PUNJAB SETTLEMENT MANUAL

Contents

 

1.       
Introductory
2.       

BOOK-1-HISTORICAL

The making of the Punjab

3.       

Development of Settlement policy in the North-Western Provinces

4.       

The Sikh Revenue System

5.       

Summary Settlement

6.       

Development of Settlement Policy in the Punjab

7.       

Cases

8.       

BOOK-II-THE RECORDS OF RIGHTS

Of tenures and the rights of landowners

9.       

On the rights of tenants

10.   

Preliminary Measures in connection with a Settlement

11.   

The Settlement Officer and his establishment

12.   

Survey

13.   

Classes of Land and Soils

14.   

The Record of Rights

15.   

BOOK-III-THE ASSESSMENT

Preparation for Assessment

16.   

Assessment circles and circle rates

17.   

Assessment Statistics

18.   

The Standard of Assessment, Net Assets and Rents

19.   

The Net Assets Estimate Based on batai and Zabti rents

20.   

The Net Assets Estimates based on Fixed Cash and Grain Rents

21.   

Miscellaneous Sources of Income connected with Land

22.   

Reasons for deviating from the One-fourth Net Assets Estimate in Assessment

23.   

General Considerations affecting the amount of the Assessment

24.   

Assessment Guides other than the One-fourth New Asset Estimates

25.   

Inspection of Estates for Assessment

26.   

Assessment of Particular Classes of Land.

27.   

Fluctuation Assessments

28.   

Term of Settlement Temporary and Permanent Settlement

29.   

Progressive Assessments and Protective Leases

30.   

Assessment Reports

31.   

Distribution of Revenue over Estates and Announcement of new Jamas.

32.   

Distribution of the Revenue over Holdings

33.   

Closing operations

34.   

Miscellaneous

35.   

APPENDIX I

Assessment Instructions issued from time to time

36.   

APPENDIX II

Forecast Reports

37.   

APPENDIX III

Calender of Land Revenue Settlements in Punjab

38.   

APPENDIX IV

Judicial powers exercised by Settlement Officer at different periods

39.   

APPENDIX V

Cancelled

40.   

APPENDIX VI

Business to be Disposed of by Settlement, Officers Directors of Land Records And The Commissioner

41.   

APPENDIX VII

Procedure connected with complete remeaurement of village

42.   

APPENDIX VIII

Documents included in standing records

43.   

APPENDIX IX

Village Lists of Rents Mortgages and Sales

44.   

APPENDIX X

Crop Experiments

45.   

APPENDIX XI

One-forth net assest estimate based on batai and zabti rents

46.   

Appendix XII

 (Settlement Manual Paragraph 315)

47.   

APPENDIX XIII

Heads for a Comparative Survey of the Resources of different tracts

48.   

APPENDIX XIV

Killabandi

49.   

APPENDIX XV

Instructions regarding assessment of urban land

50.   

APPENDIX XV (A)

THE PUNJAB LAND REVENUE (SPECIAL ASSESSEMENT) RULES

1958 Regarding the special assessment of land put to non agricultural use

51.   

APPENDIX XVI

Scheme for Contents of Assessment Reports

52.   

APPENDIX XVI

Scheme for Contents of Assessment Reports

53.   

APPENDIX XVIII

Incorporation of New Assessments into District Land Revenue Roll

54.   

APPENDIX XIX

Recovery of Cost of assessment from jagirdars

55.   

APPENDIX XX

Instructions for settlement Officer in drawing up Assessment Report

56.   

APPENDIX XXI

Instructions regarding correction of amp

57.   

APPENDIX XXII

Revised Rules to be observed in the printing, binding and distribution of assesment and settlement reports

58.   

APPENDIX XXIII

Rules regarding the assessment and collection of owner's rates in canal irrigated jagir and maufi lands

 
 
 

PUNJAB SETTLEMENT MANUAL

CHAPTER 1
Introductory

            Rights of State and private land owners in land and its produce- In India the State has always claimed a share of the produce of the land from the persons in whom it recognized a permanent right to occupy and till it or arrange for its tillage.[1] It [2]is needless to discuss the various ways in which in which this the right of the ruler to his share and the right of the occupier to hold the land he cultivated and pass it on to his children both formed part of the ancient customary law of the country, however, the latter might occasionally be denied in practice by an unjust Government.2

            2.         Ownership of land in India. Land revenue not a land tax. Broadly speaking individuals exercising a permanent right of the king described above subject only to payment of the dues of the State have been recognized by us as. “owners” or “proprietors”, but it would be a mistake to assume that these words, as used in India, imply all that they do in England. The share of the State, which we call the land revenue, is not a land tax3 It is more analogous to rent, and in early settlement literature it was so described, the Government being represe noted as surrendering to the landowner a small portion of the rent. The land revenue to is therefore “the first charge upon the rents, profit, or produce” of an estate or holding, and, until it has been paid, they cannot, without the previous consent of the Collector, be taken inexecution of a decree obtained by any private creditor. (Land Revenue Act, XVII of 1857, section 62).

            3.         Rent under native system of assessing land revenue. Native rulers sometimes took their share in kind dividing the crops with the cultivator on the threshing floor (batai). For certain crops, known as zabti, which it was inconvenient to provide, e.g., cane and poppies; fixed money rates were charged per bigha or Kanal. At other times the  State officials resorted to appraisement (kan or kankut), estimatin[3]g the amount of the Government share of the crops, and usually taking its value in money Numerous cesses (abwab) were levied in addition to the land revenue proper (mal).

            A prudent or ruler forbore to make the burden too heavy to be borne, and it is obvious that the collections were roughly adusted to the character of the seasons, and pressed much less heavily than a fixed cash demand equal to the average of the fluctuating amounts realised would have done. Rent in the usual sense of the word hardly existed in the districts now included in the North-Western Provinces or in the cast of the Punjab. The small land-holder was content to win a bare subsistence from the soil which he tilled with his own hands; the large landholder was at most able to obtain from the cultivator some trifling fraction of the crop, say one seer in the maund, as an acknowledgement of his superior title. As Mr. Thomason remarked in the  valuable sketch of teh system of land revenue administration prevalent in the North-Western Provinces1, prefixed to his “Directions for Settlement Officers.” “Undoubtedly traces are often to be found of the existence and exercise of a proprietary right in the land on the part of individuals. But so long as the sovereign was entitled to a portion of the produce of all land and there was no fixed wait to that portion, practically the sovereign was  so far owner of the land as to be able to exclude all other persons from enjoying any portion of the net produce. The first step, therefore, towards the creation of a private proprietary right in the land was to place such a limit on the demand of the Government as would leave to the proprietors a profit, which would constituting a valuable property. Native Governments seldom recognise proprietary right as constituting a claim on the part of proprietors to engage for the village at a fixed sum. Ordinarily the collections are made direct from the actual cultivators either by the officers of Government or by some farmer or assignee of the Government share of the produce.”

            These statements are not fully applicable to the state of things which existed in many parts of the Punjab proper under Sikh rule. There the leading men or malikhs were often strong enough to maintain a real proprietary right in the soil, to exact considerable grain does besides services of value from the cultivators, and to engage exclusively for the revenue whenever a cash assessment was introduced.

            4.         Policy adopted of a moderate cash assessment fixed for a term of year. A civllad Government like our own naturally prefers to commute its claim to a part of the produce of the soil into an annual money payment fixed for a term of year. British officers gradually learned that, if land revenue was to be collected in this shape with any sort of regularity, the dernand must be pitched well  below the native standard. The tendency to moderation was reinforced by considerations of humanity and belief that the best way to promote the extension and improvement of agriculture was to render the land a source of increasing profit to its owners by limiting the land revenue and making it incapable of enhancement for a considerable period. This policy is especially associated in the northwest of India with the names of Robert Merttins Bird and James Thomason, and the first administrators of the Punjab brought into this province the lessons learned in their school.

            5.         Twofold object of settlement. To assess the land revenue is the primary object of a settlement. It is necessary at the same time to decide who shall pay the sums assessed or, in technical language, with whom the settlement shall be made. To permit an individual to contract to pay the land revenue is usually an acknowledgement that he possesses a proprietary right in the soil, and the drawing up of lists (khewats)showing the landowners in every estate, the extent of each man’s right, and the amount of revenue for which he was primarily responsible, involved in our early settlements a determination for the first time of the ownership of every parcel of land in the country. It soon became evident that there were other persons who had rights in the soil besides those who could claim the offer of a settlement, and the advisability of making a complete record of all rights and liabilities connected with the land, including even those of tenants from year to year, was recognized. A settlement, therefore, consists of two main branches.

(a)        the assessment; and

(b)        the framing of a record of rights.

6.         Purpose of hand-book. It is purpose of the following pages to show haw these two operations are now carried out in the Punjab. But, as the present system has been slowly built up by the experience of nearly one hundred years in the North-Western Provinces and the Punjab, a historical sketch of the development of settlement policy may be usefully given as an introduction to the principal subject of this hand-book. But first will be briefly noticed the political changes of the first half of the Jamna to the Sutlej, and across the Sutlej to the Bias, and culminated in 1849 in the downfall of the Sikh kingdom and the formation of the new Province of the Punjab.

 

 

BOOK I

Historical

CHAPTER  II

 

The making of the Punjab

            Territories included in the Punjab when absorbed. The territories now included in the Punjab were, with a few exceptions, absorbed in the British Empire between 1803 and 1849.

I. The Delhi and Bhatti Territories.

8.         Acquisition of Delhi and Bhatti territories. The first tract to be conquered was the last to be anneed to the province. After the battle of laswari in November, 1803, Caulat Rao Sindhia, by the treaty of Sirji Anjengaum, ceded to the East India Company and its allies all his territories between the Jamna and the Ganges and also those situated to the north of the possessions of the Rajas of Jaipur and Jodhpur and the Rana of Gohad. the latter comprised the present districts of Gurgaon, Delhi, Rohtak, Hissar, tahsil panipat and pargana Karnal in the Karnal District, and tahsil Fazilka in Ferozepore. In 1805 Lord Cornwallis was sent out from England to reverse Lord Wellesley” policy by within life jagirs and partly in grants in perpetuity to native chiefs and others who had taken our isde in the recent troubles.

9.         History of these territories from 1803 to 1858. Grandually by the eschew of life jagirs and the confiscation of other grants from disloyalty most of the territory came under the direct rule of the paramount power, the last and most important cases of confiscation being caused by the events of the mutiny of 1857. Relics of the policy adopted in 1805-06 Karnal, in 1803 the territory beyond the Ghaggar, which from 1858 to 1884 formed the Sirsa District, now divided between, now divided between Hissar and Ferozepore, was a wild desert tract Known as Bhattiana or the Bhatti territory, and no effective control was exercised over it till 1818[4]. Down to 1832 the Delhi territory was controlled by the Residency. But Regulation V of that year, which abolished the office of Resident and annexed the Delhi territory to the jurisdiction of the Sadr Board and Courts of Justice at Allahabad, enjoyed the Commissioner of the Delhi territory and all officers acting under his control, ordinarily to “or form to the principles and spirit of the regulations” in their his control, ordinarily to antinistration. After the Multiny the Delhi division of the North-Western Provinces was in 858 transferred to the Punjab, and formed into the Delhi and Hissar divisions, which embraced the six districts of Delhi, Gurgaon, Panipat, Rohtak, Hissar and Sirsa.

II. The Cis-Sutlej and Hill States

10.       Cis-Sutlej and Hill States taken under protection- The Mahrattas were unable to set up again in any permanent shape the sway of Delhi over the territories lying to the north and west of Karnal and stretching from the Jamna to the Sutlej, which had been wasted from the Moghal Empire by the Sikhs after the battle of Sirhind in 1763. There was a few important States in this tract, but the rest of it was parcelled out in an extraordinary fasnied among confederacies of Sikh horsemen, each of whom held a very petty share, Several of the Sikh chiefs fought against us under the Mahratta standard in 1803, and some of them had to be chastised again next year when Holkar was threatening our newly acquired authority to the west of the Jamua. An amnesty was peroclaimed in 1805, and for a few years, in pursuance of the policy which sought to restrict our obligations be yound the Jamna, the Sikh States between that river and the Sutlej were left to themselves. But they were too weak and divided to resist the steady pressure of Ranjit Singh, who was bent on establishing his supremacy over all the followers of Guru Govind Singh. It is needless here to trace the causes and course of the long negotiations between the Maharaja and Sir Charles Metcalfe in 1808 and 1809[5]. Suffice it to say that the appeals of the leading Cis-Sutlej chiefs for British protection at last met with a favourable response, and December, 1808, Ranjit Singh was warned that by the issue of the war with the Mahratta these chiefs had come under our protection, and informed that the British Government could not acknowledge his title to any territory acquired by him between the Sutlej and the Jamna after the first reference ot their decision of the question of his right to make corquests to the south and east of the former river. The Maharaja was within an ace of declaring war, but in the end his statesmanlike instincts got the better of mortified amebition. On the 25th April, 1809, he signed a treaty pledging himself to make no encroachment on the territories of the Cis-Sutlej States. The compact so reluctantly made was faithfully observed. By a proclamation, dated 3rd may, 1809, “the chiefs of malwa and Sirhind” were declared to be under the protection of the British Government and secured “in the exercise of the same rights and authority within their own possession” as they had hitherto enjoyed. They were exempted from tribute, but bound to assist any Brit ish troops passing through their country, and to aid with their forees in repelling invasion. Two years later a proclamation, dated 22nd August, 1811, announced the determination their subjects. At the same time attempts by ona chiefor confederacy to seiae the property of the south and east of the Sutlej came under our protection.

11.       Development of protection into dominion. It was impossible that the relations between the paramount power and the protected  chiefs embodied in the proclamations of 1809 and 1811 should be permanently maintained. They were in fact issued under ami apprehension, it being imagined that” a few great chiefs only existed between the Jamana and the Sutlej, and that on them would devolve the maintenance of order.” (Cunning ham’s “history of the Sikhs", page 152). Matters were complicated by the fact that or territory gradually became much intermixed with the possessions of Sikh cheifs and confederacies in consequence of the escheat of estates and shares in default of heirs. During the first Sikh war in 1845 the open disloyalty of some chiefs and the neglect of tohers to fulfil their obligations under the proclamation of 1809 brought matter to a head. In decalring was the Governor-General announced that the possessions of Maharaja Dalip Singh on the left bank of the Sutlej were annexed. At the end of the war the estates of the Raja of Ladwa and Rupar Sardar, and a number of villages belonging to the Nabha State were confiscated, and the Kapurthala Chief was deprived of all his territory to the south of the Sutlej. In 1847 the remaining chiefs, with nine exceptions, the principal being the Patiala, Jind, and Nabha Rajas, were reduced to the status of jagirdars, and stripped of their criminal powers, while the obligation of feudal service was commuted into a money payment. In 1849 in jagridars were drprived of their civil powers and made amenable to our courts, and finally in 1850 orders were issued that all their estates not already settled at their request or at the request of the zamindars should be assessed. The Cis-Sutlej territory was thus at last reduced to the condition of an ordinary British possession.

12.       Administration of the Cis-Sutlej and Hill States before 1849 :– The Residentat Delhi had charge of all our political relations with protected or independent States in the north-west of Inida. In 1821 he was replaced by a Governo-General's Agent, and a St. perintendent of the Protected and Hill States was appointed, who had his headquarters at Amabla. In 1840 the Superintendent made way for a Governor-General's Agent for the North-West Frontier who was also stationed at Ambala. After the first Sikh war the at histration of the Cis-Sutlej States was entrusted to a Commissioner, whose charge Completed the four districts of Thanesar, Amabala, Ludhiana, and Ferozepore. The Ci-s-Sutlej Commissioner was sometimeds under the order of the Agent of theGovernor-General, North-west Frontier, at Lahore, and somethimes directly under the Foreign Department of the Government of India. When the new Province of the Punjab was formed in 1849 the Cis-Sutlej Commissioner's charge was included in it. In 1862, the Thanesar District was broken up, part of it being transferred to Panipat, with which it formed the new Karnal District, and part of Ambala.

 

III. The Jullundur Doab; Kangra and Hazara

13.              Annexation of Jullundur Doab and Kangra :– The death of Ranjit Singh in 1839 was followed by anarchy in the Skih State. In 1845, the selfish intriguers who ruled at Lahore in the name of the child Maharaja Dalip Singh, fearing the Khalsa army which they were powerless to control, yielded to its cry to be led across the Sutlej in the hope that its length would be broken in its conflict with the Company's forces[6]. In the war which ensued the valour of the Sikh soldiery was rendered useless by the treachery on incapacity[7] of  its leaders, and Lahore was occupied in February, 1846. By the 3rd and 4th Articles of the Treaty signed on the 9th of March, 1846. By the 3rd and 4th Articles of the Treaty signed on the 9th of March, 1846, Maharaja Dalip Singh ceded all the Bias and the Indus, including Kashmir and Hazara. Kashmir and Hazara were made over to Gulab Singh for a payment of seventy-five lakhs; but next year he induced the Lahore Darbar to take over Hazara and to give him in exchange territory near Jammu. The tract between the Bias and the Sutlej was formed into the Commissionership of the Trans-Sutlej States, and put in charge of Mr. John Lawrence. It was divided into the three dirstricts of Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur, and Kangra. Three years later these districts and Hazara become part of the new province of the Punjab.

 

IV. The Punjab west of the Bias

14.       Annexation of the Punjab west of the Bias in 1849 and administration of the province down to 1859 :– After the Wazir Raja Lal Singh had been banished for instigating Sheikh Imam-ud-din to resist the occupation of Kashmir by Gulab Singh, an agreement was executed in December, 1846, between the British Government and the Principal Sikh Sardars, by which a Council of Regency was appoinhted, which was to be controlled by a British Resident siationed at Lahore. Henry Lawrence was the first Resident, but his brother John more than once officated for him. They had under them a staff of able assistants, and one of the duties on which the latter were employed when the second Sikh war broke out in 1848 was the makin of summary settleemnts in the different districts under the control of the Darbar. On the 21st of February, 1849, the Khalsa army was finally broken in the battle of Gujarat ; on the 30the of March the proclamation annexing the Punjab was read at Lahore, and Lord Dalhousie's despatch, dated 31st March, put the Voernment of the province under a Board of Aministration consisting of the two Lawrences and Charles Greville Mansel. The Board was abolished in February, 1853, and its powers vested in a Chief Commissioner, under whom the principal administrative officers were the Judicial Commissioner and the Finanacila Commissioner. John Lawrence, the first and only Chief Commissioner of the Punjab, became its first Lieutenant-Governer the Ist of January, 1859.

 

V. Subsequent Changes

14-A.   Formation of the North-West Frontier and Delhi Provinces — In November, 1901, the districts of Hazara, Peshawar, and Kohat, the Bannu and Marwat tahsils of Bannu and the Trans-Indus part of Dera Ismail Kha, with the exception of the Vehoailaka, were separated from the Punjab and formed into the North-West Frontier Province. On the Ist October, 1912, when the capital of India was removed to Delhi, the Delhi tahsil and the Mahrauli thana of Ballabgarh werr separated from the Punjab and formed into the Delhi Province.

 

CHAPTER III

Development of Settlement policy in the North-Western Provinces down to the period of the annexation of the Punjab

15.       The Punjab Settlement system brought from North-Western Provinces — The Settlement system of the Punjab was in its inception of the system of the North-Western has been less in the provinces[8] as it stood in 1849, and it is a curious fact that the deviation from that model has been less in the province which adopted it than in the province which gave it brith. In his despatch establisling the Board of Administration Loard Dalhousie indicated that a Revenue Code for the newly conquered territory would be found" in the four printed circulars of the Sadr Board of Revenue, North-Western Provinces, and the pamphlets published under the orders of the Lieutenant - Governor."

            The pamphlets referred to were Thomason's "Directions for Settlement Officers and Collectors", which appeared in three parts between 1844 and 1848. But quite as imprtant as these written instructions was the fact that the revenue policy of the Punjab was moulded by officers who had administered districts and made settlements in the North-Western Provinces. Of the three first memebrs of teh Board of Administration, two, John Gawrence and C.G. Mansel, were civilians trained in assessment and revenue work under Bird and Thomason, and, when Mansel left he was succeeded by Rober Montogomery, who eleven years earlier had settled the Allahabad District. Altogether nineteen of the best of Thomason's officers were sent to the Punjab, and they brought with them some of this way obtained ready-made a system which had been gradually evolved by the labours of many able officers in the districts between the Jamna and the Ganges, and a sketch of the growth of its settlement policy would be incomplete without a brief account of the process by which the model it adopted took shape in its original home.

 

16.       Early settlements in North-Western Provinces, 1801 to 1822. – The "ceded provinces" and the "conquered provinces" as the districts now included in the North-Western Provinces were called, came under British rule in 1801 and 1803, respectively. As regards their revenue management they were till 1831 under the Board of Revenue at Calcutta; and it was the intention of Government to give them after ten years a permanent settlement. Meanwhile tow triennial settlements and one quadrennial settlement were to be made, and thereafter the permanent settlement "was to be concluded with the smae persons (if willing to engage, and if no others who have a better claim should come forward) for such lands as might be in a sufficient state of cultivation to warrant the measure on surely terms as Government shall deem fair and equitable."[9]

                These early settlements were very rough and ready proceedings. There were no field drvey maps, no reliable returns of the cultivated area or of the crops grown, and no trust worthy records from which the profits of the landholder could be deduced. A Collector here and there might attmept to estimate the net produce of the land by calculating the value of the gross outturn and deducting the expenses of cultivation. But the ordinary procdure followed in the early years of the century was that desribed by Mr. Thomason's Chief Secreatry, Mr. John Thornton, in Volume XII of the "Calcutta Review" : "The early settlments..............were effected in a very easy and cursory way. The Collector sat in his office at the sadr station. attended by his right-hand men. The Kanungos, by whoem he was almost entirely guided. As each estate came up in succession, the brief record of former settlements was read, and the..............fiscal register for ten years immediately preceding ten cession or conquest was inspected. The kanungos were then asked who was the zamindar of the village. The reply to this questio pointed sometimes to the actual bona fide owner of one or of many estates, sometimes to the headman of the village community; sometimes to a non-resident Saiyyid of Kayath, whose sole possession consisted in the levying a yearly sum from the real cultivating proprietors, and sometimes to the large zamindar or talukdar , who held only a limited interest in the greater portion of his domain. Occasionally a man was siad to be zamindar who had lost all connection for years with the estate..........thought his name might have remained in the kanungo's books. As the dicta of these officers were generally followed with little further enquirey it may be imagined that great injustice was thus perpetrated. Then followed the determination of the amount of revenue. On this point also reliance was placed on the daul or estimate of the kamungo checked by the accounts of past collections and by any other offers of mere farming speculators which might happen to be put forward at the time Mistakes of course occureed, and it was often necessary to readjust the demand even during the currency of the short lease then granted, but, on the whole this part of the system succeded betten than might have been expected."

 

17.       Rights of peasant owners over-ridden by farmers, talukdars and sadr malguzars.– One great evil in these settlements was the extent to which engagments were taken from farmers. This was soon recognised to be an abuse, and was partially corrected as time went on. But a real dislike on the part of the landholders to undertake resp. sibility for the payment of of a cash assessment frequently led to the offers of talukdars and farmers being accepted. Even where owners engaged, this as a rule only menat that a few of the leading landholders had been admitted as sadr malguzars and allowed to make what arrangements they could for collecting from their co-parceners, who were styled in the revenue literature of teh day the 'under-tenants'. There was no recored to show what the rights and liabilities of these co-parceners were. The sadr malguzar was called zamindar, and was treated as if he was the sole proprietor of the estate, however small his actual share might be. If once an engagement had been taken from him, the other landholders were only permitted to engage with his consent at a subsequent settlement. The rights of large bodies of peasant owners were thus over-borne and were in imminent danger of destruction.

 

18.       Vicious system of collection.- Bad as the process of assessment, the means employed for collection were far worse. The most drastic process known to the Revenue Code was constantly and indicriminately applied when villages fell into arrears, and the abuses of the sale law became the scandal of the administration. If the sadr malguzar made default the whole patti or estate for which he had engaged was put up to auction, and all private rights of ownership annulled in fagour of the puchaser, who was very free quently the tahsildar or one of his underlings. Indeed, we are told that “by some strange misapprehension the rule applicable to cases of sale for arrears of reyenue appears to have been extended not only to the sales of estate under decrees of court for private debts, but even to the private transfers of the sadr malguzars.”[10] The powerful machinery of a civilized Government was rapidly breaking up communities which had survived the crushing exaction of the petty tyrannies which it had replaced. The extent of the evil may be gauged by the extraordinary nature of the remedy applied with very partial successar 1821. In that year a commission was apointed with power to annual, should equity require it, any public or private transfer of land which had taken place before the 13th of September, 1810.

 

19.       Over-assessment and bad revenue management in Delhi territory. In those parts of the Delhi territory which came under our direct management during the first quartest the century, things were not a whit better. In the 5th Chapter of the Karnal Settlement. Report Mr. Ibbetson has drawn a dark picture of the gross over-assessment and fiseal mismanagement which prevailed in Panipat down to 1824, and which was only acually corrected in the next 18 years. A similar tale of over-assessment and the breaking down of villages is told in Mr. John Lawrence’s report on the settlement of the Rewari gargana of the Gurgaon District which he made in 1836. One reason which he gives for he amposition of extravagant demands is significant. He says- “The parana was in the first instance greatly over-assessed. The majority of the largest and finest villages were in the possession of persons of wealth and infulence.........These people were set one against another in order to raise the revenue, and in consequence of the feuds which exmeed among them, this was but too easily accomplished. Each endeavoure to outbid the other and enhance the assessment of his rival. This had the effect or raising prodigiously are revenue of all these villages.”

            Was parhaps forunate that a great part of the Delhi teritory did not come under our direct revenue management till wiser mathjods had been learned by pain experience.

 

20.       Protection of rights of peasant owners. The last object was secured by providing that the fact that a person had not hitherto joined in the settlement lease should be no bar to his being admitted to engage  in future, and by taking power in those cases in which the oareners did not become jointly responsible to make what we should now call a subsetlement[11] with them determining exactly the amounts which they should pay to the farner talukdar, or sadr malguzar. At the same time their interests were nrotected from fisljkd in canseqnence of the defauit of the sadr maiguzar.

 

22.       Record of rights to be framed after exhaustive local enquiry.- A very minute enqure arding the extent of the rights and interest of every person sharing in the sqsr of the soil was to be made, and the rates of rent demandable from all resident whether possessing the right claimed. His decision, even when upheld by the Board of Revenue was not indeed final as the defeated party might bring a regular civil in th zillah Court. But an immense step forward was taken when disputes regarding rights in land were in the first instance submitted to an officer  whose duties forced him temake a careful study of the peculiartities of Indian tenures, and who could hear the cases line villages in the prese of the assembled brotherhood. It is the great merit of Holt madenzie’s scheme that it moved every part of settlement work from the kachahari to the camp.

 

Contents         Next



1.        See the opening words of the first cluase of Regulation XXXI of 1803; "By the ancient law of the country the ruling power is entitled to a certain proportion of the annual produce of every bigha of land"

2.        In the ealry statement of 1846 an old Sikh bluntly remarked to the Government official that the land tax (?) belonged to Government but the land to the people" – Cust's Revenue Manual, page 5.

3.        3. "The land revenue of Indiam as of all eastern countries, is less to be regarded as a tax on the landowners than as the result of a kind of joint owinership in the soil or its produce, under which the latter is divided in unequal and generally undefined proportions between the ostensible proprietors and the State."

 

 

1. Now the United Provinces

1. Griffin's Punjab Rajas, pages 164-180.

[5]  See Griffin's Punjab Rajas, pages 95-122.

[6] Their policy was indicated by the old Sikh motto – " throw the snake into your enemy's bosom….The snake was the evilly-disposed, vilent yet powerful and splendid Sikh army. It was to be flung upon the  British and so destroyed. "Memoris of Alexander Gardener Colonel of Artillery in the service of Maharaja Ranjit Singh.,  pages 261-2". Compare Gough's "The Sikhs and the Sikh Wars",. page 60

2. See "The Sikhs and the Sikh Wars" page 65 asnd 133.

 

[8] Now the united Provinces of Agra and Oudh

[9] Holt Mackenzie's Memorandum, paragraph 7.

[10]  Holt Mackenzie's Memorandum, paragraph 571.

[11]  Compare Sir Willam Muir's remarks as to an early settlement of part of Bandelkhand, which become notorious in the North-Western Proviences : "The Settlement of Mr. Warning resembles an auction in which the highest bidder was sure of his object." (Muir's Settlement Report of Kalpi pargana, para 29