Chapter XII. Record-of-Rights and Settlement of Rent
Rights of Pasturage:
Where the resident cultivators of several villages claimed that they had enjoyed the Right of free pasturage over the waste lands of the village from time immemorial.
And the landlord had proceeded to limit the area within which these rights were enjoyed, their Lordships of the Privy Council in affirming the Judge’s decision that the customary rights claimed by the cultivators was valid, it having existed from time immemorial, held that the decision will not prevent the landlords from cultivating or executing improvements on the waste lands in question, so long as sufficient pasturage is left for the cultivators who are entitled to the right of pasturage; held also that the right claimed was not a right in gross.
Both in Ranchi and Singhbhum district, it has been ascertained that there are no restrictions on rights of pasturage in jungle and waste lands. All the resident Raiyats of the village can by custom graze their cattle in the jungles and in the waste lands of the village, and also in the arable lands, after the crops are cut, without the payment of any fee.
Rights of Trees:
There are no specific provisions in the Act, regulating rights in trees growing on a tenant’s holding. The Rights depend on custom, which so far as has been ascertained in district Singhbhum and Ranchi, is certain and definite. In general, trees belong to the person who planted them, whenever they may be situated. This does not mean that a Raiyat can trespass on the landlord’s or another Raiyat’s lands and plant trees there.
As a rule, objection has not been made within a reasonable time, consent must ordinarily be deemed to have been given. Trees which are self-grown in a tenant’s land since the inception of the tenancy, but which have been tended or reared by the tenant, belong to him.
Trees growing on the jungle or waste lands belong to the Zamindar unless they have been planted by the tenant, in which case they belong to him. When a tenant makes a clearance in the jungle and brings new lands under cultivation he frequently allows scattered jungle trees to stand on the lands comprised within his tenancy. These trees still remain the property of the landlord, and the right of ownership over them does not pass by custom to the tenant.
A record-of-right in all valuable trees growing on cultivated lands is being made by the Settlement Department, in connection with the record-of-rights.
Principles of fair rent settlement:
What is an equitable or a fair rent may, however, be said to depend on the value of produce, and the cost of production. Fair rents may be settled on all the lands at equitable rates, after a consideration of all the circumstances.
It is practicable to settle fair rents before final publication on what are known as “excess” lands, i.e., lands which are assessable to rent but have not been assessed (Belagan Kabil Lagan).
When a rent is settled by a Revenue officer, it shall take effect from the beginning of the agricultural year next after the date of the decision finally fixing the rent.