Fourth settlement of Sangrur Tahsil, 1899-1919

 

This was done by Lala Ram Kishan Das during 1899-1919. In this settlement, cash rents were fixed in the whole Sangrur Tahsil for the welfare of the zamindars. In this last settlement, the total area of tahsil measured was 1,61,154 acres (65,245 hectares) cultivated 1,30,568 acres (52,862 hectares), uncultivated 30,586 acres (12,383 hectares), uncultivated 30,586 acres (12,383 hectares). It was 613 acres (248 hectares) less than in the previous settlement and the revenue assessed was Rs. 1,86,828 which was also less by Rs. 22,287 and villages rose from 95 to 97. This reduction in revenue was owing to cash assessment instead of batai. The shrinkage of 613 acres (248 hectares) of land was due to the expansion of the villages in the tahsil.

 

Settlement in former Nabha State Areas. In the area falling in the then Nabha Princely State, the ancient system of levying the revenue in kind remained in force up to 1860. However, since 1860 the system of cash assessment was introduced in the princely State except Lohat Badi (Malerkotla Tahsil) in which it was introduced in 1875. After the summary assessment, a regular settlement was initiated in 1891 and completed in 1902. This assessment was conducted on the lines of the British Revenue Law of 1884, the land was measured and the record of rights prepared as in a British District.

 

Land revenue system in Faridkot Princely State. As far back as 1838, there had been a rough attempt at measuring certain villages in the Faridkot ilaqa. This was known as ghore kacch or measurement on horseback, and was as its name implies very superficial. In Kot Kapura, rough boundaries had been laid down and areas recorded by Mr Daniell before that tract was restored to Raja Pahar Singh for his services in the Satluj campaign. The first real attempt at Settlement took place during the years 1860-65 under the direction of Lala Moti Ram. No regular assessment was announced at that time. Most of the revenue was paid in kind. The usual rate being 1/5 share of the crop, but useful papers were compiled showing the occupants of the land with the period for which they had then been cultivating it. As a general rule, founders of villages who had settled before 1844 were recorded as inferior proprietors under the Raja, while villages founded after that year were held to be the property of the Raja. These operations cannot be classed as anything but a summary settlement, and little was settled as to the rights of tenants and owners. In 1880 commenced what is known as Lala Daulat Ram's Settlement. The operations of this settlement dragged of interminably and were never satisfactorily completed; measurements were completed in 1885, but areas were not computed and the revenue assessment was not announced till 1889. Records of rights were not ready till 1900 and it was not till then that malkana was assessed; even at that date, the records of rights of three large villages were not completed, their preparation continuing till 1907.

 

In this settlement, the utar and hithar circles were distinguished, soils were classified for the first time, customary law was discussed, and occupancy tenants were classed in accordance with the Punjab Tenancy Act (this last not being done till 1891).

 

Rates varying from 10 to 13 annas a ghumaon were adopted in the hithar, whilst in the utar they varied between annas 11-6 and 14. But revenue in kind was retained in 13 or 14 villages and not finally abolished till 1904.

 

The total land revenue assessed was just over three and a half lakhs of rupees. In addition to this, rules were framed for the collection of various dues connected with land such as succession fees; dharat, tirni and mud mudakheri, whilst the State was recorded as having various rights over trees, fuel, etc.

 

The length of the operations was mainly caused by delays and interruptions in the work of the staff. These naturally led to faulty incomplete work; great dissatisfaction was felt with the way rights in the land had been recorded and this led to the passing of a Special Act (4 of 1907) creating a right similar to a right of occupancy which was conferred on various tenants previously recorded as tenants at-will, and ultimately to the operations of the present settlements which were started in the same year.

 

The settlement which was prevalent in 1915 was carried out during the year 1907 to 1910 by Chaudhri Kesar Ram. The term of Lala Daulat Ram's Settlement which was for 12 years had expired in 1901, but the new settlement was started with a view to determining the true rights in the land rather than with the idea of an increase of revenue. The State was again divided into two assessment circles, the utar and hithar.

 

Measurement was done on the square laying system, the original five foot karm of the previous settlement was retained, the measures of area being :

 

1 square karm = 1 sarsahi

9 sarsahis = 1 marla

20 marlas = 1 kanal

8 kanals = 1 ghumaon

 

The following circle rates were adopted for the different classes of soil:-

 

Soil

Hithar

Utar

 

Rs

annas

Paise

Rs

annas

Paise

Karar

I

0

15

0

1

0

0

Karar

II

0

14

0

0

15

0

Gasra

I

0

13

0

0

14

0

Gasra

II

0

11

6

0

12

6

Tibbi

 

0

10

0

0

10

0

Banjar

 

0

4

0

0

5

0

 

No khush haisiyati or water advantage rate was charged on account of canal irrigation, this being the custom throughout the lands served by the Sirhind Canal.

 

The resulting assessment amounted to Rs. 3,89,985 which entailed an increase of Rs. 37,493 and was announced for a term of 30 years. The total expenditure on the Settlement was estimated at Rs. 95,970.

 

In the areas relating to erstwhile Jind State, when a new village was settled, the founder, his relations, and children who broke up the land for cultivation naturally had great influence and authority. The revenue was imposed in a lump sum on the tappa, of which they formed the heads, and its distribution rested with them. Gradually they became headmen, and the State looked to them for the realization of the revenue, their numbers increasing with the population. At the first regular settlement, they were allowed pachotra or 5 per cent of the land revenue.

 

In the areas relating to erstwhile Nabha Princely State, now forming part of the Bathinda District, the ancient system of levying the revenue in kind was in force up to 1924 Bikrami (1867 AD) when a cash assessment was introduced in all the parganas except that of Lohat Badi (now in district Sangrur), in which it was not introduced till 1932 Sambat (1875 AD).

 

 

 

(i)                Collection of Land Revenue

 

 

In the areas relating to the erstwhile Patiala State, land revenue was collected by the lambardars in the supervision of Kachhus, Batawas and Muhararris under the kham system. Being a defective system, it was abolished by Maharaja Narinder Singh. Since the regular settlement commenced in 1901, lambardari cess of 5 per cent was levied and a small sum called panchai or pachotra began to be paid to lambardars out of the State revenue.

 

In Jind Stat, zaildari system was not in vogue, while it prevailed in the Patiala and Nabha states.

 

Keeping in view the evils of zaildari system, these posts were abolished after the achievement of independence. But after 1948, certain factors such as the introduction of Panchayati Raj and political awakening made the ruralites more conscious increasing thereby the incidence o the evasion of land revenue. This affected the position of the lambardar considerably. In order to strengthen the revenue work, superior posts of Zaildars and Inamdars were recreated but those were reabolished in 1964 leaving the Lambardar alone to collect revenue.

 

The Lambardar is responsible for the collection of revenue on payment of pachotra (5 per cent of the land revenue), and in this work he is assisted by the Chowkidar, another village worker and the Patwari, a government official. Now, the lambardar also collects abiana, for which he is paid 3 per cent as collection charges.

 

 

(ii)              Income from Land Revenue and Special Cesses

 

 

Land Revenue. In the Punjab, the area to be assessed is generally divided into a group of villages called the assessment circles which are sufficiently homogeneous to admit of a common set of rates being used as a general guide in calculating the land revenue to be recovered. It is based on net-assets which according to the Punjab Land Revenue Act, 1887, means the estimated average annual surplus produce as ascertained after deduction of all the ordinary expenses of cultivation including payment, if any, which the land owner customarily bears whether in kind or cash, either in whole or in part in respect of water rates, maintenance of means of irrigation, maintenance of embankments, supply of seeds, etc. Land revenue rates differ from assessment circle to assessment circle. In each circle, different rates are levied for different types of soils. Land revenue is not levied upto 5 standard acres. This has been abolished from the rabi of the agricultural year 1966-67 under the Punjab Land Revenue (Amendment Act, 1968). This concession is available to the landowner as and when he is covered under this category of owner holding 5 standard acres of land or less. In Bathinda District, the following rates of land revenue are levied :-



Dry (Unirrigated) Land

Wet (Irrigated) Land

Barani (Rainfed) Rabi, Sailard, etc. (per bigha)

Government/private canal irrigated and well irrigated(per bigha)

Minimum

Maximum

Minimum

Maximum

0.01

0.48

0.17

0.97

 

 

(Statistics of Public Finance Punjab, 1985-86, issued by the Economic Adviser to Government Punjab, Chandigarh)

 

 

Land revenue is realised twice a year, i.e. for kharif by 31 January and for rabi 30 June. It is not collected from all those lands which are rendered unculturable on account of thur and sem under the provision of Punjab Land Revenue (Thur, Sem, Chos and Sand) Remission and Supervision Rules, 1961.

 

The following table gives the details of income from land revenue and remission in the Bathinda District, during 1977-78 to 1988-89 :-

 

Year ending rabi

Recovery

(Rs)

Remission

(Rs)

1977-78

6,82,884

 

1978-79

7,05,400

 

1979-80

6,92,516

 

1980-81

6,97,547

8,204

1981-82

7,05,779

 

1982-83

7,28,066

 

1983-84

7,01,536

 

1984-85

7,31,133

 

1985-86

7,39,973

 

1986-87

7,43,164

 

1987-88

7,32,552

 

1988-89

7,37,277

 

(Source : Deputy Commissioner, Bathinda)

 

Additional Land Revenue. Additional Land Revenue has been imposed under the Punjab Land Revenue (Amendment) Act, 1974 with effect from the kharif crop of the agricultural year 1974-75. It is payable by all the landowners paying land revenue exceeding Rs. 20 per year. It is a progressive type of tax. The rate of additional land revenue are as under :-

 

 

1.

 

Where the total land revenue exceeds twenty rupees but does not exceed fifty rupees annually.

 

 

 

 

Two hundred per cent of the amount by which the total land revenue exceeds twenty rupees.

2.

Where the total land revenue exceeds fifty rupees but does not exceed one hundred rupees annually.

 

Sixty rupees plus two hundred and fifty per cent of the amount by which the total land revenue exceeds fifty rupees.

 

3.

Where the total land revenue exceeds one hundred rupees but does not exceed two hundred rupees annually.

 

 

 

 

One hundred and eighty-five rupees plus three hundred per cent of the amount by which the total land revenue exceeds one hundred rupees.

 

4.

Where the total land revenue exceeds two hundred rupees annually.

 

 

 

 

Four hundred and eighty-five plus three hundred and fifty per cent of the amount by which the total revenue exceed two hundred rupees.

The surcharge on the land revenue and the special charge on the land revenue levied under the Punjab Land Revenue (Surcharge Acct, 1954) and the Punjab Land Revenue (Special Charge) Act, 1958, respectively have been abolished. Both these Acts have been repealed with effect from the kharif crop of agricultural year 1974-75.

 

The following table shows the details of income from additional land revenue in Bathinda District during 1977-78 to 1988-89 :-

 

Year additional

Income from land revenue

(Rs)

1977-78

37,157

1978-79

39,649

1979-80

38,425

1980-81

38,756

1981-82

38,256

1982-83

32,078

1983-84

29,428

1984-85

28,588

1985-86

31,764

1986-87

28,115

1987-88

34,553

1988-89

31,647

(Source : Deputy Commissioner, Bathinda)

 

Special Cesses. Besides the land revenue, following cesses are levied on the landowners in the Bathinda District :-

 

Village Officers' Cess

 

Previously, the Village Officers' Cess was included in patwar cess in the area relating to Bathinda District of the erstwhile Patiala State. But in Jind and Faridkot states, the land revenue was collected as a fixed share of the crop and the patwar cess was not collected as a separate item with the land revenue. In the erstwhile Patiala State, since the regular settlement commenced in 1901, the cesses levied in the State included patwar cess i.e. 2 per cent. After the information of PEPSU and with the abolition of zaildari and sufedposhi agencies in 1964, only pachotra at the rate of 5 per cent of land revenue is being charged as the Village Officers' Cess.

 

Local Rate

 

Local rate is levied under Section 61 of the Punjab Panchayat Samities and Zila Parishad Act, 1961 at the rate of 50 per cent of the land revenue. It has grown from small beginnings. It was usual in early settlements to levy an extra cess or local rate cess on land revenue to maintain schools, hospitals, roads, etc. In the beginning of the 19th century, in erstwhile Jind State, it was derived from the levy of an extra cess of 5 per cent on the land revenue in small villages, and 2 per cent in large ones. Menial tribes had to pay an atraf of Rs 1 to Rs 2 on each hearth of house (khudi). Similarly, it was levied at the rate of 4 per cent (1 per cent road cess, 1 per cent school cess, 1 per cent hospital cess and 1 per cent postal cess) in erstwhile Patiala State.

 

Local rate in princely states was raised from time to time. At the time of Independence, local rate in these states was not at par and varied from chak to chak even in one State. In most of the chaks of the Patiala State, it was levied at the rate o 11 per cent. Similarly in Nabha State, it was levied at 18 per cent in chak Phul, at 7 per cent in chak Dhanaula (now in Sangrur District). In Jind State, chak Nabha (now in Patiala District). In Jind State, in most of the chaks, local rate was 11 per cent, but in chak Sangrur, it was 9 per cent.

 

Later on, when PEPSU was merged in the Punjab State, local rate in the whole district was brought at par and was levied at the rate of 50 per cent of the land revenue.

 

The following table shows the collections from local rate in Bathinda District, during 1977-78 to 1988-89 :-

Year

Income from Local Rate

1977-78

4,15,433

1978-79

4,15, 651

1979-80

4,15,968

1980-81

4,15,757

1981-82

4,14,886

1982-83

4,24,708

1983-84

4,29,052

1984-85

4,26,777

1985-86

4,26,777

1986-87

4,22,416

1987-88

4,22,416

1988-89

4,22,416

 

(Source : Deputy Commissioner, Bathinda)

 

1.      Abiana

 

The abiana or water rates are charged on the area irrigated by canals. These charges vary from canal to canal and from crop to crop. The income from this source in the Bathinda District, during 1977-78 to 1988-89 is given below :-

 

Year

Income from abiana

(Rs)

1977-78

1,57,54,892

1978-79

1,66,09,769

1979-80

1,76,11,958

1980-81

1,80,63,268

1981-82

1,83,24,095

1982-83

1,86,38,607

1983-84

1,79,67,162

1984-85

1,98,36,670

1985-86

1,99,12,121

1986-87

1,99,72,079

1987-88

2,09,11,881

1988-89

2,03,31,352

 

Source : Deputy Commissioner, Bathinda)

 

Cess on Commercial Crops. Cess under the Punjab Commercial Crops Act, 1974, has been levied with effect from the kharif crop of agricultural year 1974-75. It is levied on commercial crops, viz. Chillies, cotton, mustard seeds, potatoes, sugarcane, tomatoes, orchards including vineyards at the rate of Rs. 6 per acre, in case of irrigated land and Rs. 3 per acre in case of unirrigated land under these crops. This cess is applicable and payable by the landowners growing these crops on their land irrespective of the fact whether they are assignees of land revenue or not. During the last twelve years, i.e. 1977-78 to 1988-89, the collections by way of a cess on commercial crops is given below.

 

Year

Income from cess on commercial crops

(Rs)

1977-78

25,81,524

1978-79

26,04,735

1979-80

35,29,360

1980-81

8,55,299

1981-82

37,48,589

1982-83

40,58,516

1983-84

108,56,770

1984-85

33,24,907

1985-86

38,11,919

1986-87

38,21,276

1987-88

42,49,853

1988-89

39,48,794

 

(Source : Deputy Commissioner, Bathinda)

 

(b)   Land Reforms

 

Prior to the introduction of land reforms, the tenants had no hereditary cultivating rights; they cultivated at the will of the owners, who could eject them whenever they chose, after a harvest, unless they were admitted to the maurusis. In some areas, the cultivators had hereditary cultivating rights, and were called muzarian-I-maurusi. They were not deemed to hold any proprietary rights, but paid a fixed rent in cash or grain as malikana to the owner. The owner had the further advantage that he used to obtain possession of the land of his hereditary cultivator in the event of his death without male issue or next of kin within three generations. Most of the tenants were suffering on account of the non-conferment of ownership rights and they did not take serious interest in cultivation as they were fed up with exploitation of the landowners.

 

To improve the lot of the exploited tenant, major step taken in the direction of land reforms was the abolition of intermediaries like zamindars, jagirs, inams, etc. Consequently, tenants and in pursuance of the PEPSU Government Policy 'Land for the tiller', the following laws (both in PEPSU and Punjab State) were enacted :-

 

1.                 The East Punjab Utilization of Lands Act, 1949

2.                 The Punjab Occupancy Tenant (Vesting of Proprietary Rights) Act, 1952

3.                 The Punjab Abolition of Ala Malkiat and Talukdary Rights Act, 1953

4.                 The Security of Land Tenures Act, 1953

5.                 The PEPSU Abolition of Ala Malkiyat Rights Act, 1954

6.                 The PEPSU Occupancy Tenants (Vesting of Proprietary Rights) Act, 1954

7.                 The PEPSU Tenancy and Agricultural Lands Act, 1955

8.                 The Punjab Bhudan Yagna Act, 1955

9.                 The Punjab Resumption of Jagir Act, 1957

10.              The Punjab Village Common Lands (Regulation) Act, 1961

11.              The Punjab Land Reforms Act, 1972.

 

Under the East Punjab Utilization of Lands Act, 1949, which was made applicable to this district from 1956 when PEPSU was merged with the Punjab State, the Collector can take into possession and lease out any land which is cultivable, but has not been cultivated for the last six harvests. Under the PEPSU Abolition of Ala Malkiyat Rights Act, 1954, the superior landowners were given five times the amount of rent they got from the inferior landowners. Under the PEPSU Occupancy Tenants (Vesting of Proprietary Rights) Act, 1954, the occupancy tenants were made full-fledged landowners liable to Government for paying land revenue, while the landowners were compensated for this loss. This measure not only ended an anachronism by eliminating an outmoded class but also made the land secure for the landowner who was the actual tiller, and brought him in direct relationship with Government. Besides the classes of cultivators mentioned above, a large area was cultivated by the tenants-at-will who were at the mercy of landlord and they had no security of tenancy. The amount of rent was not fixed and they had no remedy to seek incase of distress. To better their lot, the PEPSU Tenancy and Agricultural Lands Act 1955, was enacted, which not only gave security of tenancy to the tenants but also laid down the maximum amount of rent that could be charged from them and prescribed the specific grounds on which tenants alone could be ejected and not otherwise. Besides, the maximum area that could be cultivated by landlord himself was prescribed. Thus a large area was released for the tenants. However, later on it was considered necessary that these provisions should be further modified and on the basis of national guidelines, the Punjab Land Reforms Act, 1971, was drafted and passed on 14 December 1972.

 

In order to carry out the objectives of the Act, the Punjab Land Reforms Rules, 1973, were framed under the Act. A scheme, viz. the Punjab Utilization of Surplus Areas Scheme 1973, was also introduced under the provisions of the act for utilization of surplus areas.

 

In order to implement the land reforms programme in the State, an Advisory Committee at the State level and similar committees at the district levels were constituted. Surplus land is being distributed to landless agricultural workers, members of Scheduled Castes and Backward Classes, and tenants who own no land or have an area less than two hectares of the first quality land.

 

The distribution of land among various classes of cultivators/landholders in the district, during 1977-78 to 1988-89, is given in the following statement :-

 

Distribution of land among various classes of cultivators/landholders in the Bathinda District,

1977-78 and 1980-81 to 1988-89

 

(Area in hectares)

 

Year

Class of cultivators/ Landholders

1977-78

1980-81

1981-82

1982-83

1983-84

1984-85

1985-86

1986-87

1987-88

1988-89

Total cultivated area

5,05,149

5,02,540

5,08,460

---

5,00,263

4,80,244

4,72,790

4,72,791

4,72,597

4,70,389

Tenants at will

2,94,336

2,68,695

2,81,366

2,82,436

2,82,564

17,879

17,819

17,820

17,946

20,141

Owners

2,10,813

2,33,845

2,27,093

2,27,187

2,27,202

564

558

560

560

570

Tenants with rights of occupancy

--

---

--

---

---

---

--

---

--

--

 

(Source : Deputy Commissioner, Bathinda)

Security of Land Tenures. The Punjab Security of Land Tenures Act, 1953, was passed to provide for the security of land tenure and other incidental matters. Two years later, the PEPSU Tenancy and Agricultural Lands Act 1955, was enacted, because relationship between the landlords and tenants in PEPSU area were strained. Both the Acts were enacted with the primary tenants. Under the Punjab Act, no landowner can own or a tenant can hold more than 30 standard acres and where such 30 standard acres are being converted into ordinary acres, exceed 60, such 60 acres. However in the case of allotted land, the permissible limit is 50 standard acres or 100 ordinary ac acres. Similarly under the PEPSU Act, permissible limit is 30 standard acres, but it is 80 ordinary acres and in the case of allotted land, it is 40 standard acres and the 100 ordinary acres. Under the PEPSU Act, once the area is declared surplus, it vets in the Government but under the Punjab Act, it remains with the landlord till it is distributed amongst the landless. In the meantime if the landlord dies, his each successor is entitle to retain 30 standard acres. Therefore, the whole area is to be redistributed amongst them and in case any of them still possesses more than the permissible limit only then it becomes surplus. The area in excess of the permissible limit is utilised for the resettlement of tenants ejected or to be ejected as a consequence of landlord reserving land for himself equal to the permissible area. Under the PEPSU Act, the whole of the surplus area is vested in the Government which may utilise the same for allotment to tenants who are willing to cultivate land personally or to landowner or to tenants owning or holding land not exceeding 5 standard acres, or to landless agricultural workers or for the development of co-operative farms or seed farms, etc. Besides, the PEPSU Tenancy and Agricultural Lands Act 1955, provides for the security of land tenure. According to the provisions of the Act, no tenant can be ejected from his cultivated holdings except in cases of default of payment of rent; or the tenant is using such land or part thereof in a manner which is likely to render the land unfit for the purpose for which it was leased to him; or the tenant on demand in writing by the landowner, has refused to execute a kabuliyat agreeing to pay rent in respect of his tenancy.

 

The main objectives of the Act are to provide a ceiling on individual land holdings, to give certain security of tenure to tenants, to provide for resettlement of tenants lawfully evicted and, to give a right to certain tenants to purchase land of their tenancy.

 

By 31 March 1989, 2,219 cases of surplus area had been decided and about 3,194 standard acres of land was declared surplus in the district. By the same date, 1,070 eligible tenants were rehabilitated on 2,363 standard acres of surplus area.

 

Utilization of Land. Prior to the enforcement of the East Punjab Utilization of Lands act, 1949, there were some areas in the district which were not brought under cultivation. In pursuance of government policy to utilize every inch of available culturable land for growing more food and other essential crops, the above Act has been enforced, under which a notice is served on every landowner who allows his land to remain uncultivated for six or more consecutive harvests and the land thus taken over is leased out to some other person for term ranging from 7to 20 years, priority being given to Harijans. This type of land is generally not available.

 

Consolidation of Holdings. Prior to the formation of PEPSU, the consolidation of holdings was started in the villages of the district, relating mainly to erstwhile princely State of Nabha, by the Co-operative Department. At that time, it was taken up in old villages at the request of the people. The consent of each holder was necessary before any scheme of redistribution could be implemented in the village. The progress was consequently slow. The Government of Patiala and East Punjab States Union Holdings (Consolidation and Prevention of Fragmentation) Act, 2007 (BK). The Act provided for the consolidation of agricultural holdings and for preventing the fragmentation of agricultural holdings in the State of Patiala and East Punjab States Union.

 

The Act provided for the consolidation of holdings in any estate or group of estates or any part thereof for the purpose of better cultivation of lands therein. The Government may of its own motion or on application made in this behalf, declare by notification and by publication in the prescribed manner in the estate or estates concerned its intention to make scheme for the consolidation of holdings in such estate or estates or part thereof as may be specified. On such publication in the estate concerned, the Government may appoint a Consolidation Officer who shall after obtaining in the prescribed manner the advice of the landowners of the estate or estates concerned, prepare a scheme for the consolidation of holdings in such estate or estates or part thereof as the case may be.

 

The Act further provides that the transfer or partition of any land contrary to the provisions of the Act shall be void. No land in any notified area shall be transferred or partitioned so as to create a fragment. No owner of fragment who intends to sell can sell without the prior approval of the Collector concerned. The owner shall in the first instance offer the fragment for sale to the owners of contiguous survey numbers or recognised subdivisions of survey numbers, and in case of their refusal to purchase, the owner may transfer it to the Government on payment. The Act provides compensation to any owner who is allotted a holding of less market value than that of his original holding.

 

After the merger of PEPSU in the Punjab, the consolidation of holdings of the district is undertaken under the East Punjab Holdings (Consolidation and Prevention of fragmentation) Act, 1948.

 

By 31 March 1989, land measuring 5,49,304 hectares was consolidated in the Bathinda District.

 

(c) Other Sources of Revenue, State and Central

 

(i) Other Sources of State Revenue

 

Besides land revenue, other sources of State revenue are; Stamp Duty, Registration Fee, Excise Tax, Motor Spirit Tax, Urban Immovable Property Tax, Sales Tax, Passengers and Goods Tax, Entertainments Tax, Entertainments Duty, Central Sales Tax, Electricity Duty and Copying Fee.

 

Stamp Duty. Prior to Independence, in the Patiala Princely State, all deeds were executed on plain paper till 1857. But Maharaja Narinder Singh introduced the use of stamp paper and entrusted the State seal to the special officer in the same year.

 

The State Stamp Act was introduced in Sambat 1924 (1867 AD) by Diwan Lala Kulwant Rai. Process fees (dastakana) at the rate of 2 per cent were introduced in Sambat 1929 (1872 AD). Up to that time, the parties produced their own witnesses. A special stamp was used to realise arrears of land revenue. In Sambat 1959 (1902 AD), the Stamp Department was transferred to the Accountant General on deputation, who reorganised the system of issue. The new rules provided for supply of stamps being kept in the charge of the Treasury Officer, who issued them to nizamat treasuries on receipt of quarterly indents. Stamps were only sold by licensed stamp vendors. The Patiala Stamp Act dealt with stamps and court-fees. From the 1st of Magh Sambat 1960 (1903 AD), fiscal stamps on water marked paper were introduced. The court-fee stamps differed from the general stamps. The stamps were manufactured in the fort at Patiala.

 

The State Act 1875, was in force in the Jind Princely State. Distinction between judicial and non-judicial stamps was that the stamps used in criminal cases bore the coat-of-arms in red, while those used in civil courts in civil suits and non-judicial cases bore it stamped in blue. The stamps of the denominations of annas 1,2,4,8 and 12 and Rs 1 to 20, 25, 30, 40, 50 and 100 were in circulation. These were manufactured in the Sadr Jail at Sangrur. The system of issue was that sheets of paper were first sealed with the mark of lion in the Sadr treasury and then handed over to mohtotamin in charge of the stamping work. The British Stamp Act and Court Fees Act were not recognised in the State. The State Act of 1875 with its modified form was applicable in the State.

 

In Faridkot Princely State, judicial and non-judicial stamps, hundis and receipt stamps of various denominations were printed in the state press and sold through the state treasurer who sold them to licensed vendors only for sale to the public. Hundis and receipt stamps were purchased by the public direct from the treasury. In the Faridkot State, British Court Fee Act with some modifications was in force. All applications, etc. submitted to the State Courts were required to be written on the State Darbar paper which bore the State coat-of-arms. It was sold at the treasury at the rate of 3 pies per sheet.

 

In Nabha Princely State, impressed non-judicial sheets of foolscap size were issued by the State. The value of sheets being annas 1,2, 4 and 8 and Rs. 1, 2, 4, 5, 10, 50, 100 and 500.

 

At present, the Indian Stamp Act (No. II) of 1899 amended by the Punjab Act VIII of 1922 and the Indian Stamp (Punjab Second Amendment) Act (No. 34) of 1960 is applicable in the whole of the Punjab State including the Bathinda District.

 

The Court Fee Stamps also known as judicial stamps are sold under the Court Fees Act 1870. This Act requires that the Collector (Deputy Commissioner) should ensure that all the document are properly stamped as per the Schedule* appended with the Act.

 

Stamp Revenue (duty) is derived from the sale of non-judicial stamps or revenue stamps.

 

The following table shows the amount realised from sale of non-judicial stamps and miscellaneous stamps in the Bathinda District, during 1977-78 to 1988-89 :-

________________________________________________________________________

* The Schedule forms part of the Act.

________________________________________________________________________

Year Miscellaneous Stamps Non-judicial Stamps Total

(Rs) (Rs) (Rs)

________________________________________________________________________

 

1977-78 66,87,943.00 1,50,57,786.00 2,17,45,729.25

1978-79 81,34,173.45 1,70,36,843.25 2,15,71.016.70

1979-80 87,66,436.35 2,26,55,125.50 3,14,21,561.85

1980-81 85,18,567.61 2,25,34,961.75 3,10,53,529.36

1981-82 80,40,674.45 3,46,26,285.25 4,26,66,959.70

1982-83 75,65,341.65 2,40,72,527.00 3,16,37,868.65

1983-84 1,03,83,103.65 2,64,44,006.00 3,68,27,109.65

1984-85 1,11,65,305.65 2,28,78.002.00 3,40,43,307.65

1985-86 1,44,96,970.85 3,58,45,833.75 5,03,42,804.60

1986-87 1,63,77,852.70 3,92,83,945.25 5,56,61,797.95

1987-88 1,67,54,966.35 4,98,36,020.50 6,65,90,986.85

1988-89 1,59,45,096.90 4,98,61,469.75 6,58,06,566.68

________________________________________________________________________

 

(Source : Treasury Officer, Bathinda)

 

Registration Fee. -- The Indian Registration Act, 1908, requires compulsory registration of all documents pertaining to immovable property and provides optional registration in case of other documents. The chief items of receipt collected by the Registration Department are in respect of registration of documents, making or granting of copies, searching of registers, power of attorney, etc.

 

Excise Tax. The State and Central Excise Acts enforced in the Punjab are : The Punjab Excise Act 1914; The Punjab Local Option Act, 1923; The Dangerous Drugs Act, 1930; The Punjab Molasses Control Act, 1948; The Indian Power Alcohol Act, 1948 and the Medicinal and Toilet Preparations (Excise Duties) Act, 1955.

 

General Sales Tax. It is levied under the Punjab General Sales Tax Act, 1948, which repealed the Punjab General Sales Tax Act, 1941.

 

Passengers and Goods Tax. It is levied under the Punjab Passengers and Goods Taxation Act, 1952, on all fares and freights in respect of passengers carried and goods transported in public vehicles in the State. The rate of tax has been increased from time to time. As on 31 March 1989, the passengers tax was levied at the rate of 45 per cent of the fare1, rate of tax per truck was 1,100 in the plains and 155 per annum in the hilly areas in the Punjab2.

 

Show Tax. It is levied under the Punjab Entertainment Tax (Cinematograph Shows) Act, 1954, for every show on the number of occupied seats of a cinema. According to Punjab Government Notification3, the tax shall not exceed Rs. 150 per show in any case and shall be charged proportionately for a fraction of 100 seats. The rate of show tax differs with the category of municipality in which cinema is located.

 

Entertainments Duty. It is levied under the Punjab Entertainments Duty Act, 1955, which repealed the Punjab Entertainments Duty Act, 1936. The duty is levied on the admission to any entertainment to which persons are ordinarily admitted on payment. The duty is also payable on complimentary tickets.

 

The rate of entertainment duty with effect from 3 May 1978 is 125 per cent of the admission charges except 40 per cent of the total number of seats in the cinema hall nearer the screen which are subject to duty at the rate of 100 per cent.

 

Central Sales Tax. The Central Sales Tax Act, 1956, came into force in January 1957, enabling the State Government to tax inter-state sales of goods. The States have been authorised to administer this tax on behalf of the Government of India. The entire collection of the tax is being appropriated by the states.

 

Electricity Duty. It is levied under the Punjab Electricity (Duty) Act, 1958 to meet the additional financial burden undertaken by the State on account of introduction of free education and provincialization of local body schools. The duty is levied on the energy supplied by the Punjab State Electricity Board to a consumer or a licensee and it is collected by the Board along with the bills for the energy thus supplied.

 

Copying Fee. It is charged under the Punjab Copying Fee Act, 1936, for copies of orders, etc. supplied to the public. The charges vary from supplying copies on ordinary and urgent basis.

 

(ii) Central Sources of Revenue

 

Central Excise Duties. The Assistant Collector, Central Excise Division, Moga, is the overall incharge of the Bathinda Range with headquarters at Moga. He is assisted by an Inspector, Central Excise, Bathinda.

 

The main sources of Central Excise Duty in the Bathinda District are : cotton yarn, iron and steel and products thereof, cellulosic spun yarn, P.P. food, paper, V.M.E. Oils, chewing tobacco, etc.

 

Income Tax. It is levied under the Income Tax Act, 1961, which replaced the Indian Income Tax Act, 1922, on 1 April 1962. The rate of income tax varies from year to year in accordance with the Finance Act passed by the Parliament every year.

Wealth Tax. It is levied under the Wealth Tax Act, 1957, which came into force from 1 April 1957. It is chargeable on the net wealth of an individual and Hindu Undivided Family (HUF).

 

Gift Tax. The tax is levied under the Gift Tax Act, 1958 on all gifts made after the date of the enforcement of the Act, i.e. 1 April 1958, if the total value of the gift (movable or immovable) exceeds the limit specified by the Finance Act passed by the Parliament in a particular year.

 

Estate Duty. -- The Estate Duty Act, 1953 came into force on 15 October 1953. The duty is leviable on the estates of persons dying after this date. The Bathinda District falls under the jurisdiction of Assistant Controller of Estate Duty, Bathinda.

 

CHAPTER XII

LAW AND ORDER AND JUSTICE

(a)

Incidence of Crime in the District

(b)

History and Organization of Police

Jails and Lock Ups

(d)

Organization of Civil and Criminal Courts

(e)

Bar Associations

 

(a) Incidence of Crime in the District

 

The criminal tendencies of the people of Bathinda District are not much different from the people living in adjoining districts of Faridkot and Sangrur. In the year 1989, there were 105 cases of murder reported in the Bathinda District. Cases of dacoity and rioting are almost nil in the district. During 1977-89, only 8 cases of dacoity, 4 cases of rioting and 1 case of traffic in women were reported in the district. There were few cases of robbery, cattle-lifting and cheating in the district. However, the cases of burglary and theft were 102 and 174, respectively in the district during 1989. The offences under Local and Special Laws are on the decrease. The total number of offences under these laws were 1,122 in 1989, as compared to 2,888 in 1977. Carrying of weapons is a status symbol for the rural masses of the district and its proximity to Haryana and Rajasthan states is perhaps one of the reasons for the people having criminal tendencies. Many criminals escape to these bordering States making it difficult for the police to pursue them effectively. Moreover, the rich harvest, particularly of cotton is another reason for the rural people of the district to indulge in the criminal activities.

 

Incidence of Motor Vehicle Accidents. -- With the expansion of vehicular traffic, incidence of road accidents in the Bathinda District has been on the increase. In 1984, 40 accidents took place in which 29 persons lost their lives.

 

Road Traffic. Road traffic is regulated not only under the India Motor Vehicles Act, 1939, but also under certain provisions of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, the Punjab Municipal Act, 1911, and the Municipal Bye-laws, the State Carriage Act, 1861, the Police Act, 1988, the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal Act, 1890; the Punjab Motor Vehicles Taxation Act, 1925 and the Hackney Carriage Act, 1879.

 

The prosecutions launched in the district under the above Act, during 1977 to 1989, are given in the following statement :-

 

(b)              History and Organisation of Police

 

Bathinda was seized by Maharaja Ala Singh with the aid of Sikh Confederacy in about A.D. 1754. Accordingly, most of the areas of the present Bathinda District became part of the princely State of Patiala. Hence it came under the police system prevalent in the then Patiala State, the salient features of which are described below :

 

The thana has always been a unit of police administration in the State, but formerly the thanedars possessed judicial powers also. They were mostly illiterate men and each had amin under him to carry on clerical work, and to act for him generally in his absence. Outlying posts, at a distance from thana, were under silladars who were selected from amongst the constables or chomars and chowkidars as they were then called. Till the reign of Maharaja Karam Singh, these thana functionaries were under the direct orders of the Adalati in all police and judicial an assistant clerk or maded mahrir was added to their establishment. In 1861, the office of naib-i-adalat was abolished and that of Nazim created instead. At the same time, Tahsildars were given magisterial powers authorising them to pass sentences of imprisonment up to three years. The Nazims were made Sessions Judges, and their Courts were made appellate courts for the decisions of appeals from the findings of the Naib-Nazims. In 1870, Maharaja Mohinder Singh found that judicial work was interfering with the Tahsildars1 legitimate duties connected with revenue and finance, and he appointed separate officers as Naib-Nazims to carry on that work. The thana functionaries were then placed under Naib-Nazims.

 

In 1882, the Council of Regency organized the Police Department on the British model. District Superintendents of Police were appointed at salaries ranging from Rs 80 to Rs 100 a month. The munshis and sepoys were called sergeants and constables, while Inspectors and Court Inspectors were appointed in every district. A police code was issued closely modeled on the Code of Criminal Procedure, and British Indian Criminal Law became the law of the State. The final step was the appointment of an Inspector-General of Police with an adequate headquarters staff in 1886. All departmental powers, formerly vested in the magistrates and Nazims, were then transferred to the Inspector General and the District Superintendent of Police. There were 36 thanas in the Patiala State. As far the present Bathinda District is concerned, Bhikhi, Bathinda, Sadulgarh and Boha were the thanas of the Patiala State. A small force of mounted police had also been organised.

 

With the merger of Pepsu with Punjab in 1956, Bathinda District became part of the Punjab State and as such it came under the Punjab Police system. As most of the territory of the Bathinda District is bordered by the states of Haryana and Rajasthan, an efficient police system in the district had become all the more important. Because of the geographical situation of the district, utmost vigilance is required for checking the anti-social elements. At present, the head of the police force, at district level, is the Senior Superintendent of Police, who works under the control of the Deputy Inspector General of Police, Firozpur Range, Firozpur. The Senior Superintendent of Police maintains law and order in the district under the general guidance and the supervision of the District Magistrate. He is assisted by 3 Superintendents of Police, 7 Deputy Superintendents of Police, 16 Inspectors, 253 Head Constables and 1,180 Constables

The number of police stations, police posts and S.P.O's (Special Police Officers) Pickets in each sub-division in the Bathinda District, as on 31 March 1989 is given below:-

 

________________________________________________________________________

 

Sub-division No. of Police Stations Police Posts S.P.Q. Pickets

Villages

 

________________________________________________________________________

 

Bathinda 125 1. Kotwali Bathinda (i) Civil

Station,

Bathinda

 

(ii) Railway

Colony,

Bathinda

 

(iii) Spinning

Mill,

Bathinda

 

2. Sadr Bathinda (i) Balluana

(ii) Kot Shamir

3. Cantonment Bathinda

4. Thermal Bathinda

5. Sangat Nandgarh

6. Nahianwala Killi Nihal (i) Aklia

Singh Wala (ii) Zeeda

 

Mansa 247 1. Sadar Mansa

2. City Mansa

3. Bhikhi

4. Bareta

5. Boha

6. Sardulgarh

7. Budhlada

8. Jhunir

9. Joga

 

Talwandi Sabo 88 1. Talwandi Sabo

2. Maur

3. Raman

4. Kot Fatta

5. Jaurkian

 

Rampura Phul 76 1. Phul Ghanda Banna

2. Rampura Choke (i) Kahangarh

3. Dialpura (ii) Kotha Guru

4. Nathana Bhagta (iii) Maluka

5. Balianwali (iv) Siriewala

(v)Kesar Singh

Wala

(vi) Hakam

Singh Wala

________________________________________________________________________

(Source : Senior Superintendent of Police, Bathinda)

 

 

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