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VILLAGE HEADMEN, INAMDARS AND ZAILDARS

305.Value of unofficial agency. In the last two chapters the strong body of government servants, of which the deputy commissioner is the head, has been described. It is a powerful piece of administrative machinery, but, as links between the higher officers and the communities for whose welfare they are responsible, its inferior members have the defects which belong to purely official agency. They have therefore been supplemented by representatives of the landowners in the shape of village headmen inamdars and zaildars.

Commentary

Where lambardar fails to perform his duties, the recovery can be effected from his or his estate.

306.  Convenience of dealing with village communities. It is obviously convenient for the state to deal with bodies like village communities through headmen. The internal affairs of such communities used to be and in some places still in a measure are, managed by informal councils or panchyats. But these have fallen into decay, and in any case their constitution was too loose for them to serve as intermediates between the rules and the land owners. The sikh govt. like own, found it useful to have such intermediaries. The chaudhris and mukaddims through whom it dealtwith the people corresponded roughly with our zaildars and lambardars.

307.  Duties of headmen. The headmen of a village act on behalf of the landowners, tenants and other residents in their relations with the state. They are bound to attend when summoned by officers of govt., and to aid them in the execution of their public duties. Their important functions as regards the prevention and detection and detection of crime do not fall within the scope of this work. Their chief duties are set forth in some detail in a vernacular memorandum which is given to each headmen on his appointment. Those connected with land administration may be summarized as follows:-

A duties government-

1.  to collect and pay into the treasury the land revenue and all sums recoverable as land revenue.

2.  To report to the tahsildar-

(a)  the deaths of assignees and pensioners ,and their absence for over a year
(b)  encroachments on, or injury to, government property.

3.  to aid-

(a)  in carrying out harvest inspections, surveys, the record of mutations and other revenue business;
(b)  in providing, on payment, supplies or means of transport for troops and officers of government.

4.  to render all possible assistance to the village postman, while passing the night in the village, in safeguarding the cash and other valuables that he carries.

B. Duties to landowners and tenants of estate-

1. to acknowledge every payment received from them in their parcha books.
2. To collect and manage the common village fund, and account to the shareholders for all receipts and expenditure

The duties of headmen as regards the collections of revenue (a 1 and b 1 on page 128 and above) are dealt with in chapter xv. Those which fall under heads a 2(a) and (b) and A 3(a) call no remark. The financial commissioner’s standing order no. 58 deals with transport and supplies for troops. As regards the village malba (B), the 93rd and 94th paragraph of the settlement manual may be consulted.

Commentary

Lambardar under rule 20 of the Punjab land revenue is duty bound to recover land revenue and other sums which are due to the state, if money due to paid to the lambardar the liability of the person concerned stands discharged. On failure of the lambardar to deposit the amount or account for it, the lambardar is the person liable to the state and not the person for whom it was originally due. Government if recovers money from person originally liable to pay despite having his paid the amount to the lambardar, such  person is entitled to decree against lambardar as also the state.

308.  Remuneration of headmen. The manner in which headmen are remunerated for their service has already been noticed. The pachotra or surcharge of 5 percent on the land revenue to which they are entitled is calculated not on the demand, but on the amount collected. A suspension or remission of the land revenue therefore involves the suspension or remission pachotra, it may be doubted whether this rule is always carried out, but in case of dispute, it must be enforced. Headmen usually receive an allowance of 3 percent on account of collections of canal occupier’s rate.

309. Appointment and dismissal in districts under settlement.  When a district is under settlement, headmen are appointed by the settlement officer. When the question of dismissing a headman arises, the settlement officer deals with the matter if the malfeasance was connected with work  under his control, otherwise the deputy commissioner is the final authority. The officer with whom the actual decision rests should consult his colleague before passing orders.

310.  Headman must be landowner of village. The headman or headmen must be chosen from among the landowners of the village. In the case of govt. estates , or estates in which govt. owns  considerable share, he may be one of the govt. tenants.

311.  Too many headmen often appointed at  1st regular settlement. The existing lambardar arrangements in most villages were made when they were first brought under a regular settlement. It was often found that a considerable number of the owners had in fact received a share of the pachotra, and that there were many claimants for the office of headman. The original arrangements can be recast and the number of headmen reduced with the sanction of the financial commissioner. When a readjustment of the pachotra is advisable for any reason, the collector can take action under land revenue rule 21(iv)

312.  Matters to be considered in making new appointment. In making new appointments, as distinguished from the filling up a vacancies in existing posts, the chief matters to consider are---

(a)  the constitution of the community to be represented.
(b)  The family claims of the candidates.
(c)  The extent of their landed property and their freedom from debt.’
(d)  Their character ability and personal influence.
(e)  Any services render to the state by themselves or the families to which they belong

The first point is important in deciding how many headmen are required. The number should be as small as possible, having regard to the claim of each principal branch of the community to have its own representative.

313.  New appointment of headmen. New appointment are now a days exceptional, save in the case of estates carved out of the govt. waste. Where such an estate is leased to a single lessee, he become ipso facto headman for the period of his lease. In the village which have recently been planted in hundred on state lands brought under cultivation by means of the upper and lower chenab, the upper and lower jhelum, the lower Bari Doab and the sutluj valley chanals, the lambardari arrangements are governed by the constitution of the groups of colonies who have occupied the new settlements. In an ordinarny district new appointment are only necessary when the family, in which the post is hereditary, becomes extinct; when after the resignation or dismissal of a headman the collector finds that he must be pass over all the heirs under the vrious provisions of sub-rule(ii) of land revenue rule 17; or in the rare cases in which an increase in the number of headmen is sanctioned by the commissioner. The importance and implications of the doctrine of primogeniture are elaborated in the Lahore Law times xviii, page 43.

314.  Ordinarily headman must perform duties himself. A headman once appointed holds officer for life unless the Deputy commissioner dismisses him or accepts his resignation. No man should ordinarily be retained in office who either does not, or cannot, carry out the duties efficiently. But in some cases whether inability to do so is of a temporary nature, and in others where it aprings from unavoidable circumstances, the lambardar is allowed to retain the title and even in some cases a share of the emoluments, while a substitute is appointed to do the work.

315.  Appointment of substitutes in certain cases. The commonest instance of a temporary inability is that of a headman being too young to act. In that case, the appointment of a substitute is imperative. Another instance is absence  from the village with the Deputy commissioner’s consent for a period not exceeding one year. Old age or physical infirmity is a disability which it might savoir of harshness to treat as a ground of dismissal. A wide dissection is left to the deputy commissioner for he can allow a substitute or sarbarah not only in the circumstances maintained above, but in any case in which “ good cause” can be shown fir the lambardar’s unfitness to do the work himself. (land revenue rule 27) an absentee landlord owing a whole estate may nominate for the approval of the deputy commission any of the residents to be his substitute. As a rule, he will have an again on the spot whom he will naturally put forward. Should he fall to nominate to a fit person the deputy commissioner choses one of the resident tenants.(land revenue rule 26(1) ) where in an estate owned by more than on person an absent headmen the responsible either individually or as a representative of other absence for more than half of the land revenue the deputy commissioner may appoint any resident owner or tenant to be dabbed. In this, and indeed in all cases in which substitutes are appointed for a lambardar whips is not a minor, the wishes of the substantive hold of the office should be put on record and fully considered, other things belong equal, the best plan, when the headman has become unfit to do his work, is to choose as his substitute the man who would naturally succeed him in the office in the event of his death. If this is his son, he will usually not be a “landowne” but this is no obstacle, for “egad shall be had to the properly which of the candidate will inherit form the person he is intended to represent in like manner as if he has already inherited it.” (land revenue rule 29 iii) in the case of minor lambaradare, their mothers often he is ineligible because he owns no land in the village, and in any case it is generally much more in the accordance with local sentiment to select a near relative of the boy’s father.

315-A. appointment in canal colonies. In the colonies it has been the practice from trthe foundation of each estate to restrict the number of lambadars to on  two. Where service conditions exist, as, for instance, in the horse-breeding chaks of the lower jhelum canal colony it is usually considered preferable to have only one lambardar. These posts are si much converted that the ordinary objection against having too few lambardars does not hold good. Hereditary claims need not be regarded since the landholdes suitable landholder. In the news colonies, where service conditions do not exist, two lambadars ae ordinarily appointed.

In making such appointment care should be taken to ensure that the lambardar appointed resides, or will reside personally in the chak. It must be remembered that the post of lambadar has been created in order to the ensure the performance of services necessary for the efficiency of the administration of the province and the district. These posts are no treated to add to the prestige and influence of influential and  wealthy landowners, who have no intention of fulfilling the obligations of the post. An additional objection that o the appointment of such person as lambardar, to all intents and purposes, would be performed by a servant and that landholders of considerable social standing, such as retired commissioned military officers, would occupy a position of subordination to the sarbarah lambardar a state of affairs to which they naturally have a strong objection. The land revenue rules with regard to the appointment of substitutes should therefore be most carefully observed. The only concession which can properly be made to influential and wealthy non resident landholders is that they should be appointed lambardar’s of the land which they hold themselves. In such cases they should not be permitted to have any hand in the management of the land allotted to the menials of the village.

316.  Division of pachotra - It is permissible to  divide the pachotra between the headman and his substitute. If it is intended to do so the arrangement must be noted in the order of appointment, otherwise the substitute will receive the whole on the principal that the man who does the work should get the pay. In any case the substitute’s  share must not be fixed at less than oneself (land revenue rule 30)

317.  Removal of substitute - The deputy commissioner may remove a substitute for any reason which would justify the removal of the headman himself or for any other sufficient reason. (land revenue rule 29 iv)

318.  Resignation of headman - When a headman resigns, he generally ask for the appointment of his son to succeed him and  in other to give him the land owners qualifications, officers to transfer a share of his holding to him by gift. Arrangements of this sort being apt to lead to quarrel’s over the division of the family holding after the father’s death should be discouraged. Where the lambardar has done nothing to merit dismissal, it is better to retain him as nominal headman and to appoint his son to be his substitute.

319.  Dismissal of headman - The chief grounds on which a headman may properly be dismissed are four-

(a)  loss of the states of landowner in the estate,
(b)  poverty
(c)  persistent neglect of duty,
(d)  crime ( land revenue rule 16)

the first calls for no remarks. Dismissal in such a case is imperative.

288.  Poverty as ground of dismissal. As regards the sequin, the collection of the dues of the State cannot safely be entrusted to a man who is himself insolvent. If a headman has mortgaged his own holding, and has ceased to be the person from whom its revenue is due to govt. he ought to be dismissed unless he can make arrangement to pay off with a short time the whole mortgage debt or so much it as will suffice to release so much of the holding as will be sufficient security of the govt. revenue which passes through his hands. In such a case the headman may be allowed a reasonable period within which to recover himself if meanwhile he canfurnish security of the payment of the revenue and the discharge of his other duties. But make shift arrangements of this kind should not be continued for any length of time. A headman, who is defaulter in respect of his own holding, ought not to be kept in office. The mere fact, however, that one or other of the minor processes referred to in paragraphs 520 and 521 of this manual has been employed against his need not necessarily in tail dismissal. If the estate or sub division of the estate which the headman represents has had to be attached on account of areas, the deputy commissioner may dismiss the lambardar and the same course may be followed of the attachment is made by an other of any court of law proof that a headman is heavily in debt or that the amount of unencumbered land remaining in his possession is very smallat once raised the question of his fitness to retained office. In these cases much depends on the cause of the mans difficulties and the likely hood of his being able to surmount them. If the revenue is paid in punctually, noreadiness should be shown the harass a headman and gratify his rivals by fishing enquiries into his private affairs. The practice which have prevailed in some places ofencouraging patwari’s to report cases of indebtedness is very objectionable. No tahsidar who exercises proper control over the land revenue collection, and who moves freely among the people, has any need of such written a reports , and the acceptance of then puts the patwari in a position with reference to headmen which he has no right to occupy.

289.  Punishment for neglect of duty. Neglect of the duty which is either gross or persistent, should be followed removal from office, minor breaches or rules or acts of negligence nay be punished-

(a)  by the forfeiture of the whole or part of the pachotra; or
(b)  by suspension from office for a term not exceeding a year.

Orders attaching the pachotra usually only relate to that due at the next harvests, and in no case should the Peachtree of more than two harvests be declared forefeet. A substitute may be appointed to do the work of a headman under suspension.

290.  Commission of criminal offences as ground of dismissal - Considering that one of the chief if a headman is to aid in the prevention and detection of crime, he ought to be removed from office if convicted of any serious offence. If he is sent to jail for a year or more, the deputy commissioner has no choice be must dismiss him; otherwise he has a discretion. Every petty breach of the criminal law need not be magnified into a ground for dismissal. The conditions of life in a Punjab village are such that a man is very liable to be hauled before a magistrate for acts, or alleged acts, which are offences under the Indian penal code, but which it is an abuse of language to quality as crimes. The only rule that can be laid down is that , if the facts proved against a headman indicate that he is unfit jot be entrusted worth the duties of his post, he should cease to hold it. If he is shown to be dishonest, or to consort with bad characters, obviously he should be dismissed. A conviction of theft or cheating proves him unfit to face charge of public money; and order to give security to be of good behavior or trustworthy evidence of convidenance with relied on for help in suppressing crime or in enforcing the excise laws.

291.  Filling up of vacant posts - Where the office of headman become vacant. It is the duty of the tahsildar to report without delay regarding the appointment of a successor. It is convenient to use a tabular form for such reports as information on certain points is required in every case, and any special features of a particular case can be noted in the brief remarks explaining the recommendation of the tahsildar.

323-A. Appointment to vacant posts should not be delayed - In view of the importance of the duties performed by village headman, it is imperative that when a post falls vacant, it should be filled as quickly as possible. In cases where the decease’s is to be succeeded by his heir, under land revenue rule 17(ii), and no other candidate is forthcoming, no reference need be made to the collector as the appointment is sanctioned by the assistant collector, 1st grade. It is advisable, however, that the sanad of appointment should be signed by the collector himself as this emphasizes the importance of the post and enhances the value of the sanad.

In cases of disputed succession, the appointment is made by the collector and subordinate officail have no direct responsibilty with regard to the appointment other than the provision of such accurate information as will enable are chiefly or wholly owned by government and hereditary claims carry but little weight, the emoluments of lambardar are very considerable because of the large sums of land revenue and water-rates to be collected. The value of these posts os still further enhanced in peasant chakd by the allotment of a lambardari square or half-square, it is therefore all the more desirabble that such cases should not be delayed than of two months be permitted to occur between the occurrence of the vacancy and the placing of all the papers before the collector for his decision. The practice of subordinate officials sending repeatedly for all candidates, to examine them with regard to their claims and qualification, opens the door to opportunities of patwari to the tahsidar. An early date should then be fixed by the tahsidar or naib-tahsildaron which he will consider and investigate all the applications for the vacant post. He should, if possible, arrange to hold the investigation in  or  near the estate concerned. The claimants should be given an other claimants. A report should be called for from the local police station as in no circumstances should the candidates be called upon to attend the police station for the investigation for other claims or other objections to other claimants, the papers should record his opinion in the file from his own personal knowledge and from the material already collected. He should not delay the case by  sending for the claimants. The papers should be then be laid before the collector should fix a date for the decision of the case, notify all the claimants and have the date proclaimed in the estate concerned. Meanwhile, he should forward the papers to the superintendent of police for and expression of that officer’s opinion. That opinion should be given by the superintendent of police from the material already collected on the file, and from his personal knowledge of the claimants.

In the case of succession to lambardari in an estate or sub-division of an estate owned chiefly or altogether by government to which land revenue rules 17(1) as amended by correction slip no. 44 dated 4th December, 1937 applies, a period of 3 months should be allowed within which papers should be placed before the collector for  his decision.

292.  Hereditary claims. Expert in estates chiefly or wholly owned by government, much weight is attached to hereditary claims. The eldest fit son of the late labmardar should ordinarily be appointed, and, when there is no son, the nearest collateral relation, according to the rule of primogeniture. Where there are no near collates, the necessity of regarding hereditary claims disappears.(land revenue rule17 ii a). the nearest heir may of course be set aside for any reason which would justify his removal from office if the were a headman(land revenue rule 17 ii c) whether the claims of sons should be considered where a headman had been dismissed depends on circumstances. If he ground of dismissal has been insolvency, the son will be subject to the same disqualification; if is innocent of any share in his father’s misdeeds, he will generally be under his influence. If the other reasons for excluding him seem insufficient, the mere fact that he owns no land during his father’s lifetime does not bar his appointment. The property which he will inherit on his father’s death may be taken into account as if it was already his own (land revenue rule 17 ii b)

293.  Votes must not be taken. Even where hereditary claims have to be set aside, the votes of the landowners must not be taken as a mans of deciding between rival candidates. (land revenue rule 17 iv)

294.  Appointment of females. Females are ordinarily ineligible. But a woman who is sole owner of an estate may be appointed and special reasons nay occasionally exist in other cases for departing from the general rule. ( land revenue rule 17 ii d)

295.  Appointment when hereditary claims are set aside. Where hereditary claims do not exist, or have to be set aside, the considerations governing appointments are those mentioned in paragraph 312 (land revenue rule 17 iii)

296.  Claims of transferees. Where a headman is removed because his own holding of the whole estate or sub-division of the estate for whose revenue he is responsible has no account of arrears been transferred to a solvent co-sharer, put under direct management , or leased that a farmer, the transferee, manager or farmer may, if the deputy commissioner thinks fit be appointed lambardar (land revenue rule 19 1)  where a headman loses office because he has mortgaged his holding, the mortgage has usually no claim whatever to succeed him. But he may at the deputy commissioner’s discretion, be allowed to do so where the revenue of the transferred holding so more than half of the whole revenue  for the payment of which the late headman was, as such, responsible (land revenue rule 19 ii)  the appointment refereed to in this paragraph are not in their nature permanent. When the temporary alienation’s from which they spring come to an end, the transferee, manager, farmer or mortgage must lay down his office. A fresh selection is then made by the deputy commissioner, having regard to the regards stated in paragraph 312.

297.  Reduction in headmen when number is excessive difficult. Reference has already been made to the inconvenience by the needless multification of headmen’s posts at the first regular settlements. Substantial men as heads of villages are among the most necessary instructions of a vigorous revenue and criminal administration. The framing of a general scheme of reduction requires a large amount of local knowledge, and a patient enquiry into the history of past appointments in every estate affected. The files relating to the arrangements made at the first regular settlement and those dealing with subsequent appointment must be scrutinized, and the enquirer must obtain a clear idea if the constitution of each estate and must trace the origin of its sub-division by examining the village administration paper( wajib-ul-arz)(see paragraph 295-96 of the settlement menual) and genealogical tree (shajra-nasab)( see appendix viii to the settlement manual). The time for making such an enquiry is hard to find in the throng or daily duties which he requires can be collected and put into shape for him by his officers, but, even so, the task is a heavy one.

298.  General schemes of reduction -(1) when a district is brought under re-settlement and the settlement officer finds that a reduction in the existing number of headman is required in the interests of good administration in a considerable number of village throughout the district or in any particular tahsils, he should in consultation with the deputy commissioner; prepare a scheme for effecting the necessary reductions gradually as vacancies occur.

(1)  the main positive ground for reduction of a lambardari in an estate is that the existing number of lamberdar is excessive for the purposes of administrative efficiency, while the existence and degree of this excess will generally appear from the fact that the panchora of the post which it is proposed to reduce is insignificant as a remuneration for the duties to be discharged. It is difficult to lay down a standard figure for the whole province as much must depend on local conditions, but any individual pachotra less than Rs. 20 per annum may as a rule, and in the absence of special circumstances, such as the insignificant. The commissioner should prescribe a suitable general standard for each district in his division and in some cases it may be advisable to fix such standards for particular tahsils. It is not, however, by any means intended that every lambardari of which the pachotra os below the prescribed amount should necessarily be proposed for reduction apart from the other modifying considerations, of which some are noticed below .on the other hand, where the pachotra the amount received in respect of canal occupier’s rates(paragraph 308) should be neglected.

(2)  In determining what appointment should be retained and what abolished special attention should be paid to the composition of the village proprietary body, to the circumstances under which existing appointment became vested in certain families and to the present position and influence of these families. No proposal for reduction can be fully satisfactory unless it takes sufficient account of the origin and history of the lambardari which is proposed for reduction. For instance, it is generally desirable to reduce the lambardari held by the junior branch of a family, rather than that held by the senior, and, in order that  secure this, it may be advisable to forego an otherwise suitable occasion for reduction and defer the latter step until the occurrence of a more appropriate vacancy.

(3)  In estates homogeneous as regards casts and tribes, reductions may properly be made more freely than in those where there is considerable diversity in these respects.

(4)  Reduction  is not generally advisable where its effect will be to place any considerable number of proprietors of one religion, tribe or caste under a lambardar of another patti or sub-division of a different religion etc.

(5)   As a rule, it is better if the conditions permit to reduce the post of second lambardar of one tariff, patti, or other sub-division of an estate, rather than that of the sole lambardar of another taraf, etc.

(6)  The proposals of the settlement officer and the deputy commissioner should be embodied in a register in the form prescribed in paragraph 5 of standing order no. 20 village headmen. They should not be announced to the villages, nor will they be submitted to higher authority for sanction. But, if there is any difference of opinion between the settlement officer and the deputy commissioner, the register, together with any connected papers relating to any lambardari about which there is such disagreement shall be forwarded to the commissioner, who will decide whether such lambardari shall or shall not be retained in the register. The register will then be made over to the deputy commissioner, with whom it will remain.

(7)  Whenever a vacancy occurs in a lambardari which has been recommended for reduction in the register prepared at settlement, the deputy commissioner will, subject  to what is subject to what is said in the next sentence, send up the case to the commissioner, with an extract from the register and other papers required by standing order no. 20 in the case of causal proposals, whether he agrees with the recommendation made in the register or not, but he should not, save in very exceptional cases, send up cases in which the settlement officer’s proposal would result in either the total number of lambardars in the village being reduced to one or in the passing over of an heir in the direct line, especially a minor. In the above contingencies the financial commissioner will not generally sanction a reduction. In other cases if the deputy commissioner thinks that effect should not be given to a reduction proposal in the scheme, in the special circumstances of the vacancy which considers that the occasion is not appropriate for reduction, the case may be disposed of by his order,  but in the cases in which he considers that reduction should be made a reference should be made to the financial commissioner and the procedure prescribed in paragraph 332(3),(4) and (6) below will be applicable to them.

(8)  A similar scheme may, at any time, for sufficient reason, be prepared by the deputy commissioner of a district not under settlement with the financial commissioner’s previous approval.

(9)  To ensure that the recommendations made in a scheme prepared by a settlement officer or deputy commissioner are not over-looked, deputy commissioners of districts in which a register has been prepared should require ahlmad in charge of lambardari cases to note on all files of appointment to a vacant lambardari whether the vacant post has been recommended for reduction or not.

299.     Canalled.

300.Causal proposal for reduction.

(1)  Causal proposals for the reduction in the number of headman in an estate should be made by transmission of the files in original through the vernacular office, together with an English abstract in the tabular form given in paragraph 6 of financial commissioner’s standing order no.20 and a skeleton abstract of the shajra-nasib, showing the origin of each of the pattis or tarafs of the village, the revenue paid and the number of revenue payers in eaxh, and the relationship of the sun division of the village, the lambardaro of which it is proposed to reduce, to the sub-division in which it is propoesed to be absorbed as regards lambardari arrangements.

(2)  the mere absence of a properly qualified hereditary successor to a vacant lambardari, through it may help to render the vacancy a suitable occasion for a reduction desirable on other grounds, is not alone and of itself an adequate ground for reduction. Much should reduction be proposed solely as a penalty for delinquencies measures are available. The principles laid down in paragraph 330 should also be followed in making causal proposals for reduction.

(3)  when a collector decides to propose a causal reduction, he shall intimate that fact to all the parties interested, viz; these whose names are entered in columns 5 and 6 of the form, and shall give them sufficient opportunity to bring to his notice any objection of them may think fit to urge against the proposed reduction. He shall cause his proceedings in this connection to be recorded in the vernacular files in detail, and shall also cause a detailed record to be made of such objections as are made to him. Where the collector is not  himself the deputy commissioner f the district, he shall forward the file to the deputy commissioner, who shall return it with his opinion.

(1)  The collector, after completing his proceedings, shall, in a case of which he considers reduction desirable, forward the papers prescribed above to the commissioners for  orders.
(2)  If the commissioners is of opinion that a reduction is not appropriate, he shall record his order on the papers and return them to the collector.
(3)  In other cases the commissioner shall ordinarily retain the papers on his file till the expiry of two months from the date of the collector’s proposals; and, if any person has objected to the proposals, he shall give the objector or objectors an opportunity of being heard, and shall record the objections urged by them. He shall  then complete the papers by recording an opinion in which he shall deal with the objections made to the proposal, and shall forward the papers to the financial commissioner for orders.

301.  Chief headmen. A device which was formerly adopted in order to lessen the inconvenience caused by the excessive number of lambardars appointed at the first regular settlement was the institution of the office of  chief headmen(ala lambardar) in estates with several headmen. It is generally admitted that the office of chief headmen has served no useful end, and, later a large number of ala lamberdari posts were reduced. In 1909 the gradual abolition of the ala lambardari system in the districts in which it still obtains was orders. In future, vacancies will not be filled, and the ala lambardiari of any man who is dismissed or is granted a zaildari or other inam will be resumed. All existing ala lambardiari will enjoy their present emoluments for life unless they become resembles as above. In addition to this ordinary pachotra on  the revenue of the sub-division which he represents as headmen. The ala lambardar receives one percent, on the revenue of the whole estate (land revenue rule 24) orders to be carried out by a headmen may, if thought desirable, be addressed to the chief headman, and the latter is responsible that any orders issued are properly executed, and should carry them out himself if the headman responsible fails to do so.

302.  Zaildars. As already remarked. Zaildars represent the chaudhris of former times. The existence and value of chaudhris was recognized at the time of the annexation of the Punjab. But the measures taken to maintain the influence of men of this class were not sufficiently definite and practical, and the position of chaudhri fell into decay. The credit of revising it and of belongs mainly to Mr. Prinsep. Almost everywhere in the Punjab, and even shoulders above the ordinary headmen, and whose influence extends not to one, but to a number of villages. If the proper men are found, and the higher officials of the district know them well and use them wisely, the work of administration is greatly assisted. In his zaildars the deputy commissioner has a ready means of getting into touch with his people, of understanding revenue and administrative work in which he can utilixw the services of the zaildars, and, above all, he has in them a powerful engine for the prevention and detection of crime.

303.  Formation of Zails. In the closing paragraphs of the settlement manual the measures connected with the first introduction of the zaildari agency into a district and the principles to be followed in grouping estates into jails are described.

304.  Duties of zaildars. The duties of zaildars are set forth under seven heads on the sanads (see financial commissioner’s standing order no. 21, paragraph 15, and rand revenue rule 9) which they receive on appointment. Their functions with regard to crime are within their larger spheres similar to those of headmen within their villages. They are of very great importance, but this is not the place to describe them. Like lambardars, they are bound  to aid in all sorts of revenue work, and to report when geovernment buildings, roads or boundary marks are out of repair. when called to do so they notify throughput their zails all govt. orders, and use their personal influence to secure prompt compliance with them. While abstaining from personal interference with the work of lambardars and patwaris, it is their duty to see that they perform ir properly, and to inform the authorities of any failure to do so. Forbidden to intermeddle of their own motion with cases pending in the law courts, they can sometimes be employed with advantage as conciliators, or in making preliminary enquiries into criminal complaints, which appeared to be probably the exaggerated reflections of petty village or family quarrels. It is incumbent on zaildars “ to see that the headmen ….. of the zail perform their duties properly (see land revenue rule 9 ii) including of course the duty of paying in land revenue promptly. But a discreet use should be made of the rule, and zaildars ought not to be employed as if they were peons. More especially they should neither be ordered themselves to collect any sums due to govt. nor permitted to take land revenue collected by lambardars to the tahsil.

305.  Duty of attendance on officers visiting their zails. They must attend on govt. officers who pass through their zails, this is a duty which is usually cheerfully performed, and which should always be enforced. A deputy commissioner ‘s should try to see all his zaildars at least once a year in or near their zails, and should encourage them to visit him from time to time at headquarters. If they find that the district officer talks freely to them on matters of local interest, and encourages a frank expression of their views, they are sure to value these opportunities of meeting him.

306.  Percentage of land revenue allotted for remuneration of zaildars an inamaders. For the remuneration of zaildars a sum os set aside out of the land revenue amounting usually to 1 percent. If inamdars, as well as zailsars, are appointed an additional ¼ per cent is allowed. This deduction is made from assigned, as well as from khalsa, revenue. In the case of assigned revenue, the higher contribution that can legally be taken is 1 ½ per cent. But the usual rate s 1 ¼ per cent as noted above, and more than ¼ per cent should not be devoted to the remuneration of inamdars. ( section 28 (2) of act xvii of 1887. Land revenue rules 3 and 11 financial commissioner’s standing order no. 21)

307.  Methods of remuneration. There are two ways of treating the sum devoted to thepayment of zaildars. Each zaildars may receive 1 per cent of the land revenue of his own circle in the form of an inam paid out of the jama of some particular estate, generally that in which he himself is headman. Thus, if the zaildar is assessed at Rs. 24900 the inam will be Rs. 249, and the zaildar will keep back that sum when the revenue of his village os paid to govt. a better paln is to have inams arranged in different grades, the total being equal to 1 per cent, of the land revenue of the tahsil or district. (land revenue rule 12)

308.  Advantages of grade system. The grade system gives the officer who fixes the limits of zails a much free hand. It secures a fairer distribution when zaildars are first appointed for it by no means follows that the zails which yields the biggest revenue is either the largest in area or the most troublesome to manage. Above all it enables the deputy commissioner to recognize good work by promoting deserving men on the occurrence of vacancies and now and then to punish slackness by reducing a zaildar appointed to fill a vacancy should always be put in the lowest grade. Even where the plan of graded inams is in force, the zaildar gets his pay in the shape of an inam out of the revenue of some village. The reason is that to indian minds this seems a more honorable form of payment then the receipt of many from the tahsil treasury.

309.  Inam first charge on revenue of village from which payable. The zaildar’s inam is a first charge in the revenue of the estate from which it is paid. Partial sustentions or remissions therefore do not affect the zaildar so long as the balance is large enough to cover his inam. If it is not, the deficiency should be made up to the zaildar from the revenue of some other village. ( Punjab govt. no. 222 dated 11th November 1903-revenue proceeding no. 6 of November 1903)

310.  Zaildar must as a rule be headman. In choosing a zaildar, the field of selection is usually confined to the headmen. Occasionally, the most able and influential man in a zail may be a landowner or government tenant, perhaps a jagirdar or pensioned Indian officer, who is not lambardar. On a vacancy occurring, such a man may be appointed if the commissioner of the division has previously accepted him as a suitable candidate(land revenue rule 4) care must be taken in putting forward names that a pushing newcomer is not taken at his own valuation, and allowed to thrust aside deserving men of  the old chaudhri class.

311.  Qualification of candidates. It is true that it is a settloed rule that “ in  the appointment of zaildar regard shall not be had to any alleged hereditary claim” but, as two of the chief matters to considered are “ the candidate’s personal influence and the degree in which he is by race or otherwise fitted to represent the majority of the agriculturists who resale in the zail” and the “ services rendered to the state by himself or by his family,” it is obvious that questions of descent cannot be wholly excluded, influence is very commonly hereditary in certain families, and a man who has done nothing to forfeit the respect in which his ancestors have been held in the countryside may assuredily be allowed to urge in his own behalf the services they have rendered in the past as chaudhris and zaildars. The other points for consideration are-

(a)  personal character and ability.
(b)  Extent of property in the zail, and freedom from debt.( land revenue rule 5)

312.  Appointment of minor. It sometimes happens that the only suitable candidate is a minor. It may be found, especially in the hills, that to take the zaildar from any family but one involves a breaking up of old ties and a weakening of the means government has of influencing the people. In such a case, if the representative of the family is a minor, one of two course may be followed. The minor may be made zaildar, and a substitute nay be appointed to discharge during his nonage the duties of the office, or, if it is through expedient, the post may be left unfilled for a time.(land revenue rule 7)

313.  Votes of headmen may be taken. To assist him in deciding between rival candidates, the deputy commissioner nay, if he thinks fit, have the votes of  the headmen taken in his own presence at some place within the zail (financial commissioner’s standing order no. 21,paragraph 3.) this course, through not suited for general application, may be usually and appropriately adopted where there are two or more candidates of nearly equal marit. It may also be followed in other cases of a special nature the circumstances of which appear to demand it. Such cases will probably increase in number with the lapse of time. Care, however should be taken that the special procedure for taking votes is not so used as  to encourage the idea that the post of  zaildar is one dependent merely on popular fervor, and did not rather a distinction received from the representative of government, and in this connection it should be noted that the deputy commissioner is not bound to appoint the candidate who secures most votes.

314.  Inamadars. In many districts ir has been throught expendient to supplement the zaildari agency by setting up a class of inamdars or safedposhes. The servies required of an inamdar are within his own sphere of the same type as typse remdered by a  zaildar, but he receives a much smaller inam. And has no defined group of estates put under his charge. He should clearly understand  that       he is bound to assist in every possible way the  zaildar in whose zail he resides. Occasionally services of a special kind are required by the condition on which the inam was originally granted. the  or ders regarding appointment  loss of office and succession are the same for inamdars and zaildars subject in the case of the former to any special conditions imposed by  government  when the inam was first granted. in jhelum district and in the talagang  tahsil of attack district which tahsll was formerly a part of old jhelum district, special rules exist which will be found in the land revenue rules. Some of the inams are of a seemi-hereditary nature. Such inamdars, who sometimes are called ilaqadars of halkdarsw parform all the duties of zaildars”.

315.  Punishment and dismissal of zaildars and inamdars and appointment of subsstitutes. The order regulating the punishment and dismissal of zaildars and inamdars,and the appointment  of substitutes to perform their duties, are practically identical with the corresponding orders in the case of headmen. A zaildar must be deprived of office when-

(a)  he ceases to be a landowner  in the zail, or has mortgaged his holding and deliver  possession to the mortgagee;
(b)  His holding has been  transferred, or its asseessment annulled, on account of failure to pay land revenue;
(c)  He is sentenced to imprisonment for one year or upwards.3

316.  Zail books. Wherever the zaildari agency exists, zail books `wherever the zaildari agency exists,zail books should be  maintained. One volume should ordinarily be kept for each tahsil, and should contain in a pocket a map of the tahsil showing the zails concerned. The book should be of foolscap size, and a map of each zail  should be bound into the objet in the proper place , together with statistical tables showing the information  prescribed in the Financial Commissioner’ s Standing Order No. 21. Whenever a new zaildar is appointed, an abstract of the order passed by the candidates, and the reasons why the collector  has selected or reheated them. The results of appeals should similarly be shown.

Zail  books should be treated as strictly confidential and kept in the personal custody of the collector. copies of entries in the book should on  account  but given other to the persons concerned or to anyone else. It will thus be possible for the collector to record remarks in these books, expressing frankiy his own opinion about the zaildar and various matters connected with the zail. These remarks will be of the greatest use to his successors. Ordinarily, the collector should arrange to record a note once a year about each zaildar and inamdar so that the record may be kept up to date.

Are confidential official records although  they  are allowed to remain  in the custody of zaildars in order that all authorized officers may be able to record notes in them. They are bit tge orioerty  of the persons to whom they are given, and shoulsd be surrendered when thosee persons cease to hold the appointment for which the books has been granted to them. The book should contain a map of the zail and the statistical information required by financial commissioner’s Standing Order No.21. where an inamdar has beeb made spcially responsible for a portion of the zail, this should be noted in his book. An abstractt of the order of appointment of the zaildar of inamdar should be copied in to the book. The collector should insist on seeing all such books at least once a year, and should make a point of recording an entry at elast once a year in each book and should make a point of recording an entry   at elasst once a year in each book and of seeing that the Superintendent of police has had a similar oportunity of recording his remarks. No entry should be made in the book by an officer below the rank of an Excise officers, Deputy superintendents of police, assistant registrars of Co-operative societies and Deputy Directors of Agriculture, and, in hhorse-breeding circles, district remount officers should be encouragedbciyraged to make entries in these books. Divisional and District inspectors of schools may also wrte their remarks when a zaildar presents his book for the purpose. They are not, however, empowered to call for these books or to insisst on the  attendance  of zaildars. A zaildar should do all that he can to co-operative witgh Educational inspectors in the development of schools. Divisional inspectors of panchayata may also record remards in these books’.

Since the book is not  the property of the zaildar of inamdar it should be  clearly explained to him that he should not paste nito it any sanads or certificates. He should by warned not to have copies  made of remarks recorded  in the book  without the express permission of the Deputy commisseoner. He should also be strcty forbidden  from showing the book ti  any person  other hen an officer authorized to record his opinion  in it.

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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