The state acquisition and tenancy act, 1950




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THE STATE ACQUISITION AND TENANCY ACT, 1950
(EAST BENGAL ACT NO. XXVIII OF 1951).

[16th May, 1951]

An Act to provide for the acquisition by the State of the interests of rent-receivers and certain other interests in land in Bangladesh and to define the law relating to tenancies to be held under the State after such acquisition and other matters connected therewith. 1 2

WHEREAS it is expedient to provide for the acquisition by the State of the interests of rent-receivers and certain other interests in land in Bangladesh and to define the law relating to tenancies to be held under the State after such acquisition and other matters connected therewith;


It is hereby enacted as follows:-

CHAPTER I
PRELIMINARY

Short title and extent 1. (1) This Act may be called the 3[ * * *] State Acquisition and Tenancy Act, 1950.


(2) It extends to the whole of Bangladesh.

Definitions



2. In this Act, unless there is anything repugnant to the subject or context,-
(1) “cesses” include local rates levied under the Assam Local Rates Regulation, 1879;
(2) “charitable purpose” includes relief of the poor, education, medical relief and the advancement of any other object of general public utility;
(3) “Collector” means the Collector of a district and includes a Deputy Commissioner and such other officers as may be appointed by the Government to perform all or any of the functions of a Collector under this Act;
(4) “Commissioner” means the Commissioner of State Purchase appointed under sub-section (1) of section 48;
(5) “company” has the same meaning as in the Companies Act, 1913;
(6) “complete usufructuary mortgage” means a transfer by a tenant of the right of possession in any land for the purpose of securing the payment of money or the return of grain advanced or to be advanced by way of loan upon the condition that the loan, with all interests thereon, shall be deemed to be extinguished by the profits arising from the land during the period of the mortgage;
(7) “consolidation”, used with respect to holdings means the re-distribution of all or any of the areas of land comprised in the holdings for the purpose of rendering separate holdings more compact by reducing the total number of separate plots;
(8) “co-operative society” means a society registered or deemed to be registered under the Co-operative Societies Act, 1912, or the Bengal Co-operative Societies Act, 1940;
(9) “cultivating raiyat” or “cultivating under-raiyat” means a raiyat or an under-raiyat, as the case may be, who holds land by cultivating it either by himself or by members of his family or by servants or by bargadars or by or with the aid of hired labourers or with the aid of partners;
4[ (9a) “derelict tea garden” means any parcel or group of parcels of land held under single management which was held, settled or leased for the purpose of cultivation or manufacture of tea, or which has contained or contains tea bushes, and which has been notified by the Government to be a derelict tea garden and includes all buildings on such land:
Provided that in notifying a parcel or parcels of land as a derelict tea garden, the Government may have regard to-
(i) whether such land is planted to the extent of less than 15 per cent of its area with tea of which no substantial proportion has been planted in the previous 5 years; and
(ii) the opinion of the Tea Board as to whether the area planted with tea more than 7 years previously has produced per acre in the last 3 years less than 25 per cent of the average production per acre of the whole area planted with tea in the Province for that period;]
5[ (9b)] “Director of Land Records and Surveys” includes Additional Director of Land Records and Surveys;
(10) “encumbrance”, in relation to any estate, tenure, holding, tenancy or land, means any mortgage, charge, lien, sub-tenancy, easement or other right or interest created by the holder thereof on such estate, tenure, holding, tenancy or land or in limitation of his own interest therein;
(11) “estate” means land included under one entry in any of the general registers of revenue-paying lands and revenue-free lands, prepared and maintained under the law for the time being in force by the Collector of a district, and includes Government khas mahals and revenue-free lands not entered in any register; and also includes the following in the district of Sylhet-
(i) any land subject either immediately or prospectively to the payment of land-revenue for the discharge of which a separate engagement has been entered into;
(ii) any land subject to the payment of, or assessed with, a separate amount as land-revenue although no engagement has been entered into with the Government for that amount;
(iii) any land which is, for the time being, included under one entry in the Deputy Commissioner's register of revenue-free estates as well as revenue-free lands which are not so included in such register;
(iv) any land, being the exclusive property of Government, of which a separate entry has been made in the general register of revenue-paying and revenue free estate mentioned in Chapter IV of the Assam Land and Revenue Regulation, 1886;
(12) “hat” or “bazar” means any place where persons assemble daily or on particular days in a week primarily for the purposes of buying or selling agricultural or horticultural produce livestock, poultry, hides, skins, meat, fish, eggs, milk, milk products or any other articles of food or drink or other necessaries of life, and includes all shops of such articles or manufactured articles within such place;
(13) “holding” means a parcel or parcels of land or an undivided share thereof, held by a raiyat or an under-raiyat and forming the subject of a separate tenancy;
(14) “homestead” means a dwelling house with the land under it, together with any courtyard, garden, tank, place of worship and private burial or cremation ground attached and appertaining to such dwelling house, and includes any out-buildings used for the purpose of enjoying the dwelling house or for purpose connected with agriculture or horticulture and such lands within well defined limits, whether vacant or not, as are treated to be appertaining thereto;
(15) “khas land” or “land in khas possession”, in relation to any person, includes any land let out together with any building standing thereon and necessary adjuncts thereto, otherwise than in perpetuity;
(16) “land” means land which is cultivated, uncultivated or covered with water at any time of the year, and includes benefits to arise of land, houses or buildings and also things attached to the earth, or permanently fastened to anything attached to the earth;
6[ (16a) notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force or in any instrument or in any judgment or decree or order of any Court, the definition of “land” in clause (16) includes and shall be deemed always to have included all fisheries, several or territorial;]
(17) “non-agricultural tenant” means a tenant who holds land for purposes not connected with agriculture or horticulture, but does not include a person holding land together with any building standing thereon any necessary adjuncts thereto under a lease other than a lease in perpetuity;
(18) “notification” means a notification published in the official Gazette ;
7[ (18a) “orchard” means a garden of fruit-trees grown by human efforts and includes coconut, betel nut and pineapple gardens;]
(19) “prescribed” means prescribed by rules made under this Act;
(20) “proprietor” means a person owning, whether in trust or for his own benefit, an estate or a part of an estate;
(21) “registered” means registered under any Act for the time being in force for the registration of documents;
(22) “rent” means whatever is lawfully payable or deliverable in money or kind by a tenant to his landlord on account of the use or occupation of the land held by the tenant;
(23) “rent-receiver” means a proprietor or a tenure holder, and includes a raiyat, an under-raiyat or a non-agricultural tenant whose land has been let out and also the immediate landlord of a person who holds any land free of rent in consideration of some service to be rendered, but does not include a person in respect of such of this lands, as has been let out, together with any building standing thereon and necessary adjuncts thereto, otherwise than in perpetuity;
(24) “Revenue-officer” includes any officer whom the Government may appoint to discharge all or any of the functions of a Revenue-officer under this Act or any rules made thereunder;

(25) “signed” includes “marked”, when the person making the mark is unable to write his name; it also includes “stamped” with the name of the person referred to;


(26) “succession” includes both intestate and testamentary succession;
(27) “tenant” means a person who holds land under another person and is, or but for a special contract would be, liable to pay rent for that land to that person:
Provided that a person who, under the system generally known as “adhi”, “barga”, or “bhag”, cultivates the land of another person on condition of delivering a share of the produce to that person, is not a tenant, unless-
(i) such person has been expressly admitted to be a tenant by his landlord in any document executed by him or executed in his favour and accepted by him, or
(ii) he has been or is held by a Civil Court to be a tenant;
(28) “tenure” means the interest of a tenure-holder or an under-tenure holder;
(29) “village” means the area defined, surveyed and recorded as a district and separate village in any survey made by, or under the authority of, the Government, and, where no such survey has been made, such area as the Collector may, with the sanction of the Board of Revenue, by general or special order, declare to constitute a village;
(30) “year” or “agricultural year” means the Bengali year commencing on the first day of Baishakh; and
(31) all words and expressions used in Parts I, II, III and IV of this Act, but not defined in this Act, and used in the Bengal Tenancy Act, 1885, or in the Sylhet Tenancy Act, 1936, have the same meanings as in those Acts in the respective areas to which those Acts apply.

Exemption

\8[ 2A. The Government may, in public interest, exempt, by general or special order, the interests of any local authority in any land or class of lands from acquisition under the provision of this Act.]

CHAPTER II


SPECIAL PROVISIONS FOR THE ACQUISITION OF THE INTERESTS OF CERTAIN RENT-RECEIVERS

Acquisition of the interest of certain rent-receivers and consequences thereof



3. (1) At any time after the commencement of this Act, it shall be lawful for the Government to acquire, by notification in the official Gazette, with effect from such date as may be specified in the notification (hereinafter referred to as the notified date),-
(i) all interests of such of the rent-receivers as may be specified in the notification, in their respective estates, taluks, tenures, holdings or tenancies, as the case may be, in any district, part of a district or local area, and
(ii) all interests of all rent-receivers whose properties are, for the time being, under the management of the Court of Wards under the Court of Wards Act, 1879, in their respective estates, taluks, tenures, holdings or tenancies, as the case may be, including all their interests in all sub-soil and rights to minerals in such estates, taluks, tenures, holdings or tenancies.
(2) Subject to the provisions of sub-sections (2), (3), (4), (5) and (6) of section 20, the Government may also, simultaneously with or at any time after the publication of a notification under sub-section (1) in respect of the interests of any rent-receiver in any estate, taluk, tenure, holding or tenancy, acquire, by notification in the official Gazette , with effect from such date as may be specified in the notification (hereinafter referred to as the notified date), all or any of the lands in his khas possession of which he shall not be entitled to retain possession under the said section and so much of the lands in his khas possession as has been acquired under this sub-section and has not vested in the Government under clause (a) of sub-section (4), shall vest absolutely in the Government free from all encumbrances.
9[ (2a) In a notification issued under this section, rent-receivers may be specified or described by name, or by reference to areas wherein they have interests, or in such other manner as the Government may determine.]
(3) The notification referred to in sub-section (1) or sub-section (2) shall be in such form and shall contain such particulars as may be prescribed.
(4) On and from the date specified in a notification under sub-section (1),-
(a) all interests of the rent-receivers in the estates, taluks, tenures, holdings or tenancies specified in the notification, including their interests in all lands in their khas possession, and interests in all sub-soil and rights to minerals, in such estates, taluks, tenures, holdings or tenancies and also including the interests of any such rent-receiver in any building or part of a building standing on any such land and used primarily as office or cutchery for the collection of rent of any estate, taluk, tenure, holding or tenancy, shall vest absolutely in the Government free from all encumbrances:
Provided that nothing in this clause shall apply to any building within the homestead of the rent-receiver concerned;
(b) all arrears of revenue or rent and all cesses, together with interest, if any, payable thereon, remaining lawfully due to the Collector on the notified date in respect of any interest acquired under sub-section (1) shall, after the said date, continue to be recoverable from the person by whom they were payable and shall, without prejudice to any other mode of recovery, be recoverable by the deduction of the amount of such arrears, cesses and interest from the compensation money payable to such person under section 58, when so ordered by the Collector;
(c) all arrears of rent and all cesses, together with interest if any, due thereon, in respect of any period previous to the notified date payable to a rent-receiver in respect of any interest acquired under sub-section (1) which have not been barred by limitation shall, on and from the said date, vest in, and be recoverable by, the Government and shall, without prejudice to any other mode of recovery, be recoverable, from the persons by whom they were payable, by the deduction of the amount of such arrears, cesses and interest from the compensation money, if any, payable to such persons under section 58, when so ordered by the Collector;
(d) all amounts recoverable by the Government from a rent-receiver under the Bengal Embankment Act, 1882, or the East Bengal Embankment and Drainage Act, 1952 which remain outstanding on the notified date, whether on account of arrear dues or dues under future instalments under the said Acts, in respect of any interest acquired under sub-section (1), shall, without prejudice to any other mode of recovery, be recoverable by the deduction of the amounts of such arrear and future instalments from the compensation money payable to such rent-receiver under section 58 in respect of such interest, when so ordered by the Collector;
10[ (dd) all arrears of agricultural income-tax recoverable by the Government from a rent-receiver under the Bengal Agricultural Income-tax Act, 1944, which remain outstanding on the notified date, in respect of any interest acquired under sub-section (1), shall, without prejudice to any other mode of recovery, be recoverable by the deduction of the amounts of such arrears from the compensation money payable to such rent-receiver under section 58 in respect of such interest, when so ordered by the Collector;]
(e) all tenants holding lands in such estates, taluks, tenures, holdings or tenancies directly under the rent-receiver specified in the notification under sub-section (1), shall become tenants directly under the Government and shall pay rent at the existing rate, in respect of the rent-paying lands so held by them, to the Government and not to anybody else:
Provided that in cases where no notification was issued under sub-section (2) of section 43 before the commencement of the East Bengal State Acquisition and Tenancy (Amendment) Ordinance, 1957, declaring that the Compensation Assessment-roll in respect of the interest of any such rent-receiver in any such estate, taluk, tenure, holding or tenancy had been finally published, all tenants holding lands in such estate, taluk, tenure, holding or tenancy directly under such rent-receiver shall, as tenants under the Government, be liable to pay rents in respect of the lands so held by them, except rent-free lands, at the rates determined in the record-of-rights finally published under sub-section (3) of section 19 subject to modification under section 53;
(f) all such rent-receivers shall be entitled to hold as tenants directly under the Government such of their khas lands as has not been acquired under sub-section (2) and shall be liable to pay to the Government, the rent determined for such lands under section 5;
11[ (ff) pending the final publication of the record-of-rights under sub-section (3) of section 19 or determination of rents under section 5, as the case may be, the tenants referred to in the proviso to clause (e) and in clause (f) shall pay rents to the Government at the rates shown in the preliminary rent-rolls prepared under the rules made 12[ under Chapter IV in the district other than the district of Sylhet; and, in the district of Sylhet, the tenants referred to in the proviso to clause (e) shall pay rents to the Government at the rates shown in the provisional rent-rolls, prepared on the basis of draft record-of-rights attested under the provisions of the Sylhet Tenancy Act, 1936, the Assam Land and Revenue Regulation, 1886, or the East Bengal State Acquisition and Tenancy Act, 1950, as the case may be, and the tenants referred to in clause (f) shall pay rent to the Government at the rates determined under section 5 and the rules made thereunder:
Provided that when any such rent is shown either at an enhanced or at a reduced rate in the record-of-rights finally published under sub-section (3) of section 19, or determined either at an enhanced or at a reduced rate under section 5, as the case may be, or when any such rent is enhanced or reduced under section 53, the tenant shall be liable to pay the balance or entitled to the adjustment of excess payment against future rent payable by him, as the case may be, with retrospective effect from the notified date;]
(g) an arrear of rent payable under 13[ clauses (e), (f) and (ff)] 14[ may, without prejudice to any other mode of recovery,] be recoverable under the Bengal Public Demands Recovery Act, 1913;
(h) a transferable tenure coming in whole directly under the Government under clause (e) shall be deemed to be a tenure as defined in section 1 of the Bengal Land Revenue Sales Act, 1868.
15[ (4a) Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force, in computing the period of limitation for the recovery of any arrear of rent-payable under clauses (e), (f) and (ff) of sub-section (4) in the district of Sylhet, a period of twenty-four months on and from the date of acquisition under this Act of the rent-receiving interests to which such arrears relate shall be excluded.]
(5) The outgoing rent-receivers, whose interests have been acquired under this section, shall be entitled to compensation as provided in this Act.
Service of notice for furnishing return before notification

16[ 3A. For the purpose of acquisition, under section 3, of the interest of any rent-receiver in any estate, taluk, tenure, holding or tenancy or of the lands in his khas possession the Revenue-officer may, at any time before the publication of a notification under sub-section (1) or sub-section (2) of that section in respect of such interest or lands, cause a notice to be served on such rent-receiver in the prescribed manner, directing him to furnish, within such time, not being less than sixty days from the date of service of the notice, as may be specified therein, a return in the prescribed form showing all or any of the following particulars, as may be required by such notice:-


(i) the total area and description of all estates, taluks, tenures, holdings and tenancies held by him and the annual revenue or rent and cesses payable by him in respect thereof to the Government or to his immediate superior landlord, as the case may be;
(ii) the names of the villages, thanas and districts in which the lands of the estates, taluks, tenures, holdings and tenancies are situated, together with a list of collection papers relating thereto, for a period not exceeding five years immediately preceding;
(iii) the area, description and classification of all lands in his khas possession with the names of villages and thanas in which they are situated;
(iv) the names of all co-sharers having joint collection with him, with their respective shares in such estates, taluks, tenures, holdings and tenancies; and
(v) such other information as the Revenue-officer may deem necessary.]

Service of notice to furnish returns, etc and penalty for non-compliance



4. (1) As soon as may be after the publication of a notification under sub-section (1) of section 3, the Revenue-officer may cause a notice to be served in the prescribed manner on every rent-receiver specified in such notification other than a rent-receiver whose properties are under the management of the Court of Wards under the Court of Wards Act, 1879, directing him to furnish,-
(a) a return in the prescribed form showing-
(i) the total area and description of the estate, taluk, tenure, holding or tenancy in respect of which his interests are acquired by the said notification and the annual revenue or rent and cesses payable by him in respect thereof to the Government or to his immediate superior landlord, as the case may be,
(ii) the names of the villages with thanas and districts in which the lands of the estate, taluk, tenure, holding or tenancy are situated and the total annual demand of rent and cesses of each village with a list of collection papers in support of the demand,
(iii) the area and description of the lands in his khas possession, and
(iv) the names of all co-sharers having joint collection with him, with their respective shares in such estate, taluk, tenure, holding or tenancy, and
(b) such other information, papers or documents as the Revenue-Officer may deem necessary,
and to hand over all papers of his sherista relating to the estate, taluk, tenure, holding or tenancy, to such officer and within such time, not being less than sixty days from the date of service of the notice, as may be specified in such notice:
Provided that it shall not be necessary for a rent-receiver to furnish such of the particulars as, in the opinion of the Revenue-officer, have already been correctly furnished by him pursuant to a notice under section 3A.
(2) The officer taking delivery of the papers mentioned in sub-section (1) shall grant a receipt for the papers handed over to him.
(3) All co-sharers having joint collection shall be jointly and severally liable to comply with the directions given in a notice under sub-section (1) of this section or section 3A so far as they relate to any estate, taluk, tenure, holding or tenancy held by them jointly.
(4) If any person, on whom a notice has been served under sub-section (1) of this section or section 3A, wilfully fails to comply with all or any of the directions contained in such notice within the time specified therein or within such further time as the Revenue-officer may allow in his discretion, or wilfully furnishes any incorrect information or suppresses any information, paper or document, in respect of any estate, taluk, tenure, holding or tenancy,-
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