The Government Management of Private Estates Act, 1892

The Government Management of Private Estates Act, 1892 was enacted during the British period on October 25, 1892 which extends to the whole of India except to those parts that were included in the Part B States before November 1, 1956 this is clearly explained under Section 1 of the above mentioned Act. This Act was framed under the management of Government they levy a rate on private estates to meet the cost of management and supervision.

Section 2 of the Act states the different definitions like immoveable property, gross income, private estates that are under Government management. Immoveable property includes buildings, hereditary allowances, lands, lights, ferries, right to ways, fisheries or all other profit to arise out of the land.  It includes all things that are attached to the earth but excludes standing timber or growing crops and grass. Gross income includes all kinds of receipts in cash or produce, except borrowed money and proceeds of sale of immovable property.  Estates under government management, estate under Court of Wards, minor’s estate where revenue officer is the guardian of it by a Civil Court, estate managed by collectors, all estates under the supervision of revenue officer fall under private estates that are under the government management.

Section 3 of the Act states that State Government can lawful levy fee on all the private estates that are under the Government management which should not exceed 5% on a calculated gross income, this should cover the cost of the establishments by the Government they may be employed for the supervision/management of such estates. But the exception here is for the establishments specially diverted for the supervision/management of any specific estate or group of estates. It also includes all the provisional expenditure incurred in result of such supervision. Sub clause 2 and 3 states about state government can from time to time vary these rates and or reduce such rate in any exceptional cases as required. Under this Act the State government shall ponder over all the expenses incurred on such establishment and then decide on how much rate has to be levied on certain group of estates.

When a Government officer is hired to give legal advice the state government has the power to levy special charges on behalf of any estate, this is mentioned under Section 4 of the Act.  If the state government thinks that the services rendered by such officer was of special nature then irrespective of the rate levied under the last foregoing section, the government with its discretion, can levy special charges against such an estate. Special expenditure has been saved under Section 5 wherein nothing of the said act shall be applied to the cost of establishment or to the special expenditure incurred with respect to any estate. Section 6 explains if the state government levied any rates for supervision or management before commencement of this act it will be deemed to have been done so under the said act. Section 7 of the Act empowers the state government to frame any rules that are necessary for carrying on the said act.  It should be consistent herewith.  Section 8 speaks about governments shall be considered as the sole judge for any cost attributable to any employment and that its decisions with regard to any government establishment that is employed shall not be questioned in any court of law or otherwise.

Although this act defines certain terms it does not clearly define what is an exceptional case in the Act and also does not state clearly as to what can be defined as special charges that can be levied. Another flaw in the said Act is that, it does not define who can come under the word officer. As stated in Section 8 government is the sole judge to decide on cost attributable to any employment which can also be seen as a flaw in the Act.