to Government, he ought to be dismissed unless he can make arrangements to pay off within a short time the whole mortgage debt or so much of it as will suffice to release so much of the holding as will be sufficient security for the Government revenue which passes through his hands. In such a case a headman may be allowed a reasonable period within which to recover himself if meanwhile he can furnish security for the payment of the revenue and the discharge of his other duties. But make shift arrangements of this kind should not be continued for any length of time. A headman, who is a defaulter in respect of his own holding, ought no to be kept in office. The mere fact, however, that one or other of the minor processes referred to in paragraphs 520 521 of this Manual has been employed against him need not necessarily entail dismissal, If the estate or sub-division of the estate which the headman represents has had to be attached on account of arrears, the Deputy Commissioner may dismiss the lambardar, and the same course may be followed if the attachment is made by an order of any Court law. Proof that a headman is heavily in debt, or that the amount of unencumbered land remaining in his possession is very small, at once raises the question of his fitness to retain office. In these cases much depends on the cause of the man’s difficulties and the likelihood of his being able to surmount them. If the revenue is paid in punctually, no readiness should be shown to harass a headman and gratify his rivals by fishing enquiries into hi private affairs. The practice which has prevailed in some places of encouraging patwaris to report cases of indebtedness is very objectionable. No Tehsildar who exercise proper control over the land revenue collection, and who moves freely among the people, has any need of such written reports, and the acceptance of them puts the patwari in a position with reference to headmen which he has no right to occupy.
321. Punishments for neglect of duty. – Neglect of duty which is either gross of persistent, should be followed by removal from office. Minor breaches of rules or acts of negligence may be punished–
(a) by the forfeiture of the whole or part of the pachotra, or
(b) by suspension form office for a term not exceeding a year.
Orders attaching the pachotra usually only relate to that due at the next harvest, and in no case should the pachotra of more than two harvests be declared forfeit. A substitute may be appointed to do the work of a headman under suspension.
322. Commission of criminal offence as ground of dismissal. – Considering that one of the chief duties of a headman is to aid in the prevention and detection of crime, he ought to be removed from office if convicted of any serious offence. If he is sent to jail for a year or more, the Deputy Commissioner has no choice; he must dismiss him; otherwise he has a discretion. Every petty breach of the criminal law need not be magnified into a ground for dismissal. The conditions of life in a Punjab village are such that a man is very liable to be hauled before a Magistrate for acts, or alleged acts, which are offences under the Indian Penal Code, but which it is an abuse of language to qualify as crimes. The only rule that can be laid down is that, if the facts proved against a headman indicate that he is unfit to be entrusted with the duties of his post, he should cease to hold it. If he is shown to be dishonest, or to consort with bad characters, obviously he should be dismissed. A conviction of theft or cheating prove him unfit to have charge of public money; an order to give security to be of good behaviour or trustworthy evidence of connivance with illicit distilling makes it clear that the offender cannot be relied on for help in suppressing crime or in enforcing the excise laws.
323. Filling up of vacant posts. – Where the office of headman becomes vacant, it is the duty of the Tehsildar to report without delay regarding the appointment of a successor, It is convenient to use a tabular form for such reports as information on certain point is required in every case, and any special features of a particular case can be noted in the brief remarks explaining the recommendation of the Tehsildar.
323-A. Appointment to vacant posts should not be delayed. – In view of the importance of the duties performed by village headmen, it is imperative that when a post falls vacant, it should be filled as quickly as possible. In cases where the deceases is to be succeeded by his heir, under Land Revenue Rule 17 (ii) and no other candidate is forthcoming, no reference need be made to the Collector as the appointment is sanctioned by the Assistant Collector, 1st grade. It is advisable, however, that the sanad or appointment should be signed by the Collector himself as this emphasizes the importance of the post, and enhances the value of the sanad. In cases of disputed succession, the appointment is made by the Collector, and subordinate officials have no direct responsibility with regard to the appointment other than the provision of such accurate information as will enable the Collector to come to a correct decision. In colony areas where the estate are chiefly or wholly owned by Government and hereditary claims carry but little weight, the emoluments of lambardars are very considerable because of the large sums of land revenue and water-rates to be collected. The value of these posts is still further enhanced in peasant chaks by the allotment of a Lambardari square or half-square. It is, therefore, all the more desirable that such cases should not be delayed before they reach the Collector. In no circumstances should a greater delay than of one month be permitted to occur between the occurrence of the vacancy and the placing of all the papers before the Collector for his decision. The practice of subordinate officials sending repeatedly for all candidates to examine them with regard to their claims and qualifications opens the door to opportunities for extortion. As soon as the vacancy occurs, a report should be made by the patwari to the Tehsildar. An early date should then be fixed by the Tehsildar or Naib-Tehsildar on which on which he will consider and investigate all the applications for the vacant post. He should, if possible, arrange to hold the investigation in or near the estate concerned. The claimants should be given an opportunity of making any objections which they wish to make against the other claimants. A report should be called for from the local police station as to whether there are any written complaints against any of the candidates. In no circumstances should the candidates be called upon to attend the police station for the investigation of their claims or their objections to other claimants. The papers should then be forwarded to the Assistant Collector 1st Grade, who should record his opinion on the file from his own personal knowledge and form the material already collected. He should not delay the case by sending for the claimants. The papers should then been laid before the Collector within one month from the date for the decision of the case, notify all the claimants and have the date proclaimed in the estate concerned. Meanwhile he should forward the papers to the Superintendent of Police for an expression of that officer’s opinion. That opinion should be given by the Superintendent of police from the material already collected on the file, and from his personal knowledge of the claimants.
324. Hereditary claims. – Except in estates chiefly or wholly owned by Government, much weight is attached to hereditary claims. The eldest fit son of the late lambardar should ordinarily be appointed, and, when there no is son, the nearest collateral relations, according to the rule of primogeniture. Where there are no near collaterals, the necessity of regarding hereditary claims disappears. The nearest heir may, of course, be set aside for any reason which would justify his removal from office if he were already headman. Whether the claims of sons should be considered where a headman has been dismissed depends on circumstances. If the ground of dismissal has been insolvency, the son will be subject to the same disqualification: if serious misconduct, it can rarely be wise to let a son succeed. Even when he is innocent of any share in his father’s misdeeds; he will generally be under his influence. If the other reasons for excluding him seem insufficient, the mere fact that he owns no land during his father’s lifetime does no bar his appointment. The property which he will inherit on his father’s death may be taken into account as if it was already his own.
325. Votes must not be taken. – Even where hereditary claims have to be set aside, the votes of the landowners must no be taken as a means of deciding between rival candidates.
326. Appointment of females. – Female are ordinarily ineligible. But woman who is sole owner of an estate may be appointed, and special reasons may occasionally exist in other cases for departing from a general rule.
327. Appointment when hereditary claims are set aside. – Where hereditary claims do not exist, or have to be set aside, the considerations governing appointments are those mentioned in paragraph 312.
328. Classes of transferees. – Where a headman is removed because his own holding or the whole estate or sub-division of the estate for whose revenue he is responsible has on account of arrears been transferred to a solvent co-sharer, put under direct management, or leased to a farmer, the transferee manager, or farmer may, if the Deputy Commissioner thinks fit, he appointed lambardar. Where a headman loses office because he has mortgaged his holding, the mortgagee has usually no claim whatever to succeed him. But the may, at the Deputy Commissioner’s discretion, he allowed to do so where the revenue of the transferred holding is more than half of the whole revenue for the payment of which the late headman was, as such, responsible. The appointments referred to in this paragraph are not in their nature permanent. When the temporary alienations from which they spring come to an end, the transferee, manager, farmer or mortgagee must lay down his office. A fresh selection is then made by the Deputy Commissioner, having regard to the grounds stated in paragraph 312.
329. Reduction of headman when number is excessive difficult. Reference has already been made to the inconvenience caused by the needless multiplication of headman’s posts at the first regular settlements. Substantial means heads of villages among the most necessary instrument of a vigorous revenue and criminal administration. The framing of a general scheme of reduction requires a large amount of local knowledge, and a patient enquiry into the history of past appointments in every estate affected. The files relating to the arrangements made at the first regular settlement and those dealing with subsequent appointments must be scrutinized and the enquirer must obtain a clear idea of the constitution of each estate and must trace the origin of its sub-divisions by examining the village administration paper (wajib-ul-arz) and genealogical tree (shajra-nasab). The time for making such an enquiry is hard to find in the throng of daily duties which besets a Deputy Commissioner. Of course, much of the information which he requires can be collected and put into shape for him by his officers, but, even so, task is heavy one.
330. General schemes of reduction. – (1) When a district is brought under resettlement, and the Settlement Officer finds that a reduction in the existing number of headmen is required in the interests of good administration in a considerable number of villages throughout the district or in any particular Tehsil, he should, in consultation with the Deputy Commissioner, prepare a scheme for affecting the necessary reduction gradually as vacancies occur.
(2) The main positive ground for reduction of a Lambardari in an estate is that the existing number lambardars is excessive for the purposes of administrative efficiency, while the existence and degree of this excess will generally appear from the fact that the pachotra of the post which it is proposed to reduce in insignificant as a remuneration for the duties to be discharged. It is difficult to lay down a standard figure for the whole province as much must depend on local conditions, but any individual pachotra less than Rs. 20 per fannum may as a rule, and in the absence of special circumstances, such as the existence of a ferry, encamping-ground, &c., be regarded as insignificant. The Commissioner should prescribe a suitable general standard for each district in his division and in some cases it may be advisable to fix such standard for particular Tehsils. It is not, however, by any means intended that every lambardari of which the pachotra is below the prescribed amount should necessarily be proposed for reduction apart from the other modifying considerations, of which some are noticed below, On the other hand, where the pachotra is more than such amount, reduction may, in special cases, be desirable nevertheless. In calculating the pachotra the amount received in respect of canal occupier’s rates (paragraph 308) should not be neglected.
(3) In determining what appointments should be retained and what abolished, special attention should be paid to the composition of the village proprietary body, to the circumstances under which exiting appointments became vested in certain families and to the present position and influence of these families. No proposal for reduction can be fully satisfactory unless it takes sufficient account of the origin and history of the lambardari which is proposed for reduction. For instance, it is generally desirable to reduce the lambardari held by the junior branch of a family, rather than that held by the senior, and, in order to secure this, it may be advisable to forego an otherwise suitable occasion for reduction and defer the latter step unit the occurrence of a more appropriate vacancy.
(4) In estates homogeneous as regards caste and tribes, reductions may properly be made more freely than in those where there is considerable diversity in these respects.
(5) Reduction is not generally advisable where its effect will be to place any considerable number of proprietors of one religion, tribe or caste under a lambardar of another Patti or sub-division of a different religion, etc.
(6) As a rule, it is better if the conditions permit to reduce the post of second lambardar of one taraf, Patti or other sub-division of an estate, rather than that of the sole lambardar of another taraf, etc.
(7) The proposals of the Settlement Officer and the Deputy Commissioner should be embodied in a register in the form prescribed in paragraph 5 of standing Order No. 20—Village Headman. They should not be announced to the villagers, nor will they be submitted to higher authority for sanction. But, if there is any difference of opinion between the Settlement Officer and the Deputy Commissioner, the register, together with any connected papers relating to any lambardari about which there is such disagreement, shall be forwarded to the Commissioner, who will decide whether such lambardari shall or shall not be retained in the register. The register will then he made over to the Deputy Commissioner, with whom it will remain.
(8) Whenever a vacancy occurs in a lambardari which has been recommended for reduction in the register prepared at settlement, the Deputy Commissioner will, subject to what is said in the next sentence, send up the case to the Commissioner, with an extract from the register and other papers required by Standing Order No. 20 in the case of casual proposals, whether he agrees with the recommendation made in the register or not. But he should not, save in very exceptional cases, send up cases in which the Settlement Officer’s proposal would result in either the total number of lambardars in village being reduced to one, or in the passing over of an heir in the direct line, especially a minor, In the above contingencies the Financial Commissioner will not generally sanction a reduction. In other cases if the Deputy Commissioner thinks that effect should not be given to a reduction proposed in the scheme, in the special circumstances of the vacancy which has occurred, he should submit a note of his reason. If the Commissioner considers that the occasion in not appropriate for reduction, the case may be disposed of by his order, but in cases in which he considers that reduction should be made a reference should be made to the Financial Commissioner, and the procedure prescribed in paragraph 332(3), (4) and (6) below will be applicable in them.
(9) A similar scheme may, at any time, for sufficient reasons, be prepared by the Deputy Commissioner of a district not under settlement with the Financial Commissioner’s previous approval.
(10) To ensure that the recommendations made in a scheme prepared by a Settlement Officer or Deputy Commissioner are not overlooked, Deputy Commissioner of districts in which a register has been prepared should require the ahlmad in charge of lambardari cases to note on all files of appointment to a vacant lambardari whether the vacant lambardari whether the vacant post has been recommended for reduction or not.
332. Casual proposals for reduction. – (1) Casual proposals for a reduction in the number of headman in an estate should be made by transmission of the files in originally through the vernacular office, together with an English abstract in the tabular form given in paragraph 6 of the Financial Commissioner’s Standing Order No. 20 and a skeleton abstract of the shajra nasab, showing the origin of each of the patties or tarafs of the village, the revenue paid and the number of revenue-papers in each, and the relationship of the sub-division of the village, the lambardari of which it is proposed to reduce, the sub-division in which it is proposed to be absorbed as regards lambardari arrangements.
(2) The mere absence of a properly qualified hereditary successor to a vacant lambardari, though it may help to render the vacancy a suitable occasion for a reduction desirable on other grounds, is not alone and of itself an adequate ground for reduction. Much less should reduction be proposed solely as a penalty for delinquencies of the last incumbent or of his family. For such a case other appropriate measures are available. The principles laid down in paragraph 330 should also be followed in making casual proposals for reduction.
(3) When a Collector decides to propose a casual reduction, he shall intimate the fact to all the parties interested, viz., those whose names are entered in a columns 5 and 6 of the form, and shall give them sufficient opportunity to bring to his notice any objections any of them may think fit to urge against the proposed reduction. He shall cause his proceedings in this connection to be recorded in the vernacular files in detail, and shall also cause a detailed record to be made of such objections as are made to him. Where the Collector is not himself the Deputy Commissioner of the district, he shall forward the file to the Deputy Commissioner, who shall return it with his opinion.
(4) The Collector, after completing his proceedings, shall, in a case in which he considers reduction desirable, forward the papers prescribed above to the Commissioner for orders.
(5) If the Commissioner is of opinion that a reduction is not appropriate, he shall record his order on the papers and return them to the Collector.
(6) In other cases the Commissioner shall ordinarily retain the papers on his file till the expiry of two months from the date of the Collector’s proposals; and if any person has objected to the proposals, he shall give the objector or objectors an opportunity of being heard, and shall record the objections urged by them. He shall then complete the papers be recording an opinion in which he shall deal with the objections made to the proposal, and shall forward the papers to the Financial Commissioner for orders.
333. Chief headmen. – A device which was formerly adopted in order to lessen the inconvenience caused by the excessive number of lambardars appointed at the first regular settlements was the institution of the office of chief headman (ala lambardar) in estates with several headmen. It is generally admitted that the office of chief headman has served no useful end, and, later a large number of ala lambardari posts were reduced. In 1909 the gradual abolition of the ala lambardari system in the districts in which it still obtains was ordered. In future, vacancies will not be filled up, and the ala lambardars of any man who is dismissed or is granted a zaildari on other inam will be resumed. All existing ala lambardar’s will enjoy their present emoluments for life unless they become resumable as above. In addition to his ordinary pachotra on the revenue of the sub-division which he represents as headman, the ala lambardar receives one per cent on the revenue of the whole estate. Orders to be carried out by a headman may, if thought desirable, be addressed to the chief headman and the latter is responsible that any orders issued are properly executed and should carry them out himself it the headman responsible fails to do so.
334. Zaildars. – As already remarked, zaildars represent the chaudhris of former times. The existence and value of chauredhris was recognized at the time of the annexation of the Punjab, but the measures taken to maintain the influence of men of this class were not sufficiently definite and practical and the position of chaudhris fell into decay. The credit of revising it and of making it under another name a regular part of our administration systems belongs mainly to Mr. Prinsep. Almost every where in Punjab, and even in so democratic a tribe as the Jats, there are men who stand head and shoulders above ordinary headmen, and whose influence extends not to one, but to number of villages. If the proper men are found, and the higher officials of the district know them will and use them widely, the work of administration is greatly assisted. In his zaildars the Deputy Commissioner has a ready means of getting into touch with his people, of understanding them and getting them to understand him. He will find many places of revenue and administrative work in which he can utilize the services of the zaildars, and, above all, he has in them a powerful engine for the prevention and detection of crime.
335. Formation of zails. – In the closing paragraphs of the Settlements Manual the measures connected with the first introduction of the zaildari agency into a district and the principles to be followed in grouping estates into zails are described.
336. Duties of zaildars. – The duties of the zaildars are set forth under seven heads in the sanads which they receive on appointment. Their functions with regard to crime are within their larger spheres similar to those of headmen within their villages. They are of very great importance, but this is not the place to describe them. Like lambardars, they are bound to aid in all sorts of revenue work, and to report when Government buildings, roads or boundary marks are out of repair. When called on to do so they notify throughout their zails all Government orders, and use their personal influence to secure compliance with them. While abstaining from personal interference with the work of lambardars and patwaris, it is their duty to see that they perform it properly, and to inform the authorities of and failure to do so. Forbidden to intermediate of their own motion with cases pending in the law Courts, they can sometimes be employed with advantage as conciliators, or in making preliminary enquires into criminal complaints, which appear to be probably the exaggerated reflections of petty village or family quarrels. It is incumbent on zaildars “to see that the headmen……………………of the zail perform their duties properly “including, of course, the duty of paying in land revenue promptly. But a discreet use should be made of the rule, and zaildars ought not to be employed as if they wee peons. More especially they should neither be ordered themselves to collect any sums due to Government not permitted to take land revenue collected by lambardars to the Tehsil.
337. Duty of attendance on offices vising their zails. – They must attend on Government officers who pass through their zails. This is a duty which is usually cheerfully performed, and which should always be enforced. A Deputy Commissioner should try to see all his zaildars at least once at year in or near their zails, and should encourage them to visit him from time to time at headquarters. If they find that the district officer talks freely to them on matters of local interest, and encourages a frank expression of their views, they are sure to value these opportunities of meeting him.
338. Percentage of land revenue allotted for remuneration of zaildars and inamdars. – For the remuneration of zaildars a sum is set aside out of the land revenue amounting usually to 1 per cent. If inamdars, as well as zaildars, are appointed, and additional ½ percent, is allowed. This deduction is made from assigned, as well as from khalsa revenue. In the case of assigned revenue, the highest contribution that can legally be taken is 1 ½ per cent. But the usual rate is 1 ¼ percent as noted above, and more than ½ percent should not be devoted to the remuneration of inamdars.
339. Methods of remuneration. – There are two ways of treating the sum devoted to the payment of zaildars. Each zaildar may receive 1 per cent of the land revenue of his own circle in the form of an inam paid out of the jama of some particular estate; generally that in which in he himself is headmen. Thus, if the zail is assessed at Rs. 24.900 the inam will be Rs. 249 and the zaildar will keep back that sum when the revenue of his village is paid to Government. A better plan is to have inams arranged in different grades, the total being equal to one per cent of the land revenue of the Tehsil or district.
340. Advantages of grade system. – The grade system gives the officer who fixes the limits of zail a much freer hand. It secures a fairer distribution when zaildars are first appointed for it by no means follows that the zail which yields the biggest revenue is either the largest in area or the most troublesome to manage. Above all it enables the Deputy Commissioner to recognize good work by promoting deserving men on the occurrence of vacancies, and now and then to punish slackness by reducing a zaildar to an inferior grade. In order to make the system effective, a zaildar appointed to fill a vacancy should always be put in the lowest grade. Even where the plan of graded inams is in force, the zaildar gets his pay in the shape of an inam out of the revenue of some village. The reason is that to Indian this seems to more honourable form of payment than the receipt of money from the Tehsil treasury.
341. Inam first charge on revenue of village from which payable. – The zaildar’s inam is a first charge on the revenue of the estate from which it is paid. Partial suspensions or remissions, therefore, do not affect the zaildar so long as the balance is large enough to cover his inam. If it is not, the deficiency should be made up to the zaildar from the revenue of some other village.
342. Zaildar must as a rule be headman. – In choosing a zaildar, the field of selection is usually confined to the headmen. Occasionally the most able and influential man in zail may be a landowner or Government tenant, perhaps a jagirdar or pensioned Indian Officer, who is not a lambardar. On a vacancy occurring, such a man may be appointed if the Commissioner of the division has previously accepted him as a suitable candidate. Care must be taken in putting forward names that a pushing newcomer is not taken at his own valuation, and allowed to thrust aside deserving men of the old chaudhris class.
343. Qualifications of candidates. – Its true that it is settled rule that “in the appointment of zaildars regard shall not be had to any alleged hereditary claim.” But, as two of the chief matters to be considered are “the candidate’s personal influence and the degree in which he is by race or otherwise fitted to represent the majority of the agriculturists who reside in the zail” and the “services rendered to the State by (the candidate) himself or by his family,” it is obvious the questions of descent cannot be wholly excluded. Influence is very commonly hereditary in certain families, and a man who has done nothing to forfeit the respect in which his ancestors have been held in the countryside may assuredly be allowed to urge in his own behalf the services they have rendered in the past an chaudhris and zaildars. The other points for consideration are–
(a) personal character and ability.
(b) extent of property in the zail, and freedom from debt.
344. Appointment of minor. – It sometimes happens that the only suitable candidate is a minor. It may be found, especially in the hills, that to take the zaildar from any family but one involves a breaking up of the old ties and a weakening of the means Government has of influencing the people. In such a case if the representative of the family is a minor, one of two courses ma be followed. The minor may be made zaildar, and a substitute may be appointed to discharge during his nonage the duties of the office, or, if it is thought expedient, the post may be left unfilled for a time.
345. Votes of headmen may be taken. – To assist him in deciding between rival candidates, the Deputy Commissioner may, if he thinks fit, have the votes of the headmen taken in his own presence at some place within the zail. The course, though not suited for general application, may be usefully and appropriately adopted where there are two or more candidates of nearly equal merit. It may also be followed in other cases of a special nature the circumstances of which appear to demand it. Such cases will probably increase in number with the lapse of time. Care, however should be taken that the special procedure for taking votes is not so used as to encourage the idea that the post of zaildar is one dependent merely on popular favour, and not rather a distinction received from the representative of Government, and in this connection it should be noted that the Deputy Commissioner is not bound to appoint the candidate who secures most votes.
346. Inamdars. – In many districts it has been thought expedient to supplement the zaildari agency by setting up a class of inamdars or safedposhes. The services required of an inamdars are within his own sphere of the same type as those rendered by a zaildar, but he receives a much smaller inam, and has no defined group of estates put under his charge. He should clearly understand that he is bound to assist in every possible way the zaildar in whose zail he resides. Occasionally services of a special kind are required by the condition on which the inam was originally granted. The orders regarding appointment, loss of office and succession are the same for inamdars and zaildars, subject, in the case of the former, to any special conditions imposed by Government when the inam was first granted. In Jhelum district and in the Talagang Tehsil of Attock district, which Tehsil was formerly a part of old Jhelum district, special rules exist, which will be found in the Land Revenue Rules. Some of the inams are of a semi-hereditary nature. Such inamdars, who sometimes are called ilaqadars or halaqadars perform all the duties of zaildars.
347. Punishment and dismissal of zaildars and inamdars and appointment of substitutes. – The orders regulating the punishment and dismissal of zaildars and inamdars, and the appointment of substitutes to perform their duties, are practically identical with the corresponding orders in the case of headman. A zaildar must be deprived of office when—
(a) he ceses to be a land-owner in the zail, or has mortgaged his
holding and delivered possession to the mortgagee;
(b) his holding has been transferred, or its assessment annulled, on account of failure to pay land revenue;
(c) he is sentenced to imprisonment for one year or upwards.
348. Zail books. – Wherever the zaildari agency exists, zail books should be maintained. One volume should ordinarily be kept for each Tehsil, and should contain in a pocket a map of the Tehsil showing the zail concerned. The book should be of foolscap size, and map of each zail should be bound into the pocket in the proper place, together with statistical tables showing the information prescribed in the Financial Commissioner’s Standing Order No. 21. Whenever a new zaildar is appointed, and abstract of the order passed by the Collector should be copied into the zail book, giving briefly the names of all the candidates, and the reasons why the Collector has selected or rejected them. The results of appeals should similarly be shown.
Zail books should be treated as strictly confidential, and kept I the personal custody of Collector. Copies of entries in the book should on no account be given either to the persons concerned or to anyone else. It will thus be possible for the Collector to record remarks in these books, expressing frankly his own opinion about the zaildar and various matters connected with the zail. These remarks will be of the greatest use of his successors. Ordinarily, the Collector should arrange to record a no once a year about each zaildar and inamdar so that the record may be kept up-to-date.
The books which are kept by the zaildars and inamdars are also official books and should be provided at Government expense. They are not the property of the persons to whom they are given, and should be surrendered when those persons cease to hold the appointment for which the book has been granted to them. The book should contain a map of the zail and the statistical information required by Financial Commissioner’s Standing Order No. 21. Where an inamdar has been made specially responsible for a portion of the zail, this should be noted in his book. An abstract of the order of Appointment of the zaildar or inamdar should be copied into the book. The Collector should insist on seeing all such books at least once a year and should make a point of recording an entry at least once a year in each book and of seeing that the Superintendent of Police has had a similar opportunity of recording his remarks. No entry should be made in the book by any officer below the rank of an Extra Assistant Commissioner but Revenue Assistants, Excise officers, Deputy Superintendents of Police, Assistant Registrars of Co-operative Societies and Deputy Directors of Agriculture, and in horse breeding circle, District Remount Officers should be encouraged to make entries in these books.
Since the book is not the property of the zaildar or inamdar, it should be clearly explained to him that he should not paste into it any sanad or certificates, and that, if he wishes to preserve remarks recorded about him by officials for his own use, he should have copies of these made since at any time he may have to surrender the official book to the Collector.
Divisional and District Inspectors of schools may also write their remarks when a zaildar presents his book for the purpose. They are not, however, empowered to call for these books or to insist on the attendance of zaildars. A zaildar should do all that he can to co-operate with educational Inspectors in the development of schools
(c) THE RECORD-OF-RIGHTS
(Paras. 366-394, Punjab L. A. M.)
367. Nature and contents of record-of-rights described in Settlement Manual. – It is needless to describe here the nature and contents of a standing record-of-rights, which is usually drawn up at settlement, and of the subsequent revised editions of it, whose legal description is “annual records” though in the great majority of estates they are prepared only at intervals of four years. The reader is supposed to be familiar with the fourteenth chapter of the Settlement Manual, where these matters are fully discussed.
368. Duty of Deputy Commissioner to keep the record-of-rights up to date. – The Settlement Officer hands over to the Deputy Commissioner a record-of-rights for each estate, the chief documents included in which are the village map or shajra kishtwar and the Jamabandi, that is to say, a list owners’ and tenants’ holdings, with a detail of the fields contained in each, of the rent paid by each tenant and of the revenue due from each owner. It is the business of the Deputy Commissioner to keep both of these up to date. The provision contained in section 44 of the Land Revenue Act (XVII of 1887) attaching an equal presumption of truth to entries is standing records-of-rights and in annual records can only be justified by the great care taken in preparing them. The instructions regarding the keeping of the village map up to date in the interval between two Settlements will be found in Part F of the Financial Commissioner’s Standing Order No. 16 (now see Chapter 4, Punjab Land Records Manual).
369. Law as to change of entries in record-of-rights explained in the Settlement Manual. – The law as to the circumstances under which the alteration of an existing standing record-of-rights or annual record is permissible is discussed in paragraphs 279-282 of the Settlement is Manual, which should be read as part of this Chapter.
370. Revision of record when complete remeasurement is ordered. – We are not here concerned with the elaborate procedure for the revision of the Jamabandi, which is carried out when a complete re-measurement of an estate is ordered for such remeasurement, as a rule, only takes place in connection with a general reassessment of the land revenue. Should, however, the remeasurement of an estate become necessary at another time, the procedure will be that laid down in the seventh appendix to the Settlement Manual.
371. Forms of Jamabandi and of list of revenue assignments. – The forms of the Jamabandi and of list of revenue assignments and pensions, which is included in the annual record, with instructions for their preparation, will be found in Financial Commissioner’s Standing Order No. 23.
372. Classification of rights to be recorded. – The rights of which the acquisition or loss gives rise to an alteration in the record-of-rights, may be classified as follows: —
A. Rights of persons responsible to
Government for land revenue.
2. Mortgagees with possession.
B. Rights of persons responsible to land-owners for rent.
3. Occupancy tenants.
5. Tenants-at-will. “Leaseholders” in this connection means persons holding land as tenants for period exceeding one year on written or oral leases.
373. Reports of acquisitions of right to patwari. – The first three classes are legally bound to report to the patwari the right which they have acquired. If they fail to do so within three months from the date of acquisition they render themselves liable to small fine. Assignees of land revenue and mortgagees without possession are also bound to report, but their rights are not of a kind which must be recorded in the body of Jamabandi though certain notes regarding them are made in the “remarks column” of that document. Redemptions of mortgages must be reported by the land-owners whose lands have been redeemed. For his knowledge of acquisition of title by lease-holders and tenants-at-will the patwari must rely mainly on his own observations and on the result of enquires as to the cultivating occupancy of land made at the harvest inspections. Among the thing which he has to enter in his diary are the deaths of tenants owner, village officer, pensioners, and revenue assignees, the ejectment, absconding, or setting or cultivators and right-holders, the relinquishment, change or renewal of any and the execution of any lease or agreement for cultivation. Lease-holders and tenants-at-will are under no obligation to report to the patwari, but like all other persons whose rights are recorded in the Jamabandi they are bound on demand to furnish him and any Revenue Officer engaged in revising it with accurate information. To aid in recording mutations is one of the duties set forth in the memorandum given to village headmen on appointment, and the lambardar of the patti in which a mutation take place is expected to attest by his seal or signature the report made on it by the patwari for the orders of the Revenue Officer.
374. Reports of registered deeds. – Registrars and sub-registrars and send monthly to Tehsildar particulars of all registered deeds which purport to transfer agricultural land. The entries relating to each deed are made on a separate slip. The office kanungo forwards these slips to the field kanungo of the circle, who distributes them to the patwaris concerned (see paragraph 6 of Financial Commissioner’s Standing Order No. 23, now incorporated in Chap. 7, Punjab Land Records Manual)
375. Register of mutations. – The patwari keeps up a register of mutations in which the records all acquisitions of rights of the kinds described in the preceding paragraphs, reported to him or which he “has reason to believe to have taken place,’’ except those relating to land revenue assignments and undisputed mutations of tenants-at-will, “as soon as they are acted on. The last words do not occur in the Act, but in a rule framed under it. They were seemingly introduced to carry out the principle that the Revenue Officer who is revising a record-of-right is concerned only with rights actually enjoyed by the persons claiming them. But a mere entry in the register cannot cause any alteration in the Jamabandi without an order by a Revenue Officer, and for the sake of convenience the patwari enters all transfers by registered-deed, of which he has received intimation under the procedure described in the last paragraph. It is the duty of the Revenue Officer to refuse to sanction the mutation in such a case unless he is satisfied that the transfer has actually been completed.
376. Copy of mutation register filed with Jamabandi. – The form of the mutation register with instructions regarding the making of entries in it will be found in Financial Commissioner’s Standing Order No. 23, Paragraph 1. It is kept up in duplicate, one copy being retained by the patwari and the other sent to the Tehsil to be attached to the Jamabandi as an authority for the new entries which it contains. The patwari’s report, the attestation of it by the filed kanungo, and the order of the Revenue Officer are written only in the coy of the register to be filed with the Jamabandi. It is enough in the patwari’s copy to show bow the case was disposed of by entering the briefest possible abstract of the order, and thus abstract should be written by the Revenue Officer with his own hand.
378. Undisputed entries relating to tenants-at-will. – Most of the alteration in the Jamabandi which the patwari can make of his own authority are undisputed mutations of tenants-at-will. These are not entered at all in the register. When the new Jamabandi is being complied they are taken straight from the khasra girdawari. Disputed changes of tenants-at-will are treated exactly like other mutations.
379. Orders in mutations cases. – Orders in mutation cases can be passed by an Assistant Collector or either grade. In practice nearly the whole of the work is disposed of by Tehsildars, and naib-tehsildars. In a country of small peasant proprietors the number of mutations to be attested annually is very large, and it is found necessary every year to appoint in some districts one or more extra naib-tehsildars selected from the lists of accepted candidates and to invest them with the powers required for the disposal of business under Chapter IV of the Land Revenue Act. An appeal, of course, lis to the Collector against orders sanctioning or refusing mutation of names, and the minute proportion which the number of such appeals bears to the number of mutations decided it evidence of the general satisfaction with the procedure.
380. Mutation work largely done by officers of no great standing or experience. – It is clear from what has been just said that much of the mutation work is done by officers of small standing and little practical experience. It is also true that the work has often to be carried out very rapidly, if the important object of keeping the jamabandi up-to-date is to be attained. These are matters for reflection considering that such jamabandi now possesses the same authority as a record-of-rights drawn up and settlement. Fortunately the bulk of the work is exceedingly simpler there is no dispute as to facts, and no opening for doubt as to the order that should be passed. But this is by no means true universally and cases find their way into the mutation register which require both care and knowledge to decide correctly.