|Statement of Objects and Reasons. – Sections 4 and 6 of the Cantonments Act, 1910, provided for the appointment of Cantonment Magistrates who exercised certain executive as well as judicial functions within the limits of the Cantonments in which they were appointed. Section 9 of the Indian Registration Act, 1908, gave power to the local Government to constitute cantonments as Registration Sub-districts and enacted that were such sub-districts were constituted the Cantonment Magistrate should be the Sub-Registrar in the sub-district. This section was repealed by section 3 of the Repealing and Amending Act, 1927.
In exercise of the power conferred by section 9 of the Indian Registration Act, 1908, the local Government had constituted cantonment sub-districts in various cantonments including those of Ambala, Jullundur, Ferozepore, Lahore, Sialkot, Rawalpindi and Kasauli.
The Cantonments Act, 1924, which came in force on the 1st May, 1924, repealed the Cantonments Act, 1910, and the new Act did not include any provisions for the appointment of Cantonment Magistrates.
From the 1st May, 1924, therefore, no such officers as ‘Cantonment Magistrates’ existed, but officers known as ‘Executive Officers’ were appointed to carry on the executive duties previously performed by Cantonment Magistrates and the magisterial work in cantonments became part of the work of the ordinary magisterial staff of the district. In cases where the volume of work or the situation of the cantonment made this necessary, a Magistrate on the District staff was deputed to hold his Court within the limits of the Cantonment.
In some cantonments, in which Registration Sub-districts had been established, registration work continued to be performed either by the new Executive Officers or by the Magistrates exercising magisterial functions within the cantonments. As neither of the classes of officers were “Cantonment Magistrates” within the meaning of section 9 of the Registration Act, they had not in effect any authority to perform the duties of Sub- Registrar, but carried on the work of the Registration sub-district under the mistaken idea that they were so empowered. The mistake was not discovered for some time, but when it came to light it was rectified by the abolition of the special cantonment sub-districts originally constituted under section of the Indian Registration Act, 1908 and the amalgamation of the areas previously contained therein with neighbouring sub-districts.
This was done in the case of the cantonment sub-districts of Ambala, Jullundur, Ferozepore, Lahore, Sialkot and Rawalpindi by Punjab Government Notification No. 10161, dated the 30th March, 1926, published in the Gazette of the 2nd April of that year. The sub-district of Kasauli which includes the small town of Kalka was not abolished with the others but with the repeal of section 9 of the Registration Act in 1927, it became open to Government to appoint any person to be Sub-Registrar thereof and such appointment was made in Punjab Government Notification No. 21112-Reg, dated the 16th July, 1928.
After the abolition of cantonment sub-district the work of registration was done in the ordinary manner by the regular registration staff.
As it is doubtful whether the registration work erroneously performed in good faith by the officers in question is strictly valid, it has been decided to place the matter beyond all doubt by the introduction of this validating Bill”
Punjab Gazette Extraordinary, 1930, Page 16.