The United Provinces Act, 1890

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An Act no. 20 of the year 1890 was enacted in the British period with the name and title as ‘the United Provinces Act, 1890’ which was to make provisions for the better administration of the North- Western Provinces and Oudh. It was also making provisions for amending certain enactments which were in force in relation to those provinces and in Oudh. The Act was assented on 16th day of October, 1890 by the Governor General of Council. As such the territories to respectively administered by the Lieutenant Governor of the North- Western Provinces and the Chief Commissioner of Oudh.

So far as the provisions of the Act are concerned, there are very few provisions remained in the Act dealing with main purpose of the Act. The very first provision specifies the short title of the Act as ‘North- Western Provinces and Oudh Act, 1890. Thereafter, the Act is dividing its provisions under several parts.

The first Part of the Act makes provisions in respect to the North- Western Provinces. The provisions of this Part were brought into effect by the Lieutenant- Governor of the North- Western Provinces, on 1st April, 1891, by notifying in the Official Gazette. Section 3 and 4 of the part is dealing with the commencement of that Part. Section 5 being very important provision provides that, the every enactments which were having force in the temporarily- settled districts comprised in the Allahabad Division should after this Part commence have force, be applied to the Jhansi Division. However, it is also provides for repealing of every enactments which were having been in force in the said Jhansi Division and not in the said Temporary- Settled Districts comprised in the Allahabad Division, including the Jhansi Courts Act, 1867 and others and however, certain enactments such as the Jhansi Encumbered Estates Act, 1882, and the Jhansi and Morar Act, 1886 were exempted from such repeal. Provisions made for amending the Act no. 16 of 1882 were themselves repealed by the provisions of Bundelkhand Encumbered Estates Act, 1903 (U.P. Act no. 1 of 1903).

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Further, it was made clear by the Section 7 of the Act that, the functions which were assigned to the Commissioners and Deputy thereof within the provisions of Jhansi and Morar Act, 1886 should be discharged by the then High Court and District Judge respectively. And also it was made clear that the references to Courts which are subordinate to the Commissioner in the Jhansi District should be treated as that of Civil. Section 8 requires that the earlier Jhansi Division should be ceased to be a scheduled District. Further, all pending cases or proceedings in any Civil Court in the division of Jhansi, are required to disposed of by the given authorities. In case of cases pending before the Court of Tahsildar or of an Assistant Commissioner of the second class, then such cases to be disposed of by the Munsif, if the cases are pending in the Assistant Commissioner of the first class’s Court then those can be disposed by the Subordinate Judge, like wise other cases are also required to be disposes of in the given manner.

The second part of the Act makes provisions in relation to the Oudh. Section 10 deals with commencement of the part as on the date i.e. 1st January, 1891 as per notification published by the Chief Commissioner of Oudh in the Official Gazette. The part provides that, the North- Western Provinces’ Board of Revenue which was constituted within the provisions of the North- Western Provinces Land- revenue Act, 1873 will the Board of Revenue for the territories which are administered by the Chief Commissioner of Oudh. As such it was named as ‘the Board of Revenue of the North- Western Provinces and Oudh’. Besides many other provisions i.e. from section 12 to 53 of the Act, which were taken off from this enactment by various amendment and repealing Acts, the Act directly jumps to the next provisions as section 54, which provides that disposing of, of the appeals pending at the time when this Part brought into operation. Also from section 55 to 61 also or the Act were also repealed by several enactments of time.

The next part being last part of the Act makes provisions for both the North- Western Provinces and Oudh, and as per section 62 of the Act, this Part was brought into effect on 1st day of January, 1891. The provisions of section 63 provides that the afore said Board of Revenue of the North- Western Provinces and Oudh should sit, irrespective of whatever contained under section 128 of the Oudh Rent Act, 1886, at the place so determined by the State Government for the disposal of cases. The last provisions being section 64 of the Act, which was providing for amendment of the provisions of section 4 of the Act no. 19 of 1873 was repealed by the United Provinces Land- revenue Act, 1901.

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Adv. Faim Khalilkhan Pathan