CHAPTER X

GENERAL ADMINISTRATION

(a)

Historical Background and the Divisions of the District

(b)

District Authorities

(c)

Development Organization

(d)

General Arrangement for the Disposal of Business

(e)

District Committees

(f)

Other State and Central Government Officers

 

(a)   Historical Background and Divisions of the District

 

The district as an administrative unit has occupied, since Mauryan times, a unique position in a State. The district is the most important administrative unit and the main underlying idea in its organisation is to ensure maintenance of law and order, collection of revenue, development and welfare of people. It is a pivot on which the civil administration as well as other development and nation building activities like education, public health, welfare, rural development evolve.

 

The district of Bathinda, as constituted at present, consists of four tahsils with subdivisional headquarters at Bathinda, Mansa, Rampura Phul and Talwandi Sabo. Prior to Independence, these areas were administered by the erstwhile princely states of Patiala, Faridkot, Jind and Nabha. The Nathana area of the present district was under the control of the British regime. In 1956 when the PEPSU was merged with the Punjab State, the area of the Bathinda District became a part of Punjab.

 

The princely states were divided into various nizamats or districts these nizamats were furthe subdivided into a number of tahsils. Patiala States was divided into 5 nizamats and Govindgarh or Bathinda was a tahsil of the Ananadgarh or Barnala nizamat. The present tahsil of Mansa was also a part of the Patiala State. Faridkot was independeet princely state. The area of Jaito and Phul was part of erstwhile Nabha Princely State. The Bathinda District came into existence on 20 August 1948 on the formation of the Patiala and East Punjab States Union (PEPSU). The district then comprised 3 tahsils, namely, Bathinda, Mansa and Faridkot with its headquarters at Faridkot, which were shifted to Bathinda in 1953.

 

Although the present district of Bathinda includes areas of princely states of Patiala, Jind, Nabha and Faridkot, yet most of the area formed part of Patiala Princely State. The system of administration followed in the then Princely State of Patiala as given on pages 139-140 of Phulkian States Gazetteer (Patiala, Jind and Nabha), 1904 is described below:

 

There were four high departments of the Patiala Princely State, the Finance Department (Diwani M.I.); the Foreign Officer (Munshi Khana) the Judicial Department (Adalat Sadr); and the Military Department (Bakshi Khana). The Finance Minister-Diwan- in the early days of the State had full powers in all matters connected with the land revenue and the treasury. He decided land cases and was sometimes allowed to form the land revenue. Maharaja Karam Singh put a stop to this practice and oranised the Financial Department. The Diwan was made the Appellate Court in revenue cases, and all matters of revenue and finance were submitted to him. The Foreign Minister-Mir Munshi- transacted all business with other governments, signed agreements, contracts, etc. and conducted the external affairs of the State. The Judicial Minister-Adalati- was appointed, during the regin of Maharaja Karam Singh. The Commander-in-Chief-Bakshi-formerly combined the duties of Paymaster with his own, but the office then was purely military. Maharaja Rajinder Singh created a Chief Court of three members to hear appeals against the decisions of the Finance, Judicial and Foreign Minister.

 

The headquarters staff of each nizamat consisted of a Nazim, two Naib Nazim and a Tahsildar, in charge of the headquarters tahsil. The Nazims dated from regin of Maharaja Narinder Singh, when under the name of Munsarim hadbast, they were appointed to introduce cash assessments. The Nazim was practically a Deputy Commisssioner with the powers of Sessions Judge in addition. He heard all the appeals of his Naib Nazim and Tahsildars, whether civil, criminal or revenue. The Naib Nazim were the court of original jurisdicton, both civil and criminal and the Tahsildar had criminal jurisdiction in a few petty cases only. The Tahsildar was the court of original jurisdiction in revenue cases and had criminal powers in cases falling under Sections 425 and 441 to 447 of the Indian Penal Code.

 

After the partition of the country, all the princely States formed a Union called PEPSU and Bathinda became a sistrict of PEPSU. It then comprised the Bathinda, Faridkot and Mansa tahsils. In 1954, Phul, which was a sub-tahsil of Barnala District, was added to it. As many as 37 villages of Nathana Sub-tahsil ofFirozpur District were added to this district in 1959. In 1971, Bathinda and Phul were made subdivisions and 2 sub-tahsils, viz. Budhalda and Talwandi Sabo came into existence. The district again underwent a change with the creation of Faridkot Tahsil on 7 August 1972 and its Faridkot Tahsil was transferred to the newly created district of Faridkot. On 15 August 1974, Sardulgarh was made a sub-tahsil and Talwandi Sabo was made a subdivision on 12 April 1979.

 

The administrative set-up of the Bathinda District on 31 March 1989 is described as under:

 

Adminstrative Divisions:- For administrative purposes, the district of Bathinda forms a part of the Firozpur Division, Firozpur. The district comprises four tahsils, viz. Bathinda (including sub-tahsils Badhlada and Sardulgarh), Rampura Phul, and Talwandi Sabo, all of which have been made subdivisons. Bathinda was upgraded to a subdivision in 1971. Mansa was a subdivision when the district was formed in 1948. Rampura Phul and Talwandi Sabo were made subdivisions in 1971 and 1979, respectively.

 

The administrative machinery of the district consists of a hierarchy of officers headed by the Deputy Commissioner, also known a District Magistrate as head of criminal administration of the district and as District Collector, as head of the revenue administration in the district. The number of Sub Divisional Officers (Civil), Tahsildars and Naib-Tahsildars posted in the district, as on 31 March 1989 is given in the following table:-

 

 

Subdivision

Number of Posts

S.D.O. (C)

Tahsildar

Naib-Tahsildar

Bathinda

1

1

5 (including 3 at headquarter)

Mansa

1

1

3

Rampura Phul

1

1

1

Talwandi Sabo

1

1

1

District Bathinda

4

4

10

 

(b)   District Authorities

 

Deputy commissioner:- The Deputy Commissioner, Bathinda represents the State Government as head of the district administration. He functions under the administrative control of the Divisional Commissioner, Firozpur Division, Firozpur. He has wide powers and manifold responsibilities. He is the chief custodian authority of law and order and the pivot on which the local administration runs. He performs his functions as Deputy Commissioner, District Collector and District Magistrate on different occasions. His role in each of these capacities is described as under:

 

(i)                 As Deputy Commissioner, he is the executive head of the district with numerous responsibilities in the sphere of civil administration, development, panchayats, local bodies, etc.

 

The Deputy Commissioner has and Office Superintendent, Grade I, Superintendent Revenue, Grade II and Superintendent General Grade II under him to supervise the work of the clerical staff. Each branch is headed by an Assistant and is functionally known after him. For example, the branch looked after by Establishment Assistant is known as the EA Branch, the one under Miscellaneous Assistant is known as the MA Branch, etc. An Assistant has to perform two types of functions, supervisory and dispositive, i.e. he hasto supervise the work of officials working under him, and also o dispose of many cases either at his level or by putting them up to his senior officers. An Assistant has one or more clerks under him.

 

The number of branches in the office of the Deputy Commissioner differs from district to district depending upon the requirements of the district concerned. The important branches existing in the office of the Deputy Commissioner, Bathinda are: Estalishment Branch-Nazarat Branch, Sadr Kanungo Branch, Development Branch, Miscellaneous Branch, Licensing Branch, Complaints and Enquiries Branch, Local Funds Branch, District Revenue Accounts Branch, Flood Relief Branch,Revenue Records Branch, Records and Issue Branch, sadr CopyingBranch, Registration Branch, Peshi Branch, etc.

 

(ii) As the District Collector, the Deputy Commissioner is the highest officer of revenue administration in the district. As such, he is responsible to the government through the Divisional Commissioner and the Financial Commissioner, Revenue. He is responsible for the collection of land revenue, other kinds of government taxes, fees, and all dues recoverable as arrears of land revenue, and for ensuring the maintenance of accurate and up-to-date records of rights as regards the land. He is also the appointing authority for Patwaris ans Kanungos as well as Peshi Kanungo, Sade Kanungo and ministerial staff posted in the tahsil offices and in the offices of Sub Dicisional Officer (Civil) and Deputy Commissioner except in the case of Superintendent of his office and for most of the subordinate revenue staff in the district. He is the highest revenue judicial authority in the district.

 

(iii)†††††† As District Magistrate, he is responsible for the maintenance of law and order in the district. As head of criminal administration in the district, he supervises all Sub Divisional Magistrates and Executive Magistrates in the district and controls/directs the actions of the police. He also supervises the administration of jails and lock-ups in the district.

Besides his above mentioned duties as Deputy Commissioner, District Collector, and District Magistrate the Deputy Commissioner enjoys the powers of Chief Settlement Commissioner and Chief Sale Commissioner under the Displaced Persons (Compensation and Rehabilitation) Act, 1954 and the Punjab Package Deal Properties (Disposal) Act, 1976, respectively. In this capacity, his duties are: hearing revisions/appeals against the orders of the Settlement Commissioner and Chief Sales Commissioner, regarding allotment of land, disposal of urban/rural evacuee properties/land in the district.

 

The position of the Deputy Commissioner as head of district administration has become one of expanding responsibilities. As he is the executive head of the civil administration, all departments in the district, which otherwise have their own officers, look towards him for guidance and co-operation. He plays an important in the administration of municipal committees, market committees, panchayats, panchayat smitis, community development blocks and the zila parishad, which came into existence with the decentralization of authority and expansion of the Panchayati Raj. He is also responsible for the execution of rural development schemes. Besides, as the District Election Officer, he conducts peaceful and orderly elections held in the district from time to time. For elections to Lok Sabha constituency/constituencies of his district, he functions as Returning Officer. He renders active help during decennial census. He controls and regulates the distribution of the scarce essential commodities, etc. He keeps liaisonwith military authorities in his jurisdiction and is the competent authority for acquisition of land for military purposes. In any matter of public importance which does not fall specifically in the sphere of any government department, State of Central, he, as a general administrator, is required to take it to its logical conclusion with the help of some government department or by processing the matter in his own office, in short, nothing of importance takes place in the district with which he is not directly or indirectly associated.

 

Sub Divisional Officers (Civil):- The Sub Divisional Officer (Civil) is a miniature Deputy Commissioner in his subdivision. In fact, under many revenue lefislations, he is invariably vested with powers of Collector to be exercised within his jurisdiction. He also hears appeals, as Collector of the subdivision, against the orders of Assistant Collectors, Grade II (Tahsildars and Naib Tahsildars) and Assistant Collector, Grade I (Tahsildars in partition cases). He is either a junior member of the Indian Administrative Service or a Senior member of the State Civil Services who has had extensive experiences in various subordinate positions. He exercises direct control over the Tahsildars and his staff in his subdivision. He is the normal channel of correspondence between the Deputy Commissioner and the Tahsildar in his subdivision.

 

The powers and responsibilities of the Sub Divisional Officer relating to revenue, magisterial, executive and development matters are analogous to those of the Deputy Commissioner, within his jurisdiction. His revenue duties includes supervision and inspection of all matters from assessment to collection of land revenue, co-ordination of work of all officials in the subdivision, particularly in the departments ofRevenue, Agriculture, Animal Husbandary and Public Health, etc. within the subdivision. His magisterial duties are liaison and co-ordination with the police in the subdivision to keep a watch over the relations between various communities and classes; special precautions and actions in emergency especially connected with festivals; and recommendations to District Magistrate, where he himself is not competent, for grant of arms licenses. He has ample powers under the Criminal Procedure Code, the Punjab Police Rules, and the laws to exercise effective supervision over the law and order situation in his area.

 

In his executive capacity, the Sub Divisional Officer (Civil) can call for any of the records and registers which deal with crime from a police station and can call the Station House Officer of the police station to explain the matters. He can bind down antisocial elements for peaceful conduct over a period. He commands closer contacts with public and has intimate association with the local bodies and market committees.

 

For elections to the Vidhan Sabha/Lok Sabha, he is generally appointed as Returning Officer/Assistant Returning Officer for the constituencies in his jurisdiction.

 

Tahsildars and Naib-Tahsildars:- The officer in charge of a tahsil is called a Tahsildar. The number of Naib-Tahsildars in a tahsil varies from tahsil to tahil depending upon the requirements therein. A Naib-Tahsildar is in charge of the sub-tahsil falling in the tahsil. However, there is no sunbstantial difference in the revenue and magisterial duties of a Tahsildar and a Naib-Tahsildar. In revenue matters, both exercises the powers of Assistant Collector, Grade II, in their circles as Circle Revenue Officer. Tahsildars and Naib-Tahsildars are appointed as ex-officio Executive Magistrates in the district of their district of their posting provided they have assed the respective prescribed departmental examinations in Criminal Law Paper by the Lower Standard as well as in the Language Paper. However, a Tahsildar is vested with powers of Assistant Collector, Grade I, with regard to the partition cases, the power which he exercises in whole of the tahsil, a power which the Naib-Tahsildars on the other hand are not vested with. Also, as Senior Revenue Officer in the Tahsil and as overall in charge thereof, a Tahsildar has powers of co-ordination and can recommend the distribution of work among Circle Revenue Officers- the Naib-Tahsildars and himself. He is a Class II gazetted officer of the State government while a Naib-Tahsildar is not. In this regard, a Tahsildar is competent to make and issue certificates as a gazetted officer. All recommendations in lambardari cases, even in the revenue circles of Naib-Tahsildars, are routed through him to the Sub-Divisional Officer (Civil) and to the Deputy Commissioner. For elections to the Vidhan Sabha, a Tahsildar is, invariably appointed as Assistant Returning Officer for the constituency/constituencies falling in his tahsil.

 

The Tahsildars and Naib-Tahsildars are responsible for collection of land revenue and other dues payable to the government, to remain in touch with the subordinate revenue staff, to observe the seasonal conditions and condition of crops, to listen to the difficulties of the cultivators and to distribute the taccavi loans. The Tahsildar and the Naib-Tahsildars extensively tour the areas in their jurisdiction. They decide urgent matters on the spot, like correction of entries in the revenue record, provide relief to the people effected with natural clamities, etc. On their return and bring the records up-to-date. They also sit in the courts to settle disputes of tenancy, arrears of rent, ejectment of tenants, entries in revenue record, etc. besides doing other kind of work.

 

In the performance of above functions, the Tahsildars and Naib-Tahsildars in Bathinda District are assisted by a Sadr Kanungo who is in charge of revenue records at the district headquarters, 2 Naib Sadr Kanungos, 4 Office Kanungos (one each at tahsil headquarters) 8 Assistant Office Kanungos, 19 Field Kanungos, 1 Ddistrict Office Kanungo and 289 Patwaris.

 

Kanungos:- The duties of a Kanungo ar3 to superise the work of the Patwaris. He is and important link between the Tahsildar/Naib Tahsildar and the Patwari. Each Tahsildar is assisted by an office Kanungo, besides a number of Field Knungos. The main duty of an Office Kanungo is to consolidate the information on different aspects ofrevenue administration. Similarly, in the Deputy Commissionerís Office, there is a Sadr Kanungo who is also in charge Patwarisí and Kanungosí establishments and carries out inspections ofPatwar circles and kanungos.

 

The post of Special Kanungo or Patwar Moharrir has been converted as Kanungo at Sadr Office who makes available theinformation to the litigating public and to the courts, by preparing extracts from the revenue records. He assists the courts of law in the examination of revenue records by giving evidance and by putting the records before the court which the court ought to examine.

 

Patwari:- Whereas, the Deputy Commissioner is regarded as a pivt of the district administration, the Patwari is the representative ofgovernment at the village level. Upto 1906, he was paid by the village itself, but now he is a salaried government servant. He has usually one or two villages in charge. His local knowledge is so extensive that there is hardly any information about the village and its occupants which he is not aware of or which he cannot guess. As such, he is viewed as the eyes and ears of the Collector in the rural areas.

 

The duties of the Patwari include conducting surveys, field inspections, recording of crops, revision of maps, preparation of reports relating to mutations, partitions, revenue or rents, etc. Under orders of the Collector, he prepares the records of rights. He also assists in providing to agriculturists in distress and renders basic services in the decennial census operations. He reports crimes and prepares spot maps to assist the police inquiries. His special duty is the preparation of dhal bachh (papers regarding distribution of revenue over holdings of various landowners).

 

Lambardars:- The Lambardar is the most important functionary amongst the people in the village. His main function is to keep a watch over the law and order situation in his area and report the matter to the nearest police station in case of breach of law. It is also his duty to collect the revenue dues for government from various sources and to remit these to treasury. He is given 5 per cent of land revenue collection which is called pachotra. He is the custodian of all government properties in the village. He also reports to the Tahsildar about the deaths of assignees and pensioners and their absence during the year. He also assists the Patwaris in crop inspectons conducted by them at the time of girdawaries, i.e. harvest inspections during the year and other revenue functions carried on by the revenue agency. Above all, he is representative of Government in the village. He is assisted by a village Chowkidar. In the eventuality of a Lambardarsí post becoming vacant, the District Collector appoints a new Lambardar after considering various claims of candidates who apply for the same.

 

(c) Development Organisation

 

For ameliorating the lot of the rural masses, the Community Development Programme was launched in the State on 2 October 1952 on a project basis. The programme has been introduced with a view to enlisting popular participation in the implementation of socio-economic programmes in the villages. The rural folk have been fully associated with all the development works of the government carried for their betterment through different development agencies. Presently, the Community Development Programme has been extended to every nook and corner of the rural life.

 

For the execution of development schemes, the Bathinda District has been divided into 9 development blocks, viz. Bathinda, Nathana, Sangat, Talwandi Sabo, Mansa, Budhlada, Jhunir, Phul and Rampura. In each block, there is a Block Development and Panchayat Officer, who is under the control of Chairman of the Panchayat Samiti, the Sub Divisional Officer (Civil) of the subdivision, and the District Development and Panchayat Officer of the district, besides being under the overall control of the Deputy Commissioner and the Additional Deputy Commissioner (Development).

 

The Block Development and Panchayat Officer isresponsible for the successful implementation of development schemes of the government in his block. He also guides and co-ordinates the development work of other departments in his block. He is assisted by a Social Education and Panchayat Officer, a Mukhya Sevika, an Overseer, a Sectional Officer, a number of Gram Sevaks and Gram Sevikas, besides other ministerial Class III and Class IV staff. The Inspectors or Extension Officers belonging to the Agriculture, Animal /Husbandary, Co-operation and Industries Departments also assist and advise him in their respective spheres. This was done after the introduction of Panchayati Raj in the State to enable him to coordinte the activities of various departments engaged in developmental work.

 

(d)              General Arrangements for Disposal of Business

 

In addition to the Sub Divisional Officers (Civil), Tahsildars and The Block Development and Panchayat Officers, the Deputy Commissioner, General Assistant to Deputy Commissioner, District /Officer, Removal of Grievanes, Executive Magistrates, mostly Punjab Civil Service Officers, in day to day duties concerning law and order and other functions. The Deputy Commissioner is alsi assisted by the District Revenue Officer in revenue work, wheras the District Development and Panchayat Officer assists him in th edevelopment work. The District Transport Officer looks after the transport work. At the subdivisional headquarters, the Tahsildars as well as the Naib-Tahsildars work under the direct supervision of the Sub Divisional Officer (Civil). In Mansa Tahsil, one post of Executive Magistrates is aklso held by a PCS officer, who assists the Sub Divisional Officer (Civil), Mansa in his administrative duties. The functions being performed by these officers are detailed in the following paragraphs:-

 

Additional Deputy Commissioner:- The post of Additional Deputy Commissioner was created with a view to providing relief to the Deputy Commissioner. The powers delegated to the Additional Deputy Commissioner are to sanction earned leave to Kanungos and Patwaris; to sanction medical reimbursement to the staff of the office of the Deputy Commissioner; to entertain revision petitions under Section 16 (2) of the Punjab Land Revenue Act, and under Section 84 of the Punjab Tenancy Act, and review petitions under Section 15 of the Punjab Land Revenue Act under Section 82 of the Punjab Tenancy Act; to entertain transfer applications under Section 12 of the Punjab Land Revenue Act; to approve rent rolls under para 12 of the Financial Commissionerís Standing Order No. 31 and to sanction other Kistbandis of additional land revenue, mutation fee, record fee, taccavi, etc. under paras 594 and 606 of the Punjab Administration Manual; to sign recovery certificates received from other districts; and to exercise the power of Chief Sales Commissioner.

 

General Assistant:- He is the Deputy Commissionerís personal executive officer and assists him in all his executive and administrative functions. As such, he is the principal administrative officer and attends to routine correspondence, attestation, complaints, etc. He does little or no touring, as he has to keep a vigilant eye on the office. Most of the branches of the Deputy Commissionerís office are under his supervision. He is competent to correspond with the Punjab Government and other departments in routine matters. He is an Executive Magistrate, but, since the separation of judiciary from the executive on 2 October 1964, he has been trying only security cases.

 

Formerly, the General Assistant used to hold the additional chage of Civil Defence Officer of the district which is now held by the Distrcit Development and Panchayat Officer, Bathinda. As Civil Defence Officer, he is responsible for the defence ofcivilian population in times of war or aggression. He is also responsible for th emaintenance of fire-fighting equipment, the proper functioning of sirens, digging oftrenches, first-aid, extension of hospital facilities, laying ofadditional beds, electricity, water facilities, etc.

 

District Revenue Officer:- With the abolition of the posts of Revenue Assistants, the duties are now being performed by the District Revenue Officers. The District Revenue Officer, Bathinda is responsible for the proper and correct maintenance of revenue records; revenue accounts, mufis, assignments, jagirs, etc. and services records of the Patwaris and Kanungos, District Revenue Accountant, Registration and Land Acquisition Branches of the Deputy Commissionerís office. He is required to watch the progress of the recovery of all government dues in the district and to keep the Deputy Commissioner informed about the pace of recovery. He assists the Deputy Commissioner in carrying out the inspection of tahsils, sub-tahsils, acts on his behalffor organizing special girdawaris for crop cess and special girdawari for natural calamities, floods, etc. Besides, he co-ordinates his activities with various departments, such as Irrigation, Public Works (B&R), Co-operation and Agriculture, so as to ensure the smooth implementation of various development schemes in which revenue work is involved. He collects information regarding agrarian reforms in the district from Collectors (Agrarian) and other officers and after compiling them, he submit them every month to the Commissioner, Firozpur. He is also responsible for pursuing the progress of land reforms cases in various courts and watches the interest of the State. On behalf of the Deputy Commissioner, the D.R.O. is responsible for the submission of the statements regarding the disposal of miscellaneous revenue work in the district every quarter to the Commissioner of the Division and halsf-yearly to the Financial Commissioner, Revenue, Punjab.

 

District Officer, Removal of Grievances:- He is a Class I Officer who primarily deals with the complaints made by the public regarding Revenue Department as well as other State Government Departments. He submits the reports to the Deputy Commissioner, after making enquiries into the complaints made by the people to him, or to the Deputy Commissioneror other higher authorities. He convenes the monthly meetings ofPublic Grievances Committee of the District as Secretary. These meetings are attended by the officers/officials as well as non-official representatives, besides all MLAís and MPís who are ex-officio members of the Committee. He is alsoi responsible for the implementation of the decisions taken by the Chairman of the Public Grievances Committee and ensures that the agenda as well as proceedings of the mnthly meetings are issued well in time. He has also been given some branches of D.Cís Office, apart from the complaints and enquiry branch which is under his supervision. He is also Executive Magistrates and deals with the security proceedings. He is also entrusted with some revenue work as Assistant Collector, Grade I.

 

District Transport Officer:- He is Executive Magistrate and is a member of the Punjab Civil Service. His duties and functions are: to realize road tax in respect of all types of vehicles; to regulate the operation of vehicles of all categories covered under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1939; to issue and renew the drivinglicences and conductor licences; to issue authorization to drive public service vehicles; to issue authorization to drive public service vehicles; to issue special passes for stage carriages/taxi cars for marriage and tour parties; to inspect transport vehicles and to grant certificate of fitness in respect of such vehicles for which technical assistance is provided by the Motor Vehicle Inspector (MVI), to enforce traffic rules etc; to conduct special traffic checking and survey of routes inBathinda and Sangrur districts in the third week of every month. The District Transport Officer is the Chairman of Condemnation Board, which condemns the vehicles of all government departments. He issues full and half paid concession passes to blind and physically handicapped persons, on behalf of Deputy Commissioner.

 

††††††††††† Executive Magistrates.-Executive Magistrates normally belong to the State Civil Services. They help the Deputy Commissioner in the maintenance of law and order. They also deal with the security/revenue cases and are responsible for criminal work of various police stations falling within their respective jurisdiction. As on 31 March 1989, there were two Executive Magistrates functioning in the district, one each at Bathinda and Mansa. The Executive Magistrate, Bathinda supervises the work of some of the branches of Deputy Commissionerís Office and also deals with revenue work of one kanungo circle as Assistant Collector, Grade I, while the Executive Magistrate at Mansa assists the Sub Dvisional Magistrate, Mansa in security/revenue cases apart from assisting him in law and order duties.

 

††††††††††† District Development and Panchayat Officer.-He co-ordinates the activities of all departments in the district which are engaged in development activities. The Development Branch of the Deputy Commissionerís Office, which deals with the development programme and agricultural production, functions under his supervision. All the Block Development and Panchayat Officers in the district are under his control and he is required to see that the Community Development Programme is implemented in right earnest in the district.

 

††††††††††† Registration.-The Deputy Commissioner is the Registrar for the district under the Indian Registration Act, 1908 and in that capacity, he is responsible for registration work in the district. In the Bathinda District, the Registrar is assisted by 4 Tahsildars, as Sub-Registrars, one each in the tahsils of Bathinda, Mansa, Rampura Phul and Talwandi Sabo. The Naib-Tahsildar in the tahsil is the ex-officio Joint Sub-Registrar and he undertakes the registration work only when the regular Sub-Registrar is onleave or away from the headquarters. The Sub-Registrar and the Joint Sub-Registrar do registration work in addition to their own duties for which they get monthly honorarium.

 

††††††††††† The Sub-Registrar registers the documents pertaining to the properties situated inhis jurisdiction. The Registrar is however, empowered to register any document from any tahsil of his district. He hears appeals and applications referred tohim under Sections 72 and 73 of the Indian Registration Act, 1908, against refusal to register documents by the Sub-Registrars under him.

 

††††††††††† A Head Registration Clerk assists the Register at the district headquarters and Clerks/Readers assist the Sub-Registrar/Joint Sub-Registrars in the tahsil in performing the registration work.

 

††††††††††† Under Section 17 of the Indian Registration Act, 1908 (16 of 1908), registration is compulsory for-

 

(a) ††††† Instruments of gift of immovable property;

(b) ††††† Other non-testamentary instruments which purport or operate to create, declare, assign, limit or extinguish whether in present or in future, any right, title or interest, whether vested or contingent, of the value of the hundred rupees and upwards, to or in immovable property;

(c) ††††† Non-testamentary instruments which acknowledge the receipt of payment of any consideration on account of the creation, declaration, assignment, limitation or extinction of any such right, title or interest;

(d) ††††† Lease of immovable property from year to year or for any term exceeding one year, or reserving a yearly rent;

(e) ††††† Non-testamentary instruments transferring or assigning any decree or order of a court or any award when such decree or order or award purports or operates to create, declare, assign limit, or extinguish. Whether inpresent, or in future, any right, title or interest, whether vested or contingent, of the value of the hundred rupees and upwards, to or in immovable property.

 

††††††††††† Oath Commissioners.-An Oath Commissioner is a practicing lawyer who is authorized, on application, by the Punjab and Haryana High Court to make attestations of affidavits. There were 45 Oath Commissioners in the district on 31 March 1989 : 27 at Bathinda, 13 at Mansa, 3 at Rampura Phul and 2 at Talwandi Sabo. They charge Rs. 2 as attestation fee for an affidavit.

 

††††††††††† Notary Public.-Notary Public is also generally a practicing lawyer whois authorized by the government, for a period of 3 years, to function as Notary Public for attesting documents like wills, special power of attorneys and copies of all documents onspecified charges. He is also authorized to translate documents on payment approved by the government. There were 6 Notary Publics functioning in the district on 31 March 1989 (5 at Bathinda and 1 at Mansa).

†††††††††††

††††††††††† District Attorney.-Formerly designated as Public Prosecutor/Government Pleader, District Attorney is appointed by the Home Secretary to Government, Punjab, on the recommendations of the Legal Remembrancer and Director, Prosecution and Litigation, Punjab. He represents the State in the cases pending in the court of the District and Sessions Judge. He is under the administrative control of the Director, Prosecution and Litigation, Punjab. He is assisted by 5 Assistant District Attorneys, Grade II (6 at Bathinda, 3 at Mansa, 1 at Rampura Phul and 1 Assistant District Attorney (Legal) at district police headquarters), besides other ministerial staff. In addition to this, one Assistant District Attorney, Grade I assists the District Attorney in representing the State in the Special Court set up at Bathinda.

 

(e) District Committees

 

††††††††††† The following District Committees have been constituted in order to accelerate the disposal of business. Their meetings are held at the district headquarters under the chairmanship of the Minister/Deputy Commissioner:-

 

1. District Public Grievances ††††††††††††††††††††††††† (Presided over by a Minister Designate)

††† Committee††

 

2. District Agriculture Production †††††††††††††††††† (Presides over by Deputy Commissioner)

††† Committee

 

3. District Industrial Advisory ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Ditto

††† Committees

 

4. District Food Advisory†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Ditto

††† Committee

 

5. District Hospital Advisory††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Ditto

††† Committee

 

6. District Planning Committee†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Ditto

 

7. District Child Welfare Committee†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Ditto

 

8. House Allotment Committee†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Ditto

 

9. District Advisory Committee††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Ditto

 

10.Land Reforms Committee†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Ditto

 

11.Committee to review distribution††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Ditto

†††† of Essential Commodities

 

(f) State and Central Government Officers

 

††††††††††† The following State and Central Government Officers are posted in the Bathinda District:-

 

Punjab Government Officers

 

1.      Deputy Commissioner, Bathinda

2.      Additional Deputy Commissioner, Bathinda

3.      General Assistant to Deputy Commissioner, Bathinda

4.      Executive Magistrates (A) & (B), Bathinda

5.      Executive Magistrate, Mansa

6.      District Officer Removal of Grievances,Bathinda

7.      Sub Divisional Officer (Civil), Bathinda

8.      Sub Divisional Officer (Civil), Mansa

9.      Sub Divisional Officer (Civil), Rampura Phul

10.   Sub Divisional Officer (Civil), Talwandi Sabo

11.   Project Officer, District Rural Development Agency, Bathinda

12.   District Transport Officer, Bathinda

13.   District Development & Panchayat Officer, Bathinda

14.   District Revenue Officer, Bathinda

15.   Secretary, Zila Parishad, Bathinda

16.   Tahsildar, Bathinda

17.   Tahsildar, Mansa

18.   Tahsildar, Rampura Phul

19.   Tahsildar, Talwandi Sabo

20.   Treasury Officer, Bathinda

21.   District and Sessions Judge, Bathinda

22.   Special Judge, Bathinda

23.   Additional District and Sessions Judges I and II, Bathinda

24.   Chief Judicial Magistrate, Bathinda

25.   Senior Sub Judge, Bathinda

26.   Additional Senior Sub Judge, Bathinda

27.   Sub Judge, Ist Class, Bathinda

28.   District Attorney, Bathinda

29.   Senior Superintendent of Police, Bathinda

30.   Superintendent of Police (headquarters), Bathinda

31.   Superintendent of Police (DD), Bathinda

32.   Superintendent of Police (Operation), Bathinda

33.   Deputy Superintendent of Police (Vigilance), Bathinda

34.   District Commander, Punjab Home Guards, Bathinda

35.   Superintendent, District Sudhar Ghar, Bathinda

36.   District Probation Officer, Bathinda

37.   Superintending Engineer, PWD, B&R, Bathinda

38.   Executive Engineer, PWD, B&R (Construction Division), Bathinda

39.   Superintending Engineer, PWD, Public Health, Bathinda

40.   Executive Engineer, PWD, Public Health Division No.I, II & III (RWS), Bathinda

41.   Executive Engineer, PWD, Public Health (G.W.), Bathinda

42.   Superintending Engineer, Water Supply and Sewerage Board, Bathinda

43.   Executive Engineers, Water Supply and Sewerage Board, Division No.I & II, Bathinda

44.   Superintending Engineer, PWD, Irrigation Lining Circle, Bathinda

45.   Executive Engineer, PWD, Irrigation Construction Division, Bathinda

46.   Executive Engineer, PWD, Irrigation, Sirhind Canal Division, Bathinda

47.   Chief Engineer, Guru Nanak Dev Tharmal Plant, Bathinda

48.   Superintending Engineer, Punjab State Electricity Board, Bathinda

49.   Executive Engineer, Punjab State Electricity Board, Sub-Urban Division, Bathinda

50.   Executive Engineer, Punjab State Electricity Board, R.E. Division, Bathinda

51.   Executive Engineer, Punjab State Electricity Board, City Division, Bathinda

52.   Superintending Engineer, Housing Board, Bathinda

53.   Superintending Engineer, Tubewell Corporation, Bathinda

54.   Executive Engineer, Panchayati Raj, Bathinda

55.   Chief Agricultural Officer, Bathinda

56.   Deputy Director (Pulses), Bathinda

57.   Project Officer, I.C.D.P., Bathinda

58.   District Training Officer, Bathinda

59.   Senior Marketing Enforcement Officer, Bathinda

60.   Election Tahsildar, Bathinda

61.   District Forest Officer, Bathinda

62.   District Horticulture Development Officer, Bathinda

63.   Deputy Director, Animal Husbandry, Bathinda

64.   Dairy Extension Officer, Bathinda

65.   Assistant Director, Fisheries, Bathinda

66.   Divisional Soil Conservation Officer (East), Bathinda

67.   Divisional Soil Conservation Officer (West), Bathinda

68.   Divisional Town Planner, Bathinda

69.   District Education Officer (Primary), Bathinda

70.   District Education Officer, Bathinda

71.   District Language Officer, Bathinda

72.   Assistant Excise and Taxation Commissioner, Bathinda

73.   District Food and Supplies Controller, Bathinda

74.   District Public Relations Officer, Bathinda

75.   District Sports Officer, Bathinda

76.   Sub-Regional Employment Officer, Bathinda

77.   Assistant Employment Officer, Mansa

78.   Assistant Employment Officer, Rampura

79.   Deputy Economic and Statistical Adviser, Bathinda

80.   District Welfare Officer, Bathinda

81.   District Social Welfare Officer, Bathinda

82.   Civil Surgeon, Bathinda

83.   District Family Planning Officer, Bathinda

84.   General Manager, District Industries Centre, Bathinda

85.   Senior Technical Officer,Government Industrial Development Centre (Engg.), Bathinda

86.   Deputy Registrar, Co-operative Societies, Bathinda

87.   Assistant Registrar, Co-operative Societies, Bathinda

88.   Assistant Registrar, Co-operative Societies, Mansa

89.   Lady Circle Superviser, Bathinda

90.   Audit Officer, Co-operative Societies, Bathinda

91.   Assistant Director (Poultry), Bathinda

92.   Block Development and Panchayat Officer, Bathinda

93.   Block Development and Panchayat Officer, Nathana

94.   Block Development and Panchayat Officer, Sangat

95.   Block Development and Panchayat Officer, Talwandi Sabo

96.   Block Development and Panchayat Officer, Mansa

97.   Block Development and Panchayat Officer, Budhlada

98.   Block Development and Panchayat Officer, Jhunir

99.   Block Development and Panchayat Officer, Phul

100. Block Development and Panchayat Officer, Rampura

101.Secretary, District Sailors and Soldierís Board, Bathinda

102.Manager, State Seeds Corporation, Bathinda

103.District Manager (MARKFED), Bathinda

104.District Manager (PUNSUP), Bathinda

105.District Manager (WAREHOUSE), Bathinda

106.Manager, Punjab Agro Industries Corporation, Bathinda

107.General Manager, Milk Plant, Bathinda

108.Depot Manager, Pepsu Road Transport Corporation, Bathinda-I

109.Depot Manager, Pepsu Road Transport Corporation, Bathinda-II

110.Depot Manager, Pepsu Road Transport Corporation, Budhlada

 

††††††††††† Central Government Officers

 

1.      Assistant Commissioner, Income Tax (Appeals), Bathinda

2.      Inspecting Assistant Commissioner of Income Tax, Bathinda

3.      Divisional Engineer (Telephone), Bathinda

4.      District Manager, Food Corporation of India, Bathinda

5.      Commanding Oficer, N.C.C., Bathinda

6.      Manager, Cotton Corporation of India, Bathinda

7.      Superintendent, Post Offices, Bathinda Division, Bathinda.

 

CHAPTER XI

REVENUE ADMINISTRATION

(a)

Land Revenue Administration

(b)

Land Reforms

(c)

Other Sources of Revenue, State and Central

 

(i)††††††† Other Sources of State Revenue

 

(ii)††††††† Central Sources of Revenue

 

(a)   Land Revenue Administration

 

(i)                History of Land Revenue Assessment Management

 

The present district of Bathinda was created on the formation of PEPSU on 20 August 1948 from the territories of Patiala, Nabha, Jind and Faridkot princely states and part of the Firozpur District, which was then a British territory.The land revenue system of the district adopted in the past is complicated, there being different revenue systems prevailing in each of the princely states and the British territory.The following paragraphs contain the history of land revenue as prevalent in the different princely states of Patiala, Jind, Nabha and Faridkot.

 

††††††††††† Land Revenue system in the areas of former Patiala Princely State. Ė The earliest history of Patiala State is that of Phulkian States, and its history as a separate ruling state normally dates from 1762 when Ahmad Shah Durrani conferred the title of Raja upon Ala Singh, its chief.But it may more justly be regarded as dating from 1763 when the Sikh confederation took the fortress of Sirhind from Ahmad Shah's governor and proceeded to partition the old Mughal province of Sirhind.

 

††††††††††† Bathinda and Mansa tahsils of the Patiala Princely State were merged completely in the Bathinda District in 1948.The revenue of the Patiala Princely State from Akbar to the times of Ala Singh and his successors was being collected in kind up to 1862.It was known as Kham (collection in kind) system.This arrangement was only occasionally replaced by cash assessments made for a period of one or two years, but these rare and irregular assessments or contracts were not based on any fixed rule or established principle, for whenever there was a good crop the Diwan expected to realize more by collection in kind than by adhering to a fixed cash assessment, he at once cancelled the agreement without the slightest scruple and did not wait for its term to expire.As a consequence of this shortsighted policy, the zamindar never put his heart into his work and made no effort to bring the waste lands under cultivation.Instead of improving the existing revenue administration and adopting a more sympathetic, honest and fixed policy, the State officials tried to increase the State revenue, but it could not be increased in spite of their ill-judged efforts of which the only possible result was a slow but steady loss to the community as land went out of cultivation.The cash assessment too, even if honestly maintained could not be regarded as a boon to the people.The notorious assessment of Diwan Sedha Singh, who assessed all land of whatever description at an all round rate of 8 annas per Kachcha bigha, was such a veritable ordeal that even to this day, the descendants of the owners of that time regard the fact of having successfully passed through it as a proof of their right and produce it as evidence in law suits.

††††††††††† The share of the produce taken by the State differed in different parganas; it was mostly one-third, but one-fourth and two-fifth was also taken, and there was a large number of extra dues called abwab.A cash rate per bigha, called zabti was charged on crops that could not be easily divided.The State's share of grain was realized either by actually dividing the produce (batai or bhawali) or by appraisement, kankut, kan or kachh.Batai was, with rare exceptions, usually resorted to in the rabi and appraisement as a rulein the kharif.The officials who made the batai were called Batwas and those who made the appraisements, were known as kachhus.

 

††††††††††† At each harvest, the Tahsildar divided the parganas into a number of suitable circles, and two kachhus or measurers and to Batawas were appointed for each circle, two Muharrirs called Likharis being also sent with them.One out of each pair of Kachhus, Batawas and Likharis was the Tahsildar's nominee and the other, called "sarkari", was appointed by the Diwan.Both were servants of the State, but they were appointed in different ways, the idea being that their mutual jealousy, rivalry and dependence on two different superiors would be a check on dishonesty.

 

†††††††††††

When the crop was ready for the sickle, one or two Muhassals or watchmen were appointed in each village to watch the crop and the grain before division.The zamindar himself was not allowed to touch crop or take a single handful of grain for his cattle.The Muhassal used to get 1Ĺannas a day, of which an anna was paid by the village and half an anna by the State.This establishment was temporary.It was employed at each harvest and dismissed as soon as the work was done.In the reign of Maharaja Narinder Singh, the Diwan used to assemble all the Kachhus in front of the Maharaja's palace, and after having saluted the Maharaja they started to their respective villages, each of them being tyranny and dishonesty personified.They would occupy the best house, take the best clothes for their beds, and utensils for their use, sent for all the Kamins to serve them, and get the best food and supplies for themselves and their houses. Early in the morning, they started on their work in the fields.They only rode round each field measuring it by the horse's paces, while the Likhari sat waiting at some convenient place.They returned to the Likhari after having inspected ten or twenty fields and dictated the Khasra or appraised amount of the State's portion of the out turn.After having finished one village and before starting for another they sat down in an open space outside the village and read out the Khasra entries to the zamindars.A great deal of clamorous haggling ensued till at last, after deducting ten or fifteen per cent, a bargain was struck, largely with the aid of bribes.This was known as nawen pakana, that is, making the entries pukka.So far everything depended on the Kachu's will and pleasure, but after the entires had been thus made pukka none could change them and khasra katna, i.e. cutting in the khasra entry was considered a serious crime.In a similar way, the Batawas got the produce weighed by the village banian called, the Dharwai who deducted 15 per cent as kamin's dues, divided the rest at the pargana rate of batai and recorded in the same way (nawen pakana) the amount due from each man against his name in the khasra.The Diwan's men sent their findings to the Diwan and the Tahsildar's men to the Tahsildar, and the papers were checked by comparing them.

 

††††††††††† Owing to negligence or dishonesty on the part of the Batawas, the delay in effecting the batai often caused great damage to the grain, as it deteriorated from exposure to rain and moisture and sometimes the batai was made after the proper time for sale had passed.In the rabi harvest, if the produce was small or the grain had deteriorated in any way, then the State's portion too was forced back on the zamindarsand its price realised from them at a rate (bhan pharna) fixed by the Diwan at each harvest with reference to the current rate, or the amount of grain collected was stored to be sold at a time of high prices.When the grain was brought out of the granaries for sale and was found to be less than its known amount as shown in the papers prepared at the time of collection, the zamindars were forced to pay for one-half of the deficiency, was attributed as much to the dishonesty of the zamindars as to that of the revenue officials.This was the system of kham collection that prevailed up to 1862.

 

††††††††††† Revenue farming, existed only to a very moderate extent.The Diwan himself often used to contract for a good many parganas.This system pressed heavily upon the people, and on account of the general mismanagement and corruption of the mercenary revenue staff, the State, on the whole incurred great losses and the zamindars were ruined, both by the various troubles and harassment they had to suffer and the bribes they had to pay as well as by the heavy fines and punishments inflicted upon them by theMalbakhana1 if they tried to escape from the oppression by propitiating the greedy and rapacious revenue officials with bribes.The account books of the village banians were taken from them and kept in the office for months and sometimes for years, and were often destroyed or lost; the harm thus resulting may well be imagined.

 

††††††††††† Maharaja Narinder Singh, seeing these defects in the revenue system, made up his mind to abolish it altogetherandtofixacash assessment.†† Severalhighofficialsof

 

This Malbakhana was a kind of office of control started in the time of Maharaja Karam Singh to enquire into and punish the wrong doing of the revenue establishment and zamindars who tried to profit by bribing them at the time of collection.As the bribes were generally paid out of the Malba or included in the Malba expenses under fictitious items of expenditure, and as this necessitated the examination of the Malba accounts by the office, it came to be known as the Malbakhana conservative ideas, and specially the Diwan, vehemently opposed this innovation and on account of their opposition, there was but little hope of success.For this reason, the Maharaja abolished the office of the Diwan for a short time, and an officer with limited powers called Munsarim Diwan was appointed in his place.The Maharaja then divided the State into four divisions, an officer called Munsarim-i-hadbast being appointed for each division.The name of this officer was after some time changed to Mohitmam Bandobast and afterwards into Nazim.These four officers carried out a boundary survey or hadbast measurement, and made a summary settlement for one year based on an estimate of the existing capabilities of a village and the average kham collection of the last 22 years.The average of 22 years was about Rs. 23 lakhs and the new assessment (1861-62) amounted to Rs. 30,87,000.After the lapse of this term, another settlementon the same basis for three years by which the revenue was reduced to Rs. 29,39,000.It was cheerfully accepted by the people to whom an assurance was given in a general proclamation that the demand would not be altered during the term of settlement.This last settlement remained in force only from 1862 to 1865.Afterwards summary settlement was made every ten years.

 

††††††††††† A regular settlement of the whole State including the Bathinda and Mansa tahsils now forming part of Bathinda District was commenced in 1901 by Major Popham Young, C.I.E.The revenue assessment for the whole State was Rs. 41,48,155, but including cesses and all the miscellaneous dues, the total demand amounted to Rs. 44,80,359 of which Rs. 4,71,136 was assigned revenue, leaving a balance of Rs. 40,09,223.

 

††††††††††† Land Revenue System in the areas of former Jind Princely State. Ė The earliest history of Jind State begins from 1762 when Raja Gajpat Singh seized a large tract of country including Jind and Safidon districts (now in Haryana) on the dissolution of Mughal empire and obtained the title of Raja under an imperial farman in 1772.By this farman, he assumed the style of an independent prince.Afterwards, he obtained the pargana of Sangrur alongwith Balanwali (now in Haryana).Before the settlements made by Raja Sarup Singh, the assessment of land revenue was a fluctuating one.In some villages, a system of batai for one crop and of kankut for the other was in vogue, while in others cash rates were fixed on crops at the beginning of the kharif in consultation with the zamindars.

 

First (Summary) Settlement of Sangrur Tahsil, 8161-65

 

††††††††††† The first summary settlement of tahsil Sangrur was effected by Sardar Daya Singh, Nazim of the Jind State, during 1861-65.There were 83 villages in the Sangrur Tahsil with an area of 63,196 hectares (cultivated 45,479 hectares, uncultivated 17,717 hectares) and a revenue (jama) of Rs. 1,63,897.

 

Second (Regular) Settlement of Sangrur Tahsil

 

††††††††††† The summary settlement was followed by a regular settlement made by Sardar Kahan Singh during 1866-1875.At this settlement, area of the tahsil increased from 1,56,095 acres (63,196 hectares) to 1,61,337 acres (65,319 hectares).The number of villages increased from 83 to 82 and revenue (jama) amount was raised from Rs.1,63,897 to 1,82,539 under the same terms and conditions of revenue realization system as per first summary settlement.

 

††††††††††† From this settlement of Sangrur Tahsil, the tappa system was discontinued.Muamla (cash rent) was realised for the kharit and batai of one third for barani soils and on-fourth for chahi ones was taken for the rabi.

 

Third settlement of Sangrur Tahsil

 

††††††††††† The third settlement of tahsil Sangrur was effected by Lala Kanhiya Lal during 1877-1866.In this settlement also, there was enlargement in area and increase in revenue (jama).Due to enlargement, the total area of the tahsil was 1,61,767 acres (65,492 hectares), cultivated 1,22,728 acres (49,687 hectares), uncultivated 39,039 acres (15,805 hectares) and the revenue was raised to Rs. 2,09,115.In this settlement, there was also a change in the realization of revenue system.The batai and kankut were converted into cash rents for both crops in the ilaqas of the Sangrur and Kularan and into cash rents for kharif and batai for rabi in Balanwali.

 

 

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