THE PUNJAB BHUDAN YAGNA ACT, 1955

 

CONTENTS

Sections

Subject

CHAPTER - I

PRELIMINARY

  1.  

Short title, extent and commencement

  1.  

Definitions

2A

Construction of certain references in the Act

CHAPTER – II

ESTABLISHMENT OF THE BOARD

  1.  

Incorporation of Bhudan Yagna Board

3A

Powers of the Board in respect of the transferred territory

  1.  

Constitution of Board

  1.  

Term of officer of members or Chairman

  1.  

Filling of vacancy

  1.  

Validity of proceedings

  1.  

Appointment of officers and servants

  1.  

Conditions of service of officers and servants

  1.  

Conduct of business

  1.  

Quorum

  1.  

Board’s funds

  1.  

Application on funds

  1.  

Power to make contract

  1.  

Dissolution of the Board

  1.  

Tahsil Committees

CHAPTER - III

DONATION OF LAND

  1.  

Procedure for making donation of land

  1.  

Order of Revenue Officers subject of Civil suit

  1.  

Gifts to be irrevocable

  1.  

Land vesting in Board not attachable

  1.  

Donation of land prior to commencement of Act

  1.  

Lands which cannot be donated

CHAPTER  - IV

DISTRIBUTION OF LAND

  1.  

Power of Board to allot land

  1.  

Tahsil Committees to distribute land

  1.  

Bhudan holders conditions of allotment

  1.  

Ejectment of Bhudan holder on breach of conditions

  1.  

Land held by Bhudan held by Bhudan holder not liable to attachment

CHAPTER – V

MISCELLANEOUS

  1.  

Exemption from stamp duty and registration

  1.  

Ejectment of persons unlawful in possession

  1.  

Partition of holdings

  1.  

Procedure

  1.  

Board’s power to act as Thasil Committees

  1.  

Construction of references and power of Board to allot land for community purposes

  1.  

Allotment of land

  1.  

Regulations

  1.  

Act not to apply to evacuee property

  1.  

Power to make rules

 

 

 

1THE PUNJAB BHUDAN YAGNA ACT, 1955.

PUNJAB ACT NO. 45 OF 1956.

(1For Statement of Objects and Reasons, see Punjab Government Gazette (Extraordinary). 1955 page 738.)

[Received the assent of the President on the 29th October, 1956; and was first  published in the Punjab Government Gazette (Extraordinary) of 31st October, 1956.]

Year

No.

Short title

Whether affected by Legislation

1

2

3

4

1956

45

The Punjab Bhudan Yagna Act, 1955.

Extended to Pepsu Territory and amended by Punjab Act 23 of 19572

Amended by Punjab Bhydan Yagna Board (Reorganisation) Order, 1969.

(2For Statement of Objects and Reasons see Punjab Government Gazet6te (Extraordinary). 1957 page 689)

 

An Act to facilitate activities in connection with the Bhudan Yagna initiabted by Shri Acharya Vinoba Bhave, to provide for the constitution of a Bhudan Yagna Board the donation of lands to the said Board, the distribution to the said Board the distribution of lands received in donation to landless persons as also their utilisation for Community purposes; and for purposes connected with the matters aforesaid.

BE it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Punjab in the Seventh Year of the Republic of India as follows :-

 

CHAPTER - 1

PRELIMINARY.

 

1.         Short title, extenet and commencement:

(1)               This Act may be called the Punjab Bhudan Yagna Act, 1955.

3[(2)  It extends to the territories, which immediately before the 1st day of November 1966 were comprised in the state of Punjab excluding the Union Territory of Chandigarh formed under section 4 of the Punjab Reorganisation Act, 1966 (31 of 1966).] 

(3Substituted by Govt. of India S. O. 1303, dated 31st March, 1969)

(3)                It shall come into force at once.

2.         Definitions:

In this Act, unless there is anything repugnant in the subject or context-

(a)    “Bhudan holder” means a person recorded in village papers or record-of-rights as a Bhudan holder under section 25.

(b)   “Bhudan Yagna” means the movement inititiated by Shri Acharya Vinoba Bhave for the acquisition of lands through voluntary gifts in  favour of the Board.

1[(c)  “Board” means the Punjab Bhudan Yagna Board or the Haryana Bhudan Yagna Board or the Himachal Pradesh Bhoodan Tagna Board established or deemed to be established for the State of Punjab or the State of Haryana or the transferred territory as the case may be;]

(1Clause (1) inserted by Punjab Bhudan Yagna (Recorganisation), Order 1969 S.D. No, 1505, date 31st March, 1969.

(d)  “community purpose” means any purpose which is for the good of the community of the village in general;

(e)    “land” means land which is occupied or let for agricultural purposes or for purposes subservient to agriculture or for pasture;

(f)     “landless person” means a person holding no land or land less than the area which may be prescribed in this behalf;

(g)     “Revenue Officer” means such Revenue Officer appointed under the Punjab Land Revenue Act, 1887 2[or any other corresponding law for the time being in force] as the State government may by  notification, appoint to discharge the functions of a Revenue Officer under that Act, 3[or law];

(2Instersted by ibid.

3Inserted by ibid)

(h)    “Prescribed” means prescribed by rules made under this Act.

1[(i)  “transferred territory” means the territory transferred to the Union territory of Himachal Pradesh under section 5 of the Punjab Recorganisation Act, 1966 (31 of 1966)].

 

2[2-A.    Construction of certain references in the Act:

            In the application of the provisions of this Act-

(1)               to the State of Haryana, any reference therein to any expression mentioned in column (1) of the Table below shall be construed as a reference to the corresponding expression mentioned in column (2) of the said Table.

TABLE
1
2
State Government
The Government of the State of Haryana
Punjab Bhudan Yagna Board.
Haryana Bhudan Yagna Board.
Gazette
Official Gazette of the Govt. of Haryana.

 

(2)   to the transferred territory any reference therein to any expression metioned in column (1) of the Table below shall be construed as a reference to the corresponding expression mentioned in column (2) of the said Table.

 

TABLE

1

2

State Government

Administration of Himachal Pradesh

Punjab Bhudan Yagna Board

Himachal Pradesh Bhoodan Yagna Board

Gazette

Official Gazette of the Government of Himachal Pradesh

 

CHAPTER II –ESTABLISHMENT OF THE BOARD

 

1.      Incorporation of Bhudan Yagna Board.

(1)     There shall be established a Board by the name of the Punjab Bhudan Yagna Board.

(1Clause (c) substituted by Punjab Bhudan Yagna (Reorganisation) Order, 1969, S. O. No. 1303 dated 31st March, 1969.

2Section 2-A inserted by ibid.)

(2)     The Board shall be a body corporate having perpetual succession and common seal with power to acquire and dispose of property both movable and immovable and shall, by the said name, sue and be sued.

(3)     It shall be the duty of the Board to administer all lands vested in it for the benefit of the Bhudan Yagna in accordance with the provisions of this Act and the Rules made thereunder.   

 

1[3-A.  Power of the Board in respect of the Transferred territory.

(1Section 3 –A inserted by Punjab Bhudan Yagna (Reorganisation) Order, 1969, S. O. 1303, dated 31st March, 1969.)

Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act the Himachal Pradesh Bhoodan Yagna Bnoard established under the Himachal Pradesh Bhoodan Yagna, Act 1954 (Himachal Pradesh Act 2 of 1955) shall until the establishment of a Board under section 3 be deemed to be the Board established under this Act and accordingly shall perform the functions, discharge the duties and exercise the powers of such Board.]

 

4.         Constitution of Board:

(1)               The Board shall consist of the following namely :-

(a)                the Chairman –to be nominated by Shri Acharya Vinoba Bhave ; and

(b)               six or more but not exceeding ten members to be nominated by Shri Vinoba Bhave.

(2)               One of the members shall be appointed as the Secretary of the Board by Shri Vinoba Bhave.

(3)               The Board may delegate any of its powers and functions under the Act except the power to make regulations under section 34 to the Secretary or any member or more of its members,.

 

5.         Term of office of members or Chairman:

(1)               A Chairman, Secretary or member nominated under section 4 shall hold office for a term of four years and shall be eligible for re-nomination.

(2)               The nomination of Chairman, Secretary and the members shall be notified in the Gazette and the term of office shall commence from such date as may be notified in this behalf:

Provided that the Board may remove from office any of its members who, in its opinion, has failed to perform or is unable to carry out his duties or has so abused his position as a member of the Board as to render his continuance as such detrimental to the interest of the Public or the Bhudan Yagna.

 

6.         Filling of vacancy:

(1)               The Chairman, Secretary or any member of the Board may, at any time, resign his office by submitting his resignation to Shri Acharya Vinoba Bhave. No such resignation shall take effect until it is accepted.

(2)               Any vacancy of a Chairman, Secretary or a member shall be filled as early as practicable.

 

7.         Validity of proceedings:

Anything done or any proceedings taken under this Act shall not be questioned on account of the existence of any vacancy in the Board or any defect or irregularity in the nomination of the Chairman, Secretary or any member of the Board.

 

8.         Appointment of officers and servants:

The Board may appoint such officers and servants of the officers and servants as it considered necessary for the efficient performance of its functions.

 

9.      Conditions of service of officers and servants:

The remuneration and other conditions of service of the officers and servants of the Board shall be such as may be determined by regulations made in this behalf by the Board.

 

10.       Conduct of business:

The Board shall from time to time make such arrangements with respect to the time notice management and adjournment of its meetings as it thinks fit, subject to the following provisions, namely:-

(a)                the Chairman may, whenever he thinks fit, call special meetings;

(b)               every meeting shall be presided over by the Chairman and, in his absence, by any member chosen by the meeting to preside for the occasion;

(c)                all questions at any meeting shall be decided by a majority of the members present and, in case of equality of votes, the person presiding shall have and exercise a second or casting vote ; and

(d)               the minutes of the proceedings of each meeting shall be recorded in a book to be provided for the purpose.

 

11.       Quorum:

(1)                The quorum for the meeting shall be of five members.

(2)               If at any meeting of the Board a quorum is not present, the chairman shall adjourn the meeting to such other date as he may think fit, and the business, which would have been brought before the original meeting if there had been a quorum present, shall be brought before, and transacted at the adjourned meeting, whether there is a quorum present thereat or not.

 

12.        Board’s funds:

The Board shall have its own fund and may accept grants, donations, gifts or loans from the Central or State Government or any local authority or any local authority or any individual or body of person, whether incorporated or not, for all or any of the purposes to this Act.

 

13.        Application of funds:

All property, fund and other assets vesting in the Board shall be held and applied by it in accordance with the provision of this Act and the Rules made thereunder.

 

14.        Power to make contract:

The Board may enter into and perform all such contract as it may consider necessary or expedient for carrying out any of the purpose of this Act.

 

15.       Dissolution of the Board:

            (1)          If at any time the State Government is satisfied that-

(a)                the Board has failed without reasonable cause or excuse to discharge duties or to perform functions imposed or assigned by or under this Act,

(b)        circumstance have so arisen that the Board is rendered unable or may   be rendered unable to discharge duties or to perform functions imposed or assigned by or under this Act, or

(c)        it is otherwise expedient or necessary to dissolve the Board,

     it may by  notification in the official Gazette-

(i)         dissolve the Board for the period to be specified;

(ii)        direct the reconstitution of the Board in accordance with the provisions of section 4 of this Act; and

(iii)       declare that the duties, powers and functions of the Board under this Act shall for the period for which it has been dissolved be discharged exercised and performed by such person or authority and subject to such restrictions as may be specified therein.

(3)               The State Government may make such  incidental and consequential provisions as may appear to be necessary for this purpose.

 

16.       Tahsil Committees:

(1)               The Board may, for any Tahsil where it considers necessary so to do constituted Tahsil Committees consisting of not less than three and not more than seven members to be appointed by the Board.

(2)               The Tahsil Committee may delegate any of its powers and functions under the Act to any member or to sub-committee of three or more of its members.

 

CHAPTER – III

DONATION OF LAND

 

17.       Procedure for making donation of land:

(1)               Any person owning a transferable interest in land and desiring to make a gift thereof to the Board may submit a declaration making the offer in the prescribed form to the Board.

(2)               The Board shall, if it considers the gift acceptable, forward the declaration  to the Revenue Officer having jurisdiction in the Tahsil where the land is situate.

(3)               On receipt of the declaration mentioned in sub-section(1) the Revenue Officer shall, if satisfied, after such enquiry as he thinks necessary,. That the donor is competent to make the gift and has valid title such person as he may consider interested in the property calling up9on them before a date specified in the notice, to show cause why the gift should not be accepted.

(4)               The Revenue Officer shall also affix a copy of the notice referred to in sub-section (3) on the notice board of his Court and shall cause it to be published by beat of drums in the village where the land is situate.

(5)               Any person interested in the property may before the date specified in the notice, file an objection before the Revenue Officer showing cause why the gift should not be accepted.

(6)               All such objections shall be enquired into an decided by the Revenue Officer.

(7)               If not objection is field before the specified date or if all the objections field have been rejected by the Revenue Officer, he shall pass an order accepting the gift on behalf of the Board.

(8)               On the acceptance of the gift, all title and interest of the donor in the land shall be extinguished and the land shall subject to the provisions of section 18 vest in the Board in the same rights in which it was held by the donor.

(9)               The Revenue Officer may at any stage of the proceeding reject the offer of the donor on any of the following grounds, namely :-

(i)                  that the donor is incompetent to make the gift ;

(ii)                that the title of the donor is defective;

(iii)               that there are encumbrances on the land;

(iv)              such other grounds as may be prescribed.

 

18.       Order of Revenue Officers subject of civil suit:

The order of the Revenue Officer, rejecting an objection passed under sub-section (7) of section 17 shall not be subject to appeal or revision by any party aggrieved by the by the order or any other person interested in the land who had no notice of the proceedings under section 17 may within six months from the date of such order, institute a suit in the Civil Court having jurisdiction to have the order set aside and the decision of such Court shall be binding on the Board, and subject to the result of such suit, if any the order of the Revenue Officer shall be conclusive.

 

19.       Gifts vesting irrevocable:

Every gift of land in respect of which an order has been passed under section 17 shall after the date of the order, be irrevocable.

 

20.       Land vesting in Board not attachable:

Except for any decree passed under section 18 the lands vesting in the Board shall not be liable to attachment or sale in execution of any decree or order passed by a Civil Court against the Board.

 

21.       Donation of land prior to commencement of Act:

(A)              (1)  Where any land has been donated for purposes of the Bhudan Yagna prior to the commencement of this Act, the Board shall prepare a list of all such lands showing therein-

(a)                the area and description;

(b)               the name of the donor;

(c)                the nature of the interest of the donor in the land;

(d)               if the land has been granted to any person in pursuance of the Bhudan Yagna the name of the person to whom the land has been granted;

(e)                the date of the grant, under clause (d) ; and

(f)                 such other particulars as may be prescribed;

 

(2)          The list so prepared shall be forwarded to the Deputy Commissioner of the   District within whose jurisdiction the land is situate.

(3)               On receipt of such list, the Deputy Commissioner shall cause action to be taken in accordance with section 17 in respect of the lands described in the list.

(4)                The provisions of sections 17 to 20 and 21 (b) shall apply in respect of all the donations of the said lands as they apply in respect of all donations of lands made after the commencement of this Act :

Provided that where an order is made by a Revenue Officer under sub-section (7) of section 17 the gift shall be deemed to have been accepted with effect from the date on which donation of lands was made and for this purpose this Act shall be deemed to have been in force on such date.

(5)               If any land of which the donation so received before the commencement of this Act has already been granted to any person in pursuance of the Bhudan Yagna it shall be deemed to have been granted by the Board to such person on the date on which such person takes possession thereof and the grant shall be subject to all liabilities to which any grant made by the Board in general shall be subject.

(B)              Notwithstanding the provision of any law to the contrary a tenant holding land directly from the State Government shall for the purposes of this Chapter, be deemed to be owning a transferable interest in such land.

 

22.         Lands which cannot be donated:

(1)               Notwithstanding anything contained in any law an owner shall not for purposes of this Act be competent to donate-

(a)                land recorded or by usage treated as pasture cremation or burial-ground, tank pathway or thrashing floor; and

(b)               such other land as the State Government may by notification in the Gazette specify.

(2)               The holder of a life-estate shall be competent to donate only his life interest therein.  

 

 

CHAPTER - IV

DISTRIBUTION OF LAND.

23.        Power of Board to allot land:

Notwithstanding anything provided in any law to the contrary-

(j)                 the Board shall have power to allot the land vesting in it; and

(ii)                the allottee shall not have and shall not be entitled to claim any rights except as provided for in his Act.

24.        Tahsil Committees to distribute land:

The Tahsil Committee shall in accordance with such regulations as may be made by the Board in this behalf distribute the land vesting in the Board to landless persons who are capable of cultivating the same personally.

 

25.        Bhudan holders Conditions of allotment:

The person to whom land is allotted under section 23 or 24 shall be recorded in village papers or recorded in village papers or record-of-rights as a Bhudan holder and shall hold the land subject to the following terms and conditions namely :-

(a)                he shall be deemed to hold the land directly from the Board and shall be liable to pay the land revenue that may have been or may be assessed no such land ;

(b)               his rights shall on his death pass to his heirs;

(c)                he shall not transfer any interest in the land;

(d)               he shall not allow the land to lie fallow for a period in excess of two years;

(e)                he shall pay the land revenue on the due date.

1[(f)            If a co-operative farming society is formed in the village he shall if so required by the Revenue Officer become a member of the co-operative farming society and abide by its by-laws and regulations.]

(1Inserted by Punjab Act 23 of 1957.)

 

26.        Ejectment of Bhudan holder on breach of conditions:

If any Bhudan holder commits a breach of any of the conditions in section 25 the Revenue Officer may after such enquiry as he deems fit, determine the right of the holder and the land shall thereupon vest in the Board without affecting this liability to pay the arrears of land revenue recoverable from him.

 

27.        Land held by Bhudan holder not liable to attachment:

Subject to any decree passed under section 18, the land held by a person as a Bhudan holder shall not be liable to attachment or sale in execution of any decree or order passed by a Civil Court.

 

 

CHAPTER - V

MISCELLANEOUS.

 

28.        Exemption from stamp duty and registration:

The acceptance of a gift under section 17 or a grant of land made or deemed to be made under the provisions of this Act shall be and be deemed always to have been exempt from (a) payment of stamp duty and (b) registration or attestation under the law relating to registration and execution of documents, any law to the contrary notwithstanding.

 

29.        Ejectment of persons unlawful in possession:

Any person in possession of the land on the date of the order passed under section 17 and any person who takes possession otherwise than in accordance with law of the land received in donation for purposes of the Bhudan Yagna may, on application to a Revenue Officer by the Board or the Bhudan holder concerned by ejected.

 

30.        Partition of holdings:

(1)               If the land gifted to the Board forms a part of a holding the Board or the Bhudan holder concerned may apply to a Revenue Officer for possession and the Revenue Officer may notwithstanding any provision in any law to the contrary partition the holding and demarcate the land and apportion the rent or the land revenue as the case may be.

(2)               If there are arrears or rent or revenue as the case may be on the holding partitioned under sub-section (1) the Revenue Officer shall determine the portion of the arrears due on the part of the holding gifted to the Board and thereupon the Board and the Bhudan holder shall be liable to pay the portion of the arrears so determined and notwithstanding anything contained in the Punjab Land Revenue Act, 1887 1[or any other corresponding law for the time being force] the Board or the Bhudan holder shall not be liable for the arrears in respect of the remaining part of the holding.

(1Inserted by Punjab Bhudan Yagna Board (Reorganisation) Order 1969 No. S. O. 1303 dated 31st March 1969.)

 

31.        Procedure:

The proceedings under this Act shall be deemed for all purposes to be proceedings under the Punjab Land Revenue Act 1887 2[or any other corresponding law for the time being in force] and the procedure applicable to proceedings under the said Act or corresponding law] shall be followed.

(2Inserted by ibid).

 

32.        Board’s power to Act as Tahsil Committee:

If no Tahsil Committee has been formed for any Tehsil the functions of a Tehsil Committee under this Act shall be performed by the Board.

 

33.       Construction of references and power of Board to allot land for community purpose:

After the lifetime of Shri Acharya Vinoba Bhave or at any time when he is unable to perform the functions entrusted to his under this Act owing to infirmity or any other cause the functions assigned to his shall be performed by the Akhil Bharat Sarva Sewa Sangh, Wardha and all references to Shri Acharya Vinoba Bhave in this Act shall be construed as references to the said Sangh.

 

34.       The Board may allot any land vesting in it for a community purpose or exchange any such land with other land.

 

35.       Regulations:

The Board may from time to time with the previous sanction  of the State Government make regulations consistent with this Act and any rules thereunder-

(a)                for regulating its procedure and the disposal of its business;

(b)               for the remuneration and conditions of service of its employees;

(c)                for regulating the procedure disposal of business constitution and supersession of Tahsil Committee the term of office and the filling of casual vacancies of office-bearers and members of such committees and removal of officer-bearers and members thereof;

(d)          for the principles to be followed for the distribution of lands qualifications of persons to whom lands may be given and the maximum area to be allotted to one family;

(e)           for the appointment of the sub-committees and for the delegation of powers to sub-committees and office-bearers and individual members thereof;

(f)            for any other matter arising out of Board’s function under this Act for which it is necessary or expedient to make regulations.

 

36.       Act not to apply evacuee property:

Nothing in this Act shall apply to evacuee property as defined in the administration of Evacuee Property Act 1950 (XXXI of 1950).

 

37.       Power to make rules:

(1)               The State Government may by notification and subject to the conditions of previous publications make rules to carry out the purposes of this Act.

(2)               In particular and without prejudice to the generality of the forgoing power the State Government may make rules-

(a)                prescribing the area of land for purposes of clause (f) of section 2;

(b)               prescribing the form of declaration under sub-section (1) of section 17 for submitting a declaration to make a gift of land;

(c)                prescribing the form of notice under sub-section (3) of section 17 calling upon persons to show cause why a gift of land should not be accepted;

(d)               stating other grounds under item (iv) of sub-section (9) of section 17 for rejecting the offer to make a gift ; and

(e)                prescribing other particulars under clause (f) of sub-section (1) of section 21.