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The Punjab Tenancy Act, 1887

The Punjab Tenancy Act has been incorporated on 1st November, 1887. This Act has been instituted to amend and sanction the Law related to Tenancy of Lands in the State of Punjab.

The right of occupancy tenant has been created by following essential conditions. The tenant having a right of tenancy when he stays for more than two generations in the male descendant or when he occupies the land for not less than twenty five years or by occupying the land by paying rent and such other payments beyond the value of land revenue at the time of commencement of this Act even if he is a Jagirdar.

The tenant having right of tenancy even when he was forfeited from being owner of his own land by the Government or settled in a village or estate as a cultivator or who are having the right of tenancy by way of having the records as tenant in the record of rights before incorporation of this Act or in such other ways and means the tenant shall prove his rights of occupancies.

The primary rights of the Landlord are to collect the rent from the tenants. Inorder to pay the rent the tenants are allowed to harvest for irrigation in due course of his husbandry without interference not only that he is provided with the exclusive possession of his produce until it is divided, etc.

There may be any alterations in commutation of rent by way of distribution or appraisement of the produce, by fixation of rent based on the cultivation of the crops, by the measurement of area that has been recognized or by way of collecting the rent on gross tenancy or in such other way as it deems fit to collect the rent. In case of any tenant occupying the land without the permission of the landlord, he shall pay his rent based on his agricultural activities or in any such mode or he shall be liable to pay the rent based on the order of the Court in a fair and equitable way.

 In case of two or more landlord, the tenant shall not be liable to pay the rent in parts to each of them. In case if the tenant removes any portion of his produce inorder to avoid distribution or appraisement by the landlord in violation of this Act, the rent shall be collected in such a manner as that of cultivation made in a similar land of neighbors. In case if any of the party fails to attend the appraisement of the produce, then such referee shall be appointed by the Revenue Officer on application to make such functions to appraise the produce for payment of rent. Before the appraisement of the produce of the tenant, the Revenue Officer shall give such notice with regard to the appointment of the referee and appraisement as being exparte by either of the landlord or the tenant.

The Revenue Officer after receiving the appraisement record from the referee, he scrutinize the records and shall Order to confirm the divisions and appraisement. The Revenue Court in case of any dispute shall either enhance or reduce the payment of rent on his occupancy as tenant. Such rent fixed shall not in any way less than the land revenue as per the provisions of this Act. Every tenant shall be liable to pay rent in excess to which he occupy and produce higher than the land revenue and in order to collect the rent the Revenue Officer shall investigate and conduct the inquiry as it deems fit and in some cases if any dispute arises the concern Court shall pass such Order or direct the Revenue Officer, landlord or the tenant depending upon the case in pursuance to the payment of rent in a fair and equitable manner after proper scrutiny of the land, situation and case.

In certain cases the rent shall be deposited to the Revenue Officer instead of landowner. In case if the tenant fails to pay rent, then his produce shall be attached or any Officer shall be appointed to investigate his produce in pursuance to the tenant’s eligibility to pay rent. In case of tenancy occupancy, the competent authority shall pass such order to relinquish or abandoned and ejectment of his tenancy either with or without notice to the tenants as specified under the provisions of this Act. No suit shall be instituted against any Officers appointed under the provisions of this Act in case of any activities done in pursuance to this Act.

There are certain provisions which speak about forfeiture of mortgage of right of occupancy, sale on execution of Decree, transfer of rights to occupancy, succession and such other relevant provisions which is done in pursuance to this Act as prescribed. There were several provisions in related to the improvement made by the tenant and landlord in pursuance to the reduction and enhancement of rent.

 The occupancy tenant who in case made any improvement made in the land shall be entitled to get compensation that is determined by the Revenue Officer or in case of dispute; the Revenue Court shall decide the amount of compensation. The Revenue Officer or the Revenue Courts shall perform their functions based on their jurisdictions and rules made under the provisions of this Act. The Finance Commissioner shall act as a superintendence and controller over the Revenue Officer and Revenue Courts in matter prescribed under this Act. This Finance Commissioner shall act in pursuance to this Act. Appeal shall lie to all or any such Order passed by the competent authority. The Procedure that is followed either civil nature or Criminal nature with the help of the Limitation Acts and Evidence Act and such other Acts that deems necessary to perform in pursuance to this Act.

by C.Srivenkatesh Prabhu.