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Village Headman

Original issue, dated 27th June, 1909.

1st Reprint, dated 25th August, 1921.

2nd Reprint, dated 13th December, 1945.

3rd Reprint, dated 13th October, 1951.

4th Reprint, dated 12th March, 1966.

Revised on January 9, 1981.

“In addition to the Land Revenue Rules (14-30) on the subject, paragraphs 305-333 of the Land Administration Manual, so far as these are in consonance with the said Rules, should be consulted”.

1.  Where the office of the headman becomes vacant, it is the duty of the Tehsildar 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 Tehsildar.  The file of the case shall be open to inspection except in respect to police reports which shall be kept strictly confidential but no copy of any document on it, except the tabular form and the Collector’s final orders, shall be granted.  

A vernacular sanad in the following form should be presented to a Lambardar on his appointment.



                                                            or removal,

            Whereas upon the                     or retirement,                    of

                                                            or dismissal

________________________, son of _____________________ Lambardar of village________________________,you _______________________________,son of  ___________________________, have been appointed Lambardar of the aforesaid village in succession to the aforesaid ___________________:

            Now this sanad of appointment is presented to you ________________________son of ___________________ in the name of Government by the Collector (or Assistant Collector, 1st Grade) that you may keep it for future use and reference as occasion may require.

Beneath is given a short list of the duties and responsibilities which, as Lambardar you are hereby required to discharge.

In addition to the duties imposed upon village headman by law for the preservation of the peace, the report, prevention and detection of crime, and the surrender of offenders, and any other purpose, a village headman shall –

(Here follows in the sanad a complete list of the duties as given in the Land Revenue Rule 20).

2.  Minor Lambardars - Deleted.

3.  Temporary absence of Lambardars - The practice of requiring Lambardars to apply for, and obtain, the permission of the Deputy Commissioner, or Tehsildar before absenting themselves from their villages is wholly unwarranted and must be discontinued wherever heretofore adopted.

4.  Rules relating to village postmen -  The following rules relate to the supervision of village postmen by the headmen of the different villages in their circles, where there are no post offices.  The rules should be widely published among village headmen with such instructions to ensure their being understood as may be considered necessary.  Letter boxes are established in the more remote villages, and postmen are required to visit them most punctually :--

  1. The letter boxes will, as a rule, be placed in the charge of village headmen, that is to say, the boxes will be secured in front of their houses in a position accessible to all.  The village headmen will not, however, be required to open them, or dispose of their contents.  This will be done by the village postmen, who will have the custody of the keys of the letter boxes.
  2. Village headmen will take care that the village postmen are punctual and regular in their visits to villages, and that the letter boxes are cleared on the days of the week notified thereon, and report if this is not done to the Inspector of Post Offices, or to the Sub-Post Master of the office to which the village postmen in fault may be attached, by letter, or by noting briefly in the visit book the nature of the irregularity complained of.  The postmen will be supplied with visit books for this purpose, in which each village headman will sign his name and note the date and the day of week of visit in the appropriate column so far as possible.  Should any irregularities be noticed, such as the non-attendance of village postman on the prescribed date, his failure to present his visit book, or the like, the headman should at once bring the same to the notice of the officers mentioned above.  Communications to postal authorities on postal matters may be sent post-free with the words, “Postal Service” superscribed on the cover, and the signature of the village headman appended in the lower left hand corner.

5.  Preparation of a general scheme for the reduction of Lambardars. The orders regarding the preparation of general schemes for the reduction of headmen’s posts, where these are too numerous are contained in paragraph 330 of the Land Administration Manual.  The Settlement Officer’s proposals should be embodied in register in the following form :-

1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Name of Tehsil Name of village Name of the various pattis or tarafs Name of each existing headman, with his tribe or caste, amount of land owned and revenue paid thereon Amount for the collection of which he is responsible Proposals of Settlement Officer and the Deputy Commissioner with reasons therefore
        Revenue Occupier’s rate  


6.  Casual proposals for the reduction of Lambardars - Instructions for the making of proposals for the casual reductions of headmen’s posts will be found in paragraph 332 of the Land Administration Manual.  The form to be used is given below:-

Form for reporting proposals for reduction in the number of Headmen -District


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Name of Tehsil No. of village Name of village Name with caste or tribe of lambardar whose demise or vacation of office occasions the proposal Name with caste or tribe of claimants of the vacant post Debts of claimants Landed property held by claimants Names of the various pattis or tarafs of the village numbered consecutively
            Mortgaged Unmortgaged  


10 11 12 13 14 15
Name of each Lambardar in the village to be shown opposite the name of the pattis or taraf (column 9) in their charge Revenue of each patti or taraf, and total revenue of the village Average occupier’s rate of each patti or taraf, and total for the village Prevailing caste or tribe of the proprietors in each patti or taraf Remarks by investigating Officer, explaining the grounds on which reduction is proposed Opinion of Commissioner

NOTE:-  Where the Collector is not himself the Deputy Commissioner of the district, the opinion of the Deputy Commissioner as well as that of the Collector shall be recorded in Column 14.

7.  Embezzlement of land revenue - The following instructions in regard to the case of a Lambardar who (a) embezzles land revenue paid to him by the other land-owners of the estate, and (b) fails to pay the land revenue due on his own holding have been issued:

(1)  As regards (b) the land of the lambardar may be sold under section 75, Land Revenue Act, if it is considered advisable to apply that section, but probably it will usually be best to deal with the whole case under       section 77.

(2)  Section 77 may be applied in relation to (a) because, under a ruling of the Financial Commissioner, it has been held that in section 3(7) of the Act, “unpaid” means not paid to Govt.  The sums embezzled are therefore arrears of land revenue and the guilty Lambardar is a “defaulter”    [Section 3(8)] in respect of them.

(3)  Enough of the defaulter’s land may be sold to cover the land revenue due under both heads (a) and (b) above, and also other embezzled items (if any), such as chaukidar’s pay, etc.

8.  Deleted.

9.  To enable Tehsildars to maintain a check on the payment of the pay of the Chaukidars by the Tehsil Offices (Rule 41 under section 39, Act IV of 1872) a register of Chaukidar’s pay receipts and disbursements shall be kept up by the Wasil Baki Nawis in the following form :--

Register of Chaukidar’s pay ___________________ Tehsil/ District


Serial No Village Name of Chaukidar and pay Date of appointment Date of termination of service Name of the Lambardar by whom deposited Amount received Revenue deposit No. date of the money order, if sent by post Signature of the Chaukidar, if paid personally or No. and date Officer Initials of the attesting
    Name Pay due              
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
    Kharif Rabi              

The Lambardar at the time of paying in the Government revenue each harvest shall deposit Chaukidara Collections in the Bank through the Treasury under the head “Revenue Deposits” and the village Chaukidar(s) shall get the payment(s) of his (their) dues from the Tehsil through Money Order(s).  The Money Order fee will be paid by the Government.  If such chaukidara collections are not so deposited by the Lambardar, the Tehsildar shall, subject to the orders of the Deputy Commissioner, take measures to collect the amount due as an arrear of Land Revenue and pay to the Chaukidar.

In the case of villages where there are two or more Lambardars or where there are more than one village in the chaukidar’s beat, the Tehsildar shall decide as to the responsibility of depositing these dues.

10.  Rule 16(i)(d) of the Land Revenue Rules requires the Collector to dismiss a Lambardar who has mortgaged his holding and has delivered possession to the mortgagee, but in special cases he may, with the Commissioner’s sanction, retain him in his office under such circumstances, if he can furnish adequate security for the payment of the revenue he has to collect and for the due discharge of his duties.  When such security has been given, Commissioners can properly make use of the discretion given them by the rule to permit the retention of a Lambardar who has mortgaged his land to a co-operative bank.  If it is considered necessary to give this permission, the Collector should be instructed to give notice to the co-operative banks concerned that in the case of default, section 76(2)(c) of the Land Revenue Act will not be applied till the arrears have been liquidated.


12.  It is important that unnecessary delays should not be allowed to occur in filling vacancies.  In this connection paragraph 323-A of the Land Administration Manual, in so far as it is consistent with the Land Revenue Rules, should be consulted.  All cases should reach the Collector complete and ready for decision within two months of the date of the occurrence of the vacancy.

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 Rule 17(I) applies, a period of three months should be allowed within which papers should be placed before the Collector for his decision


Hon'ble Revenue Minister


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

Sh.  K A P Sinha, IAS

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