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ment or the courts of law, the object being to bring portions of estates to sale for arrears of revenue or private debts due from the proprietors; and secondly, at the instance of the proprietors themselves, under the permission accorded by Clause 3, Art. IX of the Proclamation, of the 22nd March 1793. Partitions of the former class were carried to such an extent during the ten years which immediately succeeded the settlement as completely to disintegrate most of the large ancestral estates in the country. And the process of voluntary partition has been constantly carried on up to the present time, under the provisions of the law above referred to, and of the subsequent laws on the subject, the large majority of such partitions having been effected in the districts of the Patna and Bhaugulpore divisions. Every partition has of course added one or more estates to the number on the roll, and a large portion of the estates so added have been registered under new names. The result of all these operations has been a transformation of the revenue rail so complete, that it is almost impossible to establish in most districts the points of identity between the list of 1798 and that of 1872.
One main feature in the transformation is, however, conspicuous at a glance. The circumstances alluded to in the last paragraph have inevitably produced, together with a great multiplication of the number of the estates borne upon the revenue roll, a corresponding reduction in their average area. The figures subjoined, which exhibit a classification of estates according to area, are unfortunately not quite complete, owing to defects in the survey records of one or two districts; but they sufficiently illustrate the above remark, showing as they do that in 38 districts of Bengal Proper and Behar, out of a total number of 154,200 estates at present borne on the public books, 583, or *34 per cent., only are great properties with an area of 20,000 acres and upwards; that 15,747, or 10 21 per cent., range from 500 to 20,000 acres in area; while the number of estates which fall short of 500 acres is no less than 137,920, or 89 44 per cent, of the whole. In the district of Sylhet the original settlement was nearly ryotwar, and that of Chittagong special causes have produced the great disproportiou observable between the numbers of large and small estates upon the roll; but in other parts a large number of petty estates shown in the list owe their separate existence to the causes already mentioned. In the Behar districts, where next to Sylhet and Chittagong the disproportion under notice is most remarkable, a large proportion of the estates seem to have been from the first comparatively insignificant in size, while there were, and are, some extremely large estates in that province. Subsequent partitions have contributed greatly to crowd the revenue rolls of these districts with petty estates. It must be explained, however, that in all districts a large proportion of the petty estates now shown are resumed rent-free tenures of a petty character settled with the holders. The present average areas of the estates in the Behar districts are, as shown by recent reports from the district officers, as follow:—In Gya, 620 acres; in Patna, 223 acres; in Shahabad, 523 acres; in Sarun, 150 acres; in Chumparun, 1,924 acres; in Tirhoot, 303 acres; in Bhaugulpore, 1,139 acres; and in Monghyr, 386 acres; but these figures arc not so significant as those
shown in the table below, of the extent to which the sub-division of property has been carried in the part of the country under notice, the average being raised by the few great estates, exceeding 20,000 acres each, which exist in each district.
It has been seen from the figures which, were given in the first . „ , paragraph of this chapter that the in
Iucrease of revenue in Behar. • r\ . «
crease in the faovernment revenue of the permanently-settled tracts in Bengal, during the period which, has elapsed since the decennial settlement of 1789-91, amounts to Its. 66,21,144. Of this sum no less than Rs. 40,40,965, or nearly twothirds, has been obtained in the Behar province. In 1790-91 the total revenue of Behar amounted to sicca Rs. 53,09,181 (Company's Es. 56,63,126); in 1812-13 it had risen to sicca Rs. 61,25,380 (Company's Rs. 65,33,739). And the demand from the Patna and Bhaugulpore Divisions (exclusive of the district of Purneah*) in 1871-72 was Rs. 97,04,091. The district officers have in vain attempted to give a detailed account of the reasons of this remarkable enhancement. On
• The pergunnah of Dhurrumporo in Purneah was included in the Behar province at the time of settlement, and its revenue, amounting in 1812-13 to Rs. 2,44,756, is included in the earlier figures in the text. This by so much enhances the increase of revenuo noted.
examining their records they have found their powers of calculation baffled by the constant transfers of territory that have taken place among the various districts in the province. Since the settlement of 1789-91 three new districts have been consituted in Behar,viz. Patna,Chumparun, and Monghyr, and all the districts in the two divisions appear to have expanded and contracted under successive administrative changes with a frequency which would greatly impede the inquiry, even if the record of those changes were complete. But unfortunately this record is far from complete, and it is therefore impossible to accomplish the first step in the necessary analysis. Assuming, however, that the transfers have on the whole nearly balanced each other, or, in other words, that the two divisions as a whole (excluding Purneah) have not, as it appears in point of fact that they have not, received any large accession of territory from the surrounding provinces, it would seem that the gross enhancement of revenue is mainly due to the causes already enumerated in paragraph 5, especially to resumptions of invalid rent-free and other lands under Regulation II of 1819 and III of 1828, which were actively carried on in Behar between 1830 and 1850. The increase of revenue in Bengal Proper since the decennial settlement has been Rs>. 25,80,179 only—an amount not in excess of what might reasonably be expected in so large an area.
The revenue of the permanently-settled estates of Bengal has for
years been realized with great punctuation of permanently-settled rev.- tuality> Los8es sometimes OCCUr
through famine, epidemics, the devastations of cyclones, and other calamities of season; but under the conditions of settlement no such pleas can be urged as excuses for nonpayment, and as a rule the large present excess of the annual rental over the Government demand enables the present landholedrs to meet that demand even in the most disastrous years. When, however, a land-owner cannot pay, the estate comes to sale for arrears, and then it depends upon its actual value in the market whether the price realized will cover the amount due to Government. If the debt be not cleared off, the defaulter is open to other processes for the recovery of the remainder, which is in but few cases so recovered. Small losses to Government occur from time to time in this way. In other cases estates, usually small ones, come to sale for arrears in consequence of desertion of ryots or of diluvion and sometimes of fradulent transfer of land, and no bidders are found for them. These have to be bought in by Government and settled as the revenue authorities best can settle them. Many almost valueless estates come in this way into the hands of Government. Some are settled, permanently or temporarily, at a revenue far below those they originally bore on the revenue roll. Others, after all attempts at settlement had failed, have been sold to the highest bidders in revenue-free tenure. In this way Government has frequently suffered losses of permanentlysettled revenue; hut these losses are more than made up for by accessions from freshly assessed alluvion and occasional resettlements of Government estates at a higher revenue than that which they originally bore. It would also seem proper, in estimating the gains to be set off against the losses under observation, to take into account the annual value of the capital sums which have been realized by the sale of Government estates, such sums representing the market value at the time of sale of the prospective proprietary profits from the estates so sold, and being therefore a distinct gain to Government, which continues to receive after the sale the full annual revenue assessed upon the estates.
A primary object of the framers of the permanent settlement was
Record of " uts. *° recor^ *^ rights in the land. It
900 0 was directed under the Regulations of
1793 that a general register of estates should be kept up, and to faciestate litate this a register of intermediate
egTM ra ion o es . mutations. The intention was that
every fifth year the general register should be rewritten. In point of fact, however, the registers have never been kept up in such a manner as to be really useful in any district in Bengal. Practically speaking, there is now no obligation enforced on zemindars to register transfers of their estates; registration is only effected when it may suit the parties to observe the law, and the penalty for disobedience prescribed by the law is never enforced. The existing registers do not tell us who the zemindars are, and they give no information at all of under-liolders or ryots. This evil, and the means of remedying it, have been more than once under consideration, and the matter is still before Government. The registers required in the assessment of the Road Cess have made a commencement of a new registration of tenures in some districts.
By the same Regulations all zemindars were required to maintain
putwaries, and to file their accounts
Canoongoes and putwaries. * mi, /> r Ai_
r with canoongoes. I he functions of the
latter officer, who was appointed by Government, were to keep the public accounts and to receive the returns and registers of the zemindars and other local officers who collected the public revenue. The canoongoe was appointed for each estate or pergunnah. The putwari occupied the lower grade in the local agency, and performed the duties of a village accountant. The canoongoes were district Registrars; the putwaries were official village accountants. English ideas of the rights of a landlord and of the advantage of non-interference afterwards began to prevail in Bengal. The executive more and more abrogated the functions of recording rights and protecting the inferior holders, and left everything to the judicial tribunals. The putwaries fell into disuse or became the mere servants of the zemindars: the canoongoes were abolished. In 1815 the Court of Directors took up the matter afresh, and directed the introduction of measures by which the putwaries should be transformed from zemindari to Government servants, and be paid from public funds. Objections, however, were raised, and the scheme fell through. The putwaries remained as they were; but it was determined to appoint canoongoes to supervise them and make their accounts available for reference by the Courts and the revenue officers of Government. Regulations regarding putwaries and canoongoes were passed in 1817-18-19, and Regulation I of the latter year provided for the re-establishment of canoongoes and defined the position and duties of putwaries; and throughout Bengal, with the exception of few districts, canoongoes were appointed. Success, however, does not appear to have attended even these measures. The