The Collector's Office at Kolhapur is divided into many branches, each of which is usually in charge of a person in the grade of Mamlatdar. The Home Branch deals with all magisterial work, the administration of the Bombay Entertainments Duty Act (I of 1923), the Arms Act (XI of 1878), and political work connected with the maintenance of law and order. The English Branch deals with the District Local Board, municipalities and village panchayats, passports, political work, prohibition and excise, public works, petroleum, medical affairs, fairs, Backward Class Board meetings, etc. The Chitnis Branch deals with matters like land revenue, land grants, watans, cash allowances, tagai, establishment, encroachments, dues of co-operative societies, tenancy, execution of decrees of civil courts (darkhast), audit of village accounts (jamabandi audit), and inspection of talukas and public offices. The District Registration Office is one of the branches and is in charge of the Headquarter Sub-Registrar. The Treasury Branch is in charge of the Treasury Officer. There are separate branches dealing the Court of Wards, the District Soldiers', Sailors' and Airmen's Board and the District Development Board. There are branches dealing with Elections, Refugees and Evacuees, but these are purely temporary.
Under the Collector are the Prant Officers who are either Assistant Collectors (Indian Administrative Service Officers) or District Deputy Collectors. The two Prants in the District have each a separate Prant Officer in charge. The Prant Officer in charge of Kolhapur or Northern Division has his head-quarters at Kolhapur. The Prant Officers form the connecting link between the Mamlatdar and the Collector. A Prant Officer exercises all the powers conferred on the Collector by the Land Revenue Code and by any other law in force or by executive orders, in regard to the talukas and mahals in his charge, except such powers as the Collector may specially reserve to himself. His main functions deal with revenue matters, magisterial matters and other duties.
Mamlatdars and Mahalkaris
The Mamlatdar is the officer in executive charge of a taluka and the Mahalkari has the executive charge of a mahal. There is a sub-treasury in every taluka or mahal, and there is practically no difference of kind between the functions and duties of a Mamlatdar and those of a Mahalkari. Each taluka or mahal has on the average two or three head clerks (or aval karkuns), 15 or 18 clerks, 60 talathis, two Circle Officers and two Circle Inspectors. The duties of Mamlatdars and Mahalkaris fall under various heads. Functions here deal with revenue, Quasi-judicial functions, magisterial matters, treasury and accounts and other administrative duties.
Circle Officers and Circle Inspectors
In order to assist the Mamlatdar in exercising proper supervision over the village officers and village servants and to make local enquiries of every kind promptly, Circle Officer in the grade of Aval Karkuns and Circle Inspectors in the grade of Karkuns are appointed. The Circle Officer certifies entries in the record of rights, and thus relieves the Mamlatdar of a good deal of routine work. There are from 30 to 50 villages in charge of a Circle Officer or Circle Inspector. These officers form a link between the Mamlatdar and the village officers. There are generally two Circle Officers and one Circle Inspector in each taluka.
The Patil is the principal official in a village. The duties of the Patil mainly deal with revenue, quasi-magisterial and administrative matters.
The office of village accountant used generally to be held by hereditary kulkarnis. With effect from 1st May 1951, all kulkarni watans along with the right of service were abolished by the Bombay Pargana and Kulkarni Watans Abolition Act (LX of 1950). If the villages are small one talathi is appointed for two or more villages, which are called his charge or saza.
In addition to the village officers mentioned above, there are some hereditary village servants. They are of two kinds (i) those useful to Government, and (ii) those useful to the community. The village servants useful to Government are the Mahars and the Ramosh's (Ramosis). They are remunerated by watans, which take the form of grants of land either entirely free of assessment or subject to an annual reduced assessment (called mamul judi) or cash payment from the Government treasury, or both. The Mahars help the village patil and the talathi in the collection of revenue and do all duties in connection with village administration. The village servants useful to the community are known as balutedars. Under the baluta system, the balutedars have certain rights and privileges at ceremonies, etc. Their services are remunerated by the cultivators in the shape of an annual payment in sheaves of corn and a few seers of other grain grown in the field, such as wheat, hulga, gram, tur, groundnut, etc.
This is the administrative layout of the district of Kolhapur from the level of the district collector right down to the grassroots level.
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