The general administration of the islands was carried out under the customary laws prevailing in the islands till 1965. The criminal and civil justice in this Union Territory was carried out till then under the Laccadive islands & Minicoy Regulation, 1912. In the Amindivi Islands these criminal judicial powers were delegated to the Monegars (Tahsildar) by the Inspecting Officer. The 1912 Regulation continued till the promulgation of the Lakshadweep (Laws) Regulation 1965. The right of ownership was with Inspecting Officer. The right of owner ship was reckoned with the number of coconut trees only. Residents were ignorant of the extent of land owned, until 1959,when a survey was carried out under the Lakshadweep Survey and Boundaries Regulation, 1959 and the rules thereunder. The ignorance and innocence of the poor Islanders were exploited by a handful of wealthy families till then. The landlord-tenant relationship which was feudal in character was abolished with the enforcement of Lakshadweep Land Revenue and Tenancy Regulation,1965.
On abolition, three fourths of the land held by the Nadapu tenant with trees vests with him and the remaining one fourth of the land with trees thereon reverts to the Jenmi or cowledar. The settlement effected by mutual agreements between Nadappu tenants and the jenmis or cowledars is given a statutory recognition. The tenants other than Nadappu tenants were given fixity of tenure.