Explained - Part II
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The information on these pages have been taken from the Sessional Paper XXVII of 1935 'Report of the Commission on the Headmen System - November 1935'. Extracts of the numbers and distribution of headmen, their salaries and allowances gives us a glimpse into their lifestyles of a bygone era, how much they earned and how the government of that day treated them. Also included are the financial regulations effective at that time. Among the special allowances given were reimbursements for employing watchers to look after dead bodies.
HEADMEN ( Mudaliyars )
The number and distribution of the headmen of various grades as at 1934 - 35 is shown below
|Mullauitivu and Vavunia||4||15||33|
|Puttalam and Chilaw||5||29||194|
In 1922, the salary of a chief headman was Rs. 1,200 per annum plus Rs.420 per annum temporary increase. The 1920 Headmen Commission left the question of the alteration of this salary to the Salaries Commission, which recommended that the chief headmen should be divided into three classes, to which the following salaries should be attached.
Class I Rs. 3,600 per annum
Class II Rs. 3,000 per annum
Class III Rs. 2,400 per annum
Promotion from one class to another to be dependent on satisfactory performance of duty, certified by the Government Agent. This scheme was adopted by the Government, and is still in force. It is necessary to remember that this salary scale is not intended to be commensurate with the value of the services rendered to the State by these officers. The Salaries Committee of 1926 describes their position as follows
"We cannot regard chief headmen as being in the same position as ordinary departmental officials, who are recruited without particular regard to their standing in the community. If we were to regard them as such, then we think a considerable improvement in their salary scale might be justified; but we would add that, if such an improvement were effected, then there would in our opinion be no ground for any limitation of the field of choice in the making of these appointments. Perhaps at some future date a service of Provincial Revenue Officials recruited by examination may replace the chief headmen, but as long as chief headmen are dignitaries as well as officials, as long as birth and the possession of landed property are regarded as almost essential qualifications to appointment, their scale of remuneration must be fixed with reference to these facts."
The Headmen (Mudaliyars) were also entitled to the following Allowances.
Fixed Transport Allowance for Traveling inside the Division:
Prior to 1922, chief headmen received no allowance to cover the cost of traveling within their divisions, although their duties necessitated their keeping a conveyance. Attention. was drawn to this fact by the previous Headmen Commission and the proposal was accepted by the Government, and the motor car allowances of chief headmen were revised with effect from August 1, 1924, as follows.
For a motor car weighing more than 15
For a motor car weighing more than 10 cwt. and not more than 15 cwt. Rs 70
For a motor car weighing 10 cwt. or less Rs 60
These allowances were further reduced in 1930, and again in 1932. The rates fixed in 1932, which are still in force, are
For a private car weighing over 21
For a private car weighing over 16 cwt. but not over 21 cwt. Rs 60
For a private car weighing over 12 cwt. but not. over 16 cwt. Rs 50
For a private car weighing 12 cwt. or under Rs.40
The allowances originally granted for a horse (Rs. 85) and for a bullock cart (Rs. 40) have remained at those figures up to the present time.
Traveling outside the Division:
When traveling outside their divisions, chief headmen are governed by the ordinary financial regulations of the Government relating to the reimbursement of traveling expenses, with certain exceptions. The principal exception is that they are authorized to travel in their own conveyances, and to claim mileage at the prescribed rates, even along routes where public conveyances such as buses are available. They are also entitled to travel first class by train. Their rates of subsistence and lodging allowances are
For those drawing Rs. 2,400 per annum 3 1
For those drawing Rs. 3,000 per annum 4 1
For those drawing Rs. 3,600 per annum 4 1
Allowance for Clerical Assistance.:
The Government considered the recommendations and decided that allowances for clerical assistance to chief headmen should be granted, to cover the cost of employing a clerk, or two clerks where two clerks were considered necessary for the transaction of purely Government business. The Government authorized the payment with effect from October 1,1928, of an allowance of Rs. 40 per month where one clerk is required, and Rs 70 per month where two clerks are required. These allowances are still in force.
The 1926 Salaries Committee recommended that the salaries of chief headmen's peons should not be separately itemised in the annual estimates, but that the chief headman should be paid an allowance to cover the cost of employing a peon or messenger. The Government accepted this recommendation. The number of peons allowed is one or two according to the necessities of the case. The rate of allowance per peon varies in different parts of the Island. The allowance is described in the Estimates as a "Messenger allowance the men employed are referred to as "messengers" or "peons"
Every headman is entitled to a refund of tolls. The toll receipt must be attached to the bill.
Hire of messengers employed by headmen to send reports to an Inquirer, Chief Headman, Court, or Police in serious cases can he charged at the rate of 7 ½ cents per mile traveled on both the outward and the return journeys.
1286 Meals for Prisoners:
Meals for prisoners may be charged at the following rates
|Kandy and Matale Districts||6||25||25||56|
|Nuwara Eliya District||7||25||25||57|
|Province of Uva||10||25||25||60|
|Province of Sabaragamuwa||5||20||20||45|
N.B. The figures given above are the maximum amounts payable. If meals can be provided for less, only the expense necessarily incurred should be paid.
1287 No meals are to be supplied except to a destitute person, or when special circumstances render it necessary that meals should be supplied. In every such case a certificate must be attached, countersigned by the chief headman, that the prisoner is a destitute person, or stating in detail the special circumstances in which meals were supplied.
1288 Attendants on Wounded Persons:
1289 For attending Court:
No headman is entitled to charge batta for attending court, except (a) in Crown cases, (b) in cases in which he has sent in a crime report, (c) cases in which he produces an accused on warrant, or (d) in any case not falling under (a), (b), or (c) in which the Police Magistrate certifies him to have been a material witness in his official capacity.
Headmen cannot charge cart or omnibus hire for witnesses, train fare for witnesses, or any other expenses in connection with witnesses either in Crown cases or otherwise. Officers in charge of Police Stations on railway lines may issue railway warrants to headmen and witnesses attending Court, and to informants, identifiers, and other persons brought before them in connection with inquiries into crime, &c., in accordance with the classes shown in the Appendix.
1291 Awards to Headmen:
In making awards from the Headmen's Reward Fund, the Government Agent should take into consideration the probable expenditure incurred by each headman in instituting Crown prosecutions.
1292 Watchers of Dead Bodies:
Headmen are entitled to a refund of expenses incurred by them in employing watchers of dead bodies and for burial of unclaimed dead bodies of destitute persons without known relatives. The number of watchers for whom payment may be made should ordinarily not exceed one by day and two by night, but it will be within the discretion of the Government Agent to allow more in exceptional cases, provided that a maximum of four is not exceeded. The usual rate of payment for watchers will be 37 cents each a day or a night (50 cents in the Central and Uva provinces), but the Government Agent may, at his discretion, grant higher rates when the necessity arises.