Bargadar, Law Relating To under West Bengal Land Reform Act 1955

West Bengal Land Reform Act 1955

Operation Barga was launched by Left Front Government in West Bengal in 1978 and concluded by the mid-1980s.

Bargadar Means:-

S 2(2) “bargadar” means 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 of such land to that person; [and includes a person who under the system generally known as kisani [or by any other description] cultivates the land of another person on condition of receiving a share of the produce of such land from that person;]

but does not include a person who is related to the owner of the land as-

(a) wife, or

(b) husband, or

(c) child, or

(d) grandchild, or

(e) parent, or (t) grandparent, or

(g) brother, or

(h) sister, or

(i) brother’s son or brother’s daughter, or

(j) sister’s son or sister’s daughter, or

(k) daughter’s husband, or (/) son’s wife, or

(m) wife’s brother or wife’s sister, or [(ma) husband’s brother, or]

(n) brother’s wife,], and

[Explanation.—A bargadar shall continue to be a bargadar until cultivation by him is lawfully terminated under this Act;]

  1. Certain safeguards for [plot of land] cultivated by bargadars.-[(1) The provisions of clauses (b) and (c) of sub-section (4) of section 4 shall not apply to the[plot of land] of a raiyator any part of it which is cultivated by a bargadarso long as cultivation by a bargadar continues.

(2) The right of cultivation of land by a bargadar shall, subject to the provisions of this Chapter, be heritable and shall not be transferable.

(3) The provisions of this Chapter shall not apply to any person not belonging to a Scheduled Tribe claiming to be a bargadar under a raiyat belonging to a Scheduled Tribe.]

15A. Continuation of right of cultivation on bargadar‘s death.—(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in any law for the time being in force or in any contract to the contrary, where a bargadar, cultivating any land, dies at a time when cultivation of such land by the bargadar was continuing, the cultivation of such land may be continued by the lawful heir of the bargadar or where there are more than one lawful heir, by such lawful heir of the bargadar as all the lawful heirs of thebargadar may determine within the prescribed period :

Provided that where the lawful heirs of the bargadar omit or fail to make a determination as required by this sub-section, the officer or authority appointed under sub-section (1) of section 18 may nominate one of the lawful heirs of the bargadar, who is in position to cultivate the land personally, to continue the cultivation thereof.

(2) The lawful heir of the bargadar who is determined or nominated or the cultivation of the land shall cultivate the land subject to such terms and conditions as may be prescribed.

(3) Where—

(a) no lawful heir of the bargadar is in a position to cultivate the land personally, or

(b) the lawful heirs of the bargadar fail to determine, within the prescribed period, the heir by whom the cultivation of the land will be continued and the officer or authority appointed under sub-section (1) of section 18 also omits or fails to nominate, within the prescribed period, any lawful heir of the deceased bargadar for the continuation of the cultivation of the land, or

(c) the person determined or nominated under sub-section (1) omits or fails to take any steps, within the prescribed period, for the continuation of the cultivation of the land, cultivation of the land may be continued by such person, whether an heir of the deceased bargadar or not, as may be nominated by the person whose land was cultivated by the deceased bargadar.

  1. Share of produce payable by a bargadar.—(1) The produce of any land cultivated by a bargadarshall be divided as between the bargadarand the person whose land he cultivates—

(a) in the proportion of 50 : 50, in a case where plough, cattle, manure and seeds necessary for cultivation are supplied by the person owning the land,

(b) in the proportion of 75 : 25, in all other cases.

(2) The bargadar shall tender, within the prescribed period, to the person whose land he cultivates, the share of the produce due to such person.

(3) Where any share of produce tendered under sub-section (2) is accepted by the person whose land is cultivated by the bargadar, each party shall give to the other a receipt, in such form as may be prescribed, for the quantity of the produce received by him.

(4) If the person whose land is cultivated by the bargadar refuses to accept the share of the produce tendered to him by the bargadar, or to give a receipt therefor, the bargadar may deposit, within the prescribed period, such share of the produce with such officer or authority as may be prescribed and such deposit shall discharge the bargadar from his obligation to deliver the share of the produce to the person whose land he cultivates:

Provided that where the quantity of the produce deposited by the bargadar is lesser than the quantity of the produce due to the person whose land he cultivates, the obligation of the bargadar with regard to the delivery of the deficiency in relation to the produce shall continue.

(5) Where a deposit referred to in sub-section (4) has been made, the prescribed officer or authority shall—

(a) give to the bargadar a receipt in such form as may be prescribed stating therein the quantity of the produce deposited by the bargadar and the particulars of the person for whom the produce has been deposited; and

(b) give intimation of such deposit, in such form and in such manner as may be prescribed, to the person for whom the produce has been deposited.

(6) Where any produce is deposited under sub-section (4) and the person for whom the produce has been deposited does not take delivery of such produce within fifteen days from the date of service on him of the intimation of such deposit, the officer or authority referred to in sub-section (4) may sell such produce and deposit the proceeds of such sale, after deducting therefrom the cost of conducting the sale, in the treasury, in revenue deposit, to the credit of the person for whom the produce has been deposited and give intimation of such deposit to such person, in such form and in such manner as may be prescribed.

(7) The bargadar shall store or thresh the produce—

(a) at such place as may be agreed upon between him and the person whose land he cultivates, or

(b) where there is disagreement between them, at such place as may be fixed by him after giving notice, in writing, served in the prescribed manner to the person whose land he cultivates: Provided that the person whose land is cultivated by the bargadar may at any time during the storage or threshing of the produce, enter the place where the produce has been stored or is being threshed for the purpose of inspecting the storage or threshing, as the case may be, of the produce.

[16A. bargadar entitled to recover his share in certain cases.—If the produce of any land cultivated by a bargadar is harvested and taken away, or if such produce after it is harvested by the bargadar is taken away, forcibly or otherwise, by the owner of such land, the bargadar shall be entitled to recover from such owner the share of the produce due to him or its money value.]

  1. Termination of cultivation by bargadar.—(1) No person shall be entitled to terminate cultivation of his land by a bargadarexcept in execution of an order, made by such officer or authority as the State Government may appoint, on one or more of the following grounds—

(a) that the bargadar has without any reasonable cause failed to cultivate the land, or has used it for any purpose other than agriculture;

(b) that the land is not cultivated by the bargadar personally;

(c) that the bargadar has failed to tender deposit to the full extent the share of the produce as required by sub-section (2), or sub-section (4), as the case may be, of section 16:

Provided that no order for the termination of cultivation, made on the ground specified in this clause, shall be given effect to if the bargadar delivers to the person, whose land he cultivates, the share of the produce due to such person, or pays to him the market price thereof, within such time and in such instalments as the officer or authority making the order may, having regard to all the circumstances of the case, specify in his behalf;

(d) that the person owning the land requires it bona fide for bringing it under personal cultivation:

Provided that the person owning the land shall be entitled to terminate cultivation by a bargadar of only so much of land as, together with any other land in the personal cultivation of such person, does not exceed 3.00 hectares :

Provided further that such person shall not be entitled to so terminate cultivation by a bargadar as to reduce the aggregate area of the land cultivated by thebargadar to less than 1.00 hectare.

Explanation.—In determining the areas specified in the foregoing provisos no transfer of land made after the commencement of the West Bengal Land Reforms (Amendment) Act, 1970, shall be taken into account.

Explanation.—For purposes of clause (b), a bargadar who cultivates the land with the help of members of his family shall be deemed to cultivate it personally.

[(2) If an owner fails to bring under personal cultivation any land, the cultivation of which by a bargadar has been terminated under clause (d) of sub-section (1) within two years from the date of such termination or allows such land to be cultivated by some other person, the land shall vest in the State free from all encumbrances under an order of the prescribed authority in the prescribed manner, and the owner of the land shall be entitled to an amount therefor in accordance with the provisions of section 14V.]

[(3) xxx ]

(4) No bargadar shall be entitled to cultivate more than [4.00 hectares] of land. In computing this area any land owned by the bargadar as well as the land cultivated by him as a bargadar shall be taken into account.

(5) If a bargadar cultivates land in excess of [4.00 hectares] the share of the produce due to him as a bargadar in respect of the land in excess of [4.00 hectares]shall be forfeited to the State Government by the order made in this behalf by a Revenue Officer.

(6) Where any land cultivated by a bargadar is in excess of the limit specified in sub-section (4), the person whose land is cultivated by such bargadar shall, if the excess land is within the provisions of Chapter II-B, have the land cultivated by any person referred to in section 49 who is willing to cultivate the said land as abargadar.

[Explanation.—For the purposes of clause (d) of sub-section (1) and sub-section (2), “personal cultivation” shall not include cultivation by servant or labourers on wages payable in cash or in kind not being as a share of the produce, or both.]

  1. Jurisdiction to decide certain disputes.—(1) Every dispute between a bargadarand the person whose land he cultivates in respect of any of the following matters, namely :

(a) division or delivery of the produce,

(aa) recovery of produce under section 16A,

(b) termination of cultivation by the bargadar,,

(c) [Omitted by the West Bengal Land Reforms (Amendment) Act, 1970 (President’s Act 16 of 1970) and then by the West Bengal Land Reforms (Amendment) Act, 1972 (West Bengal Act No. 12 of 1972) with retrospective effect from July 13, 1970,]

shall be decided by such officer or authority as the State Government may appoint:

[Provided that no application for decision of any dispute shall be entertained unless such application is presented to the officer or authority within three years from the date on which the claim falls or becomes due.]

(2) If in deciding any dispute referred to in sub-section (1) or otherwise any question arises as to whether a person is a bargadar or not and to whom the share of the produce is deliverable, such question shall be determined by the officer or authority mentioned in sub-section (1).

(2A) If in deciding any question referred to in sub-section (2), the officer or authority mentioned in that sub-section finds that any default in the delivery of the share of produce is due to doubt or uncertainty on the question whether the land in respect of which the share of the produce is claimed has vested in the State or has been retained under the West Bengal Estate Acquisition Act, 1953, [or under this Act] by the person claiming the share, such officer or authority shall, instead of terminating cultivation of the land by the bargadar on the ground of default, allow him time to deliver the share of the produce due to the person entitled thereto or to pay the price thereof by annual instalments not exceeding four, the first of such instalments being deliverable or payable on a date not later than the first day of Chaitra next following the date of the order.

(2B) [Omitted by the West Bengal Land Reforms (Amendment) Act, 1970 (President’s Act 16 of 1970) and then by the West Bengal Land Reforms (Amendment) Act, 1972 (West Bengal Act No. 12 of 1972) with retrospective effect from July 13, 1970.]

(3) The decision of any dispute referred to in clause (a) of sub- section (1) shall specify the money value of the share of the produce to be delivered, which shall be payable in default of delivery of such share.

(3A) The decision of any dispute referred to in clause (aa) of sub-section (1) shall specify the quantity of the produce recoverable from the owner by the bargadaras his share and also its money value which shall be payable by the owner in default of delivery of such quantity of the produce.

(4) For the removal of doubts it is hereby declared that notwithstanding any decision of any Court to the contrary, any order under clause (a) of sub-section (1), specifying the money value of the share of the produce to be delivered payable in default of delivery of such share, made before the commencement of the West Bengal Land Reforms (Amendment) Act, 1972 shall be deemed to be and to have always been validly made as if that Act had come into force when such order was made.

(5) If the decision of any dispute referred to in clause (a) of sub-section (1) given before the commencement of the West Bengal Land Reforms (Amendment) Act, 1962, does not specify the money value of the share of the produce to be delivered, the bargadar or the person whose land is cultivated by the bargadar or the successor-in-interest of such person may within ninety days from the commencement of the West Bengal Land Reforms (Amendment) Act, 1965, make an application before the officer or authority who decided the dispute or his or its successor for review of the decision for the purpose of specifying the money value of the shares of the produce to be delivered payable in default of delivery of such share.

(6) Upon receipt of such application the officer or authority shall, after giving the parties to the dispute an opportunity of being heard and adducing evidence, pass an order specifying the money value of the share of the produce to be delivered, which shall be payable in default of delivery of such share.

[18A. Continuance in office of officers and authorities appointed under sections 17 and 18 until successor commences to function.—(1) An officer or authority appointed under section 17 or section 18 shall continue to function after appointment of his or its successor until such successor commences to function.

(2) Notwithstanding any decision of any court to the contrary, any proceeding continued by or before any such officer or authority, and any order made by any such officer or authority, after his or its successor is appointed but before such successor commences to function, shall be deemed to be and to have always been validly continued or made.

(3) Any appeal against any order referred to in sub-section (2) filed before the commencement of the West Bengal Land Reforms (Amendment) Act, 1960 or any order made in any such appeal shall have no 1 effect.]

  1. Appeal.—(1) An appeal shall lie to the [Collector] having jurisdiction over the area in which the land is situated, against any order made [under section 17 or section 18 or sub-section (3) of section 21]. The [Collector] shall, on an appeal being disposed of, send a copy of his order to the officer or authority whose decision is appealed against.

[(1A) An officer or authority appointed by the State Government under section 17 or section 18 or an officer specially empowered under sub-section (1) of section 19B shall not pass any interlocutory or final order in any proceedings before him or it on the basis of any consent, agreement or compromise obtained or effected for the purpose of such proceedings, notwithstanding anything contained in the Indian Contract Act, 1872 (9 of 1872), or any other law for the time being in force.]

(2) The period within which the appeal mentioned in sub-section (1) must be filed shall be thirty days from the date of the order appealed against :

Provided that an appeal against any order referred to in sub-section (2) of section 18A made before the commencement of the West Bengal Land Reforms (Amendment) Act, 1960 may be filed within ninety days of such commencement :

Provided further that the provisions of section 5 of the Indian Limitation Act, 1908 shall apply to an appeal under this section.

(2A) Every appeal pending before any Munsif at the commencement of the West Bengal Land Reforms (Amendment) Act, 1970, shall, on such commencement, stand transferred to, and be disposed of by, the [Collector] having jurisdiction in relation to the area in which the land is situated and on such transfer every such appeal shall be dealt with from the stage at which it was so transferred and shall be disposed of in accordance with the provisions of this Act as amended by the West Bengal Land Reforms (Amendment) Act, 1972.

[(2B) The Collector may transfer any appeal, whether transferred to, or filed before him, for disposal to any officer subordinate to him as may be prescribed:

Provided 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 and every such appeal shall be dealt with from the stage at which it was so transferred and shall be disposed of in accordance with the provisions of this Act.]

(3) The Sub-Divisional Officer hearing the appeal may for sufficient cause make an order staying execution of the order appealed against.

(4) When the Sub-Divisional Officer makes an order under sub-section (3), a copy of such order shall be sent to the officer or authority before whom an application for execution is pending.

[19A. Penalty.—(1) Any person who fails to comply with an order made under sections 17, 18 or 19 shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months or with fine which may extend to five hundred rupees or with both.

(2) If, after the commencement of the West Bengal Land Reforms (Amendment) Act, 1966, any person owning any land terminates or causes to be terminated, [or attempts to terminate] the cultivation of the land by a bargadar in contravention of the provisions of this Act, he shall be guilty of an offence punishable with imprisonment which may extend to six months or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees or with both.

[(2A) Any person who fails to give a receipt in contravention of the provisions of sub-section (3) of section 16 for the share of the produce accepted by him shall be guilty of an offence punishable with imprisonment which may extend to six months or with fine which may extend 3 one thousand rupees or with both.]

(3) An offence under sub-section (2) [or under sub-section 2A] shall be cognizable and bailable.]

19B. Restoration of land to bargadar.–(1) If a person owning any land terminates or causes to be terminated the cultivation of the land by a bargadar in contravention of the provisions of this Act, then any officer specially empowered by the State Government in this behalf, shall, on an application by such bargadar, by order direct—

(a) in a case where such land has not been cultivated, or has been cultivated by the owner or by any person on his behalf other than a bargadar, that the land be immediately restored to the applicant and further that forty per cent of any produce of the land shall be forfeited to the State Government and the remaining sixty per cent of such crops shall be retained by the applicant;

(b) in a case where such land has been cultivated by a [person other than the bargadar] engaged by the owner that the land be restored at the end of the cultivation season to the applicant and further that the [person other than the bargadar] [shall retain twenty-five per cent] of the crops harvested before restoration and make over the [remaining seventy-five per cent] of such crops to the applicant:

[Provided that nothing in this section shall apply to termination of cultivation by a bargadar if the termination occurred before the 4th day of August, 1970, namely, the date with effect from which the West Bengal Land Reforms (Amendment) Act, 1969 ceased to be in force:

Provided further that an application under sub-section (1) shall be made within two years from the date of termination of cultivation by the bargadar or two years from the date of commencement of the West Bengal Land Reforms (Amendment) Act, 1980 whichever is later:

Provided also that if there is more than one applicant, the bargadar who has cultivated the land for the longest period shall be considered to be the rightfulbargadar for the purpose of restoration in exclusion of other bargadars:]

Provided also that after any application under sub-section (1) has been disposed of with the order of restoration of cultivation by a bargadar, the question shall not be reopened on any other application.

Explanation.—For determining the “longest period” the total period of cultivation may not be continuous, but while computing the “longest period” of cultivation, the period or periods of cultivation since the 4th day of August, 1970 (which may or may not be continuous) shall only be taken into account.

[(1 A) If the produce forfeited under clause (a) of sub-section (1) cannot be recovered from the owner of the land or the person cultivating the land on his behalf other than a bargadar or if the share of produce receivable by the bargadar under clause (b) of sub-section (1) cannot be recovered from any person other than the bargadar, money value of the share of produce so forfeited under clause (a) or share of produce so receivable under clause (b) shall be recovered by the prescribed authority under sub-section (1) as a “public demand” under the Bengal Public Demands Recovery Act, 1913 (Bengal Act No. 3 of 1913), on a written requisition sent by such prescribed authority to the Certificate Officer.]

[(2) An appeal against any order made under sub-section (1) shall lie to the Collector who shall be superior in rank to the officer from whose order the appeal is preferred.]

[(3) xxx ]

  1. Procedure and execution.—(1) The procedure to be followed in deciding disputes or appeals under this Chapter and the fees to be paid by the parties shall be as may be prescribed.

(2) Any order made under this Chapter including an order passed or appeal shall be executed by the officer or authority appointed by the Sate Government, in such manner as may be prescribed.

(3) No order of the ejectment of a bargadar shall be executed except during the months of the Bengali year specified below:

(i) in such portions for the district of Darjeeling as may be declared by notification by the State Government to be hilly portions, the month of Pous or Magh, and

(ii) elsewhere, the month of Chaitra or Baisakh:

Provided that proper compensation is paid, in such manner as may b, prescribed, by the owner to the bargadar for his share of the standing or ups, if any.

[20A. Setting aside of order for termination of rcultivation by bargadars.]—Notwithstanding anything contained in any law for the time being in force, where before the commencement of the West Bengal Land Reforms (Amendment) Act, 1969, an order for the termination of cultivation of any land by a bargadar had been made under clause (b) of sub-section (1) of section 18 but such order has not been given effect to (whether by reason of the operation of any law or otherwise), before the commencement of the West Bengal Land Reforms (Amendment) Act, 1970, then, such order shall, on such commencement stand vacated and the officer or authority by whom such order was made shall, after giving notice to the parties concerned, decide the dispute in accordance with the provisions of section 17 as amended by the West Bengal Land Reforms (Amendment) Act, 1972.]

[20B. Surrender or abandonment by bargadar.]—(1) If a bargadar

(a) surrenders his right to cultivate in relation to any and cultivated by him as a bargadar, or

(b) voluntarily abandons cultivation of such land [the owner of the land or the bargadar or any other person] may give information in writing of such surrender or abandonment to the officer or authority appointed under sub-section (1) of section 18, having jurisdiction in the area in which such land is situated.

(2) On receipt of such information [or on his own motion] such officer or authority shall issue a notice, in the prescribed form, to the bargadar, and after giving thebargadar and the person whose land was cultivated by the bargadar, an opportunity of being heard and making such inquiries as he or it may deem necessary, determine whether the bargadar voluntarily surrendered or abandoned his right of cultivation in relation to such land.

(3) If such officer or authority determines that the bargadar had not voluntarily surrendered or abandoned the cultivation of the land which was being cultivated by him as such and that he had been compelled by force or otherwise to surrender or abandon the cultivation of such land, such officer or authority shall restore thebargadar to the cultivation of the land, or where the bargadar is not available or is not willing to be restored to the cultivation of such land, the person whose land was so cultivated shall not resume personal cultivation of the land, but he may, with the permission of such officer or authority, get the land cultivated by any person, referred to in section 49, who is willing to cultivate the land as a bargadar.

(4) If such officer or authority determines that the bargadar had voluntarily surrendered or abandoned the cultivation of the land which was cultivated by him as such, the person whose land was being so cultivated shall not resume personal cultivation of such land but he may, with the permission of such officer or authority, have the land cultivated by any person, referred to in section 49, who is willing to cultivate the land as a bargadar.

(5) Any contravention of the provisions of sub-section (3) or sub-section (4) shall be an offence punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both.

[Provided that subject to the payment of compensation by a transferee to a bargadar under the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 (1 of 1894), and the rules made thereunder, nothing in this sub-section shall apply to any land intended to be utilised for any of the purposes referred to in the first proviso to section 14Y.]

  1. Bar of Jurisdiction.—(1) No order or other proceedings whatsoever under this Chapter shall be questioned in any Civil Court and no Civil Court shall entertain any suit or proceeding in respect of any matter mentioned in [sections 17, 18, 19B and 206].

(2) On the appointment of officers or authorities under this Chapter all proceedings pending before any Bhagchas Conciliation Board established under the West Bengal bargadars Act, 1950, shall stand transferred to the officer or authority having jurisdiction over the area in ,which the land, to which the proceedings relate, is situated.

(3) If any question as to whether a person is or is not a bargadar arises in the course of any [suit, case, appeal or other] proceedings before any Civil or Criminal Court, the Court shall refer it to the officer or authority mentioned in sub-section (1) of section 18 [for decision and such Court shall dispose of the suit, case, appeal or other proceedings in accordance with the decision communicated to it by the officer or authority mentioned in sub-section (1) of section 18 to whom the question was referred].

[(4) On a reference being made under sub-section (3) of this section to the officer or authority mentioned in sub-section (1) of section 18 for devision, such officer or authority shall personally make such enquiry as may be prescribed, shall arrive at a decision after giving all the parties to the suit, case, appeal or other proceedings an opportunity of being heard and shall communicate his or its decision in the prescribed manner to the Court which made the reference. After communication of his or its decision to the referring Court such decision shall not be altered or revised except in an appeal under section 19.]

[21A. Temporary stay of proceedings for termination of cultivation by bargadars.—Notwithstanding anything contained in this Chapter,—

(a) all applications made under section 18 for the termination of cultivation by bargadars,

(b) all appeals preferred under section 19 against orders made on such applications, and

(c) all proceedings commenced under sub-section (2) of section 20 for execution of orders for termination of cultivation by bargadars,

which are pending before the appropriate authority at the date of commencement of the West Bengal Land Reforms (Amendment) Act, 1969, or which may be so made, preferred or commenced after such date but before the expiry of the said Act, shall be stayed for the period during which the said Act continues in force.]

[21B. Person cultivating land of another person to be presumed to be a bargadar in certain cases.—A person lawfully cultivating any land belonging to another person shall be presumed to be a bargadar in respect of such land if such person is not a member of the family of the other person whose land he cultivates and the burden of proving that such person is not a bargadar or that the land is in his personal cultivation shall, notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in any other law for the time being in force, lie on the person who alleges that the person cultivating the land is not a bargadar in respect of such land.]

[21C. Constitution of State Land Corporation or Regional Land Corporation.—(1) The State Government may on its own motion, by notification in the Official Gazette, constitute a State Land Corporation, or one or more Regional Land Corporations or both.

(2) The State Land Corporation and each of the Regional Land Corporations (hereafter in this section called as Corporation) shall be body corporate with perpetual succession and common seal, and shall have power to acquire, hold and dispose of property, to advance funds, to enter into contracts, to institute and defend suits, cases and all other legal proceedings and to do all things necessary for the purpose of carrying on its object.

(3) The object of the Corporation shall be to advance funds in the prescribed manner to a recorded bargadar of the land intended to be Sold or to a bargadar of the land intended to be sold and holding certificate issued under the rules made under this Act or to a person eligible for settlement of land under section 49, to enable him to purchase agricultural land from a raiyat who owns ai the material time not exceeding one standard hectare as defined in clause (t) of section 14K of land in the aggregate, whose principal source of income is produce from his land and who being in distress has failed to sell the land in the open market on account of cultivation of the land, which the raiyat intends to sell, by the bargadar and the name of the bargadar has been recorded or certificate has been issued to the bargadar, provided such bargadar or such person is otherwise eligible to receive the advance of fund, as may be prescribed.

(4) The price of the land intended to be purchased by the eligible bargadar shall be settled as between the bargadar and the owner of the land. Failing such settlement of price, the Corporation. on being requested by the owner of the land or the bargadar or on its own motion may assess the market value of the land for assessment thereof, mutatis mutandis, in accordance with the principles of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 (1 of 1894) taking into account the fact of cultivation by bargadar, but assessment of market value shall not include any solatium or interest or any other thing except the market value of the land.

(5) If in such a case the bargadar fails or does not intend to buy the land cultivated by him as bargadar, the Corporation, on being requested by the owner of the land, may offer the land to a person eligible under section 49 to buy the land at the mutually settled price or at the price assessed by the Corporation under sub-section (4). If such person fails or does not intend to buy, the Corporation may, within a period of six months of the request by the owner of the land, purchase the land at a price mutually settled between the Corporation and the owner of the land or at the price assessed by the Corporation under sub-section (4) and in case of such purchase the Corporation shall pay the settled or assessed market value, as the case may be, to the owner of the land.

(6) The instrument of purchase shall be by a registered deed of conveyance. If, however, the owner of the land does not register the deed of conveyance, within thirty days of payment of the settled or assessed price to him by or on behalf of the bargadar or by the person eligible under section 49 or by the Corporation, as the case may be, notwithstanding anything contained in the Registration Act, 1908 (16 of 1908), the Transfer of Property Act, 1882 (4 of 1882) or any other law for the time being in force, the issue of notification in the Official Gazette by the Corporation shall be the conclusive evidence of sale of the land.

(7) The recorded bargadar or the bargadar holding a certificate or the person eligible under section 49 who purchases the land shall mortgage the land to the Corporation as security for the loan advanced or to be advanced to him by a registered instrument and the loan along with service or other charges shall be repayable to the Corporation in the prescribed manner.

(8) The land when purchased by the Corporation or acquired by the Corporation in satisfaction of a mortgage shall be sold in public auction in such manner as may be prescribed, for realising the money spent in purchasing or acquiring the land and also for service or other charges, if any.

(9) For the purpose of this section, the word “distress” shall mean—

(a) marriage of a daughter,

(b) performance of an obligatory ceremony due to death of father, mother, husband or wife, as the case may be,

(c) medical treatment of an illness of a very serious nature endangering of life of the owner of the land or the husband or wife of the owner, as the case may be, and minor sons, unmarried daughters and any other relative having no independent source of income and solely dependent on the owner,

(d) maintenance of the owner of the land or the husband or wife of the owner, as the case may be, and minor sons, unmarried daughters and any other relative having no independent source of income and solely dependent on the owner, due to flood, drought or any other natural calamity.

(10) All powers, functions, rights and obligations laid down in this Section for the Corporation shall be applicable to and exercised by any institution or organisation as may be notified by the State Government in the Official Gazette on such terms and conditions and in such manner as may be prescribed:

Provided that the provisions of this section shall not apply to a bargadarwho owns and cultivates 4.00 hectares of land in the aggregate.]

[21D. Names of bargadars to be entered in the record-of-rights.—(1) The names of bargadars in respect of every raiyat shall be entered in the record-of-rights in such manner as may be prescribed.]

[(2) The provisions of sub-section (1) shall have effect not withstanding anything contained in Chapter VII or Chapter VIIA of this Act.]

[21E. Bar to legal practitioners.—In deciding any dispute under the provisions of Chapter III, the officers and authorities may allow any party to the dispute, unable to make submission on its behalf, to be represented by its relative or by a representative of the association or organisation to which the party belongs:

Provided that no Advocate or legal practitioner as defined in section 3 of the Legal Practitioners Act, 1879 (18 of 1879), shall be allowed to appear, plead or act in any capacity on behalf of the party before any officer or authority, unless such Advocate or legal practitioner himself is a party to the dispute.]

Devider

Record of Rights of Bargadar

Relevant provisions of the Act and the Rule. Accordingly, the relevant provisions which are Sections 21B, 51 and 51B of the Act; and, Rule 22 of and paragraph 1 of schedule A to the Rules are quoted below:

Section 21B: “Person cultivating land of another person to be presumed to be a bargadar in certain cases.-A person lawfully cultivating any land belonging to another person shall be presumed to be a bargadar in respect of such land if such person is not a member of the family of the other person whose land he cultivates and the burden of proving that such person is not a bargadar or that the land is in his personal cultivation shall, notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in any other law for the time being in force, lie on the person who alleges that the person cultivating the land is not a bargadar in respect of such land.”

Section 51 : “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-or-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) ***** (5) There shall be separate khatian for each raiyat and the khatian shall include all lands held by such raiyat in one mauza.”

Section 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.”

Rule 22: “Procedure for revising or preparing record-of-rights under chapter VII.– When an order has been made under Section 51 directing that a record-of-rights be revised or prepared in respect of a District or part of a District, the record-of-rights of such District or part thereof shall be revised or prepared in the manner laid down in Schedule A appended to these Rules.”

Schedule A, Para. 1: “Procedure for revision or preparation of record-of-rights.– When an order has been made under Section 51 directing that a record-of-rights be revised or prepared by a Revenue Officer in respect of the land of any District or part thereof the record-of-rights shall be revised or prepared by the following processes, namely:–

(i) Traverse survey;

(ii) Cadastral survey;

(iii) Preliminary record writing (or Khanapuri);

(iv) Local explanation (or Bujharat);

(v) Attestation;

(vi) Publication of the draft record-of-rights; (vii) Disposal of objections; (viii) Preparation and publication of the final record-of-rights;

Provided that any of the steps referred to in items (i) to (v) may be omitted or amalgamated with another with the previous permission ,of the State Government:

Provided further that a Revenue Officer who has been appointed with the additional designation of Settlement Officer may, either on his own motion or on receipt of applications from others at any time before final publication of the record-of-rights, direct-

(i) That any portion of the proceedings in respect of the revision or preparation of the record-of-rights of any District or part thereof shall be cancelled and that such proceedings shall be carried out de novo from such stage as he may direct. No notice of such cancellation, whether on own motion or on application, shall be required to be given or shall be deemed to have been required to be given, but before proceedings are carried out de novo from the stage as may be directed, a proclamation by beat of drums of the proposed proceedings shall be served in the District or part thereof.

(ii) That names of bargadars shall be incorporated in the record-of-rights by the Revenue Officer subordinate to him after holding such enquiry and after giving the persons claiming as bargadars and the owners of the land concerned such opportunity of being heard as the Revenue Officer may deem fit.

(iii) That the persons claiming as bargadars and persons claiming as owners of the land concerned shall be deemed to have been given an opportunity of being heard as required under item (ii) if, within one week, before the inquiry, the Revenue Officer publishes a notice of his intention of inquiry by affixing a notice to a conspicuous place in the Office of the Gram Panchayat within whose jurisdiction the land affected is situated;

(iv) That names of occupiers of land who have been given the status of a raiyat or a non-agricultural tenant, as the case may be, under the West Bengal Acquisition and Settlement of Homestead Land Act 1969 (West Bengal Act XV of 1969) or the West Bengal Acquisition of Homestead Land for Agricultural Labourers, Artisans and Fisherman Act, 1975 (West Bengal Act XLVIII of 1975) shall be recorded as such by the Revenue Officer subordinate to him by opening a khatian for each of them; or

(v) that names of transferors to whom land has been restored under the West Bengal Restoration of Alienated Land Act, 1973 (West Bengal Act XXIII of 1973) shall be recorded in the record-of-rights by the Revenue Officer subordinate to him.

Provided further that anything done or any action taken under clause 1 as amended by Notifications Nos. 3290-L. Ref., dated the 9th September, 1978, 1960-L. Ref., dated 26th May, 1979 have been validly done or taken with effect from the respective dates when such clause had come into operation and that anything so done or any action so taken shall be deemed to have constituted an opportunity of being heard to each party entitled thereto.

(vi) that names of persons with whom lands have been settled under Section 49 and who have been given pattas shall be recorded as raiyats by the Revenues Officer sub-ordinate to him by opening a khatian for each of them.