Summarize in brief the salient features of U.P. Zamindari Abolition and Land Reforms Act, 1950.
Salient Features of the Act.-The salient features of the U.P. Zamindari Abolition and Land Reforms Act,1950 are as under:-
1. Abolition of zamindari System- The Act abolishes the zamindari system which involved intermediaries between the state and cultivators., with effect from the “date of vesting ”i: e:July1, 1952.All the rights, interests and titles of intermediaries vested in the state of Uttar Pradesh. Zamindars were divested of their rights not only in the upper portion of the land but also in the sub-soils.
2. Payment of Compensation- The Act provides that all Zamindars (intermediaries) whose rights, title of interest in any estate are acquired are entitled to get compensation. The compensation is to be paid to them equal to eight times of their net assets. In awarding compensation, no distinction is made between the bigger intermediary and the smaller one, between the main Zamindar and the Thekadar and between natural person and artificial person like waqfs, trusts and endowments.
3. Payments of Rehabilitation Grant- Besides the compensation, Act also provides for payment of Rehabilitation grant. Thekadar are not entitled to this grant . Thus, Zamindars paying annual land revenue up to Rs.10,000 are entitled to both compensation and rehabilitation grant. Compensation is payable at the uniform rate of eight times of the net income (assets), but rehabilitation grant is payable on the graded rates ranging from one to twenty times of the net income. The grant is largest for the low incomes and smallest for those with comparatively large incomes.
4. Cultivating Rights Maintained- it may be noted that “he who cultivates the land should be the owner of it” was the underlined policy of the land law. This policy has been fully enshrined in the act. The Act maintained the cultivating rights of every person, whether he be a Zamindar a Thekadar a mortgage of an estate a tenant of a sub-tenant. Zamindars retained their unlet sir and khudkasht land in the status of tenure holder and become Bhumidhar of such land. Similarly the tenant of sir land and the subtenant become adhivasi. Thus all persons continued to retain possession of the lands they were cultivating.
5. Land-tenure System Simplified- Prior to the enforcement of the U.P. Zamindari Abolition & L.R. Act, there were fourteen varieties of land tenures all complex and bewildering. The Act substituted and classified them into three classes of tenure these were Bhumidhar, sirdar and Asami.
Bhumidhar has transferable permanent and heritable right in land. Sarder’s right is permanent and heritable. Asami had only tenure, viz. adhivasi . this fourth tenure was short lived , because in October, 1954 all adhivasi were made sirdar.
6. Prohibition of letting- with the object that the zamindari system may not spread its tentacle again, tenure holders are prohibited from letting out the whole or part of their holdings for any period whatsoever. If tenure holders let his land his right shall come to an end. Exceptions are however given on humanitarian grounds to persons suffering from mental or physical infirmity of person under legal disability and who are unable to cultivate the land personally. Such persons are woman minor idiot lunatic blind student and persons in detention or imprisonment vide.
7. Prohibition for the Accumulation of land- according to S.154(1) in future no tenure holder with his her spouse and minor children can acquire by purchase or gift land the result of which he becomes entitled land exceeding 12.5 acres in the aggregate. To avoid concentration of land in the hands of a few persons it the principle behind this prohibition. Persons having more than 12.5 acres of land shall retain their holdings but they cannot have any other land by purchase by gift.
8. Prohibition for the Creation of Uneconomic holding- The Act prohibits the court to divide the holding (or holdings) the area of which is 31/8 acres. Whenever in a suit for division the court finds that the aggregate area of land to be divided does not exceed 31/8 acres the court shall instead of proceeding to divide the land direct the sale of the same and distribution of the sale proceeds in accordance with the respective shares of the parties.
9. Uniform Rule of Succession- The Act removes not only the intermediaries from land law but also the religions. Now on the death of a tenure holder his interest in the holding shall devolve to heirs enumerated U/S. 171 to 175, and not to personal law heirs. This rule of succession is applicable to all the tenure holders, whether he is a Bhumidhar, sirdar or an Asami and whether he is a Hindu a Muslim or a person profession religion other then Hindu and Muslim.
10. Establishment of village Republics- Prior to the enforcement of U.P.Z.A. & L.R.A there were two institutions Gaon Sabah’s and Gaon Panchayats which were already established under the U.P. Panchayat Raj Act, 1947. This act established two more institutions, viz Gaon Samaj and Land Management committee. All the estates vested in the state Government were later on vested in the Gaon Samaj (Now Gaon sabha) and were to be managed by the land management committee the special executive body of the Gaon Sabha. All lands of common utility , such as abadi sites, Gaon Sabha. All lands of common utility such as abadi sites. Pathways waste land fisheries village forests this makes the village a small republic. A co-operative community is intended to facilitate economic and social development and to encourage the growth of social responsibility and community spirit.
11. Wells, trees and Buildings settled with the existing owner thereof- all wells trees in the abadi and all buildings situated in the zamindari estate allowed to be remained in the possession of existing owners or occupiers thereof, and it would be seemed to be settled with them as owners thereof. The site of wells or the buildings with area appurtenant thereto was also deemed to be settled with the owners of wells or buildings irrespective of his being a zamindar tenant or a non –tenant.