Land and Land Revenue

INTRODUCTION

Land Revenue Codes

It is a basic source of sustenance of life for all creatures on earth. Let us gratefully respect it and resolve ourselves to enhance its sanctity and fertility.

Even in contemporary times, land exerts immense influence in our country where 70% of the population which is settled in country side depends on agriculture. Therefore the system of land revenue and land tenure is significant. In a feudal country like India, during 'the pre-British days, the political, economic and social aspects could be judged by the land and revenue systems. The administration of Empire was totally dependent on revenue collection and revenue system. The-administration of the Empire with its corresponding prosperity was adversely dependent. On the proceeds extracted from the peasantry in the form of revenue collection.

This necessitates a well defined revenue Code. In peace time old kingdoms kept scales of revenue at low level i.e. usually 1/6th of the gross produce. But the revenue was raised freely during invasion or war or other critical situation. Although cultivators had proprietary rights over the land, the kind always regarded himself as the sole owner of the land and the cultivators were cultivating it on his behalf. Therefore, the land revenue was an unquestionable royal prerogative.

On the introduction of currency system, attempts were made to recover equivalent money value of crop-share. This system was first initiated by Sher Shah Suri (1540-1545 A.D).The first recorded pioneer survey of lands began in 1571 A.D. by Todarmal and completed in Akbar's regime by 2582 A.D. The then yard-rod was 33 inches long and was known as Ilahi Gaz. Such 60 square -ilahi Gaz contributed one Bigha.

In Deccan with some modifications the above system was followed by Malik Amber (1605 to 1626 A.D) He acknowledged ownership rights of the farmers and attempted to give them secured tenure. But the assessment varied with the crop and was not constant like the Mughal Settlements.

Emperor Aurangzeb drastically changed the revenue system and increased the land revenue by 50% in conquered Deccan territories. After his death, Maratha Empire tried to initiate same system in the conquered areas of Northern and Central India by imposing “chows'.

During Shivalile period the system of 'Jagirdari' was abolished-and land revenue was collected directly. In 1637 A.D. Shah Jahan in Deccan fixed lumpsum Village assessment. When this method failed he allowed farm-lease method; where by “KHOTS” or revenue farmers grew into proprietors. In subsequent Maratha period in 1784-85 A.D. The above Eiyr-.tc-ITI was abolished and land revenue was based on classification of soils.

Thereafter, Maratha Revenue System was known as Miras Tenure and Upri Tenure. The assessment of land revenue was annual. This system prevailed upto Nana Phadnavis -period. But under Bajirao Peshwa due to war expenses revenue system was drastically changed for the worst and 'Farming System' was incorporated. Under the Farming System in open auction the highest bidder used to get the authority to collect revenue at his will and methods. It was atrocious and unbearable for the farmers. To some extent this systems was even followed after British conquered Peshwa Territory. It resulted in many revolts of the peasants.

Mr.Pringle (1827) in Pune district first surveyed land by chain and cross staff with the introduction of English Acre in the Western region. When Mr. Pringle's Survey Tenure proved to be a failure due to adoption of the principles of average gross produce minus expenses of cultivation a committee of three persons was appointed in 1547.Their report known as “Joint Report of 1847′ laid down the basic principles of land revenue system. The

Unit of assessment was field, classification of soil and giving survey number for fields.

Thus soil was classified into various types, depth and its natural fautis for the purpose of valuation. The original surveys and settlements were conducted according to the principles laid down in the joint Report of 2547.The first Revision Settlement of Indispute Taluka (Pune District) became due in 1865.The original Revision survey were concluded and the survey department was abolished in 1901. Further Land Records department was created to maintain the survey records upto date. There is therefore no large scale survey now except the pot Hisa survey after the introduction of Record of Rights in 1913. 

The following is the History of Land Revenue Legislations:

1. Survey and Settlement Act, 1865.
2. Survey and Settlement (Amending) Act, 1868.
3. The Bombay Land Revenue Code (1879).
4. The Bombay Land Revenue (Amended) 1013.
5. Bombay Land Revenue (Amended) 1939.

As the Legislature was not in session, the Bombay Land Revenue Code, (Extension to Saurashtra Area) Ordinance, 1959 (II of 1959) wag promulgated to extend the Bombay Land Revenue Code 1879, the Saurashtra area of the Bombay state. There was also another enactment on the subject namely the Bombay Revenue Tribunal Act 1957, which was applicable to the whole state.

Mighty Emperors like Chandragupta Maurya and Ashoka were great builder. Therefore it is unrealistic to construe that first recorded survey of land was executed by Todarmal in 1540-1545 A.D The art of measuring land and establishing qualities of soil and its productivity was known in ancient Indian beyond doubt. My above assertions are based on laws of simple logic and common sense.

Indian History written by Britisheres is intentionally distorted and malafide. The value of rich heritage and culture of India was purposely underestimated by them, the time will soon come when we will have to exert ourselves to rectify and revise our history to understand our ancient civilization better in a proper perspective.

1.2 The Madhya Pradesh Land Revenue Code, 1959

M.P. Land Revenue Code (Act No. 20 of 1959) An Act to consolidate and amend the law relating to land revenue, the powers of Revenue Officers, rights and liabilities of holders of land from the State Government, agricultural tenures and other matters relating to land and the liabilities incidental thereto in Madhya Pradesh. Be it enacted by the Madhya Pradesh Legislature in the Tenth Year of the Republic of India.

This Act may be called The Madhya Pradesh Land Revenue Code, 1959. It extends to the whole of Madhya Pradesh but nothing contained in this Code except the provisions relating to liability of land for payment of land revenue, the assessment of land revenue with reference to the use of land, realization of land revenue and all provisions ancillary thereto shall apply to such areas as may, from time to time, be constituted as reserved or protected forest under the Indian Forest Act, 1927 (XVI of 1927). This Code shall come into force on such date as the State Government may, by notification, appoint.

Revenue Board was formed Board of Revenue under the central Indian Revenue Board Ordinance 1948 MP central India region. Similarly, in the Vindhya region revenue under the 1948 Ordinance Board came into existence. Old Madhya Pradesh came into this court existed under the Central Provinces Board of Revenue Ordinance 1949. Rajasthan state, which came Sironj field innovative Madhya Pradesh, was working Revenue Board. Only Bhopal state that was where there was no institution Revenue Board name and get all appellate and revision jurisdiction of the state government.

Principal place of Board of Gwalior state government has set. Additionally Revenue Board of Rewa, Indore, Jabalpur, Bhopal, getting Ujjain and held at Sea divisional headquarters. The formation of the Board of Revenue. Has been under Land Revenue Code 1959. Under the Land Revenue Act Revenue Board in the state is the highest institution of hearing appeals / monitoring of revenue cases. In addition, other acts such as – in Excise Act, the Indian Stamp Act, etc. Revenue Board has been validated as the chief controlling centrally revenue authority.

Land Revenue According To Purpose For Which Land Is Used.

Section 59 - Land revenue according to purpose for which land is used.

(1) The assessment of land revenue shall be made with reference to the following use of land at such rates as may be prescribed:

(a) For the purpose of agriculture including any improvement made thereon;
(b) For the purpose of dwelling houses;
(c) For educational purpose;
(d) For commercial purpose;
(e) For industrial purpose including the purpose of mines and minerals;
(f) For purpose other than those specified in items (a) to (e) above as may be notified by the State Government.

(2) Where land assessed for use for any one purpose is diverted to any other purpose, the land revenue payable upon such land shall, notwithstanding that the term for which the assessment may have been fixed has not expired, be liable to assessment at the rates prescribed for the purpose to which it has been diverted.

(3) Where the land held free from the payment of land revenue on condition of being used for any purpose is diverted to any other purpose it shall become liable to the payment of land revenue and assessed at the rates prescribed for purpose for which it has been diverted.

(4) Where land assessed for use for any one purpose is diverted to any other purpose, and land revenue is assessed thereon under the provisions of this section, the premium on such diversion shall be payable at such rates as may be prescribed.

(5) Whenever land assessed for one purpose is diverted to another purpose, the Bhumiswami shall compute the premium and reassessed land revenue payable and deposit the amount so computed in the manner prescribed.

(6) The Bhumiswami shall give a written intimation of such diversion to the Sub-Divisional Officer along with the receipt of the deposit of the amount under sub-section (5), and the land shall be deemed to have been diverted from the date of such intimation.

(7) On the receipt of intimation under sub-section (6), the Sub-Divisional Officer shall, as soon as possible, make enquiry into the correctness of the computation made by the Bhumiswami and communicate to the Bhumiswami either confirming the computation made under sub-section (5) or informing him the correct amount of premium and land revenue payable. In case the amount deposited under sub-section (5) is less than the amount computed by the Sub-Divisional Officer, the difference shall be paid by the Bhumiswami within sixty days of receipt of such intimation :

Provided that in case the amount deposited under sub-section (5) is greater than the amount computed by the Sub-Divisional Officer, the difference shall be refunded to the Bhumiswami within sixty days.

(8) If the Sub-Divisional Officer fails to communicate to the Bhumiswami under sub-section (7) within five years from the date of intimation received under sub-section (6), the arrears of re-assessed land revenue shall not be payable for a period exceeding five years.

(9) If the Bhumiswami fails to give the intimation of diversion under sub-section (6), the Sub-Divisional Officer on his own motion or on receiving such information shall compute the premium and re-assess the land revenue payable on account of such diversion and also impose a penalty equal to fifty per centum of the total amount payable :

Provided that such re-assessed land revenue shall be payable from the actual date of diversion subject to a maximum period of five years:

Provided further that no penalty shall be imposed for one year from the date of commencement of the Madhya Pradesh Land Revenue Code (Amendment) Act, 2018.

(10) The Bhumiswami shall divert land for only such purpose as is permissible under the law governing the use of land for the time being in force:

Provided that no action of the Bhumiswami or Sub-Divisional Officer under this section shall be construed as granting of permission to change use of land contrary to the provisions of the applicable law :

Provided further that the competent authority may take action against Bhumiswami for such diversion contrary to the provisions of the law for the time being in force irrespective of any action taken under this section.

(11) The premium and re-assessed land revenue shall be computed at the rates prevailing on the date of intimation by the Bhumiswami under sub-section (6) or the date of passing of order by Sub-Divisional Officer under sub-section (9), as the case may be.

(12) All proceedings under this section pending before the Board or any Revenue Officer prior to commencement of the Madhya Pradesh Land Revenue Code (Amendment) Act, 2018 shall stand abated and the Sub-Divisional Officer shall impose premium and assess the land revenue on account of diversion in accordance with the provisions of this section.

Land and Land Revenue

57. State Ownership In All Lands:

(1) All lands belong to the State Government and it is hereby declared that all such lands, including standing and flowing water, mines, quarries, minerals and forests reserved or not, and all rights in the sub-soil of any land are the property of the State Government :

(2) Any person aggrieved by any order passed under sub-section (2) may institute a civil suit to contest the validity of the order within a period of one year from the date of such order.

(3) Where a civil suit has been instituted under sub-section (3) against any order such order shall not be subject to appeal or revision.

58. Liability Of Land To Payment Of Land Revenue:

(1) All land to whatever purpose applied and wherever situate, is liable to the payment of revenue to the State Government except such land as has been wholly or partially exempted from such liability by or under this Code or by special grant of or contract with the State Government or such land which is wholly or partially exempted from such liability by notification, issued in this behalf by the State Government.

58a. Exemption From Payment Of Land Revenue:-

Not withstanding anything contained in this Code, no land revenue shall be payable in respect of -

(a) Any holding up to two hectares used exclusively for the purpose of agriculture;

(b) Such other land used for non agricultural purpose as the State Government may, by notification, specify.

59(A). Assessment when to take effect. - The alteration or assessment made under the provision of Section 59 shall take effect from the date on which the diversion was made.

59(B). Reassessment on diversion of land prior to coming into force of the Code. - Where prior to the coming into force of this Code land in any area assessed for any one purpose was subsequently diverted for use to any other purpose, the land revenue payable upon such land shall, notwithstanding that the term for which the assessment may have been fixed has not expired, be liable to be altered and assessed -

(1) In accordance with the purpose to which it has been diverted with effect from -

(a) The date on which such diversion was made if in the area concerned there was in force any enactment repealed under Section 261 which contained provision for alteration or reassessment on such diversion;

(b) The date of coming into force of this Code in any other case.

60. Assessment of un-assessed land. - All lands on which the assessment has not been made, the assessment of land revenue shall be made by the Collector in accordance with rules made under this Code.

Salient Features of MPLRC, 1959

Some of the salient features of MPLRC are: 

• Revenue Officer and Revenue Court-

 Starting chapters of MPLRC, 1959 deal with the classification of revenue officer and revenue court. Section 11 of this Code defines classes of officers and the revenue officer has followed the provision of civil procedure Code, 1959 for their procedures. 

• Ownership of State in all Lands-

Chapter VI of MPLRC deal of land and land revenue. Under this chapter Section 57 said that all lands belong to the state government and declared that all such lands, including standing and flowing water, mines, quarries, minerals and forests reserved or not, and all rights in the sub-soil of any land are the property of state government. 

• Procedure of Appeal-Procedure of Appeal is one of the salient features of MPLRC-

Chapter V of this Code said that any revenue officer who passed any order, subordinate to the other officer, aggrieved party can appeal in higher authority within specified period. And the highest authority of appeal is board of revenue.

• Code not to apply in certain cases-

Section 264 of this Code said that this Code shall not apply to any person who holds any land from the central government.

• Provision for Lease- According to Section 168 of this Code said that any bhumiswami who shall not lease any land more than 3years and it is comprised in 3 consecutive periods for 1 year. But this provision does not apply to certain categories which are mentioned in sub-section 2 of section 168. Sub-section 2 said that a bhumiswami who is- Minor, or

• Unmarried woman, or

• A married woman who has been deserted by her husband, or

• A person subject to physical or mental disability due to old age or otherwise, or

• A public, charitable or religious institutions, or

• A local authority or a cooperative society, or

• A person in the service of armed forces of the union, or

• A person detained or imprisoned under any process of law

• May lease the whole or any part of his holding. Survey and Settlement- Chapter VII of this Code makes provision of settlement in the urban and rural areas. This settlement was in force in Mahakoshal region before the establishment of Madhya Pradesh.

• Government lease-

Chapter XIII of this Code said about government lessees and service land. Section 185 said that government lessees means every person who holds land from the state government or to whom a right to occupy land is granted by the state government or to collector and who is not entitled to hold land as a bhumiswami shall be called a Government Lessee.

CONCLUSION

While concluding this Research Paper, I would like to submit that without this Code in the territory of Madhya Pradesh, an appropriate income framework did not exist and the diverse income frameworks which were existing before this Code created a disorderly administrative regimen. This clearly establishes that no uniform law in regard to income framework existed prior hereto, so it became incumbent to authorize a Code which follows the Uniform Income Framework, and which applies in the entire state of Madhya Pradesh. The Code specifies that, it is vital and critical for the creation of sustenance grains and enhancement of the living-status of the Agriculturists and that the Ranchers are completely guaranteed that they will not be unlawfully denied possession or possessory rights of the land and they shall continue to remain the dominant tenants of the lands as the ones who truly develop it.

The Madhya Pradesh Land Revenue Code (MPLRC), 1959 was promulgated on September 15, 1959, and, it came into existence on October 2, 1959, to commemorate the Birth Anniversary of the Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi. It is an Act to amalgamate the sundry dichotomies and correct the law identifying the land income, the powers of income assessing officers, rights and liabilities of the holders of land the State Government, Horticultural Residencies and other matters pertaining to the land and the liabilities incidental thereto in Madhya Pradesh.

By: Navin Kumar Jaggi & Ritik Singhal

 

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