General Provisions as to rent
Rules and presumptions as to amount of rent
Rules and presumptions as to fixity of rent.— (1) Where a tenure-holder or raiyatand his predecessors-in-interest have held at a rent or rate of rent which has not been changed from the time of the Permanent Settlement, the rent or rate of rent shall not be liable to be increased except on the ground of an alteration in the area of the tenure or holding.
(2) If it is proved in any suit or other proceeding under this Act that either a tenure-holder or raiyatand his predecessors-in-interest have held at a rent or rate of rent which has not been changed during the twenty years immediate before the institution of the suit or proceeding, it shall be presumed, until the contrary is shown, that they have held at that rent or rate of rent from the time of the Permanent Settlement :
Provided that if it is required by or under any enactment that in any local area tenancies, or any classes of tenancies, at fixed rents or rates of rent shall be registered as such on, or before, a date specified by or under the enactment, the foregoing presumption shall not after that date apply to any tenancy or, as the case may be, to any tenancy of that class in that local area unless the tenancy has been so registered.
(3) The operation of this section, so far as it relates to land held by a raiyat, shall not be affected by the fact of the land having been separated from other land which formed with it a single holding, or amalgamated with other land into one holding.
(4) Nothing in this section shall apply to tenure held for a term of years or determinable at the will of the landlord.
Presumption as to amount of rent and conditions of holding.—If a question arises as to the amount of a tenant’s rent or the conditions under which he holds in any agricultural year, he shall be presumed, until the contrary is shown, to hold at the same rent and under the same conditions as in the last preceding agricultural year.
Alteration of rent on alteration of area
Alteration of rent in respect of alteration in area.— (1) Every tenant shall—
(a) be liable to pay additional rent for all land proved by measurement to be in excess of the area for which rent has been previously paid by him, unless it is proved that the excess is due to the addition to the tenure or holding of land which having previously belonged to the tenure or holding was lost by dilution or otherwise without any reduction of the rent being made :
Provided that no Court shall decree any addition of rent under this clause unless it is satisfied that there has in fact been an increase in the actual area of the tenure or holding since the rent previously paid was settled; and
(b) be entitled to a reduction of rent in respect of any deficiency proved by measurement to exist in the area of his tenure or holding as compared with the area for which rent has been previously paid by him, unless it is proved that the deficiency is due to the loss of land which was added to the area of the tenure or holding by alluvion or otherwise, and that an addition has not been made to the rent in respect of the addition to the area.
(1A) In determining in a suit under clause (a) of sub-section (1) whether there has been an increase in the actual area of the tenure or holding, the Court shall inquire as to whether the present areas of other tenures or holdings in the vicinity which were settled at or about the same time or on the same standard of measurement as the tenure or holding in suit, show increases in area compared with the area originally settled similar to that alleged in respect of the tenure or holding in suit; if such increases are found to exist, it shall be presumed (notwithstanding anything contained in any contract) that there has in fact been no increase in the actual area of the tenure or holding in suit since the rent previously paid was settled.
(1B) When in a suit an increase in the actual area of the tenure or holding is sought to be proved under clause (a) of sub-section (1), the Court shall inquire as to whether the present area of the tenure or holding in suit is within the same defined boundaries as set forth in the kabuliyat or patta at the inception of the tenancy; and if the Court finds that the present area of the tenure or holding in suit, is within such boundaries no increase of rent shall be granted on account of increase of area unless an equivalent reduction of rent on account of reduction of area has been granted in respect of one or more of the continuous tenures or holdings :
Provided that the provisions of this sub-section shall not apply to any suit in respect of any tenure or holding of which any portion of the boundaries set forth in the kabuliyat or the patta comprises a river or sea or land held khas by the landlord or the Government.
(2) In determining the area for which rent has been previously paid, the Court shall, if so required by any party to the suit, have regard to —
(a) the origin and conditions of the tenancy, for instance, whether the rent was a consolidated rent for the entire tenure or holding;
(b) whether the tenant has been allowed to hold additional land in consideration of an addition to his total rent or otherwise with the knowledge and consent of the landlord;
(c) the length of time during which the tenancy has lasted without dispute as to rent or area; and
(d) the length of the measure used or in local use at the time of the origin of the tenancy as compared with that used or in local use at the time of the institution of the suit.
(3) In determining the amount to be added to the rent, the Court shall have regard to the rates payable by tenants of the same class for lands of a similar description and with similar advantages in the vicinity, and, in the case of a tenure-holder, to the profits to which he is entitled in respect of the rent of his tenure, and shall not in any case fix any rent which under the circumstances of the case is unfair or inequitable.
(4) The amount abated from the rent shall bear the same proportion to the rent previously payable as the diminution of the total yearly value of the tenure or holding bears to the previous total yearly value thereof, or, in default of satisfactory proof of the yearly value of the land lost, shall bear to the rent previously payable the same proportion as the diminution of area bears to the previous area of the tenure or holding.
(5) When in a suit under this section the landlord or tenant is unable to indicate any particular land as held in excess, the rent to be added on account of the excess area may be calculated at the average rate of rent paid on all the lands of the holding exclusive of such excess area.
(6) When in a suit under this section the landlord or tenant proves that —
(i) at or about the time when the area was recorded in any patta or kabuliyat there existed in respect of the estate or permanent tenure or part thereof in which the tenure or holding is situated a practice of settlement being made after measurement of the land assessed with rent, or,
(ii) the area entered in the counterfoil receipts corresponds with the area in the rent-roll on which the claim is based and that a practice of settlement on measurement prevailed at the time when the rent roll was prepared, it shall be presumed that the area of the tenure or holding was settled by measurement.
Payment of rent
Instalments of rent.— Subject to agreement or established usage, a money-rent payable by a tenant shall be paid in four equal instalments falling due on the last day of each quarter of the agricultural year.
Time and place for payment of rent.— (1) Every tenant shall pay or tender each instalment of rent before sunset of the day on which it falls due Provided that the tenant may pay or tender the rent payable for the year at any time during the year before it falls due.
(2) The payment or tender of rent may be made —
(i) at the landlord’s village office, or at such other convenient place as may be appointed in that behalf by the landlord; or
(ii) by postal money-order in the manner prescribed. A tender may also be made by depositing the rent in Court in accordance with the provisions of section 61.
(3) Where rent is sent by postal money-order in the manner prescribed, the Court may presume until the contrary is proved that a tender has been made.
(4) When a landlord accepts rent sent by postal money-order, the fact of this acceptance shall not be used in any way as evidence that he has admitted as correct any of the particulars set forth in the postal money-order form.
(5) Any instalment or part of an instalment of rent not duly paid at or before the time, when it falls due shall be deemed to be an arrear.
Appropriation of payments.— (1) When a tenant makes a payment on account of rent, he may declare the year or the year and instalment to which he wishes the payment to be credited, and the payment shall be credited accordingly.
(2) If he does not make any such declaration, the payment may be credited to the account of such year and the instalment as the landlord thinks fit.
Receipts and accounts
Tenant making payment of his landlord entitled to a receipt.—(1) Every tenant who makes a payment on account of rent to his landlord shall be entitled to obtain forthwith from the landlord a written receipt for the amount paid by him, signed by the landlord.
(2) The landlord shall prepare and retain a counterfoil of the receipt.
(3) The receipt and counterfoil shall specify such of the several particulars shown in Schedule II to this Act as can be specified by the landlord at the time of payment :
Provided that the State Government may, from time to time, prescribe or sanction a modified form either generally or for any particular local area or class of cases.
(4) If a receipt does not contain substantially the particulars requited by this section, it shall be presumed, until the contrary is shown, to be an acquittance in full of all demands for rent up to the date on which the receipt was given.
Tenant entitled to full discharge or statement of account at close of year.— (l ) Where a landlord admits that all rent payable by a tenant to the end of the agricultural year has been paid, the tenant shall be entitled to receive from the landlord, free of charge, within three months after the end of the year, a receipt in full discharge of all rent falling due to the end of the year, signed by the landlord.
(2) Where the landlord does not so admit, the tenant shall be entitled, on paying a fee of four annas, to receive within three months after the end of the year a statement of account, specifying the several particulars shown in Schedule II to this Act, or in such other form as may from time to time be prescribed by the State Government either generally or for any particular local area or class of cases.
(3) The landlord shall prepare and retain a copy of the statement containing similar particulars.
Penalties and fine for withholding receipts and statements of accounts and failing to keep counterparts.— (1) If a landlord without reasonable cause refuses or neglects to deliver to a tenant a receipt containing the particulars required by section 56 for any rent paid by the tenant, the tenant may, within three months from the date of payment, institute a suit to recover from him such penalty, not exceeding double the amount of value of that rent, as the Court thinks fit.
(2) If a landlord without reasonable cause refuses or neglects to deliver to a tenant demanding the same either the receipt in full discharge or, if the tenant is not entitled to such a receipt, the statement of account for any year required in section 57, the tenant may, within the next ensuing agricultural year, institute a suit to recover from him such penalty as the Court thinks fit, not exceeding double the aggregate amount or value of all rent paid by the tenant to the landlord during the year for which the receipt or account should have been delivered.
(3) If a landlord or his agent, without reasonable cause fails to deliver to the tenant a receipt or statement, or to prepare and retain a counter-foil or copy of a receipt or statement, as required by either of the said sections, such landlord or agent, as the case may be, shall be liable to a fine not exceeding fifty rupees, to be imposed, after summary inquiry, by the Collector.
(4) The Collector may hold a summary inquiry under sub-section (3) either on information received from a Revenue-officer within one year, or upon complaint of the party aggrieved made within three months, from the date of failure, or upon the report of a Civil Court.
(5) Where, in any case instituted under sub-section (3), the Collector, discharges any landlord or agent, and is satisfied that the complaint of the tenant on which the proceedings were instituted is false or vexatious, the Collector may, in his discretion, by his order of discharge, direct the tenant to pay to such landlord or agent such compensation, not exceeding fifty rupees, as the Collector thinks fit.
(6) An appeal shall lie to the Commissioner of the Division against any order of the Collector imposing a fine under sub-section (3) or awarding compensation under sub-section (5); and the order passed by the Commissioner on such appeal shall, subject to any order which may be passed on revision by the Board of Revenue, be final.
(7) Any fine imposed or compensation awarded under this section may be recovered in the manner provided by any law for the time being in force for the recovery of a public demand.
(8) For the purpose of an inquiry under this section, the Collector shall have power to summon, and enforce the attendance of, witnesses, and compel the production of documents in the same manner as is provided in the case of a Court under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908.
(9) The existence of a dispute as to the rent or area of a tenancy on account of which rent is paid shall not be deemed to be a reasonable cause for refusing, neglecting or otherwise failing to deliver —
(a) a receipt for any amount actually paid on account of rent, or
(b) the statement of account required by section 57, and the refusal of the tenant to accept the receipt shall not be deemed to be a reasonable cause for failing to prepare and retain a counterfoil of such receipt, as required by section 66.
State Government to prepare forms of receipt and account.—(1) The State Government shall cause to be prepared and kept for sale to landlords at all sub-divisional offices, forms of receipts with counterfoils and of statements of account suitable for use under sections 56 to 58.
(2). The forms may be sold in books with the leaves consecutively numbered or otherwise as the State Government thinks fit.
Effect of receipt by registered proprietor, manager or mortgagee.— Where rent is due to the proprietor, manager or mortgagee of an estate, the receipt of the person registered under the Land Registration Act, 1876, as proprietor, manager or mortgagee of that estate, or of his agent authorised in that behalf, shall be a sufficient discharge for the rent; and the person liable for the rent shall not be entitled to plead in defence to a claim by the person so registered that the rent is due to any third person.
But nothing in this section shall affect any remedy which any such third person may have against the registered proprietor, manager or mortgagee.
Deposit of rent
Application to deposit rent in Court.— (1) In any of the following cases, namely :
(a) when a tenant tenders money on account of rent and the landlord refuses to receive it or refuses to grant a receipt for it;
(b) when a tenant bound to pay money on account of rent has reason to believe, owing to a tender having been refused or a receipt withheld on a previous occasion, that the person to whom his rent is payable will not be willing to receive it and to grant him a receipt for it;
(c) when the rent is payable to co-sharers jointly, and the tenant is unable to obtain the joint receipt of the co-sharers for the money, and no person has been empowered to receive the rent on their behalf; or
(d) when the tenant entertains a bona fide doubt as to who is entitled to receive the rent, the tenant may present to the Court having jurisdiction to entertain a suit for the rent of his tenure or holding an application in writing for permission to deposit in the Court a sum not less than the amount of the money then due.
(2) The application shall contain a statement of the grounds on which it is made; shall state—
in case (c), the names of the sharers to whom the rent is due, or of so many to be entered, and the name of his common agent, if any, in case (c), the names of the shares to whom the rent is due, or of so many of them as the tenant may be able to specify, and in case (d), the names of the person to whom the rent was last paid and of the person or persons now claiming it;
shall be signed and verified, in the manner provided in sub-rules (2) and (3) of Rule 15 of Order VI in Schedule I to the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 by the tenant, or, where he is not personally cognisant of the facts of the case, by some person so cognisant; and shall in cases (a) and (b) be accompanied by the prescribed cost of transmission of the money deposited to the landlord and in cases (c) and (d) by a fee of the prescribed amount.
Receipt granted by Court for rent deposited to be a valid acquittance.— (1) If it appears to the Court to which an application is made under section 61 that the applicant is entitled under that section to deposit the rent, it shall receive the rent and give a receipt for it under the seal of the Court.
(2) A receipt given under this section shall operate as an acquittance for the amount of the rent payable by the tenant and deposited as aforesaid, in the same manner and to the same extent as if that amount of rent had been received —
in case (a) and (b) of section 61, by the person specified in the application as the person to whose credit the deposit was to be entered;
in case (c) of that section, by the co-sharers to whom the rent is due; and
in case (d) of that section, by the person entitled to the rent.
Procedure for payment to the landlord of rent deposited.— The Court receiving a deposit —
(i) in case (a) or (b) of section 61 shall forthwith forward the same by postal money-order to the address of the landlord, or of the common agent, if any of the landlord empowered to receive rent;
(ii) in case (c) or (d) of that section shall forthwith cause to be affixed in a conspicuous place at the Court-house a notification of the receipt thereof containing a statement of all material particulars, and, if the amount of the deposit is not paid away under section 64 within the period of fifteen days next following the date on which the notification is so affixed, the Court shall forthwith in case (c) cause a notice of the receipt of the deposit to be posted free of charge at the landlord’s village-office, if any, and in some conspicuous place in the village in which the tenure or holding or any portion thereof is situated, and in case (d) cause a like notice to be served free of charge on every person who it has reason to believe claims, or is entitled to, the deposit.
Payment of refund of deposit.— (1) The Court may pay the amount of the deposit notified under section 63 to any person appearing to it to be entitled to the same, or may, if it thinks fit, retain, the amount pending the decision of a Civil Court as to the person so entitled.
(2) If no payment is made [under clause (i) of section 63 or under sub section (1) of this section before the expiration of three years from the date on which a deposit is made, the amount deposited may, in the absence of any order of a Civil Court to the contrary, be repaid to the depositor upon his application and on his returning the receipt given by the Court with which the rent was deposited.
(3) No suit or other proceeding shall be instituted against the Government, or against any officer of the Government, in respect of anything done by a Court receiving a deposit under section 62; but nothing in this section shall prevent any person entitled to receive the amount of any such deposit from recovering the same from a person to whom it has been paid under this section.
64A. Penalty for refusing to receive rent tendered by postal money-order or deposited. — If a landlord or his agent refuses without reasonable cause to receive payment of rent remitted by postal money order or deposited in Court, the landlord shall be precluded from recovering by suit interest, costs or damages in respect of the same, and the Court may in addition award to the tenant damages not exceeding twenty-five per cent. on the whole amount claimed by the plaintiff.
The plea of the existence of any dispute as to the amount of rent or area of land of the tenure or holding shall not be deemed to be a reasonable cause under this section :
Provided that, when a landlord accepts rent, which has been deposited or remitted by postal money-order, the fact of his acceptance shall not be used in any way as evidence that he has admitted as correct any of the particulars set forth in the application for permission to deposit or in the postal money-order form.
Arrears of rent
Liability to sale for arrears in case of permanent tenure, holding at fixed rates or occupancy-holding.— Where a tenant is a permanent tenure-holder, a raiyatholding at fixed rates or an occupancy-raiyat he shall not be liable to ejectment for arrears of rent, but his tenure or holding shall be liable to sale in execution of a decree for the rent thereof, and the rent shall be a first charge thereon.
Ejectment for arrears in other cases.— (1) When an arrear of rent remains due from a tenant not being a permanent tenure-holder, a raiyatholding at fixed rates or an occupancy-raiyat, at the end of the agricultural year the landlord may, whether he has obtained a decree for the recovery of the arrear or not, and whether he is entitled by the terms of any contract to eject the tenant for arrears or not, institute a suit to eject the tenant.
(2) In a suit for ejectment for an arrear of rent a decree passed in favour of the plaintiff shall specify the amount of the arrear and of the interest (if any) due thereon, and the decree shall not be executed if that amount and the costs of the suit are paid into Court within thirty days from the date of the decree, or, when the Court is closed on the thirtieth day, on the day upon which the Court re-opens.
(3) The Court may for special reasons extend the period of thirty days mentioned in this section.
Interest on arrears.— An arrear of rent shall bear simple interest at the rate of six and a quarterper centum per annumfrom the expiration of that quarter of the agricultural year in which the instalment falls due to the date of payment or of the institution of the suit, whichever date is earlier.
Power to award damages on rent withheld without reasonable cause, or to defendant improperly sued for rent.— (1) If, in any suit brought for the recovery of arrears of rent, it appears to the Court that the defendant has, without reasonable or probable cause, neglected or refused to pay the amount of rent due by him, the Court may award to the plaintiff in addition to the amount decreed for rent and costs, such damages not exceeding twelve and a half per centumon the amount of rent decreed, as it thinks fit
Provided that interest shall not be decreed when damages are awarded under this section :
Provided also that where damages are awarded —
(i) the amount of such damages shall not be less than the interest accruing up to the date of the institution of the suit, and
(ii) interest on the arrear may be awarded from the date of the institution of the suit up to the date of payment at such rate as the Court directs.
(2) If, in any suit brought for the recovery of arrears of rent, it appears to the Court that the plaintiff has instituted the suit without reasonable or probable cause, the Court may award to the defendant, by way of damages, such sum, not exceeding twelve and a half per centum on the whole amount claimed by the plaintiff, as it thinks fit.
Order for appraising or dividing produce.— Repealed by s. 45 of the Bengal Tenancy (Amendment) Act, 1928 (Bengal Act No. 4 of 1928).
Procedure where officers appointed.— Repealed by s. 45 of the Bengal Tenancy (Amendment) Act, 1928 (Bengal Act No. 4 of 1928).
Rights and liabilities as to possessions of crop.— Repealed by s. 45 of the Bengal Tenancy (Amendment) Act, 1928 (Bengal Act No. 4 of 1928).
Liability for rent on change of landlord or after transfer of tenure or holding
Tenant not liable to transferee of landlord’s interest or rent paid to former landlord, without notice of the transfer.— (1) A tenant shall not, when his landlord’s interest is transferred, be liable to the transferee for rent which became due after the transfer and was paid to the landlord whose interest was so transferred, unless the transferee has before the payment given notice of the transfer to the tenant.
(2) Where there is more than one tenant paying rent to the landlord whose interest is transferred, a general notice from the transferee to the tenants published in the prescribed manner shall be a sufficient notice for the purposes of this section.
Liability for rent before transfer of occupancy-holding.— When an occupancy-raiyattransfers his holding in whole or in part the transferor and transferee shall be jointly and severally liable to the landlord for arrears of rent due before the transfer :
Provided that the transferor shall not be liable to the landlord for such arrears of rent if the transferee has agreed to pay such arrears to the landlord and the fact has been mentioned in the instrument of transfer.
Illegal cesses, etc.
Abwab, etc., illegal.— (1) All impositions upon tenants under the denomination of abwab, mahtat, or other like appellations, in addition to the actual rent, shall be illegal, and all stipulations and reservations for the payment of such shall be void.
(2) All impositions upon tenants of road cess or public works cess, or of both,—
(a) in excess of the net amount fixed by clause (2) of section 41 of the Cess Act, 1880, or
(b) on any scale in excess of that required by clause (3) of that section, levied in addition to the actual rent, shall be illegal, and all stipulations and reservations for payment of any such excess contained in any contract made between a landlord and a tenant on or after the 13th day of October, 1880, shall be void :
Provided that nothing in this sub-section shall affect the terms of a written contract registered before the commencement of the Bengal Tenancy (Amendment) Act, 1919 :
Provided also that, subject to the provisions of section 72 of the Indian Contract Act, 1872, no suit shall lie for the recovery of anything paid before the commencement of the Bengal Tenancy (Amendment) Act, 1919, on account of the impositions referred to in sub-section (2).
(3) Nothing in this section shall be deemed to affect the terms of a permanent mukarrrai lease granted by a proprietor or holder of a permanent tenure in a permanently-settled area and registered before the commencement of the Bengal Tenancy (Amendment) Act, 1928.
74A. Fine for realisation of abwab, etc. — (1) If a landlord or his agent realises from a tenant any imposition declared under sub-section (1) of section 74 to be illegal, such landlord or agent, as the case may be, shall be liable to the same fine, to be imposed in the same manner, as in sub-section (3) of section 58, and the provisions of sub-sections (4), (7) and (8) of the said section relating to inquiry, fine and procedure shall, mutatis mutandis and so far as may be, apply to proceedings under this section.
(2) An appeal shall lie to the District Judge against an order imposing a fine under this section, and the order passed by the District Judge on such appeal shall be final.
(3) The imposition of a fine on a landlord or landlord’s agent under this section shall not operate as a bar to the institution of a suit under section 75.
Penalty for exaction by landlord from tenant of sum in excess of the rent payable.— Every tenant from whom, except under any special enactment for the time being in force, any sum of money or any portion of the produce of his land is exacted by his landlord in excess of the rent or road cess or public works cess or interest lawfully payable, may, subject to the second proviso to sub-section (2) of section 74 within six months from the date of the exaction, institute a suit to recover from the landlord, in addition to the amount or value of what is so exacted, such sum by way of penalty as the Court thinks fit, not exceeding two hundred rupees; or, when double the amount or value of what is so exacted exceeds two hundred rupees, not exceeding double that amount or value.
Suspension of provisions relating to enhancement of rent
75A. Suspension of provisions relating to enhancement of rent. — (1) All the provisions of this Act relating to enhancement of rent are hereby suspended for a period of ten years with effect from the twenty-seventh day of August, 1937 and all such provisions relating to enhancement of rent of araiyat or an under-raiyat are hereby suspended for a further period of ten years with effect from the twenty-seventh day of August, 1947.
(2) (a) All decrees and orders enhancing rent passed under any of the provisions of this Act on or after the twenty-seventh day of August, 1937 and before the date of the commencement of the Bengal Tenancy (Amendment) Act, 1938, are hereby declared to be inoperative from the date of such decree or order until the expiry of the ten years referred to in sub-section (1) and all decrees and orders enhancing the rent of a raiyat or an under-raiyat so passed are hereby declared to be inoperative for a further period of ten years from the twenty-seventh day of August, 1947.
(b) Any provision providing for enhancement of rent contained in any contract entered into between a landlord and a tenant during the period of ten years referred to in sub-section (1) is hereby declared to be inoperative during the said period and any provision providing for enhancement of rent of a raiyat or an under-raiyat contained in any such contract or in any contract entered into between a landlord and a raiyat or an under-raiyat during the period of ten years with effect from the twenty-seventh day of August, 1947, is hereby declared to be inoperative during the said period of ten years. (3) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act or any other law, the period during which a decree, Order or contract is rendered inoperative under this section shall not be taken into account in computing any period under the law of limitation nor in construing the terms of a contract.