Chapter IX. General Provisions as to Rent (CNT Act 1908) Excerpts (B)

Chapter IX. General Provisions as to Rent
Lands held on produce rent, in which by custom occupancy rights do not accrue:
Occupancy Rights did not ordinarily accrue by custom in landlords’ Khas lands when held by tenants on produce rents.

The tenants generally cultivated such lands for a term of years, and they renewed the agreement or relinquished the lands. By custom, they are tenants-at-will.
A Settled Raiyat of the village will now obtain occupancy rights in these lands, unless the landlord can prove that they fall into the category of landlords’ privileged lands. If the lands are not landlords’ privileged lands, the landlord, if he wishes to sublet them and at the same time to prevent the accrual of occupancy rights, can only do so by subletting them to Raiyats who do not hold any land in the village in which they are situated. In a village, in which any manjhihas lands have been already demarcated under the Chota Nagpur Tenures Act, no additional landlords’ privileged lands can be held to exist.
A common ground on which the application is opposed is that the land is not included within the applicant’s tenancy, but is the Khas (Bakast) land of the Zamindar. In a case of this nature, it was held that when there is a bona-fide dispute as to the existence of the relationship of landlord and tenant, commutation should properly be refused, until the issue is decided by a court of competent jurisdiction.
Fixation of the Commuted Rent:
It was held that the mean between the average money rent payable for land of a similar description and the average net value of the produce rent, is a fair commuted value.
If there are special circumstances favourable to the landlord to be considered, or if the landlord has created special facilities for irrigation or made other improvements likely to increase the productive powers of the land, a higher rent may be fixed.
But it was also held that, where the incidence of the produce rent is exceptionally heavy as in the case of Saika rents, the commuted rent ought not in any case to exceed the maximum cash rent which the Raiyat is likely to be able to pay regularly and continuously. It was further held that this maximum ought not to exceed by more than 50%, the amount which would be fixed as the commuted rent of the land.
The maxima rates allowed by Settlement Officers in these proceedings in Ranchi district were usually as follows (in 1908):-
·         Rs. 5 for 1st class rice land per acre.
·         Rs. 3 for 2nd and 3rd class rice land per acre.
·         As. 6 for cultivated up lands per acre.
There is no bar in the Act to increase or reduction of the rent fixed in a commutation proceeding.

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