Preparation or revision of record-of-rights under the West Bengal Land Reform Act 1955

West Bengal Land Reform Act 1955

Preparation or revision of record-of-rights

50A. Section 50 not to apply to certain cases.—Section 50 shall not apply to any district or part of such district where Chapter VIIA has come into force for the purpose of revision or preparation of records of rights; but section 50 shall apply to any land in any such district or part of such district after final publication of any such record-of-rights under section 51A:

[Provided that notwithstanding any order made under sub-section (1) of section 51 in respect of a district or part of a district, the State Government may make an order directing the [prescribed authority appointed] under section 50 to incorporate such changes as may be specified in the said order in the record-of-rights in respect of such district or part of such district under section 50, if the State Government is satisfied that incorporation of such changes is necessary to mitigate the hardship of a raiyat.]

50B. Modification of record-of-rights.—(1) The State Government may, in any case where it so think fit, make an order by notification published in the Official Gazette, directing that the record-of-rights in respect of a district or part of a district, as maintained up-to-date under section 50, be modified by eliminating from such record the entries, if any, which have been deleted and scored out under that section from time to time.

(2) When an order is made under sub-section (1), the prescribed authority appointed under section 50 (hereinafter referred to in this section as the prescribed authority) shall modify in the prescribed manner the record-of-rights in accordance with the provisions of sub-section (1).

(3) When a record-of-rights is modified, the prescribed authority shall publish a draft of the record modified in the prescribed manner and for ‘he prescribed period and shall receive and consider any objection to any entry therein or to any omission therefrom.

(4) When all such objections under sub-section (3) have been considered and disposed of, the prescribed authority shall cause the modified record to be finally published in the prescribed manner and shall certify the fact of final publication and the date thereof and shall date and superscribe the same under his name and official designation.

(5) Any officer specially empowered by the State Government in this behalf may, within such period as may be prescribed, revise in the prescribed manner any entry in a record finally published under Sub-section (4) after giving the person or persons interested an opportunity of being heard and after recording reasons therefor.

(6) Every entry in a modified record-of-right finally published under sub-section (4) including any entry revised under sub-section (5), shall be presumed to be correct.

(7) The provisions of this section shall not apply to a record-of-rights in respect of a village, the revision or preparation of which has commenced under Chapter VIIA, but shall apply to such record-of-rights after its final publication under sub-section (2) of section 51A.

(8) When an order has been made under sub-section (1), no Civil Court shall entertain any suit or application which involves correction, revision, modification or cancellation of any entry in the record-of-rights of a village in accordance with such order, till the record-of-rights relating to such village is finally published under sub-section (4), and if any suit or application relating to any entry in such record-of-rights is pending before a Civil Court on the date of issue of such order, such suit or application, as the case may be, shall abate.]

Revision or preparation of the record-of-rights.-[(1) The State Government may, in any case if it so thinks fit, make an order directing that record-of-rights in respect of any district or part of a district be revised or prepared by a Revenue Officer in accordance with the provisions of this Chapter and such rules as may be made by the State Government in this behalf.
(2) A notification in the Official Gazette of an order under sub-section (1) shall be conclusive evidence that the order has been duly made.

(3) When an order is made under sub-section (1), the Revenue Officer shall record in the record-of-rights to be revised or prepared in pursuance of such order, such particulars as may be prescribed.]

(4) Omitted by West Bengal Act No. 50 of 1981, w.e.f. 7.8.1969.

(5) There shall be a separate khatian for each raiyat and the khatian shall include all lands held by such raiyat in one mauza.

[51A. Draft and final publication of the record-of-rights.—(1) When a record-of-rights has been revised or prepared, the Revenue Officer shall publish a draft of the record so revised or prepared in the prescribed manner and for the prescribed period and shall receive and consider any objections which may be made during such period to any entry therein or to any omission therefrom.]

(2) When all such objections have been considered and disposed of according to such rules as the State Government may make in this behalf, the Revenue Officer shall finally prepare the record and cause such record to be finally published in the prescribed manner and make a certificate stating the fact of such final publication and the date thereof and shall date and subscribe the same under his name and official designation.

(3) Separate publication of different parts of draft or final records may be made under sub-section (1) or sub-section (2) for different local areas.

[(4) An officer specially empowered by the State Government may, on application within one year, or on his own motion [within thirty-five years], from the date of publication of the record-of-rights under sub-section (2), revise an entry in the record finally published in accordance with the provisions of sub-section (2) after the persons interested are given an opportunity of being heard and after recording reasons therefor.]

[(5) Any person aggrieved by an order passed in revision under sub-section (4) may, within such period, and on payment of such fee, as may be prescribed, appeal in the prescribed manner to the prescribed authority of the district in which the land referred to in the record-of-rights is situated:

Provided that where the appeal is preferred to a Collector, he may transfer the appeal to such officer subordinate to him as may be prescribed:

Provided further that the officer to whom the appeal is transferred is superior in rank or position to the officer or authority making the order appealed against.]

(6) The certificate of final publication referred to in sub-section (2), or in the absence of such certificate, a certificate signed by the Collector of any district in which the area to which the record-of-rights relates is wholly or partly situate, stating that a record-of-rights has been finally published on a specified date, shall be conclusive proof of such publication and of the date thereof.

(7) The State Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, declare with regard to any area specified in the notification that the record-of-rights for every village included in such area has been finally published and such notification shall be conclusive proof of such publication.

(8) In any suit or other proceeding in which a record-of-rights [is] revised or prepared and finally published under this Chapter, or a duly certified copy of the record or an extract therefrom, is produced, such record-of-rights shall be presumed to have been finally published unless such publication is expressly denied.

(9) Every entry in the record-of-rights finally published under sub-section (2) including an entry revised under sub-section (4) or corrected .inder section 51B [or section 51BB] shall, subject to any modification by an order on appeal under sub-section (5), be presumed to be correct.

[51B. Revision or correction of entry in record-of-rights.-(1) Any Revenue Officer specially empowered by the State Government in this behalf may, on an application or on his own motion, at any stage of revision or preparation of the record-of-rights under this Chapter but before final publication of any such record-of-rights, revise or correct any entry in such record-of-rights after giving the persons interested an opportunity of being heard and after recording the reasons therefor:

Provided that any order made under this sub-section shall be appealable in accordance with the provisions of sub-section (5) of section 51A.]

[51BB. Revision or correction of entry in record-of-rights before or after final publication.—An officer specially empowered in this behalf by the State Government may revise or correct any entry in any record-of-rights in respect of a mouza at any stage before or after final publication of such record-of-rights under this Chapter if it is necessary, in his opinion, to do so in pursuance of an order under Chapter IIB or on account of any amendment made in the provisions of this Act:

Provided that no such revision or correction shall be made, except when it is necessary to do so in order to prepare a separate khatian as required under sub-section (5) of section 51 by amalgamating the khatians in respect of a raiyat already prepared or finally published under this Chapter or to correct a bona fidemistake, until a notice has been given to the persons interested to appear and be heard in the matter.]

[51C. Bar to jurisdiction of Civil Court in respect of certain matters.—(1) When an order has been made under sub-section (1) of section 51 directing revision or preparation of a record-of-rights, no Civil Court shall entertain any suit or application for the determination of revenue or the incidents of any tenancy to which the record-of-rights relates, and if any suit or application in which any of the aforesaid matters is in issue, is pending before a Civil Court on the date of such order, it shall be stayed and it shall, on the expiry of the period prescribed for an appeal under sub-section (5) of section 51A or when such an appeal has been filed under that sub-section, as the case may be, on the disposal of such appeal, abate so far as it relates to any of the aforesaid matters.

(2) No Civil Court shall entertain any suit or application concerning any land if it relates to alteration of any entry in the record-of-rights finally published, revised, corrected or modified under any of the provisions of this Chapter.

Explanation.—In this section ‘suit’ includes an appeal.]

[51D. xxx]

Devider

COMMENT

power under Section 51B is a revisional power. It is a power to revise or correct any entry made in the record-of-rights in course of revision or preparation thereof by the Revenue Officer under Section 51. Entries made in the record-of-rights by the Revenue Officer can be substituted by new ones by the authority mentioned in Section 51B. Order passed under Section 51B is appealable.

9. On the other hand we find that the power under the second proviso to paragraph 1 of the Schedule A to the Rules is a superintending power. It is a power to direct the Revenue Officer to take note of certain facts while conducting the pending proceeding under Section 51. This ‘power to direct’ is virtually a power to regulate the proceeding pending before the subordinate authority. The directions given under said second proviso are neither ‘decisions’ nor ‘orders’ against which any appeal or revision lies. Such directions only lead the Revenue Officer to make necessary entries in the record-of-rights; and only such entries are subject to revision by the authority mentioned in Section 51B.

10. Therefore, it is clear that said Section 5113 and said second proviso operate in quite different fields. We do not find any conflict between the two provisions. Proceeding initiated under Section 51 is to be conducted following procedure laid down in Schedule A to the Rules. This is only what is provided by Rule 22. While the proceeding progresses before the Revenue Officer according to procedure laid down in paragraph 1 of the schedule, the authority mentioned in the second proviso to said paragraph 1 may only give certain directions to the Revenue Officer. The proceeding leads to making necessary entries in the record-of-rights by the Revenue Officer. Such entries only, can be revised or corrected in revision by the authority mentioned in Section 51B. So, we do not find any reason either to say that the said second proviso seeks to alter the provision of Section 51B; or to say that both of them cannot stand together. [ Calcutta High Court
Ananda Prasad Dey And Ors. And … vs The State Of West Bengal And Ors. on 7 May, 2002
Equivalent citations: (2002) 3 CALLT 195 HC, 2002 (3) CHN 257 DIVISION BENCH]