Patwari is a term used in India for a land record clerk in a tehsil or sub-Division.
The lowest state functionary in the Revenue Collection system.
Their job encompasses visiting agricultural lands and maintaining record of ownership and tilling (girdawari).
Due to their primary base in rural areas, where literacy and wealth is low, they yield a larger-than-life influence in the local community and are notorious for demanding bribe and changing land records at will. With recent computerization of land records, their ability to manipulate records has reduced.
Patwari reports to tehsildar or a chief clerk of Tehsil's land records.
BATHINDA: Punjab government charges Rs 100 for registration of mutation but a patwari or a revenue official charges Rs 20,000 for entering a mutation in revenue record.
It may be surprising for those living in urban areas but not for those living in rural areas. Corruption in revenue department is legalised for those living in rural areas and villagers revere revenue officials out of fear. Patwari is called pind di maa (mother of the village).
So it is patwari's dictat that runs into every village of Punjab and for getting a copy of jamabandi to get mutation of land transferred in their name, he charges only “government fee". When Bathinda deputy commissioner Anurag Verma suspended patwari Balaur Singh at Chauke village for allegedly asking for Rs 20,000 as bribe for registering a mutation of a piece of land on Sunday, it didn't come as a surprise for the villagers who were used to the patwari's style of working.
The DC issued a list of legal fees which the villagers were supposed to pay to a patwari or a revenue official for getting a copy of jamabandi or a mutation registered. The villagers had long forgotten that legal fee for getting a mutation entered was Rs 100 and for a copy of jamabandi was Rs 10. In fact, they were coughing out Rs 300 to Rs 500 for every page of jamabandi and the mutation ‘fee' charged by the patwaris was always proportionate to the land measurement.
Responsibility of field kanungos for the work and conduct of patwaris - A field Kanungo is responsible for the conduct and the work of the patwaris in his charge; and it is his duty to report bad work, or neglect of duty, or misconduct on the part of any patwari for the orders of the revenue officer to whom he is subordinate.
He will be held personally responsible if the mutation work of any patwari's circle is in arrears, unless he is able to show that he has taken all measures in his power to prevent it and has reported any patwari who has failed to carry out his instructions.
Field Kanungo to report certain matters to tah sildar - Whenever a field Kanungo visits a patwari's circle he shall carefully read the entries in the patwari's diary made since his last visit; and make inquiries on the matters noted. He shall report to the tahsildar any of these matters which are important or require his order.
Supervision of the work of patwaris during the time of their inspection of crops and pre paration of bachh mutations and Alluvion or Diluvian papers- During the time, the patwaris of his charge are inspecting the crops and preparing the bachh and mutation and valluvion or diluvian papers of their villages, the filed kanungo's whole attention shall be given to the supervision of their work.
Field Kanungos to visit each patwari's circle monthly - At other times of the year he will visit each patwari's circle once in a month, and supervise the timely and accurate completion of the jamabandis and the statements which accompany them.
Kanungos statement of tours -To ensure that the touring of field Kanungo is systematic, each filed Kanungo should forward a statement in the form annexed for each quarter to the district Kanungo, who should send it to the Officer Incharge of Revenue Branches for submission to the Deputy Commissioner.