The Revenue Recovery Act, 1890

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The Revenue Recovery Act, 1890 (Act no. 1 of 1890) was enacted with the object to provide for provisions for recovering certain public demands as it was considered necessary. The present Act was passed by British parliament, and it was assented by the Governor-General of India on 14th February, 1890. The Act was amended many times by several enactments, including the 13th Act of 1898, 4th Act of 1914 and 10th Act of 1914. The first section in the Act deals with its extension to the entire Indian territories, however, should not be extended to the State of Jammu and Kashmir, as provided therein.

The interpretational definitions of several terms used in the Act, are given under second section of the Act under the head of Definitions. Another most important provision in the Act is section 3 where, the provision similar to the purpose of the Act is given on the issue of recovery of public demands. The provision provides that such recovery is in connection with the arrears of land revenue, any other sums which are recoverable as arrears of land revenue. So far as the recovery procedure is concerned, the Collector of District, where the person in default is having property other than District in which the such aforesaid revenue is payable, can send the Certificate in the form provided under Schedule annexed to the Act, to the Collector of such District. Such Certificate should be signed by the Collector or any authorized officer of the Officer to whom such power is delegated by such Collector, and should contain the name, his description for his identification and the sums recoverable form such defaulter and details of his accounts. Based on such Certificate, the Collector of other District should initiate for recovery of the aforesaid amounts. Further, section 4 speaks of availability of remedy to the person who denies his liability to pay said amounts. The remedy is provided in the form of institution of suit, before the Court having territorial jurisdiction, for repayment of the amount, which such person denies his liability as to pay but was recovered from him under his protest.

Similarly, the next provision i.e. section 5 of the Act deals with the recovery of sums which were to be recovered as arrears of revenue by the other Public officers or local authorities. When any such sums are to be recovered, as aforesaid, the Collector of the District wherein such officers or authorities are located should on their request initiate proceedings to recover the said sums. And also if such sums were accrued in the other District then the Collector that District can be given a Certificate as aforesaid for such recovery.

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Moreover, the provision of this Act dealing with the procedure on receipt of Certificate under this Act, is given under section 6 of the Act. The provision says that on receipt of such Certificate, the concerned Collector of District, can issue a proclamation under which any transfer or charging of the immovable property of defaulter in that District can be prohibited and if any such transfer or alienation is made after such proclamation is issued, the same should be deemed as void. Thereafter the concerned Collector can withdraw the proclamation so made. There can a deemed withdrawal of such proclamation when the amount which was to recover has been recovery or when the property of such defaulter is sold for such recovery.

Section 8 deals with the cases where liability as to payment aforementioned sums accrued in such places, which comes under the administration of the Central Government, but is not a part of India. In such cases the sums can be recovered under the provisions of this Act in India.

The Act also provides for recovery of land revenue or other sums accrued in Burma and Pakistan in furtherance with the directions of the Central Government, in India under the provisions of this Act, as per section 9 of the Act. Finally, the section 10 speaks of transfer of such recovered amounts to the concerned authorities in case of such sums accrued in Burma or Pakistan, by the recovering Collector after deducting necessary expenses incurred by him in that connection. These provisions of section 9 and 10 have been added to the Act by the ‘Government of India (Adaptation of Indian Laws) Order’ of 1937.

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by Faim Khalilkhan Pathan.