Chapter X. Miscellaneous Provisions as to Landlord and Tenant Act (CNT Act 1908) Excerpts (A)

Chapter X. Miscellaneous Provisions as to Landlord and Tenant
Cases in which Consent of Landlord is required for conversion of land into Korkar:
A Raiyat is bound to obtain the oral or written consent of the landlord to prepare Korkar unless the land which he proposes to convert into rice land is included in his tenancy, or unless he can prove that by local usage or custom such consent is not required. The right to prepare Korkar is within the limits of the tenancy is confined to Raiyats who have acquired occupancy rights in it.
In the case of certain privileged tenants, the burden of proof as to local usage and custom is shifted to the landlord, viz., all members of a Bhuinhari family in villages in which Bhuinhari tenures have been surveyed under the provisions of the Chota Nagpur Tenures Act, and all members of a Mundari Khuntkatti family in village in which a record of Mundari Khuntkatti tenancies have been maintained, shall be presumed to be entitled to prepare Korkar in the cultivable waste lands of the village, without the landlord’s consent, until the contrary is proved.
Local usage and custom
In Ranchi District, it has been found during the settlement operations that Raiyats are not entitled to prepare Korkar in the cultivable waste of the village, without the landlord’s consent.
In intact Mundari Khuntkatti villages, the members of the brotherhood are in the position of owners, and can therefore reclaim all lands included within the periphery of the village, without reference to outsiders.
Even where the Mundari Khuntkatti system has partially broken down and the headman or some other person has become the landlord, the members of the Mundari Khuntkatti family can by local custom reclaim new lands within the village area without his consent; but, in the Bhuinhari village, though the law creates a presumption in favour of the Bhuinhari rights to reclaim without the consent of the landlord, it would appear that they are in the same position as a ordinary Raiyats, i.e., they are obliged to obtain the landlord’s consent. It was considerable equitable by the framers of the Act, to create the presumption in favour of both these classes of tenants on the ground that they or their ancestors were at one time the owners of the villages in which they settled. It is certain that the former class of tenants were generally owners of the villages, and that the latter were quasi owners, at least in the sense that all pioneers are regarded by members of the aboriginal tribes as owners of the areas, which they or their ancestors cleared from jungles and reclaimed.
The Korkar customs in Hazaribagh and Palamau districts are similar. In Singhbhum, the custom is different.
In Pargana Dhalbhum, it was found that all resident Raiyats of the village are entitled to reclaim any portion of the cultivable waste lands of the village, which are not under valuable forest, without the consent of the headman or the landlord. The Raiyat cannot, however, enclose or mark out more land for reclamations, than can be made into rice land by himself and the members of his family within a reasonable period (4 to 5 years); nor, can be encroach upon the subsisting rights of other cultivators or on the landlord’s cultivated lands, or any orchards, or homestead lands.

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