The Calcutta Land- revenue Act, 1856

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The Calcutta Land- revenue Act, 1856 (Act no. 28 of 1856) was enacted during the British rule in India by the Governor General in Council, and the same was assented on 23rd August, 1856. The short title of the Act was given by the Amending Act of 1903 (Act no. 1 of 1903). And the purpose and object for which the present Act was provided is relating to the administration of public revenue in the Town of Calcutta. It is shown in the preamble of the Present Act that the Collector is empowered to employ any Deputies thereof being subordinate to him, for performing the any of his office duty. The Act earlier was also providing in its preamble the charge for the Collector relating to the collection Stamp Duty within the Town of Calcutta, however the said contemplation was removed by the Amending Act of 1891 (Act no. 12 of 1891).

The present enactment consist of only few provisions, out of which the provisions contained under section 1 of the Act, relating to modification of the Regulations was repealed by the aforesaid Amending Act of 1891 and the provisions contained under section 3 of the Act, regarding the charge of Collector as to collection of Stamp Duty in the Town of Calcutta was also repealed by the provisions of General Stamp Act of 1869 (Act no. 28 of 1869).

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As such the only provision remained un- repealed in the Act, is section 3 of the Act, which provides for the power of the Collector as to employing of any Deputy Collector being subordinate to that employing collector for delegation to that employed Deputy Collector the duties which are required to be performed by employing collector under the provisions of the Calcutta Land- revenue Act, 1850 (Act no. 23 of 1850). In short the Collector is vested with the authority under this Act to delegate his performance of duties to the Deputy Collector being subordinate to him, which he is bound to perform within the provisions of the Calcutta Land- revenue Act, 1850. And also it is required that the said Deputy Collector should also perform his duties or function given him under the Rules, Regulations, Enactments, similarly, within the town of Calcutta as he performing in other parts of the territories subject to the Presidency of Fort William in Bengal.

The Present Act was amended several times as afore discussed, however, in the year 2014, recently, the provisions of this Act, in toto, recommended for repeal by the Twentieth Law Commission of India in its ‘Second Interim Report- Obsolete laws: Warranting Immediate Repeal’ being Report no. 249 dated 13th October, 2014 in relation to its study on ‘Legal Enactments: Simplifications and Streamlining’. The said recommendations for repeal also include the repealing of the Calcutta Land- revenue Act, 1850. However, it was made clear that such repeal should be effected with the previous consultation with the relevant States. Also there is given that, as the relevant States are having authority to repeal or amend this enactment, the Central Government, as such, should ask the concerned States to repeal this enactment by recommending the review of this law by the State. It is also required that the Central Government to remove this legislation from its lists being one of Central Acts having force. Besides this recommendation, the present Act was also earlier recommended by the P. C. Jain Commission Report (Appendix A- 5) for its repeal in its entirely.

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