To facilitate reference when a question arises whether a revenue-free tenure has been released or resumed by competent authority, the powers of different authorities in the past to sanction and resume assignments are quoted below:-
1. What sanction necessary for disposal of cases - In March, 1853, the Governor General in Council laid down the following rules for future guidance in the disposal of revenue-free tenures in the Punjab:-
I. Henceforth no cases where lands are resumed need be reported to Government, whether donations in money are given or not, or whatever be the amount of the resumption.
II. Grants of land to village servants may be made by the Settlement Officer under the authority of the Financial and Chief Commissioners.
III. The Financial Commissioner shall have authority finally to dispose of all grants of land under ten acres, which he may be of opinion should be released during the lives of the occupants, or the term of settlement.
IV. The Chief Commissioner of the Punjab shall have a similar authority, with a limits of 50 acres, for the lives of the occupants, or the term of settlement.
V. All other cases where it is proposed to release lands above 50 acres in extent to the occupants for their lives, or to release land of any amount to the second generation or in perpetuity, or beyond the term of settlement, or where it is proposed to release land forming a whole village, or the fractional part of a village, for any period of time, must be reported to Government.
Note :- The rules of 1853 applied to a time when investigation was first being made after annexation into revenue-free tenures in the Punjab, and ceased to operate when the circumstances to which they specially applied ceased to exist. With reference to rule III, the Government of India has allowed the local Government to delegate to the Financial Commissioner the power to continue or resume at a revision of settlement all grants of 10 acres or under, made for the term of settlement in favour of religious institutions or rest- houses or village servants, subject to the condition that the period of release of any renewed grant shall not exceed the term of the revised settlement,’’ (Government of India, Revenue and Agriculture Department, no.350, dated the 27th June, 1881.)
Government also delegated to Commissioner authority to sanction resumption of revenue-free grants made for the purpose of encouraging tree-plating in cases in which the condition of such grants are not fulfilled by the grantees. At the same time, the Financial Commissioner was given authority to sanction the resumption, on non- fulfillment of the conductions, of grants of revenue free assignments to institution or to individuals for the maintenance in cases in which the area of such assignment does not exceed 25 acres. (Punjab Government no.68, dated the 12th June,1889).
Extension of power of local Government. Rules IV and V in paragraph 3 were modified on the creation of the Punjab into a Lieutenant-Governorship on the 1st January, 1859, when it was decided by the Government of India that the powers reserved by the rules of 1853 in the disposal of revenue-free tenures should be exercised in full by the Lieutenant- Governor.
3. Powers of Commissioners before 1853. Before the rules of 1853 were issued the Board of Administration, while stating that they had made arrangements for the investigation of or service jagir tenures in their own office, and would have them duly reported to Government, had ordered that, after they have disposed of all such tenures on record, any which might have escaped notice should be reported on by the district or Settlement Officers. In regard to other revenue- free tenures, they directed that no resumption should be carried out without the Commissioner’s sanction, and that his orders, whether for resumption or release except where the release was to be in perpetuity, should be final unless appealed against. When release in perpetuity was proposed, the case was to be reported for their orders.
4. Power of Settlement Officers before 1853. In Settlement Officers of the Lahore and Cis- Sutlej division were afterwards authorized by the board to dispose finally of cases under 10 ghumaos.
5. Orders of 1853 without retrospective effect. In circulating the rules made in 1853, the Financial Commissioner pointed out that they were intended to have prospective effect only, and that it was, therefore unnecessary to report cases in which orders had been passed by Commissioner or Settlement Officer under the above authority. But Commissioners were directed to report to him all cases in which orders had not already been passed unless they determined to resume. They were also required, in cases where they proposed to resume an entire village, or a specific fractional share of a village as one- half, one-third or one-fourth, to submit a report in English, with the record of the enquiry
6. Power to resume not withdrawn from Settlement Officer who had been authorized to dispose of cases :- The Settlement Officer whom the boards had authorized to dispose if cases under 10 ghumaos retained the power to direct resumption in such cases without report to the Commissioner.
Rules issued by the Government of India form time to time regulating the assignment of land revenue
I. Government of India no.2594-55, dated 21st November, 1892, and no. 1392-120, dated 23rd May, 1894 - (a) No new assignments of revenue, other than inams granted under chapter III of the Land Revenue Act, 1887, shall be made without the previous sanction of the Government of India.
(b) Provided that the local Government shall have authority, subject to the confirmation of the Government of India, to sanction the grant at settlement, of fresh muafis not exceeding Rs. 100 per annum in value each, for life for the term of settlement. The confirmation of such grants shall be obtained on a tabular statements in the form contained in the schedule, and this statement shall be submitted at the conclusion of settlement operations, and show clearly, the number and value of all new muafis of this description granted during the progress of the settlement.
II. Government of India no.24/405-2, dated 6th January, 1897. Subject to the following exceptions, no grant of which the conditions have been defined by any general or special order of the Government of India , or by an order of the local Government , acting under general powers conferred by the Government of India, may be continued on lapse at the end of the term specified in the order , or otherwise modified in favour of the grantee , without the previous sanction of the Government of India .
Exception (i) __ Grants for village service or for a religious, charitable or other analogous institution which , under orders passed prior to these rules by the Government of India , or by the local Government in accordance with general powers conferred by the Government of India , are resumable on the expiry of a life or lives , or the same other period specified in the order , may, on lapse, be continued by the local Government without reference to the Government of India for such period as the service is rendered or the institution kept up and the assignee is well behaved .
Exception ( ii ) - other grants which, under orders passed by the Government of India prior to the issue of these rules, or by the Local Government in accordance with General powers conferred by the Government of India, are resumable on the expiry of a life or lives, or of some other period specified in the order , may be renewed by the local Government without reference to the Government of India for a single life, provided that the previous sanction of the Government of India will be necessary in any case referred to in this exception when the amount of the grant to be continued ------
(a) exceeds one–half of the sum enjoyed by the last grantee, and is more than Rs . 50 per annum ; or
(b) does not exceed one half of the sum enjoyed by the last grantee, and is more than Rs. 1,000 per annum.
III. Government of India no 2939-120, dated 10th October, 1894 - If, before the expiry of the term for which an assignment not exceeding Rs. 20 in annual value has been released it is discovered that the sanction for release was give more than 10 years before by an officer not empowered to given such sanction, the local Government may sanction its lease for the life of the existing holder or for the term of settlement.
IV. Government of India no. 2939- 120 dated 10th October 1894. In the case of grants village service, or for a religious charitable or other analogous institution of an annual value not exceeding Rs. 20 which have been enjoyed for more than 10 years, the local Government may, without reference to the Government of India, sanction renewal for a single life or for the term of settlement, not with standing the fact that the original order for release, or an intermediate order for continuance, was, or both such orders were in valid.
V. Government of India no. 8-29-3, dated 29th May 1906. The local Government may without the previous sanction of the Government of India, in recognition of special service rendered to the police or to the criminal administration by a private person, inclusive of a village headman or watchman, make a gift to that person, or to his heir or widow, of State land of a value not exceeding Rs. 500, or may grant him, or his heir or window, an assignment of land revenue not exceeding Rs.15 a year for one life, or for a term of twenty-five years whichever period may be the longer. The grant may be made partly in the form of a gift of land, and partly in the form of an assignment, either of the land revenue of that land or of other land; but the total estimated value of the grant should not exceed Rs.500. The grant shall be made on the condition that it will not be alienated without the sanction of the Collector, and when it is in the form of an assignment of land revenue, it shall be subject to the condition of loyalty and good conduct.
VI. Government of India no. 2939-120, dated 10th October, 1894. All cases falling under rules III and IV which are disposed of at a land revenue settlement shall be reported for confirmation to the Government of India in the statement required by rule 1 (b).
VII. Government of India no. 925-285-2, dated 14th August, 1909. The state Government is empowered to remit the land revenue on wells in the Thal tract of the Mianwali district where the owner plant and maintain groves of not less than 100 trees, provided that not more than 2 percent, of the cultivable area of the village is so exempted.