Miscellaneous provisions as to landlords and tenants
Definition of “improvement”.— (1) For the purposes of this Act, the term “improvement”, used with reference to a holding, shall mean any work which adds to the value of the holding, which is suitable to the holding and consistent with the purpose for which it was let, and which, if not executed on the holding, is either executed directly for its benefit, or is, after execution, made directly beneficial to it.
(2) Until the contrary is shown, the following shall be presumed to be improvements within the meaning of this section :
(a) the construction of wells, tanks, water-channels and other works for the storage, supply or distribution of water for the purposes of agricultural, or for drinking or for the use of men and cattle employed in agriculture;
Explanation.— Such construction on agricultural lands shall not be deemed to impair the value of the land or to render it unfit for the purposes of the tenancy;
(b) the preparation of land for irrigation;
(c) the drainage, reclamation from rivers or other waters, or protection from floods, or from erosion or other damage by water, of land used for agricultural purposes, or waste-land which is culturable;
(d) the reclamation, clearance, enclosure or permanent improvement of land for agricultural purposes;
(e) the renewal or reconstruction of any of the foregoing works, or alterations therein, or additions thereto; and
(f) the erection of a dwelling-house whether of masonry, bricks, stone or any other material whatsoever, for the tenant and his family together with all necessary out-offices.
(3) But no work executed by the tenant of a holding shall be deemed to be an improvement for the purposes of this Act if it substantially diminishes the value of his landlord’s property.
Right to make improvements in case of holding at fixed rates and occupancy holding.— (1) Neither the tenant nor his landlord shall, as such, be entitled to prevent the other from making an improvement in respect of the holding, except on the ground that he is willing to make it himself.
(2) If both the tenant and his landlord wish to make the same improvement, the tenant shall have the prior right to make it, unless it affects another holding or other holdings under the same landlord.
(3) Any fee realised from a tenant for permission to make any improvement in respect of his holding shall be deemed to be an abwab and the provisions of sub-section (1) of section 74 shall apply thereto.
Collector to decide question as to right to make improvement, etc.— If a question arises between the raiyator under-raiyatand his landlord —
(a) as to the right to make an improvement, or
(b) as to whether a particular work is an improvement, the Collector may, on the application of either party, decide the question, and his decision shall be final.
Right to make improvements in case of non-occupancy holding.— Repealed by s. 51 of the Bengal Tenancy (Amendment) Act, 1928 (Bengal Act No. 4 of 1928).
Registration of landlord’s improvements.— (1) A landlord may, by application to such Revenue-officer as the State Government may appoint, register any improvement which he has lawfully made or which has been lawfully made wholly or partly at his expense or which he has assisted a tenant in making.
(2) The application shall be in such form, shall contain such information, and shall be verified in such manner, by local inquiry or otherwise, as the State Government from time to time prescribes.
(3) The officer receiving the application may reject it if it has not been made within twelve months —
(a) in the case of improvements made before the commencement of this Act — from the commencement of this Act;
(b) in the case of improvements made after the commencement of this Act — from the date of the completion of the work.
Application to record evidence as to improvement.— (1) If any landlord or tenant of a holding desires that evidence relating to any improvement made in respect thereof be recorded, he may apply to a Revenue-officer, who shall thereupon, at a time and place of which notice shall be given to the parties, record the evidence, unless he considers that there are no reasonable grounds for making the application, or it is made to appear that the subject-matter thereof if under inquiry in a Civil Court.
(2) When any matter has been recorded under this section, the record thereof shall be admissible in evidence in every subsequent proceedings between the landlord and tenant or any persons claiming under them.
Compensation for raiyats’or under-raiyats” improvements.—(1) Every raiyat or under-raiyatwho is ejected from his holding shall be entitled to compensation for improvements which have been made in respect thereof in accordance with this Act by him, or by his predecessor in-interest, and for which compensation has not already been paid.
(2) Whenever a Court makes a decree or order for the ejectment of a raiyat or under-raiyat, it shall determine the amount of compensation (if any) due under this section to the raiyat or under-raiyat for improvements, and shall make the decree or order of ejectment conditional on the payment of that amount to the raiyat or under-raiyat.
(3) No compensation under this section for an improvement shall be claimable where the raiyat or under-raiyat has made the improvement in pursuance of a contract or under a lease binding him, in consideration of some substantial advantage to be obtained by him, to make the improvement without compensation, and he has obtained that advantage.
(4) Improvements made by a raiyat or under-raiyat between the second day of March, 1883, and the commencement of this Act shall be deemed to have been made in accordance with this Act.
(5) The State Government may, from time to time, by notification in the Official Gazette, make rules requiring the Court to associate with itself, for the purpose of estimating the compensation to be awarded under this section for an improvement, such number of assessors as the State Government thinks fit, and determining the qualifications of those assessor and the mode of selecting them.
Principle on which compensation is to be estimated. — (1) In estimating the compensation to be awarded under section 82 for an improvement, regard shall be had —
(a) to the amount by which the value, or the produce, of the holding or the value of that produce, is increased by the improvement;
(b) to the condition of the improvement, and the probable duration of its effects;
(c) to the labour and capital required for the making of such an improvement;
(d) to any reduction or remission of rent or any other advantage given by the landlord to the raiyat or under-raiyat in consideration of the improvement; and
(e) in the case of a reclamation or of the conversion of un-irrigated into irrigated land, to the length of time during which the raiyat or under-raiyat has had the benefit of the improvement at an un-enhanced rent.
(2) When the amount of the compensation has been assessed, the Court may, if the landlord andraiyat or under-raiyat agree direct that, instead of being paid wholly in money, it shall be made wholly or partly in some other way.
Acquisition of land for building and other purposes
Acquisition of land for building and other purposes.— A Civil Court may, on the application of the landlord of a holding, and on being satisfied that he is desirous of acquiring the holding or part thereof for some reasonable and sufficient purpose having relation to the good of the holding or of the estate in which it is comprised, including the use of the ground as building ground, or for any religious, educational or charitable purpose, and on being satisfied on the certificate of the Collector that the purpose is reasonable and sufficient, authorise the acquisition thereof by the landlord upon such conditions as the Court may think fit, and require the tenant to sell his interest in the whole or such part of the holding to the landlord upon such terms as may be approved by the Court, including full compensation to the tenant.
Restrictions on sub-letting.— Repealed by s. 53 of the Bengal Tenancy (Amendment) Act, 1928 (Bengal Act No. 4 of 1928).
Surrender and abandonment
85A. Surrender by tenure-holders. — (1) A tenure-holder may apply to the Court for permission to surrender a tenure.
(2) An application under sub-section (1) shall be in the prescribed form, shall give particulars, inter alia, of under-tenure-holders and raiyats’ if any, holding directly under the tenure sought to be surrendered, and of any encumbrances upon the said tenure, and, shall be accompanied by the process-fee prescribed for service of notices upon the landlord or his common agent, if any, under-tenure-holders and raiyats’, if any, referred to above and incumbrancers, if any.
(3) If the Court, after hearing the parties, grants permission for the surrender of the tenure, it shall impose such equitable conditions as it may think proper.
(4) An appeal shall lie to the ordinary Civil Appellate Court from any order of a Court under this section.
Surrender.— (I) A raiyator under-raiyat not bound by lease or other agreement for a fixed period may, at the end of any agricultural year, surrender his holding.
(2) But, notwithstanding the surrender, the raiyat or under-raiyat shall be liable to indemnify the landlord against any loss of the rent of the holding for the agricultural year next following the date of the surrender, unless he gives to his landlord, at least three months before he surrenders, notice of his intention to surrender.
(3) When a raiyat or under-raiyat has surrendered his holding, the Court shall in the following cases for the purposes of sub-section (2) presume, until the contrary is shown, that such notice was so given, namely :
(a) if the raiyat or under-raiyat takes a new holding in the same village from the same landlord during the agricultural year next following the surrender;
(b) if the raiyat or under-raiyat ceases, at least three months before the end of the agricultural year at the end of which the surrender is made, to reside in the village in which the surrendered holding is situate.
(4) The raiyat or under-raiyat may, if he thinks fit, cause the notice to be served through the Civil Court within the jurisdiction of which the holding or any portion of it is situate.
(5) When a raiyat or under-raiyat has surrendered his holding, the landlord may enter on the holding and either let it to another tenant or take it into cultivation himself.
(6) When a holding is subject to an encumbrance secured by a registered instrument, or when there is an under-raiyat on the holding or part thereof the surrender of the holding shall not be valid unless it is made with the consent of the landlord and the incumbrancer or the under-raiyat, as the case may be.
(7) Save as provided in sub-section (6), nothing in this section shall affect any arrangement by which a raiyat or under-raiyat and his landlord may arrange for a surrender of the whole or a part of the holding.
86A. Abatement of rent on account of dilution and re-entry into loads which re-appear. — (1) If the lands of a tenure or holding or a portion of such lands are lost by dilution, the rent of the tenure or holding shall be abated by an amount which bears the same proportion to the rent of the whole tenancy, as the area lost bears to that of the whole tenancy.
(2) (a) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act or any other law or any contract to the contrary, the right, title an interest of the tenant or his successors-in-interest shall subsist in such lands or portion thereof during the period of loss by dilution not exceeding twenty years and the tenant or his successors-in-interest shall have right to immediate possession on the reappearance of such lands or portion thereof within twenty years of the loss by the dilution and the landlord shall have right to the arrears of rent without interest or damage in respect of the land which has reappeared for the period during which it was lost for four years whichever is less.
(b) The rent of the lands which have reappeared, shall for the purposes of the payment both of the arrears of rent under this sub-section and of the rent due thereafter (until such rent is modified in accordance with the provisions of this Act) be calculated on the rent of the remainder of the tenancy existing when possession of the lost lands is resumed, and shall bear the proportion to that rent which the area of the lands which have reappeared bears to that of the remainder of the tenancy :
Provided that in cases where the entire tenure or holding has been lost by dilution, the rent of the portion thereof which reappear shall be calculated in like manner on the rent existing when the entire tenancy was lost.
(3) Nothing shall prevent the accrual of rights under the operation of any other enactment in any portion of the lands of a tenure or holding which have been lost by dilution, if such lands thereafter reappear as an accretion thereto.
Abandonment.— (1) If a raiyator under-raiyat voluntarily abandons his residence without notice to his landlord and without arranging for payment of his rent as it falls due, and ceases to cultivate his holding either by himself or by some other person, the landlord may, at any time after expiration of the agricultural year in which the raiyat or under-raiyat so abandons and ceases to cultivate, enter on the holding and let it to another tenant or take it into cultivation himself.
(2) Before a landlord enters under this section, he shall file a notice in the prescribed form in the Collector’s office, stating that he has treated the holding as abandoned and is about to enter on it accordingly; and the Collector shall cause a notice to be published in the prescribed manner.
(3) When a landlord enters under this section, the raiyat or under-raiyat shall be entitled to institute a suit for recovery of possession of the land at any time not later than the expiration of two years, or, in the case of a non occupancy-raiyat, six months, from the date of the publication of the notice; and thereupon the Court may, on being satisfied that the raiyat or under raiyat did not voluntarily abandon his holding, order recovery of possession on such terms, if any, with respect to compensation to persons injured and payment of arrears of rent as to the Court may seem just.
(4) Where the whole or part of a holding has been sublet by a registered instrument, the landlord shall, before entering under this section on the holding, offer the whole holding to the sub-lessee for the remainder of the term of the sub-lease at the rent paid by the raiyat or under-raiyat who has ceased to cultivate the holding, and on condition of the sub-lessee paying up all arrears due from that raiyat or under-raiyat. If the sub-lessee refuses or neglects within two months to accept the offer, the landlord may avoid the sub-lease and may enter on the holding and let it to another tenant or cultivate it himself as provided in sub-sections (1) and (2).
(5) If an under-raiyat has —
(a) a right of occupancy in a holding or portion thereof, or
(b) been admitted in a document by the landlord to have a permanent and heritable right in his land, or
(c) been in possession of his land for a continuous period of twelve years whether before or after or partly before and partly after the commencement of the Bengal Tenancy (Amendment) Act, 1928, or has a homestead thereon, the landlord shall, before entering on the holding, under this section, offer the whole holding, or part thereof, to the under-raiyat at the rent paid by him to the raiyat and on condition of the under-raiyat paying up all arrears due from that raiyat and a salami of five times the aforesaid rent. If the under-raiyat refuses or neglects within two months to accept the offer, the landlord may avoid the sub-tenancy and may enter on the holding and let it to another tenant, or cultivate it himself, as provided in sub-sections (1) and (2).
Subdivision of tenancy
Division of tenancy not valid unless consented to by all parties or ordered by Civil Court.— (1) Save as provided elsewhere in this section, a division of a tenure or holding or a distribution of the rent payable in respect thereof shall not be valid unless such division or distribution has been expressly consented to in writing by both —
(a) the landlord or the entire body of landlords or their agents duly authorised in that behalf, and
(b) all the co-sharer tenants :
Provided that, if there is proved to have been made in any landlord’s rent-roll any entry showing that any tenure or holding has been divided or that the rent payable in respect thereof has been distributed, such landlord may be presumed to have given his express consent in writing to such division or distribution.
(2) The Civil Court, on application made to it by one or more co-sharer tenants for a division of a tenure or holding or for a distribution of the rent payable in respect thereof, or for the annulment or modification of a previous division or distribution other than one made under this sub-section or under an agreement made between all the landlords and co-sharer tenants in conformance with the provisions of sub-section (1), may, by order in writing, direct such division of the tenure or holding or such distribution of rent as the Court considers fair and equitable, or annul or modify a division or distribution previously made other than one of the nature referred to above if the Court considers it unfair and inequitable :
Provided that —
(a) no such order shall be passed without notice to the landlord or the entire body of landlords or their common agent, if any, and to the remaining co-sharer tenants, the prescribed process fee for which shall accompany the application;
(b) no order for division or distribution shall be made which would result in bringing the rent for any portion below two rupees in the case of tenures or one rupee in the case of holdings; and
(c) nothing contained in this sub-section shall be deemed to authorise a Court on an application for division or distribution to direct a division or distribution in respect of the share of any tenant other than an applicant under this sub-section or a co-sharer tenant who has been joined as a co-applicant under sub-section (3).
(3) On receipt of notice of an application for division or distribution under sub-section (2) a co-sharer tenant may apply to be joined as a co-applicant, and upon such application the Court shall join the said co-sharer tenant as a co-applicant without further notice to the landlord or landlords and the remaining co-sharer tenants.
(4) Every order of a Court under sub-section (2) directing division of a tenure or holding or a distribution of the rent thereof shall also direct payment to the landlord of one rupee as mutation fee by each applicant or each body of applicants including co-applicant, if any, joined under subsection (3).
(5) Every order referred to in sub-section (4) shall state the date from which the division or distribution shall have effect and the joint and several liability of each co-sharer tenant for arrear of rent, if any, up to that date, shall subsist in all the lands of the entire tenure or holding.
(6) An appeal shall lie to the ordinary Civil Appellate Court from an order of a Court under this section, provided that it is presented within thirty days from the date of such order and is accompanied by the prescribed fee.
No ejectment except in execution of decree.— No tenant shall be ejected from his tenure or holding except in execution of a decree.
Landlord’s right to measure land.— (1) Subject to the provisions of this section and any contract, a landlord may, by himself, or by any person authorised by him this behalf, enter on and measure all land comprised in his estate or tenure, other than land exempt from the payment of revenue.
(2) A landlord shall not, without the consent of the tenant, or the written permission of the Collector, be entitled to measure land more than once in ten years, except in the following cases (namely) :
(a) where the area of the tenure or holding is liable, by reason of alluvion or dilution, to vary from year to year, and the rent payable depends on the area;
(b) where the area under cultivation is liable to vary from year to year and the rent payable depends on the area under cultivation;
(c) where the landlord is a purchaser otherwise than by voluntary transfer and not more than two years have elapsed since the date of his entry under the purchase.
(3) The ten years shall be computed from the date of the last measurement, whether made before or after the commencement of this Act.
Power for Court to order tenant to attend and point out boundaries.— (l) Where a landlord desires to measure any land which he is entitled to measure under section 90, the Civil Court may, on the application of the landlord, make an order requiring the tenant to attend and point out the boundaries of the land.
(2) If the tenant refuses or neglects to comply with the order, a map or other record of the boundaries and measurements of the land, prepared under the direction of the landlord at the time when the tenant was directed to attend, shall be presumed to be correct until the contrary is shown.
Standard of measurement.— (I) Every measurement of land made by order of a Civil Court, or of a Revenue-officer, in any suit or proceeding between a landlord and tenant, shall be made by the acre, unless the Court or Revenue-officer directs that it be made by any other specified standard.
(2) If the rights of the parties are regulated by any local measure other than the acre, the acre shall be converted into the local measure for the purposes of the suit or proceeding.
(3) The State Government may, after local inquiry, make rules declaring for any local area the standard or standards of measurement locally in use in that area, and every declaration so made shall be presumed to be correct until the contrary is shown.
Power to call upon co-owners to show cause why they should not appoint a common manager.— (i) When any dispute exists between co-owners of an estate or tenure or of lands held jointly between two or more estates or tenures as to the management thereof; or
(ii) when, owing to the existence of a large number of small co-sharers in an estate or tenure, the tenants or landlords are put to inconvenient and harassment in the payment or receipt of the rent due, the District Judge may, if it appears to him to be just and convenient, on the application of —
in case (i),
(a) the Collector, or
(b) any one having an interest in the estate or tenure or in any of the estates or tenures; and in case (ii),—
(a) more than half the tenants, or
(b) co-sharers holding more than half the aggregate interests in the estate or tenure, direct notice to be served on all the co-owners or co-sharers calling on them to show cause why they should not appoint a common manager—
in case (i), either for the whole of the estate or tenure or estates or tenures, as the case may be, or for those portions of the estate or tenure or estates or tenures, as the case may be, which are affected by the dispute; and in case (ii), for the estate or tenure in which the tenants or landlords are put to inconvenience or harassment :
Provided that a co-owner or co-sharer of an estate or tenure or a co-owner of lands held jointly between two or more estates or tenures shall not be, entitled to apply under this section unless he is actually in possession of the interest he claims, and, if he is a co-owner or co-sharer of an estate, unless his name and the extent of his interest are registered under the Land Registration Act, 1876.
Power to order them to appoint a manager if cause is not shown.—If the co-owners fail to show cause as aforesaid within one month after service of a notice under section 93, the District Judge may make an order directing them to appoint a common manager and a copy of the order shall be served on any co-owner who did not appear before it was made.
Power to appoint manager if order is not obeyed.— If the co-owners do not, within such period, not being less than one month after the making of an order under section 94, as the District Judge may fix in this behalf, or, where the order has been served as directed by that section, within a like period after such service, appoint a common manager and report the appointment for the information of the District Judge, the District Judge may, unless it is shown to his satisfaction that there is a prospect of a satisfactory arrangement being made within a reasonable time —
(a) direct that the estate or tenure be managed by the Court of Wards in any case in which the Court of Wards consents to undertake the management thereof; or
(b) in any case appoint a manager.
Power to nominate person to act in all cases under clause (b) of section 95.—The State Government may nominate a person for any local area to manage all estates and tenures within that local area for which it may he necessary to appoint a manager under clause (b) of section 95; and, when any person has been so nominated, no other person shall be appointed manager under that clause by the District Judge, unless the case of any estate the Judge thinks fit to appoint one of the co-owners themselves as manager.
The Court of Wards Act, 1879, applicable to management by Court of Wards.— In any case in which the Court of Wards undertakes under section 95 the management of an estate or tenure, so much of the provisions of the Court of Wards Act, 1879, as relates to the management of immovable property shall apply to the management.
Provisions applicable to manager.— (1) A manager appointed under section 95 may, if the District Judge thinks fit, be remunerated by a fixed salary or percentage of the money collected by him as manager, or partly in one way and partly in the other, as the District Judge from time to time directs.
(2) He shall give such security for the proper discharge of his duties as the District Judge directs.
(3) He shall, subject to the control of the District Judge, have, for the purposes of management, the same powers as the co-owners jointly might but for his appointment have exercised, and the co-owners shall not exercise any such power.
(4) He shall deal with and distribute the profits in accordance with the orders of the District Judge.
(5) He shall keep regular accounts, allow the co-owners or any of them to inspect and take copies of those accounts.
(6) He shall pass his accounts at such period and in such form as the District Judge may direct.
(7) He may make any application which the proprietors could make under section 103.
(8) He shall be removable by the order of the District Judge, and not otherwise.
Power to restore management to co-owners.— When an estate or tenure has been placed under the management of the Court of Wards, or a manager has been appointed for the same under section 95, the District Judge may at any time direct that the management of it be restored to the co-owners if he is satisfied that the management will be conducted by them without inconvenience to the public or injury to private rights.
99A. Appointment of common agent. — (1) Where two or more persons are joint or co-sharer landlords they may by an instrument in writing appoint a common agent for the whole of their joint property or for any portion thereof to receive on behalf of all of them —
(a) notices of transfer under sections 12, 13, 15, 17, 18 and 26C of tenures or holdings or portions or shares thereof held under them within that property.
(c) the rent deposited in Court under section 61, and
(d) the notices referred to in sub-section (2) of section 85A and in sub-section (2) of section 88.
(2) (a) The Collector shall, on application by the common agent and on production by him of the instrument of appointment, register the names of the common agent and the landlords appointing him and their addresses and other particulars in the prescribed manner.
(b) The name and address of such common agent shall be entered upon the receipt required under section 56 to be given on the payment of rent for the tenure or holding situated within the area for which he has been appointed under sub-section (1).
Power to make rules.— (1) The High Court may, from time to time, make rules defining the powers and duties of managers under sections 95 to 99.
(2) The Board of Revenue may, from time to time, make rules defining the powers and duties of common agents under section 99A.