The short title of The Bengal Ghatwali Lands Act, 1859 was given by the Amending Act of 1903 and was enacted on March 4, 1859. The Act was adapted by enacting The Government of India (Adaptation of Indian Laws) Order of 1937 as well as The Adaptation of Laws Order, 1950. The provisions of the Act shall be applicable to the Birbhum district. The Act contains only a preamble and two Sections. The purpose of the enactment was to grant power to the persons under the control of the Ghatwali lands located in the Birbhum district, in order to issue leases which are applicable beyond the term to which such lands are possessed by them. Under the Preamble of the Act, the Act states that Ghatwali situated at the Birbhum district, which are paying land tax straight away to the concerned Government as per the provisions of the Bengal Ghatwali Lands Regulation, 1814 framed under the Code of Bengal are restricted from alienating or transferring the property.
In addition, the advancement of the nation’s mineral resources where the Ghatwali land is placed as well as for the enhancement of the above mentioned lands it is essential that authority of issuing leases for the specific duration which is not restricted to the period of their control over the property shall in some situation applicable to the person possessing that land. Under the Act, Section 1 provides for the some of the privileges that are given under the Act to the Ghatwali land owners located in the Birbhum district to issue lease as required by the enactment. The Act further states that the person who are having control over the property in the Birbhum district as per the terms of the Bengal Ghatwali Lands Regulation, 1814 shall be entrusted with similar authority of issuing leases for specified duration. This will be considered to be essential for the development of the term of the persons in the same way as it is sanctioned by the law to the owners holding that property or land. The proviso to the Act states that the granting of lease to the Ghatwali land for a certain duration which are applicable ahead of the life span of the incumbency of the person issuing the lease. Otherwise, the lease shall be issued for the functioning of mines or for clearance of forests or to construct place of abode or production or for the structuring of tanks, channels etc. This shall be sanctioned by the Division Commissioner and the sanction shall be officially stated by approval on the lease with the assigning by the Commissioner.
Besides, the Act affirms some powers under Section 2 to the Court of Wards as well as the Commissioner in exceptional cases. Accordingly, where the Ghatwali land shall be in the straight control and supervision of the Court of Wards or will be in command of concerned Government officials. It is also valid where the Court of Wards to provide leases for any of the intent mentioned above. This provision is applicable with regard to the Commissioner as well. The lease which is issued as such will be lawful and have effect on the entire prospect owners of the stated land which shall not be against any of the prevailing law or enactments. The word Government in the present Act was deleted and in its place the term crown was alternated as per Paragraph 3 and Schedule 1 of the Government of India (Adaptation of Indian Laws) Order, 1937 and thereafter, the term Crown was erased and the word Government was added in its place by the Paragraph 4(1) of the Adaptation of Laws Order, 1950.