MAMLATDARS AND MAHALKARIS
The Mamlatdar is the officer in executive charge of a taluka and
the Mahalkari has executive charge of a mahal. There is practically
no difference between the functions and duties of a Mamlatdar and those of a Mahalkari. Each taluka or mahal has two or three Aval Karkuns, 8 or 10 Clerks, 50 Talathis, two Circle Officers and three
Circle Inspectors. The duties of Mamlatdars and Mahalkaris fall under various heads, [In the following paragraphs whatever is said of the Mamlatdar applies also to the Mahalkari.]
(i) Revenue.-The Mamlatdar's revenue duties are to prepare the ground work for the Prant Officer and the Collector to pass their orders upon. His report is called in almost all revenue matters. When these orders are passed he has to execute them.
In regard to annual demand and collection of land revenue he has to prepare the jamahandi of the taluka. The jamahandi is an audit of previous year's accounts. The demand for fixed agricultural revenue is settled. There are remissions and suspensions to be calculated upon the fixed demand in lean years. Remissions and suspensions are given in accordance with the crop annewari with the determination of which the Mamlatdar is most intimately concerned. To the demand of fixed revenue is added the amount of non-agricultural assessment and fluctuating land revenue such as that arising from the sale of trees, stones and sand etc. when individuals apply for them.
The brunt of the work of collection of revenue lies on the Mamlatdar. He can issue notices under section 152 of the Land Revenue Code; inflict fines for delay in payment under section 148 of the Land Revenue Code; distrain and sell immovable property and issue notices of forfeiture of the land, though he has to take the Prant Officers' or the Collector's orders for actual forfeiture.
He has to collect, in addition to land revenue, tagai loans, pot hissa measurement fees, boundary marks advances and irrigation revenue, the dues of other departments like Sales Tax, Income Tax and Forest when there is default in their payment, at the request of these departments. These dues are recovered as arrears of land revenue.
It is also his duty to see that there is no breach of any of the conditions under which inams are held and, whenever there is any such breach, to bring it to the notice of the Collector through the Prant Officer.
He has to make enquiries and get ready the material on which the Prant Officer has to pass his own orders under the Bombay Hereditary Offices Act (III of 1874). He can himself pass orders in regard to the appointment, remuneration, period of service, suspension and fining of inferior village servants, the grant of leave of absence to them and the like.
Applications for grant of tagai are generally received by the Mamlatdar, who makes enquiries into them through the Circle Officer and Circle Inspector, inspects the sites for the improvement of which tagai is sought, ascertains whether the security offered is sufficient, determines the instalments for repayment etc. He can himself grant tagai loan upto Rs. 1,000 and Rs. 200 under the Land Improvement Loans Act and Agriculturists Loans Act respectively. In other cases he has to obtain orders from the Prant Officer or the Collector.
The Mamlatdar's duties regarding tagai do not end with the granting of it; he has to see that it is properly utilised, inspect the works undertaken with it, watch the payments and effect recoveries from defaulters. The Mamlatdar is primarily responsible for the administration of the Bombay Tenancy and Agricultural Lands Act (LXVII of 1948) within the areas under his charge. Some of his powers under the Act have been delegated to Aval Karkuns.
(ii) Quasi-judicial-The quasi-judicial duties which the Mamlatdar performs include-(1) enquiries and orders under the Mamlatdars' Courts Act (II of 1906); (2) execution of Civil Court decrees; (3) the disposal of applications from superior holders for assistance in recovering land revenue from inferior holders; and (4) enquiry in respect of disputed cases in connection with the Record of Rights in each village. The last two are summary enquiries under the Land Revenue Code.
(iii) Magisterial.-Every Mamlatdar is the ex-officio Magistrate of his taluka. They are to hear chapter cases under the Criminal Procedure Code from various police stations allotted to them. They are also in charge of the management of the sub-jails under their respective jurisdictions. They have to keep the District Magistrate and the Sub-Divisional Magistrates informed of all the happenings in their charge and take steps incidental to the maintenance of law and order in their jurisdiction with the aid of police.
(iv) Treasury and Accounts.-As a sub-treasury officer, the Mamlatdar is in charge of taluka treasury which is called sub-treasury. All moneys due to Government in the taluka from land revenue, forest, excise, public works, sales tax and income tax and other receipts are paid into this treasury and credited to the receipt heads and drawn from it under cheques and bills. The taluka sub-treasury is also the local depot for stamps, general court fee and postal, of all denominations and for the stock of opium held there for sale to permit holders.
A currency chest is maintained at almost all the sub-treasuries in which surplus cash balances are deposited. From it withdrawals are made to replenish sub-treasury balances. Sub-treasuries are treated as agencies of the State Bank of India for remittance of funds.
The Mamlatdar has to verify the balances in the sub-treasury, including those of stamps and opium, on the closing day of each month. The report of the verification, together with the monthly returns of receipts under various heads, has to be submitted by the Mamlatdar to the Treasury Officer, Dhulia. The sub-treasuries are annually inspected either by the Collector or the Prant Officer.
(v) Other administrative duties.-In addition to the duties mentioned above, the Mamlatdar is responsible to the Collector and the Prant Officer whom he has to keep constantly informed of all political happenings, outbreak of epidemics and other matters.
He generally helps or'guides the officers of other departments in the execution of their respective duties in so far as his taluka is concerned. He is responsible for the cattle census. The Mamlatdar is also expected to propagate co-operative principles in his taluka. The Mamlatdar's position in relation to the taluka officers of other departments is not definable. Though they are not sub-ordinate to him, they are grouped round him and are expected to help and co-operate with him in their respective spheres.
Though the Mamlatdar is not expected to work directly for local bodies, he is usually the principal source of the Collector's information about them.