By Accommodation Times Bureau
History: – The history of Land Administration dates back to the olden days of kings and Kingdoms. The Land Revenue was the major source of revenue for the kings. The prosperity of the kingdom was depending upon the levy of tax and its recovery. The Minister of Vijapur kingdom Todarmal was the founder of Ryotwari land revenue system. This system was introduced by Chhatrapati Shivaji in his “Hindavi Swaraj”. This system became so popular that British rule was compelled to adopt this system in old Bombay province. The present system of preparing and maintaining land records is a scientific form of Ryotwari Land Revenue System.
Main Objective of Land Revenue Administration is;
- to assess and collect of land revenue, collection of local cess on behalf of local bodies, collection of court fees, recovery of loans and advances, other dues of various departments, and all other dues recoverable as arrears of land revenue,
- To Prepare and maintain “Land Records” related to revenue accounts,
- To exercise the statutory powers endowed under the Maharashtra Land Revenue Code, 1966, the Mamlatdar Courts Act, the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 and various other land reform enactments.
DEPARTMENTS OF REVENUE ADMINISTRATION:-
Revenue administration is divided into four separate departments which are as mentioned below:
- Recovery of Revenue
- Measuring of lands
iii. The registration of land alienations and
Recovery of Revenue:-
There is not single person of the state who is not coming in contact with this department. It is because besides usual revenue recovery work this department is performing so many other services to the people for example issue of ration cards, issue of cast certificate and election duties etc. There are thousands of Revenue Officers working for this department. There top to bottom order is as mentioned below:
- Revenue Minister
- Secretary, Addl. Secretary Asst. Secretary etc.
- Divisional Commissioners
- Sub- Divisional Officers
- Tahasildars/Naib Tahasildars
- Circle Inspectors/Circle Officers
Measuring of Lands:-
This department is commonly known as Survey Department. This department is measuring land, fixing boundaries of holdings, settling assessment of the agricultural land. They determine boundaries of villages, cities and towns and fixes boundary marks. They also keep land records. Top to bottom order of Revenue Officers of this department is as mentioned below:
- Revenue Minister
- Settlement Commissioner
- Director of Land Records
- Dy. Director of Land Records
- Superintendent of Land Records
- District Inspector of Land Records
- Taluka Inspector of land Records
- Surveyor or Survey Tahasildar
- Land Measurer
The registration of land alienations:- The transfer of land is legal and valid if the same is registered as per provisions of Transfer of Property Act, and the Indian Registration Act, 1908. The land transfers are registered with the Sub-Registrar who is having his office in each Taluka.
The land revenue was the main source of income of the state. Therefore it was necessary to have treasury department on Taluka level to deposit the amount collected by revenue officers. During the course of time the control of treasury was taken over by finance department and since then this department seized to be part of revenue department. However it is duty of collector to visit and inspect this department as he is the head of the district administration.
For the purpose of revenue administration the Government has divided State into 6 divisions 35 districts and 399 talukas. Each District is divided into Sub divisions for administrative convenience. Each Division may consist of 4 to 5 talukas. These talukas are further subdivided into revenue circles and circles into revenue sazas. Sazas consist of a group of villages. Divisional Commissioner is in charge of the “Division”. District administration is under control of Collector Officer in charge of Sub-Division is called Sub-Divisional Officer and Tahasildar is chief officer on taluka level. On village level Circle Inspector/Officer is head of revenue circle and saza is under charge of a Talathi.
REVENUE OFFICERS: THEIR POWERS AND DUTIES
In the revenue matters Divisional Commissioner is the Chief Controlling Authority under the superintendence, direction and control of the State Government. All the powers in respect of revenue matters are delegated to the Divisional Commissioner.
The Collector occupies a central place in the district administration. He is the head of the Revenue administration in the district and acts as the co-coordinating officer among all the officers of the Government in the district. He plays a pivotal role in the administration of the district. The collector is empowered to convert use of land from one purpose to another purpose. The collector is responsible in respect of (1) fixation, (2) collection and (3) accounting of the land revenue of the lands which are liable to payment of land revenue. The Collector is also responsible for the collection of fees and taxes under various other Acts such as the Indian Stamp Act, the Indian Court Fees Act, the Bombay Entertainment Duty Act, the Sales Tax Act, the Bombay Village Panchayats Act, etc. Thus the collector and his establishment have to undertake the recovery of such dues when necessary as arrears of land revenue under the provisions of various Acts.
In regard to the administration of the Indian Forests Act, the ultimate responsibility for the administration of the Forest department, so far as his district is concerned, lies with him and the Divisional Forests Officer is his assistant for the purpose except in matters relating to the technique of forestry. The administration and implementation of the various land tenure abolition Acts including the Bombay Tenancy and Agricultural Lands Act, 1948 and the Maharashtra Agricultural Lands (Ceiling on Holdings) Act, 1961, rests with the Collector. He is also an appellate authority to hear appeals under various sections of these Acts.
According to the Maharashtra Agricultural Lands (Ceiling on Holdings) Act, 1961, a particular ceiling limit has been fixed in the district. Thus the excess land has to be taken over by Government by paying compensation and the disposal of such surplus land has to be made by the Collector. He is empowered to award compensation under the Land Acquisition Act. Although the powers and functions under this Act are delegated to the Special Land Acquisition Officers he exercises the control over such officers and also takes review of the work done by them.
As a District Registrar, the Collector controls the administration of the registration department in the district. Collector also acts as the District Magistrate in case of maintenance of Law and Order and General Administration, as District Election Officer in case of conduct of Election. Collector plays a key role during natural disaster period like flood, earthquake, landslide, and cyclone/storm damage or fire incidence. He generally takes prompt action whenever situation arises in any part of the district, and provides assistance either in cash or kind to the victims according to the nature of damage.
The Collector is assisted by number of officers at the headquarters. Resident Deputy Collector: The Resident Deputy Collector is appointed to relive the Collector of his ordinary routine duties. In the absence of collector he is to look after important urgent work and to see that work of collect orates goes on smoothly. He has to co-ordinate the work of District offices with that of sub-ordinate offices functioning at Taluka levels and Sub-Divisional levels.
Officer in charge of Sub-Division is called Sub-Divisional Officer or Dy. Collector or Asst. Collector. In revenue matter he acts as coordinator in between Tahasildars of his Sub-Division and the District Collector. The Sub divisional Offices are a replica of Collectorate in the matter of number of sections. The Sub-Divisional Officer is the first appellate authority in respect of revenue matters handled by his subordinates. Sub Divisional Officer is also the Sub Divisional Magistrate having jurisdiction over his division. The Sub-Divisional Officer is also the Returning Officer for Assembly constituencies and he is the Asst. Returning Officer for the Parliamentary Constituency in his sub-division.
Tahsildars and Naib Tahsildars
The officer in-charge of a tahsil is called Tahsildar. Tahsildar has powers of co-ordination and distribution of work among Circle Revenue Officers, The Tahsildars and Naib-Tahsildars are responsible for collection of land revenue and other dues payable to the Government. They remain in touch with the subordinate revenue staff. They observe the seasonal conditions and condition of crops. They listen to the difficulties of the cultivators. The Tahasildar and Naib-Tahasildars extensively tour the areas in their jurisdiction. They decide urgent matters on the spot, like correction of entries in the account books, providing relief to the people faced with natural calamities, etc. They also sit in the courts to settle disputes in connection with Land Reformation Acts, entries in account books, etc.
Any application regarding land revenue is to be addressed to the Tahasildar. Tahasildar takes decision on the application after due enquiry. For elections to the Vidhan Sabha, a Tahsildar is, invariably be appointed as Assistant Returning Officer for the constituency/constituencies falling in his Tahsil. They hold the powers of Executive Magistrate.
Circle Inspector is village level Revenue Officer working under Tahasildar and Naib Tahasildar. The Circle Officer and the Circle Inspector in charge of a circle shall exercise such powers over the Talathi in his circle and perform such duties and functions as may from time to time be prescribed. Duties and function of Circle Inspector/Officer are specified in Maharashtra Land Revenue Circle Officer’s and Circle Inspector’s (Duties and Functions) Rules, 1970.
Whereas, the collector is regarded as the pivot of the district administration, the Talathi is the representative of Government at the village level. He has usually one to five villages in his charge. His local knowledge is so extensive that there is hardly any information about the village and its occupants of which he is not aware or of which he cannot make a guess. As such, he is viewed as the eyes and ears of the Collector. The duties of the Talathi includes field inspections, recording of crops, revision reports relating to mutations, partitions, recovery of revenue or rents, and all amounts recoverable as arrears of land revenue, preparations and maintained of the “Records of Rights”. He is also required to assist in providing relief to agriculturists in distress or in census operations. It is also the duty of a Talathi to prepare, whenever called upon by any superior revenue or police officer of the taluka or district to do so all writings connected with the concerns of a village which are required either for the use of the Central or State Government or the public, such as notices, reports of inquests, and depositions and examinations in criminal matters. Duties and function of Talathis are specified in various sections of the code and the rules there under. Some of the sections and rules are as follows:-
Under Section 44 Sub-Section (4) The person to whom (Non Agricultural) permission is granted or deemed to have been granted has to inform the Tahsildar in writing through the village officers (Talathi) the date on which the change of user of land commenced. Talathi has to inform to Tahsildar, the change of use of land within three days on receipt of information received to him by person concerned.
Section 76 Section Every revenue officer and every Talathi receiving payment of land revenue shall, at the time when such payment is received by him, give a written receipt for the same. For more details please read Duties of Talathi.
Duties of Talathi
With the commencement of the new revenue year on 1st Aug August, the Talathi shall open all registers to be maintained, page them and get them sealed and signed by the Tahsildar before 1st August by sending all such registers to the Tahsildar at least a fortnight in advance. The Talathi shall immediately after 1stAugust submit to the Tahsil all the information required for the compilation of the annual administration report, together with a statement of new hissas to be measured for being forwarded to The District Inspector of Land Records for arranging the measurement.
The Talathi shall, side by side or soon thereafter, watch the character of the season and be ready to report distress that may be coming, by submitting weekly rainfall and crop position reports to the Tahsildar with copy to the Circle Inspector. The Talathi shall commence at the same time the Kharif crop tenancy and boundary and survey marks inspection and shall complete it t 15th of October. The Talathi shall thereafter commence and complete by 31st December the Rabi crop and tenancy and boundary and survey marks inspection. The Talathi shall assist the Circle Inspector in the preparation of annewaris of crops and performance of as many crops cutting experiments as may be required.
By15th of December or earlier as crop position may warrant, the Talathi shall obtain Collector’s orders about the recovery of land revenue of the current year as also of the suspended land revenue of previous years. He shall give wide publicity to the Collector’s orders regarding suspension of land revenue and their recovery and remissions. By the end of December every year, .the Talathi shall bring Village Form VIII-A up-to-date and keep the demand part of Village Form VIII- ready to start land revenue recovery. The Talathi shall recover land revenue ordered on the dates prescribed by the Collector under the rules. The Talathi shall bear in mind that all the land revenue due for, recovery for the year, shall be recovered before 31st July of the year and no unauthorized arrears shall remain unrecovered.
The Talathi shall issue a receipt for all moneys received by him on behalf of Government. For failure to give receipt the Talathi is liable to a fine not exceeding twice the amount received, vide section 77 of the Maharashtra Land Revenue Code, 1966. He shall maintain a register showing the account of receipt books with him. The Talathi shall maintain a cash book and exhibit in it all the moneys he receives, credits into the treasury within 15 days. He shall at no time hold as balance in hand an amount of more than Rs. 1,000.
The Talathi shall report to the Tahsildar the progress of recovery of land revenue in the chalan under which he credits land revenue recovered in Government treasury. The Talathi shall submit to the Tahsildar all his revenue accounts for audit (Jamabandi) as soon as he recovers all the dues of the year. This shall include the submission of abstract of Village Form VIII-B which shall be submitted by 31st May. The Talathi shall prove to the satisfaction of the Tahsildar that the accounts maintained by him for the year are correct and in. agreement with the Taluka Accounts where necessary. The Talathi shall maintain all the revenue accounts and cash books, charge reports and other records, as prescribed under the Maharashtra Land Revenue Code and Rules thereunder or any other law for the time being in force or by order of the State Government or as determined by the Collector subject to the general orders of the State Government and the Commissioner.
The Talathi shall be responsible for the collection of arrears of land revenue and all amounts recoverable as arrears of land revenue and for the maintenance of record of rights and shall perform all such duties and functions as are provided for in the Maharashtra Land Revenue Code or rules thereunder or any law for the time being in force or by order of the State Government. The Talathi shall prepare, whenever called upon by any superior revenue or police officer of the taluka or district to do so, all writings connected. Village Level Administration / 301 with the concerns of a village, which are required either for the use of the Central or State Government or the public, such as notices, reports of inquests and depositions and examinations in criminal matters.
The Talathi shall pass on to the officer who has granted or is deemed to have granted non-agricultural permission within three days of receipt by him of the information under sub-section (4) of section 44 of the Code of the date of change of user.
- a) The Talathi shall endeavour to prevent the destruction or unauthorized alteration of the village boundary marks or survey marks.
- b) When, however, the Talathi notices the destruction or unauthorized alteration of the village boundary marks or survey marks, he shall immediately issue a notice to the landholder to restore or repair them according to rules in this behalf within a fortnight.
- c) If, in pursuance of the above notice, the landholder fails to restore or repair them, he should immediately report the matter to the Tahsildar, through his Circle Inspector.
- d) Thereupon, if the Circle Inspector fails to get them restored or repaired, within a further period of one week, the Tahsildar shall proceed to restore or repair them at Government cost and recover such cost as arrears of land revenue in addition to any penalty the landlord may be liable to under section 145 of the Code.
- e) If in restoring or repairing, one set of boundary marks is replaced by another set or sets, new and proper symbols representing boundary marks shall be shown on the village maps and the fact reported to the District Inspector of Land Records who shall take steps to amend the village maps in his record accordingly for facilitating further maintenance and repairs of boundary marks.
The Talathi shall at once give a written acknowledgement of the receipt of oral or written report under section 149 of the Maharashtra Land Revenue Code of acquisition of rights to the person concerned.
The Talathi shall immediately enter in a register of mutations every report so received by him
The Talathi shall similarly enter in a register of mutations any intimation of acquisition or transfer by a registering officer under section 154 of the Code or by any Collector
The Talathi shall, whenever he makes an entry in the register of mutations, at the same time post up a complete copy of the entry in a conspicuous place in the Chavdi and shall give written intimation to all persons appearing from record of rights or register of mutations to be interested in the mutations, and to any other person whom he has reason to believe to be interested therein. He shall also indicate in pencil the number of the mutation entry against the entry relating to that land appearing in the Record of Rights
When any objection to any entry made in the register of mutations is made orally or in writing to the Talathi, he shall enter the particulars of the objection in the prescribed register of disputed cases. The Talathi shall at once give a written acknowledgement for the objection to the person making it in the prescribed form.
- a) After an entry in the register of mutations is certified by a revenue or survey officer not below the rank of an Aval Karkun or Circle Inspector competent to do so the Talathi shall record it in ink in the record of rights.
- b) If entry in the register of mutations is cancelled by the competent authority, the Talathi shall rub out the pencil entry made in the record of rights.
The Talathi shall also correct the relevant village forms and their abstracts in accordance with a certified entry in the register of mutations. He shall likewise correct the village map, where necessary, in pencil, which after check shall be inked out by the Circle Inspector, if necessary.
The Talathi shall at once give a written acknowledgement of information furnished of document produced in accordance with the requisition under sub-section (1) of section 151 of the Maharashtra Land Revenue Code to the person furnishing or producing the same and shall endorse on any such document a note under his signature stating the fact of the production and the date thereof and may return the same immediately after keeping a copy of it, if necessary.
The Talathi shall prepare and maintain a record of rights in accordance with the Maharashtra Land Revenue Record of Rights and Registers (Preparation and Maintenance) Rules, 1971 in this behalf.
- a) The Talathi shall on receipt of a written application by the holder of agricultural lands, including a tenant primarily liable to pay land revenue therefor, supply a booklet (Khate Pustika) containing a copy of the record of rights pertaining to such land.
- b) The Talathi shall show in this booklet information regarding the payment of land revenue in respect of the land and other Government dues by the holder or as the case may be, the tenant and also information as respects the cultivation of his land and the areas of crops sown in it as shown in the village accounts and such other information as has been prescribed, or may hereafter be prescribed.
- c) The Talathi shall prepare, issue and maintain this booklet in accordance with the rules called the Maharashtra Land Revenue Khate Pustika [Booklet} (Preparation, Issue and Maintenance) Rules,1971.
The Talathi shall publish all notices or orders forwarded to him for such publication in the Chavdi in the manner prescribed. The Talathi shall publish all notices or orders forwarded to him by beat of drum as well, whenever called upon to do so.
The Talathi shall carry out crop and tenancy and boundary and survey marks inspection by physical verification of each field on the spot in the presence of the villagers, the members of the village panchayat and the Sarpanch, if any, as may be present there. During the course of inspection, the Talathi shall verify that—
The names of occupants, tenants, other right holders and other rights conform to actual possession;
The sub-divisions are properly accounted for and for this purpose; a register of new hissas is maintained in the prescribed form;
The prevention of Ribbon Development Rules has been properly followed;
The conditions attached to the grants and leases and non-agricultural permissions are properly observed;
The encroachments and unauthorized non-agricultural uses are detected and reported and for this purpose a register of encroachments is maintained in the prescribed form;.
the register showing cases of discrepancy in the maps, the village atlas, and the Record of Rights is maintained correctly and up-to- date and conform to the actual state of things in the field;
the crop statement is carefully compiled according to standing orders especially with reference to improved seeds, double crops, irrigated crops, crop mixtures and fallows;
the boundary and survey marks are in good repair and if in disrepair they are noted in the remarks column in the Record of Rights,
the sources of water supply are properly shown in the village maps in the crop statement and in the Village Form XI;
the alluvion and diluvion cases are detected and suitably reported; and
the auctionable items that bring in miscellaneous land revenue to Government are detected and reported.
If the Talathi finds that the person in actual possession of survey number or a sub-division of a survey number is other than the one who according to the entries in the record of rights is entitled to cultivate the land, he shall enter his name in the register of persons in possession other than the person deemed to be in possession according to the record of rights and forward the relevant extracts of the same to the Tahsildar for necessary action. .The form of this register is prescribed under the Maharashtra Land Revenue Record of Rights and Registers (Preparation and Maintenance) Rules, 1971.
In case the villagers or the members of the village panchayat, present do not accompany, the
Talathi shall carry out the above duty without them.
The Talathi shall note in the late fee register, names of all persons who neglect to send the intimation as required under section 149 or fail to furnish the information or produce the documents as required by section 151 of the Code within the prescribed period and put up the register for the orders of the Certifying Officer.
The Talathi shall report to the Tahsildar transactions in contravention of the provisions of the relevant Tenancy Law, the Ceiling Law and the Bombay Prevention of Fragmentation and Consolidation of Holdings Act.
The Talathi shall enter all fragments in the register of mutations and issue notices in the prescribed form under the Consolidation Act to the persons concerned, in addition to the notices to be issued and published in accordance with the rules relating to the maintenance of the record of rights.
The Talathi shall maintain a register of heirship cases in the prescribed form and remember the provisions of the Hindu Succession Act and the four classes of heirs and the protection of Hindu Widows Rights Act and the laws concerning the Muslim community and others while making heirship entries.
The Talathi shall dispose of missing link cases by recourse to the provisions in section 151 of the Maharashtra Land Revenue Code and obtain orders of superior Revenue or Survey Officers.
The Talathi shall report to Circle Inspector and Tahsildar the occurrence of natural and other calamities such as flood, fire, frost, hailstorm, locust swarm, epidemic diseases of human being or cattle, failure of crops etc. in villages in his Saza.
The Talathi shall report to the Collector of the appearance in any village of any insect, pest, etc., under the Bombay Agricultural Pests and Diseases Act, 1947.
The Talathi shall prepare and maintain as and when required by the Collector, Cultivator Index Card in the form prescribed by Government for the purpose of monopoly procurement.
As and when required by the Collector, the Talathi shall prepare index of ration cards in villages.
The Talathi shall take as and when required by the Collector stock declaration from agriculturists.
The Talathi shall ensure as and when required by the Collector that the landholders sell their grain under the monopoly purchase scheme according to Government orders.
The Talathi shall issue as and when required by the Collector ration cards to villagers.
The Talathi shall maintain as and when required by the Collector levy register and issue demand notices to Khatedars.
The Talathi shall work as and when required by the Collector as Godown Keeper at monsoon centres of civil supplies in inaccessible areas.
The Talathi shall report regarding solvency of sureties of Government Servants of all departments:
The Talathi shall prepare voters’ list for general election and elections to Zilla Parishads and Village Panchayats.
The Talathi shall assist Election Officers in election duties.
The Talathi shall help Small Savings Officers in organising small savings programme in villages.
The Talathi shall maintain registers of names of contributors to small savings in villages.
The Talathi shall conduct sales of rural debentures.
The Talathi shall assist the officers of the concerned departments in celebrating prohibition week, Harijan Saptah, Vanamahotsay etc.
On receipt of intimation from gazetted officers or under intimations from Tahsildar in case of non-gazetted officers, Talathi shall attend on various Government officers of various Government departments and furnish them with any information required by them.
The Talathi shall render necessary assistance to the Survey Officers during all survey operations.
The Talathi shall reside in headquarters of his Saza or such other place as may be fixed by the Collector and shall not reside elsewhere.
The Talathi shall maintain a diary, which he shall produce to superior Revenue and Survey Officers on demand for examination and remarks and! or instructions.
The Talathi shall maintain a visit book and shall produce it before every visiting Revenue or Survey Officer for endorsements and remarks, if any.
The Talathi shall grant copies of or extracts from the village records in his charge to the interested persons applying for it on payment of copying fees within 24 hours from the receipt of application and shall maintain an account of such fees recovered.
The Talathi shall maintain accounts of Tagai and all other Government dues in the forms prescribed in this behalf.
The Talathi shall check if Tagai loans are used for the purpose for which they are given and report to the Tahsildar any misuse that comes to his notice.
The Talathi shall maintain a register of all Government property in his charge and shall produce it for examination and signature of an Inspecting Officer.
The Talathi shall maintain service stamp register in the form prescribed.
The Talathi shall perform all duties prescribed by any law or rules for the time being in force or the general or special orders of Government from time to time and any directions given by officers superior to