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Punjab Government nos.197, dated 10th December, 1884, and 87, dated 4th July, 1889. Government of India, foreign Department no.1992-G, dated 16th October, 1884. Punjab Government no.5, dated 8th January, 1914

Punjab Government nos.197, dated 10th December,1884, and 87, dated 4th July, 1889. Government of India, foreign Department no.1992-G, dated 16th October, 1884. Punjab Government no.5, dated 8th January, 1914 - The rules for the disposal by the Collector of all cases of lapsing Bedi and Sodhi assignments and pensions are contained in paragraphs 188-190 of the Land Administration Manual which are reproduced below for facility of reference: -

“188.   Bedi and Sodhi grants - One of the rules prescribed by Lord Hardinge and Lord Dalhousie provided for the re-consideration on the death of the holders of assignments conferred for service of any kind to be rendered to Sikh Rulers, including grants to Bedis and Sodhis, which were originally confirmed only for the lives of the incumbents.  This instruction was reproduced in the rules under the first Punjab Land Revenue Act, XXXIII of 1871.  Definite directions have since been given for the resumption of Bedi and Sodhi revenue-free grants on the deaths of existing holders and the grant of cash pensions to their male descendants, widows, and daughters.  These directions make the following rules, which were originally drawn up for the case of deceased Bedi and Sodhi pensioners, applicable also to the case of deceased holders of revenue-free grants who are members of those two clans. 

In applying the rules in the first instance on the decease of such free-grant holders, the words “ pensioner” and “ pension” are to be treated, where necessary, as including the deceased holder of a revenue – free grant and the amount of that grant, respectively . Except as so applied to such deceased or to his grant, the words must be interpreted in their strictly literal sense. Thus the heirs of a deceased revenue free grant holders are pensioner in the strict sense* of the words and their heirs after them . The pensions go on diminishing generation by generation till they lapse by commutation or by death or by marriage.

 The directions also lay down that Collectors can dispose of these cases in accordance with the rules without reference to higher authorities : -

(1)  On the death of any male pensioner, one – half of his pension will be continued to his direct male heirs , and divided among them according to the ordinary custom of inheritance ; provided that all pensions of not more than Rs . 50 per annum claimable under this rule shall be compulsorily commuted at the ordinary rates.

(2)  On the death of any male pensioner, one – half of his pension will be continued to his widow (if any) or (if there are several widows) divided among his widows in equal shares ; provided that , if the deceased pensioner leaves motherless and unmarried daughter or daughters, the share of his pension to be allotted to his widows or widow shall be calculated as if the mother or mothers of such daughter or daughters were alive .

(3)  On the death of any male pensioner , other than the head of the house for the time being , leaving motherless and unmarried daughters , the said daughters of each mother shall receive in equal shares one – half of the pension to which their mother would  have been entitled under rule 2 , in case she had survived her husband.

(4)  On the death of any widow in receipt of a pension under rule 2 , one – half of such pension shall be continued to her unmarried daughters ( if any ) upon equal shares.

(5)  Pensions to widows under rule 2 are life pensions.  Pensions of daughters under rule 3 or rule 4 cease upon death or marriage of the pensioners; but when they cease for the latter reason the pensioners are eligible for dowries under the ordinary rules.

(6)  All pensions are held during the pleasure of Government and subject to the usual conditions of good behaviour, loyalty and service. Government may refuse to grant any pension claimable under these rules, if any claimant appears to be an unfit recipient of Government bounty.”

189.  Pensions of Anandpur Sodhis - These rules are applicable to the pensions of the well – known Sodhi family of Anandpur, in Hoshiarpur , for which indeed they were originally framed. But the head of that family for the time being is in each generation entitled to receive a cash pension of Rs. 2,400 a year . Hence in applying the rules to the Anandpur Sodhis they must be read with certain additions, other “ being inserted before”  “male pensioners”  in rule 1 and “ other than the head of the house for the time being” after “ male pensioner”  in rule 2 .

190.  Powers of Collectors with reference to Bedi and Sodhi grants.  Collectors will accordingly be able to dispose on their own authority of all cases of lapsing Bedi and Sodhi pensions and jagirs and muafis , only reporting for orders of higher authority cases in which they consider that pensions should be refused or that more liberal pensions should be allowed , or in which for special reasons they think that a lapsing grant in the form of a jagir or muafi should be continued in that form . Cases in which more liberal pensions than the rules allow can properly be recommended will be extremely rare. But it is probable that some cases will occur in which it may be advisable to propose continuance , in its original form of a lapsing life tenure Sodhi or Bedi jagir and or muafi grant . Such a proposal should not , however , be made unless the release of the grant can be recommended for some term other than life , such as during the pleasure of Government , in the case of  a very ancient grant held by a family of some distinction , or during maintenance of a religious or charitable building or institution , or of roadside garden where such building or garden is found to exist in connection with the grant and to be worthy of support .

The following instructions which have, where necessary, received the sanction of the Punjab Government, are given for general guidance in connection with the practical application of the rules above : -

I.  When the total pension allowed is to be enjoyed by two or more male heirs whose shares would be not more than Rs. 50 per annum each, the share of each must be commuted the calculation being made separately in each case.

II  When a pension is, under standing orders , to be commuted , disbursement should not be made until the calculations has been verified by the Accountant – General’s office . This done , payment should be made without reference to the Commissioner or Financial Commissioner . Application for such verification should be made by Deputy Commissioners direct to the Accountant – General.

III  Where a pension is admissible under standing orders, the pension payment order will be issued by the Accountant – General on the application of the Deputy Commissioner, who should invariably furnish the necessary particulars for drawing up these documents.

IV  Where the lapsed assignment was attached to land under fluctuating assessment, the revenue of the assignment for the purpose of calculating a pension or pensions shall be deemed to be the average annual yield of the assignment for the five years immediately preceding the death of the deceased assignee.

V  Punjab Government, Finance Department letter no. 32595- F-G. , dated 23rd November, 1934.  When, under standing orders, the pension to be granted to the heir of a deceased Bedi or Sodhi should be commuted, and the heir is less than 21 years of age, such pension should be paid at the appropriate rate until the heir attains the age of 21,and should thereafter be commuted in accordance with the scale laid down in the tables appearing as annexure 2 to the Civil Pension (Commutation) Rules.


Hon'ble Revenue Minister


Special Chief Secretary, Department of Revenue, Rehabilitation and Disaster Management

Sh.  K A P Sinha, IAS

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