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After defeating the non-Aryan or aboriginal people of this country.Land Laws The most ancient land laws in Bangladesh can be traced to the practices of aboriginal communities involving payment of a share of the produce of the land to the head of the clan. In course of time. Whoever brought under cultivation any wasteland became owner of the same. Manu declared that a king should take a sixth or an eighth or a twelfth part of the crops. payable either in cash or in kind. many of them were turned into local talukdars. Customary rights of landowners to transfer the land in any manner they liked were not interfered with in case of those tenants who used to pay rent. wrote that the land revenue could be assessed at one-third or one-fourth of the produce. and Vishnu set the king's share as annual tax from his subjects to the tune of a sixth of the produce of the land. Vasishtha. such land was heritable by the heirs of such tenants and could be cultivated by such heirs on the same terms and conditions as their predecessors enjoyed. although they got a share of the collection as their remuneration. they divided the land equally amongst their families. Kautilya. Though the clan system of administration of the community in course of time gave rise to the kingship system. No settler family could transfer its land to any outsider without the consent of other permanent settlers or their heirs. Hereditary cultivators could not be evicted from their land if they cultivated it and paid revenue. subject to payment of rent or revenue to the king. subject to payment of rent or revenue assessed. However. note that whoever makes land fit for cultivation by clearing jungles has the right to own the same. Apasthamba. when the power of the grampradhans (village heads) was substantially curtailed. In course of time. the right of the sudras in the land was recognised and they were allowed to cultivate the land under the system of barga by sharing half of the crop produced in such land and giving the other half to the owners of the land. These talukdars used to collect revenue from the cultivators at the rate assessed by the government and paid the same to superior landlords also known as ZAMINDARs. the right of the family to cultivate the land in its possession. The . In course of time. The aboriginal men who surrendered were engaged in domestic and agricultural work as slaves (SHUDRAs). Only wastelands were given as JAGIR or ayma to royal officers in lieu of their salary and to religious and learned persons for their maintenance. But those who paid a share of the produce of the land cultivated by them as rent or revenue had no such right to transfer the land. Yagnavalka. When Bengal was conquered by Bakhtiar Khilji at the beginning of the 13th century. The right to partition the common land of the family amongst themselves was recognised in course of time. however. Both Kautilya in his Artha Sastra and Manu. Land was the common property of the community and belonged to settlers of the villages who cultivated the land. the rulers merely changed the rate of land revenue from one-sixth to one-fifth or one fourth of the produce. Aryans appropriated their land. But other Dharmasutrakars such as Baudhayana. the lawgiver of the Aryans. Those who paid rent or revenue in cash were personally liable for the same and could be sued for the recovery of arrears of dues but could not be evicted from their land for nonpayment of revenue. land revenue should be one-sixth of the produce. depending on the facilities provided for IRRIGATION. But where there was no arrangement for irrigation. the laws regarding land did not change very much except in the payment of the share of the produce to the king or his representatives and the king's right to distribute unused lands to others without disturbing the existing possessions of cultivators. and to settle land disputes. and the power of the head of a PANCHAYET to distribute land of the community to its families.
Only when raiyats went elsewhere leaving their land. No restraint was imposed on the landlords on the increase of the rent of raiyats. chowdhuries and talukdars could cultivate land in their khas possession through bargadars or agricultural labourers who had no rights on such land except to get a half share of the produce or wages for their labour. annual and decennial settlements. They could only collect revenue from the cultivating raiyats at government assessed rates. government revenue agents turned into landowners overnight. During Mughal rule. jagirdars or aymadars were not proprietors of the land under their control. Such officers used to assess revenue with the help of the kanungo. They also could not abandon their land at their sweet will. Those persons. or at the rate mentioned in the PATTA or lease deed executed in their favour. could neither evict the raiyats from their land nor bring the land to their khas possession or let it out to others.lessees of such lands could themselves cultivate the same or get the same cultivated through bargadars (sharecroppers) who had no rights to the land beyond getting half of the produce. who also settled land disputes. But they had no right to continue in possession and were merely tenantsat-will. the EAST INDIA COMPANY was granted DIWANI rights by the Mughal Emperor Shah Alam to collect revenue from Bengal. Such raiyats could also abandon such land at their sweet will. Cultivators known as RAIYATs could pay revenue either in cash or kind but cash payment was preferred. Bihar and Orissa. Zamindars. they could not be evicted from their land and could possess their lands from generation to generation. Their right was made both heritable and transferable. Instead. the land revenue system was systematised and consolidated by assessing the land revenue of the entire country at the rate of one-third of the produce. in their turn. Permanent settlers of villages who themselves cultivated lands of their own village or through others were known as khudkast raiyats. Zamindars or ijaradars got a share of their collection of land revenue as their remuneration and collection cost. If they paid the revenue fixed for their land. jagirdars. also called mahal or mukaddam. LORD CHARLES CORNOWALLIS. Later. They had to pay revenue at the customary rate of their pargana called nirikh. Zamindars. On 22 March 1793. Karkuns preserved records regarding land surveys and land revenue assessment and chowdhurys represented the inhabitants of the PARGANA. leaving the old zamindars and ijaradars only with the task of the collection of the higher revenue. who knew the customs and regulations regarding land. Although the company did not initially disturb the system of revenue collection prevalent in the country. and they could be denied the right to cultivate the land any time after harvesting was over. Government lessees such as jagirdars and aymadars could. Those who cultivated the land of the village where they did not live were known as paikast raiyats and could pay rent on a contract basis. their customary right to pay rent at pargana rate was denied. As a result. Revenue was then assessed by government officers known as amins. it eventually started to firm out the right of collection to the highest bidders under quinquennial. for the default of which their right was liable to be sold in auction. Landlords were allowed to own their property subject to regular payment of revenue to the government. On 12 August 1765. declared Decennial Settlement that made zamindars and talukdars permanent proprietors of the land under their respective control. amalguzars or crories were prohibited from realising any additional amount known as ABWAB other than the assessed revenue from the raiyats. as well as jagirdars and aymadars. could the land be settled with others. an increased rent . jagirdars or government rent collectors such as amils. or when there was no male person in the family to cultivate the land. Patwaris or village accountants and other survey officers surveyed each and every plot of land on the basis of average production and market price of the produce for the previous ten years. aymadari was made heritable. jagirdari or aymadari rights were neither hereditary nor transferable. Zamindari right was hereditary but ijaradari. Zamindars. sikdars. Governor General of the Company. also lease out their land to others on a rental basis.
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