The Bengal Patwaris Regulation, 1817
Bengal Regulation 12 of 1817
[12th August, 1817.]
A Regulation for securing the better administration of the office of Patwaris [* * * *]
1. Preamble. - The existing Regulations regarding patwaris have been found to be in many respects defective, and great difficulties and delays have consequently been experienced in the division of estates, the adjustment of the revenue to be assessed on their respective shares, the investigation of summary and other suits for rents, the decision of disputes relating to the limits of estates and villages, and the execution of decrees of the Courts of Judicature, in regard to the possession and property of land :
the reform of the office appears therefore to be an object of the highest importance [* * * * *].
The following rules have therefore been enacted [* * * *].
2. Repeal of enactments relating to appointment of patwaris. - Repealed by Act 16 of 1874.
3. Every village to have separate patwari. - Every village paying, or liable to pay, the public revenue shall have a separate patwari, except in cases where the Board of Revenue or other authority exercising the power of that Board shall, in consideration of former usage or other sufficient cause, authorise one patwari to do the duty of two or more villages, or direct, two or more patwaris to be established in a single village.
4. to 6. Every village to have a separate patwari; continuation of patwaris now in office; procedure in nominating patwaris. - Repealed by Act 16 of 1874.
7. Vacancies how filled up. - Whenever a vacancy may occur in the office of patwari, such vacancy shall be filled on the nomination of the zamindar or other landholder or farmer, engaging with [the Government] for the public revenue, who is hereby enjoined to report such nomination to the Collector of the district within one month after the vacancy has taken place:
Provided, however, that in such nomination the zamindar or other landholder or farmer shall be generally guided by the custom which may heretofore have prevailed in the village in respect to the succession of patwaris, and shall not deviate therefrom without previously obtaining the sanction of the Collector, and it shall be the duty of the Collectors carefully to see that this rule is observed, and particularly that the just rights of the inferior pattidars, or sharers in joint undivided estates, and of dependent talukdars, or other under-tenants of the lands, as connected with the appointment of patwaris, are duly maintained.
8. Procedure of Collector on receiving nomination of patwari. - On receiving the report of the nomination of a patwari, as directed to be made in the foregoing section, the Collector is to insert the name of the party in the register of patwaris for his district) unless he shall see good and sufficient ground to object to the person so nominated as disqualified for the office, in which case he is immediately to submit his objections to the Board of Revenue, [* * * * * *] and the Board [* * * * * *] will decide whether the zamindar or farmer shall be called upon to nominate another person, or pass such other order on the question as may appear just and right.
9. Rules regarding patwaris in joint and undivided estates. - The proprietors of joint and undivided estates engaging jointly for the public revenue shall be considered jointly and severally bound [* * * * * *] to nominate a patwari in the mode prescribed in [* * * * * *] this Regulation, or to show sufficient cause for their failing to do so.
10. Rules as to patwaris in khas estates. - In estates held khas, and in estates under the superintendence of the Court of Wards, the patwari shall be appointed by the Collector.
11. Penalty in cases of refusal or omission to comply with rules. - Should any zamindar or other proprietor or farmer refuse or omit [* * * * * *] to nominate a patwari in the cases provided for in [* * * * *] this Regulation within the time prescribed [* * * * *] and shall fail to show good cause for such neglect or failure, it shall be competent to the Collector, with the approval of the Board of Revenue, [* * * * *] to levy a daily fine upon him until a patwari is nominated, or, with such approval, himself to nominate a qualified person for the office.
12. Procedure of zamindars wishing to remove patwari. - Whenever a zamindar or farmer engaging with [the Government] for the public revenue may wish to remove a patwari from office, he is to state his reasons for so doing to the Collector of the district, who, if they appear good and sufficient, will authorize the removal of the patwari, but not otherwise.
13. Penalties for removing patwari without authority. - Any zamindar or other landholder or farmer of land removing a patwari from office without the authority of the Collector obtained in the mode prescribed in the preceding section shall be punished by a fine not exceeding fifty rupees for the first offence and one hundred rupees for the second offence;
and if it should appear, on investigation by the Collector, that the removal was unjust and without sufficient cause, the said zamindar or other landholder or farmer of land shall be further subject to a daily fine, with the approbation of the Board of Revenue [* * * * *] but not otherwise, until the patwari be restored.
14. Patwaris removable on representation of under-tenants. - Whenever the inferior pattidars, or sharers, or the raiyats, or under-tenants of a village may petition the Collector for the removal of the patwari, the Collector shall direct such removal, and shall call upon the zamindar or other landholder or farmer of land engaging with [the Government] for the public revenue to appoint another patwari:
Provided that the reasons adduced for praying such removal appear to the Collector good and sufficient, but not otherwise.
15. Procedure of Collector desiring to remove patwaris. - Whenever a Collector shall see ground to desire the removal of a patwari for neglect of duty or other sufficient cause, he is to state his reasons to the Board of Revenue, [* * * * *] [* * * * *] who will authorize the removal or not, as may seem proper.
16. Duties of patwaris. - The duties of the patwari shall be -
First. - To keep such registers and accounts relating to the village or villages to which he is appointed, in such manner and form as has heretofore been the custom, or in such other mode as may be hereafter prescribed by the Board of Revenue, [* * * * *] together with such further registers and accounts as may be directed by those authorities respectively.
Second. - To prepare and deliver to the kanungo of the pargana, at the expiration of every six months, a complete copy of the aforesaid accounts showing distinctly the produce of the kharif and rabi harvests.
Third. - To perform all other duties and services which it has been customary for him to execute.
17. Transmitting and recording patwaris accounts. - The Board of Revenue [* * * * *] will determine on the mode in which the accounts rendered by the patwari to the kanungo shall be brought forward by the latter, and recorded in the office of the Collectors.
18. Payment of patwaris, and adjustment of their allowances in certain cases. - The patwari is to be paid hereafter in the same mode as he is now paid, whether in money, or in grain, or in land, or in any other legal manner whatsoever; but it shall be the duty of the several Collectors to complete an account of the mode in which such payment is made in the different parganas or other local divisions of their districts, and to submit the result of their researches to the Board of Revenue or other authority exercising the powers of that Board ; and it shall be competent to the Board of Revenue or other authority aforesaid, with the sanction of the [State Government], to increase or reduce the amount of remuneration paid to the patwaris and to alter or modify the mode of its payment, in any case in which sufficient cause for the adoption of such a measure shall exist.
19. Remuneration of patwaris in villages where none are now appointed. - Where no patwari has hitherto been appointed, the amount of the remuneration to the patwari who may be appointed under this Regulation, and the mode of its payment, shall be regulated by the Collector, with reference to the usage of the adjoining villages.
20. Procedure on refusal of payment of established remuneration to patwaris. - If the remuneration, which a patwari has heretofore regularly received or which may be assigned to him by the Collector or other competent revenue authority, be denied to him by the parties who have hitherto paid it, or who may have been directed to pay it by the said authority, he is at liberty to complain against the person so withholding his dues to the Collector, who will proceed to an immediate investigation of the facts, and decide according to the usage of the village; and the Collector is hereby authorized to compel payment of the amount due to the patwari, and to fine the offending party according to his situation and circumstances in life :
Provided always that the fine in no instance exceed fifty rupees.
21. Local usage of parganas to be reported by pargana kanungo. - In all cases in which the decision of the Collector is to be governed by usage, it shall be made an invariable rule to insert in the original proceedings on the case the attested report of the kanungos of the pargana, as to the custom or usage in reference.
22. Power to summon patwari and to examine him on oath to the truth of his accounts. - Collectors of land-revenue are hereby empowered to summon the patwari of any village or villages within their respective districts, whenever there may be occasion for his attendance on any matter connected with the duties of his office, and to require him to produce all accounts relating to the lands, produce, rents, collections and charges of the village or villages the accounts of which may be kept by him, and to examine him on oath to the truth of such accounts, and on any other matters relating to such accounts, or regarding the lands, produce, rents, collections and charges of the village or villages to which the said patwari may belong.
When a Collector shall require the attendance of a patwari for the purpose abovestated, he is to serve such patwari with a written notice under his official seal and signature, stating the purpose for which his attendance is required, and the papers (if any) which he is to bring with him.
23. Power to compel patwaris to produce their accounts. - If any patwari shall neglect or omit to produce his original accounts on the requisition of a Collector, or to give his evidence respecting them, the Collector is hereby authorized and empowered to cause the said patwari to be apprehended, and to order him to be confined in the Diwani jail of the district until he produce his accounts, or show sufficient cause for not producing them.
In such cases the patwari shall be sent by the Collector with a rubakari to the Judge of the [* * * * *] zilla, stating the purport of the order passed against him; and the Judge shall, on those grounds, commit the patwari to jail, and detain him until he produce the accounts, or until the Collector applies for his release.
24. Patwaris to produce accounts when required by Courts of Justice. - In like manner patwaris shall produce all accounts relating to the lands, produce, collections, and charges of the village or villages the accounts of which may be kept by them respectively, and furnish every information and explanation that may be required regarding them, whenever they may be required by any Court of Justice, in any suit that may be depending before the Court;
and if any patwari shall neglect or omit to attend with his accounts when required, for the adjustment of any matter or dispute depending in Court, the Courts are authorised to order such patwari to be committed to close custody until he produce the accounts, or show sufficient cause for not having produced them.
25. Power to require attendance of patwaris on officers deputed to examine village accounts and to grant commission to swear patwaris. - In any case in which a Collector of land-revenue shall have occasion to depute an officer to examine the accounts of any village or villages, he is authorized to require the patwaris to attend such officer, and the Collector is further empowered to grant to such officer a commission to swear the several patwaris whose accounts are to be inspected, inserting in the commission the name of each patwari to be sworn ;
and if any such patwari shall neglect or refuse to attend such officer with his accounts, or to give his evidence respecting them, when duly required to do so by a written notice from the Collector, the Collector is hereby authorized and empowered to proceed against such patwari in the same mode as if he had refused or neglected to attend or to give his evidence before the Collector himself.
26. Patwaris giving false, depositions, when guilty of perjury. - Repealed by Act 12 of 1876.
27. Punishment for patwaris falsifying or mutilating village accounts. - [* * * * *] Any patwari who shall alter, fabricate, falsify or mutilate the accounts of the village to which he belongs, or shall furnish to the kanungo or Collector false, fabricated or mutilated copies of those accounts, shall be held and considered guilty of forgery, and shall be liable, on conviction, [* * * * *] to the penalties which are or may be prescribed for that offence [* * * * *];
and any person who shall cause or procure any such forgery shall be liable to the same penalties as those convicted of having actually committed the offence.
28. Existing rules requiring the attendance of proprietors, etc., of lands sold or divided, declared still in force. - Repealed by Act 12 of 1876.
29. Power to require attendance of agents of proprietors whose estates are to1 be sold, transferred or divided and to cause them to be examined on oath touching accounts. - [* * * * *] whenever an estate or the portion of an estate may be directed to be disposed of at public sale, or may be transferred by the private act of the proprietor or proprietors, or when an estate may be divided pursuant to a decree of a Court of Judicature or at the request of one or more of the proprietors, or when an estate or portion of an estate may be under attachment, the Collector shall be authorized to require the attendance of all descriptions of [* * * * *] agents employed by the proprietors or farmers of such estates or farms in the management of their lands, or keeping the accounts relating to them, and to examine or to cause them to be examined on oath, touching such accounts, in the same manner as he is authorized by sections 22 and 25 of this Regulation to require the attendance to and take or cause to be taken the examination of patwaris ;
and if such agents shall refuse or neglect to attend the Collector or his officer, when their attendance may be duly required, or to give their evidence, the Collector is authorized and empowered to proceed against them in the same manner as is prescribed in the case of patwaris refusing or neglecting to attend.
30. Section 27 applied to agents. - [* * * * *] the rules contained in [section] [* * * * *] 27 shall be held and considered applicable to all such [* * * * *] agents employed by proprietors or farmers of land, in the management of their estates or farms, or in keeping the accounts relating to them.
31. Procedure in cases not provided for when attendance of proprietors or farmers with accounts is required. - Whenever a Collector of land-revenue, or other officer vested with the powers of a Collector may in any case connected with his public duty, but not provided for in this or any other Regulation in force, have occasion to require the attendance of a zamindar or other proprietor or farmer of lands or of the gumashta or other officer or agent of such proprietor or farmer, with the accounts of such lands, he shall report the circumstances to the Board of Revenue [* * * * *] and the [Board [* * * * *] is] hereby empowered to grant authority to the Collector or other officer aforesaid, to require the attendance of the proprietor or farmer, or of the gumashta or other officer or agent, with all accounts relating to the lands in their possession or management.
32. Notice to person required to attend. - A written notice shall in such cases be issued by the Collector or other officer to the party whose attendance is required, stating the purpose for which he is summoned, and the papers (if any) which he is to bring with him;
Penalty for omission or refusal. - and, if the proprietor or farmer shall omit or refuse to attend, or cause his officer or agent to attend, by the time prescribed in the Collector's requisition, with the accounts and information required, the Board of Revenue [* * * * *] are authorized and empowered to impose upon him such daily fine, to be payable daily until he complies with the Collector's requisition, as they may think adequate to his situation and circumstances in life; [* * * * *]
The fine [* * * * *] is to be levied by the same process as is prescribed for the recovery of arrears of revenue.
33. Provision in cases where appointment of village patwaris is inexpedient. - In cases in which, from local or other sufficient causes, it may appear impracticable or inexpedient to cause the appointment in any estate or farm of patwaris, in the mode prescribed in this Regulation, as, for instance, in certain estates consisting chiefly of hills and forests in the southwestern frontier, and in very small mahals, the accounts of which are kept by the proprietors themselves, it shall be competent to the Board of Revenue [* * * * *] to suspend its operation in suer estates or farms :
Provided, however, that in all such cases the person by whom the village accounts are kept, whether proprietor or farmer, or gumashta or other officer, shall furnish the kanungo of the pargana with such accounts and statement, as the Collector, with the approval of the Board [* * * * *] may direct; and shall be subject to the provisions contained in sections 22, 23, 24, 25 [* * * * *] and 27 of this Regulation; and the proprietors or others by whom they may be employed shall likewise be subject to the provisions contained in [section] [* * * * *] 27.
34. In what cases Courts prohibited from taking cognizance of complaints of patwaris. - No Court of Judicature shall take cognizance of the complaint of a patwari against the landholder, or the tenants of a village, for refusing to remunerate his labours, nor shall any Court of Judicature take cognizance of any complaint against a Collector for, or on account of, any decision passed by him in virtue of the powers with which he is vested by this Regulation.
[35. Appeal to Commissioner from decision or order under section 20. - (1) Any person aggrieved by a decision or order of a Collector under section 20 of this Regulation may appeal within six months from the date thereof to the Commissioner of the Division.
(2) The Commissioner may reverse or alter any such decision or order in appeal.]
36. Recovery and appropriation of fines, etc. - All sums adjudged by the Collector in favour of a patwari under section 20, and all fines directed to be levied by this Regulation, shall be recoverable by the same processes as arrears of the public revenue; and all such fines, when recovered, shall be carried to the account of the the [State Government].