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A patwari (see Table 5.1), who is responsible for collecting land revenue, reporting the land transfer information, preparing the documents in the case of the sale or transfer of immovable property, managing land records of the area within his jurisdiction (known as a patwar circle; Figure 5.1), is the administrator at the grass root level. Generally, one patwari is responsible for one or two villages or 8000 acres. He has the most information about the area, and so he is a very important representative of the government. He has to record ownership and tenancy in a register of rights and is thus the king pin of the revenue and registration department. He has to deal with the area mentioned in massive maps (see Appendices 1 to 3 for the study regions).
The tehsildar is the head of the office in a tehsil and is responsible for all revenue and land matters within his jurisdiction. In order to be able to solve official problems, he has to keep himself constantly on tour and in contact with his subordinates. He needs to know about the land and crop situation, and so he visits the various regions under his jurisdiction on a regular basis. He is an assistant collector of grade I, and in the criminal authority, he is of a magistrate of grade II. The niab-tehsildar has more or less the same duties as an assistant of the tehsildar in his jurisdiction, and his powers are defined as an assistant collector of grade II and magistrate of grade III. Before 2001, an Assistant Commissioner was in charge of the subdivision level for revenue collection and had to report to the Deputy Commissioner at the district level, who was answerable to the Commissioner at the division level. All these ranks were selected through competitive examination of the civil services and were appointed by non-elected bureaucracy.
In 2001, General Musaraf tried to merge the setup of local governance with this selected bureaucracy, as the elected member of council (chairman)29 is senior to the member of nonrepresentative bureaucratic member of provincial government (District Coordination Officer).
This study is depicting only with the part of local governance, which is explained here and is not included the civil society.
Present Local Governance Structure in Pakistan
The present governance structure of Pakistan is mainly distributed into three sub-divisions:
the Union Council, which is the lowest tier, headed by a tehsil council, with the tehsil council being a part of district council.
Nazim of district council
Union council: At present, the local governance structure is based on union councils consisting of 21 members in each council. The nazim is the head of the union council, and the naib nazim is his deputy. Thirteen members including the nazim and naib nazim are elected through elections, in which two male and two female members are the representative of labor and one is of a minority. In addition to elected members, there are seven government employees and functionaries in every union council, all of whom report to the Secretary of the Union Council. This Secretary is directly appointed by the Provincial State (shown in Figure 5.2).
The Union is a part of the tehsil and of the district. In one district, there are normally large numbers of unions; for example, in Gujranwala, there are 192 union councils. All Nazims of union councils in one district are members of the District council, and all naib nazims are members of thesil councils. After election, nazims and naib nazims select district nazim for district councils and tehsil nazim for tehsil councils.
Figure 5.2: Structure of Union Council Pakistan Source: Government of Punjab, Pakistan *: Gray color indicates those directly appointed by the government (non-elected members) Tehsil council: The naib Nazims of all union councils are the member of tehsil councils, and they select one nazim for the tehsil as the tehsil nazim among themselves.
The structure of tehsil council is explained in the Figure 5.3.
The Union council is responsible for the revenue collection on land and property together with other responsibilities, and the tehsil council has to register all the property of the area.
Thus, the tehsil council has a full record of registration. The patwari is the lowest rank in the revenue and registration departments at the tehsil level and is responsible for keeping a record of the registration and all other details regarding land revenue.
Figure 5.3: Structure of Tehsil Council Gujranwala, Pakistan Source: Government of Punjab, Pakistan *: Gray color indicates those directly appointed by government (non-elected members) District council: The District Nazim is the chairman district council together with all union and tehsil councils of the district but heads the bureaucracy at the district level as given below in Figure 5.
4. Thus, we can say that the district council consists of all elected nazims of the unions and some government appointed officials who have different responsibilities at the district level. For example, the agricultural department has to look after the sites and farms of the districts for the target production of all crops and to check the implementation of crop production strategy and the availability of proper agricultural inputs for the production. They are also responsible for demanding the budget for the maintenance of degraded lands from the finance and planning department. Similarly, the revenue department is responsible for collecting the revenue and for land acquisition. These departments cannot take any decision without the approval of elected members of the district council.
Figure 5.4: Structure of District Council Gujranwala, Pakistan Source: Government of Punjab, Pakistan *: Gray color indicates the directly appointed by government (non elected members) Present Structure of Registration and Revenue Department: As explained above, in Pakistan, the non-elected bureaucracy has a very long chain (see Table 5.
1) and is supported by local governance at the district level (see Figure 5.5).
Figure 5.5: Administration Structure for Excise and Taxation Department Source: Own Presentation
5.5 Stamp Act, 1899 This act was amended, according to the central law ordinance 1960 and was implemented in the whole of Pakistan, with effect from 14th October 1955, for the transaction of legal documents. Before this, when Pakistan was combined with India, it was amended sixteen times, after it came into force on May 1st, 1899. Section 2 of this act explains the details of all these documents, together with transfer procedures.
In Section 2(10) of this act, the procedure for the transfer of a title for immovable property, which is of the specific amount of legal stamp required by an authorized officer, is mentioned.
First of all, the landowner needs to know the value of his land according to the area. This area value is declared by the registrar or sub-registrar. The landowner obtains legal papers known as the stamp paper, which is two percent of the total value of his registry. In the case of sale, he has to present these documents at the office of the registrar together with two witnesses, because this paper must be duly signed by these two individuals in the office of the registrar.
The landowner has to pay one percent of his land value for the registration fee, and then his registered sale deed will be duly executed.
According to Section 2(15), in the case of the partition of land, such legal documents are also necessary, but in this situation, any order for affecting the partition passed by authority of the revenue department is sufficient. Thus, most of the villagers want to save their time and money and avoid going to the registrar's or sub-registrar’s office. They contact the local patwari and ask him to prepare the temporary transfer documentation, which is known as ‘fard mulkiat’.
Power of attorney is a legal document in which one person (the principal) appoints another person to act as an agent on his or her behalf, thus conferring authority on the agent to perform certain acts or functions on behalf of the principal. Section 2(21), of this law explains the conditions of such Power of attorney, which empowers a specified person in place of executant of that attorney. Through these documents, a person can depute his rights to someone else, because of some specific reasons; for example, in the case of his absence from the area, a landowner is not able to look after his land by himself, and so he can give his rights to some other person or persons. Similarly, this might occur in the case of illness or because of old age. Sometimes, a landowner is female and, because of cultural boundaries, is not able to deal with legal matters. Thus, it is practical to be allowed to execute attorney for someone else.
There are two types of power of attorney.
Special power of attorney: through this, the donor30 (s) can give only specific rights 1) to the donee31(s); for example, for the supervision, management, and looking after of the property, to deposit the rent, and to file the cases on behalf of the donor.
2) General power of attorney is the execution of the authority for all matters of the property; for example, not only supervision and care of the property but the installation of new machinery and if necessary, the sale, transfer, and conveyance of the property; even in the case of the death of one of the co-attorneys, the others all are bound to perform his legal deeds.
The procedure of contract for the transfer of power is the same (statement of contract for special and general power of attorney are presented in Appendices 4 and 5) as that discussed above, but in this case, the registration fee is exempted. Registration of power of attorney is necessary only in the case if the donee has to be authorized to use some of the recovered funds from the property of the donor for his own benefit; otherwise, it is not necessary to register the contract.
5.7 Land Acquisition Act 1894
The Land Acquisition Act 1894 was established for the acquisition of land for public purposes. This law came into force on 1st March 1894 and was extended to the whole country. Many amendments were made in this law, according to the needs of the time.
According to this law, the provincial government is authorized to acquire the land in any locality that is likely to be needed for public purposes, and on behalf of the government, a collector can issue the notification for the required locality. The government can appoint any officer for the survey of the land or to set the boundaries of the respected area; this officer is responsible to pay damages in the form of compensation. If any person is not willing to accept the given compensation, the officer is bound to forward the dispute to the collector.
Donor who executes the power of attorney Donee is the person who is authorized to use the rights in the absence of donor The patwari is a very important person because, generally, the collector of the district32 normally appoints him for the survey on behalf of executive district officer (revenue) when land in any locality is needed or is likely to be needed for any public purpose or for a company. He has considerable influence. Even after the survey, if any person has any objection to the survey report, and he applies for reconsideration, the collector can forward his recommendations to the executive district officer (revenue), and he is the final authority for making decisions on land acquisition. He can ask the patwari to confirm the report. Khan (2006) has pointed out that the corruption exists within this department.
Section 4 (1) explains that land can sometimes be acquired without prior survey of the locality. In such cases, a declaration is made by the officer, who is duly authorized by the provincial government and the secretary of the government. After the issue of the declaration, the commissioner can ask the collector to take charge of the acquired land. Thus, he will send a notice to the involved persons, and they can claim their compensation and for damages and lay other objections in writing after fifteen days in front of collector, who will serve all these complaints.