Chapter II. Classes Of Tenants (CNT Act 1908) – Excerpts (B)

Chapter II. Classes of Tenants

Raiyats:
It means primarily a person who has acquired a right to hold land for the purpose of cultivating it by himself, or by members of his family, or by hired servants, or with the aid of partners; and includes the successors in interest of persons who have such a right, but does not include Mundari Khunt-Kattidar.
Raiyats having khunt-katti rights means a Raiyat in occupation of, or having any subsisting title to, land reclaimed from jungle by the original founders of the village or their descendents in the male line, when such Raiyat is a member of the family who founded the village or a descendant in the male line of any member of such family:
  • Provided that no Raiyats shall be deemed have Khunt-Katti rights in any land unless he and all his predecessors in title have held such land or obtained a title thereto by virtue of inheritance from the original founder s of the village.
  • Nothing in this Act shall prejudicially affect the rights of any person who has lawfully acquired a title to a Khunt-Kattidari tenancy before the commencement of this Act.
The class of tenant here referred to are the same as the Bhuinhars of Act II (B.C.) of 1869. The preamble to that Act describes Bhuinhari as “lands held by persons claiming to be descendents of the original founders of the villages in which such lands are situated or their assigns.”
A Raiyat must, before he can claim any of the privileges attaching to this class of tenancy, prove that –
(a)     he is one of the founders of the village or a descendant of a founder of the village in the male line, i.e., that he is a khuntkattidar of the village.
(b)    the land in respect of which he claims khuntkatti rights was reclaimed from jungle,
(c)     he and his predecessors in title have held the land or obtained a title to it by inheritance from the original founders of the village.
A person, who purchases or obtains possessions by law or otherwise of lands reclaimed by a khuntkattidar does not come within the scope of the definition, whether he is himself a khuntkattidar or not, nor does a Khuntkattidar Raiyat who reclaims fresh lands which are not included in the tenancy, which he inherited from his predecessors in title.
It has been found, that a Khuntkattidar Raiyat who clears new lands within the village boundary has by custom khuntkatti rights in them, though they may not be included within his ancestral holding or tenancy. The effect of the law, as it now stands, will be to bar the accrual of khuntkatti rights in all lands not included in the ancestral tenancy or holding, which may be reclaimed after the commencement of the Act.

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