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The Superior Revenue Officers of a district

251.  Powers of revenue officers. There are five classes of revenue officers: the financial commissioner, the commissioner, the collector, the assistant collector of the 1st grade, and the assistant collector of the 2nd grade. The deputy commissioner of a district is by virtue of his office its collector a revenue officer who is transferred from one district to another retains the powers with which he was invested in the former district.

252.  Powers of financial commissioner. There are many matters on which the financial commissioner is empowered by the land revenue and tenancy acts to make rules, but these do not take effect till they have been sanctioned by the local government. There are also a number of executive proceedings regarding which his special orders required. For example he fixes the amounts and dates of the installments by which land revenue is paid, and if, to recover an error, the extreme step of annulling the assessment of an estate or holding, or of selling it outright has to be taken his sanction must first be obtained.

253.  Power of commissioner. While the land revenue and tendency acts confer ample powers of general control on commissioners, there is practically no particular matter which they can legally deal with on their own initiative, or for the very few exception is that sales of immovable property for the recovery of arrears are not complete will they have received their confirmation.

254.  Powers of collector and assistant collection. The land revenue act declares that certain things must be done and certain orders must be passed by the collector and that other things may be done, and other orders may be passed, by “a revenue officer” there are but two cases in which any difference between the powers of the two grades of assistant collectors is mentioned in the act. Section 126 provides that proceedings relating to the partition of land must be taken an assistant collectors of the 2nd grade do not of compelling parties before them to submit certain matters to arbitration. But by section 10 the local government has power  ,where the act does not  expressly by what class of revenue officers any function to be discharged, to determine the matter by notification, and this was done soon after the enactment came into force. The class of revenue officer which can dispose of the enactment came into force. The class of revenue officer which can dispose of the various applications and proceedings which arise under the tenancy act is stated in its 76th section. It will be observed that in the distribution of business, there is given no distinction made between the powers of a collector and those if an assistant collector of the 1st grade. But the application of a landlord for leave to take an improvement on the holding of a tenant with a right of occupancy must be presented to the collector, and he alone can enhance the rent after the improvement has been made and reduce it again after it has ceased to exist.

255.  Enquiries by subordinate officers. It would be absolutely impossible for superior revenue officers, and especially for the deputy commissioner, to dispose of the numerous matters on which their orders are required, if the proceedings from first to last had to be held before themselves. Provision has therefore  been made that “a revenue officer may refer any case which he is empowered to dispose of ….to another revenue officer for investigation and report, and may decide the case upon the report” this useful power must be exercised with discretion. In matters of any importance the parties who will be directly affected by an order should be present when it is passed, and should be head as far as is necessary. However unpalatable a decision may be to a man, it loses half its sting if he feels that his case has been fully understood and carefully considered.

256.  Exclusion of jurisdiction of civil courts. Civil courts have no jurisdiction in respect of any matters of which revenue officers are empowered by the land revenue and tenancy acts to dispose of.

257.  Execution by revenue officers of certain orders of civil courts. On the other hand, any order which a civil or criminal court issues for the attachment, sale, or delivery of land, must be executed through the collector or a revenue officer appointed by the collector for that purpose. The rules on the subject will be found in the financial commissioner’s standing order no. 64 and the rules and orders of the high court, volume 1, chapter xii-order xxi, civil procedure code. When the produce of land is attached no obstacle must be placed in the way of the person to whom it belongs reaping, gathering or storing it, and every care must  be taken for its preservation. As executing of the orders of civil and criminal courts the function of a revenue officer is purely ministerial. He is not concerned with the priority of the order passed. But if it is on the face it illegal, if, for example, it directs the collector to sell land belonging to a member of an agricultural tribe, he will be justified in pointing this out to the civil court and, if necessary, to the commissioner.

258.  Functions of collector under section 72 of the civil procedure code. Under the provisions of section 72 of the civil procedure code (act v of 1908) a court may authorize the collector to arrange for the satisfaction of a decree by the temporary alienation or management of land belonging to a judgement-debtor. The rules on the subject are quoted in the financial commissioner’s standing order no. 64. Any alienation approved of would naturally take the form of one or other of the kinds of the mortgage allowed by act xiii of 1990. Where the judgement –debtor is deprived of cultivating occupancy of the transferred land enough should be excluded from the transfer to furnish at least a bare subsistence for himself and his family.

259.  Procedure of revenue officers. The produce of revenue officers is mainly governed by sections 18-23, 127-135 and 152 of the land revenue act, and by a law rules issued under various sections of the land revenue and tenancy acts. Any number of tenants cultivating in the same estate may be made parties to proceedings under chapter iii of the tenancy act, but no order or decree must be made affecting any of them who has not had an opportunity of appearing being heard.

260.  Arbitration. Sections 127-135 of the land revenue act relate to arbitration which may be employed with the consent of parties in any proceeding, and in a few proceeding without their consent. A revenue officer is not bound by the reward, but may modify it or reject it altogether. Whatever his decision may be, it is open to appeal, just as if there had been no arbitration. There are no provisions about arbitration in the tenancy act, but a rule under it has made the provisions on the subject in the land revenue act applicable to most of the proceedings under the tenancy act.

261.  Legal practitioners. Legal practitioners may appear in proceedings before revenue officers, and law present applications on beheld of their clients. Through a person chooses to be represented by a pleader his own attendance may also be required, and no formal pleading will be head except in lambardari, zaildari, mafi, mutation, and partition cases. A revenue agent cannot, without the permission of the presiding officer, take any part in the examination of witness, or address to him any argument on behalf of his client. The fees of a legal practitioner are not allowed as costs in any proceeding without an express order of the revenue officer passed for reasons which he is bound to record. Legal practitioners cannot appear in proceedings under the Punjab alienation of land  Act. (xiii of 1990)

241.  Appointment, etc., of tahsilders and naib-tahsildes, Tahsildera are appointed by the financial commissioner and naib-tehsildars by the commissioner of the division. Tahsildars may be dismissed by the Financial commissioner and naib-tahsildar by the commissioner. For full instructions as to the qualifications required, the examinations which canidares muster pass, promotions, etc. the Financial commissioner standing order No.12 may be consulted. The local Government may direct to the financial commissioner to appoint a person not eligible under the rules to be either a tahsildar or naib-tahsildar, but it is a concision of such an appointment  that the haled shall, within  two years, pass the prescribed examination.

242.  Settlement training of naib-tahsildars and naib-tahsildar can-didates. Any naib-tahsildar who has passed the tahsildar’s examination may be sent by the commissioner of the division for a year’s training in a district under reassessment. The commissioner may also require any candidate for the past of naib-tahsildatr to undergo the practical training in revenue work prescribed by paragraph 7 of financial commissioners standing order No 12 in a district under settlement.

243.  Duties of tahsildar. The duties of the tahsildar within his tahsil are almost manifold as those of the Deputy commissioner within his  district. He is not expected to hear any civil suits, but his magisterial work is important. In all matters of administration he must be, within his own charge ,the Deputy commissioner’s principal agent and his power for good or evil is very great. His revenue duties are so important that there has occasionally been a tendency to make them all in all. But it must be admitted that his efficiency, more than that of am other affaire in the district, except the Revenue assistant, depends on capacity for revenue work. No degree of excellence in other respects can alone for failure properly to direct and control the patwari and kanungo agency, to collect the revenue punctually where the people are climate of season, which renders suspensions of remissions necessary, and to carry out, within his own sphere the other duties connected with land administration which are described in this book.

244.  Division of tahsil for inspection work. For inspection work and the attestation of mutations in records, the estates of each tahsil are divided yearly between the tahsil date and the naib-tahsildar. The portions if the tahsil allotted should be changed every year on October 1st so that the responsibility of the tehsildar for the whole of  his charge may not be impaired. It is within the direction of the deputy commissioner to postpone redistribution for special reasons, such as the prompt disposal of pending revenue work.

245.  Extra naib-tahsildars for mutation work. In the cold weather extra niab-tahsildars are sometimes posted to districts where mutation work is very heavy. These men should not be employed as general assistants to the tahsildar, but should be required to devote the whole of their time to the attestation of mutations. At the same time, the tahsildar and the naib-tahsildar should not be relieved of all their mutation work. The best plan is to transfer the whole mutation work of certain zails or kanugo’s circles to the extra naib-tahsildar.

246.  Tours of tahsildars and naib-tahsildars. Tahsildars and naib-tahsildars should spend alternate fort nights in camp during the seven months from the beginning of October to the end of April. During the rest of year systematic touring is impossible, but an active tahsildar will take opportunities management of his charge cannot be efficient unless he has a through knowledge of his village

247.  Plan of tours should be drawn up. A plan of cold –weather inspection work should be drawn up, through the duties of a tahsildar are so multifarious and he is liable to so many unexpected calls upon his time that it is impossible to adhere to it strictly. If the work is properly laid out beforehand, the tahsildar and the naib-tahsildar should be able in the seven months of camping to make between them a through security of every kanungo’s and patwari’s work and to visit most of the estates in the tahsil. Deputy commissioner should impress on their subordinates that perfunctory inspections are worse than useless, and that a man who has done his best will not be blamed because he has failed to see every village. A task which in many cases, is impossible. The tahsildar or naib-tahsildar, when on tour, should always carry with him a small-scale sketch map of his charge, showing village boundaries and sites, main roads, and canals, and the limits of zails and of kanungos and patwaris circles. He should also have with him a list of all takavi loans grante in the tract to be visited

248.  Inspection of estate. On visiting on estate the tahsildar should attest the mutations. He should also inspect the village site and lands, if he is not already familiar with them, and should examine the village revenue registers and note points for enquiry. He should then discuss the condition and circumstances of the estate with the land owners, the village officers, the zaildar and the kangungo paying special attention special attention to the cause of any large amount of alienation and the reasons for any difficulty experienced in collecting the revenue. He should take the opportunity of seeing any works for which takavi has been given. The tahsildar’s hairiest inspection work is referred to in chapter ix

249.  Revenue work to be dealt with in village to which it legates. In order to avoid taking agriculturists away from their homes, all revenue work, especially disputed partition, lambardari and muafi cases should, as far as possible, be dealt with at the village to which they relate. By this means the attendance of all the parties will be secured, and the facts of each case will be easily ascertained. In the case of estates for which a detailed jamalndi is to be drawn up during the agricultural year mutation work must be disposed of in the village itself. In there cases, the naib-tahsildar or tahsildar, if he cannot conveniently visit the estate, may pass orders on its mutations at any other place within the patwari’s circle.

“Revenue officers should attest mutations according to priority based on the date of try of report in the patwari’s diary. In cases where a mutation cannot be attested interim orders must in variably be recorded.”

Hon'ble Revenue Minister

Hon'ble Minister-In-Charge
Shri. Gurpreet Singh Kangar

 


 

Special Chief Secretary, Department of Revenue, Rehabilitation and Disaster Mangement
Shri. Karan Bir Singh Sidhu, IAS

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