Reasons behind 1773 Act• Territorial expansion• Corruption amongst the servants of company• Lack of proper judicial administration• Lack of proper central authority• Deteriorating finical condition of the company• Company’s defeat in 1769 at the hands of Hyder Ali• Terrible famine in Bengal• The Company applied for a loan of one Million Pounds in1772
• The British Parliament appointed two committees1. Secret Committee2. Select committeeBased on the recommendations of the two committeesthere two Act were passed1. Granted to the company a loan of £ 14,00000 at 4%interest2. Regulating Act, 1773
Objectives of BillReform the constitution of the companyTo reform the Companys government in IndiaTo provide remedies against illegalities of company servents
Salient features of ActElection for DirectorsThe directors of the company were elected for a period offour yearsThe voting qualification for the Court of Proprietor’s wasraised from holding a stock of £ 500 to 1000Control over correspondence:In order to assert Parliament’s control over the company thedirectors were required to place regularly allcorresponding to the concerned authorities of Secretaryand Treasury.
Appointment of Governor General and CouncilA Governor General and four council members wereappointed for the Presidency of CalcuttaThe governor General council was given all the powers toextent the company’s territorial acquisition in IndiaMadras and Bombay presidency administration also placedunder the supervision of Governor General.Establishment of Supreme Court of JudicatureSection 13 of the Act empowered the crown to establisha Supreme court of Judicature at Fort William,Calcutta.
Supreme Court of Judicature• The Supreme Court consist of a Chief Justice and thethree other judges, being barristers of not less thanfive years standing to be appointed by His Majesty.• Sir. Elijah Impey was appointed the Chief Justice and allthem were appointed by King.• The qualification laid down for appointment were that onlybarristers of not less than five year standing could beappointed as judges.
Jurisdiction:Supreme court was given very wide jurisdiction coveringevery possible type of litigations going on the Indiancourts in those days.Cases against company and corporation of Calcutta alsoplaced under the courtCivil jurisdiction:His Majestys subjects or persons employed directly orindirectly by the company.Or persons who have voluntarily agreed in writing to refertheir disputes to the supreme court in cases.Supreme Court also given permission to accept cases againstthe Governor General and any of his Council members.
Criminal Jurisdiction:The court was not given jurisdiction over all the nativeIndian residing in Calcutta and with in the territoryBengal, Bihar and Orissa.It was only vested with the jurisdiction over all Britishsubjects, their servants and the persons employed by thecompany.Supreme Court had given permission to accept the casesagainst Governor General and his council members, butcourt had no power to arrest or imprison any of them inany action
• The court was required to follow as for as possible, theCriminal Procedure of British courts.Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction: ( Church )The court was authorized to exercise subjects residing inBengal, Bihar and Orissa.According to the ecclesiastical law providing in the Dioceseof LondonAdmiralty Jurisdiction:The court was vested with all the jurisdiction which wasavailable to court of Admiralty in England in all matterscivil and Maritime and all maritime crimes
Equality JurisdictionAs a court of equality, it was given all the powers which wereavailable to the High Court of Chancery in in England.Any person felt aggrieved could approach the Chancellorwhich did justice according to his conscience and notbound by any technicalities of law.Writ JurisdictionThis was most important jurisdiction which was madeavailable to the courtBy the issue of the prerogative writs in the nature ofmandamus, certiorari , procedendo or error, it couldeffectively control all the courts subordinate to it as wellas other authorities created by the company
• It was also authorized to make rules for its proceduresubjects to the provision that the King-in-Council approve,reject or modify these rules
MandamusA judicial writ issued as a command to an inferior court orordering a person to perform a public or statutory duty.CertiorariA writ or order by which a higher court reviews a decisionof a lower court.procedendoIn common law jurisprudence, procedendo is one of theprerogative writs. It is a writ that sends a case from anappellate court
• Raja Nanda Kumar, he was residing in Bengal and was bigZamindari.• In March, 1775 he laid a letter before the Councilmember with charging allegation against Warren Hastings.• According to the letter Warren Hastings received bribeform former Nawab wife Munni Begum for granting aZamindari.• Immediately council members they arranged meeting toissue summons to Nanda Kumar to attend before council toproduce vouchers in support of his charges of briberyagainst HastingsNanda Kumar Case (A Judicial murder)
• With the summons of Council, Nanada Kumar produced aletter in person which was written to him by Munni Begum.• The council majority decided that Hasting received a sumof Rs.3,45,105 as bribe and directed him to refund themoney in the Company’s treasury.• While charges against Warren Hastings were still inpending which were subsequently dropped.• Nanda Kumar was suddenly arrested at the instances of aCalcutta merchant Mohan Das on a charge of forgery.
• He was also implicated in a case of conspiracy when in theabsence of proof was dropped.• He was put on trail before the Supreme Court presidedover by the Sir. Elijah Emphey on the charges of forgery.• the trial began on 7thJune 1775 and continued for aperiod of eight days without any adjournment.• On the basis of Mohan Prasad evidence, the verdict ofguilty was returned by the jury and Raja Nanda Kumarwas condemned to death.• Under the a statute passed by the British parliament in1729.• The death sentence was duly executed on 5thAugust,1775.
Peculiar features of trail• Change preferred against Raja Nanda Kumar wasshortly after he had leveled charges against WarrenHastings.• Chiefl Justice Imphy was a close friend of Hastings.• Every Judge of the Supreme Court cross examined thedefense witness due to which the whole defense ofNanada Kumar collapsed.• After the trail, when Nanda Kumar was held guilty bythe court he filed an application for granting leave toappeal to the King-in-Council but the court rejected hisapplication.
• Nanda Kumar committed the offence of forgery nearlyfive years ago, i.e much before the establishment ofSupreme Court.• Neither under Hindu Law nor under Mohammedan Law wasforgery regarded a capital crime.
Patna Case 1777-1779• Shahbah Beg Khan, native of Kabul came to India andsettled down in Patna.• He married Nadirah Begum and acquired a large amount ofmoney while in the service of company.• He had no issue, therefore he invited his nephew BhadurBeg from Kabul to reside with him the intention to adopthim. But before he could do so he died in December, 1776.• Bahdur Beg took the first step and filed a suit against theBegum in the Patna Provincial Council for getting rightover the property.
• In the provincial Court the case placed beforeMuhammadan law officers.• The officers after full hearing reported to the councilthat gift deeds were forged documents and no gift wasmade in favor of Nadirah Begum by deceased.• They also reported that the nephew, Bahadur Beg courtnot be adopted under Muslim law.• Therefore, recommended that property be divided intofour parts out of which three parts were to be given toBahadur Beg on the basis of consanguinity (relationship byblood) and also heir of the diseased and the fourth partbe given to the widow.
• Nadirah Begum was dissatisfied with the decision of theprovincial Council, and she filed an appeal before theSadar-Diwani-Adalat at Calcutta.• Due to their busy routine work they could not consideredthe matter for a long time.• With indifferent approach of the court, she filed a suit inthe Supreme Court against Bahedur Beg, Kazi and muftifor assault, battery, unlawful imprisonment and claimed 6lakhs as damaged.• The supreme court issued ordered to arrest of BahadurBeg, Kazi and mufti.
• The supreme court decided that the documents weregenuine and that Kazi and mufti did not act in good faith.• The court awarded the damages of Rs.3,00,000 in favorof Nadirah Begum and the law officers were imprisoned.• The whole case was bitterly criticized on the groundsthat which law Bahadur Beg and law officers weresubjected to the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.• The Supreme court justified his jurisdiction over BahadurBeg as a former and paying land revenue to the company.
• Both the parties were Muslims to which the MohammedanLaw of inheritance was to apply, it was purely a matter ofpersonal law to Mohammeans.• There were no written agreement between the parties tosubmit the case to the Supreme Court for a decision.
Kamalluddin Case 1775• Kammaluddin a farmer of Hugli was court’s control by theCalcutta Revenue Council on the ground of arrears ofrevenue.• The Revenue council released to orders to arrestKamaluddin.• He approached the Supreme Court for a writ of habeascorpus and court given bail till the enquiry as hisobligation to pay was completed.• Same time court directed the council to accept bail forKamaluddin’s appearance in the Diwani court and not totake him into custody until his under renter had beencalled upon to pay the rent.
• The council thought that according to the 1773 Act, thecourt had no right to interfere in revenue collection.• three members of the council suggested that courtorder should not be recognized and obeyed.• But some time later Kamalluddin was arrested again andhe again obtained writ habeas corpus and he was finallydischarged by the court.
• Chief justice Imphy in a latter to the Court of DirectorJustified court’s action on two grounds.• In a case of this nature, it had been the usual practicefor the Revenue Council to take bail and so the court madthe direction for taking bail.• It has been the established practice to demand rent fromthe under tenant before demanding much less imprisoningthe former and the court order was consistent with thepractice.
Cossijurah CaseFacts of the caseRaja Sunder Naraine Zamindar of Cossijurah took a verybig amount of loan from Kasinath who was a financer ofCalcutta.The loan remained unpaid for a considerably long time,consequently Kasinath brought a suit against theZamindar in the Supreme Court.The Supreme Court issued orders to arrest Zamindar.The Zamindar went underground to avoid his arrest.The collector of Midnapur informed the Governor Generaldue to the Zamindar absence, the revenue collection wassuffering.
• Based on the advices of Advocate General, Governmentdirected the Zamindar not to attend before the Court.• Governor General also stated that no Zamindar wassubject to the jurisdiction of the court.• With the absconding of Zamindar court issued orders toseize the property of Zamindar.• The Sheriff of Calcutta with some forces was sent bythe court to execute the orders of Supreme Court andthey arrested Zamindar also.• On hearing about this incident the Governor General-in-Council also sent a small forces to arrest sheriff and hisparty and release the Zamindar from arrest.
• The Governor General’s forces arrested the Sheriffalong with his party and they were released afterwards.• The judges were became angry and felt insulted.• However, the Court took an action against North Naylor,Advocate General, on the plea that the wrongly advisedthe Governor General for defying the orders of theCourt and he was tried and sent jail.