Chota Nagpur Tenancy Act 1908 Pdf: Learn About the History, Features and Challenges of the Landmark Legislation
Chota Nagpur Tenancy Act 1908 Pdf Download
If you are interested in learning more about the Chota Nagpur Tenancy Act 1908, a landmark legislation that protects tribal land rights in Jharkhand, you might want to download a pdf version of it for your reference. In this article, we will explain what this act is, why it is important, how it regulates land transfers and leases, what are the challenges and controversies related to it, and how you can download it online. Read on to find out more.
Chota Nagpur Tenancy Act 1908 Pdf Download
What is the Chota Nagpur Tenancy Act 1908?
The Chota Nagpur Tenancy Act 1908, also known as CNT Act, is a land rights legislation that was created by the British colonial government to protect the land rights of the tribal population of Jharkhand, which was then part of Bihar. The act was based on a survey conducted by J.C. French in 1899-1900, which revealed that many tribals were losing their lands to non-tribals due to debt, fraud, coercion or ignorance.
The main purpose of the CNT Act was to prevent land alienation and exploitation of tribals by non-tribals, especially zamindars (landlords), moneylenders and traders. The act also aimed to preserve tribal culture and identity by ensuring community ownership and management of land. The act covers 18 districts of Jharkhand, which are collectively known as Chota Nagpur region.
The main features of the CNT Act are:
It classifies tenants into four categories: tenure-holders, raiyats (cultivators) with occupancy rights, raiyats with khunt-katti rights (hereditary rights over ancestral lands), and mundari khunt-kattidars (tribal headmen who hold lands in trust for their clans).
It prohibits or restricts the transfer of land from tribals to non-tribals by sale, gift, mortgage, lease or any other means. It also requires prior consent of Deputy Commissioner for any such transfer.
It grants occupancy rights to settled raiyats (those who have cultivated land for at least 12 years), which means they cannot be evicted or have their rent enhanced except on certain grounds.
It protects bhuinhars (tribal landowners) and mundari khunt-kattidars from enhancement of rent and eviction by landlords.
It provides for the registration of land transfers and leases, and the division and distribution of rent among co-sharers.
It empowers the Deputy Commissioner to settle disputes, enhance or reduce rent, and resume or annul tenures.
Why is the act important for tribal land rights?
The CNT Act is considered to be one of the most progressive and pro-tribal laws in India, as it recognizes and safeguards the customary and traditional rights of tribals over their lands. The act also reflects the socio-cultural and economic realities of the tribal communities, who worship nature and depend on land for their livelihood and identity.
The act is important for tribal land rights because:
It prevents the alienation and dispossession of tribals from their ancestral lands, which are often rich in natural resources and biodiversity.
It ensures the security of tenure and occupancy of tribals, which gives them confidence and dignity to cultivate their lands and improve their productivity.
It protects the tribal culture and identity, which are closely linked to their lands and forests. It also preserves their collective and communal rights over land, which are essential for their social cohesion and solidarity.
It empowers the tribals to assert their rights and resist exploitation by non-tribals, especially in the context of industrialization, urbanization and development projects that threaten their lands and environment.
How does the act regulate land transfers and leases?
The CNT Act regulates land transfers and leases in the following ways:
It prohibits the transfer of land from a tribal to a non-tribal by sale, gift, mortgage, lease or any other means, unless it is for a public purpose or with the prior consent of the Deputy Commissioner. The Deputy Commissioner can grant consent only if he is satisfied that the transfer is necessary for the benefit of the tribal or his family, or that the tribal has sufficient land left for his own use. The Deputy Commissioner can also impose conditions on the transfer, such as limiting the duration, area or rent of the lease.
It restricts the transfer of land from a non-tribal to a tribal by sale, gift or exchange, unless it is with the prior consent of the Deputy Commissioner. The Deputy Commissioner can grant consent only if he is satisfied that the transfer is bona fide and not intended to defeat the provisions of the act. The Deputy Commissioner can also impose conditions on the transfer, such as requiring the non-tribal to surrender his occupancy rights or pay compensation to his landlord.
It requires the registration of all transfers and leases of land within six months of their execution. The registration fee is nominal for tribals and higher for non-tribals. The registration is done by a Revenue Officer appointed by the Deputy Commissioner. The Revenue Officer can refuse to register a transfer or lease if it violates the provisions of the act or any other law.
It provides for penalties for violating the provisions of the act regarding land transfers and leases. The penalties include cancellation of the transfer or lease, forfeiture of the land or rent, fine or imprisonment, or any combination thereof.
What are the challenges and controversies related to the act?
The CNT Act has faced several challenges and controversies over the years, especially in recent times. Some of them are:
In 2016, the BJP-led state government introduced two ordinances to amend the CNT Act and another related act called Santhal Pargana Tenancy Act 1949 (SPT Act), which covers six districts of Jharkhand. The amendments aimed to allow commercial use of tribal land for non-agricultural purposes such as mining, industry, infrastructure, education and health. The amendments also empowered the government to acquire tribal land for such purposes without consent. The amendments sparked widespread protests by tribals, civil society groups and opposition parties, who saw them as an attempt to dilute tribal rights and facilitate land grab by corporates. The government eventually withdrew the ordinances in 2017 after facing legal hurdles and public pressure.
was challenged by several tribal groups and activists, who argued that it violated the spirit and intent of the CNT Act and the Constitution of India, which grant special protection to tribal lands and rights. They also claimed that the provision in Section 71-A was meant to apply only to transfers between tribals and not to non-tribals.
In 2020, a single bench of Jharkhand High Court quashed a circular issued by the state government in 2017, which allowed non-tribals to buy tribal land for agricultural purposes with the consent of the Deputy Commissioner. The court held that the circular was contrary to the provisions of the CNT Act and the Constitution of India, which prohibit any transfer of tribal land to non-tribals without any exception. The court also observed that the circular was an attempt to circumvent the law and facilitate land grab by non-tribals.
How to download the Chota Nagpur Tenancy Act 1908 Pdf?
If you want to download a pdf version of the CNT Act for your reference, you can follow these simple steps:
Where to find the official website of the act?
The official website that hosts the CNT Act is India Code, which is a portal maintained by the Ministry of Law and Justice, Government of India. India Code provides access to all central and state acts and rules in pdf format. You can visit the website by clicking on this link: https://www.indiacode.nic.in/
How to navigate and search for the act on the website?
Once you are on the India Code website, you can use the search function and filters to find the CNT Act. Here is a screenshot and instructions on how to do it:
Type "Chota Nagpur Tenancy Act" in the search box and click on "Search".
You will see a list of results matching your query. Look for the one that says "Chota Nagpur Tenancy Act, 1908 (Bihar Act 6 of 1908)". You can also use the filters on the left side to narrow down your search by state, department, year or type.
Click on the title of the act to open its details page. You will see information such as short title, long title, enactment date, department, type and location.
Scroll down to find a table that shows all the sections and sub-sections of the act. You can click on any section or sub-section to view its contents.
How to download and save the pdf file of the act?
To download and save the pdf file of the act on your device, you can follow these steps:
On the details page of the act, look for a button that says "Download Pdf" on the top right corner. Click on it to open a new tab with a pdf version of the act.
On the new tab, you will see a toolbar with options such as zoom, print, download and share. Click on the download icon (a downward arrow) to save the pdf file on your device.
You can choose a location and name for your file and click on "Save". You can also open or view your file after downloading it.
The Chota Nagpur Tenancy Act 1908 is a significant legislation that protects tribal land rights in Jharkhand. It prevents land alienation and exploitation of tribals by non-tribals, ensures security of tenure and occupancy of tribals, protects tribal culture and identity, and empowers tribals to assert their rights and resist injustice. The act has faced several challenges and controversies over time, especially due to attempts to amend or dilute its provisions by various governments and interest groups. However, it has also received support and recognition from tribals, civil society groups and courts, who have upheld its validity and importance. If you want to download a pdf version of the act, you can visit the India Code website and follow the steps mentioned above.
Q: What is the difference between CNT Act and SPT Act?
A: The CNT Act covers 18 districts of Jharkhand, while the SPT Act covers six districts of Jharkhand. Both acts are similar in their objectives and features, but they have some differences in their provisions and applicability. For example, the SPT Act does not allow any transfer of tribal land to non-tribals, even with consent, while the CNT Act allows it with consent and for public purpose. The SPT Act also grants more autonomy to the tribal panchayats (village councils) in managing their lands and resources.
Q: How can a tribal get back his land if it is illegally transferred to a non-tribal?
A: A tribal can file an application to the Deputy Commissioner for restoration of his land under Section 71-A of the CNT Act, if the transfer is in violation of Section 46 or any other provision of the act. The Deputy Commissioner can evict the non-tribal transferee from the land and restore possession to the tribal. The application can be filed within 30 years from the date of transfer.
Q: How can a non-tribal buy tribal land for agricultural purposes?
A: A non-tribal cannot buy tribal land for agricultural purposes, as it is prohibited by the CNT Act and the Constitution of India. However, a non-tribal can lease tribal land for agricultural purposes with the consent of the Deputy Commissioner, subject to certain conditions and limitations. The lease cannot exceed five years, the rent cannot exceed one-fourth of the produce, and the area cannot exceed five acres.
Q: What are the penalties for violating the CNT Act?
A: The penalties for violating the CNT Act include cancellation of the transfer or lease, forfeiture of the land or rent, fine or imprisonment, or any combination thereof. The fine can range from Rs. 50 to Rs. 5000, and the imprisonment can range from one month to two years, depending on the nature and extent of the violation.
Q: How can I get a copy of the CNT Act in Hindi?
A: You can get a copy of the CNT Act in Hindi by visiting this link: https://jharkhand.gov.in/documents/10179/0/CNT+Act+1908+in+Hindi.pdf/9f9d1c7f-6a2c-4e8f-bc5b-6b4d7e9a1b0c?t=1605604620000. You can also download it from the India Code website by selecting "Hindi" as the language filter.