Land Revenue Administration
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 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 BombayProvince. 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;
1. 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,
2. to Prepare and maintain "Land Records" related to revenue accounts,
3. 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:
i. Recovery of Revenue
ii. 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:
1. Revenue Minister
2. Secretary, Addl. Secretary Asst. Secretary etc.
3. Divisional Commissioners
5. Sub- Divisional Officers
6. Tahasildars/Naib Tahasildars
7. 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:
1. Revenue Minister
3. Settlement Commissioner
4. Director of Land Records
5. Dy. Director of Land Records
6. Superintendent of Land Records
7. District Inspector of Land Records
8. Taluka Inspector of land Records
9. Surveyor or Survey Tahasildar
10. 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-ordinating 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, 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 collectorate 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 maintaince 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 thereunder. 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.