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Commissioner was a rank in the Covenanted Civil Service given to the the officer in charge of the administration of a Division (comprising several Districts or Zillahs).

In the Regulation Provinces he would be a Covenanted Civil Servant, or in the Non-Regulation Provinces he could be either a Covenanted Civil Servant or an officer of the East India Company or Indian Army.

The Commissioner role is

  • Management of the Collector-Magistrates in the district
  • Chief of the local authority (he has no power over judges or the judiciary)
  • Heads the Police Authority - no role in its management
  • Chief Revenue Authority - responsible to the Board of Revenue for Land revenues
  • Collection of Licence Tax – it is a form of personal taxation as there is no Income Tax Licence Tax.
  • Inspection of schools, Collector's treasuries, jails, asylums, and burial grounds.
  • Arbitration of civil disputes
  • Recommendation of infastructure improvements

External Reference

"The Bengal Civil Service" a description of the role of Commissioner