658. Central banks. In order to proceed funds for village societies in the early years of their existence, central banks have been established. These are not necessarily cooperative in form but are joint stock companies with limited liability and foxed capital. They are allowed to be registered under the co-operative societies act and to enjoy the privileges of registered the co-operative societies. In the Punjab these are of two kinds the banking union which has as its members and share-holders only the co-operative societies with which it deal and central banks proper which include individuals among their share-holders. The latter possess the advantage of securing more outside credit and so in the early stages of the movement proved invaluable. Their success has been largely due to the unselfish devotion of a few public- spirited gentlemen to whom the co-operators of the Punjab rest under a great debt. These banks lend only to registered societies and to the extent considered advisable by the Registrar. They have a right to all information concerning their client societies which the staff can provide. They must put one-fourth of their annual profits to reserve, while their clients are not allowed to distribute profits for ten years. Their business is thus unusually safe ,and as their reserve funds grow, these banks generally experience no difficulty in attracting all the credit they desire. The Deputy commissioner or sub-divisional officer used in most sases to be ex-officio. President, but there are now many central banks where this is no longer so; and practice is conforming to the recommendations of the committee on co-operation.
697. Instructions issued in 1884. The instructions on this subject issued in 1884 are still applicable :-
(a) No tenant of such lands who cultivates his holding satisfactorily , pays his rent with regularly and otherwise fulfils the conditions of his lease, should be disturbed merely to make room for some new tenant.
(b) If the lease has expired or the rent of such land, the gourds for doing this should be placed on record briefly but clearly , and should be explained to the tenants concerned.
(c) When it is proposed to raise the rent of such land, the grounds for doing this should be placed on record briefly but clearly and should be explained to the tenants concerned.
(d) It is the duty of officers in charge of such lands to see that fair claims of this nature are asserted from time to time. But this should always be done with due and moderation, rents should not be arbitrarily raised, and the practice of putting leases up to auction or other forms of competition should never be resorted to .
(e) When the time comes to renew a lease, the officer in charge of the land should fix a fair rent with reference to the letting value of land similarly circumstances in the neighborhood and should offer it at the rate so fixed to the old tenant, and only on his refusal should it be offered to others.
STATE LANDS RESERVED FROM CULTIVATION.
702. Rights over waste claimed by Indian rulers. The large rights which the Indian rulers who preceded our own claimed in waste lands have been noticed in the 185th paragraph of the Settlement Manual . Even where the Raja did not claim an exclusive tittle in the soil he often asserted his ownership of certain “royal” trees. Such as the teak in southern India and the deodar in the Himalaya. The first attempt at forest administration in India was made in 1806 in connection with the supply of timber of the King’s Navy. (See Pages 64-66 of Ribbentrop’s “ Forestry in British India” An interesting account of the rise of forest administration in India will be found in that work pages 61-76.) It is needless to observe that the close connection between successful agriculture and a reasonable system of forest conservancy was not in those early days recognized. The object of section 8 of Regulation VII of 1822, quoted in paragraph 187 of the Settlement Manual , was not to preserve waste lands for the growth of wood and grass, but to ensure their being rapidly brought under the plough . The present chapter will deal with the use to which state lands have been put in maintaining a supply of timber, fuel and pasturage.
703. Classification of State lands . The waste lands in the Punjab over which Government has asserted rights varying from null ownership to a power of control exercised in the interests of the surrounding communities may be roughly divided into:
(a) Mountain forests.
(b) Hill forests
(c) Plain forests
(d) Grazing lands.
704. Mountain forests. The first are timber forests of oak, pine, deodar, and fir, and consist mainly of the parts of the Himalayan Range lying in kulu, Kangra, Rawalpindi and Hazara. ( Large parts of the range are included in Indian States, and in some cases Government manages the forests for the Raja.)
705. Hill forests . The hill forests occupy the lower spurs of the Himalayas below an elevation of 5,000 feet, the Siwaliks in Hoshiarpur and Ambala and the low dry hills of Rawalpindi division and the districts of the North West Frontier Province. The last, when nature is allowed to have its way, are covered with sanatha, khair and garanda scrub, and with a taller but scantier growth of phulahi and wild olive. In the most favoured parts of these hills deciduous threes , such as the dhamman kangar, kachnar (or kular) and various species of figs are found and above 4000 feet there is a scanty growth of the chil or chir pine. The Siwaliks in Hoshiarpur and Ambala enjoy a collar climate and a more abundant rainfall, but owing to the destruction casued by unrestricted and unlimited goat grazing up to the year 1902 in Hosiarpur and to 1915 in Ambala and the Still unlimited cattle grazing in both districts, the low hills have been reduced to a terribly eroded condition resulting in thousands of acres in the plains below being reduced to utter sterility.
706. Plain forests and grazing lands. The plain forests which used to be found in the dry south –western districts have owing to the extension of canal irrigation practically ceased to exist, except in the great sandy tract between the Jhelum and the Indus known as the Thal. The central uplands between the Sutlej and the Jhelum in that part of the province are known as the bar. They were with trifling exceptions recorded as State property at the first regular settlements. Much of the soil of the Bar is eceleent only requiring water to make it of great agricultural value. Left to itself it yields abundant grass in seasons of sufficient rainfall and a good growth of jand jal farash and karil. The poorer parts of the bar though graceless and treeless, are often covered with different varieties of the Sajji plant and afford admirable grazing grounds for camels. Great change have been effected in the bar by the excavation of the great Punjab canals and a vast area of firewood forests has greatly decreased, nearly 20 lakhs of acres having been disforested and brought under cultivation in the colonies in Multan , Montgomery and Lyallpur. To a limited extent their place as full reserves has been taken by irrigated plantations. The Thal is less valuable from every point of view than the bar. Forest growth is scanty but the country is naturally adapted for camel- gazing.
707. Sketch of executive and legislative measures taken for forest conservancy desirable. The extent to which Government asserted title to waste lands in the early days of the administration of the Punjab is briefly explained in paragraphs 188-191 of the Settlement manual. It will be necessary to deal with the matter here rather more fully but before doing so a short sketch of the executive and legislative action taken with a view to forest conservancy down to the passing of the Indian Forest Act (VII of 1878) will not be out of place.
708. Measures taken by the Board of Administration - The curious dislike felt by the early administrators of northern India to State property in the soil (see paragraph 186 of the Settlement Manual.)and their short –sighted indifference to forest conservancy gave way to sounder views in 1849. When Lord Dalhousie in his famous dispatch constituting the Board of Administration (No. 418 dated 31st March 1849, paragraph 60.) ordered excess waste to be formed into Government estates at the demarcation of village boundaries he was thinking of he most practical measure for spreading cultivation and planting a new population in thinly peopled tracts. But two years later he addressed the Board on the necessity of preserving supply of timber and fuel in the Punjab(Government of India letter No. 645, dated 18th February 1851.) Their reply is interesting as embodying the first scheme of forest conservancy in this province.
“3rd- The Board are fully alive to the importance of the ends in view and they are glad to have the opportunity afforded them by the Governor – General , of bringing before the Government the question , not only of increasing the growth of timber, but of economizing the existing produce for the future wants of our large cantonments, for the steamers which may hereafter ply , and for the inhabitants or the country generally.
“4th – Although timber of large growth is very scarce, yet large tracts of country , throughout the Punjab are covered with low thick jungle, more or less dense which yields good wood for fuel . This is the case in the center of Doabs, commonly called the Bar and the same kinds of Jungle trees are to be found in different others localities where the ground has fallen out of cultivation , or is altogether unsuited for it owing to its broken and ravine nature. The board have ascertained that near out large cantonments the supply of wood has, in several instances, been nearly exhausted by the demand made for fuel for burning bricks and lime and for the troops and camp-followers; and unless immediate measures are taken , they fear that the future supply, within any reasonable distance, will be impossible . They have ascertained that the jungle wood generally is reproducing and that the wood cut down will be fit in two years to be cut again.
“5th – The large cities and town in the Punjab have hitherto been supplied with wood, cut from the Bars or jungles, convenient to their respective localities. The population of the country is rapidly on the increase and cultivation spreading moreover , the demand for fuel for the large cantonments and public works, now under construction throughout the Punjab , as also for the large masses of troops can toned in the country , is enormous, and the person who supply wood find it more convenient, as well as more profitable, to stub out the roots of the trees near at hand than to go to a greater distance for the standing tree. Hence reproduction is prevented and the supply altogether fails, if the jungle is limited or it is daily removed to a greater distance.
6th – The Board would therefore, propose with the sanction of Government , to select certain tracts of country, if possible uncultivable , covered with low reproducing jungle , as near as may be convenient to the large cities. Cantonments and rivers (they mention rivers in view to the future supply of steamers ) and to place these jungles under proper surveillance, so as to prevent trees being grubbed up by the roots . The wood should be cut about one foot from the ground and no lower. A small tax sufficient only to pay the cost of a watchmen to protect, and if necessary renew the trees might be levied for cutting the wood ; by this plan the Board would hope to economize it and prevent is being totally destroyed , the local agents in each district being charged with the care of it.
7th – The above general remarks refer to wood in the plains ; but the board understand that the range of hills from hazara, which rule down to Rawalpindi and end at the Jhelum , as also the base of the Rawalpindi hills, yield an immense supply of the timber trees.
8th_Mr. Thornton states that all these useful products are being misused and destroyed, most recklessly.
9th_ The Board purpose, after defining the village boundaries, and allowing such reasonable extant of land as may suffice for the wants of the communities being include in each area, to declare the lands beyond these boundaries the property of Government. In thinly peopled tracts it will probably suffice, to prevent waste, that the heads of the villages bind themselves to prevent injury to the trees and in return for this care the people might be allowed to collect for their own consumption , firewood to any extent, provided they confined themselves to dead timber. The District Officers should be empowered to grant a written permission to cut down a given number of trees of a specified size and age, when required by the villagers for agricultural or architectural purposes.
10th – Near towns and containment’s where the country is more densely peopled it will probably be necessary to entertain forest rangers paid from the income derived from these woods; for whose guidance a code of rules can be drawn up.”( No. 60 dated 17th January, 1852 . I the same letter proposals were made for the preservation of shisham trees in islands on the Indus above Attock, for the encouragement of tree –planting by exempting lands under plantations from assessment (paragraph 512 of Settlement Manual) and for the planting of avenues or groves along public roads.)
709. Order of Lord Dalhouse :- These proposal were approved in a letter in which Lord Dalhousie remarked :-
2nd – Certain allotted spaces, calculated according to the ascertained rate at which the wood is reproduced should be set apart near to the great towns and cantonments for the regular supply of fuel in the same manner as grass preserves have already been told off for regular use. The area of the fuel copes should be made ample to secure a constant supply, and the regulations for cutting should from the first be rigidly enforced.
3rd – Immediate measures should be taken for ensuring a supervision and guardianship of the hill timber in the Jehelum division. The want of these precautions elsewhere has produced and is now daily producing probable scarcity at no distant date which the Governor- General regards with some anxiety.
4th – The cost of the small establishment which will be necessary for the protection of the fuel copes and the hill woods, may be defrayed by the exaction of a small payment from the cutters.
7th –From His Lordship’s own observation during last summer and the preceding one, while traversing the districts from chamba to Kunawar, he received the impression that vast supplies of timber exist , and that with proper arrangements much of it may be made available for use in the plains ; whereas no exertions hitherto have enabled the officers to obtain it in sufficient quantities.
8th – The importance of securing by every possible means an additional supply of timber demands a thorough examination of all existing resources.(Government of India letter No. 218. Dated 13th February 1852.)
710. General rules of 1855. In 1855 the Chief Commissioner Sir John Lowerence, drew up a set of rules for the conservancy of forest in hill districts. ( Chief commissioner’s letter No. 196, dated 3rd March 1855, the Rules are given in full on pages 368- 370 of Barkley’s Non- Regulation Law of the Punjab.” The correspondence is printed as an appendix to Forest proceedings No. 7A of July 1883.
their general scope may be judged from the three quoted below:-
(1) In any hill district within British Jurisdiction the Civil authorities have power to mark off any tract plot or ground wheresoever situated which they may consider specially adapted for the growth of timber or fuel.
(2) The tract, plot, or ground so marked off may be declared to be a public preserve denoted by boundary marks , fenced and protected from trespass of all kinds . Within it the said authorities are empowered to prohibit, restrict, or regulate all felling and cutting and to arrange for the development , preservation and growth of the trees , shrubs, or brushwood in such manner as may seem to them expedient.
(3) No person shall be entitled to object to the foregoing rules, whether relating to enclosures or to particular species of tree shrub, of brushwood on the score of proprietary or manorial right provided always that the Civil authorities do not interfere with the wood or fuel that may be really required by the occupants or owners of the land for agricultural or domestic purposes.
The privilege of felling might be granted with or without payment of fees. (Rules 3 and 5) The firing of forest lands in order to promote the growth of grass might be absolutely forbidden and in case of fires the joint responsibility of the members of adjoining village communities might be enforced. ( Rules 8 and 9). Gazing of cattle might be prohibited or regulated . “provided always that the proper grounds for the grazing of pasturing of such cattle be not interfered with. The penalty for a breach of the rules was a fine not exceeding Rs. 100 , or in default imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months.(rule 12).
711. Government of India orders local rules to be drawn up. The Governor – General remarked –
“To any one accustomed only to European rights and regulations the general powers regarding forest trees which are assumed in these rules to be long to the Government would appear to be of an arbitrary character. But His Honor in Council believes that no question will be raised in this country as to the validity of the manorial right thus asserted for the Government in the hill districts, while certainly no person at allacquainted with the local wants of the districts referred to will question the existence of such a public exigency as would call for the assertion of the right.” He therefore accepted the rules “as far as they go.” But they were considered so general and not likely by themselves to do much good and each Commissioner was to be directed to draw up a set of rules. Adapted to the peculiar circumstances of his divisions and to report without delay to you for the final sanction of Government of India the several steps which he has taken. ( Paragraph 7 of Government of India , letter No. 1789 dated 21st May , 1855.)
712. Rawalpindi rules of 1856. In July 1856 the Commissioner of the Jhelum division submitted rules. (No. 123 dated 24th July 1856. See forest proceeding for March 1876. This rules were sanctioned in a letter of the Chief Commissioner No. 1623, dated 4th August 1856. They were cancelled in 1903,(paragraph 749)) for the hilly and mountainous portion of the Rawalpindi district. The first of these rules is the most important. It ran – “In the mountainous and hilly portion of the Rawalpindi district all trees and shrubs of spontaneous growth are hereby declared to be the property of Government. They are available as far as they are really required by the villagers , for domestic or agriculture purposes, but with this exception may not be cut or appropriated by any person without the permission of the Civil authorities. This rule however is to be liberally construed as regards the comfort and convenience of the villagers.” Permits were required for felling trees and cutting brushwood, and fees were charged in both cases. Firing was restricted and regulated. One – eight of the income from frees was to be paid to the village landowners to ensure their co-operation in enforcing the rules to any breach of which penalty of a fine not exceeding Rs. 100 was attached.
713. Hazara and Hoshiarpur rules. In January 1857 the Chief Commissioner sanctioned rules for the management of Hazara forests . Their Chief provisions were –
(1) that no trees, large or small could be cut without permission;
(2) that all except agriculturists should pay fees for the wood they were allowed to cut, half the proceeds being used to meet the cost of forest conservancy and half paid to the landowners;
(3) that ground should not be cleared of trees with a view to cultivation without leave being first obtained from the Deputy Commissioner;
(4) that firing of grass in the vicinity of forests was forbidden.
These rules were imperfectly enforced, but even so they proved very useful. (paragraph 38 of chapter V of Captain Wace’s Settlement Report of Hazara- see also paragraph 720)
714. Kangra and Hoshiarpur rules. In 1859 Major Lake, the Commissioner of the trans-Sutlej States submitted rules which Mr. Bayley Deputy Commissioner of Kangra had prepared for that district and suggested that they should be adopted with certain modifications. These were sanctioned by Lieutenant- Governor , and permission was given to extend them to the Hoshiarpur district. This done by the Commissioner of Jullundur next year. He remarked – “The right of Government merely extends to the timber. The right of grazing and to the spontaneous products of the forest appertain to the zamindars , subject to the restriction prescribed in the rules.”
At the same time he pointed out that some forests in Hosiarpur were the exclusive property of Government. ( Extracts from the correspondence printed on pages 370-375 of Barkey’s “Non-Regulation Law of the Punjab “see Barkey’s Non Regulation Law of Punjab , Pages 375-378 . They were not sanctioned by the Government of India , or re-issued under section 3 of Act VII of 1865, and they probably never had the force of law.)
The rules forbade the felling the trees without permission of Deputy Commissioner but in the case of inferior kinds of trees required “ bone fide for agricultural purpose, “ the permission of the village headman was to be sufficient. Proprietors of land and hereditary cultivators were entitled to cut whatever timber they required for building or agricultural purpose on paying a fee of four Ann’s while trees unfit for use as timber , but fit for fuel or fodder were to be given free of charge . Persons having an ancient right to graze, gather dry wood, or collect leaves for manure were to be still entitled to these rights . But a third part of each forest might be closed entirely for three years or any less period. Firing was forbidden. Annual licenses were to be taken out by wood –cutters and charcoal burners . One- sixteenths of the receipts was to be paid to the forester and three- sixteenth were to be paid divided between the lambardar, the patwari , and the village community.( See rules 4,5,7,19,20 and 27 for the full text of the rules”
It will be observed that right of user (bartan) were clearly recognized as belonging to the landowners living in the neighborhood of the forests.
715. Taking up of alluvial lands for forests. In 1855 the Chief Commissioner drew “the earnest attention of Commissioner to a scheme proposed by Mr. Edward Thornton for extending plantations of useful timber tree by appropriating portions of alluvial lands newly thrown up by rivers. (See paragraph 190 of the Settlement Manual. For rights claimed by Government in islands in rivers see paragraph 415 of this book) Such lands are well suited to plantations of shisham trees like that at shahdara near lahore.
716. Conservator of Forests appointed . In 1864 Dr. J.L. Stewart became the first Conservator of Forests in the Punjab. In 1869 he published a useful book on “Punjab Plants”.
717. Act VII of 1865. The first “Government Forests Act” (VII of 1865), was intended to enable local Governments with the sanction of the governor-general in Council to issue rules having the force of law like those described above. (Sections 3 to 6 of Act VII of 1865)A local Government might notify an y land covered with trees , brushwood or jangal to be a Government forest but no existing rights of individuals or communities were to be abridged or affected thereby.(Section 2 of Act VII of 1865). Forest rules for Rawalpindi were issued under this Act in 1873.
718. Section 48 of Act IV of 1872 (The Punjab Laws Act). The Punjab ACT, VII of 1865 was supplemented by section 48 of Act IV 1872, which provided that no person shall make the use of pasturage or other natural product of any land being the property of Government except with the consent and subject to rules….prescribed by the local Government.”
By section 50 of the Act such rules required the sanction of the Governor- General in Council but existing rules were to be deemed to have been issued under and in conformity to that section.
719. Defects of Act VII of 1865. Act VII of 1865 was very unsatisfactory to the advocates of a proper system of forest conservancy. Its main defects were that “it drew no distinction between the forests which required to be closely reserved, even at the cost of more of less interference with private rights , and those which merely needed general control to prevent improvident working . It also provided no procedure for inquiring into and settling the rights which it so vaguely saved and gave no procedure for regulating the exercise of such rights without appropriating them. It obliged you in short either to take entirely or to let alone entirely.”
720. Hazara forest regulations. Indian legislation , like justice has a limping foot , and the case of Hazara, which came under settlement in 1868, could not wait on its leisurely progress. Accordingly special forest regulations for that district were passed in 1870 and 1873 under the authority of Act 33 Vict. Cap 3 while the General system of forest management in force under the rules of 1855 was maintained, these regulations directed that , due provision having first been made for the ordinary wants of the villagers in whose bounds the forests stood , the more valuable forests should be reserved for the benefit of the public at large. Rather more than one-tenth of the whole waste area of the district which then exceeded 2200 square miles was demarcated as reserved forest , and made over for management to the Forest Department. These State forests are mountain forests of pine and deodar situated in the higher hills. But it was impossible with due regard with to the interests of the landowners to reserve all land yielding timber trees, while at the same time it was essential to prevent waste. The unreserved forest land in the higher ranger and the fuel forests in the lower hills in the west of the district were, therefore treated as “village forests”. (Captain Wace’s Settlement Report of Hazara , pages 134-37). The Hazara district has never been subject to the General Indian Forest Act VII of 1878, and before describing its provisions it will be convenient to finish the history of the Hazara forests. Regulation II of 1873 was replaced by Regulation II of 1879 By the 8th section the Deputy Commissioner was give large powers of setting apart waste lands as “village forests” Within Such forests squatting and the clearing of land for cultivation the removal of soil or dead leaves and the kindling of fires were wholly forbidden . But the deputy Commissioner could give special permission for the firing of land producing only grass.(Section 16) . Feeling of trees , the loping of tress for folder lime issued by the deputy Commissioner from time to time” under the general instructions “ of fires in the case of forests of both classes was enacted. (Section 28 , compare also section 24)illicit firing and illicit cultivation might be followed by suspension of all rights user in the lands brunt or cleared for a period of two years or for such longer time as might be required to restore the lands to there former conditions six (Sections 29-30 of Act VII of 1865.) Special powers were given for the protection of land from erosion and prevention of land slips (section 20-21 of Act VII of 1865) In 1882 Mr. Forest of the Forest Department was interested with the work of Demarcating village forest , locally known as “mahduda”. The result was that 147,000 acres were set apart for the purpose but the demarcation was not satisfactory for numerous plots of cultivation were included . A revised demarcation was made at the resettlement of the Distinct , and the area of the village forest had been reduced to 83,782 acres, all uncultivated . At present these forests are managed in accordance with the provisions of regulation VI of 1893, which replaced regulation II of 1879 and of rules issued under it. The rules are contained in Government of India Notification no. 2212-G dated 22nd Dec. 1903. The breaking up of land without the permission of the Deputy Commissioner is forbidden right holders are entitled to timber free of charge for their own domestic and agricultural requirements but notice of intention to fell must be given . They can also utilize for fuel without restrictions dry wood and brush wood but the sales of trees and of fuel two outsiders required the sanction of the deputy commissioner.
721. Indian forest Act, VII of 1878. The late Mr. Bnaden Powell, a Punjab Civilian, who was Conservator of Forests from 1869 to 1872 and from 1876 to 1879, and who of officiated as Inspector- General throughout 1873 and part of 1874, helped largely in putting forest legislation in India on its present basis. (Forestry in British India, page 116. He was the author of a book “Forest Law” published in 1893) In 1878 the Indian Forest Act was passed . This Act has been amended from time to tome but finally in 1927 a new Forest Act. XVI of 1927 was passed and now takes the place of original Act . It merely consolidates the various amendments made and removes certain ambiguities contained in the old Act, but makes no radical changes in the policy laid down in that Act.
This Act permits the local Government to constitute any forest land or waste land which is the property of Government, or over which the Government has proprietary rights , or to the whole or any part of the forest produce to which the Government is entitled a “reserved” or a “protected” forest. (Sections 20 and 29 of Act XVI of 1927).It is sufficient, therefore that the State should own the trees or some of them even though it may have recorded the soil , as was imprudently done in the case of Kangara as belonging to village communities.
722. Reserved forests. Chapter II of the Act deals with “reserved” and Chapter IV with “protected “ forests. Reservations must be proceeded by a forest settlement in which a full inquire is made into all private rights claimed or otherwise discoverable. (Section 6 and 7 of Act XVI of 1927) The instructions at present in force in the Punjab regarding the conduct of forest settlements will be found in appendix II. When once a forest has been notified as reserved no further private rights can grow up. (Section 23 of Act XVI of 1927) A reserved forest can only be disforest with the previous sanction of the governor-general in Council.(Section 27(1) of Act XVI of 1927.)
723. Protected forests - No special forest settlement is required before notifying waste land as “protected forest.” But Government must be satisfied that the nature and extent of the rights of Government and of private persons in the land have been Enquirer into and recorded at a survey or settlement or in such other manner as it deems sufficient. An add interim order may be passed to protect the rights of Government pending the preparation of a proper record. By declaring waste to be protected forest:” the future growth of rights is not prevented . When land has been notified as reserved forest many acts regarding it at once become criminal . But a notification of a protected forest to be effective must be followed by action under section 30, which enables Government :-
(a) to declare any trees in a protected forest to be reserved ;
(b) To close portions of the forest from time to time and suspend the exercise of private rights. “ provided that the remainder of the forest be sufficient and in a locality reasonably convenient, for the due exercise of the rights suspend.” ;
(c) To prohibit quarrying lime and charcoal burning, removal of forest produce or clearing of the land for any purpose.
Rules for the management of protected forests may be made, (Section 32 of Act XVI of 1927) and a breach of any rules an the doing of any act forbidden under section 30 are criminal offences . (Section 33 of Act XVI of 1927). Where the choice lies between action under chapter II of chapter IV, the former should ordinarily be preferred. There is no reason why the management of a reserved forest should be one with more rigid and less considerate of the needs of the surrounding . Communities than that of a protected forest. Nothing prevents Government from allowing as privileges to be revoked in case of abuse, the enjoyment of forest produce to which no actual right has been established. (See paragraphs 22-27 of appendix II )
724. Interference in case of privately – owned forests . The Act recognizes that fact that occasions may arise in which it is necessary to interfere with the use, or even to assume the management of privately – owned waste land for the good of the public in general . Reasons for such action are prevention of the spread of ravines., the protection of land from erosion or deposits of sand and boulders, the maintenance of the water –supply in springs or streams and the like.
725. Assertion of State’s title to excess waste. Having sketched the history of the executive and legislative action for Government as regards forests down to the passing of Act VII of 1878, it may now be well to retrace out steps and to show how the claims of the State to excess waste have been dealt with in different parts of the province, and what use has been made of waste over which Government has asserted any sort of title.
726. Claims as a rule forgone in eastern and sub montane districts. Speaking broadly in the plains and submontane districts east of the Beas and Sutlej Government admitted that the whole of the waste belonged to the adjoining village communities. Little use was made of the provisions of section 8 of Regulating VII of 1822. (See paragraph 187 of the Settlement Manual) This is equally true of the districts of Gurdaspur, Sialkot and Amritsar lying to the west of the Beas . The reason was twofold. In the first place the villages lay much closer together than in the west of the Punjab , and proportion between the cultivated and uncultivated areas were very different. In the second place the districts were for the most part settled before the advents of keeping part of the soil of a country in its natural state were fully understood. Even in Karnal, where Government did take possession of excess waste and in Sirsa ,where much unoccupied land was at its disposal , the sole object of the administrators of the day was to get rid of the land as fast as possible by handing it over to any one who would brining it rapidly under cultivation. (For the leased estate of Karnal see paragraphs 106, 109, 112 of the Karnal – Ambala Settlement report. )
But in 1813 a large tract of village land near Hissar, deserted 30 years before in the terrible chalisa famine, was appropriated as a Government bir. This is time became the Hissar Cattle farm. It was notified as a reserved forest in 1887. (see paragraphs 144-115 of Mr. Anderson’s Settlement Report of Hissar.) Government therefore possesses few fuel or fodder reserves east of the Beas and Sutlej; Even the low hills of Gurgaon and Delhi were included in village boundaries though those of the former might probably have been clothed with valuable forests of dhak.(This useful tree also called the palah or palas has very wide range extending in the Punjab and North –West Frontier Province from Gurgaon to the point where the Indus divides British from Independent territory. IN their natural state all the stiffer loan soils in the Punjab plains, where the rainfall exceeds 20 niches yearly must have been covered with it . It gives way to the jal and jand where the rainfall is less . It is also common in the jangals of the Deccan and is found in Ceylon. The name of the capital of Eastern Bengal is supposed by some to be derived from the dhak tree.)
727. Hoshairpur Siwaliks. The same mistake was made with deplorable results in the case of the Hoshairpur Siwaliks. Government owns two chir pine forests in the SolaSingh range (Punjab Government Forest proceeding No. 6 –A of June, 1873.)and two bamboo forests at the north –west corner of the Siwaliks , and chir trees, whereever found have been claimed as the property of the State. But here as in Kangra and the hill tract of Gurdaspur, the first settlement officer, Mr. George Barnes, included the land of the forests , with the above mentioned exceptions in village boundaries.
728. Effects of denudation of Siwaliks on cultivated lands in plains. A generation letter the effect of the denudation of the low hills , which inevitably resulted from the policy then adopted on the rich Sirwal tract of Hoshiarpur and Jullundur had become so great that the matter was forced on the attention of Government. The Deputy Commissioner Mr. Cold stream and the Conservator of Forests, Mr. Baden Powell united in urging the necessity of prompt remedial action , and the Commissioner of Jullundur, Mr. Arthur Brandreth strongly supported them.
729. Mr. Brandreth’s presentation of case. His graphic description of the effects of neglect is worth quoting :-
“The lower Siwalik is a long range of sandy hills which stretch across the whole of the Jullundur Doab, forming the northern boundary of that fertile and productive tract. In the days of the Rajas , when the village common was the property of the Raja or lord of the manor and not made over to the peasantry , these hill slopes were covered with a low stunted brushwood with a few trees here and there. This manor forest growth was not of great value to the Rajas or to their successors, the Sikh Kardars, but it yielded a sort of cover for game, and was consequently generally protected ; and as the towns were not then very wealthy and peasantry had hard enough work to produce the heavy revenue then demanded, there was little demand for fuel , and few persons with leisure to cut it.
“The stunted brushwood had, however once great value. It covered the sandy soil by its roots and by the grass which grew in its shade. The cool air from the shaded hillside arrested the passing clouds and produced a constant and almost regular rainfall , which checked by the leaves of the brushwood and grass , poured down the hillsides at the gentle pace, and brining with it all the soluble products of the decayed leaves and grass, spread is wealth – laden waters over the plains below, which thus became so renowned for their fertility as to be known as the garden of the Punjab.
The hillsides were divided among the villages located on the hills , and the whole brushwood and minor forests declared to be their property village common open to every one.
“With the introduction of English rule, towns increased , wealth and property abounded, and the cessation of the continual demand for forced labour created a class of laborers with abundant leisure and in search of employment . With the increasing wealth arose increased wish for comfort and a large demand for firewood of all sorts consequently soon sprung up, and the unemployed class found the brushwood and low jungle of these hillsides a mine of wealth open apparently to every one. With out large public works and railways the demand increased still more, and the hillsides were consequently in a few years stripped of everything that could by any possibility be used for firewood. Where the distance from the towns was too great the still more destructive charcoal burner appeared on the scene and consumed three times the amount needed to render his firewood portable. It might be supposed that the new proprietors would have taken some steps to protect their quasi-forest, but the sense of proprietorship was new, and they were in doubts how far they were entitled to interfere. Most of the laborers and wood cutters were residents of their own villages and what is every body’s business and consequently none of the former copy-holders now all become joint owners, endeavored to check this waste ; indeed on the contrary they rather encouraged it. Many persons paid them some little sum for the rights of cutting, and the charcoal burners generally paid Rs. 2 or 3 for year’s licensee . They could not be expected to consider the future loss to their children, still less to care for the villages below the hills which were slowly bring ruined.
“Yes , I may almost say ruined the injury is so great and so increasing . As the bare hill sides have replaced the green forests, the heated air of the dry sandy soil drives off the rain clouds to pass on the upper ranges. When , owing to the increasing pressure of the clouds, rain does at last fall. * * the condensation produced by its fall on the heated soil produced * * * a great downward rush on the heavily laden upper air, and the * * * late rain soon descends in torrents. The fall is no longer arrested by leaves and brushwood and grass, and the increasing too rent purrs rapidly down the sandy slopes bearing with it thousands of tons of sand instead of the fertilizing deposits of former days. These vast floods spread themselves over the village below tearing away all the fertile fields which formerly lined the edges of the stream and covering the rest of the country with a deep sandy deposit. For the first few years this sandy deposit was not so very injurious. It was fresh soil and still held a good deal of the decayed roots of the grass and brushwood of the former vegetation. Moreover a thin layer of sand is often a great protection to an Indian: it protects and supports the young and tender plants and enables the soil below to retain its moisture for a long period. But gradually the tale become very different. Constant reports of deteriorated crops and distressed villages and tenants unable to pay their revenue replace d the uniformly prosperous report of former days; traffic and trade was checked by the great development of these vast sandy beds, which in trisected all the main roads ; and further demands for remission began to pur in from villages beyond the action of the flood, but whose field were being buried by the masses of dry A brought from these torrent beds by the windstorms of the hot weather. Nor was the injury confined to the agricultural peasantry only . The increased volume of waters thus suddenly brought down soon carried away the bridges sufficient for former times and compelled a speedy extension of waterways and further expensive bridging both on the Grand Trunk Road and the railways and when even these proved insufficient the waters submerged the country far and wide.
730. Results of delay in taking Action . The picture is highly colored , but it can hardly be said to be exaggerated . Soon after in reporting on the assessment of the Hoshiarpur tahsil Captain J.A.L. Montgomery pointing out that, owing to the destructive action of the chose or sandy torrents issuing from the Siwaliks , cultivation’s had decreased by 12 percent in 30 years.(The action of chos is not purely destructive. Far away from the hills after the heavier sand has been dropped , the deposits they spread are often very fertilizing . But wherever the hills from which they run are denuded of vegetation and consist of sandstone rocks loss must far exceed gain..) As we shall see, action was greatly delayed and things went from bad to worse . In 1897 the Financial Commissioner wrote: -
“During the last period of ten to twelve years on account of the action of the chos in Hoshiarpur and Jullundur 16,650 acres of land have been converted into echo beds, or have totally lost their productive power while 23260 acres in addition have been damaged. Government has remitted Rs. 11855 land revenue and has in addition suffered or is about to suffer by reductions in the rent rolls of the two districts an annual loss or Rs. 34719 land revenue while the people have lost at a low estimate over 20 lakhs of rupees in the market value of their lands. (Paragraph 18 Financial Commissioner letter No. 541 dated 1st September 1897,- Forest proceedings No. 14 April 1898.)
731. Land Preservation Chos Act, II of 1900. It is needless to tell the story of the causes which led to a case which was urgent in 1877 not being finally dealt with till twenty –three years had elapsed. AT Las in 1900 an Act was passed for the better preservation and protection of the Siwaliks and the lands affected by the chos, (Punjab Act II of 1900) Its 3rd section empowers the local Government to put the provisions of the Act in force in any local area “situate within or adjacent to the Siwalik mountain range or affected or liable to be affected by the debasement of forests in that range or by the action of chos.”
732. Chief provisions of Act. With respect to any notified area the local Government may regulate, restrict , or prohibit :-
(a) the clearing of land for cultivation not ordinarily under cultivation before the publication of the notification under section 3 :-
(b) stone quarrying and lime burning at places where they had not ordinarily been carried on before such publication :
(c) the cutting of trees of removal of any forest produce other than grass, save for bone fide domestic or agricultural purposes;
(d) the setting on fire of trees or other forest produce;
(e) the pasturing of sheep or floats( Section 4 of Act II 1900)
(a) ,(c) and above all (e) are important . Quarrying and lime burning have never been much practice in the Siwaliks and firing is hardly known. All these acts have been forbidden over a very large area by notifications issued in December 1902.(Notifications Nos. 643 and 644, dated 12th December 1902.)As regards any specified village or part of a village comprised within , the limits of the area notified under section 3 the local Government may regulate, restrict, or prohibit –
(b) Stone quarrying of lime burning anywhere;
(c) The cutting of timber or removal of forest produce including grass even for bonafide domestic or agricultural purposes;
(d) The pasturing of cattle other than sheep and goats. (Section 5 of Punjab Act II of 1900).
Provisions are made for compensating persons whose rights it is necessary to restrict or extinguish.( Sections 7 and 14-15 of Punjab Act II of 1900)
Actions has been taken as regards nine estates , (Punjab Government notifications Nos. 295, dated 6th July 1904 and 626 dated 12th December 1905.)
733. Power to declare that barren lands in beds of chos vests in Government Section 8 of the Act gives powers to Government to take over the whole or any part of the bed of a Cho which is not land under cultivation and yields no produce of any substantial value and such action was taken in the Mohli Cho under the Punjab Government notification no. 384 (Forests) dated August 2nd 1911, but this action proved unpopular and was not pursued.
Some good was done by the original closures; but efforts to encourage the villagers to plant Kana grass in the torrent beds on a large scale failed for lack of sufficient control in the catchment area above.
It was not , however, until 1934 that marked progress was made. In that year a forest Officer was deputed on special duty to Hoshairpur district as Assistant to the Deputy Commissioner. He was responsible to the Conservator of Forest for the correctness of his technical advice. His Principal duty , however consisted of interesting the local inhabitants in the possibility of reclamation . In 1939, a special soil Conservation Circle was formed in the Forest Department to work in close collaboration with the Revenue Department.
Meanwhile , steady progress was being made . Experiment showed that the closure of the hills to grazing by cattle allowed the more valuable grasses, which before had been mercilessly grazed down , to re-assert themselves and push out the inferior grasses. Where the right to cut grass was sold instead of the sale of grazing rights, it was found that more than ten times as much money could be obtained for the same area. Meanwhile of course , the young trees were rapidly springing up with a promise of large profits later on when they should be ready for cutting. The force of the torrents in these area was reduced and efforts at planting Kana grass in the beds of the chos was successful . Hedges were planted , running out into the torrent beds . When the water passed through these, the checking of the current made the silt drop and the level of the land behind the hedges was rapidly raised.
At the same time it came to be realized that the hills alone were not responsible for the whole of the damage. Chos could be seen forming themselves in cultivated land where the surface was not quite level. The terracing as well as the embanking of land was preached by all the Department of Government concerned and the Cooperative Department in particular rendered great service by encouraging the formation of societies for these purposes.
Reclamation is now popular , and the only obstacles which remain are the divergences of interest between the landlords , the tenants and other residents in the villages the occasional reluctance of an individual to do things which will help his neighbors as well as himself, and the magnitude of the problem.
It must be remembered that efficient reclamation must proceed from the top downwards and on both sides of the bed at the same time. Where opposition makes this difficult, compulsion must be exercised in the interests of the majority, and when persuasion has failed, Government has the right to exercise compulsion and is prepared to do so.
Prospects for the future are now bright . Some villages in Hoshiarpur District, where land has been closed to grazing by cattle have been able to pay the whole of their land revenue from this single source of income. Stall-fed cattle which do not exhaust themselves by wandering about in search of fodder , can produce more milk. The area under the chos is being steadily reduced. Plantations of shisham tress are springing up behind the protecting hedges and after some years, these barren sandy wastes will once more come under cultivation. Although by way of experiment more expensive measures have been tried , in the way of contour trenching and embankment building , practically all these results have been achieved at a comparatively insignificant cost by allowing nature to results have been achieved at a comparatively insignificant cost by allowing nature to re clothe the hills with vegetation, and by encouraging the cultivators to protect their hillsides to terrace there fields and to provide embankments with drains to carry off heavy rain.
In consideration of the special privileges enjoyed by these central banks the Act and flues impose certain restrictions which differentiate them from joint stock companies: at last one-fourth of their annual profits must go to reserve and the dividend must not exceed 10per cent, and no person may hold more than one thousand rupees of shares of more than one-fifth of the whole. These restrictions, it will be observed, add to the financial stability of the bank.
Registrar and his duties. To control the co-operative movement, Government has appointed a Registrar, whose post is now permanent, and maintains a large inspecting and teaching staff under him. In addition to this, the Punjab co-operative union, a non official body ,has a large field staff for the purposes of audit and supervision of societies, which ot maintains out of its own funds, and with the help of an annual grant from Government. The position and duties of the Registrar are thus described in the committee’s repots:-
“The progress of the co-operative movement in India may be said to be due almost entirely to the fact that in every province a special officer of Government has been appointed to guide and control it. In European countries we find that such officers are appointed in some cases, but that their duties are mainly of a formal character. In other cases the movement is in the charge of no individual representative of Government but Government officers in several departments are expected to give it their support and countenance. In the creation of a
Registrar not only to fulfill the formal requirements of the Act but also to guide and control the whole movement, the Indian Government occupies a unique position and one which we think has been of great, and could be made of still greater, utility to the movement, when the appointment. When the appointment as first created in 1905 the retention of a Government officer as Registrars was looked on as a more are less temporary measure, and it was hoped that as experience was gained and societies become more able to stand alone, the fostering care of the Registrar would gradually be round less necessary until ultimately he would be able to confine himself to his statutory functions only. Even now the appointments in the various provinces are on a temporary footing and their further continuance will come up for consideration in 1916, but from what we have said throughout this report, and in view of the duties which our recommendations impose on the Registrar, it will be understood that we cannot subscribe either to the disappearance if the post or to the transference of its functions to non-official agency. Nor can we contemplate the continued development of co-operation in India on any other condition than the permanent maintenance of an efficient and adequate staff of registers.
“under the act it is the duty of the register to receive and inquire into application for registration, to register the bye-laws of societies and amendments to them to audit the accounts or cause them to be audited; to make a valuation of the assets and liabilities of societies and prepare a list of overdue loans; to see that the act, rules and by-laws are observed; to make special inspections when called upon to do so; to dissolve or cancel societies and to carry out their liquidation. In order to fulfill his duties he must be continually studying co-operative literature, which is now most extensive; he must make him-self acquainted with economic conditions and practices both throughout India and in his own province; he must know the principles and methods of joint stock banking, and must examine the system of developing thrift and inoculation co-operation which have been tried in other countries. He is also head of teaching establishment, and must devise effective means for impressing a real knowledge of co-operation on the bulk of the population. He has further to control a large staff, to draft model by-laws and rules, to collect statistics and write reports, to advice government on various subjects, and to keep in close touch with the higher finance of the movement as managed by provincial banks and central banks. In addition to this he must keep in constant tough with markets, with honorary organizers and other well-wishes and various departments of government for the official press and for co-operation journals. As Mr. Wolf has put it to us, the registrars should not be set down as officials, but he guides, philosophers and friends to the societies, appointed and paid by the state. He must further be remember that there is no finality in the register’s work, and he can never feel that it has been cleared off and brought up to date. He will always feel the need of wider reading and of giving more and supervision and teaching to his societies. New means and methods to attain fresh ends must constantly be discussed and devised and devised. His work is moreover, highly responsible, involving a watch over large sums of money deposited by the public and a share in the responsibility for the economic fate of a province. It can well be realized that few officers are entrusted with work more serious or more exacting.”
Position of district officers. The relation of district officers to the movement was thus described in the resolution of the government of India of 1914:-
“but while the movement must be essentially a popular one and while excessive official supervision must be avoided it by no means follows that government officials outside the circle of those directly connected with co-operation should hold aloof. It is true that the details of initiation and inspection should be left to the expert agency provided for the purpose, and it is no part of the duty of the district officer to internee in the internal administration of societies. But as co-operative societies are no longer isolated experiments outside the sphere of district work, and as beyond the material benefits which they pffertjeu represent an influence sloselu connected with the welfare of the people and powerful, now and in the future ,for good, or evil, the district officer cannot dissociate himself from the movement. On the contrary a knowledge of co-operative principles and practice has now become as essential as acknowledge of revenue law, allowing them to languish through want of languish through want of sympathy or to develop on undesirable lines through want of vigilance. Without in any way becoming an active propagandist he should, personally, and not grass of the movement in his district, encouraging and helping those who have formed themselves in into societies, enlisting the interest and support of men of influence and wealth and assisting with his advice. Those who seek to avail themselves of the benefits of co-operation. this in no way involves the officiating of co-operation, nor does it trench upon the essential principle that the movement, if it by such encouragement and guidance, while the more closely the district officer is in touch with societies the more surely will he find to his hand new and valuable agencies to help him in his daily work.
“It is for local Governments to consider to what extent and in what manner use can be made of societies in each province in district administration –how far they can afford a means of ascertaining the real public feeling of the district, how far they can be rendering voluntary aid assist in promoting primary education , rural sanitation and medical relief, in what manner they can be used in times of scarcity and famine or during the prevalence of epidemics, or whether the training afforded by them will lead to the development of a true system of village Government.
“In these and other ways it may be found possible to utilize the co-operative organization and the movement should if wisely directed, exercise an important influence in prompting the welfare of the people. But although it is still uncertain to what extent and in what manner , societies may assist in the work of the district there can be no doubt that a new factor in administration which cannot be disregarded, has come into being and that new duties and responsibilities have been thrown upon the district officers.”
The committee on co-operation agreed with the above. The only define functions assigned to the Collector by the Act are set forth in section 35. He may call on the Register to make an enquiry into the condition of a society and is entitled to access to all the books and to call for any information regarding the working of any society that the may require. With reference to his position towards central banks the committee wrote – “although we see no objection to the Collector or sub-divisional officer acting as chairman or member of the managing committee of a central bank in individual cases we do not advocate that they should hold these positions ex-officio or as an invariable rule. The district officer should however, in our opinion always have a formal right to attend meetings of the share –holders or directors of a central bank, and it is for the local Government to decide in what manner this arrangement can be best carried out. He would also be the most suitable person to preside at a district conference . In that character and in any position which Government in accordance with our suggestions above may assign to him on the central bank, he would occupy in our opinion a position which represent correctly his general relation to the movement. He would stand as a well wiser equipped with the requisite knowledge and sympathy, but need not necessarily have any intimate connection with the management or assume direct responsibility.”
660-A. Chief duties to be performed by official staff. The Royal Commission on Agricultural in general supported the recommendations of the Maclagan Committee on Co-operation and added little that was new; it; however , stressed a few points on which critics are apt to go astray . The movement was initiated by a Government faced with the finding that “Indian famines are necessarily recurring calamities” and was intended to be a part of its anti-famine policy. This has resulted in three features characteristic of the movement in the Punjab and other provinces; the movement is closely supervised by Government officer, it has been chiefly developed in the rural areas and it has been concerned more with the organization of credit than with other needs of the people. The Royal Commission accepted the position that the movement must in the main continue to be directed towards the expansion of credit societies until the burden of outside debt has been considerably eased. Those charged with its direction are fully alive to the advantages to be granted from the application of the co-operative principle in directions other than credit. But their most important duty must, for many years to come be that of developing a rural credit system covering the whole field of village life, and we think it should be left to their unfettered judgement to decide what part of there resources at their disposal should be directed towards the extension of the non-credit movement.”
The main function of the official staff is to train the members of societies to manage their own affairs without outside interference or assistance, but practical considerations render necessary some degree of audit; inspection and supervision. The assistance of non-official workers is essential and is always welcomed but the Royal commission, in view of the many and serious defects which had been brought to their notice, recommended that every effort should be made to build up a highly educated and well trained staff of officials, “Its chief duty is to educate members upto the point at which they will be competent themselves to undertake its duties and so to dispense with its services; to strengthen the hands of the honorary workers by furnishing them with skilled advice and guidance in the more difficult problems; to supervise the work of unions and federations engaged in the management and control of the movement and to work out new schemes to facilitate the work of other departments to prepare the ground for their special propaganda and to organize the people to receive and adopt expert advice.”
660-B Government aid to co-operative movement. Royal Commission made definite recommendations the subject of Government aid to the movement. “We think that local governments should encourage the enlistment of honorary worker by contributing towards their out of pocket expenses , both while they are under training and whilst they are working in the field.
“Public funds may also reasonably be spend in assisting institutions whose object to spread education in the application of co-operative principle to various objects and also…… in assisting unions for supervision. We found that Government aid was usually given for propaganda work and we approve this. In considering the prevailing illiteracy and the consequent difficulty in reaching the people by paper or pamphlet, we think that Government have a special interest in promoting organizations on a co-operative basis to facilitate the activities of the agricultural, veterinary, educational and public health, departments and that assistance should , therefore , be freely given to ventures of a novel nature……..” The Royal Commission further recommended that Government expenditure should be devoted to education in preference to audit.
In general the Punjab movement conforms to the various recommendations mentioned above.
660.– C. Organisation of land mortgage banks with aid of loans from Government. The question of organizing land mortgage banks on a co-operative basis has received much consideration and although there has not yet been sufficient experience on which to base final conclusions, a tentative policy has been accepted of organizing two such banks a year with the aid of loans from Government. The recommendation of the Royal Commission on this difficult subject have been adopted and the banks are registered under the Co-operative Societies Act. These institutions can at present only be regarded as in the experimental stage and great caution must be exercised in advancing loans to people whose appetite for credit is greater than their readiness to make the personal sacrifice necessary to ensure repayment.
611 to 671 Cancelled.
THE COURT OF WARDS
672. Object of Court of Wards. The duty of the State to make provision for the care of the persons and property of those who by reason of age, sex, mental, incapacity or other causes are unfit to manage their own affairs is generally recognized. The Guardians and wards Act, VIII of 1890, embodies the general law on the subject, and under this a competent court is empowered, where no other suitable guardian can be found, to appoint the Deputy Commissioner to that office, But where public interest are involved., as in the case of a large landholder., or where the family is one of political or social importance public policy necessitates a more specialized machinery , which is provided by the Court of Wards Act II of 1903. Action under this Act is regulated party by statutory rules(Punjab Land Administration Acts, Volume II) and partly by executive order issued in Financial Commissions Standing orders No. 33 . In the general interest of the administration of the province, it is desirable that large landholding families should receive assistance from Government , where that assistance can suitably be rendered. In cases where the official machinery is not suited to mange the particular business, such as an industry or trade , it will rarely be to the advantage of the minor to be brought under the court of words. Such cases must be left to the Guardians and wards Act.
673. In case of Vicious or spendthrift landholders, interference confined to families of political or social importance. The considerations which lead the State to interfere in the case of landholders of vicious or spend thrift habits are those of public interst. The law does not contemplate the putting of any restraint on a man’s power of dissipating his property by vicious courses or the extravagant pursuit of pleasure unless he belongs to a family whose poetical or social importance it is a matter of public interest to preserve . IN this respect it does not go as far as the French law, which permits the relations of any prodigal spend thrift to apply of the appointment of a judicial adviser, without whose “assistance,” he is powerless to borrow money to sell or mortgage his immovable property or to bring a suit in court. (The power which reversions posses under the customary law of the Punjab to sue for the cancellation of the transfers of land made with out necessary is a restraint of the same kind(see paragraphs 45 and 8 of this Manual)
Even in the case of great families it must be remembered that it is against the declared policy of Government to extricate them from debt by means of loans of public money. IN such cases Deputy Commissioners must not formally discuss with the persons concerned applications for the intervention of the court of wards, or initiate proceedings, without first obtaining the sanction of the Commissioner. And if ultimate resort to Government loans seems probable reference should be made to Government for a decision of the question whether the political or other considerations are strong enough to warrant an exception being made to its general rule or policy.
674. Imperfection of law regarding court of wards contained in section 34-38 of Act IV of 1872 and origin of Punjab Act, II of 1903. The old law concerning the Court of Wards contained in the Punjab Laws Act of 1872(As amended by Act XII of 1878) was unsatisfactory and defective, but it was not until after the prolonged examination of the measure required to rescue the rural population from debt that Bills were prepared to deal with some aspects of this problem. The Alienation of Land Act of 1900 (See paragraphs 24 et seq. Of this manual) was designed to meet the case of the mass of owners and it was supplemented in 1903 by the Court of Wards Act, to meet the case of families of social or political importance. The remainder of this chapter will be devoted to a short account of the present law followed by a few remarks on some particular questions which arise in connection with the care of wards an the management of their property.
676. Financial Commissioner Court wards for Punjab. By Act No. II of 1903, the Financial Commissioner is declared to be the Court of wards for the whole province. But he can exercise all or any of his powers through Commissioners or Deputy Commissioners to whom also they can be delegated by rules under the Act, or by general of special orders.(Section 4. For powers delegated to Deputy Commissioner and Commissioners [see the rules under section 4(3) in parts I and II of the rules under the Court of Wards Act in Punjab Land Administration Acts. Volume II.]
677. Only landholders can be made wards. To be made a wards a person must be landholder i.e, he must possess an interest in land as proprietor , assignee of the Government revenue, lessee of land, otherwise.(Section 3(b) of Act. No. II of 1903.)
678. Classes of landholders who may be made wards by order of Financial Commissioner. The court may of its own authority declare the following classes of landholders to be its wards :-
minors that is to say persons below the age of eighteen.(Section 3(c) of Act II of 1903 read with section 3 of the Indian Majority Act, IX of 1875) A person who has been made a ward while still below that age does not reach his majority till he is twenty one.( Section 3 of Act IX of 1875, as amended by Section 52 of Act VIII of 1890) The Deputy Commissioner reports the cases of all minors who in his opinion ought to be made wards , and likewise case in which he himself has been appointed guardian of a minor under the provision of section 18 of he Guardian and Wards Act, VIII of 1890(Section 7(2)) The object of the report in the latter case is to enable the Financial Commissioner to decide whether the estate should not be brought under the Court of Wards;
Persons adjudged by a court acting under section 2 of Act XXXV of 1858 to be of unsound mind and incapable of managing their affairs . (Section 6) The deputy Commissioner may apply to the District Judge to institute the necessary enquiry.( Section II(4) , see also section 3 of Act XXXV of 1858)
679. Classes of landholders who may be made wards by order of local Government. The local Government may order the Court of Wards to take charge of the property of the following classes of landholders if it considers them incapable of managing their own affairs :-
Persons suffering from any physical or mental defect or infirmity;
Persons who themselves apply to made wards;
Persons who have be convicted of any non-bilabial offence , and are of vicious character;
Persons whose habits of wasteful extravagance are likely to dissipate their property. (Section 5(2)(d))
The court may at its discretion take charge of their persons also. In the case of the third class action can only be taken , if it is considered “expedient in the Public Interest ;” in the case of the last two classes it is necessary that the landholder shall belong to a “a family of political or social importance” and that the local Government shall be satisfied that it is desirable on grounds of public policy or general interest” to interfere. (Proviso to section (2))
680. Inquiry by Deputy Commissioner. A proposal to take anyone under the superintendence of the court of wards usually originates with the Deputy Commissioner of the district in which the whole or the bulk of the property concerned is situated ; but cases occur where the landholder applies direct to the Governor or the Member in charge. In such cases the application or proposal has to be sent to the Deputy Commissioner who acts as if it were his own . The 3rd chapter of the Act gives him the necessary powers for making an inquiry and for the protection of the person and property of the proposed ward until sanction is received.
681. Release from wardship. A minor or an insane person may be released from wardship by the court at any time, When it is proposed to release the person or a minor, the head of the educational institution at which he is studying should be consulted as to this future. The concurrence of the District judge is, however, required in any case in which the Deputy Commissioner was appointed guardian of the minor before he became as Ward of Court. (Section 44)On releasing a ward who is still a minor the court may give him a guardian who will have the same rights and duties and he subject to the same disabilities as a guardian appointed by the District Judge under Act VIII of 1890.(Section 47)
The property of a landholder who has been made a ward under the orders of the local Government cannot be released without its order; but the court may relinquish charge of his persons at its pleasure. (Section 44)
682. Publication of orders. The orders by which the Court of Wards assumes and relinquishes charge of the person or property of a landholder are published in the Government Gazette.( Section 9 and 50)
683. Provision to meet case of joint owners. When the landholder declared to be a ward is joint owner of property with other the court may take charge of the whole property.( Section 8) But as will be shown here after , its power of de align with such property is subject to restrictions. Again if a person who has ceased to be subject to its jurisdiction owns property jointly with another person who is still in ward, the court may retain the whole under its care. ( Section 46) This is very useful provision. It obviates the difficulty which arose under the old law, when several brothers were wards and one of them was released from tutelage on attaining his majority . When the court manages property not belonging to a ward it is bound to make over the surplus income to its owner.( Section 8 and 46)
684. Wardship may extend only to property. As already indicated the superintendence of the court may extend only to the property of the ward, or to both his property and his person.(section 6 and 7) .
685. Disabilities of ward. A ward cannot purchase on credit, borrow money, or transfer his property by lease, mortgage ,sale or gift. (Section 15(a)) He cannot make a will adopt an heir, or give permission to adopt.( Section 15(b)) He can only use under the authority of the court(Section 20(1)) and he cannot be used without the court being made a defendant, (Section 20(2)) and without two months notice having previously been given to the Deputy Commissioner.(Section 19)
686. Disabilities extending beyond release. A ward’s disabilities do not in all cases come wholly to an end on his release . A landholder who was made a ward at his own request or as a consequence of his extravagant habits cannot, after his release from the superintendence of the court, make any transfer of this property for a term extending beyond his own like. (Section 16(1)).
687. Powers of court as regards ward’s property. All property which the ward possesses in the Punjab at the date of the order by which the court assumes charge, and all property in the Punjab which the ward may subsequently acquire vests in the court , which however , has discretion as to taking he superintendence of any property fo the latter class not received by inheritance.( Section 13) The Act only extends to property in the Punjab ; property owned by a ward is an other province is not affected by its province, the authorities in that province must be moved to take the necessary action under the local Act. The court has for the item being all the powers of a landowner. It can even sell the whole of the property if it thinks that to do so would be the ward’s advantage.( Section 17(1)) Of course permanent alienation of any part of the ward’s landed property is usually to be avoided. But the sale of outlying or isolated portions of an estate as part of a scheme for the liquidations of debt may be sound policy. The court cannot sell or mortgage the share of a joint proprietor who is not himself a ward, or grant a lease of it for more than twenty years.( Section 17(2)) In this connection it must be borne in mind that jagirs notified under the Punjab Jagirs Act, V of 1941 , cannot be attached and are, therefore, of no value as legal security.
688. Management may continue after death of release of ward. The cessation of legal disability , or even the death or a ward, does not in every case free his property from management. If still encumbered with debt it may, with the sanction of the local Government, be kept under the charge of the Court till all the debts have been discharged.(Section 45)
689. Powers of court over ward’s person. When the court has taken charge of the person of a ward it can fix his place of residence and in the case of minor male ward, has complete control of his education. (Section 24) This control has been delegated to Deputy Commissioners .(See paragraph 696 of this Manual)
690. Ascertainment of debts. To free an estate from a load of debt is too often one of the chief tasks of the court of Wards. The first step is to ascertain exactly what the liabilities are. The 6th Chapter of the Act provided a means of doing this promptly and a notice calling on all creditors to present within six months their claims with the documents on which they rely for their establishment.(Sections 26 and 27) Subject to the provisions of section 7and 13 of the Indian Limitation Act, XV of 1877, claims not filed in time without reasonable excuse of the sufficiency of which the Deputy Commissioner is judge are ipsofacto extinguished.(Section 29) Suits and executions against the wards , estate pending at the time are stayed until the plantiff or the decree holders files a certificate that the claim has been duly notified. (Section 3(2) . Compare section 31(3) barring fresh proceeding in execution.)
691. Deputy Commissioner must determine amount due and may rank the debts. It is the duty of the Deputy Commissioner to examine in to the truth of each claim, and to determine the amount due. (Section 28) He cannot of course disallow any sum already decreed and still unpaid. (Section 3(1)) He has further to decide in cases in which immediate payment is impossible the rate of interest, if any , to be allowed in future, (Section 28) and he may, if the thinks fit rank the debts in the order in which they are to be paid, and fix a date for the discharge of each.(Section 32(1)) . Debtors will often accept a composition favourable to the ward if, by doing so, they can procure a prompt settlement of accounts.
692. Remedies open to creditor. The Deputy Commissioner’s decisions are not subject to appeal , but they may be revised by the Court of Ward. (Section 33) No civil suit lies to set aside the order of Deputy Commissioner ranking debts or fixing dates for their discharge. But, if he has wholly rejected a claim or reduced its amount , the aggrieved party may bring a civil action, in which the court of wards will be defendant to impeach the correctness of the decision.( Section 32) In such a suit no document which the palintiff failed to produce before the Deputy Commissioner, through it was in his power to do some can be received in evidence.( Section 30)
693. Appointment of tutors, guardian and mangers. The 7th chapter of the Act provided for the appointment of tutors , guardians and managers , and explains their duties and obligation Subject to the control of the court, a guardian has charge of the person of a ward, and a manager of his property.(Section 35 and 38) It is often well to consult the friends or relations of a ward as to the choice of manager since a fit private person may sometimes be available. In the case of large estates, however, where a specially competent manager is required, a Government servant should generally be selected. In all case , the interest to be considered are those of the ward and not those of any friend or relation or other candidate for the post. There is no reason why in suitable cases the two offices of guardian and manager should not be united in a single person. A guardian can only be appointed for the care of a ward. Who is a minor, or an unmarried female, or insane, or suffering from some physical or mental infirmity.(Section 35) The next heir of a ward or a person immediately interested in outliving him cannot be his guardian. (Section 36) If no guardians or manager is appointed by the court, their powers are exercised by the Deputy Commissioner.
694. Preliminary report and scheme of management. When a Deputy Commissioner has made up his mind that an estate should be brought under the court of Wards, he submits his proposals in a preliminary report, which is followed as soon as possible by a detailed scheme of management . Orders on the subject will be found in paragraphs 4 and 5 of the Financial Commisisoner Standing Order No. 33.
695. Court of Wards rate. (1) A rate is levied on the income of estates managed by the Court of Wards under the authority of section 3 of the Government Management of Private Estates Acct (X of 1892) . The income is intended to cover the cost of all ordinary Government establishments in so far as these have to devote part of their time to Court of Ward’s business. This is of course does not include any staff recruited solidly for the management of any estates or group of estate. Such a staff is paid out of the income of the estate or estate which employ it. The case also covers the share of any contingent expenditure of Government offices, which would otherwise be debatable to the Court of Wards. For the present the rate has been fixed as follows :-
on gross income up to Rs. 5000 per annum 5 percent.
On excess upto Rs. 10000 per annum, 4 percent
On further excess upto Rs. 20000 per annum, 3 percent.
On further excess above Rs. 20000 per annum, 2 percent.
(2) Gross income is defined in section 2(2) of the government Management of private Estates Act, 1892, as follows:-
“Gross income includes all receipts of every kind in produce or cash , except money borrowed , recoveries of principal and the proceeds of sale of immovable property or movable property classed as capitals.
696. Education of wards. The education of wards for good family has always been difficult problem. There can be no question in these days as to the kind of knowledge to be arity with Western ideas and modes of thought , which is becoming the common property of all educated Indians. But a young Indian leaving conservative home surroundings to receive such an education is very much in the position of a young Englishman in the sixteenth century faring to Rome of Padaua to reap the fruits of the Renaissance. We know what the result was in the case of our own countrymen , and we need not wonder if similar disappointments often occur in modern India. Yet the risks of home education are greater and though a body’s relatives commonly urge its advantages, there can in most cases be no doubt that their wishes should be overruled. At best an Eastern home for a fatherless boy of good position and large means is not a school for the development of the mainly virtues; at worst it means an entourage of women trying to keep him in the zanana and of flatterers outside. The general rule that has been laid down therefore is that as far as possible every ward of an age for other than primary education shall , if he is the son or near relative of a hereditary darbari be sent Queen Mary’s College at Lahore as a preliminary to sending him to the Chiefs” college. If the estate is too poor to bear the expense or if there are nay other reasons against its adoption, the circumstances should be reported to the Financial Commissioner when the ward has reached the age of 5 years the lowest age at which boys are received at Queen Mary’s College. The annual expenses of education at the Chiefs College run to some Rs. 2400 but it is often possible to arrange that the boy shall hold a scholarship. The fees paid by wards of Court have now been as similated to those paid by ordinary pupils at the College. When education at the Chiefs” College is not practicable and a private tutor is not employed a ward should be sent to one of the Government Schools.(See also paragraph 16 of Standing order No. 33) For the reason stated above private tuition is not usually to be recommended ; but the week health of a ward or other special circumstances some times leave no choice in the matter. Although the court of wards is not empowered to issued orders compusorily directing the education of female wards the Deputy Commissioner should where possible satisfy himself that suitable arrangements are made. Where funds admit and relations agree Queen Mary’s College provide a very suitable education.( See also paragraph 18 of Financial Commissioner’s Standing Order No. 33
Investments in improvements. As the accumulation of large cash balances or of readily realizable securities merely provides a temptation to a ward on release from control, it is desirable that surplus funds should be employed on the improvement of the estate and on bringing all buildings etc, into a through state of repair. The advantages to be derived from digging wells tanks, embankments or drains should be carefully considered and all measures which the agricultural department can recommend for the improvement of the soil, or for enhancing the security of the crops and the prosperity of the tenancy should be carried out as funds permit. Attempts should also made to effect improvement of the cattle under the advice of the veterinary department. It is not intended that estates under the Court of Wards should be run on model lines; but whatever an intelligent and enterprising landowner would be ready to spend money on in his own estate, may be object of expenditure by Court. Where Government has provided a body of experts to advice on agricultural matters, there need be little hesitation in taking full advantage of their advice to effect all promising improvements in the estate. The Government of India have especially advised the liberal supply of advances to cultivators upon the ward’s estate in the shape of either money, seed, or cattle, on the security of long leases and conditional on the payment of enhancement rent. (Government of India, Revenue and Agricultural Department , resolution No. 2771 –79 dated 31st December 1891. Also see paragraph 27 standing Order No. 33) In fact the expenditure should be on objects on which a wealthy and thoroughly intelligent landowner living in the neighborhood would be ready to spend money in the case of his own estate.
In purchase of mortgage of lands. Following the improvement of a ward’s own estate come investments in the purchase or taking on mortgage or lands, which should , as a rule be situated in reasonable proximity to the main estate. It will often be found that the difficulties involved in the management of property situated at a distance from the managing center e.g., in one of the canal colonies. Are such as to render this form of investment inadvisable; but where these difficulties can be obviated, and auctions are advertised , inadvisable; but where these difficulties can be obviated, and auctions are advertised, proposals may be submitted for the purchase at auction of Government lands in the colonies. Where the lands to be acquired are not the property of Government; it is essential to see that the vendor’s or mortgagor’s title is unimpeachable.
It is to be observed that rule (II) under section 4(3) of the Act, part I( see page 93 of Volume II ; Punjab Land Administration Acts ) Gives the Deputy Commissioner power to execute and register instruments on behalf of the Court of Wards; but before this power is exercised , care should be taken to see that the sale , mortgage or lease in question has received the sanction of competent authority . Under rule (2) the Deputy Commissioner may himself fix the form of lease to be given in certain cases. In other cases the form of instrument must be approved either by the Financial Commissioner or by the Commissioner. (Rule (3 part II of the Rules under section 4(3) of the Act(see page 94 of Volume II, Punjab Land Administration Acts).It is necessary to lay particular stress on the fact that on no account should loans be advance in the interest of the borrower but solely, as laid down in section 17(1) of the Act for the advantage of the ward. Particular instructions in this respect are given paragraph 31 of Standing Order No. 33.
In purchase of government paper. The third form of investment is the purchase of Government promissory notes, but this is not only intended to be a convenient course to be adopted pending the occurrence of an opportunity to invest in less easily realizable securities. In the absence of any special reason to the country , all sum belonging to wards exceeding Rs. 500 and not required for investments in improvements or in land or for current expenses should be invested in Government paper until some letter investment can be secured. (See also paragraph 30 of Financial Commissioner’s Standing Order No. 33)
Treatment of tenants. The treatment of the tenants in an estate managed by the court or wards should be an example to neighboring landowners . Undue enhancement of rents must be avoided . There is often more than a mere business relation between land owner and cultivator –as is testified to by the favourable rents which tenants not infrequently enjoy and it is inexpedient to reduce all to a uniform level, and to abolish privilege which the proprietor himself would wish to preserve. A system of cash rents undoubtedly reduces the difficulties of management and renders accounts easier to keep and Government in the case of tits own lands almost invariably adopts a cash rent system. But local circumstances and the custom of the estate must be considered. The practice of putting leases up to competition is forbidden. No estate can be let in farm without the sanction of the Financial Commissioner which will rarely , if ever be given as the practice leads to rack renting of cultivating tenants and other evils connected with the employment of middle men. Government Favor a policy of selecting suitable lessees and conferring on them a tenure of sufficient duration to offer an inducement towards the improvement of the land. Short term leases induce a lessee to make the most out of the land while he can. As already stated the grant of loans to tenants is a useful way of investing surplus funds but tenants will not taccavi to carry out improvements unless they enjoy in some degree stability of tenure. Section 18(2) of the Act which makes convenience , entered into the court binding on the ward; after the property has been released from superintendence, gives the necessary basis for the policy here set forth.
In dealing with the subject of tenants , it should be remembered that where the interests of both parties coincide, no efforts should be spread to foster these. The use of pure seed , of improved implements, or manure and of good bulls are examples, and these deserve full encouragement. Managers are apt to be some what slow to adopt any measure which is not hallowed by custom., and hesitate to embark on the campaign for improvement when this involves extra work. Deputy Commissioners should endeavor to secure for the estate all advantages which science can bring.
715. Shahpur kandi forests in Gurdaspur . As already noted, Government at the first regular settlement claimed no rights in waste lands in the thickly- peopled district of Gurdaspur. An exception, however must be made as regard the Shahpur Kandi tract in the north –east corner of the district , which is occupied by outlying spurs of the Himalayas . In 1850 this formed part of the Kangra district, and Mr. Barnes, the settlement officer recorded all the waste as village common , but the property in the chir trees he claimed for Government. (Chir trees were expressly declared to belong to Government. The right holders were entitled to cut other trees for their own use , but not for sale, (see paragraph 3 of a memorandum by the Financial Commissioner, Sir J.B. Lyall , forwarded to Government with his Senior Secretary’s letter No. 443, dated 9th April 1883, printed in Forest proceeding of July 1883). Seeing that the soil undoubtedly belonged to the villagers it would have been inconvenient to form reserved forests in Shahpur Kandi (See section 11 of Act XVI of 1927). As Mr. Baden Powell remarked :-
“The main , if not sole object of preserving the forest is to prevents these hot dry hills being denuded and turned into a veritable desert, and to preserve such soil as exists from being washed off the bare slopes ; while the inhabitants of the neighborhood may have a supply of wood, of fuel and of grazing accommodation ; in short, the value of the forest is purely local , and ….. it should be maintained solely for the benefit of the people.”
716. Waste lands declared protected forests. Accordingly the whole of the uncultivated land in Shahpur kandi, with some trifling exceptions . has been declared protected forest by notifications issued under section 28 of Act VII of 1878. (Notifications Nos. 3 and 4 of 5th January 1904). Some 8,000 acres of the more valuable forest land have been demarcated. Records have been drawn up declaring the extensive rights of user in the produce of the forests which the owners and tenants of cultivated lands in the estates in which they are situated possess, (Forest proceedings, No 29 of January 1904) and rules have been issued under section 31 of that Act defining the manner in which these rights may be exercised in the case of demarcated and undemarcated forests and undemarcated forests respectively. (Notification No. 115 dated 7th March 1904). Rules have been framed under section 75(c) of Act VII of 1878, for the preservation of chir tree belonging to Government but standing on land owned by private persons , and not included in any protected forest. (Notifications No. 5 dated 15th January 1904.)
717. Mountain forests in Himalyas. Before dealing with the hill and plain forest of the western Punjab the action taken with reference to mountain forests in the Himalayas will be shortly noticed.
718. Rights of State in uncultivated lands in Kangra. The respective rights of the state and the land –holders in the uncultivated lands of Kangra proper and Kulu have been described in paragraph 149-155 and 188 of the Settlement Manual. In Lahul the waste belongs to Government except in Jagir estates of the Thakurs , who are descendants of the petty barons of Rajput times. In these the Thakurs own the waste.
719. Early administration of Kangra forests. For a number of years the Kangra forest were managed by the Deputy Commissioner under the rules quoted in paragraph 710 and 714, which were enforced with more or less strictness. Under the rule which enabled one third of any forest to be closed for three years. Or for such periods as the local authorities may determine, (see the 20th of the rules refereed to in paragraph 714.)certain areas were reserved. These were known as trihis. Doubtless the original intention was that the portions closed should be shifted from time to time , but in practice this was never done. In 1872 the management of the forest was handed over to the Forest Department.(Forest Department proceedings No. 3 July 1872. The management of the Kulu Forests was transferred in January 1873, (Forest proceedings, No. 3 of January 1873). Mr. Duff , the forest Officer, proceeded to demarcate as reserves part of the uncultivated land included in 59 estates in the Nurpur and Dehra tahsils. (Forest proceedings No. 7 of February 1875 and No. 6 of July 1875, and notifications Nos. 111 and 112-F, dated 6th March 1879.)The consent of the people was obtained to an assertion by Government of an exclusive title in these reserves by making certain an cessions to them as regards the rest of the waste included in their boundaries.
720. Demarcation ordered in 1880. The area reserved formed a very small part of the area which stood in need of protection, and 1880 Government ordered a demarcation on a more extensive scale as a preliminary to a forest settlement under Act VII of 1878 or the introduction of an improved scheme of management under the rules of 1885. The demarcation was to be made jointly by a civil and a forest officer. The civil officer chosen was the late . Mr. A Anderson who afterwards made the forest settlements of Kangra, kulu, Lahul and Shahpur Kandi.(Forest proceedings, No. 3 of May 1880).
721. Decision to make forests “protected forests” . It was decided in 1883 that it was impossible to continue to mange the Kangra forest under the rules of 1855 and 1859, and that procedure under chapter II of Act VII of 1878 was “unsuitable to a large tract of country, of which the proprietary right in the soil belongs to the zamindars, and Government has only the subsidiary and ancillary right to the trees, and power of a limited kind to control their conservancy.(See paragraph 6 of Punjab Government letter No. 298, dated 20th July, 1883, in Forest proceedings, No. 7 of July, 1883. It only remained therefore to use the provisions of the Act relating to protected forests, and notifications were issued under section 28 of that Act, appointing Mr. A. Anderson to inquire into and record “ the nature and extent of the rights of Government and the private persons” in the forest and waste lands. (Notifications Nos. 207 and 208, dated 27th April 1885).
722. Nature of Kangra forest settlement. The questions involved in this very difficult forest settlement were not finally decided till 1897. The arrangements adopted were on the same lines as those followed some years later in Shahpur Kandi. The small area demarcated by Mr. Duff in 1874 and 1875 continued to be reserved forests. As regards the remaining waste in the estates out of which these reserves were carved , rules have been. Issued under section 75(c) of Act VII of 1878 for the preservation of the trees which belongs to Government.(Notification No. 61 of 26th January 1897.) The Rest of the waste in Kangra has been declared protected forests (Notifications Nos. 57 and 58 of 26th January 1897.) and for them records of rights have been drawn up . Notifications under section 29(a) and (b) of the above Act have declared certain trees in the protected forest to be “reserved”, and considerable areas, including the former trihais, have been closed against the rights of private persons for twenty years. (Notifications Nos. 59 and 60 of 27th January 1897.) Lastly rules have been issued under section 31 to regulate the exercise of the rights admitted by the record – of – rights. (Notification No. 416 of 14th August 1897.)
In 1917 a revised Working Plan was prepared under the orders of local Government as it has been found in practice that it was impossible to apply the principle of the 1897 rules to all the protected forests owning to the fact that they included such land lying very close to villages which could not be closed without great hardship to the people. The protected forests were , therefore , divided into two classes termed “delimited” and “un-delimited”. The former are to be closed piece by piece in rotation and the latter are not be closed at all. This division was carried out independently of the legal distinctions between “demarcated” and “undemarcated. Protected forests and the delimited forests contain parts of each class. The difference between “demarcated “ and undemarcated” protected forests is that cultivation is absolutely prohibited in the former, but may be permitted in the latter. In unclassed forests cultivation may be carried on without permission.
723. Forests of Jagirs of Kangra Rajas. The trees in the forests included in the jagirs of the jagirdars Rajas of Kangra (except Lambagron) be long to Government.
724. A Forests in Kulu. In Kulu (Including Kulu proper , Inner and Outer Saraj and Waziri Rupi.) Government as recorded owner of the waste had a freer hand then in Kangra, a fortunate circumstances as some of the finest deodar forests in the Punjab are to be found in that sub-division. A much larger area was therefore reserved under chapter II of Act VII of 1878. But a great deal of the valuable deodar forests lay close to or intermixed with village lands, and in all waste which was easily accessible the owner and their tenants had extensive lights of user. The bulk of the waste in Kulu has therefore been dealt with in the same way as in Kangra , and declared to be protected.
Forest of one of three kinds :-
(a) first class demarcated forest.
(b) Second class demarcated forest.
(c) Undemarcated forest.( The notifications declaring these three classes of forests protected are Nos. 280,281 and 282 of 1st June 1896. There are ancillary notifications under sections 29,31,51 and 75(c) of Act VII of 1878. These will be found in Forest proceedings Nos. 58-62, of July 1896, Nos. 7 of August 1896, and 60. 3 of November 1896. )
To extent of rights of user to be enjoyed and the amount of regulation necessary differ for the different classes.
743-B. Forest in Lahul. Lahul , though it is included in the Kulu sub-division, has not been dealt with in the last paragraph . It is too cold to yield valuable tree in any great number , and were it otherwise , it is too remote for their exploitation. The forest and waste lands are therefore protected solely in the interests of the people, though Government derives a petty income from outside shepherds who drive their sheep and goats into Lahul for pasture. The only trees of any value are the birch , the pencil cedar ,and the blue pine. Seven small forests have been demarcated, and they with the rest of the waste have been declared protected forests. (Notifications Nos. 154 and 155 of 24th March 1897. The ancillary notifications will be found in Forest proceedings Nos. 29-30 and 41 August 1897.)
725. Froests in Simla hills. In the scattered patches of territory, except Kalka and Bharauli, of which the Shimla district is made up , the rights of Government in the waste are the same as in the Kulu. There are few small reserved forests of deodar and kail (blue pine) but these are burdened with extensive rights of user. A moderate degree of protection is afforded to trees growing in the village waste , and fresh and cannot be broken up without permission. The best forest sin the Shimla hills are in the Indian State of Bashahr, and these are managed for the Raja by the British Government, as are the forests of some of the smaller States.
727. History of mountain forests in Rawalpindi up to regular settlement. We have seen that the general rules issued in 1855 enabled the civil authorities in hilly districts to mark off any tract as a public preserve, and within its limits to prohibit various acts harmful to forest growth. The local rules drawn up in 1856 declared all trees and shrubs of spontaneous growth in the mountainous and hilly portions of the Rawalpindi district to be the property of Government , with the proviso that they were to be available as far as they were really required by the villagers for agricultural or domestic purposes. Provision was made for the issue on payment of fees of permits for the felling of wood and cutting of brushwood. The firing of grass in a way calculated to harm the forests was forbidden. A fine was attached to breach of these rules. (The full text will be found in forest proceedings , No. 1 of March 1876)At the regular settlement of 1859-63, Major Cracroft explained to the people throughout the Rawalpinid district that “all waste lands were the property of Government, and that before closing the settlement such tracts would be demarcated.” But he was unable to touch the mountain forests in the Murree and Kahuta hils
728. Rules of 1873. In 1873 rules were issued under the authority of section 3 of Act VII of 1865 for the mountain forests of Murree and Kahuta and the hill rakhs in the other tahsils.(Forest proceedings, No. 3 of November, 1873).The most important rules so far as the former are concerned, are quoted below :-
“Explanation – Nothing contained in these rules shall in anywise abridge or affect any existing rights of individuals or communities in respect of the lands to which the rules relate.
“SECTION I – Of the Murree and Kahuta forests , known as first class rakhs.
“I – The officer of the Forest Department authorized in that behalf by the Conservator shall select portions of the forest area not exceeding in the aggregate 30% of the whole, and shall demarcate the selected portions by pillars or otherwise as he shall deem necessary.
“The portions so selected and demarcated shall there upon be closed absolutely against all forests rights of privileges, and shall be called “Reserved forests”.
“Provided that , if by the reservation of any tract, any community or individual , though not having any legal right, be in the judgement of the conservator of Forests put to special loss or inconvenience, it shall be competent for the Conservator to make suitable provision for exercise of grazing and for the supply of fuel and timber (for domestic and agricultural purposes only). Either in the reserved tract or in some adjacent tract conveniently situated.
“II – The remaining portions of forest area not being less than 70 percent of the whole ,. Shall be called “Unreserved forests ,” and shall be open to all existing village communities as heretofore, for the exercise free of charge of the following privileges only :-
(a) grazing of cutting grass for their own cattle:
(b) cutting fuel for their own use ;
(c) cutting timber or wood for their own domestic and agricultural purposes.
“III- In unreserved forests , land on which trees stand or a growth of young trees exists shall not be cleared for cultivation or for any other purpose except with the permission in writing , of a forest officer duty authorized to grant the same.
Explanation :- Such permission shall not be requisite for the clearance in order to cultivate land free from trees.
“IV – In unreserved forest no person whatsoever shall be entitled to cut for sale or to seal fuel or timber, or to burn charcoal , lime , or surkhi kilnsm except upon term s of paying the authorized dues to the forest officer on behalf of Government.”
The first rule provided for demarcation . But as a matter of fact no demarcation was actually carried out till the question of forest conservancy had been put on a sounder basis by the passing of Act VII of 1878, and a revised revenue settlement of Rawalpindi had been under taken.
729. State of things existing in 1882. The forest settlement was carried out by Mr. F.A. Robertson, who thus described the state of affairs existing when he began his work in 1882 :-
No restriction whatever had been placed on grazing by the most destructive animals , and timber could be obtained by application to the tahsildar, and grants of trees were made with most extraordinary freedom and censurable carelessness by these officials. The zamindars were not allowed to break up and cultivate forests lands without permission, but besides the fact that such permission but besides the fact that such permission was very easily obtainable the restriction was on which was readily and systematically evaded and plots of cultivation were accordingly met with in the very depths of forests and in most out of the places, and the existence of these plots very materially added to the difficulties of our works.”
730. Forest settlement , 1882-1889. The final result of the settlement carried out in 1882-89 was as follows : One hundred and fifteen square miles comprising, some of the best forest lands were gazette as reserved forests. By far the larger portion of this area is free of rights except rights of way and water, but in parts of some of the forests rights of grazing & c. were admitted. (Notification No. 290 dated 11th August 1888.)By a rule issued under section 14(c) of the Act it was provided that not more than three-fourth of the whole area of any of the reserved forests should be closed to grazing at one time. (Notification No. 257, dated 9th May, 1888) This restriction was modified in 1916 when the area of reserved forests which could be closed was reduced to one-quarter.
Fifty –seven square miles were notified as protected forests. They, like the reserved forests, are the property of the State, but they are subject to much more extensive rights of user. All trees of an value were reserved, and quarrying , burning of lime and charcoal, and cultivation were forbidden. (Notification No. 63, dated 17th February, 1887). Rules under section 31 of the Act regulated the lopping of certain trees , and the removing or grass and fallen wood & c., by rights –holders and provided for the grant to them at a nominal rate of permits to cut timber to the extent of their own actual requirements . They are also allowed to graze cattle, except camel, sheep and goats , in the forests over which they have rights. (Notification No. 335 dated 24th September 1889).
In the remainder of the waste area of waste area of Muree and the mountainous part of the Kahuta tahsil Government gave up all claim to the ownership of the soil, but the trees were recorded as its property. Rule for their protection were issued under section 75 of Act VII of 1878.(Revenue (Forest) proceedings, Nos. 32-64 of July 1901, 16-23 of July 1902, 5-9 of February 1903.
Generally speaking , every resident in a village was allowed to cut free of charge, the wood he required for agricultural or domestic purposes from tree growing on the common waste lands of his village but he could not cut for sale. Nor could he fell trees in order to extend cultivation without the licence of the Deputy Commissioner. By subsidiary rules of procedure framed by the Deputy Commissioner a permit was required even for the feeling of trees for agricultral or domestic purpose.
731. Muree and Kahuta forest conservancy rules of 1903. After the publication of the rules 1889 much doubt was felt whether the rules of 1856 referred to in paragraph 712 remained in force. These rules asserted the ownership of the State in all trees of spontaneous growth in the mountainous and hilly portion of the Rawalpindi district”, and they applied equally to State lands , common village lands, and separate proprietary holdings. But in the revised settlement the title of the Government to trees in the separate holdings was not specifically asserted. Never the less the rules of 1889 were treated by the local officers as applicable both to common and to private, i.e. separately owned lands. Difficulties arose as to the legality of this construction . The Punjab Government ruled that there was no doubt as to the title of government in the trees growing in private lands and a notification, No. 66 dated 9th February, 1903, was issued under section 75 of the Forest Act, which applied to all lands in the Murree and Kahuta tahsils, except reserved and protected forests and municipal and cantonment areas. Felling for any domestic agricultural purpose was allowed provided a permit was first obtained. The breaking up of land for cultivation in a manner calculated to injure trees or timber “was prohibited. –unless the Deputy Commissioner granted a permit, but it was added that such permits would be readily granted where the tree are not numerous and the ground in sufficiently level to give hopes of good crops beings raised .” The setting of fire to any trees , or without permission of grass of other forest produce “ the combustion of which is likely to cause injury to such trees “was forbidden. The rules of 1856 and 1889 were cancelled. ( Revenue (Forest ) Proceedings Nos. 32-64 of July 1902, 5-9 of February 1903.) It was a mistake to make the rules issued in 1903 applicable to all lands in Kahuta, for the State has never claimed ownership in trees in the plain villages of the Rawalpindi district, and one-half of the Kahuta tahsil is in the plains. The only trees of spontaneous growth which it owns in the plain portion of Kahuta are the chir pines found in a few villages. So far therefore as plain villages are concerned the restrictions imposed by the rules relate only chir pines. (Punjab Government letter No. 154, dated 12th March, 1907)
733. Hill forests of Rawalpindi and Attock. Some ten years later the original demarcation in Rawalpindi and Attock was revised under Major Wace’s superintendence, and after the passing of Act VII of 1878 advantage was taken of its 34th section to gazette as reserved forests nine of ten hill forests in Rawalpindi and Attock. The enquiry into rights of the large Kalachitta forest was not complete enough to allow of this course being followed , and pending a a proper forest settlement, it was made a protected forest. (The notification declaring 9 forests reserved and Kalachitta a protected forest is No. 97-F dated Ist March 1879. In the same year the rules of 1856 were cancelled as regards hilly waste in Rawalpindi included in village boundaries and revised rules were issued under the authority contained in the general rules of 1855, (notification No. 457-F.)The settlement was made by Mr. F.A. Robertson in 1896. Seven forest blocks with an area of 84 square miles were declared to be entirely free of private rights , except rights way and water. In sixteen blocks with an area of 64 square miles the ownership by the State is subject to rights of grazing enjoyed by the neighboring villages on payment of light fees. (For full particulars of the forest settlement see paragraphs 337- 342 and appendix III of Mr. Robertson’s settlement report of Rawalpindi.) Under the authority given by the rules of 1855 restrictions have been placed on the partition of waste and the sale of wood in villages in the foot hills in the north and east of the Rawalpindi tahsil , (Notification No. 79 dated 24th January 1907).
734. Hill forests of Jhelum and Shahpur. In 1879- 1882 the demarcation of the forests in the Salt Range and elsewhere in Jhelum was carried out by Mr. R.G. Thomson, who has left an admirable account of his work in the 8th chapter of his report on the first revised settlement of the district. ( See also appendix X and XI annexed to that report . The notifications relating to hill and plain forests declared to be reserved in the Helum, including Talagang tahsil now in Attock , are quoted on page 1089 of Regulations and Acts applicable to the Punjab 5th edition) Owing partly to the neglect of Mr. Thomson’s recommendations, the question of management had to be reopened at the second revised settlement . The orders passed in 1901 are summarized in the 108th paragraph of Mr. Talbot’s settlement report. (See also Forest proceedings. Nos. 1-8 of February , 1901) To prevent hardship the boundaries of some of the reserved forests were rectified. (Forests proceedings Nos. 5-29 of May 1902, Nos. 7-17 of November 1902 Nos. 12-17 of December 1902, Nos. 1-6 of October 1903 and Nos. 1-9 of December 1903.) Mr. J.Wilson made a forest settlement of the Salt Range forest in Shahpur in 1894-1896 . Certain areas were transferred to adjoining villages, and records- of - rights were drawn up and recommendations made for the grant or continuation of certain privileges. (See Forest proceedings Nos. 36-66 of December 1897 , Nos. 1-4 of November , 1898 and Nos. 20-34 of November , 1899 . The notification declaring the forests reserved forests is No. 670 dated 23rd December , 1897 ,and rules regulating the manner in which certain rights are to be exercised have been issued under sections 74(c) and 75 (d) of Act VII 1878 (notification No. 444 , dated 31st October, 1899) The basis of Mr. Wilson’s settlement was described by himself to be the policy laid down in the 4th paragraph of Government of India resolution No 22-F , dated 19th October , 1894, as to the treatment of “forests , the preservation of which is essential on climatic or physical grounds.” The objects to be kept in view, “ Mr. Wilson remarked were only two –
“(1) By the reservation of the forest growth to protect the hillsides from destructive drainage so as to distribute the rainfall as gradually as possible on the lands below, which are almost entirely dependent on the drainage of the hills for their productive ; and
“(2) to preserve grass and wood for the supply of neighboring villages.
“These rakhs have been accepted by Government as a trust to be managed for the benefit of the neighboring population, and not in order to bring in a direct pecuniary profit or to supply a distant demand”.(This had been clearly recognized at a comparatively early period, (see paragraphs 15- 16 of the review of report on the regular settlement of the Shahpur district by the Lieutenant-Governor, Sir Donald Macleod, dated 27th August 1867)
The same principles governed Mr. Talbot’s proceedings in his forest settlement referred to above .
754 Hill forests in Gujrat. At the first regular settlement of Gujrat the central portion of the Pabbi Range was declared to be a Government forest. Its area is about 39 square miles. It was declared in 1879 to be reserved forest by a notification issued under section 34 of Act VII of 1878. ( Notification No. 109-F dated 6th March 1879.) The forest growth of the Pabbi hills consists of phulahi, with a few kikar, dhak and shisham trees.
755. Plain forests in Punjab . The plain forests or rakhs of the Punjab have almost disappeared, being given up for cultivation in the canal colonies; a few small and widely scattered rakhs remain in the Lahore and Multan districts where their only value is as village grazing grounds. A very small number still exists in the Rawalpindi and Attock districts , every year deteriorating owing to excessive grazing.
These vast area which formerly supplied firewood to places as far north as Abbottabad and Peshawar are now replaced by few irrigated plantations which are insufficient to meet the impending firewood famine.
756 . Bar tracts - There was no difficulty in dealing with the “Bars” in the dry south-western zone. The rainfall was so scanty that at annexation we found cultivation almost wholly confined to the river valleys and a narrow strip of land above these valleys in which water was sufficiently near the surface to admit of well cultivation. The Bars consisted to great grazing grounds of the kind described in paragraph 706 roamed over by nomad graziers and camelowners. Here and there a deep well had been sunk to afford water to the cattle and there were a few quasipermanent locations of camelmen known as jhoks and of graziers known as rahnas. At the regular settlements Government claimed to the ownership of this no man’s land and asserted its title by levying fees for grazing.
757. The Thal. As a grazing tract the Thal is far inferior to the Bar, It is treeless and has little scrub jangle growth of any value. Writing of the 800,000 acres of the Khushab Thal Mr. Wilson Observed.( Forest Department proceedings No. 26 of September 1893).
“this desert tract forms a marked contrast to the level loamy soil of the Bar uplands on the other side of the Jhelum. Although is appears to have a somewhat similar substratum of hard level soil its surface is covered by a succession of sand-hills, on following the other like the waves of any angry sea. There is hardly a tree in the whole tract, the natural produce consisting of scanty grass and stunted bushes of lana. (caroxylon faetidum), bui(panderia pilosa) and phog (Callingoum polugnodies), all useful for goats and camels, and of ak(calotropis gigantea) and harmal (peganum harmala), which nothing will touch . Between the hillocks the harder subsoil appears in strips and patches , which in favourable years produce good grass and repay the cost of rude cultivation . At regular settlement about 1864 the population of the Thal was found to be only 14907, living in 25 villages scattered over the tract. They lived an almost entirely pastoral life, and owned about 3500 camels, 16000 cows and bullocks, and 60000 sheep and goats . The area under cultivation was only 4862 acres or less than one percent of the total area. The system adopted at regular settlement of reserving a portion of the waste for the State was much the same as that already , described for the Bar, except that here, owing to the inferior character of the soil and rainfall. 10 acres of grazing ground were allotted to the villages for each head of cattle they possessed. The result was that about 2,70,000 acres were declared to be State land, and the remainder amounting to about two – thirds of the whole Thal area, was allotted in proprietary right to the village communities. “ The huge Thal area of the Mianwali district was pervious to the formation of the North- West Frontier Province, part of the Mainwali tahsil of Bannu and the Bhakkar and leiah tahsils of Dera Ismail Khan. No final decision as to the respective rights of Government and the village land owners was made till the regular settlements of these two districts were carried out. Considering how little cultivation there then was in the Thal , the settlement was an extraordinary liberal one. Roughly out of twenty – six lakhs of acres untouched by the plough Government claimed eight. (See paragraph 200 of Mr. Thorbun’s settlement report of Bannu, paragraphs 518-533 and 535 of Mr. Tucker’s settlement report of Dera Ismail Khan and paragraphs 29-30 of Mr. Lyall’s review of the latter. In the Thal of the Muzffargarh district the State owns over 1.5 lakhs of acres.
758 to 760 Cancelled.
761. Rakhs in old Rawalpindi district. The plain rakhs of the old Rawalpindi district cover an area of about eighty thousand acres. Most of them are in the western tahsils , which now from part of the Attack district. A short notice of their history will be found in the 19th paragraph of the Financial Commissioner’s review of Mr. Robertson’s settlement report of theRawalpindi district. The latest orders about these poor rakhs, some of which contain no wood at all- while others show a scanty growth of phulahi and karil, will be found in Forest Department proceedings Nos. 25-33 of April and 1-6 of September 1907 . They are mostly under the charge of the Deputy Commissioner , and are of the class which should be managed entirely in the interests of the neighboring villages.
762. And 763 Cancelled.
764. Rakhs in Lahore. The same difficulty arose in an acute form in regard to the Lahore rakhs. Most of the reclamation’s of waste lands in these rakhs were first made about the year 1852 when the commissioner of the Lahore division, wishing to see all waste land in the Lahore district brought under cultivation as soon as possible, issued an order that “hopes should be held out to the cultivators that if they fully cultivate the land they would be treated as proprietors, and that if they fully cultivate the land they would be treated as proprietors, and that if they sunk wells the lands would be assessed at barani rates only . “Leases for cultivation were accordingly given upon very favorable terms and security was constantly taken from the lessees , binding them to cultivate the land and not use it for grazing. This policy was followed for a period of ten years, when , owing to the rapid extension of cultivation which had followed upon the opening of the Bari Doab Canal , A change was made in the policy of Government, and the Financial Commissioner directed that for the future all land given for cultivation in the rakhs should be given upon annual leases only. These orders were gradually acted upon between 1862 and 1869. In the latter year the rentals of the various rakhs were re-assessed and in1870 the while of them were handed over to the Forest Department. IN 1872, however many of the rakhs were re-transferred to district management. From those which remained under forest management practically all the tenants were evicted. In the rakhs re-transferred to the Deputy Commissioner the system of annual leases was continued. Although under the tenure of each lessee was nominally terminated each year yet in general the cultivators managed to secure continuity of possession, and if ejected from one portion of a rakh through their rights to cultivate being sold over their heads, established themselves on other land in the same rakh. Of a large class of these tenants Mr. Dane writes .- “Tenants therefore who are the direct representatives of men settled on the land in this way by order of a Government officer, and who have since remained continuous possession, have undoubted claims to be treated with consideration . In may cases the tenants own no other hand , and have founded villages and located themselves permanently in the rakhs, and although by receiving annual leases they have admitted the right of Government to oust them at pleasure, their eviction would be a somewhat harsh and arbitrary measure.”
The rights of the tenants in the Lahore rakhs were the subject of an elaborate report by Mr. R.M. Dane in 1882, Sir Louis Dane in 1885 , and Sir W.O. Clark in 1887 , and final orders on the case were passed by the local Government and the Government of India in 1889.( Forest proceedings Nos. 1-2 of January , 1884 9-10 of February , 1885,7-9 of April, 1888,3-4 of May, 1889, and 1 of August ,1889.
765. Fuel Rakhs put under management of forest Department. The construction of the railway from Multan to Lahore , which was opened in 1865, made the fuel supply to be drawn from the rakhs in the Lahore , Montgomery Multan and Musaffargarh districts an urgent question. In 1864 Dr. J. Stewart drew up an important report on the Subject,( See correspondence printed in Forest proceedings No. 1 of 1894.) and in the same year the Forest Department in the Punjab came into being. Dr. Stewart showed that the larger part of the Bar waste was of little use except for grazing and browsing and that the railway and the Indus Stream Flotilla must look for their fuel supply mainly to those rakhs in the Bar or in the lower lands adjoining the Bar in which the jand (proposes spicigera or the farash (tamarir articulata grew freely. (See pages 46 and 288of Gamble’s Mannual of Indian Tibers “ . The jand yields far better fuel than the farash.) In the discussion which followed the policy first emerged of handing over to the stricter management of the Forest Department the fuel rakhs and keeping the rest under the looser control of the Deputy Commissioner. ( The colonization of vast area of Government waste in the south –west of the Punjab as a consequence of the excavation of the Chenab and Jhelum Canals has greatly reduced the fuel rakhs managed by the Forest Department. Proposals have been made in connection with the cannal scheme to hand over large areas to the Department to be worked as irrigated plantations.) When rakhs are managed by the Forest Department it is usually desirable to notify them as reserved forests, but those incharge, of the Deputy Commissioner can generally be left as “unclassed forests,” by which is meant Government waste which has neither been declared a “reserved forest” under Chapter II nor a protected forest” unider Chapter IV of the forest Act. Of course a forest officer may be in charge of “unclassed forest” and a deputy commissioner of “reserved forest,” and the limits of jurisdiction have often been re-arranged. The question is largely one of administrative convenience.
766. Relations of Deputy Commissioner and forest Officer. But the nature of forest management is so vital to the comfort of the rural population that, wherever the line is drawn , the Deputy Commissioner must be in constant communication with, and in some important matters must control, the Forest Officer.
The following instructions on the subject were issued in 1888:- (Later amendments have been embodied in the instructions as printed in the text. )
“(1) Nothing in these instructions applied to the working of the Punjab River Rule, to the collection of drift and stranded timber under chapter VIII of Indian Forest Act , to forests in Indian States, or to Changa Manga Reserve. Neither do they apply to limited area in one district managed by a forest officer whose main duties lie in another district.
(2) When the Collector considers it desirable that magisterial powers for the trail of forest offenses should be conferred on a forest officer, the local Government will be prepared to consider such a recommendation; but each case of this kind will be separately treated with reference to local requirements and the personal qualifications of the forests officer concerned.
(3) (a) In respect of matters mentioned clause (b) of this paragraph the district forest officer is under the control of the Collector in his management of :-
(i) reserved forests,
(ii) protected forests,
(iii) all unclause forests and waste land owned by the State, or in which the State has forest rights.
In a sub-division of a district, as for example in the Kulu sub-division of the Kangra district, the control of the Collector may be exercised through the Assistant Collector in charge of the sub-division.
(b) The control of the Collector will be exercised in respect of the taking up of new forests , the recovery of monies due to Government, the prosecution of forests offenses or the composition of such offenses under section 68 of the Forest Act, so much of the Forest administration as affects the use of the forest and waste lands by the adjacent population and the appointment, posting, and transfer of establishment so far as they affect these questions.
(c) All proposals connected with the disaffirmation of reserved or protected areas should be submitted by the district forest officer to the Collector for an expression of his opinion.
(1) The Collector will see that tahsildars and the subordinate revenue, agency of all grades render assistance not only in the management of Government waste lands, and especially in the assessment and collection of Government dues, but also in the management of all forests. All distinctions and practices which are likely to encourage the impression that forest work lies outside the ordinary duties of land revenue officials should be gradually abolished. The Collector will also authorize the district forest officer to address orders to these officials direct in matters in which it may be convenient that he should , in ordinary cases , act without the intervention of the Collector.
(2) The district forest officer will keep a diary in which will be briefly noted from day to day:-
(a) All occurrences of importance relating to duties discharged by him;
(b) The substance of any reports or representations (verbal or written) addressed by him to the Collector and all orders received from that officer.
Should a forest officer be district forest officer of more than one district, he will write a separate diary for each district.
This diary written on half –margin, will be sent weekly to the Collector , and will be accompanied by a brief precis of any correspondence with the Conservator affecting the matters in respect of which the control of the collector is exercised . The Collector will retain the precis, but will forward the diary without delay to the Conservator of forest adding any remarks he may wish to make.
The Conservator of Forest will return the diary direct to the district forest officer, who will lay before the Collector any remarks that the Conservator may have made thereon.
(6) All the lands mentioned instruction 3(a) shall be administered in accordance with working plans sanctioned by Government.
(7) It has not been possible to provide working plans for all these lands. But when the conservator of forest is in a position to provide a working plan, he will in consultation with the Commissioner of the Division, issue orders for its preparation.
All working plans require the countersignature of the collector and the Commissioner. After countersignature the plans will, if they relate to (I) reserved forest or to (ii) protected forests, be submitted by the Conservator to the Chief Conservator of Forests for scrutiny and approval of technical points. The Chief Conservator of Forests will forward them to the local Government with its opinion and remarks and the local Government will pass orders upon them, furnishing a copy of the same to the Inspector- General of Forests for confirmation or record. But if they relate to (iii) unclassed forests and waste lands owned by the State or in which the State has forest rights , they will be sent by the Chief Conservator of forests to Government direct.
Working plans when sanctioned by Government cannot be altered except under the procedure and sanction above described.
(8) The regulation and management of grazing will be in accordance with the system prescribed by the orders of the Financial Commissioner.
(11) Forest Officers to be consulted in certain case. The district forest officer will be consulted by the Collector with reference to all proposed alienation’s of forests or waste lands by grant, lease or sale; and he will give such assistance in case of this nature as the Collector may require, especially in the selection of the sites and determination of the boundaries of proposed grants . No land whiter protected or unclassed forest or waste , the revenue of which is credited to the forest Department , will be granted, leased or sold until the consent of the Chief Conservator of forests to its alienation has been obtained.
This paragraph does not give the Forest Department authority to grant leases of unclassed forest land in regard to which the rules for the lease of waste lands(See chapter XXII) must be observed.
12(a) Office and routine. The offices of district forests officers will , so far as possible, be located in or in the immediate vicinity of the Deputy Commissioner’s Office.
(b)Formal official correspondence between the Collector and the district forest officer concerning matters dealt with by these instructions should be avoided as far as possible ; written communications , when necessary , being carried on by the transmission of original files and cases under the same rules as apply to the transaction of business between a Collector and his Revenue Assistant.
(c) The Collector may direct the district forest officer to the files in the district record office such of the forest records as relate to forest settlements or revenue leases or other matters affecting to use of the forests and waste lands by the population adjacent thereto.
(13. Important Proposals. Proposal of importance for the formation of new forests or which affect the use of the forests and waste lands by the adjacent population will be addressed by the Chief Conservator of Forests to Government direct.
(14) Special assessments under section 59(e) of Land Revenue Act. Nothing in the above instructions is to be under stood as affecting the responsibility of the revenue officers in respect of the special assessments described in clause (e) of section 59 of the land Revenue Act.”
767. Rules for management of unclassed forests- The 48th section of the Punjab Laws Act (IV of 1872), provided that “no person shall make use of the pasturage or other natural product of any land being the property of the Government except with the consent and subject to rules to be from time to time, either generally or in any particular instance, prescribed by the local Government.”
No general actions was taken till the year 1896.( Punjab Government notification No.58, dated 1st February, 1896 . Rules applicable to the Muzaffargarh district had been issued in notification No. 94 , dated 21st March, 1882, see paragraph 772.) The rules issued in 1896 were republished with a few verbal alterations in 1900 when they were being extended to the Agror valley in the district of Hazara. ( Punjab Government notification No. 1986, dated 11th August, 1900) They are as follows :-
1.(1) This rule, rules 2 to 9( both inclusive), and rule 17 apply in the first instance to all waste lands which are the property of the Government in the local areas mentioned in the schedule, except:-
(a) protected and reserved forests;
(b) land under the control of the military, canal, irrigation, or railway authorities ;
(c) lands under the control of district boards and municipal committees.;
(d) encamping –grounds;
(e) Government land to which any special rules having the force of law under any Act for the time being in force in the Punjab apply;
(f) Lands included within the area of any cultivating lease, or which have been allotted under the Government Tenants (Punjab) Act, 1893.
But the said rules may be extended to lands of classes (c) and (d) by special order of the local Government published in the official Gazette.
(2) Rules 10 to 16 (both inclusive) apply in the first instance to the Multan district only, but may be extended to any other local area by special order of the local Government published in the official Gazet
2. In these rules :-
(a) “Cattle” includes besides horned cattle, camels, horses, asses, mules, sheep, goats, and the young of such animals.
(b) “Collector” means the Collector of the district, and any person on whom the powers of a Collector have been conferred under section 27 of the Punjab Land Revenue Act, 1887.
(c) “Forest Officer” means any officer of the Forest Department in charge of a Forest Range, and includes any person appointed by the Collector or by the Chief Conservator of Forests , Punjab, to discharge all or any of the functions given by these rules to the Forests Officer.
(d) “Farmer” means a person to whom the right to collect fees for the pasturing of cattle or to cut wood or grass, or to remove fuel or any other natural produce of any land to which these rules apply, has been leased by the Collector.
(e) “Graze” includes “browse”.
3. Save as hereinafter provided in rules 10, no person shall pasture cattle, cut wood or sajji plants or grass, or gather fuel or any other natural product in the above mentioned lands, except :-
(i) Under the authority of , and in accordance with, the conditions of a licence granted by the Collector or forest officer; or
(ii) With the permission of a farmer and in accordance with the conditions of such farmer’s lease.
4. Every licence granted under rule 3 clause (i) , shall be in writing and signed by the Collector or forest officer, and shall state :-
(a) the nature , extent, and duration of the rights thereby conferred;
(b) the consideration paid or to be paid by licence holder; and
(c) the special conditions, if any , on which the licence is granted.
5. (1) Every lease granted to framers shall be in writing signed by the Collector and the farmers, and shall state –
(a) the nature, extent , and duration, which shall in no case exceed five years, of the rights thereby conferred; ( Grazing leases should be sold at the beginning of rainy seasons.)
(b) the consideration paid or to be paid by the farmer; and
(c) the special conditions , if any, on which the lease is granted.
(2) Every such lease shall include:-
(a) in cases where the consideration-money is payable by instalments, a statement as to the amount of the said instalments and the dates on which they will fall due,
(b) in cases where the lease relates to the right of grazing:-
(1) a specification of the maximum grazing dues which the farmer levy, and;
(2) a clause providing that the farmer shall not, without the written permission of the Collector, transfer the lease or close any portion of the leased area to grazing by any cattle in respect of which grazing dues are tendered under rule 6; and
(c) in all cases a clause providing that, if the leased area or any part thereof is at any time required by Government for public purposes, the lease shall be terminable on payment to the farmer of reasonable compensation to be assessed by the Collector.
6.(1) The owners of cattle grazing on any lands to which these rules apply shall pay to the Collector or forest officer, or to the farmer, as the case may be, fees according to a scale fixed from time to time by the Financial Commissioner for each district: provided that no fee shall be charged for any sheep or goat less than six months old, or for any other animal less than one year old.
(2) The fees to be charged for licences to cut wood, sajji plants , or grass, or to gather fuel or any other natural product in any lands to which these rules apply, shall be fixed form time to time by the Commissioner of the division and shall be paid by the licence holder to the Collector or forest officer or such other person as may be authorised by the Collector in this behalf, or to the farmer, as the case may be.
7 The local Government may, in respect of any local area, exempt from all or any of the provisions of these rules any person or class of persons and any cattle or description of cattle.
8. Every licence – holder and every farmer shall be bound by the conditions stated in the licence or lease, as the case may be , granted to him , and every person acting under rule 3 clause (ii) , shall be bound by the conditions of the lease granted to the farmer.
9. (1) In case of any breach of the provisions of rule 8, the Collector may, at his discretion, cancel the licence or lease and thereupon the licence – holder or farmer, and every person acting under the farmer under rule 3, clause (ii) , shall forfeit all claims to any produce or wood which at the time of the cancellation of the licence or lease has not been removed from the land to which the licence or lease applies.
(2.) On the cancellation of a licence or lease under-sub section (1) , the licence- holder or farmer shall not be liable for any fees outstanding on the produce or wood so forfeited; but he shall have no claim to refund of dues already paid, and he shall not be thereby discharged from his liability for the payment of other dues in arrears or of instalments overdue under the terms of his licence or lease at the date of the forfeiture.
10.(1) The Collector may , with the previous sanction of the Financial Commissioner, make an agreement on behalf of Government with the whole community of cattle owners residing in any estate to pay such an annual assessment, by way of commutation for grazing dues; as may be agreed upon between the Collector and such community.
(2). Such assessment shall not, without the sanction of the local Government, be made for a period exceeding five years; and when such an assessment has been concluded and recorded in such manner as the Financial Commissioner shall direct, no person comprised in such community of cattle- owners shall be liable to separate assessment in respect of any cattle belonging to him and grazing during the period mentioned in such agreement on lands to which these rules apply, within the limits of the tract regarding which the agreement is made.
(3) Similar agreements may , under the order of the Financial Commissioner, be entered into between the Collector on behalf of Government and associations of cattle-owners, in respect of cattle owned jointly or severally by the members of such associations.
(4) For the purposes of this rule, the consent of persons owning two-thirds of the cattle belonging to a community or association as aforesaid shall be deemed to be the consent of all the cattle owners of such community or associations.
11. If the cattle-owners of any community or association , which has accepted as assessment made under rule 10, prove to the satisfaction of the Collector that the owner of any cattle, in respect of which the assessment was made, has with his cattle left that community or association and resides permanently with his cattle in another community or with another association in the same district which has accepted a similar assessment , the Collector may reduce the assessment payable by the former community or association and enhance the assessment payable by the later community or association proportionately to the number and description of cattle removed from the one and added to the other.
12. The Collector may require the headman of any community or association of cattle owners with which an agreement is in force under rule 10, to furnish him with a nominal roll of the cattle-owners belonging to such community or association showing the number and description of the cattle owned by each.
13. Disputes arising amount the cattle-owners of any community or association which has accepted an assessment made under rule 10, regarding the incidence as among themselves of the assessment, shall be decided by the Collector whose order shall be final.
14. (1) All sums due under an assessment made under rule 10 shall be payable at such times and places and to such persons as the Financial Commissioner shall direct.
(2) The amount assessed under rule 10 shall be collected by lambardars of estates or headmen of association of cattle-owners , or by such other persons as the Collector may appoint , and such lambardars, headmen, or other persons shall levy grazing dues from the cattle-owners in accordance with rates which shall be fixed by the Collector, so as not to exceed in the aggregate the total assessment and to apportion the incidence thereof amount the cattle owners as nearly as may be in proportion to the number and kind of cattle owned by each.
(3.) If the amount of the grazing dues leviable under this rule from a cattle – owner belonging to any community, or association which has accepted an assessment under rule 10 , is not paid by such cattle – owner or by some other person on his account when duly demanded, the Collector may entirely rescind the agreement made under rule 10 in respect of such community or association.
15. The person authorized under rule 14 to collect the assessment shall be entitled to a drawback not exceeding 5 percent on all sums paid by them into the Government treasury on account of such assessment.
17. Any person acting in contravention of any of these rules shall be liable, on the first conviction , to simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to one month, or to fine not exceeding Rs. 100, or to both ;and, on a subsequent conviction under this rule within three years of the first, to imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or to fine not exceeding Rs. 300, or to both.
768. Executive instructions as to rakhs under district management-As regards Government waste lands other than those under the Forest Department, these rules have been supplemented by the following executive instructions :-(Punjab Government letter No. 235 – General , dated 1st April , 1896.)
(i) The Collector should some time before the beginning of each agricultural year submit, for the approval of the Commissioner, a brief report showing generally the arrangement he proposes to make for the ensuing year as regards :-
(a) grazing ;
(b) cutting and sale of timber ,fuel ,grass, and other natural products.
It is not intended that details of management should require the Commissioner’s sanction, but it is essential that he should be in a position to exercise a general control over the treatment of Government waste lands in his division.
(ii) No claim on the part of the residents in any estate to a right of grazing in Government lands adjacent to such estate or of obtaining leases or licences connected therewith under the above –mentioned rules should be admitted . But in granting leases or licences, the reasonable requirements of the population adjacent to the Government lands concerned should be carefully considered , and it is often expedient to select leading members of the rural community as farmers of grazing dues.
(iii) Wholesale sales of wood from rakhs and forests under the control of Collectors is prohibited , except on special grounds; and with the previous sanction of the Financial Commissioner. Contractors and other applying to Collector for a wholesale supply should first be referred by them to the forest officer. All applications for supply of wood for railway fuel and for large public works should be considered wholesale, and in other cases all applications for a quantity exceeding 3,000 maunds (Punjab Government No. 162-F, dated the 12th April 1880) The intention of these orders is that district officers should co-operate with the Forest Department in an intelligent and economical administration of the rakhs and forest lands under their charge and in the prevention of indiscriminate cutting likely to injure the permanent supply of wood and the reproductive capacity of the rakhs.
(iv) But licences to cut wood should be granted under the rules issued under section 48 of Act IV of 1872 and given in the last paragraph to the extent necessary to meet the reasonable requirements of the people residing in the neighbourhood of Government lands in the matter of timber and fuel when they are unable to meet these requirements from the produce of their own lands.
(v) The Collector should insert in leases and licences such conditions as he considers necessary for the prevention of waste and the promotion of good management.
(vi) If a lease or licence is put up to auction the Collector should notify that he will not be bound to accept the highest or any bid.
(vii) No lease of the description mentioned in rule 5 in the last paragraph shall be given for more than one year without the sanction of the Financial Commissioner.
769. Tirni- Allusion has been made in paragraph 756 to the fees levied on account of the grazing of cattle in the large waste areas owned by the State in the west of the Punjab . These charges are known as tirni. In theory tirni is a rent paid for pasturage; in practice it has been partly that and party an assessment levied on the profits derived from the rearing of cattle. In fact the word has sometimes been employed so as to include the land revenue paid by the proprietors of an estate on account of the village waste . The levy of tirni on account of grazing in Government lands has been regulated by the rules issued under section 48 of Act IV of 1872, quoted in paragraph 767. The subject has lost much of its importance with the extension of canal irrigation in the west of the province and the colonization of the Bar tracts. But a brief sketch of its history should find a place in any book dealing with the administration of land in the Punjab.
770. Tirni in the Bar tracts of Jhang, Multan and Montgomery- In the South-west of the province an assessment on cattle was an obvious and reasonable way of raising revenue. Diwan Sawan Mal inherited the system of levying tirni from the Muhammadan rulers who were displaced by Ranjit Singh , and we inherited it from Sawan Mal.. He was wise enough to make his collections through the leading men of the local tribes, and we continued the same plan, calling them sadr tirni guzars. The Board of Administration in 1853 issued rules fixing rates for the assessment of tirni varying from Rs. 1-8-0 for a female camel to half an anna for a sheep or goat. Payment of these rates made cattle fee of the whole Government waste in the district. The rules contemplated an assessment of tirni on village cattle for the term of the short settlements then being made, and an assessment on the nomad graziers of the Bar on the basis of the old payments made by the sadr tirni guzars .
1. See Barkely’s Non-Regulation Law of the Punjab, pages 321-326.
772. The chak system-The complaints made against the above plan were that it led to much official corruption, that it yielded a less income than would be obtained by dividing the waste into large blocks and leasing the right to collect the authorised fees within these blocks to farmers and that it allowed the pastoral tribes to wander uncontrolled over the whole district, and thus fostered their criminal tendencies and their aversion to settled agricultural pursuits. Orders were accordingly issued about 1870 for the adoption of the chak system. Each chak or block of Government waste was to be leased yearly o a farmer, and cattle grazing in more than one block had to pay the full fees to the lessee of each. In Montgomery the introduction of the chak system was vehemently opposed by the grazing community, but they yielded when they saw that otherwise outsiders would be brought in as farmers, and most of the leases were at first given to leading members of the land owning tribes. Finally all or most of the contracts were combined in the hands of one speculative farmer, who had to be assisted in making his collections by the whole officials machinery of the district. In 1879 the plan broke down under the burden of its unpopularity, and the old system of annual village leases was reintroduced, one payment giving the privilege of grazing over the whole district. The right to collect tirni at the authorised rates from “naubaramad” cattle or animal brought for grazing purposes from another district continue to be leased. In Jhang the introduction of outside contractors, which led to so much complaint in Montgomery was avoided. Mr. Steedman, the Settlement Officer, described the plan in force in that district as follows;-
“The grazing waste of the Bar is divided into chaks. The right of collecting the tirni in these chaks in nominally auctioned annually, but as a matter of fact the lessees are almost from year to year the same body of influential zamindars residing in the neighbourhood of the chak and the Deputy Commissioner fixed the amount of lease money………….All the villages in the district are either tirni guzar (paying) or ghair tirni guzar. In the former it is taken for granted that all the cattle graze in the Government Bar, and accordingly rates are levied on every head of cattle existing in the particular chak or other in which they are accustomed to graze. Some few situated close to the boundary of two chaks have been allowed to graze in both on payment of a single fee, but as rule cattle can only graze for a single fee in the one chak to which the village is allotted……………The collection of the fees is left entirely to the lessees.
“The non paying villages are those which are not allotted to any chak, and the cattle of which it is presumed, do not graze in the Bar. If they do they become liable to punitive rates, treble or quadruple the ordinary rate. But these punitive rates are not levied in practice for a lessee is glad to secure these and other outsiders, and even to offer them lower than the prescribed rates in order to attract them to his chak. The nomad graziers who own herds but no village in the Bar, attach themselves to a chak, with respect to which they stand in the same relation as the paying villages. The chakdars collect the full fee from every head of cattle in villages assessed to tirni in connection with their chak, and also collect the tirni payable for the cattle of outsiders grazing in their chak, whether belonging to tirni paying or exempt villages of their district or to another district. The latter collections are know as “nau baramad”.
1. Revenue proceedings Nos. 11-16 of April, 1905.
774. Tirni in the Thal-The Thal has has been described in paragraph 757. It is now included in four districts. The greater part of it is in the Minawali, Bhakkar and Leiah Tahsils of Mianwali. Up to the formation of the North West Frontier Province the Minawali Tahsil was part of the Bannu, and the other two tahsils part of the Dera Ismail Khan district. The rest of the Thal is in the Khushab Tahsil of Shahpur, the Sinawan Tahsil of Muzaffargarh and in the part of the Jhang District lying to the west of the Jhelum. In the Bannu settlement report Mr. Thorburn described the tirni as it existed before the regular settlement of 1872-78 in the Mianwali Tahsil and the description applies also to the Leiah and Bhakkar tahsils-“On annexation, wherever a community was found, an enumeration of its cattle was made, and tirni imposed after which grazers had, irrespective of residence a right of pasturage over the whole Thal…….Thus tirni was a poll tax on cattle……….As graziers are somewhat migratory and murrain…..is occasionally very destructive, the annual imposition of the settlement amount on each village caused serious inequality of taxation.”1 As already noticed (paragraph 757) the greater part of the huge area of the Thal, which is best adapted to the grazing of goats, sheep and camels, was included at the regular settlement in village lands. In Leiah and Bhakkar a fixed grazing assessment was imposed on the Thal waste included in village boundaries. But in order to meet the case of camels which browse over large areas, it was decided that they should not be included in this assessment and should be free to browse in any Thal village. It was the more necessary to make this arrangement as the camels of the powindah traders from Afghanistan, which pay tirni on entering British territory, pass through the Thal. The tax on the camel belonging to the Thal village is framed to contractors, the estates being grouped in dags or chaks for leasing purposes. The farmers collect from camel owners at rates fixed by Government Powindah camels grazing in village lands pay nothing. The Government rakhs are leased out yearly, generally to the headman of neighbouring villages, who realise fixed fee from all animals including camels whether belonging to residents of the district or outsiders, found in the rakhs, Powindah camels grazing in the rakhs pay the usual fees2. The same system was adopted at the regular settlement of Bannu for the Mianwali Tahsil, but there powindah camels were excluded from village waste except with the consent of the landowners, and were charged half rates when browsing in Government rakhs3. The forty five chaks into which the Government land in the Thal of the Khushab Tahsil of Shahpur is divided is sold annually at a fair assessment fixed by the Deputy Commissioner to the headmen of adjoining villages, the grazing fees which the farmers are entitled to collect being of course fixed.4 The Government waste lands of the Jhang Thal are also leased annually. There is no separate camel tirni.5 In Muzaffargarh too the plan of fixed grazing assessment for village waste and leasing of Government rakhs was adopted and special rules were framed under section 48 of the Punjab Laws Act, IV of 1872 which were substantially the same as rules 3 to 9 and 17 of the general rules issued many years later.6
1. Mr. Thorburn’s settlement report of Bannu paragraphs 202 and 300.
2. Paragraphs 534-538 of Mr. Thucker’s settlement report of Dera Ismail Khan and paragraph 72 of Mr. Hailey’s Thal assessment report.
3. Mr. Thorburn’s Bannu settlement report paragraph 202.
4. Mr. Wilson’s Khushab assessment report paragraph 49.
5. Mr. Steedman’s Jhang settlement report paragraph 219.
6. Notification No. 94 dated 21st March 1882. The general rules given in paragraph 767 apply to Muzaffargarh.
775. Tirni in Shahpur and Lahore- In the districts of Shahpur and Lahore where the Government lands in the Bar tract consist proprietary estates, the practice has been to lease out the grazing of each rakh separately. Sound policy dictates the giving of the lease to adjoining villages if a reasonable sum is offered for it. There is no real difference between the tirni system of the Shahpur and Lahore Bar tracts and that of the Thal. In fact the latter was copied from the former1. The Shahpur Bar has ceases to be a grazing tract in consequence of the construction of the Lower Jhelum Canal.
1. Paragraphs 525 and 526 of Mr. Tucker’s settlement report of Dera Ismail Khan.
776. Forest policy aid down in resolution No. 22-F dated 19th October,1894- This chapter may fitly be concluded with the important resolution on forest policy issued by the Government of India in 1894. It may fairly be claimed that the principles laid down had in the main been enforced by the Punjab Government for a considerable period anterior to the publication of the resolution, but Deputy Commissioners have been instructed to refer for orders any cases which seem to have been dealt with in a way inconsistent with its spirit.
1. In Chapter VIII of his report on the improvement of Indian agriculture, Dr. Volcker dwells at length upon the importance of so directing the policy of the Forest Department that it shall serve agricultural interests more directly than at present; and in his review of forest administration for 1892-93, the Inspector General of Forests discusses in some detail the principles which should underlie the management of State forests in British India. While agreeing generally with the principles thus enunciated by the Inspector General of Forests, the Government of India, thinks that it will be convenient to state here the general policy which they desire should be followed in this matter; more especially as they are of opinion that an imperfect apprehension of that policy has, in some recent instances been manifested.
2. The object of forests administration is the public benefit-The sole object with which State forests are administered is the public benefit. In some cases the public to be benefited are the whole body of tax payers; in others the people of the tract within which the forest is situated; but in almost all cases the constitution and preservation of a forest involve, in greater of less degree, the regulation of rights and the restriction of privileges of user in the forest area which may have previously been enjoyed by the inhabitants of its immediate neighbourhood. This regulation and restriction are justified only when the advantage to be gained by the public is great; and the cardinal principle to be observed is that the rights and privileges of individuals must be limited, otherwise than for their own benefit, only in such degree as is absolutely necessary to secure that advantage.
3. Classification of forests-The forests of India, being State property may be broadly classed under the following headings:-
(a) Forests the preservation of which is essential on climatic or physical grounds.
(b) Forests which afford a supply of valuable timbers for commercial purposes.
(c) Minor forests.
(d) Pasture lands.
It is not intended that any attempt should be made to class existing State forests under one or other of these four heads. Some forests may occupy intermediate positions, and parts of one and the same forest may fall under different heads. The classification is useful only as affording a basis for the indication of the broad policy which should govern the treatment of each class respectively; and in applying the general policy, the fullest consideration must be given to local circumstances.
4. (a) Forests of which the preservation is essential-The first class of forests are generally situate on hill slopes, where the preservation of such vegetation as exists, or the encouragement of further growth, is essential to protection from the devastating action of hill torrents of the cultivated plains that lie below them. Here the interests to be protected are important beyond all comparison with the interests which it may be necessary to restrict; and so long as there is a reasonable hope of the restriction being effectual, the lesser interests must not be allowed to stand in the way.
5. (b) Large timber forests. To be managed on commercial lines subject to the satisfaction of the needs of the neighbouring population- The second class of state forests include the great tracts from which our supply of the more valuable timbers-teak, sal, deodar, and the like-is obtained. They are for the most part (though not always) essentially forest tracts and encumbered by very limited rights of user; and when this is the case, they should be managed mainly on commercial lines as valuable properties of, and sources of revenue to, the State. Even in these cases, however, customs of user will, for the most part, have sprung up on the margins of the forest; this user is often essential to the prosperity of the people who have enjoyed it; and the fact that its extent is limited in comparison with the area under forest renders it the more easy to continue it in full. The needs of communities dwelling on the margins of forest tracts consist mainly in small timer for building, wood for fuel, leaves for manure and the fodder , thorns for fencing, grass and grazing and for their cattle, and edible forest products for their own consumption. Every reasonable facility should be afforded to the people concerned for the full and easy satisfaction of these needs, if not free (as may be possible where a system of regular cuttings has been established), then at low and not at competitive rates. It should be distinctly understood that considerations of forest income are to be subordinated to that satisfaction.
There is reason to believe that the area which is suitable to the growth of valuable timber has been over-estimated, and that some of the tracts which have been reserved for this purpose might have been managed with greater profit both to the public and to the State, if the efforts of the Forest Department had been directed to supplying the large demand of the agricultural and general population for small timber, rather than the limited demand of merchants for large timber. Even in tracts of which the conditions are suited to the growth of large timber, it should be carefully considered in each case whether it would not be better, both in the interests of the people and of the revenue, to work them with the object of supplying the requirements of the general and in particular of the agricultural population.
6. Opening of forests to cultivation-It should also be remembered that, subject to certain conditions to be referred to presently, the claims of cultivation are stronger than the claims of forest preservation. The pressure of the population upon the soil is one of the greatest difficulties that India has to face, and that application of the soil must generally be preferred which will support the largest numbers in proportion to the areas available for cultivation. Accordingly, wherever an effective demand for culturable land exists and can only be supplied from forest areas, the land should ordinarily be relinquished without hesitation; and it this principle applies to the valuable class of forests under consideration, it applies a fortiori to the less valuable classes which are presently to be discussed. When cultivation has been established it will generally be advisable to disforest the newly settled area. But it should be distinctly understood that there is nothing in the Forest Act, or in any rules or orders now in force, which limits the discretion of local Government, without previous reference to the Government of India (though of course, always subject to the control of that Government), in diverting forest land to agricultural purposes, even though that land may have been declared reserved forest under the Act.
7. Conditions on which cultivation should be permitted- Mention has been made of certain conditions to which the application of the principle laid down in the preceding paragraph should be subject. They have for their object the utilization of the forest area to the greatest good of the community. In the first place, the honey coming of a valuable forest by patches of cultivation should not be allowed, as the only object it can serve is to substitute somewhat better land in patches for sufficiently good land in large block, while it renders the proper preservation of the remaining forest area almost impossible. The evil here is greater than the good. In the second place, the cultivation must be permanent. Where the physical conditions are such that the removal of the protection afforded by forest growth must result, after a longer or shorter period, in the sterilization or destruction of the soil, the case falls under the principle discussed in paragraph 4 of this resolution. So again, a system of shifting cultivation which denudes a large area of forest growth in order to place a small area under crops, costs more to the community that it is worth, and can only be permitted, under the due regulation where forest tribes depend on it for their sustenance. In the third place the cultivation in question must not be merely nominal and an excuse for the creation of pastoral nominal or semi pastoral villages which do more harm to the forest than the good they reap from it. And in the fourth place cultivation must not be allowed so to extend as to encroach upon the minimum area of forest which is needed in order to supply the general forest needs of the country or the reasonable forest requirements, present and prospective, of the neighbourhood in which it is situated. In many tracts cultivation is practically impossible without the assistance of forests, and it must not be allowed to destroy that upon which its existence depends.
8. Customs of user in timer forests-It has been stated above that the forests under consideration are generally but not always free from customs of user. When, as sometimes happens, they are so intermingled with permanent villages and cultivation that customary rights and privileges militate against their management as revenue paying properties, the principles laid down at the end of paragraph 5 of this resolution should be observed and considerations of income should be made secondary to the full satisfaction of local needs.
Such restrictions as may be necessary for the preservation of the forest, or for the better enjoyment of its benefits, should be imposed; but no restriction should be placed upon reasonable local demands merely in order to increase the State revenue.
9. (c) Minor forests to be used chiefly for the supply of local needs- The third class of forests include those tracts which, though true forests, produce only the inferior sorts of timber or the smaller growths of the better sorts. In some cases the supply of fuel for manufacturers, railways, and like purposes is of such importance that these forests fall more properly under the second class and must be mainly managed as commercial undertakings. But the forests now to be considered are those which are useful chiefly as supplying fuel and fodder or grazing for local consumption; and these must be managed mainly in the interest of the population of the tract which supplies its forest requirements from this source. The first object to be aimed at is to preserve the wood and grass from destruction; for user must not be exercised so as to annihilate its subject, and the people must be protected against their own improvidence. The second object should be to supply the produce of the forests to the greatest advantage and convenience of the people, To these two objects all considerations of revenue should ordinarily be subordinated.
10. But revenue should not altogether be foregone- It must not be supposed from the preceding remarks that it is the intention of the Government of India to forego all revenue from the large areas that are valuable chiefly for the fuel and fodder which they yield. Cases must be distinguished. Where the areas in question afford the only grazing and the only supply of fuel to villages which lie around or within them, the necessities of the inhabitants of these villages must be treated as paramount, and they should be satisfied at the most moderate rates, and with as little direct official interference as possible. But where the villages of the tract have already ample pasture grounds attached to their cultivation and owned and managed by themselves, and where the Crown lands merely supplement these pastures, and afford grazing to a nomad pastoral population or to the herds that shift from one portion of the country to another with the changes of the season, Government may justly expect to reap a fair income from its property. Even in such cases, however, the convenience and advantage of the graziers should be studiously considered and the inhabitants of the locality or those who habitually graze over it, should have a preferential claim at rates materially lower than might be obtained in the open market. It will often be advantageous to fix the grazing demand upon a village or a nomad community for a year or a term of years. The system, like every other, has difficulties that are peculiar to it, but it reduces the interference of petty officials to the lowest point, and minimizes their opportunities for extortion and oppression. Where grasing fees are levied per capital, fee passes are often given to a certain number of cattle. In such cases the cattle which are to graze free should include not only the oxen which are actually employed on the plough, but also a reasonable number of milch cattle and calves. A cow or a buffalo is as much a necessity to a cultivator, using the word necessity in a reasonably wide sense, as is a plough bullock and in many parts the oxen are bred in the village.
11. Considerations connected with the formation of fuel and fodder preserves- In the portions of this report which are referred to in the preamble to the resolution, Dr. Volcker strongly recommends the formation of fuel and fodder preserves and the Government of India has repeatedly urged the same policy upon local Governments. The question whether any particular area can be made to support a greater number of cattle by preserving the grass and cutting it for fodder or by permitting grazing upon it, is one that must be decided by the local circumstances of each case. But when it has been decided, the issues are by no means exhausted. It has been stated in paragraph 9 above that one main object towards which the management of these minor forests should be directed is the supply of fuel and fodder “to the greatest advantage and convenience of the people.” In doing so, due regard must be bad to their habits and wishes. It may that strict preservation and periodical closures, or the total prohibitions of grazing, will result in the largest yield both of fuel and of fodder in the form of hay. But that is of small avail if the people will not utilize the increased supply in the form in which it is offered them. The customs of generations alter slowly in India and though much may and should be done to lead the people to their own profit, yet it must be done gently and gradually, always remembering that their contentment is no less important an object than is their material advantage. It must be remembered, moreover that the object of excluding grazing from the preserves in question is the advantage of the neighbourhood and that the realization of a larger income than grazing would yield by preserving the produce only to sell it to the highest bidder for consumption in large towns at a distance from the preserve is not always in accordance with the policy which the Government of India has inculcated. Here again circumstances must decide. It may be that the local supply of fuel or fodder, independently of the reserved area, is sufficient in ordinary years for the needs of the neighbourhood. In such a case the produce may legitimately be disposed of in such years to the greatest advantage, reserving it for local consumption only when the external supply runs short. Finally, the remarks regarding agency in paragraph 12, and the more general considerations that are discussed below in paragraph 13 of this resolution, apply in full force to areas thus reserved for the supply of fuel and fodder.
12. (d) Pasture land. Same principles apply as to class (c), but with greater force- The fourth class of forests referred to are pastures and grazing grounds proper which are usually forests only in name. It is often convenient indeed to declare them forests under the Act in order to obtain a statutory settlement of the rights which the State on the one hand and private individuals or communities on the other posses over them. But it by no means follow as a matter of course that these lands should be subjected to any strict system of conservation, or that they should be placed under the management of the Forest Department. The question of agency is purely one of economy and expediency and the Government of India believe that in some cases where these lands are managed by the Forest Department, the expenditure on establishment exceeds the revenue, that is, or at any rate the revenue that ought to be realized from them.
The following remarks apply, not only to forest lands under the Act, whether administered by the Forest Department or not, but also to all Crown waste, even though not declared to be forest. Here the interests of the local community reach their maximum while those of the general public are of the slightest nature. If follows that the principles which have been already laid down for the management of minor forests apply, if possible, with even greater force to the management of grazing areas pure and simple.
13. Difficulties of management- The difficulties which arise in connection with these areas are apt to present themselves in their most aggravated form where the tenure of land is raiyatwari. In Zamindari tracts the Crown lands generally assume the second of the two forms indicated in paragraph 10 of this resolution. But where the settlement is raiyatwari, every survey number or field that is unoccupied or unassigned is in the possession and at the disposal of Government, and trespass upon it is prima facie forbidden. In some cultivated tracts, these unoccupied and waste lands are the only source available from which the grazing requirements of the resident population can be met. The Government of India are clearly of opinion that the intermixture of plots of Government land which are used for grazing only, but upon which trespass is forbidden, with the cultivation of occupancy or proprietary holders, is apt to lead to extreme abuses, and especially so when these plots are under the management of the Forest Department. The inferior subordinates of the Forest Department are perhaps as reliable as can be expected on the pay which we can afford to give; but their morality is no higher than that of the uneducated classes from which they are drawn; while the enormous areas over which they are scattered and the small number of the controlling staff render effective supervision most difficult. It is not right in order to protect the grass or the grazing dues on plots of waste scattered over the face of a cultivated district, to put it into the power of an underling to pound or threaten to pound cattle on the plea that they have overstepped the boundary between their owner’s field and the next. Still less right it is to permit the exercise of the power of compounding offences allowed by section 67 of the Forest Act to depend upon the mere report of a subordinate servant, or to expose him to the temptation which such a power holds out. Where the interests involved are sufficiently important it may perhaps be necessary to accept the danger of extortion while minimizing as far as possible the opportunities for it. But in the case under consideration the interests involved are trifling, while the opportunities are unlimited.
14. Should generally be leased to be managed through the agency of neighbouring community-It is to be distinctly understood that the Government of India do not desire that grazing should be looked upon primarily as a source of income. But it by no means follows that all revenue from scattered Government lands should be relinquished. It is indeed inadvisable that this should be done as to do so would give the raiyats an interest in opposing allotment and making things unpleasant for new occupants. But the objections to direct management which have just been pointed out are reduced to a minimum, or altogether avoided when the management is placed in the hands of resident cultivators or of representatives from among them. It will generally be possible to lease or otherwise manage the unoccupied land of a village through the agency of the community; not indeed, at the highest price which they are ready to pay to escape such evils as have just been alluded to but at a moderate estimate of their value to them, fixed in view of the fact that herds and flocks, which cannot exist without grazing are often a necessary condition of the successful conduct of that cultivation upon which the Government land revenue is paid. In no case should fields that have been relinquished be let to outsiders at a reduced assessment for grazing purposes for then we might have speculators taking up such fields, mainly in order to make what they can out of trespassing cattle.
15. When “reservation” and when “protection” is preferred-One more point of principle remains to be noticed. The procedure under chapter-IV of the Indian Forest Act, whereby forests are declared to be protected, has been, in certain cases, regarded by the Government of India as a provisional and intermediate procedure, designed to afford time for consideration and decision with the object of ultimately constituting so much of the area as it is intended to retain a reserved forest under chapter II and of relinquishing the remainder altogether. The Act provides two distinct forms of procedures. But the more strict one, under chapter II, existing rights may be either settled, transfe3rred, or commuted; and this procedure will ordinarily be applied to forests of the first and second classes indicated in paragraph 3 of this resolution. By the second procedure under chapter IV rights are recorded and regulated; and this procedure will often be properly followed where the rights to which the area is subject are extensive and the forest is to be managed mainly in the interests of the local community. It will ordinarily be applied to forests of the 3rd and 4th classes. The second procedure may indeed be provisional, and introductory to reservation under chapter II: but there is in the Forest Act nothing repugnant to giving it a larger and even a permanent operation. As regard Government, the Chief difference between the two procedures is, that new rights may spring up in a protected but not in a reserved forest, and that the record of rights framed under chapter II is conclusive, while that framed under Chapter IV only carried a presumption of truth. It is believed that this presumption offers ample security where the object of regulating the rights is to provide for their beneficial exercise, rather than to override them to the public interest. As regards the people the chief difference is that speaking broadly, in a reserved forest everything is an offence that is not permitted, while in a protected forest nothing is an offence that is not prohibited. In theory it is possible so to frame the permission and the prohibition as to make the results identical in the two case: but in practice it is almost impossible to do so. If it were not so, the distinction drawn by the Legislature would be unnecessary and meaningless. It is only where the public interests involved are of sufficient importance to justify the stricter procedure and the more comprehensive definition of forest offences, that the latter should be adopted.
The Governor General in Council desires, therefore, that with regard both to fuel and fodder preserves, and to grazing areas pure and simple, and especially to such of them as lie in the midst of cultivated tracts, it may be considered in each case whether it is necessary to class them or if already so classed, to retain them as forest areas; and if this question is decided in the affirmative whether it would not be better to constitute them protected rather than reserved forests.
16. Concluding remarks- Such are the general principles which the Government of India desire should be observed in the administration of all States forests in British India. They are fully aware that the detailed application of these principles must depend upon an infinite variety of circumstances which will have be duly weighed in each case by the local authorities to whose discretion the decision must be left. One of the dangers which it is most difficult to guard against is the fraudulent abuse of concessions for commercial purposes; and only local considerations can indicate how this can best be met. The Government of India recognize the fact that the easier treatment in the matter of forest produce which His Excellency in Council desires should be extended to the agricultural classes may, especially in the case of true forest areas, necessitate more careful supervision in order that the concession may be confined within its legitimate limits. But, on the other hand, they think that, in some provinces, it will render possible a considerable reduction of existing establishment; and they desire that this matter may be carefully considered with reference to what has been said above in paragraph 12. They know also that in some provinces forest policy is already framed on the lines which they wish to see followed in all. But the Governor General in Council believes that local Governments and Administrations will be glad to receive the assurance now given them, that the supreme Government will cordially support them in recognizing and providing for local requirements to the utmost point that is consistent with Imperial interests. Where working plan or plans of operations are framed for forests, the provisions necessary for this purpose should be embodied in them. The exercise of the rights that have been recorded at settlement will necessarily be provided for in these plans. Where further concessions are made by way of privilege and grace it will be well to grant them for some such limited period as ten years, so that they may, if necessary, be revised from time to time, as the circumstances on which they were moulded change.
STATE LANDS DEVOTED TO THE EXTENSION OF CULTIVATION
776 –A.- Early policy as regards leases of waist lands. Prior to 1848 , the question of the utilization of waste lands for the extension of cultivation was not of much importance . An attempt at colonization was made in Sirsa; in Fazilka a number of new estates were carved out of the waste and leased; in Karnal also a number of small estates were formed out of the waste and the abandoned lands which were leased to speculators or zamindars. Most of these lessess later acquired proprietary rights, while many tenants of old standing were given occupancy rights.
After the annexation of the Punjab , however, vast areas of uncultivated land to which no one had any claim came into the possession of the State. In order to encourage the breaking up of this waste lots were given out on lease on easy terms. On fulfillment of the terms of the lease as regards the bringing of the land under cultivation ownership would be conceded free of charge or on the payment of very moderate sum. In 1850 revised lease rules were issued under which all lands commanded by a canal were to be leased out in 100 acre plots to all those who undertook to bring them under cultivation; it was laid down that if the conditions were fulfilled the lessee would be charged and then a gradually increasing rent from Rs. 15 to Rs. 75 per annum for eight years, after which the plots would be liable to assessment at the usual rates. ( These rates were exclusive of canal water-rate that might be imposed.) If cultivation were neglected forfeiture of the lease was to be insisted on . For lands not likely to be commanded by a canal in the near future district officers were allowed to accepted such offers as might be made but never on lower terms than those given above. (See Board of Administration circular No. 40, dated 29th June 1850.)
777. Sale rules of 1863 and 1865. The policy of allowing land-owners to redeem the land revenue and of selling public lands free of revenue in perpetuity for a time found favour with the Government of India.(Paragraph 494 of the Settlement Manual.) In Punjab Government notification No. 25, dated 14th Jan. 1863, rules were published for the carrying out of this policy as regards sales. All waste lands belonging to Government unless specially reserved might be sold by auction by the Deputy Commissioner. On receipt of an application to purchase it was is duty to call for objections or in the event of any objections presented being rejected the land was to be put up to auction at an upset price fixed by the Deputy Commissioner and sold to the highest bidder. On payment of the last instalment of the purchase money the land became the property of the grantee “free for ever from all demands on account of land revenue.” But he remained liable to pay cesses. The sale conveyed to the vendee “plenary right to all products both above the surface and below the same,” saving any exceptions specially noted. To aid in carrying out this policy of speedily disposing of large areas an Act, No. XXIII of 1863, which is still in force , was passed to provide for the adjudication of claims to waste lands. A revised edition of the rules of 1863 was issued with Punjab Government notification No. 635 ,dated 16th September 1865. The grantee’s right to minerals was to be “subject to such royalty ……. as may be fixed under the rules in force.” It is fortunate that the rules of 1863 and 1865 did not remain in force long, and that little advantage was taken on their provisions. The dangerous scope of those sale rules was soon perceived . In 1864 the previous sanction of the Financial Commissioner was required for all sales (Financial Commissioner’s Book circular No. 16 of 1864.) and in 1866 the Government of India requested the local Government not to permit the sale of any rakhs which were likely by their position to prove useful hereafter for plantations, even through no timber was now to be found in them. ( Financial Commissioner’s Book circular No. 14 of 1866.)
778. Lease rules of 1868. The rules issued in 1868 were the first general rules for the lease of waste lands in the Punjab. In these rules it was laid down that the lessee would be entitled to the pre-emption of the proprietary right in the land at a fair and reasonable sum, provided the agreed to the assessment placed on the land. But in 1873 this rule was altered, and it was laid down that if at any time, either during the term of the lease or at its expiration, Government resolved to sell the proprietary right in the said land, the lessee would be given the option to purchase at a reasonable price to be fixed by the Deputy Commissioner.
779. Sale rules of 1876 and 1882 and lease rules of 1882. New sale rules were issued in 1876. They differed from the rules of 1865 in one very important respect , for they provided that the land should be sold “subject to payment of the land revenue demand for the time being assessed thereon .” As in the rules of 1865 Government reserved a right to charge a royalty upon all minerals . ( Financial Commissioner’s Book Circular No. VI of 1877) A revised edition was issued in 1882, and in it the title of the State to retain the ownership of all minerals was expressly asserted. ( Financial Commissioner’s circular No. 21 of 1882.) At the same fresh lease rules were issued which differed little from the rules of 1868, except that the rights of the State as regards “mines minerals, coal , gold- washing and quarries” were fully explained.
780. Lease rules of 1885. It was partly on account of the uncertainly regarding the terms of purchase in the lease rules of 1868 and 1882 that a new set of rules was issued with the approval of the Government of India in 1885, When Sir Charles Aitchison was Lieutenant- Governor. ( Revenue (General) proceeding, Nos. 3-4 of September 1885. ) Commissioner were given power to sanction leases of areas not exceeding 300 acres . Leases of larger areas had to be approved by the Financial Commissioner, and, if the area exceeded 3,000 acres, by the Lieutenant- Governor. As before the assessment was to be framed “with due regard to the revenue rates assessed on land in the neighborhood and to the special circumstances of the case .” But in addition to the assessment a malikana or proprietary fee amounting to 25 per cent of the revenue was to be paid by the lessee. The rent was therefore only 1-1/4 times the land revenue , and it might be remitted altogether for one or more years. The term was ordinarily to be fixed so as to expire with the current settlement of the district. Minerals and the rights of Government over rivers and streams were fully reserved. The Government had power to determine the lease during its currency if the land was required for public purposes on paying compensation for any improvements made. On the expiry of the original term the lessee was entitled to claim renewal on such terms as to payment of land revenue and proprietary due or malikana as the officer renewing the lease might determine. If the lease was renewed the lessee had no claim to compensation for improvements. The conditions regarding purchase were extremely liberal . The lessee could purchase proprietary right at any time by paying five times the amount of the maximum rent, that is to say , 6-1/4 times the land revenue. After the rules of 1885 were published the Financial Commissioner issued in striations requiring Deputy Commissioners to arrange , without needlessly harassing lessees, for the regular inspection of lands held on lease so as to ensure the proper fulfillment of the conditions. ( Financial Commissioner’s Circular No. 60 of 1885)
781. Sale rules of 1885. Revised sale rules were also issued in 1885 . Sales might be made by public auction after the publication of a notice in the gazette. The sale must not take place for three months from the date of the notice. ( Section 1 of Act XXIII of 1863). The land was to be sold subject to all existing rights of way or water and other easements and the title of Government to all minerals was to be reserved. The purchaser was bound to pay half the purchase money within three months of the date of sale, and on doing so was to be put in possession of the land. As security for the payment of the remainder in five equal yearly instalments he was to execute a deed mortgaging the land to the Government. Few sales of waste land by public auction, except in the case of the canal colonies to be presently mentioned, have taken place in the Punjab. The sale rules of 1885 apparently ceased to be in force when the lease rules of 1897 were issued .
782. Operation of Lease Rules of 1885 restricted. The operation of the lease rules of 1885 was soon greatly restricted . IN 1887 the Government of India expressed the view that in practice they “do not appear to protect the interests of Government , and …….. it is evident that ………. a lessee may purchase the proprietary right in waste land for a price which is far below the market value of the land.”( Government of India , Revenue and Agriculture Department letter No.432-R-19-25 dated 12th August,1887-Revenue (General), proceedings No. 9 of October 1887.) About the same time the meaning of the
783. Lease rules of 1897. For various reasons great delay occurred in the issue of the new rules and they were not actually published till 1897.
They will be bound in appendix III(I). The principal points in which they differ from earlier rules are :-
(a) the limitation of the areas which may be leased.
All tracts are excluded which are embraced by any colonization scheme for lands commanded by a Government canal and all areas likely to be so commanded. The local Government alone can made exceptions. The amount of Government land suitable for leasing is now small. Lists of such lands are to be drawn up by the Deputy Commissioner, and local Government is to determine from time to time which of these lands shall be deemed available for leasing.Subject to these stringent conditions the Commissioner can sanction a lease up to a limit of 75 acres if the land is not irritable from a canal and the Financial Commissioner upto a limit of 150 acres , whether the land is irritable from a canal or not for a maximum period of 20 years in each case , provided the total area held on lease by a single lessee does not exceed 75 and 150 acres respectively. Leases of areas exceeding 150 acres must be approved by the local Government. ( See rules 1 to 3 in appendix III ).
(b) the exaction of fuller rent.
The rent was to be calculated so as to be equivalent to the land revenue plus a proprietary due or malikana in addition.
The former is to be calculated with due regard to :-
(1) the revenue rates assessed on similar lands at the last settlement , and
(2) the present renting value for cultivation and grazing of similar land in adjacent estates.
In applying this canon so much of the area is to be treated as cultivated as the lessee may fairly be expected to bring under cultivation within the term of the lease.
The proprietary due or malikana is to be 4 per cent of the market value of the land in its waste condition , and, if that is not ascertainable, not less than 50 per cent of the land revenue assessed.
The Financial Commissioner is given certain powers of reducing the malikana for special reasons. Initial exemptions from payment of rent may also be allowed.(See rule 10 in appendix III.)
(c) the permanent rights which the lessee can acquire are either :-
(1) right of occupancy under section 8 of the Punjab Tenancy Act, or
Different forms if instrument of lease are employed according as it is proposed to grant the one or the other.
If a right of occupancy is acquirable it can be claimed after the lessee had been in occupation for five years, if meanwhile he has fulfilled all the conditions. At the end of the term of the lease the rent is fixed at the land revenue with an addition of 75 per cent, as malikana.
Where the lease gives the lessee the option of obtaining ownership he may do so at any time during the currency of the lease. (Rules 18,19 and 21 ibid.)
(d) the price charged for the land is the full market value.
The local Government can reduce the amount for special reasons. ( Rule 19(iii) ibid )
784. Leases for a single harvest- The 24th of the rules exempts from their operation leases for a single harvest. The practice of giving such licenses for temporary cultivation in respect of lands which, being low lying received local drainage and therefore could in good seasons be cultivated without irrigation , used to be common in some of the south –western district. The spread of canal irrigation has made the matter one of the small importance , and rendered it necessary to impose restrictions on the practice. The instructions at present in force will be found in appendix III (2).
785. Other alienations of State lands- So far we have been dealing with sales and leases of waste land owned by the state made on the authority of rules issued with the sanction of the Government of India( “Under Government of India circular letter, Revenue and Agricultural Department , No. 3-471-1, dated 19th November, 1909, the local Government is now authorized to make amendments in details without previous reference to the Government of India.”). But the State may have acquired by escheat or otherwise cultivated land or town sites, the ownership of which it is prepared to transfer on various terms to public bodies or private individuals . Occasions may also arise for the grant of waste lands on conditions more favorable than those embodies in the lease rules. A classification of the transfers referees to above and directions as to the sanction required in each description of case are contained in the resolutions of the Government of India reproduced in appendix IV.
Nazul property, within the limits of municipality, notified area, or small town not being a colony town, means land and buildings of all kind which belong to Government and, are not in departmental charge. Nazul property, outside the limits of a municipality, no tidied areas, or small town means all immovable property other than agricultural land and wells and tanks used primarily for agricultural purposes , which belongs to Government and is not in departmental charge.
(See paragraph 2 of Punjab government consolidated circular No. 27). The instructions issued by the Government of India as to the alienation of town sites will be found in appendix IV.
786. Construction of private canals by leases- During the first thirty five years after annexation the policy described in this chapter fairly successful. To its complete success Nature has set up obstacles of a formidable kind. Where the State owns most waste and the rainfall is usually too scanty to allow of dry cultivation except of very limited extent and most precarious character, and at the same time the water level is too deep to make well sinking easy or well working profitable. Indeed in the south –west of the province the rainfall is so light and so capricious that wells unaided by river flood or canal water are of little use. Some lesses were therefore encouraged to dig private canals to irrigate their grants and a good deal was done to extend cultivation in this way, especially in the Shahpur District. The canal owners used the water largely to irrigate their own lands, but gave any they could spare to their neighbours ,charging a water rate usually in the form of a share of the produce. The people of the tahsils of Ferozepore bordering on the Sutlej under the energetic guidance of their Deputy Commissioner , Major Grey, constructed many years ago a number of small zamindari canals to water their proprietary lands. It was inevitable that difficult questions should arise in connection with private canals, and it was evident that the elaborate provisions of the Northern Indian Canal and Drainage Act, VIII of 1873, were not well to many smaller irrigation works whether private or not which were managed or controlled by Government . “The owner of a private canal is not, like the owner of an irrigation well , independent of relations with all persons outside the ring – fence of his own property . Even when the canal is constructed solely to irrigate the owners’ land the interest of the State are involved in the detraction of water from the river or natural stream, and it is rarely the case that the supply channel can be constructed without its bed passing through land belonging to other persons. When as is more commonly the case, irrigation is supplied not only to the canal –owners’ lands, but also to whatever area , however owned, may be commanded by the available supply, relations arise which, in the interest of canal owners and irrigators and of peace and good Government generally , require to be controlled and regulated.” ( Statement of objects and Reasons attached to Bill No. 3 of 1903) Moreover it was possible that a private individual having secured a monopoly of the water –supply might charge others so high a price for it as to interfere with the legitimate claims of Government to land revenue. These considerations led to the passing of the Punjab Minor Canals Act, No. III of 1905.
787. Punjab Minor Canals Act, III of 1905- In that Act a very wide definition of “canal” is given . (Section 3(ii) . A number of irrigation works are included in the two schedules appended to the rules in volume II of the Punjab Land Administration Acts and It is to these works that it in the first instance applies. Schedule I is primarily intended for small irrigation works owned in whole or in part by Government or managed by Government Officers or by any local authority while schedule II is intended to include canals , which are owned and managed by private individuals. ( Proviso to section 2) The local Government has power to make additions to the schedules , or to transfer a canal from one schedule to another or exclude it from both , by notifications . ( Section2(2). Government may notify “any natural canal , lake or other collection of water.” Thereafter no one can without its permission construct a canal to draw water from that source of supply.(Section 4,5 and 7).The 6th section States the procedure to be followed by a Deputy Commissioner who thinks a canal should be constructed from such a source. The levy of “water dues” by which term is indicated what was formerly called royalty, by Government from canal – owners on account of use of water is legalized and regulated by section 8. Chapter III of the Act gives the Collector the powers necessary for the management of canals included in schedule I, and provides for the levy of water-rates. Both water dues and water –rates to be collected by the officers of Government are recoverable as if they were arrears of land revenue. (Sections 29-32 and 68.)The system of providing for yearly clearances by labour contribution (cher) is legalized in certain cases. ( Sections 26 and 27 see paragraph 449 of Settlement Manual) Power is given to draw up a record for a canal showing inter alia the custom or rule of irrigation, and the rights to water or to erect mills(Section 28) Rights in or over any canal may be extinguished by the local Government on payment of compensation if the exercise of them “ is prejudicial to the interests of other irrigators or to the good management, improvement , or extension of the canal.” (Section 11) Chapter IV applies to canals included in schedule II. The local Government is given power to fix the limits of irrigation and the amount of the rate, and to regulate the supply and distribution of the water to and from a canal and to order the preparation of a record of rights. (Section 35 and 39) The Collector may appoint a manager in certain cases (Section 34) and the local Government may assume control with the canal-owner’s consent, and in case of grave mismanagement or willful and continuos breach of order passed under section 39 , without it . If control is taken against the will of the owner he can require the Government to acquire the canal (Sections 36 and 37). The local Government can undertake the collections of water –rates livable on a private canal , if requested to do so by the owners. ( Section 40). Chapter V applies to canals of both classes. It gives the Collector the necessary powers.
(a) to ensure that canals and the works connected with them are maintained in good working order and protected from injury; (Sections 52-7)
(b) to settle disputes among the shareholders(Section 42-3)
It gives power to regulate the construction of mills, (Section 58) and the flow of the water in rivers, creeks, natural channels,or lines of natural drainage, and for the removal therefrom of obstructions. (Sections 49-51) It enables Government to acquire any private canal when it appears expedient in the public interest to do so. ( Section 45-8. ) The jurisdiction of the civil court is excluded, (Section 60) and light penalties are provided for certain offences under the Act.(section 71) Cases relating to such offences must be tried by magistrates of the 1st or 2nd class.
788. Canal colonization schemes- The efforts described in the preceding paragraphs to extend cultivation pale into insignificance before the results of the great schemes of irrigation which have been carried out in the last forty years. These will be found fully described in the Punjab Colony Manual, Volume I.
REVENUE COURTS AND REVENUE SUITS
1. Section 77(2) of Act XVI of 1887. The sections referred to in this chapter are to sections of this Act.
790. Reason why certain classes of cases are heard by revenue courts-The distinction between revenue and civil courts is one of agency, not of procedure. It is well that cases of the kind referred to in paragraph 793 should be tried by officers whose daily work is concerned with the revenue and the produce of the land and with the record-of-right, and brings them into close contact with the rural population, because the special experience so acquired conduces to a readier appreciation of the points at issue and greater skill in obtaining and appraising the evidence.
791. Procedure of revenue courts-The procedure of revenue courts is governed by the Code of Civil Procedure1 and the Rules and Orders of the High Court, so far as these are applicable. Power to make special rules of procedure for revenue courts is given by section 88(1) of the Tenancy Act, but it has not been exercised2. The idea that revenue litigation is less regular and more subject to the idiosyncracies of the judge than civil litigation is quite erroneous. The investigation of revenue suits should be every whit as careful as that of civil cases, and in both classes of courts equal respect should be paid to positive injunction of law and to considerations of equity.
1. Section 88(2) (a).
2. Section 89-92 and 101 and two rules under section 106(1) (f) deal with certain minor points of procedure. The rules are 12(i) and 13 of the rules under the Tenancy Act.
792. Jurisdiction of revenue courts at different times- At one time the jurisdiction of revenue courts was a good deal wider than at present and embraced all suits for landed property. It is needless to cumber this chapter with an account of the powers of revenue courts at different periods.
793. Suits reserved for revenue courts-By section 77 (3) of the Tenancy Act, as amended by section 22 of the Punjab Alienation of Land Act, XIII of 1900, and Act III of 1912, seventeen classes of suits are reserved exclusively for the decision of revenue courts. Eleven of these are suits between landlords and tenants regarding ejectment, rent, occupancy rights, etc. The other six are:
(a) suits for sums payable on account of village cesses1 or village expenses;
(b) suits by a co-sharer in an estate or holding for a share of the profits or for an account;
(c) suits for recovery of over payments of rent or revenue, or of any other demand for which a suit lies in a revenue court;
(d) suits by a landowner for sums due for the enjoyment of rights in or over land or in water2.
(e) Suits for sums payable on account of land revenue or of any other demand recoverable as an arrear of land revenue and suits by a superior landowner for other sums due to him as such;
(f) Suits relating to the emoluments of kanungos, zaildars, inamdars and village officers.
It is provided by section 43 (2) (a) of the Punjab Minor Canals Act, III of 1905, that in deciding disputes relating to the ownership of a canal or the mutual rights of owners in the use of the water of a canal, or the construction or maintenance of a canal or the payment of any share of the costs of such construction or maintenance, or the distribution of the supply of water from a canal, the Collector shall proceed as a revenue court.
1. See paragraph 94 of the Settlement Manual.
2. See paragraph 356 of the settlement Manual.
794. Parties may be referred to civil courts for decisions of some question in issue-If in any case pending before it a revenue court is of opinion that “any question in issue is more proper for decision by a civil court”, it can apply to the court to which it is subordinate for leave to direct any of the parties to institute a suit in the civil court in order to obtain a decision of the question. If the injunction is obeyed the proceeding in the revenue court must be decided in accordance with the finding of the civil court. If no civil suit is instituted the revenue court may decide the matter in issue as it thinks fit1.
1. Section 93.
795. Powers of High Courts as regards questions of jurisdiction-The Tenancy Act also provides for references to the High Court for the resolving of doubts as to jurisdiction1 and for the validation by the High Court of proceedings taken by either a civil or a revenue court under a mistake as to jurisdiction2.
1. Section 99.
2. Section 100.
796. Suits reserved for Collector-The highest revenue court of original jurisdiction is that of the Collector. Of the four classes of revenue suits which are reserved exclusively for his court1 or for that of an Assistant Collector of the first grade invested by name with power to hear them2 the only one requiring special notices is suits for the enhancement or reduction of the rent of an occupancy tenant.
797. Suits for enhancement of rent of occupancy tenants-
The law regarding the enhancement and reduction of rents paid by occupancy tenants is explained in the 216th paragraph of the Settlement Manual. The rates of malikana there mentioned are the highest that can be imposed. A court is under no obligation to decree the fullest rent permitted by the law, and in many cases it would be very unwise to do so. The attention of all revenue officers is drawn to the necessity for caution in enhancing at the conclusion of settlement operations, the rates of malikana payable by occupancy tenants in cases where; owing to enhancement of land revenue assessment, there has been a substantial automatic enhancement in the amount of malikana calculated at the previous rate. Before the passing of the Tenancy Act of 1887 the payments made by occupancy tenants in addition to the land revenue and cesses were in some parts of the country very trifling, and throughout whole districts enhancement was barred by entries in the village administration papers.
798. Severe enhancements deprecated-One object of the Act was to enable landlords to increase the rents of privilege tenants when these were very low. This intention must not be defeated, but severe enhancements, which would raise the rent of particular occupancy tenants much above the standard prevailing in the neighbourhood in the case of other tenants of the same class should be avoided. Nor may it always be fair to exclude from consideration the rents usually paid by tenants-at-will in the neighbourhood. It uses to be quite common in some parts of the Punjab, especially in the south eastern districts, for such tenants to pay no rent properly so called. The demand of the harvest on account of revenue, cesses and village expenses was spread over the cultivated area, and tenants equally with landowners simply paid their quota. This primitive state of things is probably disappearing everywhere. But wherever it exists, or where for any reason the rents paid by tenants-at-will are very light, care must be taken to avoid heavy enhancement in the case of occupancy tenants.
799. Decree bars further proceedings for ten years-Considering that over two millions of acres in the Punjab are tilled by occupancy tenants paying cash rents, the number of suits for enhancement is surprisingly small1. A decree raising the rent of an occupancy tenant or rejecting on its merits a claim for enhancement is a bar to any further proceedings with the same object for a period of ten years2.
1. Further information on this point can be obtained from statement XV of the annual Land Revenue reports.
2. Section 24(3) of Act XVI of 1887. See also as regards compensation for improvements in enhancement cases, paragraph 804.
800. Suits within jurisdiction of Assistant Collector of the Ist Grade. Suits to establish right of occupancy- Of the ten classes of cases which an be heard by Assistant Collectors of the Ist grade, but not by Assistant Collectors of the 2nd Grade, the first calling for mention is suits to establish a right of occupancy. The grounds on which such a claim can be founded are discussed in paragraphs 208-211 of the Settlement Manual. In the Punjab length of occupancy does not under any circumstances ripen into occupancy right1. The status of tenants has, therefore, in the vast majority of cases been finally settled long ago, and the number of suits for occupancy right is not large. Most of them are probably launched in reply to ejectment proceedings with small prospect of success.
1. See paragraph 207 of the Settlement Manual.
801. Suits relating to ejectment-The next three descriptions of cases to be noticed from one group. They are suits-
(a) by landlords for the ejectment of tenants;
(b) by tenants to contest ejectment notices; and
(c) by tenants to recover possession or compensation in cases of wrongful ejectment.
802. Suits to object occupancy tenants and tenants for a term of years- The summary procedure by which a tenant-at-will can be ousted from his holding has been described in paragraphs 60-62. It is of course inapplicable to the case of occupancy tenants, and tenants for a term exceeding one year. Such tenants can only be ejected in pursuance of a decree of a revenue court1 or in the case of an occupancy tenant when a decree for an arrear or rent remains unsatisfied after due warning2. The grounds on which an action for the ejectment of an occupancy tenant can be brought are stated in the 213th paragraph of the Settlement Manual. The same reasons may be pleaded in the case of tenants holding for a term under a lease or a decree or order, and in addition “any (other) ground which would justify ejectment under the contract decree, or order”.3 When the landlord asserts that the tenants right has been forfeited by failure to cultivate, the matter must be dealt with in a reasonable way. The words used in the Act are “that he (the tenant) has without sufficient cause filed to cultivate the land in the manner or to the extent customary in the locality in which the land is situate.4 An occupancy tenant who from loss of cattle or for other good reason is unable to till his holding in a year of great drought must not be made to endure the additional misfortune of losing it altogether. Even where the tenant is not entirely free from fault it is not always expedient to declare his occupancy right forfeit. The 48th section of the Act gives to the court a large direction, instead of passing a decree depriving the tenant of his land, to order him to remedy, or to pay compensation for, any injury cause to the landlord by the act or omission which is the foundation of the latter’s claim. Ejectment suits are fortunately not at all common in the Punjab.5
1. Section 42.
2. See paragraph 65.
3. Section 40(c).
4. Sections 39 (b) and 40(b).
5. For the number of ejectment suits reference should be made to statement XVI of the annual Land Revenue reports.
803. Suits to contest notices of ejectment-Every ejectment notice warns the tenant-at-will on whom it is served that he must if he intends to contest his liability to be turned out, institute at suit in a revenue court within two months.1 Such suits are pretty numerous and are often successful. If the tenant fails to prove his case a decree for his ejectment is passed.2
1. Section 45(3).
2. Section 45(6).
804. Claims for compensation-In all suits by a landlord for enhancement of rent or for ejectment or by a tenant to contest an ejectment notice, it is the duty of the court to direct the tenant to put in any claim he may have for compensation for improvements. In the cases in which his ejectment is the question at issue he must also be told to include in his claim any compensation for disturbance to which he considers himself to be entitled.1 If compensation is found to be due, any decree for enhancement or ejectment that may be passed cannot be executed till the landlord pays into court the amount for which he is held to be liable.2
1. Section 70(1).
2. Section 20 (2).
805. Suits for recovery of possession-If a tenant has been ousted by force or by any proceedings not authorized by the Tenancy Act, or if he is ejected after the issue of a notice, whose validity he has failed to contest by a suit, he may, within one year of dispossession, bring an action in a revenue court for the recovery of his holding or for compensation or for both1. He cannot bring a suit under section 9 of the Specific Relief Act of 1877.2
1. Section 50 and 50-A.
2. Section 51.
806. Suits to cancel alienation by occupancy tenants-The powers of alienation possessed by different classes of occupancy tenants before the passing of the Punjab Alienation of Land Act XIII of 1900 (as amended by Punjab Act No. I of 1907), are explained in the 214th paragraph of the Settlement Manual. The law does not contemplate the forfeiture of the tenant’s right of occupancy as the consequence of an inadvertent, or even willful, exceeding of his powers of dealing with his holding. It merely provides that irregular transfers “are voidable at the instance of the landlord” and allows him to bring an action for the cancellation of the alienation or for the dispossession of the transferee, or for both purpose. If the suit is successful the plaintiff and his tenant simply resume their old relations, provided the latter has not parted with the possession of the land to the transferee.1
1. See No. 6 P.R. 1893 Revenue.
807. Suits within jurisdiction of Assistant Collectors of the 2nd grade suits for arrears of rent-The most important of the three classes of cases within the jurisdiction of Assistant Collectors of the 2nd Grade is suits for arrears of rent. More than one half of the total litigation in revenue courts in the Punjab falls under this head. Rent cases are for the most part heard by Tehsildars and Naib Tehsildars. They are often by no means simple in their nature. After the first question at issue, whether rent has or has not been paid, has been settled, the problem remains of determining what amount should be decreed. Seeing that in the vast majority or cases rent is paid in kind, this involves a valuation of crops of uncertain yield and whose price varies extremely from year to year. The area under each crop grown in the harvest for which rent is claimed can be excerpted from the Khasra girdawari, failed crops being, of course, left out of account. The assessment of the average yield of various crops in respect of each Assessment Circle should be got gone by he Deputy Commissioners in consultation with the Agriculture Department on the basis of crop cutting experiments carried out by the Agriculture department in selected villages of each assessment circle at the time of each harvest inspection. The assessment of average yield shall be valid for five years. The Revenue Officers may also be advised to keep in view the instructions contained in paragraph 13 of the Financial Commissioners’ Standing Order No. 2 while dealing with Kankut cases under Sections 16, 17, 18 and 19 of the Punjab Tenancy Act, 1887. In order to convert the grain rent into money, one must find out what the harvest prices were. These are recorded for each assessment circle in its revenue register, to which the Tehsildar or Naib Tehsildar can easily refer. In the judgement of the revenue court the process by which it arrived at the rent decreed ought to be briefly explained and appellate courts should insist on this being done.
808. Limitation in rent suits- The limitation for rent suits is three years. The difficulty of an equitable decision is increased when a court has to deal not with the harvests of the past twelve months of which the presiding officer may have a vivid recollection, but with more remove seasons. Landlords, and especially mortgagee landlords, are sometimes tempted to refrain from taking their share in a bad year, trusting to recover more by means of a revenue suit than a fair division on the threshing floor would have yielded. There is, therefore, some reason to suspect that a landlord, who has failed to sue for rent till several years after it feel due, abstained from doing so at the proper time because it could then have been shown that the outturn was poor. In such cases it is fair to refuse to make a doubtful calculation of rent by estimating the value of the produce and simply to decree twice the land revenue and cesses in the case of districts or parts of districts settled before the passing of the Land Revenue (Amendment) Act, III of 1928, and four times the land revenue and cesses in the case of areas of which the assessment has been confirmed on or after the 22nd February, 1929.1 If, however, the harvest is known to have been a very short one, this may be too large, and some smaller sum may be decree.
1. Theoretically the cesses should not be included. But in practice it is unnecessary to leave them out, as the revenue will usually be well below one fourth of the rental.
809. Remissions of rent- Even where the rent is a money one of fixed amount the court has power, with the previous sanction of the Collector, to remit part of it where the area of the holding has been diminished by diluvion or otherwise or where its produce has been reduced by any calamity of season.1 The principle to be followed in such cases is to treat the tenant with reference to his rent as the landlord has been or will be treated with reference to the revenue. If the State foregoes part of the revenue, the landlord ought to forego a proportionate share of the rent.
1. Section 29. The section applies to kind, as well as to cash rents.
810. Suits under section 14 of the Act-By Section 14 of the Tenancy Act, a person who is in occupation of land without the owners’ consent is liable to pay at the rate of rent current in the preceding agricultural year or if none was paid in that year, at such rate as the court determines to be fair and equiable.1 What is paid in such circumstances is not, strictly speaking, rent, but suits under section 14 are classed in the same category as actions for arrears of rent.2
1. For suspension and remission of rent by executive order- see paragraph 573.
2. Section 77 (3) (n).
811. Deposits of rent- A defendant who admits that the rent claimed is due, but assets that the plaintiff is not the person entitled to receive it, must pay the amount into court, otherwise his plea will be disregarded. Once he has made the deposit his responsibility is at an end. Notice is given to the person whom the defendant alleges to be his landlord1. If the latter does not within three months brings a suit against the plaintiff in the action for rent, and obtain an order restraining payment of the deposit, it will be made over to the original claimant2.
1. Section 95(1) , (2) and (5).
2. Section 95(3) sub section (4), provides that nothing in this section shall affect the right of any person to recover from the plaintiff money paid to him under sub section (3).
812. Execution of decrees for Arrears of rent-A court on giving a decree for rent may order execution against the movable property of the tenant, or any uncut or ungathered crops on the holding in respect of which the arrear id due. But so long as the tenant is in occupation of the land he can not be imprisoned in execution of such a decree1.
1. Sections 96 and 97.
813. Restriction of processes involving arrest of tenant or landlords-No revenue court can issue any process involving the arrest of any tenant or of any landlord who cultivated his own land during either of the two harvest seasons1 except for reasons of urgency, which must be put on record.
1. Tenancy Rule 14. The harvest seasons are from Ist April to 31st May and from 15th September to 15th November.
814. Control, appeal and revision- The law as regards administrative control, appeal and revision, applicable to revenue courts is practically identical with that applicable to revenue officers as described in Chapter VI. The only classes of cases which can usually come on appeal before the Financial Commissioner are those referred to in paragraph 796. In revision cases a Financial Commissioner can only interfere with the order of an inferior revenue court “on any ground on which the High Court in the exercise of its revisional jurisdiction may, under the law for the time being in force, interfere with the proceedings or an order of decree of a Civil Court” (Section 84 (5) of the Tenancy Act). But by the operation of section 88(2) (a) and (b) of the Act, section 113 of the Civil Procedure Code and Order XLVI of the first schedule apply to the proceedings of revenue courts and an inferior of the Financial Commissioners.
816. Meteorological observations and returns- At some important stations there are observatories under the direct control of the Director-General of Observatories. A note on the climatic conditions of each month by the Meteorological Department of the Government of India is published in the Gazette.
At other headquarter stations and at tahsils there are rain gauges in charge of the assistant to the district kanungo and the tahsil office kanungo, respectively. Registers are kept up by the district kanungo and the tahsil office kanungoes in which the rainfall is recorded. The headquarters register contains columns to show the rainfall at every recording station in the district which is in charge of the district Kanungo. At the beginning of each month a return of the rainfall of the past month with notes on the agricultural situation, is furnished to the Director of Land Records. Besides the rain-gauges in charge of revenue officials others have been put in a number of places where a record of the local rainfall was considered necessary. These are in charge of competent officials, such as Sub-Assistant Surgeons. The rainfall is also recorded by officials of the Irrigation Department and at the chief agricultural farms.
Crop reports-Whenever the Deputy Commissioner, or any Assistant Commissioner or Extra Assistant Commissioner visits a tahsil, he should inspect the rain-gauge and register , and satisfy himself as to the capacity of the office kanungo to observe and record the rainfall correctly. The result should be communicated to the Director of Land Records and to the Meteorological Department of the Government of India. It should be part of the duties of one of the officers at headquarters to inspect the rain- gauge and register at regular intervals.
Reports on the snowfall for the months of January to May are sent by the Deputy Commissioners of Shimla, Kangra, Gurdaspur , Rawalpindi and by the Assistant Commissioner in Kulu to the Meteorological Department of the Government of India, a copy being furnished at the same time to the Director of Land Records . A special report is also sent if possible , about the middle or end of July.
A return showing the monthly rainfall at each district headquarters in the province is embodied in the Director’s yearly Season and Crop Report. ( For detailed instructions as to the record of rainfall and snowfall Financial Commissioner’s Standing Order No. 37 should be referred to.)
817. Crop Reports- From fifteen districts a weekly telegraphic report is sent to the Director of land Record in which the rainfall, the progress of agricultural operations, the prospects of harvest, any serious damages done to crops, the condition of agricultural stock, any marked failure of pasturage, fodder or water supply , when it occurs , and the chief objects of those reports to ensure that the approach of scarcity anywhere in the province shall be signaled. Similar reports are sent from every district in which scarcity is impending or famine or other abnormal circumstances exist. The Deputy Commissioners of the remaining 14 districts are also required to submit by letter a summary of the weekly weather and crop conditions during the period from the 1st of April, till the 15th October (inclusive).
Deputy Directors of Agriculture submit similar reports, converting the same ground to the Director who forwards them through the Financial Commissioner , Development , to the Minister.
For some of the principal spring and autumn crops estimates are furnished by Deputy Commissioners and Deputy Directors of Agriculture to the Director of Agriculture at intervals generally of about two months. There are , therefore three estimates for each crop. The first and second are preliminary and corrected estimates of the area sown, the third prepared after the culture harvest inspection gives the actual area of crops sown, and an estimate of the outturn. In the case of cotton and wheat a fourth estimate is also required.
A statement showing the results of the kharif harvest accompanied by a brief note is sent by Deputy Commissioners to the Director Land records not later than the 10th of December. The district returns with a general note by the Director are published in the Gazette. The rabi crop return forms one of the statements appended to the Crop and Season report which Deputy Commissioners sent to the Director of Land Records and to the Commissioner by the 10th of July, each other.
The note on each harvest should include a concise account of the factors which have influenced the area or the yield of important staples.
The note should be prepared by the Revenue Assistant who should base it upon the reports of tahsildars and his own personal observations . Both the Revenue Assistant and the tahsildar should check their own personal observations by the opinions of reliable agriculturists.
The provincial Crop and Season report is drawn up the Director of Land Records. (For detailed instructions as to weather and crop reports, monthly agricultural prospect reports , estimates of area, yield of certain crops and Season and Crop report, see Financial Commissioner’s Standing Orders Nos. 36,37, 38 and 53.)
818. Crop Experiments-The most reliable crop experiments are those conducted by the settlement staff when a district is under re-assessment. But experiments are also made harvest by harvest in all the districts of the province, except Simla , by the revenue and agricultural staff and the results reported to the Director of Land Records and Director of Agriculture , Respectively. They should be made by naib-tahsildars, tahsildars, Revenue Assistants and Sub-Divisional Officers in the case of revenue staff and by Agricultural Assistants , Extra Assistant Directors of Agriculture and Deputy Directors of Agriculture in case of agriculture staff. Detailed instructions will be found in the Financial Commissioner’s Standing Order No. 9- A.
819. Prices-The deputy Commissioner of the following districts report on 1st and 15th of each month of wholesale prices of the principal food-grain prevailing at the markets and noted against each:-
This prices of the different crops obtaining in each assessment circle at harvest time are entered in the crop abstracts in the circle note-book in accordance with reports received from district kanugos. A register of the retail price at headquarters of the same crops and of salt and firewood is kept up by the district Kanungo. The prices recorded are those current on the fifteenth and the last day of each month . From the register a return showing the retail prices of some of the chief staples and of slat and firewood is compiled and sent to the Director of Land Records on the 1st and 16th of each month. An officer not below the rank of Extra Assistant Commissioner, either the Treasury officer or some other member of the staff whose work ordinarily keeps him at headquarters, should be made responsible for checking the figures of retail and wholesale prices in the returns , and each price current should bear his attestation (Government of India Revenue Department , No. 6-150, dated 20th March, 1872). Through the prices recorded are only those of particular days , it is his duty to keep himself informed from day to day of all variations in the market.
In districts where there is a Cantonment the same officer should be made responsible for the preparation of the monthly lists of bazar prices furnished to the Indian Army service Crops.
Their accuracy is a matter of great importance , as they may be used as the authority for the payment to Indian troops of compensation for dearness provisions. (For detailed instructions as to price lists see Financial Commissioner’s Standing Order. No. 39. ) A copy of the military bazar prices current is sent monthly to the Director of Land records for scrutiny.
The industrial surveyors working under the control of the Director of Industries , Punjab , will also check the records of retail prices at the head quarters of districts once a month. They will report the result of their check to the tahsildar and will not give any directions to the revenue staff, whose responsibility will remain unimpaired.
820. Locusts. Locusts are frequently seen in the province, but as a rule they speedily disappear after doing an amount of damage which , through it may be small in proportion to the total out-turn , may be very serious for the cultivators whose crops have been attacked . In some seasons, however, vast swarms invade the province, and commit widespread devastation. Their power of multiplication is enormous. Whenever locusts are observed in a district measures should be taken to ensure.
(a) that the laying and hatching of eggs shall be promptly reported and
(b) that measures shall at once be taken for the destruction of the eggs and of the young nymphs when hatched.
An account of the history of locusts with detailed instructions as to the best means of destroying their eggs and the young insects before they acquire wings will be found in appendix V.
Once the locusts have begun to fly no measures hitherto devised appears to be really effective. The use of airplanes to drop dust powder has not been tried in the Punjab. Flame guns can be used to kill the insects as they are resting at night but this measure is obviously of very limited value.
821. Carriage and supplies for troops. The rules for the provisions of carriage and supplies to troops on the march will be found in Financial Commissioners Standing Order No. 58 . IN carrying them out a good deal of care and tact is required to ensure on the one hand that nothing taken without payment and on the other that the reasonable requirements of regiments are met. It is important that civil official should be the medium of communication between officers commanding troops on the march and the country people, No definite rule on the subject can be laid down; but Deputy Commissioners must invariably accredit to the commanding officer an official of sufficient standing powers and intelligence to accompany troops on the march or if the number of the troops is small to be present at each encamping ground on their arrival and departure. When the detachment or force on the march consist of European troops, an English –speaking official should, if possible be sent.( Punjab Government circular No. 12-1724, dated 31st July, 1883). Grass cutters of regiments on the march should on arrival at encamping –grounds be directed to best places for cutting grass. Private property must be respected but there is usually abundance of grass on the sides of the roads and other public places. (Punjab Government Circular No. 22-657, dated 28th March 1870.)
822. Horse, mule and cattle breeding. As all the chief agricultural operations are carried on with the aid of bullock power, the supply of efficient cattle is a mater of great importance. On the whole the live – stock in the Punjab are of better quality than in the rest of India. And in some parts their reputation stands very high. The spread of canal irrigation over the old breeding ground has had a serious effect on the supply and has added to the importance of the cattle –breeding work of the Veterinary Department. Certain districts which are regarded as suitable or horse –breeding have bee n classed as “selected”, and in these the Army Remount Department devotes special attention to the matter; they provide and replace a number of stallions and pay for all costs of establishment, feed and keep. If district broads maintain their own stallions in these districts, these are supervised by the officers of the Army Remount Department.
In other districts , classed as “non-selected” the horse and donkey stallions are supervised by the civil veterinary department ; the initial cost of acquisition is shared between Government and the district boards. While the latter pay for maintenance.
In all districts, the breeding of horned cattle, cattle disease, cattle fairs ,etc. are the care of Director , Veterinary Services , and his Superintendents (see Agricultural circular No. 6)
At Lahore there is a vernally College for training students , stipends are given both by Government and Local bodies (see Agricultural Circular No.3)
Until recently the only organization for the supply of suitable bulls for breeding purposes was the Government Cattle Farm at Hissar (see Agricultural circular No.1) but the establishment of the grantee farms in the Lower Bari Doab Canal colony and the introduction of the Dhanni and Hariana breeding schemes in the districts including the homes of these breeds have provided facilities for obtaining bulls of different breeds required for various districts of the province.
An area has been set apart for a new cattle breeding farm in the Nili Bar colony, which it is hoped, will be developed for the supply of high class bulls.
823. Cattle and horse fairs. Cattle and horse fairs have come to be regarded as a very valuable means of stimulating interest in breeding as well as of facilitating the sale of young stock. They are being used for the exhibition of the better types of stock as well as improved agricultural implements and farm produce. They tend to brighten the prevailing dullness of rural life by providing an occasional district fete. (See Agricultural circular No.2) Several district boards derive a substantial income from such fairs, and there is in consequence a tendency to encourage them as a source of income.
824. Important epidemic diseases among livestock. The principal epidemic diseases of equines and brownies are enumerated below :-
As a result of the propaganda work done by the Civil Veterinary Department with regard to contagious diseases and their prevention, live-stock owners readily admit the usefulness of preventive inoculations against the most serious contagious diseases such as rinderpest and hemorrhage septicemia.
The occurrence of epidemic disease amongst live-stock in a village is reported by the lambardar to the patwari who sends the information by postcard (supplied by the Civil Vernally Department for this purpose) to the nearest veterinary assistant concerned . On receipt of information from the patwari , the veterinary assistant adopts the following procedure.
If the report relates to an outbreak of equine epidemic disease in any part of a selected district where such disease is dealt with by the Army Remount Department , he will merely transfer the post-card to he local veterinary assistant of that department for disposal in other cases he himself will proceed at once to the scene of the outbreak for the purpose of taking the necessary remedial and preventive measures. On arrival at the spot at which the contagious disease had been reported to exist , the veterinary assistant takes all requisite steps for the treatment of the disease and for the prevention of its spread. If the situation is sufficiently serious to require this , the veterinary assistant warns his immediate superior that his presence is needed, and the latter will order to the spot such extra staff as may be necessary when the nature of the disease has been ascertained, the veterinary assistant or veterinary assistant surgeon fills in a printed from provided for this purpose and submits it through the proper channel to the Superintendent of the Circle for information . Similar information is also sent to the Deputy Commissioner through the tahsildar on another form supplied by the department. Whenever a serious outbreak of epidemic disease occurs in a district or whenever there is a danger of the disease spreading into the adjacent districts the Deputy Commissioner intimates the occurrence to the Commissioner of the division and also to the Deputy Commissioners of the neighboring districts in order that due precautions may be taken. When epidemic disease appears in a camp or cantonment or amongst animals on a military line of communication , the military authorities have instructions to inform the nearest civil authority without delay. Such information is immediately communicated to the local veterinary assistant or veterinary assistant surgeon and the Superintendent of the Circle in which the infected area lies. Similarly when any epidemic disease amongst animals appears at a horse or cattle fair or in the neighborhood of containment or on a line of military communication the fact and the nature of the disease is at once reported to the nearest military authority.
825. District arboricultural. The importance of arboricultural to a province so bare and arid as was the greater part of the Punjab was early recognized and in 1852 the Board of Administration issued orders designed to increase the fuel supply. The same order provided also for the comfort of travelers; they sanctioned remissions of land revenue on plantations and for the grant rent free, or plots of Government land at every three miles along the main roads to persons who would undertake to sink wells and plant groves Zamindars receiving inams from Government were to be required to raise one kanal of young trees for sale or distribution among their tenants. Trees were to be planted by official agency round all Government building of every description and along roads under construction and officers in charge of canals were to raise plantations at every three miles along their banks; and at every jail and every tahsil nurseries of young trees were to be kept for distribution.
827 Progress of district arboricultural - The success of all arboricultural operations depends so much on the taste and opportunities of individual hand worked officers that progress has been intermittent and sometimes slow; but no one who has toured the province can fail to appreciate the vast amount of good work that has been done. Almost all the main roads run through avenues and the great canals have everywhere well-wooded banks. Most Government building are surrounded by trees and nearly all civil stations have a pleasing appearance. The mileage of avenues along roads and canals must run into many thousands.
828 . Tree Planting by private persons. The rules regarding the encouragement of tree-planting by private persons will be found in paragraphs 511-512 of the Settlement Manual. Under those relating to plantations of trees the Deputy Commissioner can at any time send up proposals to free the land from assessment. Those relating to wayside groves (Financial Commissioner’s circular No. 4 of 1882) and the making of tree-planting a condition attached to the grant of inams must be considered as now obsolete. No Compulsion can be exercised to secure the planting of private lands and men with very small holdings cannot afford to plant trees except a few in the immediate vicinity of a well. But they can be encouraged to preserve what trees they have and men with more land can be helped by the distribution of seedlings and especially where the local conditions are favorable , of fruit trees from Government nurseries.
829 . Tree planting by public agency. The expenditure on the planting of trees along roads is met by the authority which is responsible for the maintenance of the roads , that is to say either by the Public works Department or the district boards or municipalities. So far as the work is in charge of local bodies, obviously a great deal must depend on the interest shown in it by the Deputy Commissioner and Commissioner. A general superintendence is exercised by the Conservator of Forests , and his advice should be asked on doubtful points. Much help may be derived from the manual of arboricultural . IN this branch of their work commissioners correspond direct with the local Government. It is important that there should be definite scheme as regards tree planting and under existing orders working plans for periods of from 3 to 5 years should be drawn up for each district:-
“The working plan should be of a simple nature, and it may be best , as suggested by some of the officers consulted, to concentrate operations on one or more selected roads in each tahsil and to complete the planting of trees on such road or roads before other roads in the tahsil are taken up. When the plan is sanctioned, the Conservator of Forests should be informed through the Commissioner at the beginning of each year of the operations it is proposed to put in hand during the year, and a report should be submitted at the close of the year showing how far these operations have been carried out. IN the case of roads already planted with trees, it should also be stated what measures have been taken to replace by the planting of young trees losses that may have been caused through trees being blown down by storms or the removal of which has been otherwise necessitated. As suggested by the Conservator ( Letter No. 2790 , dated 21st October , 1901.) where this was not already been done a map on fairly large scale should be prepared and hung up in the Deputy Commissioner’s office showing the actual state of the avenues etc. in the district –a system of lines, full , broken , or dotted, showing whether a road is fully planted whether there are gaps to be planted up or only a few trees here and there.
Arrangements have beenmade at the ImperialForest Research Institute and College at Dehra Dun as well as at Changa –Manga for putting district boardofficial through a simple course oftraining ….. Where feasible, Deputy Commissioner’s should make over to some member of the district staff the immediate supervision of the operations of the whole district, but at the same time the responsibility of the tahsildar for the work in his tahsil should be maintained and encouraged.”
830. Orders of Government of India. The Government of India Issued a resolution (Proceedings September , 1905, Nos., 12-17 – A , Forests file No. 32.) No. 21 dated 11th July, 1905, on the maintenance of avenue trees along roadsides, a few extracts from which may fittingly conclude the discussion of this subject :-
“The question is one of the real importance because of the welcome shade afforded thereby to way –fares, the substantial addition to the beauties of the landscape, and mitigation of the discomforts of long journeys by road. The practice of planting avenues of this description was in earlier days as much a feature of British Administration as the construction of the roads themselves; and some of the order avenue on the main roads of India still supply the most agreeable of memorials to the taste and provision of their founders. The practice has no where died out; and it is still fairly widely , though intermittently and unmethodically , pursued. In recent years, however, great havoc has been caused in some tracts by the mutilation and cutting down of timber in times of famine; and observations tends to show that these ravages have only been partially repaired. In other parts of the country the importance of the matter appears to have been imperfectly kept in view , and , from the want of sustained policy , money and effort have been wasted, and in many places avenues formerly in existence have been allowed to disappear or to become disfigured by unsightly blanks.
“The Government of India are of opinion that the authority responsible for the construction and upkeep of any road upon which the provision of shade is required for the comfort the way – fares , should consider it almost as much its duty to maintain along the road a line of shade giving trees as it is to keep the roadway and bridges in proper order , and should allot its available funds accordingly ,and more especially it should not manage these avenues so as to derive from them a net profit, until all the needs of the roads under its charge in matter of trees have been supplied. The Government of India are far from discouraging all reasonable measures devised in order to make an income from the avenues , which taken as a whole form a very valuable property. Indeed, they are of opinion that in many cases a much larger income might legitimately be secured by more judicious thinning and the felling and replacing of over-mature trees, while steadily keeping in view the main object, which is to provide a continuos row of healthy shade – giving trees, and more especially such trees as a give shape , such as may be seen some of the fine old avenues left to us by the far-sighted officers of an earlier generation. But they would suggest that each authority having roads in its charge not yet provided with avenues, should be required to keep a separate account of its income from and expenditure on arboricultural, and , until the needful roadside avenues are completed , to spend on arboricultural a sum at least equal to the income derived from the existing roadside trees. Moreover, in considering the provision of funds generally or the purpose, local Governments should look to the net expenditure. Rather than to the gross expenditure . On this object, in the connection it is material to observe that the liberal grant recently made to district boards from general revenues will enable them to make better provision for all their duties, including arboricultural.
“In most provinces the responsibility for roadside trees devolves partly on the Public Works , Department and partly on local bodies, In either case it is essential that effort should be concentrated and properly directed and that the work of planting and tending the trees should follow a prearranged system. As a general rule provision should first be made for filling up gaps in existing avenue; next for establishing avenues which have been planted, but in which the trees are not yet beyond the reach of danger from drought or cattle; and lastly for planting new avenues . In taking up new work, preference should be given to those roads which are most frequented and where avenues can be established at the least cost and no more should be attempted at one time than can be thoroughly established by means of the money and supervision available. Care should be taken that the most suitable kind of tree is chosen., preference being given to fruit trees, where otherwise suitable , and to trees which will give shade, rather than to trees which merely develop a rapid growth . The character of timber must also be selected with special reference to the dryness or moisture of the soil. In some cases it may be possible to provide means for the watering of trees by the utilization of neighboring sources of supply. Local Government are requested accordingly to see that where this had not already been arranged for a clear working plan, similar to those prepared for Government forests, and accompanied by the necessary maps is prepared for each district or public Works Division concerned. The working plans should be passed by some responsible officer, such as the Conservator of forests, or the Director of Land Records or Agriculture, or in the case of Government roads the Superintending Engineer; and arrangement should be prescribed for ensuring that they are not lost sight of by the local bodies or officer concerned. The services of the local forest officer where available might be utilized both in the preparation of working plants and in inspecting and advising upon the actual operations . Many cases could be cited in which , when gaps occurs in an old avenue trees of a different and often heterogeneous description have been carelessly introduced in the vacant places, both interrupting the uniformity and spoiling the future appearance of the avenue.
“The subordinate in direct control of arboricultural work, whether under local bodies or under the Public works Department, should as far as possible , receive a training of some kind in the technical branches of the subject either at some Government garden or at a forest school or plantation . The Government of India are aware that funds cannot always to be forthcoming for the entertainment of full time officials of the forester, class for arboricultural work and they also recognize that the success of roadside planting depends far more on strict supervision than on technical details; but they are at the same time convinced that even a few months training in the technical part of the work will add to the efficiency of the present controlling staff, and every facility will be given in forest and Agricultural institutions under the control of the supreme Government to provide a suitable training for such men as may be sent to them for instruction by local bodies or the Public Works Department. It is suggested that such facilities should be arranged for in similar institutions controlled by local Government.
“ Good results have been obtained in some tracts by entrusting certain supplementary work such as the planting of detached piece of road or the filling up of blanks in avenues to village or private agency and paying by results , and in others private enterprise has been stimulated by rewards and by revenue – free grants. The encouragement of private tree- planting by these and other means is , in the opinion of the Government of India. Worthy of the special attention of the local Government, and they are requested to consider whether anything further can be done in this direction than is effected at present.
“It is essential that , as far as possible , the sympathies of the neighboring population should be enlisted in the preservation of the roadside trees. In the case of fruit trees , the produce of which is the little value, the cultivators of the adjoining field should be allowed to take the fruit on condition that they protect the trees from serious damage. And when a fodder famine is prevalent, judicious arrangements should be made to utilize the edible leaves of trees along roadsides as fodder for the cattle at reasonably cheap rates. This does not mean that the trees themselves should be heedlessly mutilated, or cut down but that a temporary sacrifice of sylvan amenity may be gladly accepted in the interest of saving valuable animal life.
“There is one practice that calls for particular deprecation . It is that of lopping or otherwise injuring a beautiful avenue when preparations are being made for the reception of a high Government official. In the anxiety to made proper arrangements for a party or procession proceeding in carriages, it is not an uncommon thing for the district authorities to cut away all the branches from the roadside trees within a certain distance from the ground, serving thereby no purpose. Whatsoever and inflicting damage which it may take years to repair. Officers of Government should maintain a vigilant watch in order to prevent this unthinking and regrettable from of depredation.”
831. Minerals and quarries. All mines of metal and coal all gold washings and all earth oil belong to Government. As regards other minerals such as quarries and canker beds , the land as contained in section 42 of the Punjab Land Revenue Act., is explained in paragraph 191 of the Settlement Manual and is also dealt with in paragraph 10 of the Financial Commissioners’ standing order No. 42 . In some estates these minor minerals are private property, elsewhere they belong to Government, even where the surface is private property.
The extraction of metals , coal earth-oil , gold, salt and generally speaking minerals not included in the definition of “minor minerals” is governed by the Punjab Mining Manual . For minor minerals a references should be made to the Punjab Minor minerals Rules published with the Financial Commissioner’s notification No. 4345-R dated the 23rd December, 1963 (see Punjab Land Administration Act Volume II). Royalty is imposed on minerals belonging to Government extracted by private endeavor. Wherever the minerals are the property of Government the dues of Government are taken in the shape of a royalty. Where on the other hand minerals are the property of the landowners , the gains from them should be included in the assets of the estate at settlement. Section 59 (1) (e) of the Land revenue Act provides for a special assessment in cases where this has not been done.
832. Treasure trove. Rules as to treasures trove are contained in Punjab Government consolidated circular No. 43.
833. (I) Creation of department of fisheries in the Punjab ( I) In about 1868 the Government of India deputed Dr. Day to enquire into the economic conditions of the fisheries of India , as a result of frequent complaints from all the provinces regarding the wholesale slaughter of fish. A second inquiry by Mr. H.S. Dunsford was under taken in 1911 in the Punjab , and he corroborated Dr. Day’s Statements and suggested various remedial measures for the preservation of fish in the province.
(ii) As a result of Mr. Dunsford’s report Mr. G.C.L. Howell, I.C.S. was sent to America to study fishery problems and on his return was appointed Director of Fisheries in 1912 with a small staff, to collect data in order to enable Government to decide whether Fisheries Department in the Punjab was justified , and what steps should be taken to preserve the fish supply. As a result of his efforts the Punjab Fisheries Act II of 1914 came into being . On his vacating the post of Director in November , 1915 the post was abolished but it was decided to retain the department under a Warden of Fisheries which post was accordingly created.
(i) Scope of rules. (ii) The Punjab Fisheries rules and regulations are all drafted either under the Indian Fisheries Act IV of 1897, or the Punjab Fisheries Act II of 1914. Act IV of 1897 and the rules thereunder prohibit the use of poison, dynamite and other explosive and obnoxious substances for killing fish, and close certain waters, which are spawning grounds of important species of fish to fishing altogether for specified periods. The rules framed under the Punjab Act, II of 1914, are simple and merely prohibit the use of fixed engines and small – meshed nets and the diversion of water for killing fish , in order to save the small fry and immature fish. These rules are applied to waters which are not “Private Water” these can also be applied to “Private Waters” with the consent of the owners thereof.
These rules were first issued Kangra in 1916 and are now in force in 25 districts of the province. They also regulate fishing by prescribing the kinds of gears which are permitted, the seasons during which they may be used and the fees payable for the various kinds of licenses.
Briefly, licenses are of two kinds- general and angling. The former include nets and gears of all kinds as used by professional fishermen and the later for rod and line only , and are for the most part taken out by sports men.
There are different kinds of angling licenses and the fees there of vary considerably for instance provincial licenses, canal head works licenses, trout waters and district. They are obtainable from Deputy Commissioners of districts from the Warden of Fisheries and in case of canal heads works from the Executive Engineers , Irrigation’s Branch.
In 18 districts individual licenses are issued to fishermen and in 7 districts in the western Punjab , and on canals leases are auctioned annually and license issued to highest suitable bidder along with a number of permits for use by his nominees of agents.
In two districts size limit for mahsir and trout has been prescribed below which no fish of these species can be killed. The offering or exposing for sale or barter of mahsir and trout killed in contravention of the rules has also be prohibited in these two districts .
The breaches of the rules are compoundable and compensation not exceeding Rs. 10 for each breach is charged . Such breaches are also punishable with a fine upto Rs. 100.
(iii). Rules under Punjab Act applies to all rivers and streams in Punjab. As almost all the rivers and streams in the Punjab are not the exclusive property of any persons, rules under the Punjab Act have been applied to them.
(ii) Conditions. The conditions on which the waters as licensed or leased are :-
(a) that the licensees are bound to fish in accordance with the conditions laid down in the rules.
(b) That they are bound to report breaches of the rules which come to their notice to the Deputy Commissioner, tahsildar, or any officer the Fisheries Department;
(c) That if, according to the entries in the wajib-ul –arz or record – of –rights , the owners of any village are entitled to a share of the catch of fish from the waters within those villages, the licensee shall be bound to give that share to the owners;
(d) In the districts in which fishing is leased, the lessee is required to pay the lease money in advance or by three equal installments; in the latter case he is required to furnish sufficient security for the payment of the future installments ; short payments are recoverable as arrears of land revenue.
If a licensee is convicted for a breach of the rules his license can be cancelled.
834. Changes in limits and numbers of tahsils , districts and divisions. An increase in the number of divisions into which a province is divided can only be made with the sanction of the Governor –General in Council. But the local Government may add to the number of tahsils and districts and may vary their limits and those of divisions. (Section 5 of Act XVII of 1887) Such Changes are generally unpopular with the people, and can hardly fail to produce some confusion in administration . The make the comparison of past and present statistics difficult , and are apt to be embarrassing when the time for a general re-assessment comes round. They should , therefore only be proposed when they are essentially necessary for the proper management of the estate or tract concerned.(Government of India , Home Department, Circular No. 194-202, dated 2nd June , 1870. For reports to surveyor –General of changes of boundary , see Financial Commissioner standing order No. 25.)
834-A. Boundary disputes. Any boundary disputes with Indian States which arise should be dealt with promptly . The procedure to be followed in such cases will be found in Punjab Government consolidated circular No. 25. The adoption of fixed boundaries between the Punjab and Indian States where the line of demarcation follows in the main course of a river.(See paragraph 437) ought greatly to reduce the number of such disputes.
In the case of land boundaries the operations of the Survey of India Department and successive settlement operation have left little room for doubt as to the actual border. No difficulties are likely to arise and any that do arise should be easily settled , if the orders requiring Deputy Commissioner whose districts march with Indian States to inspect the boundary or cause it to be inspected every year are carried out. (Government of India. Foreign Department, resolution No.1758, dated 21st August , 1871. The inspection should be noted in the annual revenue report. )
The Darbar should be informed when the district officer proposes to make his inspection and asked to depute a representative of the State to meet him. The State of the boundary pillars should be noted and arrangements made to carry out any necessary repairs.
835. Skeleton maps. Special ¼ district maps showing villages , tahsils and district boundaries , railways main rivers , canals roads and other prominent features as well as a few of the more important places , are issued by the Director of Land Records for use in illustrating new proposals and reports , and can also be conveniently bound into district statistical atlases , the necessary additions being made under the Deputy Commissioner’s orders.
Subsidiary to the above a limited number of ¼ maps are printed with the villages numbered a key sheet being added with alphabetical lists of villages in English and vernacular. These maps are prepared in the Surveyor –General’s Office, and are reductions of the published survey sheets.
835. Authenticated to CM :1KM tehsil maps , 1 CM’ 2 ½ KM district maps and M 10 KM state Map drawn on the basis of survey of India’s Topographical map sleets showing village, sub –Tahsil, Tahsil and district Boundaries, railways , roads, rivers, canals and other prominent features as well as important places , are issued by the Director of Land Records to cater the needs of the various Government Departments for planning purposes.
The necessary additions and alterations made from time to tome are incorporated in these maps of the Director of Land Record, Punjab.
836.Gazetteers. The revision of the gazetteer is under taken at each settlement by the settlement officer. ( See paragraph 552 of the Settlement Manual.) But to assist him in his task and at the same time to make the gazetteer more useful, it should be kept up to date in the interval between settlements. Deputy Commissioners have therefore been ordered to have a copy of the district gazetteer interleaved with good writing paper and to maintain a gazetteer note-book.
In the first they should enter brief notes correcting any statements in text which seem to them to have always been or to have become erroneous or which need to supplemented. For instance , after a new census it is well to correct all figures relating to population . The notes made in interleaved copy of the gazetteer should be very brief.
The gazetteer note book should contain longer entries on any matter which the Deputy Commissioner thinks will be of use in the preparation of the new edition. Each entry should be marked in bold figures with the serial number of the gazetteer heading under which it will fall No. two entries should be appear on a single page. Only one side of the paper should be written on , so that the settlement officer may able to remove the leaves and made use of the entries without recopying them . When the information is available in convenient form in the district or other records a full reference to the papers in questions, with a brief indications of the nature of the material which they contain will suffice.
Both at the time of the redrafting of a new edition and during the interval between the editions , the officers who are collecting information should try to obtain help from residents of the district, Indian and European official and non-official. For example , it may be possible in this way to get better notes on the botany or geology of a district, its manufactures its archaeological remains , or its folklore than the Deputy Commissioner or the Settlement Officer may have either the time of the special knowledge to compile. If vernacular papers are to be made use of they should be composed in a simple style , and the hand-writing should be neat and clear.
The latest instructions as the revisions of district gazetteers are contained in Government of India, Home Department , letter No. 3375, dated 1st November 1902.
The chief difficulty which stands in the way of periodical revision of the existing gazetteers, and the reason which has caused so large a portion of their contents to become obsolete is that they contain a mixture of permanent matter such as that relating to the history , physical characteristics , religion, ethnography etc. of the district ; of matter which changes gradually but as a rule slowly such as that dealing with the agricultural and economic conditions; and of ephemeral matter mainly statistical, which soon becomes out of date. For this reason when a new District Gazetteer is issued it should consist of two volumes. A and B Compiled on the following lines :-
(1) In the first edition all descriptive matter should go into the A volume ; but that volume should contain only such general figures (incorporated in the latter press) as are necessary to give point to remarks in the text . The arrangement of subjects in this volume should follow the order prescribed for the provincial articles in the Imperial Gazetteer. All detailed statistics should be relegated to the B volume, which would at first consist only of these and of such notes as may be necessary to elucidate them.
(2) On the occasion of the nest revision of statistics in the B volume should be recompiled and this volume should be expanded by adding to it any matter that might be required to correct or supplement the A volume. Thus if there had been a famine since A was published , if new railway had been opened and so forth information on these points would appear in B as supplementary to the appropriate chapters in A.
(3) This process would go on till the time had come for revising the A volume. Then all the supplementary text matter should be incorporated in the new a Volume and B would revert to its original form as a statistical appendix with explanatory Notes.
(4) A new edition of the B volume should be brought out after each census. The revision of the A volumes must be left to the discretion of the local Governments . The occurrence of a new settlement will ordinarily be the best time for such revision; but it may well happen that plenty of copies of the original A volume are still available and that the settlement and lapse of time have not brought any important change in the conditions of the district. In that case the revision of A should stand over till the stock of it no longer suffices for the demand; but a brief account of the settlement operations and of the changes which they have produced or disclosed in the state of affairs described in the A volume , should be prepared by the Settlement Officer before he is relieved of his duties, for inclusion in the next decennial V volume.
(5) The statistical part or the B volume should be issued with interleaved blank pages so that those who use it can have the figures of later years written in . The tables included in the B volume should be drawn up on uniform lines and should contain the main administrative statistics of the districts and its tahsils of other sub-divisions. Those prescribed enclosure D to my circular letter of 24th September , 1902 No. 2948 –60 , seem generally suitable for adoption , but local Governments will doubtless vary or add to these as local circumstances demand. It is thought that including the explanatory notes they should not ordinarily exceed a maximum limit of 50 pages.
(6) Similarly a limit of size for A volumes might be fixed at about 300 pages within which compass it should be possible to comprise all really useful information . Some of the present provincial gazetteers err in the direction of excessive size. The history chapters for example could often be materially condensed by assuming a general knowledge of Indian history on the part of the reader and dealing only with events which occurred in or were connected with the district. Where adjoining districts resemble each other in respect of climate , physical features , fiber and fauna history, distribution of castes, and economic conditions much labor might be saved by writing a single account of these and reproducing it. With the necessary local adaptations , in each district volume . It seems desirable that in future editions the several districts should be dealt with in separate volumes.
(7) The Government of India have decided that there shall be a separate Index volume in the case of the Imperial Gazetteer and think that it would be very convenient for purposes of reference if a similar index were prepared for each series of provincial gazetteers.
837. Annual Reports : The Crop and Season Report has already been noticed in Paragraph 817. The other yearly reports which Deputy Commissioners have to prepare in connection with the Subjects dealt with this manual are :-
Land Revenue Administration Report. (See parts I , II and IV of Financial Commissioner Standing Order No. 53.)
Report on Land Records
Report on estates under the Court of Wards (See part F of Standing Order No. 53)
838. Escheats. The principles governing the escheat to the State of property left by hairless properties are set forth in Punjab Government Consolidated Circular No. 9 and in the judgement of the Financial Commissioner in Wazira and other Versus Mangal and Others, No. 2 Punjab Record , Revenue , of 1911. The following propositions were laid down Sir Jame Douie in that case :-
(1) The right of the Crown to claim escheat rests not on Customary or Hindu Law, though Hindu Law recognizes escheats , but on grounds of general of universal law.
(2) The right can only arise in the absence of relations entitled by law or custom to inherit.
(3) The right of the proprietary body as a whole to succeed in case in which it exists is primarily based on real or assumed relationship to the holder of the land or to the member of the proprietor body from whom his title was derived.
(4) Such a right should be assumed in the case of homogeneous estates or sub-division of estates where the owners are all or nearly all of the same tribe as the last holder of the land or the member of the proprietary body from whom he derived his title.
(5) It should not be assumed in the case of heterogeneous estates or sub divisions of estates held by persons of different tribes or different got of the same tribe . The presumption in such cases is that the State has right to escheat.
(6) When the property in the land was originally derived by gift from a member of the tribe of the original proprietary body the right of that body should be recognized on failure of the donors and donee’s lines.
(7) In any case in which the Wajib-ul-arz declares the right of the proprietary body to succeed to the land of hairless owners Government should set up no claim.
It is further been held by the Financial Commissioner that escheat should not be claimed for Government when there is a daughter , daughter’s son ,sister , or sister’s son.
838-A. Succession –A.I.R. 1940 The attention of all revenue officers is drawn to the judgement of the Lahore high Court reported as A.I.R. 1940 Lahore 416 ,which lays down that in the absence of all agnates of a childless proprietor , a cognate however, distantly , related to him is entitled to succeed to his property in preference to a stranger.
839. Forfeiture of Property. The attention of all officers is drawn to the judgement of the Chief Court reported as Punjab Record 8 of 1908 , the summary of which is as follows: -
“Held by a majority of the Full Bench (Johnstone. J./ dissenting) that where ancestral immovable property held by a person subject to Punjab Customary Law attached and sold by order of criminal Court under section 88 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the sale conveys the lift interest of that person only and does not extinguish the right of inheritance after his death of his male lineal descendants or of collateral’s descended from the original holder of the property.”
Cases have come to the Financial Commissioner’s notice in which land so sold has been purchased in the bona fide belief that full proprietary rights were being conveyed. Care should be taken to make it clear in all announcements of such sales , and at the time of sale that a life interest only is being sold.
Section 59 of the Land Revenue Act recites the cases in which special assessment may be made by RevenueOfficer whose procedure is to regulated by the provisions of the Act relating to general land Revenue assessment subject to such modifications as the Financial Commissioner may introduce by executive instructions.
The followingstatement gives references to the executive instructions issued under thevarious clauses of the section :-
Cause (a) of Section 59(1) – Paragraph 179-A and 181-183 of the Settlement Manual paragraphs 197-198 of the Land Administration Manual and Paragraph19 of Financial Commissioners Standing Order No. 7.
Clause (b) of Section 59 (1) Paragraph 10 of AppendixIII and paragraph5 at page 376 in appendix IVto the Land Administration Manual and paragraph 89 of Financial Commissioner’s Standing Order No. 28.
Clause (c) of Section 59 (1) – Paragraphs 529 –536 of the Land Administration Manual andparagraph 521 of Settlement Manual.
Clause (d) of section 59(1 ) paragraph 438-446 and 579-583 of Land Administration Manual paragraphs 445 and 497 of the Settlement Manual and Financial Commissioner Standing Order No. 26.
Clause (e) of section 59(1) paragraphs 191-192 and 458-460 of the Settlement Manual, paragraphs 767-769 and 831-833 of Land AdministrationManual and Financial Commissioners Standing Order No. 42 – especiallyparagraph 1.
1. Instructions for guidance of forest settlement officers. The following instructions were issued in 1887 by the Financial Commissioner, with the sanction of the Lieutenant – Governor, for the guidance of Forest settlement Officers in proceedings under Chapter II of the Indian Forests Act, 1878 (now Act XVI of 1927).
2. Preliminary reports by Collector. Proposals to constitute reserved forests (whether initiated by local officers or framed in consequence of instructions received from superior authority) should be submitted by Collectors to Commissioners and should be accompanied by :-
(i) a map showing the land which it is proposed to treat in this manner and also the lands adjacent thereto;
(ii) a draft notifications under section 4 of the Act;
(iii) a report stating the rights in the land so far as known , the manner in which the land has hitherto been managed and the reasons for which it is desired to convert it into a reserved forest with suggestions for the appointment of a Forest Settlement Officer and Other agency , if nay required for his assistance.
3. Collector should obtain assistance from District Forest Officer. In drawing up this report the Collector should avail himself of the assistance of the district forest officer. In his absence, or for the proper treatment of cases of sufficient importance the Chief Conservator of Forest May be able to place a forest officer at the Collector’s disposal for the purpose. No detailed inquiry into rights should be made at this stage.
4. Scope of Report. It is of particular importance that this report , which is the first step in forest reservation proceedings , should state clearly the purposes for which the reservation is proposed e.g., for the better supply of the adjacent population with timber, fuel, grass or other forests produce; to meet the demands of railways , cities or cantonments ; to protect by forest growth hillsides and prevent destructive drainage; to grow or protect a high class of timber. The manner in which the reservations is likely to affect adjacent estates or population should be noticed. To this end the map accompanying should show not only the lands which it is proposed to reserve , but also the lands adjacent thereto, distinguishing inhabited sites, cultivation and waste . IT is ordinarily difficult for an agricultural or pastoral population to modify their habits in conformity with novel demands of regulated forest management and it is for the reporting officer to show either that the proposed reservation will not affect the conveniences of the adjacent population , or that sufficient necessity exists for restricting their convenience.
5. Disposal of report. The Commissioner on receipt of the Collector’s report will forward it to the Chief Conservator of Forest for his opinion and after receipt of that officer reply , will submit the report to the Financial Commissioner with his recommendations.
Forest Settlement Procedure
6. Map When a proposal to constitute a reserved forest has been notified, and the forest settlement officer has entered upon his duties and has issued the proclamation required by section 6, his most immediate duty is to ascertain whether he has at his command a sufficiently accurate map of the land to be reserved, and if he has not, then to provide one, for which purposes section 8 of the Act furnishes him with the necessary authority. Except for special reasons, the map should not be on a smaller scale than four inches to the mile. Its outer boundaries and the boundaries of all interior holdings should be carefully attested and be compared with the existing records available in the district record office.
7. Investigation of claims. Section 7 of the Act. In the meantime all claims preferred and statements of rights of which the existence is ascertained( whether from previous records or from local enquiry, should be put up in a file and be dealt with in the manner provided by the Act, claims should be clearly set out, either by petition or by deposition , or in both ways. If rights are believed to exist and the right holders do not appear, these persons should be summoned and be examined with reference to their rights . Documents relied on should befitted in original , or if copies are filed , they should be admitted only after comparison with the originals . Where previous records are referred to , the original records should be inspected and certified extracts should be filed. If claims or rights are disputed, suitable issued should be framed, evidence heard and findings be recorded thereon. In short, the Forest Settlement Officer should remember that he is armed with the power of a Civil Court, and that his decision possesses a similarly finality. AT the same time, separate files need not ordinarily be made up for each claim. Unless difficulties arise it will be usually sufficient to deal with all claims and rights in four files according to the classifications given in the next paragraph. Section 8(b) of the Act.
8. Four Classes of Claims. In respect of the treatment of claims, attention is directed to the following instructions :-
Chapter II of the Forest Act divides the claims with which a forest settlement officer has to deal into four classes, and provides a different method of treatment for each class. The four classes :-
(i) claims to public or private ways or water –courses;
(ii) claims to rights of pasture or to forest produce (section 12);
(iii) claims to other rights (section 11);
(iv) claims relating to the practice of shifting cultivation (section 10).
9. Public and private ways and water courses. The forest settlement officer must be careful to record all public and private ways and water –courses existing at the time his enquires, and in this class of claims must be included right to use the water of well, springs and streams situate inside the boundaries of the proposed reserve, for if the right to use such water exists . It cannot be enjoyed unless a proper way to approach to the water is allowed. But though the forest settlement officer is required to record all rights of this class he has no authority to expropriate or commute them. His duty is limited to the drawing up of a clear record of them. Their feature regulation is a matter for the executive Government under section 25.
10. Rights of pasture or to forest produce. The treatment of the second class of claims viz. Claims to rights of pasture or to forest produce is the most difficult part of the forest settlement officer’s duty. If after the enquiry to which reference has been made in paragraphs , above he rejects a claim in whole or in part, he should be careful that this order contains all the particulars required by section 13. If he admits a claim, he should proceed to record with as much completeness as is possible all the particulars required by section 14.
Having made this record, it remains for the forest settlement officer to secure by one of the three methods laid down in section 15 of the Act the continued exercise of the rights so admitted. He may either transfer the right to another forest tract under the condition stated in section 15(a) , or under the condition stated in section 15(b) ; he may exclude from the forest an area sufficient for the exercise of the rights established . Both of these methods possess obvious advantages, especially in the eyes of the right holders, but it lies with the forest settlement officer to take care that in resorting o them he does not burden any land with rights so extensive as to insure its ultimate deterioration. IT is easy by a too ready resort to expedients of this nature to purchase the proper forest preservation of one forest area at the cost of the ultimate destruction of another forest area. The forest settlement officer is under no necessity to sanction wasteful adjustments of this nature. Under section 15(c) he can record an order appointing the seasons at which , and the portions of forest in which , the rights shall be exercised and he can also propose in his final report any rules which , without restricting the rights admitted, place appropriate safeguard on their excise. In making arrangements of this nature, it is useful to bear in mind the necessity for providing that all areas burdened with rights shall be closed in rotations for reproduction. For instance , where a right of grazing can be sufficiently provided for in a hundred acres. It is expedient if possible to record the right in larger in area, subject to adequate conditions for securing the closing of the whole in rotation.
All this is to be done to the best of the forest settlement officer’s ability and with due regard to the successful maintenance of the forest under reservation Primarily the Government is not interested in extinguishing rights of pasture or to forest produce. But in the last resort and where really necessary in the interests entrusted to this charge, the forest settlement officer has authority under section 16 of the Act to expropriate these rights.
11. Other rights In respect of the third class of claims the legislature leaves no option to the forest settlement officer. He must either exclude from the forest the land on which these rights are claimed or he must extinguish the rights. IN this connection it should be remembered that provided a given area of land is expressly excluded from the reserve being clearly demarcated off, the mere fact that the reserved forest surrounds such land does not necessitate expropriation of the latter. No doubt such areas (commonly known as chak khariji) often create difficulties in forest management , and where this is the case the settlement officer will act rightly in expropriating them. But in each case the question is for his decision.
12. Expropriations .In carrying out expropriations care should be taken to comply with the rules issued by Government for the guidance of Collectors in their proceedings under the Land Acquisition Act,. I of 1894. For all proposed expropriations village statements should be prepared and filed as required by paragraph 36 of Standing order No. 28 and the award should be entered in form A given in paragraph 73 of the Standing order. If reductions in the revenue roll are necessitated by these expropriations, the forest settlement officer should prepare and forward to the Collector the statement prescribed by paragraph 79 of the Standing order.
13. Certain Orders to be communicated to forest officer. Under section 17 of the Indian Forest Act., an appeal can be lodged by a forest officer against any order passed by a forest settlement officer under sections 11,12,15 or 16. This appeal must be presented within three months after the date of the order. The forest settlement officer after passing an order under any of these sections should at once send a copy to the local forest officer for communication to the Chief Conservator of Forests.
14. Making of boundaries. As the settlement of the reserved forest proceeds , if its boundaries have not already been permanently marked out, it is the duty of the district forest officer to set up permanently marked out, it is the duty of the district forest officer to set up permanent pillars and to test the agreement of these pillars with the final record of the forest settlement officer.
Final record and report.
15. Form of final report. This final record will be prepared by the forest settlement officer as soon as the decision of claims has progressed sufficiently . It should comprise for each forest separately demarcated or where the forest tract is of great size, for each convenient section thereof(I) map (ii) proceeding and (iii) final notifications. Instructions as to the form and contents of these documents are appended and no other paper should be added to the file excepting only orders subsequently issued by the local Government under section 22 of the Act.
16. Form and scope of final report. All claims having been disposed of and the above record having been complete . It will then only remain for the forest settlement officer to move the local Government to issue the notification contemplated by section 19. It is necessary that the local Government should before taking this step be informed of the nature .of the proceeding to which its final sanction is desired. To this end the forest settlement officer should draw up a brief report standing in addition to the information required by clauses (a) , (b) and (c) of section 20 of the Act, the general result of his proceeding . This report should be written by way of continuation of the preliminary report summated under paragraph 2, and need not repeat matters already sufficiently explained therein. No exact form is prescribed for the report. What is required is a brief summary of so much of the proceedings as has not already been reported , and of such a nature as to satisfy the local Government that these proceedings can appropriately be confirmed . It should notice specially the matters referred to in paragraphs 11 and 12 above, and also the extent to which expropriations (by agreement or by award) have been resorted to and the cost and other results of such expropriations. It should be accompanies by a draft notification for issue under section 20 of the Act, by a map showing the limits of the forest as finally settled on the scale and with the other details required by paragraphs 2, 4 and 6 above and also an English abstract of the information given under heads (v) and (vi) of the proceedings prescribed by paragraphs 1 and 3 of the annexture. This abstract should be drawn up with some care for its is intended to serve as a convenient guide to the officers by whom the forest will be managed. If expropriations have been made an abstract statement in the form prescribed by paragraph 79 of Financial Commissioner’s Standing Order No. 28 should also be added. See Cir. No. 17-F . of 18th July, 1885, from Government of India Home Department.
17. Boundaries of reserves on rivers, Government of India No. 746 of 16th July, 1893. In case of all forest reserves which are situated on the banks of a river, the exact position of which owing to allusion and dilution changes , is not constant , the boundaries of the forest should be fixed by maps giving bearings from boundary pillars on the firm land. The boundaries can be altered from time to time under the Act whenever a change of sufficient importance may take place. It would be only after the lapse of some years that newly-formed land would become of sufficient importance may take place . It would be only after the lapse of some years that newly-formed land would become of sufficient importance from a forest point of view to make it worthwhile to take it into a forest. In draft notifications under section 20 of the Act all boundaries which are liable to river action should in future be described in the manner here indicated. (This paragraph was added in 1893)
18. Disposal of Report. The report should be addressed to the Commissioner of the division , but it should be forwarded, unless the Collector is himself the forest settlement officer, through the Collector, who is required to add to it both his own opinion and that of the district forest officer. The Commissioner before forwarding the report to the Financial Commissioner, will proceed as directed in paragraph 5.
19. Disposal of final record - The Final record (paragraph 15) should not be forwarded to the commissioner, but should be deposited in the district record office at the same time as the final report is submitted. These records will be permanently preserved.
20. Preservation of flies. The files of claims (paragraph 7) will also be deposited in the district record office, and part A of these files should also preserved permanently.
21. Forest Settlement Officer should consider effect of reservation on usage’s and submit special proposals, if necessary. The preceding instructions relate to the necessary procedure prescribed under Chapter II of the Indian forest Act when it is proposed or resolved to constitute a reserved forest. In carrying out this procedure , a forest settlement officer must carefully limit himself to ascertaining setting and recording , settling and recording rights actually existing and providing for their exercise and enjoyment in the manner prescribed in the Act. But much more than this is required to enable the local Government to judge whether after the events mentioned in section 20 of the Act have occurred, it is. Or is not , expedient to issue a notification under that section declaring the area to be a reserved forest. The result of the procedure of the Forest Act, when rights have been recorded and maintained, is to impose great restrictions on their exercise and materially to alter the previous usage’s of the people . To such changes , as already observed, the people are slow to accommodate themselves , and it is therefore incumbent on the Government to satisfy itself as to the probable effect which the reservation of the area and its strict management as a reserve will have upon the requirements of the neighborhood and habits of the people. This can best be ascertained by the forest settlement officer in the course of his inquiries for the settlement of rights. If not ascertained and reported on by him, it would have to be separately Enquirer onto and reported on, by the Collector or other revenue officer, which would only cause delay and additional expense. In addition therefore to having his record of rights in strict accordance with the Act the forest settlement officer should in a separate proceedings, record his opinion on the above points . If , on regarding his work from this point of view , he is opinion that the Government ought to make certain concessions beyond what has been awarded under the strict letter of the law, it is his duty to frame recommendations accordingly and to submit them, either in a special report or as an appendix to his final report required by paragraph 16.
22. Two classes of recommendation usually made. The recommendation would usually deal with two classes of cases, viz, those arising out of (1) the use of forest produce permitted as a matter of ordinary convince in the absence of any strict management but not supported by any clear right established by adverse enjoyment ; and 92) the prospective wants of village communities or of individuals whether members of village communities or not.
23. Use of forest produce. A regard the first class, it is desirable to avoid on the one hand, embarrassment to Government by hastily granting unduly liberal concessions which must ultimately be withdrawn in the interest of should forest management ; and on the other hand serious popular discontent by the harsh , illiberal or undue restrictions of usage’s which contribute to the comfort and convenience of the adjacent population . The aim should usually be some executive arrangement giving no ground for any substantial grievance, and so carefully guarded as not to infringe the recognized principles of forest management , or to suggest claims that cannot legally be sustained.
24. Prospective want of neighborhood. The cases of the second class are amongst the most difficult of any which occur in the course of a forest settlement. While it has been determined that the Forest Act does not justify the forest settlement officer, and possible more numerous generation . It is nevertheless pointed out that he might have to take into account prospective wants in particular cases, as when a claimant had established a right of such a nature that it would probably in course of time entitle him to large benefits from a forest than he was entitled to at the time of settlement. It is to be expected that in practice many intermediate cases will arise in which the forest settlement officer will rightly entertain doubts as to what should be done under the Forest Act, and what by order of government outside the Act and by way of executive arrangement. It will be the safest plan to refer, by an intermediate report, for the special orders of Government (1) such doubtful cases (2) any cases in which the results of a strict adherence to the procedure of the Forest Act would apparently conflict with some local popular custom , and (3) any cases in which claims are advanced or arrangements seem advisable not only for the present, but the prospective population of any village or tract.
25. Reasonable requirements of people and desirability of executive orders to be considered. On receipt from a forest settlement officer of any intermediate or final report of the nature required by these instructions , the Collector (when not himself / the forest settlement officer) and the Commissioner of the division will pay special attention to the questions how far the awards under the Act adequately provide for the reasonable requirements of the people , and what , if any executive arrangements , beyond the scope of those awards , it would be expedient or equitable to make in order to meet those requirements.
26. Orders on special proposals to noticed in record and report. The orders passed by Government of special proposals submitted under paragraphs 21 to 25 should be briefly stated in the final – record ( See annexure), and, if passed before submission of the final report, should be recapitulated therein.
27. Procedure when reservation appears undesirable. If in any case a forest settlement officer in the course of his Enquires ascertains that difficulties and objections exist ,which render the completion of the reservation probably undesirable, he should stray proceedings and submit a report through the Collector. This report will be dealt with by the Commissioner in the same manner as directed in paragraph 5 for the original report.
28. Completion of records. The attention of Collectors is directed to 3 (vii) and 4 of the appended instructions concerning the record. The duty of Completing the record by the addition of a copy of the final notification an instructions of the nature contemplated in paragraph 21 to 27 have been issued by Government, which the forest settlement officer has not already incorporated into head (vii) of the proceeding it is duty of the Collector to add them.
Instructions as to the form and contents of final records prepared by Forest Settlement Officers for reserved forest.
The final record shall consist of map, a proceeding and a copy of the final notification issued under section 19 of the Act.
2. The map should not usually be on a smaller scale than 4 inches to the mile. It shall show distinctly boundary pillars, permanent survey mark sand physical features so far as may be convenient. The direct distance between each pair of boundary pillars shall wherever possible , be chained and recorded on the map. The map shall also distinguish by interior boundary lines and survey numbers.
(i) Areas surrounded by the forests, but excluded from them (chak khariji);
(ii) Areas from which rights have been expropriated or in which they have been maintained, or in which claims have been rejected in their entirely;
(iii) Public and private ways, water-courses , springs, and watering –places.
3. The proceedings shall contain the following information.
(i) It shall quote the number and date of the notification issued under section 4 of the Act, and give the contents of the notification, and the name of the forest settlement officer appointed thereunder.
(ii) It shall give a list of all areas (Chaks khariji) surrounded by the forest boundaries but excluded from the forest , thus :-
Number of map A Village to which it appertains
(iii) It shall give an abbreviated list of all claims rejected in entirely under sections 11 and 12 of the Forest Act, thus :-
Area in which claimed
Number on map
Claimed (name with description)
Shortabstract of order rejecting the claim
(iv) Also a list of all rights expropriated, whether expropriated under section 11 or section 16, thus :-
Area in which claimed
Description of right claimed
Number of map
Persons expropriated(name with description)
Short abstract of award
(v) It shall describe the rights to pasturage and rights to forest produce admitted by the forest settlement officer under section 12 of the Act , and the manner in which he has, under sections 14 and 15 directed that those rights shall be hereafter exercised, recording them in a schedule in the following form :-
Area in which awarded
Names of description of personsto whom rights have been awarded
Nature of rights, with full detail of all matters covered by section 13 of the Act
Orders issued under section 14 of the Act for the future exercise of these rights
(vi) It shall describe rights of way; public or private , and existing water-courses , also springs and watering places to which any persons have access, arranging them in the schedule thus :-
Area in which exercised
Nature of rights
Number of map
By whom, or how used
And shall declare that these rights will in future be subject to regulation as provided in section 25 of the Forest Act.
(vii) A brief resume shall be given of any special report submitted to Government under paragraphs 21 to 25 of this appendix and of the orders passed thereon . This resume shall be in sufficient detail to guide both revenue and forest officials and also parties interested in these reports. Copies off the reports themselves should not be given to applicant; and any notice of opinions expressed by the reporting officers, but not approved by Government, should be excluded.
4. When the final notification issues a copy and translation thereof, shall be added to the record. This copy shall be endorsed with a report stating the date on which , and the villages in which translation has been published ,as required by section 21 of the Act.
5. The records shall be drawn up in the vernacular language used in land revenue proceedings, and the survey shall be made on the land measure used in the land revenue records of the district in which the forest is situate.
NOTE :- In the above instructions the words names, with description mean name, father’s name caste or tribe and residence. If the entry is in favour of a whole village, it may be so stated name of individuals being omitted.
(see paragraphs 783 and 784)
(1) RULES FOR THE LEASE OF WASTE LANDS IN THE PUNJAB (Sanctioned by Government of India letter No. 132-2, dated 20th April 1897.)
1. Areas in which leases may not be granted. Except, with the previous sanction of the local Government leases of waste lands owned by Government may not be granted in any tract of country included in any colonization scheme established for lands commanded by a Government canal or in any large tract of country for which there is a prospect of perennial canals being contracted by Government.
B – GENERAL RULES IN RESPECT OF SANCTION.
2. Lists of Government waste lands to be maintained. Lists of Government waste lands in each district shall be maintained by the Collector. The local Government will determine from time to tome which of these lands shall be deemed available for leasing and which of these again should be leased with a condition for acquiring occupancy rights , and which a condition for acquiring proprietary rights.
Where lists such as are contemplated in this rule, are not already in existence in any district . The financial Commissioner has directed that a register in English in the form below should be opened. Land acquired for public purposes, nazul lands and encamping grounds will be executed from this register.
Name of estate
Whether consisting of whole or part or estate.
Whether irrigable from a canal or not.
Source of income
Note :- Column 1. Observe that all demarcated rakhs are estates by Land Revenue Rule 31.
Column 5 :- This column will contain a continuos record of income.
Column 8. Note the purpose for which the land is useful. If the land is sold or granted away, note this.
8. Powers of sanction - Leases of waste land owned by Government not irrigable by a canal may be granted up to a limit of 75 acres by the Commissioner and 150 acres whether irrigable from a canal or not , by the Financial Commissioner, for a maximum period of 20 years in each case, provided the total area held on lease by single lessees does not exceed 75 and 150 acres, respectively . Proposals for the leasing of lands commanded by a Government canal should be accompanied by a report by an officer of the Irrigation Department regarding the extent to which water will be available. A lease of a larger area than 150 acres , or a lease which (if sanctioned would make the total area held on lease by a single lessee more than 150 acres . required the sanction of the local Government , and should only be recommended in special cases.
C- Procedure in dealing with applications for leases.
4. General procedure in cases of individual applications for leases. If an applicant is made to the Collector for the lease of any waste lands owned by Government , the Collector shall subject in every case to the provisions of rules 1-3, deal with the application in accordance with the instructions relating to the cultivation of such waste lands from time to time received by him from the Financial Commissioner.
5. Rejection of application. The Collector may reject the application at any stage of the proceedings if, with reference to those instructions or for other reasons , objections exist in his opinion to granting a lease of the land. If the Collector rejects an application, he shall record his reasons in writing.
6. Procedure if application is not rejected (I) If the collector entertains the application he shall, when necessary require the applicant to deposit the cost of demarcating surveying and mapping the land and cause the land to be demarcated, surveyed and mapped. He shall , at the same time publish a proclamation stating that the land has been applied for on lease, and that all claims and objection should be preferred within three months.
(ii) The proclamation shall be published in the vicinity of the land applied for on lease and after it has been so published, a copy shall also be posted at the Collector’s office and at the office of the tahsil in which the land is situate.
7. Report by Collector for grant of lease. If no claims or objections are preferred within three months of the posting of the proclamation at the Collector’s office, or in the event of any claim or objection being preferred, then after the proceedings contemplated by Act XXIII of 1863 have been concluded, the collector may prepare a report giving particulars of the land which it is proposed to lease and the terms on which he proposes that it shall be leased and may submit the same for the orders of the authority who under these rules, is empowered to sanction the lease. The report shall be drawn up, as far as may be in the form annexed to these rules.
8. Consideration in defining area to be leased. In determining the area proposed to be leased, the Collector shall see that it forms a compact block so as not the detract from the value of the surrounding land. And, in case the area be bounded on one side by a canal , river or public road, the block shall ordinarily be so formed that the length of canal river or road frontage shall not exceed one-half of the depth of the block.
9. Term of lease. IN the absence of special orders fixing the term for any case or class or cases , the term of lease applied for under rule 4 shall be fixed with reference to the purpose to which the land is to be applied, the time and capital required to bring it under cultivation and other like considerations, but shall not exceed twenty years, except with the sanction of the revenue authority who immediately controls the officers sanctioning the lease.
10. (1) Assessment of land revenue. In the absence of special instructions issued by the Financial Commissioner with the sanction of the local Government for lands of the class to which the area applied for belongs, in fixing the charges payable in the case of a lease applied for under rule 4, the land revenue shall be assessed with due regard(a) to the revenue rates assessed on similar land at the last settlement of the district and (b) the present renting value for cultivation and grazing of similar land in adjacent estates. Care should , however, be taken that the land revenue imposed on such land does not raise the total assessment of the circle in which it is situated to more than one-fourth of the net assets of the circle. If the land forms part of an estate and is not excluded from the provisions of section 51(3) by section 51(4) of Punjab Land Revenue Act, 1887, this object can in most cases be secured for all practical purposes by providing that the average rate of incidnece of such land does not exceed the average rate of the estate in which it is included. Any case in which this is not suitable, as for example of specially valuable land, should be referred for orders. If , however, the land consists of a fresh estate , the rate of incidence of the assessment imposed thereon should into be such as to raise the existing average rate of incidence of the assessment circle beyond the limit prescribed in section 51(3) . In applying this rule, so much or the area to be leased shall be treated as cultivated as the lessee may fairly be expected to bring under cultivation within the term of the lease.
(2) Malikana ordinarily to be calculated on market value. To this assessment of land revenue there shall be added as proprietary due or malikana a sum which shall ordinarily be calculated with reference to the market value of the land in its waste condition , (Subject to land revenue and cessess). The malikana so fixed shall be four percent of that market value unless the Financial Commissioner for special reasons to be stated, considers that a lower rate of malikana should be fixed.
(3) Malikana to be based on land revenue and rent in other cases. If the market value of the land or of similar land in adjacent estates is not ascertainable or approximately ascertainable the malikana shall be sum based on the difference between the land revenue assessment and the renting value as ascertained under clause (1) , but which shall not ordinarily be less than half the land revenue assessment. IF any case it is proposed to fix a rate or proprietary due less than one-half of the land revenue assessment ,the case shall be reported to the Financial Commissioner for sanction, and the Financial Commissioner may , for reasons to be stated, reduce the malikana to a sum not lower than one-fourth of the land revenue assessment.
(4) Considerations in fixing land revenue and proprietary due. In fixing the assessment of land revenue and malikana in the manner above prescribed, regard shall be had to the improvements necessary to bring the land into cultivation and to the time necessary for the execution of those improvements; and the authority by whom the lease is sanctioned may in view of these considerations, exempt the lease for a portion of the term of the lease from payment of the whole or part of the land revenue or malikana or both assessed under this rule.
11. Orders on Collector’s report. On receipt of the report of the Collector by the authority who under these rules is empowered to sanction the lease, that authority shall subject to the provisions of these rules and to any instructions issued by the Financial Commissioner in respect of any case or class of cases –pass such order in respect of the refusal or sanctioning the lease and in the event of his sanctioning the lease in respect of the area, term , assessment and other conditions of the lease, as he shall think fit.
D-RULES AND CONDITIONS APPLICABLE TO ALL LEASES.
12. Execution of dead of lease and giving possession. When a lease has been sanctioned by the authority appointed by these rules in that behalf , the Collector shall execute and cause to be executed a lease in form A attached to these rules, provided that, if Act V of 1912 has been extended to an area in which leases are being granted , the provisions of that Act shall be followed.
Possession of the land shall not be given to the applicant until the lease has been executed or until the provisions of section 4 , Act V of 1912 have been complied with, as the case may be.
13. Rates and cesses. A lessee shall in every case convent with Government to pay all rates and cesses chargeable on the land ; and also all charges (other than penalties), at any time livable under chapter VIII of the Punjab Land Revenue Act, 1887, in respect of the land leased to him. He shall also convenient to pay the price as determined in the manner hereinafter laid down , of the timber and brushwood on the leases area.
Explanation :- The words “rates” and “cesses” in this rule have the same meaning as in the Punjab Land Revenue Act, 1887.
14. Failure to take possession. If within six months of the execution of the lease having been communicated to the applicant he fails to take possession of the land , or if at any time he fails to comply with any of the conditions of the lease the Collector may cancel the lease and shall report the fact to the officer by whom the lease was sanctioned.
15. Reservation of certain rights of Government and settlement of disputes.(I) There shall be reserved in every lease the right of Government over all rivers and streams , and the rights of the public to use existing thoroughfares traversing the grant. There shall also be reserved in every lease all mines, minerals , Coals, gold-washings, earth-oil and quarries in or under the land leased, together with the right of entering on the said land and doing all acts and things that may be necessary or expedient for the purpose of searching for , working , getting or carrying away any such mines, minerals coals , gold-washings and quarries.
(ii) The Government on its part will in every case, convent with the lessee to make reasonable compensation to him for all damage occasioned by the exercise of the said rights.
(iii) And the lessee on his part shall convenient with Governmentthat , in case of a dispute arising between the lessee and Government as to the property and rights hereby reserved, or any matter incidental or in any way relating thereto, or as to any compensation as aforesaid , the decision thereon , in each case, of the officer empowered by these rules to sanction the lease of the land shall be considered final and binding on both parties.
16. Trees and brushwood. (I) where trees or brushwood are found on land proposed for lease under these rules, the collector shall estimate the value of such trees or brushwood. In estimating the net value the Collector shall into take account of the prices which the lessee will probably be able to realize and of the probable facilities for sale and shall also make due allowance for expenses , waste and other losses likely to be incurred in the cutting , removal and sale of the said produce. If the Collector funds that the value which the lessee could obtain for the timber or brushwood would only equal or be less than , the cost of cutting or removal nothing shall be charged for it.
(ii) The Collector shall record the grounds of this estimate and the amount thereof in a proceeding; and in the same proceeding either require the lessee to pay the amount before entering into possessions or fix the installments and dates in and on which the lessee shall pay the same.
(iii) In cases in which these installments extend over a longer period than twelve months from the date of entry, the proportion of the produce actually removed by the lessee in any given year shall not exceed the proportion of the value payable within that year, and in the event of the lessee’s removing in any year a larger proportion, the entire outstanding proportion of the amount of the estimate shall at once become due.
17. Rights of lessee in the land leased. A lessee shall be entitled to sink wells, make water courses, plant trees, build houses and otherwise improve the land ; and subject to the due fulfillment by him of the conditions and liabilities of the lease and to provisions of rules 15 and 16 shall be entitled to all the products of the land, but except with the sanction of the local Government previously obtained no lease of waste land shall authorize the lessee to construct a private canal for the irrigation, either of the land leased to him or of any other land. In granting any sanction in cases falling under this clause, the local Government may attach to its sanction such other special terms and conditions in respect of the constructions and maintenance of a canal and irrigation from a canal as it shall think fit.
17-A. Loyalty and good conduct. The lessee shall be bound to be and to remain at all times of loyal behavior and to render active support to the Government and its officers in any time of trouble or disorder. The decision of the local Government whether this condition has been violated by the lessee shall be final , and if the local Government is of opinion that the lessee has committed a breach of this condition, it may resume the grant or any portion thereof, either temporarily or permanently, and such resumption shall not affect any other penalty to which the lessee may be liable under these conditions or otherwise.
18. Acquisition of occupancy rights. If at the expiration of five years from the date of the lease the lessee has regularly paid all sums due to Government under the provisions of the lease, has fulfilled the other conditions of the tenancy and has brought under cultivation one –half of the culturable area held on lease , a right of occupancy of the nature of the subject to the conditions attaching to a right of occupancy established under section 8 of the Punjab Tenancy Act may on the payment of the Nazarene (if any) fixed by the lease, be conferred on the lessee by an endorsement by the Collector to that effect on the lease.
19. Purchase of proprietary right. (I) The lessee may purchase the proprietary right of the land at any time during the currency of the lease at the full marked price of the land to be fixed by the Deputy Commissioner, subject to the same sanction to which the grant of the lease was subject.
(ii) The lessee may pay the sum so determined, either in a lump sum or by such installments, extending over a period of not more than five years, as the authority sanctioning the sale may fix. When the whole of the purchase money has not been paid previous to the delivery to the purchaser of the deed of conveyance, the purchaser shall execute a deed of mortgage to secure payment within five years of the unpaid balance with or without interest as the authority sanctioning the sale may determine . The deed of conveyance shall be in form B and the deed of mortgage in form C attached to these rules. They shall both be registered, and the deed of mortgage shall be stamped at the purchaser’s expense, and both shall remain in the possession in the Deputy Commissioner until the whole of the purchase money , with the interest due thereon , if any shall have been paid, when the deed of conveyance shall be made over to the purchaser or his heirs or assigns, the mortgage deed having first been cancelled by the Deputy Commissioner.
(iii) Should the local Government consider that for special reasons the sum payable should be reduced, it may reduce it to such an amount as it thinks fit.
20. Procedure on expiry of lease.(I) On the expiry of the lease (if neither proprietary nor occupancy rights have been acquired by the lessee), Government may resume the whole of the land or any portion of it.
(ii) Failing such resumption ,the lessee shall be entitled to a renewal of the lease for such term and on such conditions as to the amount of land revenue and rent or malikana and other charges to be paid by him as the authority who sanctioned the lease may , subject to the provisions of section 68 of the Punjab Tenancy Act, then determine.
(iii) In fixing these terms and conditions, the sanctioning authority shall be guided by the rules for the lease of waste lands for the time being in force, so far as these rules can be made applicable.