Zamindari Abolition Bill

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                             First Amendment to the Indian Constitution

After India got its Independence and shaped the new Constitution, it found that during the first fifteen months of its working, certain difficulties had been brought to light by judicial decisions  specially in regard to fundamental rights. Article 31 had also given rise to unanticipated difficulties in the implementation of important measures of agrarian reform passed by the State Legislatures and had been held up due to litigation. This resulted in the First Amendment to the Indian Constitution The main objects of the Act were accordingly, to amend Article 19 for the purpose indicated above and to insert provisions fully securing the constitutional validity of zamindari abolition laws in general and certain specified State Acts in particular.

The Madras Estates (Abolition and Conversion into Ryotwari) Act, 1948 (Madras Act XXVI of 1948). was implemented by the Madras Government (which then included both Tamil Nadu and Andhra States). Our Jagir was taken over by the Government on 3/1/1951 and subsequently Compensation was determined .  It was woefully inadequate as the Jagir was then earning 2 lakhs per year and the determined sum was to be 12.5 times  or Rs 25 lakhs instead of a mere 10 lakhs and was to be paid in 5 installments. The Compensation and Interim payments (a type of interest payment for the delay in paying a lumpsum compensation)  were paid over a period of several years (the last 5th and Final Compensation was paid in November 1964). The Entitlement was four-fifths to the principal landholder and his legitimate sons and grand sons in equal proportion, with the balance one-fifth to all the "maintenance holders". This meant that in our case Dad and the three of us get one-fifth  each and all the other relations clubbed together will get one-fifth as maintenance holders.

As Dad had never ever given our mother and us any love or affection and treated us just as a  legitimate liability besides squandering his money on races, his mistress and high living without any investments or savings,( by just giving my mother a monthly maintenance allowance), we decided not to give him the Power of Attorney to make the claims on our behalf. We decided to stake our own claims and that is how we survived to make a life for us and our loved mother a better one.

Since this subject is about Abolition and Compensation, it is to be pointed out that under Section 54-B the Government is still under obligation to pay 12.5 crores under the Act if the monies distributed falls short of this figure. It has been estimated that only half of this has been distributed. So the claims have been made. The Government excuse is that since the original Act covered both Andhra and Tamil Nadu as one entity it they will have to determine the figure jointly, which could never be realised ! Persis and Sid may want to pursue it !!

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