B. Lewis (Benjamin Lewis) Rice.

Mysore: a gazetteer compiled for government (Volume 1) online

. (page 73 of 98)
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them to abide by the verdict, nor was the latter presented by the
panchdyat to the judge in writing. The plaintiff" and defendant used
to attend in person, and an examination was made of such witnesses
and documents as they might have to produce ; the witnesses were not
examined upon oath, nor had the practice of receiving the written
statements and counter statements called plaint, answer, reply and
rejoinder, been then introduced.

The two judges first appointed were Vyasa Rao and Ahmed Khan.
The former was chief in rank, and possessed much of the confidence
of Purnaiya, to whom he was in the habit of referring frequently in the
course of the day such judicial questions as arose ; whilst Ahmed
Khan merely attended the minister in the evening to make his formal
report and receive instructions. Besides his functions of judge, Vyasa
Rao used to hear and determine, in the same court, all complaints
whatever preferred by ryots on revenue matters, and on these subjects
Ahmed Khan never exercised any control. In such disputes alone
were muchchalikes or bonds taken from the applicants, binding them


to abide by the decision which might be passed on their case. Vyasa
Rao was also Bakshi of the Shagird Pesha or household department
(in itself a very laborious office), as well as of the Sandal cutcherry.
Both judges sat at the same time, and the decrees were submitted to
their united judgment ; in forming which they were aided by the
personal representation of such of the panchayatdars as had heard the
case. In a simple matter the decision was usually confirmed and
sealed when presented to the judges for that purpose, and a report of
the decision was made at the close of the day to the prime minister,
whose final confirmation was in all cases necessary. But when any
difficulty occurred, the judges were accustomed to represent at once the
circumstances to Purnaiya, and take his directions.

In this court both civil and criminal cases were heard. Matters of
caste were referred for decision to the Khazi or Pandit, aided by a
panchayat of such individuals as were considered competent. There
was, however, little civil litigation in those days.

In the taluqs also, during Purnaiya's administration, a course of
proceeding similar to that already described under the ancient Hindu
rulers, obtained ; the parties either named a panchayat themselves,
and agreed to abide by their decision, or they made application to the
taluq authorities, who ordered a panchayat, usually composed of the
killedar and two or three of the principal yajmans and shettis, and the
matter was settled as they decided.

Thus was civil justice administered as long as Purnaiya continued in
office, during the course of which period Ahmed Khan, the second
judge, died, and Vyasa Rao continued to sit alone.

Government of Krishna Kaja W'oJeyar, 1S11-1S31.

At the time of the British assumption in 1831, Mysore consisted of
the following six Faujdaris, subdivided into 101 taluqs : —

Fattjdari. Taluqs

Bangalore "|^

Madgiri J

Chitaldroog ... 13

Faiijiiiiri. Talti,jTnent of
the Sarkar, and that the same should fall into arrear, the proprietor might
sell his lands and pay the dues of government, when the purchaser had the
same rights in the soil as were possessed by his predecessor.

There were ryots who possessed land which either themselves or their
ancestors had reclaimed from the jungle at great expense. These lands
were also held as hereditary possessions, with the right of disposing of them
by sale or otherwise.

There were also ryots who held their lands by long descent from genera-
tion to generation, who were in the habit of transferring the same to others,
either by sale, or mortgage, &c.


There were ryots who cuUivated lands called kodagi, on which an invari-
able rent was fixed, not liable to any change on account of the seasons or
otherwise. These lands were also saleable, and at the present day continue
to be disposed of at the will of the holders. These lands originally were
indms from the sovereigns or the villagers, but having been subsequently
assumed by the Sarkar, an unchangeable rent was fixed upon them.
Again, some ryots cultivated lands called kodagi lands, which were
originally indm granted by the Sarkar for the payment of a sum of money
as a nazar, but latterly subjected to the same fate as the lands described
above. Lands of both descriptions were also to be found in the Manjarabad

There were ryots who cultivated land for an assessment called shist, and
•who had been subjected at different periods to additional imposts since the
shist was originally established by Sivappa Nayak ; they still had preten-
sions to a proprietary right in the soil.

There were ryots w^ho cultivated lands called rekanast, which under the
reign of the princes of Vijayanagar had an assessment called Rdyarcka, but
having subsequently been overrun with jungle, no Rdyareka or assessment
was levied thereon. They were then called rekanast, which means without
assessment; nor was any shist put upon them by Sivappa Xayak, because
they were not cultivated. When reclaimed, however, they became liable to
assessment at the average rate of the neighbouring lands, still retaining the
same names. These lands are accordingly described as a distinct variety
of tenure still known in the Nagar district.

There were ryots called jodi agrahardars, cultivating lands in some
villages of Nagar under an assessment called y^(//, which might be equal to

Online LibraryB. Lewis (Benjamin Lewis) RiceMysore: a gazetteer compiled for government (Volume 1) → online text (page 73 of 98)