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BOMBAY PREVENTION OF FRAGMENTATION AND CONSOLIDATION OF HOLDINGS ACT, 1947

Ministry of Law and Justice

Act nº lxii of 1947 1


  • Chapter 1
  • Chapter 2
  • Chapter 3
  • Chapter 4
  • Chapter 4A. Powers and Procedure of Consolidation Officers
  • Chapter 5
  • Act nº lxii of 1947 1

Preamble

The Bombay Prevention of Fragmentation and Consolidation of Holdings Act, 1947

[Bombay Act, No. LXII of 1947 1]

[29th January, 1948]

PREAMBLE

An Act to provide for the prevention of fragmentation of agricultural holdings and for their consolidation

WHEREAS it is expedient to prevent the fragmentation of agricultural holdings and 1to provide for the consolidation of agricultural holdings for the purpose of the better cultivation thereof; It is hereby enacted as follows :-

NOTES

Objects and reasons of the Act - Different laws pertaining to the prevention of fragmentation and consolidation of holdings were in force in different areas in the pre-Reorganised State of Bombay except the Kutch area. As a measure of unification of the law relating to the prevention of fragmentation of agricultural holdings and for their consolidation in State of Bombay, it was considered necessary to extend the Bombay Prevention of Fragmentation of Consolidation of Holdings Act, 1947, to the whole of the reorganised State of Bombay.

The Act was enacted -

(1) to prevent fragmentation of agricultural holding, and

(2) to provide for the consolidation of agricultural holdings for the purpose of better cultivation.

The object of the Act when it was passed in 1947 was simply to consolidate and prevent fragmentation of holdings. The intention of the Legislature was -

(a) to encourage the development of agriculture; and

(b) to improve the agricultural product, and one way of achieving this object was by introducing consolidation schemes.

The Act divides itself into two parts. The first part deals with the prevention of fragmentation and the second part with the consolidation of holdings.

As regards prevention of fragmentation the fragment is first determined by determining the standard area. Standard area means the minimum area of each class of land on a single spot or holding below which it is definitely unprofitable to cultivate.

Standard area -

The Standard area is fixed for each class of land by the State in consultation with the District Rural Development Board provisionally under sec. 4 and finally under section 5 of the Act. After fixation of this standard area and its publication in the village the existing fragments i.e. plot of land less in extent than the standard area are recorded as such in the Record of Rights in order that their sale or lease should be restricted as provided in section 7 of the Act.

Further fragmentation is also prohibited under section 8 in the case of transfer or partition.

With the object of consolidation of agricultural holdings for the purpose of better cultivation of lands, the State declares its intention to make a Scheme of consolidation of holdings in specific area by Notification in the village concerned by the beat of drum and by fixing its translation in the regional language for the information of the public.

Consolidation is defined as a process of deducting the number of plots of a holder scattered in different parts of a village either by amalgamation or by exchanges of the holdings taking into consideration their productive capacity and value. In order that there should be no loss to any holder by exchanges of the holdings at the time of consolidation, the present market value of the holdings is fixed as a criterion for the exchange of holdings.

The Act also provides for the payments of compensation by a holder who gets more land to a holder getting less during exchange in cases where a few gunthas cannot be adjusted while framing consolidation blocks.

Any action in contravention of sections 7, 8, 27(b) and 32 is punishable upto a fine of Rs. 250/- as provided for in section 9 of the Act.

1. For Statement of Objects, see Bombay Govt. Gazette, 1946, Pt. V, 139 for Report of the Select Committee, see ibid, 1947, pg. 195; for Proceedings in Assembly, see Bombay Legislative Assembly Debates, 1947 Vols. X and XI; and for Proceedings in Council, See Bombay Legislative Council Debates, 1947. Vol. XIII.


Chapter 1

Section 1. Short title, extent and commencement

(1)This Act may be called the Bombay Prevention of Fragmentation and Consolidationof Holdings Act, 1947,

1 [(2) It extends2 to the whole ofthe 3 [State of Maharashtra].

(3)It shall come into force in such areas and on such date as the 4 [State]Government may by notification in the Official Gazette direct.

1. This sub-section was substituted for the original byBom. Act 61 of 1958, Sec. 3(1).

2. The Act was extended to that part of the State ofBombay to which immediately before the commencement of Bom. Act 61 of 1958, itdid not extend (vide Bom, Act 61 of 1958, Sec. 2).

3. These words were substituted for the words "Stateof Bombay" by the Maharashtra Adaptation of Laws (State and ConcurrentSubjects) Order, 1960.

4. This word was substituted for the word"Provincial" by the Adaptation of Laws Order, 1960.


Section 2. Definitions

Inthis Act, unless there is anything repugnant in the subject or context,

(1)"agricultural year" means the year commencing on the first day ofApril;

(2)"consolidation of holdings" means the amalgamation and wherenecessary the redistribution of holdings or portions of holdings in anyvillage, mahal or taluka or any part thereof so as to reduce the number ofplots in holdings;

(3)"Consolidation Officer" means an officer appointed as such undersection 15 by the 1 [State] Government and includes any personauthorised by the 1 [State] Government to perform all or any of thefunctions of the Consolidation Officer under this Act;

2 [(3-A) "Co-operativeSociety" means a Co-operative Society registered or deemed to beregistered under the 3 [Maharashtra Co-operative Societies Act, 1960;

4 [* * *]

(4)"Fragment" means a plot of land of less extent than the appropriatestandard areas determined under this Act:

Providedthat no plot of land shall be deemed to be a fragment by reason of anydiminution in its area by diluvion;

(5)"land" means agricultural land whether alienated or unalienated;

(6)"local area" means any area notified as such in the Official Gazetteunder section 3;

(7)5 [Deleted]

(8)"owner" means in the case of unalienated land the occupant 6 [ortenure holder and when such land has been mortgaged, owner means the mortgagor;in the case of alienated land owner means the superior holder; 6 [***]

7 [Provided that in the Hyderabadarea of the 3 [State of Maharashtra] "owner" means a personwho has permanent and heritable right of possession of land, and whenunalienated land has been mortgaged, owner means the mortgagor;

8 [* * *]

(9)"prescribed" means prescribed by rules made under this Act;

9 [(9a) "relevant Code"means-

10 [(a) in the Bombay area of theState of Maharashtra, the 11 [Bombay Land Revenue Code, 1879;

(b)in the Vidarbha region of the 3 [State" of Maharashtra], theMadhya Pradesh Land Revenue Code, 1954; and

(c)in the Hyderabad area of the 3 [State of Maharashtra,] the HyderabadLand Revenue Act, 1317 Fasli;

(9b)"relevant tenancy law" means-

12 [(a) in the Bombay area of theState of Maharashtra, the Bombay Tenancy and Agricultural Lands Act, 1948;

(b)in the Hyderabad area of the 3 [State of Maharashtra], the HyderabadTenancy and Agricultural Lands Act, 1950;

13 [(c) in the Vidarbha region of theState of Maharashtra, the Bombay Tenancy and Agricultural Lands (VidarbhaRegion) Act, 1958;

(d)14 [Omitted]

(9c)"Settlement Commissioner" includes a Commissioner of SurveySettlement;

(10)"standard area" in respect of any class of land means the area whichthe 15 [State] Government may from time to time determine undersection 5 as the minimum are necessary for profitable cultivation in anyparticular local area; and includes a standard area revised under the saidsection;

16 [(10a) "villagecommittee" means a village committee constituted under section 34A;

(11)words and expressions used in this Act, but not defined have the meaningassigned to them in the 17 [relevant Code].

(12)18 [* ****]

1.This word was substituted for theword "Provincial" by the Adaptation of Laws Order, 1960.

2.This clause was inserted by Bom.69 of 1953, s. 2.

3.The portion from "or thatAct" to "region of the State was omitted by the Maharashtra Adoptionof Laws (State and Concurrent subjects) Order, 1960

4.These words and figures weresubstituted for the words and figures "Bombay Co-operative Societies Act,1925" by Mah. 19 of 1966, s. 2(a).

5.Clause (7) was deleted by Bom. 61of 1958, s. 3(2)(b).

6.These words were inserted, Bom.61 of 1958, s. 3(2)(b), s. 3(2) (c).

7.This Proviso was added by Bom. 61of 1958, s. 3(2)(c).

8.The Explanation was omitte, Bom.61 of 1958, s. 3(2)(c).

9. Clauses (9a) to (9-C) wereinserted by Bom. 61 of 1958, s. 3 (2) (d).

10. Sub-clause (e) was substitutedby the Maharashtra Adaptation of Laws (State and Concurrent Subjects) Order,1960.

11. See now Maharashtra Land RevenueCode, 1966 (Mah. 41 of 1966).

12. Sub-clause (a) was substitutedby the Maharashtra Adaption of Laws (State and Concurrent Subjects) OrdersOrder, 1960.

13. Sub-clause (c) was substitutedby Mah. 19 of 1966, s. 2(b).

14. Sub-clause (d) was omitted bythe Maharashtra Adaption of Laws (State and Concurrent Subjects) Order, 1960.

15. This word was substituted forthe words "Provincial" by the Adaption of Laws Order, 1950

16. This clause was inserted by Bom.61 of 1958, s. 3(2)(e).

17. These words were substituted forthe words and figures "Bombay Land Revenue Code, 1879" ibid., s.2(f).

18. Clause (12) was omitted by theMaharashtra Adapton of Laws and concurrent Subjects) Order, 1960.


Chapter 2

Section 3. Determination of local area

The 1[State] Government may, after such inquiry as it deems fit, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify a village, mahal or taluka or tahsil or any part thereof as a local area for the purposes of this Act.

1. Ins. by Bom. Act 61 of 1958, Sec. 3(4).


Section 4. Settlement of standard areas

(1) The State Government may, after such inquiry as it deems fit and after consultation with the District Advisory Committee 1[ or any other body], appointed by it, provisionally settle for any class of land in any local area the minimum area that can be cultivated profitably as a separate plot.

(2) The State Government shall by notification in the Official Gazette, and in such other manner as may be prescribed publish the minimum areas provisionally settled by it under sub-section (1) and invite objections thereto.

1. These words were inserted by Bom. Act, 61 of 1958, Sec. 3(4).


Section 5. Determination and revision of standard areas

(1) The 1[State] Government shall, after considering the objections, if any, received within three months of the date of publication of the notification under sub-section (2) of section 4 in the village concerned and making such further inquiry as it may deem fit, determine the standard area for each class of land in such local area.

(2) The 1[State] Government may, at any time, if it deems fit expedient so to do, revise a standard area determined under sub-section (1). Such revision shall be made in the manner laid down in section 4 and sub-section (1)

(3) The 1[State] Government shall, by notification in the Official Gazette, and in such other manner as may be prescribed, give public notice of any standard area determined under sub-section (1) or revised under sub-section (2).

1. Subs. by the Adaption of Laws Order, 1950, for "Provincial".


Section 6. Entry in the Record of Rights

(1) On notification of a standard area under sub-section (3) of section 5 for a local area all fragments in the local area shall be entered as such in the Record of Rights or where there is no Record of Rights in such village record as the State Government may prescribe.

(2) Notice of every entry made under sub-section (1) shall be given in the manner prescribed for the giving of notice 1[in the Hyderabad area of the State, under the Hyderabad Record of Rights in Land Regulation, 1358 Fasli and elsewhere, under the relevant Code,] of an entry in the register of mutations.

1. These words were substituted for the words and figures "under the Bombay Land Revenue Code, 1879" by the Adaptions of Lawly Order, 1950, s. 3(5).


Section 7. Transfer and lease of fragments

(1)No person shall transfer any fragment in respect of which a notice has beengiven under sub-section (2) of section 6 1 [except to the owner of acontiguous survey number or recognised sub-division of a survey number :

2 [Provided that the holder of suchfragment may mortgage or transfer it to the State Government or a land mortgagebank or any other co-operative society as security for any loan advanced to himby the State Government or such bank or society, as the case may be].

(2)Notwithstanding anything contained in 3 [any law for the time beingin force or in any instrument or agreement], no such fragment shall be leasedto any person other than a person cultivating any land which is contiguous tothe fragment.

1. These words were substituted forthe words "unless thereby the fragment becomes merged in" by Bom. 69of 1953, s. 3(2).

2. This proviso was added by Bom.69 of 1953, s. 3(2), s. 3(2).

3. These Words, were substitutedfor the words and figures "the Bombay Tenancy Act, 1939" by Bom. 61of 1958, s. 3(6).


Section 8. Fragmentation prohibited

No land in any local area shall be transferred or partitioned so as to create a fragment.

Section 8AA. Restriction on partition of land

1 [8AA. Restriction on partition ofland :

(1)Where, by transfer, decree, succession or otherwise, two or more persons areentitled to shares in an undivided agricultural land in any local area forwhich standard areas have been fixed and the land has to be partitioned amongthem, such partition shall be effected so as not to create a fragment.

(2)Where such partition is made by the Court or the Collector, the followingprocedure shall be adopted :-

(a)If, in effecting a partition among several co-sharers, it is found that aco-sharer is entitled to a specific share in the land and cannot be given thatshare without creating a fragment, he shall be compensated in money for thatshare. The amount of compensation shall be determined so far as practicable inaccordance with the provisions of section 23 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894.

2 [* * *]

3 [* * **]

(b)If, in effecting a partition, it is found that there is not enough land toprovide for the shares all the co-sharers in accordance with provisions ofsub-section (1), the co-sharers may agree among themselves as to the particularco-sharer or co-sharers who should get the share of land and which of themshould be compensated in money. In the absence of any such agreement, theco-sharers to whom a share of land can be provided and those to whom moneycompensation should be given shall be chosen by lot in the manner prescribed.

(c)The compensation shall be payable by each co-sharer in proportion to the excessvalue of land he gets over the share of land legally due to him, and suchco-sharer shall deposit the proportionate amount of compensation in the mannerprescribed before taking possession of the share allotted to him. On hisfailure to do so, his share shall be allotted to any other co-sharer to whomland has not been previously allotted and who is chosen in the manner providedin clause (b) subject to the payment of similar compensation to the co-sharersnot getting shares of land.

(d)If none of the co-sharers to whom land has been allotted under clause (c) paysthe compensation and takes the share, the share shall be sold in auction to thehighest bidder, and the purchase money shall be paid to the co-sharers notgetting land in proportion to their respective shares.

(e)Where the parties agree upon any other method of partition which will notresult in the creation of a fragment, that method shall be followed ineffecting partition.

(3)Where a partition is effected in execution of a decree all questions relatingto the partition of the land and apportionment of compensation shall be decidedby the Court executing the decree or by the Collector effecting the partition,as the case may be, in accordance with the provisions of sub-section(2).]

1. Section 8AA was inserted byBombay Act 61 of 1958, s. 3(i).

2. The words "or of thatsection in its application to the Saurashtra area of the State of Bombay underthe Land Acquisition Act, 1894 (Adaptation and Application) Ordinance,1948" were omitted by the Maharashtra Adaption of Laws (State andConcurrent Subjects) Order, 1960.

3. The words "or as the casemay be, section 18 of the Hyderabad Land Acquisition Act, 1309, Fasli"were deleted by Mah. 19 of 1966, s. 3.


Section 8A. s 7 and 8 not to apply to transfer for public purpose

1 [8A. Sections 7 and 8 not to applyto transfer for public purpose :

Nothingin sections 7, 2 [8 and 8AA] shall apply to a transfer of any landfor such public purpose as may be specified in this behalf by the StateGovernment by notification in the Official Gazette.]

(1)Dharmashala, Playground for children and adults, schools, college, villagetheatres, public dispensaries, etc.

(4)Land required for the construction of a fish, mutton or vegetable market.

(5)Land required by the State Transport Authority for State Transport Bus Depot.

(6)Land required for any agricultural university established under any law for thetime being in force.

(7)Land required for the construction of public road or latrines, or for burial orcremation grounds etc. grazing ground, encamping ground.

(8)Land required for the construction of houses by a co-operative housing society.

1. Section 8A was inserted by Bom.69 of 1953, s. 4.

2. The figures, word and letterwere substituted for the word and figure "and 8" by Bom. 61 of 1958S. 3(8).


Section 9. Penalty for transfer or partition contrary to provisions of Act

(1)The transfer or partition of any land contrary to the provisions of this Actshall be void.

(2)The owner of any land so transferred or partitioned shall be liable to pay suchfine not exceeding Rs. 250 as the Collector may, subject to the general ordersof the 1 [State] Government, direct. 2 [Such fine shall berecoverable as an arrear of land revenu.]

3 [(3) Any person unauthorizedlyoccupying or wrongfully in possession of, any land, the transfer or partitionof which, either by the Act of parties or by the operation of law, is voidunder the provisions of this Act, may be summarily evicted by the Collector.]

1.This word was substituted for theword "Provincial" by the Adaptation of Laws Order, 1950.

2.These words were added by Bom. 69of 1953, s. 5(1).

3.This sub-section was added, Bom.69 of 1953, s. 5(1) s. 5(2).


Section 10. Transfer of fragment to Government

10. Transfer of fragment to 1[Government] :

(1) Any owner of a fragment may transfer it to the 2[state Government] on 3[payment by the State Government] of such compensation to persons possessing interest therein as the Collector may determine and thereupon the fragment shall vest absolutely in the 2[State Government] free from all encumbrances 4[but no such fragment shall be transferred to the State Government unless it is first offered to the owner of a contiguous survey number or recognised sub-division of a survey number on payment of the compensation determined by the Collector as aforesaid and such owner has refused to purchase the fragment on payment of such compensation.]

(2) Any such fragment may be disposed of in accordance with the provisions of section 117B of the Bombay Land Revenue Code, 18796 5[or section 158 of the Madhya Pradesh Land Revenue Code, 19546 or as the case may be, may be disposed, of as unoccupied land under the provisions of the Hyderabad Land Revenue Act, 1317 Fasli.]

1. This word was submitted for the word "Crown" by the Adaptation of Laws Order, 1950.

2. These words were substituted for the words "Crown for the purposes of the Province" by the Adaptation of Laws Order, 1950.

3. These words were substituted for the words "Payment by the Crown" the Adaptation of Laws Order, 1950.

4. This portion was added by Bom. 61 of 1958, s. 3(9)(a).

5. Added by Bom. Act 61 of 1958, See. 3(9)(b).

6. These Acts and Code were repealed by the Maharashtra Land Revenue Code 1966, see Sec. 336 of Mah. 41 of 1966.