The Bengal Ghatwali Lands Regulation, 1814
Bengal Regulation 29 of 1814
[Dated 3rd December, 1814]
A Regulation for the settlement of certain mahals in the district of Birbhum, usually denominated the Ghatwali mahals.
1. Whereas the lands held by the class of persons denominated ghatwals, in the district of Birbhum, form a peculiar tenure to which the provisions of the existing Regulations are not expressly applicable;
And Whereas every ground exists to believe that, according to the former usages and constitution of the country, this class of persons are entitled to hold their lands, generation after generation, in perpetuity, subject nevertheless to the payment of a fixed and established rent to the zamindar of Birbhum and to the performance of certain duties for the maintenance of the public peace and support of the police;
And Whereas the rents payable by those tenants have been recently adjusted, after a full and minute inquiry made by the proper officers in the Revenue Department;
And Whereas it is essential to give stability to the arrangements now established among the ghatwals, the following Rules have been adopted, to be in force from the period of their promulgation in the district of Birbhum.
2. Ghatwals in Birbhum, and their descendants in perpetuity to be maintained in possession of lands, and not liable to enhancement of rent. - A settlement having lately been made on the part of the Government with the ghatwals in the district of Birbhum, it is hereby declared that they and their descendants in perpetuity shall be maintained in possession of the lands so long as they shall respectively pay the revenue at present assessed upon them, and that they shall not be liable to any enhancement of rent so long as they shall punctually discharge the same and fulfil the other obligations of their tenure.
3. Ghatwali lands to form part of Zamindari of Birbhum. Rents how paid. - The ghatwali lands shall be considered, as at present, to form a part of the zamindari of Birbhum; but the rents of ghatwals shall be paid direct to the Assistant Collector stationed at Suri, or to such other public Officer as the [Board of Revenue] [* * *] may direct to receive the rents.
4. Amount payable to zamindar of Birbhum. - The difference between the amount of the revenue assessed on the ghatwals and the fixed assessment of revenue in this portion of the zamindari of Birbhum payable to Government shall be paid to the zamindar of Birbhum and his heirs and successors, in perpetuity.
5. Disposal of tenure of ghatwals failing to discharge rents. - Should any of the ghatwals at any time fail to discharge their stipulated rents, it shall be competent for the [State] Government to cause the ghatwali tenure of such defaulter to be sold by public sale in satisfaction of the arrears due from him, in like manner, and under the same Rules, as lands held immediately of Government, or to make over the tenure of such defaulter to any person whom the [State] Government may approve on the condition of making good the arrear due; or
To transfer it by grants assessed with the same revenue, or with an increased or reduced assessment, as to the Government may appear meet; or
[to dispose of it in such other form and manner as shall be judged by the [State] Government proper.]
Should any increase of revenue be obtained from the operation of any arrangements of the nature above described, such increase shall be paid in conformity to the tenor of the preceding article to the zamindar of Birbhum, his heirs and successors.