Chapter XIV. Record of Landlords’ Privileged Lands (CNT Act 1908) Excerpts

Chapter XIV. Record of Landlords’ Privileged Lands

The landlords’ privileged lands referred to are known as Zirat, Sir or Khamar, and Nij Jots.

They are lands which are recognized in a special and exclusive sense as the private property of the landlord, and are distinct from the ordinary Raiyati stock.
The landlords’ privileged lands means:
(a)    lands which are cultivated by the landlord himself with his own stock or by his own servants or by hired labour, or are held by a tenant on lease for a term, and which are, by custom, recognized as privileged land in which occupancy-rights cannot accrue, and
(b)    lands which are entered as Manjhihas or Bethkheta in any register under the CNT Act.
In Chota Nagpur the words Manjhihas or Nij Jote are used locally to denote all lands in the cultivating possession of a village landlord.
It is the custom that lands, which were originally reclaimed by Raiyats, though they may have subsequently come into the possession of the landlord, are regarded as part of the common Raiyati stock of the land. These lands which are locally known as Fauti Ferari cannot be recorded as privileged lands.
Landlords in Singhbhum and Manbhum districts sometimes claim the Man or Khem lands of the village as privileged. When these lands have been reclaimed by a Khuntkatti headman or other Raiyat, they cannot be recorded as privileged, though they may have been landlords’ possession for a considerable period. In proceedings regarding the existence of landlord’s privileged lands; the most essential fact in issue is “who reclaimed the land.”
The definition of landlord’s privileged lands must be construed strictly, and lands which were held by a Khuntkattidar or a Raiyat who had occupancy rights in them, cannot be regarded as lands in which by custom occupancy rights cannot accrue. To be valid, the custom must be ancient and not recent. If, however, the Khem or Man lands were originally reclaimed by the landlord or his servants, and were subsequently set aside as the service Jote of the headman of the village or any other functionary, they are clearly landlord’s privileged lands, though they may be in the possession of the headman or other service holder.

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