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Adalat system

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Adalat system

  1. 1. Warren Hasting was the Governor of Madras. He was transferred to Bengal in 1772. As Governor of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa, he prepared the First Judicial Plan in 1772. It was the first step to regulate the machinery of administration of justice. The plan being a land mark in the judicial history became famous as “Warren Hastings Judicial Plan of 1772” Warren Hasting was appointed as Governor of Bengal, he started his efforts for eradicating the evils in the administration of the justice and revenue collection. He abolished the system of “Double Government” and executed the Diwani functions through the Company’s servants. He appointed a committee consisting of Governor and four members of his Council to find out the causes of the evils in the existing judicial administration and revenue collection. The committee was also to prepare a plan for the administration of Justice and revenue collection. The committee under the Chairmanship of Warren Hastings prepared the First Plan in 1772. This is known as Warren Hastings Plan of 1772. Warren Hasting administrative plan divided territory of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa into number of District. In each district an English servant of the Company was appointed as collector who was to be responsible for the collection of revenue. Under this plan the whole of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa were divided into districts. The district was selected as the unit for the collection of revenue and for the administration of civil and criminal justice. ADMINISTRATION OF CIVIL JUSTICE – Establishment of Mofussil Diwani Adalat – As per Warren Hastings plan a Mofussil Diwani Adalat was established in every district with collector as the Judge. The court was authorized to decide all civil cases like dispute regarding, Properties inheritance, Marriage, Caste, Debts, Disputed Accounts, Contracts, Partnership and Demand of Rent etc. where ever possible religious laws of Muslims as well as Hindus were followed and applied.
  2. 2. As English servant who was appointed as a collector did not understand the religious laws. So there was Kaziz and Pundits were appointed to help them. ADMINISTRATION OF CIVIL JUSTICE – Establishment of Mofussil Faujdari Adalat – In every district Mofussil Nizamat or Faujdari Adalat was established to try all criminal cases. The Adalat consisted of Kaziz, Mufti and Moulvies. The Moulvies interpreted the Muslim law of crimes. The Kazis and Mufti gave Fatwa and render Judgment. In this Adalat Collector exercise general supervision over the adalat and saw that no corruption was made in the cases. The judgment was given impartially. This Faujdari Adalat was not allowed to handle cases where punishment was death sentence of forfeiture of property of the accused. Such cases went to Sardar Nizamat Adalat for final order. Establishment of Small Causes Adalat – AS NAME SAYS THIS Adalat decided petty cases up to Rs. 10/- the head farmer of the village became the judge. This system was designed to save the travelling expenses of poorfarmers as they did not need to travel to the district place for justice. Establishment of Sardar Adalat – Firstly, two courts were established namely Mofussil Diwani Adalat and Mofussil Faujdari Adalat over them two superior Courts were established. Namely Sardar Diwani Adalat and Sardar Nizamat Adalat. The Sardar Diwani Adalat was consisted of Governor and member of the Council and was to hear appeals from Mofussil Diwani Adalat. In the case of over Rs. 500/-. The First sitting of Sardar Diwani Adalat was held on 17th March 1773. On each appeal of 5 percent was charged. The appeal were to be filed in the Adalat within 2
  3. 3. months from the date of the judgment decree given by the Mofussil Diwani Adalat. Establishment of Sardar Nizamat Adalat – Sardar Nizamat Adalat consisted of an Indian judge known as Daroga- e- Adalat. Who was to be consisted by the chief Kazi, Chief Mufti and Three Moulvies. Nawab appointed all these persons as per the advice of Governor. In case of death sentences punishment deal warrant was made by the adalat and signed by the Nawab as the head of Nizamat. The governor and Council supervised this adalat to controland reduce the corruption all cases were ordered to maintain registers and records. Any case older than 12 years was not accepted. District Courts forwarded their records to Sardar Adalat. In civil cases when Plaintiff field a case defendant accused personwas given only limited time to give answer then examine the witness and give the decree pass the final orders. The plan tried to reduce the expenses of people with this plan officers like Kaziz, Muftis were given salaries. Before this plan judge charged the commission but the new plan abolished this law and introduced the court fee system where fee went to government. After this plan and establishment of Courts for common Indians it became easy to approachthe judiciary. Warren Hasting was very intelligent person he purposefully did not take the full charge of criminal justice system and kept the puppet Nizam alive. He did not change the forms and when possibletried to show casethat company respects the Nizam like case Nizam got the power to sign the death sentences. In other clever intelligent system Warren Hasting kept alive was that following Hindus Laws for Hindus and Muslim Laws for Muslims. In this Plan Collector got the many powers Collectors was the administrator Tax Collector, Civil Judge and Superior over the Criminal Courts with this Collectors for the unlimited powers and Warren Hasting knew this the Collectors will become corrupt and he already told the Company directors of the Company understood the fear and reality of this Plan. In the year 1773 Company directed the Calcutta Council to withdraw the Collectors as they became very corrupt. After this Calcutta government introduced new plan for the collection of revenue and administration of justice on November 23rd 1773 and put into force in the year 1774. PLAN OF 1774 –
  4. 4. With the plan collectors were recalled from every district in place of collectors an Indian officer was appointed called Diwan or Amil Diwan got the power to collect the revenue as well as act as a Judge in the Mofussil Diwani Adalat. The territory of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa was divided into 6 divisions with their headquarters at Calcutta, Burdwan, Murshidabad, Dinajdore, Dacca and Patna. In each division many districts were created, the complete Bihar came under the Patna Division. A provincial council consisting of 4 or 5 English servant of the Company were appointed in each division to supervise the collection of revenue and to hear appeals from the cases decided by the Amil and Indian Diwan. The appeals from this Provincial Council were allowed if the case amount was more than Rs 1000/- the appeal went to Sardar Diwani Adalat. This time also Warren Hasting new that the Provincial Council will do the more harm and more corruption then the collectors. Warren Hasting thought this plan as temporary plan but regulating act was passes in this time and Warren Hasting could not change the Plan until year 1780. PLAN OF 1780 – The Indian Civil procedureCode prepared 1780. Warren Hasting knew that the Judicial Plan of 1774 was not perfect and when Warren Hastings again got the chance and he made changes to the Judicial Plan of 1774 on April 1780. New plan was introduced as per the Plan of 1780. Judicial and Executive functions were separated. Words and Meanings – Adalat – Functions to do Civil Justice no revenue work. Provincial Council –
  5. 5. No Judicial work only revenue related work, collection and revenue cases. But with this plan the problem was that area was vast and Adalat were few to administer those large areas, because of this cases were more time was limited with the judges and this arrears piled up in every Adalat. 2nd problem was that witness have to travel lot to reach the Adalats. There was only one Adalat in the whole Bihar, because of this people thought is better not to file the cases in courts as filing cases in court meant delayed justice, physical harassment waste of time and money. As per the Judicial Plan cases up to Rs. 100/- were referred to the person who stayed near the place of litigant but before this. It was compulsory to file the case in Adlalat and 2nd problem was that the personwho works as a Honorary Judge and he did not get any salary. The Zamindar or Public Officer acted as an Honorary Judge and they charged money for this and also Zamindar got the chance to do corruption as he became the Honorary Judge. Warren Hasting was not satisfied with the Plan of 1780 he always thought about the improving Judicial System in India. The Judicial System of East India Company. On 29th September 1780, Hasting proposed in the Council that Chief Justice, Sir Elijah Impey be requested to acceptthe charge of the office of the Sardar Diwani Adalat. Impey accepted this offer. He remained in sardar Diwani Adalat for a year but he introduced lot of reforms in Sardar Diwani Adalat. Impey drafted many reulations to reform the Adalat on November 3rd 1780. First reform regulation was passed to regulate the procedureof the Diwani Adalat. As per this rule he was allow to take the help of Hindu Pundits or Muslims Mulla if it was necessary to understand the cause or case. Impey compiled a civil procedure codefor the guidance of the Sardar Adalat and Mofussil Diwani Adalat, it was the First Codeof CivilProcedure to be prepared in India. It was promulgated by the Council on July 1751 in the forms of regulation it was the digest of the Civil rules. The Code consolidated at one place a detailed Civil Procedure. The codecontained 95 clauses and with it all the previous regulations regulating to civil procedurewere repeated. The codeof 1781 clearly defined the functions, power and jurisdiction of Sardar Diwani Adalat.
  6. 6. This codewas translated in personand Bengali language that time in India. Impey was doing great job, but in England, people were not happy with the impey because of following reasons Impey was appointed as the Supreme Court judge to monitor the Company affairs in India. But in India Impey stated to work as the Judge of Sardar Diwani Adalat, accepting this violated the Regulation Act. Because of other job they believed that the Impey would not do the Justice with the job of Supreme Court, because of all above reasons on 3rd May 1782 in England House of Commons adopted a resolution requesting the Crown King to recall Impey to answer the charge of having accepted an officer and violating the Regulation Act. After this Impey left India on 3rd December 1782. From the Impey appointment one should learn that whatever postor job may be the concern personmust be studied in the profession. Regarding Criminal Justice System Hasting took following Steps – Machinery was created for the purposeof arresting Criminal and bringing them before the Fouzdari Adalat for the trial. This system never existed in India before this a new department office of the remembrance was created at Calcutta to keep watch on the functioning of Criminal Adalats. The department was to work under the Governor General. The head of the department was known as Remembrance of Criminal Courts. All Criminal Courts were required to send periodical reports to this department. Everything was done as per the Muslims Criminal Law and Hastings was not happy with he tried his best but Company heads did not accept his views because of this Criminal Justice System, every one made using corrupt ways.
  7. 7. Merits – 1) The personal laws of Hindus and Muslims were safe guarded. 2) District was selected as a unit of the administration of justice and collection of the revenue. 3) The jurisdiction of the Diwani and Faujdari Adalats were clearly defined. 4) The judges of these Courts were Englishmen and they did not have the knowledge of the personal laws of Hindus and Muslims, but this defect removed out to the large extent of appointing native law officers. 5) The commission basis was replaced by the court-fee which was to be deposited with the Government and not with Judges. This changes was made so that Judges ceased to have any personal interest in a particular case. Thus the change was made to promoteimpartial and fair justice. Demerits – 1) Less number of courts – The head farmers were given power to decide petty cases up to Rs. 10/- in fact it was necessary to have more subordinate courts keeping in view the population and the population and the area of each district. 2) Concentration of Powers – Administrative, Tax collection and Judicial in the hands of the Collectors. The Collectors was the Civil Judge as well as Supervisor of the Criminal Courts. It was impossible for the collectors to devote time and energy to regulate all these affairs. Adalat System The administration of justice at the time Warren Hasting took over as Governor of Bengal was in a bad shape. It was almost verging on a total collapse. The
  8. 8. dual system of government proved very defective and unsatisfactory. The courts had becomethe instruments of power rather than of justice, useless as means of protection but apt instruments for oppression. Onrealizing the fact that the system of double government had failed the company authorized the then Governor Warren Hastings to adoptsuch regulations and pursue such measures as shall at once ensure every possible advantage to the Company and free the ryots from the oppressionof Zamindars and petty tyrants. Warren Hastings hence proceeded to make major changes in the administration of justice. This paper work views the various reforms made by Warren Hastings during his time in India. This administration of justice maybe studied in four stages. To start with Warren Hastings realized the very fact that an impartial and regular administration of justice was extremely essential for creating conditions for a better collection of land revenue. Thus changes were made in regard to civil and criminal justice while various other provisions were also introduced. Moreover one of the major development which took place was that the three presidencies—Bengal, Bombay, and Madras— were divided into a number of districts for the betterment of administration. Lastly, the appointment of Impey helped in fulfilling the need of reforming the judicial system under the control and supervision of a powerful authority. In fulfillment of his duties, his work of compiling the Civil ProcedureCodewas quite recommendable. It was for the first time that the law was put on solid and certain grounds so that the people could know as to what the procedure of courts was. Administration Of Justice: FirstStage The Judicial Plan of 1772 as been formulated by Warren Hasting consisted of 37 regulations dealing with civil and criminal laws. It was the first Anglo-Indian Code, which worked out on the basis of experience and common observations. An endeavour was made to adoptit to the manners and understandings of the people and exigencies of the country, adhering as closely as possible to their ancient usages and institutions. The idea was to retain, as far as possible, the native magistracy and codes oflaw, recorded and oral, to which the people had become accustomed. The plan aimed at correcting the defects without destroying the traditions of the local systems. Thus the diwani area of Bengal, Bihar, and Orissa was divided into several districts, each with an English collector as its head. This ‘district’ was the main administrative unit in the plan.
  9. 9. The main features of Judicial Plan of 1772 may be explained under the the following headings Civil Justice: A Mofussil Diwani Adalat was established in each district to decide civil cases. The collector was the judge of this court. The court took cognizance of all civil cases including property, inheritance, succession, caste, marriage, contracts, accounts etc. In the suits regarding inheritance, marriage, caste and other religious usages and institutions, the Hindu law was applicable to the Hindus while the laws of Koran was applied to the Mohammedans. The collector in matters of Hindus and Muslims was helped by pandits and kazis respectively who expounded the law. Appeals from these courts were to be heard by the Sadar Diwani Adalat at Calcutta where the subject matter of the case exceeded Rs. 500. This court comprised Governor as its President and at least two members of the council aided by Diwan Treasury and Chief Kanungos.[1] Criminal Justice: A Mofussil Faujdari (or Nizamat) Adalat was established in each district for the trial of crimes and misdemeanours.[2] This court was assisted by a Kazi or Mufti and two Maulvies who expounded the law, while the Collector had a general supervision over the court. The court had full power to decide and punish all criminal cases though they were not empowered to award death sentence. In such cases, the court’s decision was submitted to Sadar Nizamat Adalat for confirmation and finally to the Nawab for his sentence. Sadar Nizamat Adalat, established at Calcutta, was presided by an Indian judge known as Daroga-i-Adalat who was to be assisted by the chief Kazi, chief Mufti and three Maulvies to hear the appeals from the Faujdari Adalat. Revenue Administration: The whole revenue system was reorganized under the Hastings plan of 1772. The revenue Boards at Murshidabad and Patna were abolished and a supreme authority called the Board of Revenue was set up at Calcutta which consisted of the Governor and all the members of the Council. The Treasury was also shifted to Calcutta. Further, the district supervisors were appointed as Collectors of revenue and also native Naib Diwans as heads of the native executive in districts.[3] Moreover, the Board of Revenue comprising Governor and his Councilors at Calcutta sat twice a week for issuing necessary orders and instructions to the
  10. 10. Collectors of Districts and inspecting, auditing, and passing the revenue accounts. The plan of 1772 was in many respects a boonto the people at that time. The change in judicial system brought back the confidence of the people in the government and the justice. However, a grave defect in the plan was that the Collector acted as the administrator; the Judge and the Magistrate in the district i.e. there was over-centralisation of powers in a single official.[4] Miscellaneous Provisions: A few provisions were made to promote pure and impartial justice. All cases were to be heard in open court. All adalats were to maintain properregisters and records. District adalats were to transmit abstracts of their records to Sadar Adalats. This precaution was necessary so as to discourage judicial officers from misusing their power. To make justice inexpensive, the old vexatious impositions on administration of justice were abolished and moderate fees were prescribed for trial of civil cases which was bound to give relief to people. To supplement the work of the courts, the method of arbitration was also provided for. Despite the merits of Judicial Plan of 1772, it had certain demerits which are stated as follows: One of the major defects of the Plan was that there was over-centralization of powers in a single official, namely, the Collector. He was overburdened with heavy work as he was singularly required to shoulder the responsibility as an administrator, revenue collector, civil judge and a magistrate in his District. The Judicial Plan had a limited application only in the territory of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa. It was based on an erroneous assumption of Hastings that Indian population consisted of only the Hindus and Muslims. There were other communities and races for which there was no provision made in the Judicial Plan.[5]Though the functioning of Adalats was under the supervision and control of the Sadar Adalat at Calcutta, but in absence of adequate means of communications it was almost impossible for the government at Calcutta to keep a constant watch on the working of the Collectors of the districts. In absence of an effective control, the Collectors indulged in private trading and misused their position and power for personal gains. The judges of the courts being Englishmen, they did not have knowledge of personal laws of Hindus and Muslims. Though native laws officers were appointed to assist the English judges, but they could easily misguide the judges
  11. 11. by deliberately misinterpreting the provisions of the Quran and Shastras. The functions of revenue collection and civil administration were combined in a single official, the Collector. Therefore there was no separation between revenue collection and civil administration. Obviously, the Collector paid more attention to revenue collection than the civil administration. Administration Of Justice: Second Stage The abolition of the institution of Collector in 1773 on the advice of the Court of Directors of the Company in England up-set the judicial arrangement of 1772 and a new Plan became an urgent need of the time. Warren Hastings prepared new Plan on November 23, 1773 which was implemented in January 1774.[6]The various changes made in regard to revenue, civil justice, criminal reforms are as follows: Revenue: Collectors were re-called from the districts and in their place an Indian officer, called Diwan or Amil, was appointed. He was to act as a judge of the Mofussil Diwani Adalat and collected the land revenue also. The entire Mofussil area in Bengal, Bihar and Orissa was divided into six divisions with the Headquarters as Calcutta, Burdwan, Murshidabad, Dinajpore, Dacca and Patna.[7] Each division had a Provincial Council consisting of a Chief and four senior servants of the Company. A Committee of Revenue was instituted at Calcutta for superintending that Division, consisting of two members of the Council and three senior servants, assisted by a Diwan and others. The Councils and the Committee were to supervise the collection of revenue in their Divisions. Indian Naib Diwans were appointed in the districts under each Provincial Council to look after the same work. Complaints against the Head Farmers, Naib Diwans, Zamindars and other principal officers of the government, relating to their conductin the revenue, were to be decided by the Provincial Councils. Aggrieved parties might ultimately go to the Board of Revenue at Calcutta. Civil Justice: The provisions relating to appeals in civil cases were also considerably liberalised under the plan of 1774. Now all cases decided by the Mofussil Diwani Adalats were appealable to the Provincial Council irrespective of the value of the subject matter of the suit. There was also a provision for second appeal to the Sadar Diwani Adalat in cases exceeding the value of Rs. 1000/-.[8]
  12. 12. Criminal Reforms: The Officers of the Faujdari Adalats were forbidden to hold farms or other offices in the Mofussil and were obliged to reside in their districts on pain of forfeiting their employments. Complaints against them were to be lodged with the Governor-General who would refer them to the Sadar Nizamat Adalat for inquiry and determination. Although the new system was an improvement over the earlier one, the change did not give good results for long. The Council took the place of the Collector in creating the difficulties and monopolising the trade within its jurisdiction. Warren Hastings detected this defect very soonbut he could not make any change till 1780 when entirely a new modified system was established. Administration of Justice: Third Stage The defects of the system set up in 1774 were seen in the Patna Case[9] which is concerned with the conflict between the jurisdiction of Supreme Court and function of adalat in mofussil areas. As it was in practice those days, the Mofussil Adalat as well as the Provincial Council employed services of Kazis and Maulabis to interpret the Muslim law. The judicial commission arrived at a decision after taking into account the consultation of the Maulabis and Kazis. Thus it became a practice to neglect judicial work. In this case, the Maulabis and Kazis were given the power to take the evidence of the case and arrive to a decision. No established law was followed while taking the evidence and the Provincial Council passed a judgement based on the evidence collected by irregular procedure. The Supreme Court held that the Provincial Council did not delegate its judicial decisions according to the procedures held by the Supreme Court. Thus an order was passed by the Supreme Court to send the wrong-doers to jail. The decisions of the Supreme Court were criticized to a large extent. Following this, the work in Mofussil Adalat came to a halt because no officers in this adalat were ready to take up judicial work as they will have to go to jail. The work of revenue collection also suffered because most of the revenue officers left their jobs.
  13. 13. The defect when came to the knowledge of Warren Hastings, could not continue any longer and he remedied it by giving a new judicial plan promulgated on 11 April 1780.[10] The basic feature of this plan was the separation of revenue matters from judicial matters. Henceforth, there were established separate authorities (a) To deal with the collection of land revenue and to decide the disputes arising there from and (b) For the purposeof deciding other disputes. Under this system the provincial councils were left only with the function of collecting the land revenue and deciding revenue disputes and other judicial functions were taken away from their hands. Revenue Bengal,Bihar,Orissa In each District an Englishservant of the company wasappointed as collector who was toberesponsible for the collection ofland revenue. Diwani Adalat A new court, called the Provincial Court of Diwani Adalat was established at each of the headquarters of the six divisions. This Adalat was presided over by an English covenanted servant of the Company who was called the Superintendent of the Diwani Adalat. He was to be appointed by the Governor- General and Council. This Court was to hold its sittings thrice a week and decide civil cases pertaining to property, inheritance and contracts. It was also empowered to hear cases relating to inheritance and successionof Zamindari and Talukedari which were hitherto within the purview of the Governor and Council. The decision of the Provincial Court of Diwani Adalat in cases upto the value of Rs.1000/- was final and in cases exceeding this value, an appeal lay to the Sadar Diwani Adalat at Calcutta which consisted of the Governor General and Council. The plan of 1780 was certainly a great improvement upon the plan of l774. Its main merit lay in its effecting the separation of the judicial from the
  14. 14. executive functions. It was a welcome change. The plan, however, suffered from defects also. The Superintendents of the Diwani Adalats were not selected from the senior servants of the Company. Some of them were illiterate, ignorant of the Eastern languages and most extravagant, dissipated young men. There was a tendency of the new Adalats to come into conflict with the Provincial Councils. The Governor-General-in-Council had no time to sit at the Sadar Court to hear appeals and supervise the work of these Courts. Without the supportand control of some powerful authority, it was impossible for them even to subsist; there was possibility of their sinking into contempt or becoming instruments of oppression. There were only six Diwani Adalats. This number was very small in a vast area of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa. This resulted into great expense on the part of the suitors, waste of their time and energy and inconveniences they suffered from, on account of long journeys. Even those persons, whose cases, not exceeding Rs. 100 in value, were referred to Zamindars or public officers, had to come at least once to the Divisional Headquarters for such reference. The Zamindars or public officers as honorary Judges. There was thus a danger of their abusing the authority to their own advantage. Further the paucity of the Courts put a very heavy strain on the Diwani Adalats. The Provincial Council which was left only with revenue functions also had the power to decide the disputes relating to revenue matters and to that extent it worked as a court in its own cause which was against the principles of natural justice. Appointment of Impey at Sadar Diwani Adalat: There was an urgent need of reforming the judicial system under the control and supervision of a powerful authority. From the beginning, the business of the Sadar Diwani Adalats was not only to receive appeals from the inferior Courts in all cases exceeding a certain amount but to receive and revise their proceedings, to attend to their conduct, to remedy their defects and to form generally such regulations and checks as experience should prove to be necessary to the purposeof their institution. The Governor-General and Council, who previously constituted the Sadar Diwani Adalat, admitted their incapacity of exercising these powers and expressly stipulated that Chief Justice
  15. 15. Sir Elijah lmpey should act as the sole Judge of the Sadar Diwani Adalat on a salary at their pleasure. They thought that this would lessen the tension between the Council and the Court, would facilitate and give vigour to the course of justice, lessen the burden of the Council and add, to its leisure for occupations more urgent and better suited to the genius and principles of Government. The Governor-General and the Councillors were non-lawyers. Impey, being an experienced and trained lawyer was expected to discharge judicial functions in a far better way and curb out evils from the judicial establishment of the Company.[11] Elijah Impey was, therefore, appointed the sole Judge of the Sadar Diwani Adalat in October, 1780. He continued in this office till November, 1782 when he was recalled to England. In fulfillment of his new duties, Impey prepared thirteen articles of Regulations for the guidance of the Civil Courts. They were afterwards incorporated, with additions and amendments, in a revised Code, consisting of ninety-five articles, which was passed in July, 1781. This was the first Civil ProcedureCodeof India. The aims were to explain such rules, orders, and regulations as might be ambiguous, to revoke such as might be repugnant or obsolete to frame a consistent Code, to formulate the procedure and jurisdiction of the civil courts, to prescribe a general table of fees, to make the law of civil procedurecognizable to the people, to provide for arbitration and appeals to the Sadar Diwani Adalat, to provide for the limitation of suits, giving in mostcases a term of twelve years, to protect the litigating people from the extortions or frauds of the unscrupulous officers of the Courts, and so on. Reforms by Impey: Sir Impey remained in his office for about a year but during this time he made very important reforms in the administration of judiciary of that time. He issued regulations for the improvement of all the courts existing in the Mofussil area. By those regulations the following new changes were made. 1. The Diwani Adalat at the divisions were directed to hear all the cases in the open court after administering proper oath to the witnesses. The law officers should be used only for the purposeof expounding the law on the facts which the court had decided, i.e. the law officers had no power to decide the facts or hear the witnesses or the parties. The procedurewhich was found to have been followed in Patna Case of reporting the matter to the court by the law officers was stopped bythis Regulation.
  16. 16. 2. The number of the Diwani Adalats was increased from 6 to 18 so as to avoid the inconvenience to the people coming from long distances and also to reduce the arrears of work. 3. The most distinguished work which Impey did was the compilation of a Civil procedureCodewhich was first of its kind ever introduced in this country. The Codewas promulgated by the Governor General and Council on 5 July 1781. Although the Codedid not make very far reaching Changes, it put the law on solid and certain grounds so that the people could know as to what the procedureof courts was. It also bound down the courts to follow the procedure specified in it. The Codeconsisted of 95 clauses. 4. The provision regarding the application of personal laws in certain categories of cases viz., inheritance, marriage, caste and other religious usages or institutions was incomplete so far as the rule of decision in other cases was concerned. Besides, adding the word 'succession' to the word 'inheritance', Impey filled up the gap by providing that in all cases for which no specific directions were given, the Sadar Diwani Adalat and the Mofussil Diwani Adalats were to act according to justice, equity and good conscience, This was a remarkable provision which completed the rule of decision in all civil cases of Hindus and Mohammedans. 5. Another important feature of the Plan was putting the Sadar Diwani Adalat on a· sounderbasis. Impey brought the union of the powers of a Board of Superintendence with those of a Court of Appeal. Laziness, laxity, impatience and want of method were the faults of which young, inexperienced Judges, devoid of any legal know1edge and having only an imperfect knowledge of languages of their respective huge districts, were guilty. Superintendence was, therefore, as urgent as appeal. The Sadar Diwani Adalat was, therefore, to perform the following functions: (a) To hear appeals from the lower Courts in cases exceeding Rs. 1,000; (b) to decide any matter of civil nature referred to it by the Governor-General- in-Council; (c) to exercise control and supervision over the lower Court, firstly, by receiving an original complaint, cognizable by a lower Court which refuses to entertain it,
  17. 17. and then referring it to Mofussil Diwani Adalat for expeditious disposal, and secondly, by suspending a Judge of a lower Court on ground of misconductand reporting the matter to the Governor-General-in-Council for final decision. Recallof Impey The appointment of Impey to the Sadar Diwani Adalat was actually a good step for the reformation of judicial system and he himself also worked very vigorously and sincerely to reform it. But his holding the twin offices of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and the Judge of the Sadar Diwani Adalat was not favoured by the authorities in England. They thought it was a violation of The Regulating Act which had established a judicial system at Calcutta independent of all controlfrom the Company. To them, by accepting the judgeship of the Sadar Diwani Adalat, Chief Justice, Impey had put himself under the subordination of the Company from whom he got his appointment and also the salary as judge of the Sadar Diwani Adalat. Although after few months Impey refused to draw his salary as judge of the Sadar Diwani Adalat unless the Lord Chancellor gave him a clearance. His sincerity was doubted in England and he was recalled on May 3, 1782 from his office of judgeship of the Sadar Diwani Adalat as well as from the Chief Justiceship of the Supreme Court. After the recall of Impey the Sadar Diwani Adalat again came into its previous from, i.e., the court was again constituted of Governor General Council. Though Impey was accused of compromising his judicial independence as a Crown's Judge, and was, therefore, called back, he gave no opportunity to anyone to say that he, as the sole Judge of the Sadar Diwani Adalat, acted in a way which compromised his judicial independence as the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Whatever the criticism, his Codewas an extraordinary contribution giving new directions to Judges of the Diwani Adalats and litigants. Its compilation was the first attempt of its kind in India, and it made the law of civil procedure certain to some extent. Under the judgeship of Impey the whole judicial system indefinitely became much better. Thus the act of appointing Impey was later regarded as one of the wisest measures which Warren Hastings carried through. Administration of Justice:Fourth Stage Under the Plan of 1772, a Sadar Nizamat Adalat was established at Calcutta. In 1775, it was shifted to Murshidabad probably to avoid any interference from,
  18. 18. and conflict as to jurisdiction with, the Supreme Court. There it was put under the authority of the Naib-Nazim Reza Khan. In 1776, a plan for criminal justice from Reza Khan was adopted, under which twenty-three Fauzdari Adalats in all were established in the districts. But as the system had once become loose and the Collector or the Governor-General and Council could not get enough time to have an effective control over these courts, they failed to provide justice to the people. Justice was neither given in time nor any principles of justice was taken into consideration. The accused had to remain in detention for years before his trial was finalised. The conditions of prisons were inhuman. There were number of defects in the system which required total overhauling of criminal administration of justice. The Mohammedan law of crimes was also very defective. Warren Hastings was quite conscious of all this and in the year 1781 he drew a scheme for some reforms in the criminal judicial administration. Reforms in the Criminal Judicature The following reforms were made by Warren Hastings in the Criminal Judicature: In order to devise a machinery to arrest criminals and to bring them to trial, the Judges of the Mofussil Diwani Adalats were appointed as Magistrates also. They were, however, not given, for the time being any jurisdiction to try them. They were to apprehend those persons who were suspected of having committed crimes and send them to the nearest Faujdari Adalats for trial with written accusations. To have an effective supervision over the proceedings of the criminal courts including the Sadar Nizamat Adalat, Warren Hastings created a separate department at Calcutta to receive monthly reports and returns of proceedings, lists of persons apprehended and sent for trials by Magistrates, details of charges leveled against them, and the lists of persons released, convicted, and put in confinement by the criminal courts. A covenanted servant of the Company was appointed to act under the Governor- General as head of this Department, with the title of the Remembrancer of the Criminal Courts. He was incharge of all the reports dispatched by various Magistrates and courts. He was to analyze these reports, prepare extracts and arrange them in a properway. This is how a check was to be maintained on all persons entrusted with the administration of criminal justice.
  19. 19. But the control exercised by this officer was very weak and imperfect. The system did not prove to be effective. The Remembrancer depended for information on the reports of various courts and it was not difficult for the latter to manipulate them so as to present a favourable picture of the things and to conceal the real state of affairs from the Government. In 1782, the number of Faujdari Adalats was reduced from twenty-three to eighteen. While in 1785, for more speedy and effectual administration of criminal justice, the Magistrates were empowered to try petty offences; but in all cases affecting either the life or limb of the accused persons orsubjecting them to imprisonment of more than four days or to corporalpunishment exceeding fifteen stripes, the Magistrates could not try the accused themselves but to send them to the Faujdari Adalats. This particular provision was made soonafter the departure of Warren Hastings to England.[12] Judicial Plan of 1780, FirstIndian Civil Code Prepared Warren Hastings knew that the judicial plan of 1774 was not perfect, and when Warren Hastings again got the chance, he made changes to the judicial plan of 1774. On April 11, 1780 new plan was introduced. As per the plan of 1780 judicial and executive functions were separated. Adalats – Function to do civil justice, no revenue work Provincial Council - No judicial work, only revenue related work, collection and revenue cases. But with this plan the problem was that, the area was vast and adalats were few to administer those large areas, because of this, cases were more, time was limited with the judges and thus arrears piled up in every adalat. 2nd problem was that witnesses had to travel lot to reach the adalats For eg. There was only one Adalat in the whole of Bihar. Because of this people thought it better not to file the cases in courts, as filing cases in court meant delayed justice, physical harassment, waste of time and money. As per the judicial plan cases up to Rs.100 were referred to the person who stayed near the place of litigant ,but before this it was compulsory to file the case in the Adalat, and 2nd problem was that the person who worked as judges has to work as a honorary judge and did not get any salary . The Zamindar or public officer acted as an honorary judge and they charged money for this and also zamindar got the chance to do corruption as he became the honorary judge.
  20. 20. Warren Hasting was not satisfied with the plan of 1780 and always thought about improving the judicial system in India. On 29th September 1780 Warren Hastings proposedin the Council that chief justice Sir Elijah Impey be requested to accept the charge of the office of the Sadar Diwani Adalat. Impey accepted this offer. He remained in Sadar Adalat for a year but he introduced a lot of reforms in sadar adalat. Impey drafted many regulations to reform the adalats. On November 3, 1780 first reform, regulation was passed to regulate the procedure of the diwani adalats. As per this rule , the Mofussil judge had to decide the facts , he was allowed to take the help of Hindu Pundits or Muslim Mulla if it was necessary to understand the cause or case. Impey compiled a civil procedurecodefor the guidance of the Sadar Adalat and mofussil diwani adalats. It was the first codeof civil procedure to be prepared in India . It was promulgated by the Council on July 5, 1781 in the form of a Regulation. It was the digest of the civil rules The codeconsolidated at one place a detailed civil procedure. The codecontained 95 clauses and with it all the previous regulations relating to civil procedure were repealed. The codeof 1781 clearly defined the functions, powers and jurisdiction of Sadar Diwani Adalat. This codewas translated in Persian and Bengali language that time. In India, Impey was doing a great job, but in England people were not happy with Impey because of following reasons – Impey was appointed as the Supreme Court judge to monitor the Company affairs in India. But in India Impey started to work as a company servant when he accepted office as the Judge of Sadar Adalat. Accepting this violated the Regulation act. Because of other job, they believed that Impey would not do the justice with the job of Supreme Court. Because of all above reasons , on 3rd May 1782 in England House of Commons adopted a resolution requesting the crown, king , to recall Impey to answer the charge of having accepted an office and violating the Regulating act. After this Impey left India on 3rd December 1782 Regarding criminal justice system Warren Hasting took certain steps. Machinery was created for the purposeof arresting criminals and bringing them before the fozdari adalat for the trial. This system never existed in India before this. A new department, office of the Remembrancer was created at Calcutta to keep watch on the functioning of criminal adalats. The department was to work under the Governor General. The head of the department was known as Remembrancer of criminal courts All criminal courts were required to send periodical reports to this department. Everything was done as per the Muslim criminal law and Warren Hasting was not happy with many things, and wanted to reform them, he tried his best but
  21. 21. company heads did not accept his views. Because of this in criminal justice system, everyone made money using the corruptways. Indian Legal History - Judicial Plan of 1780, First Indian Civil Code Warren Hastings knew that the judicial plan of 1774 was not perfect, and when Warren Hastings again got the chance and He made changes to the judicial plan of 1774, On April 11, 1780 new plan was introduced. As per the plan of 1780 judicial and executive functions were separated. Adalats – Function to do civil justice, no revenue work Provincial Council - No judicial work, only revenue related work, collection and revenue cases. But with this plan the problem was that, area was vast and adalats were few to administer those large areas, because of this, cases were more, time was limited with the judges and thus arrears piled up in every adalat. 2nd problem was that witnesses have to travel lot to reach the adalats There was only one Adalat in the whole of Bihar. Because of this people thought it is better not to file the cases in courts, as filing cases in court meant, delayed justice, physical harassment, waste of time and money. As per the judicial plan cases up to Rs.100 were referred to the personwho stayed near the place of litigant ,but before this it was compulsoryto file the case in the Adalat, and 2nd problem was that the personwho work as judge has to work as a honorary judge and he did not get any salary . The Zamindar or public officer acted as an honorary judge and they charged money for this and also zamindar got the chance to do corruption as he became the honorary judge. Warren Hasting was not satisfied with the plan of 1780 he always thought about the improving judicial system in India. The judicial system of East India Company.
  22. 22. On 29th September 1780 Warren Hastings proposed in the Council that chief justice Sir Elijah Impey be requested to accept the charge of the office of the Sadar Diwani Adalat. Impey accepted this offer. He remained in Sadar Adalat for a year but he introduced, made lot of reforms in sadar adalat. Impey Drafted many regulations to reform the adalats. On November 3, 1780 first reform, regulation was passed to regulate the procedure of the diwani adalats. As per this rule , the Mofussil judge has to decide the facts , he was allow to take the help of Hindu Pundits or Muslim Mulla if it was necessary to understand the cause or Impey Compiled a civil procedure codefor the guidance of the Sadar Adalat and mofussil diwani adalats It was the first codeof civil procedureto be prepared in India It was promulgated by the Council on July 5, 1781 in the form of a Regulation. It was the digest of the civil rules The codeconsolidated at one place a detailed civil procedure. The codecontained 95 clauses and with it all the previous regulations relating to civil procedurewere repealed. The codeof 1781 clearly defined the functions, powers and jurisdiction of Sadar Diwani Adalat.
  23. 23. This codewas translated in Persian and Bengali language that time. In India, Impey was doing great job, but in England People were not happy with the Impey because of following reasons – Impey was appointed as the Supreme Court judge to monitor the Company affairs in India. But in India Impey stated to work as a company servant when he accepted to work as the Judge of Sadar Adalat. Accepting this violated the Regulation act. Because of other job, they believed that Impey would not do the justice with the job of Supreme Court. Because of all above reasons , on 3rd May 1782 in England House of Commons adopted a resolution requesting the crown, king , to recall Impey to answer the charge of having accepted an office and violating the Regulating act. After this Impey left India on 3rd December 1782 From the Impey appointment one should learn that what ever postor job may be, the concern person must be studied in that profession. Sports minister should be a sports man in his youth, Agriculture Minister should be graduate from the agriculture collage. Regarding criminal justice system Warren Hasting took following steps. Machinery was created for the purposeof arresting criminals and bringing them before the fozdari adalat for the trial. This system never existed in India before this. A new department, office of the Remembrancer was created at Calcutta to keep watch on the functioning of criminal adalats. The department was to work under the Governor General. The head of the department was known as Remembrancer of criminal courts. All criminal courts were required to send periodical reports to this department. Everything was done as per the Muslim criminal law and Warren Hasting was not happy with many things, and wanted to reform them, he tried his best but company heads did not accept his views. Because of this in criminal justice system, everyone made money using the corruptways.
  24. 24. Developmentof Adalat System during the time of Warren Hastings The administration of justice at the time Warren Hasting took over as Governor of Bengal was in a bad shape. It was almost verging on a total collapse. The dual system of government proved very defective and unsatisfactory. The courts had becomethe instruments of power rather than of justice, useless as means of protection but apt instruments for oppression. Onrealizing the fact that the system of double government had failed the company authorized the then Governor Warren Hastings to adoptsuch regulations and pursue such measures as shall at once ensure every possible advantage to the Company and free the ryots from the oppressionof Zamindars and petty tyrants. Warren Hastings hence proceeded to make major changes in the administration of justice. This paper work views the various reforms made by Warren Hastings during his time in India. This administration of justice maybe studied in four stages. To start with Warren Hastings realized the very fact that an impartial and regular administration of justice was extremely essential for creating conditions for a better collection of land revenue. Thus changes were made in regard to civil and criminal justice while various other provisions were also introduced. Moreover one of the major development which took place was that the three presidencies—Bengal, Bombay, and Madras— were divided into a number of districts for the betterment of administration. Lastly, the appointment of Impey helped in fulfilling the need of reforming the judicial system under the control and supervision of a powerful authority. In fulfillment of his duties, his work of compiling the Civil ProcedureCodewas quite recommendable. It was for the first time that the law was put on solid and certain grounds so that the people could know as to what the procedure of courts was. Reforms of Warren Hastings When Warren Hastings assumedthe administration of Bengal in 1772, he found it in utter chaos. The financial position of the Company became worse and the difficulties were intensified by famine. Therefore, Warren Hastings realized the immediate need for introducing reforms.
  25. 25. Abolition of the Dual System The EastIndia Company decided to actas Diwan and to undertake the collectionof revenue by its own agents. Hence, the Dual System introduced by Robert Clive was abolished. As a measure to improve the finances of the Company, Warren Hastings reduced the Nawab’s allowanceof32 lakhs of rupees to half that amount. He also stopped the annual payment of 26 lakhs given to the Mughal Emperor. Revenue Reforms After the abolition of the Dual System, the responsibility of collecting the revenue fell on the shoulders of the Company. For that purpose, a Board of Revenue was establishedat Calcutta to supervise the collectionof revenue. English Collectors were appointedin eachdistrict. The treasury was removed from Murshidabad to Calcutta and an Accountant Generalwas appointed. Calcutta thus became the capitalof Bengalin 1772 and shortly after of British India. The Boardof Revenue farmed out the lands by auction for a period of five years instead of one year in order to find out their real value. The zamindars were given priority in the auction. However, certain good measures were takento safeguardthe interests of the peasants. Arbitrary cesses andunreasonable fines were abolished. Besides, restrictions were imposed on the enhancement of rent. Yet, the system was a failure. Many zamindars defaulted and the arrears of revenue accumulated. Reorganisationofthe Judicial System The judicial systemat the time of Warren Hastings’ ascendancywas a store-house ofabuses. The Nawabwho was hitherto the chief administrator of justice, misused his powers. Often, his judgments were careless.The zamindars who actedas judges at lowerlevels within their own areas were highly corrupt and prejudiced. On the whole, the judicial institution suffered from extreme corruption. Warren Hastings felt the necessityof reorganising the judicial system. Eachdistrict was provided with a civil court under the Collectorand a criminal court under an Indian Judge. To hear appeals from the district courts two appellate courts, one for civil casesand another for criminal cases, were establishedatCalcutta. The highest civil court of appeal was calledSadarDiwani Adalat, which was to
  26. 26. be presided over by the Governor and two judges recruited from among the members of his council. Similarly, the highestappellate criminal court was known as SadarNizamat Adalat which was to function under an Indian judge appointed by the Governor-in-Council. Experts in Hindu and Muslim laws were provided to assistthe judges. A digestof Hindu law was prepared in Sanskritby learned Pandits and it was translated into Persian. An English translation of it – Code of Hindu Laws – was prepared by Halhed. Trade Regulations and other Reforms Warren Hastings abolished the system of dastaks, orfree passesand regulatedthe internal trade. He reduced the number of custom houses and enforceda uniform tariff of 2.5 percentfor Indian and non-Indian goods. Private trade by the Company’s servants continued but within enforceable limits. Weavers were givenbetter treatment and facilities were made to improve their condition. He also introduced a uniform system of pre-paid postage system. A bank was started in Calcutta. He improved the police in Calcutta and the dacoits were severelydealt with. The Regulating Act of 1773 The Regulating Act of 1773 openeda new chapter in the constitutional history of the Company. Previously, the Home government in England consistedof the Court of Directors and the Court of Proprietors. The Court of Directors were electedannually and practically managedthe affairs of the Company. In India, eachof the three presidencies was independent and responsible only to the Home Government. The government of the presidency was conductedby a Governorand a Council. The following conditions invited the Parliamentary intervention in the Company’s affairs. The English EastIndia Company became a territorial powerwhen it acquired a wide dominion in India and also the Diwani rights. Its early administration was not only corrupt but notorious. When the Company was in financial trouble, its servants were affluent. The disastrous famine which broke out in Bengalin 1770 affectedthe agriculturists. As a result, the revenue collectionwas poor. In short, the Company was on the brink of bankruptcy. In 1773, the Company approachedthe British government for an immediate loan. It was under
  27. 27. these circumstances that the Parliament of England resolved to regulate the affairs of the Company. Lord North, the Prime Minister of England, appointed a selectcommittee to inquire into the affairs of the Company. The report submitted by the Committee paved the way for the enactment of the Regulating Act. Provisions of the Regulating Act of 1773 The Regulating Act reformed the Company’s Government at Home and in India. The important provisions of the Act were: (i) The term of office of the members of the Court of Directors was extended from one year to four years. One-fourth of them were to retire every year and the retiring Directors were not eligible for re-election. (ii) The Governor of Bengalwas styled the Governor-Generalof Fort William whose tenure of office was for a period of five years. (iii) A council of four members was appointed to assistthe Governor- General. The government was to be conducted in accordancewith the decisionof the majority. The Governor Generalhad a casting vote in case of a tie. (iv) The Governor-Generalin Council was made supreme over the other Presidencies inmatters of warand peace. (v) Provision was made in the Act for the establishment of a Supreme Court at Calcutta consisting of a Chief Justice and three junior judges. It was to be independent of the Governor- Generalin Council. In 1774, the Supreme Court was establishedby a RoyalCharter. (vi) This Act prevented the servants of the Company including the Governor-General, members of his counciland the judges of the Supreme Court from receiving directly or indirectly any gifts in kind or cash. Merits and Demerits of the Act The significance ofthe Regulating Act is that it brought the affairs of the Company under the control of the Parliament. Besides,it proved that the Parliament of England was concernedabout the welfare of Indians. The greatestmerit of this Act is that it put an end to the arbitrary rule of the Company and provided a framework for all future enactments relating to
  28. 28. the governing of India. The main defect of the Act was that the Governor- Generalwas made powerless because the council which was given supreme poweroften createddeadlocksby over-ruling his decision. However, many of these defects were rectified by the Pitt’s India Act of 1784. ExpansionistPolicy of Warren Hastings Warren Hastings was known for his expansionistpolicy. His administration witnessedthe Rohilla War, the First Anglo-Maratha War and the Second Anglo-Mysore War. The Rohilla War (1774) Rohilkand was a small kingdom situated in betweenOudh and the Marathas. Its ruler was Hafiz Rahmat Khan. He concluded a defensive treaty in 1772 with the Nawabof Oudh fearing an attack by the Marathas. But no such attack took place. But, the Nawabdemanded money. When Rahmat Khan evaded, the Nawabwith the help of the British invaded Rohilkand. Warren Hastings, who sent the British troops against Rohilkand was severelycrticisedfor his policy on Rohilla affair. First Anglo-Maratha War (1775-82) The Marathas were largelyremained disunited since the Third Battle of Panipet (1761). The internal conflict among the Marathas was bestutilized by the British in their expansionistpolicy. In 1775, there was a dispute for the postof Peshwa betweenMadhav Rao and his uncle Ragunatha Rao. The British authorities in Bombay concludedthe Treatyof Surat with Raghunatha Rao in March 1775. Rahunatha Rao promised to cede Bassein and Salsette to the British but later when he was unwilling to fulfill his promise, the British captured them. This actionof the Bombay Government was not approved by Warren Hastings. In 1776, Warren Hastings sent ColonelUpton to settle the issue. He cancelledthe Treaty of Surat and concluded the Treaty of Purander with Nana Fadnavis, another Maratha leader. According to this treaty Madhava Rao II was acceptedas the new Peshwa and the British retained Salsette along with a heavy war indemnity. However, the Home authorities rejectedthe Treaty of Purander. Warren Hastings also consideredthe Treaty of Purandar as a ‘scrapof paper’ and sanctionedoperations againstthe Marathas. In the
  29. 29. meantime, the British force sent by the Bombay Government was defeated by the Marathas. In 1781, WarrenHastings dispatched British troops under the command of Captain Popham. He defeatedthe Maratha chief, MahadajiScindia, in a number of small battles and captured Gwalior. Later in May 1782, the Treaty of Salbaiwas signed betweenWarren Hastings and Mahadaji Scindia. Accordingly, Salsette and Basseinwere givento the British. Raghunath Rao was pensionedoff and Madhav Rao II was acceptedas the Peshwa. The Treatyof Salbaiestablishedthe British influence in Indian politics. It provided the British twenty years of peace with the Marathas. The Treaty also enabled the British to exert pressure on Mysore with the help of the Marathas in recovering their territories from Haider Ali. Thus, the British, on the one hand, saved themselves from the combined oppositionof Indian powers and on the other, succeededin dividing the Indian powers. The SecondAnglo-Mysore War(1780-84) The first Anglo-Mysore Wartook place in 1767-69. HaiderAli emergedvictorious againstthe British and at the end of the War a defensive treaty was concludedbetweenHaider Ali and the British. After elevenyears, the SecondMysore War broke out and the main causes for the secondAnglo-Mysore Warwere: 1. The British failed to fulfill the terms of the defensive treaty with Haider when he was attackedby the Marathas in 1771. 2. There was an outbreak of hostilities betweenthe English and the French (an ally of Haider) during the American War of Independence. 3. The British captured Mahe, a French settlement within Haider’s territories. 4. Haider Ali formed a grand alliance with the Nizam of Hyderabad and the Marathas againstthe British in 1779. The War beganwhen the British led their forces through Haider’s territory without his permission to capture Guntur in the Northern Sarkars. Haider Ali defeatedColonelBaillie and captured Arcot
  30. 30. in 1780. In the next year, Warren Hastings, by a cleverstroke of diplomacy, divided the Confederacy. He made peace with the Nizam, won the friendship of Bhonsle and came to an understanding with the Scindia (both Marathas). Consequently, Haider was isolatedwithout any alliance. He was defeatedby Sir Eyre Coote at Porto Novo in March1781. In December1782, Haiderdied of cancerat the age of sixty and his death was kept secrettill his son Tipu Sultan assumedpower. The SecondMysore Warcame to an end by the Treatyof Mangalore in 1783. Accordingly, all conquests were mutually restoredand the prisoners on both sides were liberated. Pitt’s India Act, 1784 The Regulating Act proved to be an unsatisfactorydocument as it failed in its objective. In January 1784, Pittthe Younger (who became Prime Minister of England after the GeneralElections)introduced the India Bill in the British Parliament. Despite bitter debate in both the Houses, the bill was passedafterseven months and it receivedroyal assentin August 1784. This was the famous Pitt’s India Act of 1784. Main Provisions of the Pitt’s India Act, 1784 (i) A Board of Control consisting of six members was created. Theywere appointed by the Crown. (ii) The Court of Directors was retainedwithout any alterationin its composition. (iii) The Act also introduced significantchanges in the Indian administration. It reduced the number of the members of the Governor- General’s Councilfrom four to three including the Commander-in-Chief. Pitt’s India Act constitutes a significant landmark with regard to the foreign policy of the Company. A critical review of the Act reveals that it had introduced a kind of contradictionin the functions of the Company. The Court of Directors controlledits commercialfunctions, whereas the Boardof Control maintained its political affairs. In fact, the Board representedthe King, and the Directors symbolisedthe Company.
  31. 31. The Impeachment of Warren Hastings The Pitt’s India Act of 1784 was a rude shock and bitter disappointment for WarrenHastings. The Prime Minister’s speechcensuring the policy of the Government of Bengalwas consideredby Warren Hastings as a reflectionon his personalcharacter. His image and reputation were tarnished in England. Therefore, he resignedand left India in June 1785. In 1787, WarrenHastings was impeached in the Parliamentby Edmund Burke and the Whigs for his administrative excess. Burke brought forward 22 charges againsthim. The most important of them were related to the Rohilla War, the Case ofNanda Kumar, the treatment of Raja Chait Singh of Benares and the pressures onthe Begums of Oudh. After a long trail which lasted till 1795, WarrenHastings was completely acquitted. He receivedpension from the Company and lived till 1818. Nanda Kumar was an influential official in Bengal. He was hangedto death by the verdict of the Supreme Court at Calcutta for a petty offence of forgery. The English law was applied in this judgement. It was contended that Warren Hastings and Sir Elija Impey, the judge of the Supreme Court conspiredagainstNanda Kumar. Warren Hastings imposed heavy penalty on the Raja Chait Singh of Benares forhis delay in payment of tribute and deposedhim in an unjust manner. The Begums of Oudh were mother and grand mother of the Nawabof Oudh. Warren Hastings helped the Nawabby sending his troops to the help of Nawabwho squeeze money from the Begums. This was a highhanded policy. Estimate of Warren Hastings He was a gifted personalityendowed with ‘strong will, greatenergy and resourcefulness’. His long stayin Bengal‘in the shadow of the Mughal cultural tradition’ gave him, enough opportunity to learn oriental languages suchas Bengali(the locallanguage)and Persian(the diplomatic language)and to develop ‘oriental tastes’. Since he consideredIndian culture as a basis for sound Indian administration, he patronisedthe learning of Indian languages andarts. His task was a challenging one since he was surrounded by hostile forces. “He facedhis external enemies with unflinching courage and unfailing resource, and his internal opponents
  32. 32. with extraordinary patience and firmness.” It was on the foundation which Warren Hastings laid down, that others erecteda ‘stately edifice’. Warren Hastings came as Governor of Bengal in 1772 at the age of forty when he had been already two years in India. He had risen regularly up the rungs of the civilian ladder from the position of a writer, the lowest grade in the Company’s service. As a member of Vansittart’s council he was posted as the resident at Murshidabad Court. He returned to England after fourteen years’ service in India. Impressed by the ability with which gave evidence before a committee of the House of Commons, he was sent back to India as the second of the Madras Council in 1769. He was next appointed Governor of Bengal towards the end of 1771 and he assumedcharge early in 1772. Advertisements: The incompetence of Give’s successors had fully revealed the evils of Dual Government. Miseries of the people due to oppression and exploitation by the Company’s servants were aggravated by the famine of 1770 which stalked whole of Bengal leaving a third part of it desolate and one-third of the population decimated. The Company’s dominions in Bengal then consisted of these types of territories of a variety of titles. Burdwan, Midnapur and Chittagong were gifted to the Company in 1960 and were revenue tree. Calcutta and the 24- Parganas were held as Zamindary under the Nawab. Other places of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa were held by the Company as Diwani granted to the Company in 1765 for an annual payment of 26 lakhs of rupees to the Emperor.
  33. 33. From 1765 to 1772 the administration of the diwani was in the hands of two Indian officials called Naib-Diwans or deputy finance ministers of the Company although legally and actually the Company was the real diwan. There naib-diwans were MuhammadReza Khan in Bengal and Shitab Rai in Bihar. This system of Indian executive officers functioning under vague British control, known as dual system had fallen into great disrepute and while the Company itself was in great financial straits, its servants returning to England carried immense fortunes with them and their Indian counterparts were amassing fortunes by all questionable means. The directors of the Company strongly suspected the naib-diwans of intercepting a great part of the revenue that ought to have reached the Company’s exchequer. Such, in short, was the state of things Hastings was called upon to deal with. As Warren Hastings understoodthe situation is clear from his remark when appointed Governorof Bengal: “a station” he said “of more eclat, but of more trouble and difficulty.” His task was to consolidate the Company’s rule in Bengal, preservation of the British possessions from deadly danger without, and bitter schism within. He foundthe Company, a Commercial Corporation turned revenue former with all the attendant problem of such transformation. The Court of Directors wrote: “We now arm you with full powers to make a complete reformation”. The dictatorial instructions, by which Hastings was guided, however, left much scope for his own discretion of which he made full use. Hastings’ reforms fall under four heads, namely to: (1) Deal with the diwani or revenue administration, (2) Reform of the judicature, (3) Settlement of land revenue, and
  34. 34. (4) Commercial reforms. Diwani or Revenue Administration: The Court of Directors instructed him that the Company must“stand forth as Dewan”, and take over the Civil administration directly in the hands of the Company. This was, in the words of Warren Hastings, “implanting the authority of the Company, and the Sovereignty of Great Britain, in the constitution of the country”. This was only a half-way house measure towards the British Crown’s taking over of their conquests. It continuedto remain in this state until the Revolt of 1857 precipitated its completion. Hasting’s first task was the abolition of the officers of the naib-diwans of Bihar and Bengal and prosecute the naib-diwans Shitab Rai and MuhammadReza Khan for peculation and tyranny. Hastings had to do all this under instruction from the Directors. He was also instructed to use Nanda Kumar, former Naib-Diwan who had been ousted by the Company to put in Reza Khan in that position as their representative and was not to be removed by the Nawab without Company’s consent. Hastings was ordered by the Directors to give the whole matter of deposing the naib-diwans an ethical colour by staging a formal trial of the two. This was obviously a political measure to meet any possible opposition to the deposition of the two native high officials. Shitab Rai naib-diwan of Bihar was acquitted honourably and Hastings himself wrote: “Indeed I scarce know why he was called to account”. MuhammadReza Khan was also ultimately acquitted. The burden that lay on one man—Warren Hastings—was too heavy to bear. He aptly described the situation as “every part of the Government had been clogged”. But Hastings’ ability-was Herculean and he addressed to the job with ability and efficiency. He reduced the allowance of the Nawab to sixteen lakhs from thirty-two and this was the third reduction of allowance which was fifty-three lakhs in 1765, reduced to forty-one lakhs in 1766, to thirty-two lakhs in 1769.
  35. 35. Hastings, however, cannot be blamed for the third reduction (to sixteen lakhs) for it was done underthe orders of the Court of Directors. Hastings now turned his attention to work out a satisfactory system of revenue administration and to reform the civil justice which was a part of it. In 1769 Supervisors were appointed and they had been given a roaming mission to study the revenue system in their districts. But they had neitherany training nor any inclination to have a clear idea of the revenue system of the time. Hastings appointed a Committee of Circuit which was to visit each district to effect revenue settlement with tax farmers or Zaminders. A preliminary revenue settlement was made for five years, lands being farmed out by auction to the highest bidder, although a few hereditary Zamindars were appointed tax farmers in this process, the system of rack-renting kept most of the hereditary Zaminder houses out, and fortune-seekers became the highest bidders in their eagerness to realize whatever they could within the span of five years without any thought of the ability of the ryots to pay the higher demand of revenue. Hastings proceeded from the motion that the State was the Supreme landlord which was contrary to Hindu theory, although the Muslim theory was that the land of the conqueredbelonged to the conqueror. To the English, the status of revenue farmers posed a difficult problem. Under the Mughal revenue system the revenue farmers or Zamindars had become a heterogeneous body of descendants of old Hindu chiefs, court-favourites, farmer officials etc. But by the middle of the eighteenth century the Mughal system of land revenue had almost completely decayed and the English Company found the revenue System in utter confusion. Hasting’s revenue settlement, therefore, was experimental. He ignored the claims of hereditary Zaminders and strongly objected to the Zamindars being accepted as the owners of (he lands subject to payment of a fixed rent.
  36. 36. He appointed collectors, one in each district, in place of the supervisors. The collectors had no settlement or assessment work to do, for this was done by the Committee of Circuit, Hastings himself accompanying it. The collectors were under strict orders to prevent the Zamindars from raising rents and Indians were appointed to assist them. A Board of Revenue with the Governor and his Council was constituted with its seat in Calcutta upon which was entrustedthe highest authority in revenue matters. The treasury of the diwani was shifted from Murshidabad to Calcutta. Hastings’ revenue experiment proved a failure largely due to the lack of caliber and power of the Collectors. Physical difficulty in dealing with villages throughout the deltaic plain added to their difficulty. The Collectors only added to the confusion. Defaults were frequent, the evils of settling lands with speculators of poor standing led to the hopeless failure of the quinquennial settlement. Bengal Presidency was put under six Revenue Boards and the system of Collectors was abolished. A Metropolitan Revenue Board was placed upon all these six Revenue Boards. Thompson and Garratt are reluctant to put the blame for the failure of the quinquennial settlement on Warren Hastings on the grounds that he was not responsible for legal chaos produced by the Regulating Act of 1773; he had to satisfy the rapacity of the Court of Directors at London who had an unusually exaggerated notion about the wealth of Bengal which forced him to assess the revenue too high. Further, he had not the staff, Indian or English, under him who had the knowledge, probity or willingness to carry out his scheme. It is also contended by Thompson and Garratt that the criticism of Hastings in ignoring the claims of the hereditary Zamindars is untenable because according to them due to the anarchy in the early eighteenth century a large proportion of the Zamindars were adventurers, many of whom had secret link with gangs of robbers, dacoits and river pirates. Hastings indeed failed to provide an alternative policy but Thompson and Garratt pointed out that
  37. 37. the Zamindars did not justify the later policy of Permanent Settlement “by their services to the country-side or their treatment of the tenantry”. Yet we cannot lose sight of the facts that the system of settling land by auction to the highest bidder brought in fresh horde of speculators who, not sure of a renewal of tenancy, exploited to the utmost. The Company’s servants themselves also participated in the bidding at the auction through their banians or servants. Warren Hastings also cannot escape the charge of corruption. There was a grant of land registered in the name of a ten-year old son of Can-too Bamboo (Krishna kanta Nandy), a banian of Warren Hastings, inordinately high assessment, despite pressure from Directors for it, shouldhave been resisted by him. This, added to the harshness of collection, contributed to the failure of Hasting’s revenue experiment. “Hastings failed, but his policy is important becauseit marks the first tentative effort to evolve the district system and the district Officer”. After the expiry of the term of quinquennial settlement in 1776, Hastings reverted to annual revenue settlement on the basis of open auction to highest bidder. Preference was, however, given to Zamindars in settling land. In the same year (1776) Hastings appointed the A mini Commission for gathering information about the land revenue system of Bengal and on the basis of this abolished the six Provincial Councils of revenue and reappointed the collectors, one to each district in 1781. According to Penderal Moon all the members of the abolished Provincial Councils had to be provided with job under direction from the Directors and Hastings had to absorb many of these former members of the Provincial Councils as collectors and judges of Diwani Adalats. Quanugos who had been an important Mughal revenue staff and who had ceased to function were reappointed and the supervision of the entire revenue system was centralized in the hands of the Committee of Revenue at Calcutta. Hastings’ Judicial Reforms:
  38. 38. Under the Mughal system, the diwan was in charge of the revenue collection of the Subah and to decide all cases related to land and land revenue. With the grant of the Diwani (1765) the Company also obtained the responsibility of the civil justice. With the change in the revenue system, therefore, change in the system of civil justice was inevitable. The Criminal justice was, however, the responsibility of the Nizamat, as such the Company had no right to effect any change in the criminal law a criminal justice. But the Company did not regard this legal distinction in the powers of the Company and the Nawab in civil and criminal justice. It may be mentionedhere that judicial system in Bengal before Hastings’ reforms was very unsatisfactory. The Zamindars were in charge of both the civil and criminal justice in their own areas and arbitration rather than judicial trial was the popular methodof justice. “Every decision is a corrupt bargain with the highest bidder. Trifling offenders are frequently loaded with heavy demands and capital offences are as often absolved by the renal judge.” (Verelst) Interference by the Company’s servants or their servants made the situation worse still. With Company’s obtaining the grant of Diwani the Civil Justice became the responsibility of the Company and it was defrayed through the naib-diwan of the Company. Warren Hastings addressed himself to the task of reform of judicial system immediately after the new revenue Settlement in 1772. On the recommendation of the Committee of Court he set up a Diwani Adalat and a Faujdari Adalat in each district and called them Mofussil Diwani Adalat and Mofussil Faujdari Adalat. Mofussil Diwani Adalat: This court was presided over by the Collector of the district, and. it was competent to decide relating to inheritance relating to Zamindary and taluqdari. It also decided all cases relating to landed property, caste, marriage, debts etc. If the litigants were Hindus, the Hindu Law and custom would be applicable and in the case of Muslims, the Muslim law and custom. This court was competent to deal with cases up-to the value of
  39. 39. Rs.500. An-appeal against the decisions of the Mofussil Diwani Adalat would, however, lie to the Sadar Diwani Adalat at Calcutta which was con- stituted of the Governor and two members of his council assisted by Indian Officers. Mofussil Faujdari Adalat: The Mofussil Faujdari Adalat was competent to try all criminal cases. Only in cases where the accused was awarded capital punishment, the punishment had to be sent to the Sadar Nijamat Adalat which was presided over by the Nawab. Nawab’s confirmation was necessary for Capital punishment or confiscation of property. The Mofussil Faujdari Adalat was presided by an Indian Officer of the Company who was assisted by a Qazi, a Mufti and two Maulavis. The Collector of the district had power of supervision over the Mofussil Faujdari Adalat and he could see that the evidence was duly considered and impartial judgment arrived at. From the Mofussil Faujdari Adalat appeal would lay to the Sadar Nizamat Adalat at Murshidabad. The Sadar Nizamat Adalat was presided over by the Nizam who would be assisted by the Chief Qazi, Chief Mufti and three expert Maulavis. The President and Council at Calcutta exercised right of control and supervision over the Sadar Nizamat Adalat. Supreme Court at Calcutta: In 1773 Regulating Act was passed by the British Parliament in order to control and regulate the affairs of the East India Company in India. Besides provisions relating to general administration etc. this Act provided for, the establishment of a Supreme Court at Calcutta with a Lord Chief Justice and three puisne judges under him. This court was competent to by all British subjects. Over Calcutta and the English factories the Court exercised jurisdiction over all persons European or non-European. But outside this jurisdiction if parties would agree, their case might be heard by this Court. The Supreme Court administered English laws. It may be mentioned here that the Sadar Dewani Adalat and Sadar Nizamat Adalat
  40. 40. with their subordinate Adalats administered justice according to Hindu and Muslim laws, supplementedby the capacity. The Supreme Court claimed jurisdiction and actually did exercise it over all persons and not only ignored the authority of the Company’s courts but even entertained cases against the judges of thosecourts, by cases again which had already been tried by other courts. This court began to exercise jurisdiction over Zamindars and others who were neither British subjects nor servants of the British subjects All this was being done taking advantage of the failure of the Regulating Act in defining the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. This was also responsible for the conflict between the Supreme Court and Supreme Council which will be discussed elsewhere. Other Reforms of Hastings: Hastings’ reforming hands toucheda variety of subjects. As the Company’s Courts, i.e. the district and Sadar Courts used to deal many cases according to Hindu and Muslim laws, Hastings caused a translation of the Sanskrit, i.e. Hindu Laws in a Code called Code of Gentoo Laws was published in 1776. He also introduced: (i) The system of preserving the records of judicial cases, (ii) That cases would become time-barred if not instituted within twelve years from the time of the cause of action, (iii) The debtor could not be tortured after taking him to the house of the creditor, (iv) Prohibited imposition of heavy furies by courts, (v) Rate of interest was fixed at Rs.100/-, (vi) Application of the Hindu laws in cases of the Hindus and Moham- medan law in cases of the Muslims was formally accepted, and
  41. 41. (vii) Abolished the system of acceptance of fees by the Qazis, Muftis etc. from those who would seek justice and instead he introduced payment of salaries to them. Hastings foundthat free movement of Trade and Commerce was hindered by innumerable customs within Zamindaries. These were all abolished and only five customs houses or stations at Calcutta, Hooghly, Murshidabad, Dacca and Patna were retained. Customs duty was lowered down to 2 ½ % payable by all merchants and misuse of dastaks was checked with a strong hand. Exploitation of weavers by the Company’s agents was suppressed. Hastings, reformed the currency system and thereby removed the mismanagement of the currency of the time. Hastings tried to expand the Company’s trade to Tibet and through Tibet to Nepal and Bhutan. To this end he had sent George Bogle in 1774 to the court of Pashi Lama in Tibet as an emissary. He also had sent Abdul Qader mission to Nepal for prospecting the future of a trade relation with Nepal and the Company. Supreme Court and Supreme Council: Their Conflict: In 1773 the British Parliament enacted the Regulating Act finding that the earlier charter was not adequate to meet the exigencies of the situation and to prevent the corruption among the Company’s servants. This Act vested the administration of British territories in India in the hands of a Governor-General with a Council of four members. The Governor of Bengal was given the name of Governor-General of Bengal. The four members of the Governor-General’s Council were named in the Act, they were Clavering, Monson, Barwell and Philip Francis. The Council was appointed for a term of five years but could be removed from office earlier on the recommendation of the Court of Directors. Over the Councils of Bombay and Madras the Governor-General and Council had supervisory power in matters of declaration of war and signing of peace.
  42. 42. The Governor-General was to preside over the meeting of the Council and matters were to be decided by majority votes. The Governor-General had no over-riding power, he had only a casting vote in cases of tie. Three members formed the quorum. Of the four members of the Council named in the Act, Barwell was already in the Company’s service in India, others came from England. The three members who came from England were greatly prejudiced against Warren Hastings and the Company’s government which they thought were utterly corrupt. Clavering, Monson and Francis formed a triumvirate and were out to find fault with Warren Hastings who had a lone supporter in Barwell. The defect of the Regulating Act in not providing the Governor-General, who was the President of the Council with overriding power made the situation extremely difficult from the very start. On their arrival the members of the triumvirate complained of “mean and dishonourable”reception accorded to them, and even imputed motive in Warren Hastings’ failure to show befitting courtesy in receiving the members of the Council. This was a bad augury for things that were to follow. The first meeting of the Council showed the shape of things to come. The Councillors, except Barwell, demanded all papers relating to Hastings’ transactions with Nawab Wazir of Oudh and all correspondence with Middleton, the English Resident at Lucknow to be placed before the Council. They also wanted to examine the propriety on the Company’s part in the Rohilla War. Warren Hastings Who knew his own weak points refusedto place the papers demanded by the majority, before the Council whereupon the majority recalled Middleton from Lucknow and appointed Bristow in his place as President and arrived at the conclusion that Company’s involvement in the Rohilla War was unjust and impolitic. The majority comprising Clavering, Monson and Francis entered into a new treaty with the. Nawab of Oudh known as the treaty of Fyzabad. Asaf-ud- daulah was now the new Nawab of Oudh who succeeded his father.
  43. 43. By this treaty the Nawab was required to pay an increased amount of rupees two lakh sixty thousandin place of two lakh ten thousandfor the maintenance of Company’s troops in Oudh. The Nawab had also to cede permanently Benares to the Company. The majority criticized the quinquennial settlement of 1772 as it was unrealistic as the amount of revenue fixed by auction with the highest bidder was extremely exhorbitant and beyond the power of the tax fanners to pay. Hastings’ reforms of the criminal justice was also objected to by the majority inasmuch as the power of the Nawab was curtailed. By a resolution all rights of the Nawab with regard to criminal justice were restored. MohammadReza Khan was reinstated in his position at naib-subah. In external affairs as well the majority did not endorse Warren Hastings’ policy of interference in the internal disputes of the Marathas and objected to policy of territorial expansion. For the period from 1774 to 1776 Warren Hastings was in an uncomfortably embarrassing situation because all his powers and authority had been virtually usurpedby the majority in the Council which was hostile to him. But the situation changed in the same year when Monson died (Sept. 25, 1776). With his casting vote Hastings now had a majority in the Council. But in 1775 when Warren Hastings was having a very hard and trying time with the hostile majority in the Council, he wrote to Colonel Macleane in London desiring to be relieved of his post. His desire was conveyed to the Court of Directors who accepted Hastings’ resignation and appointed Clavering as the Governor-General in his place (Nov., 1776). Edward Wheelerwas appointed a member of the Council of the Governor-General in place of Hastings. But in the meantime (Sept. 1776) died Monson which gave Hastings majority in the Council with his casting vote changed the situation for Hastings and he informed the Court of Directors of his intention to continue as Governor-General. Early in 1777 instruction had reached Calcutta about Clavering’s appointment as Governor-General and Clavering
  44. 44. took oath as Governor-General on June 20, 1777. Hastings however did not make over charge to Clavering and the matter was referred to the Supreme Court which decided in Warren Hastings’ favour. Wheelerarrived in Calcutta and it was apprehended that he would toe the line of Philip Francis. But again luck favoured Warren Hastings, Clavering died (Aug., 1777) leaving Hastings in the majority. Francis was too intelligent and firm a person to relax his criticism and opposition to Warren Hastings. Philip Francis’ conflict with Warren Hastings was both a conflict of personalities as well as of principles. Both differed in principles, and policy matters of the Company. Francis was an honest, puritanic type with whom conviction was more important than convenience. He had started from England with the conviction that Warren Hastings was an oppressing tyrant with whom human consideration was out of question. Francis’ letter to Lord dive bears out this attitude about Hastings. “Mr. Hastings wholly and solely has sold and ruined Bengal” wrote Francis. Francis was also not without age or ambition. It was his conviction that it was he alone who could save- Bengal and in order accomplish that he needed power and it could be had by removing Hastings from office. As such there were occasions when his attack of Warren Hastings or criticism of his work and policy was unmerited. Thus far the conflict between Warren Hastings and Francis was of personalities. But the difference in principles and policy between the two was deeper and of a fundamental nature. Philip Francis was an ardent believer in the French Philosophers and honestly and sincerely thought that Bengal could not thrive under a European Government. His idea was that in order to put an end to the prevalent corruption the British Government should assume sovereignty of Bengal which was to be restricted to defence of Bengal and receipt of a tribute. The Government of the country shouldbe felt with the Nawab with no mandatory power over him from the British side.
  45. 45. Francis was against Company’s rule in Bengal because from its very nature, the Company would try to enhance profit, extort money, resort to every type of corruption. He also did not endorse the Company’s standing forth as the diwan. He wanted the administration to be left with the Nawab. It was due to this conviction of Francis that the majority restored the power of the Nawab in matters of criminal jurisdiction. Francis also suggested a plan for permanent settlement of revenue and was highly critical of the quinquennial settlement of Warren Hastings (1772). Warren Hastings, however, had enough experience of the affairs of Bengal and was aware of the evils of the dual government He believed that the miseries of the people of Bengal could be removed if the system of responsibility without power on the part of the nawab and power without responsibility on the part of the Company was abolished. He also believed that the prevailing administrative confusion and inefficiency and the financial corruption among the Company’s servants could best be tackled by assuming direct responsibility of the diwani and by relegating the Nawab into the background. He also realized that a weak Nawab of Mirjafar’s type or a strong and” independent Nawab of Mir Qasim’s character was not conducive to the interests of the Company and therefore, the Company must assume the position of a trustee in respect of its Indian conquests on behalf of the British nation. Again Warren Hastings believed that the Indian system of administration was decadent and disorganized and the only way to infuse life and efficiency in it was to undertake a programme of reforms and render it workable. Francis who was against British interference in Indian affairs on the other handthought that the English shouldnot undertake the responsibility of making the Nawab’s government workable, on the contrary if the Company would let the Nawab freedom of action the Nawab’s administration would be reformed on native initiative. While Hastings contended that the Sadar Diwani Adalat, Sadar Nizamat Adalat with district civil and criminal courts underthem were necessitated
  46. 46. by the assumption Diwani and by the need for better administration of justice, Francis, a theoretician fed in the school of French Philosophy was opposed to the reform of native judicial system by the Company. He was critical of the abolition of the judicial function of the Zamindars in their own estates. According to him the traditional despotic system of government in India could not be mixed up with the enlightened system of English jurisprudence and Hastings’ judicial reforms was an interference in the traditional judicial system of the natives. About the judicial reforms of Hastings Francis remarked that Hastings had “rashly forced the accumulated wisdom and experience of ages to yield to the crude ideas of a few foreigners”. Out of this conviction the majority in Council passed a resolution to abolish the Sadar Diwani and Sadar Nizamat Adalats and to restore the Nawab’s criminal jurisdiction. To Francis the establishment of the Supreme Court alt Calcutta was an outrage on the native prejudices and institutions. The revenue arrangements made in 1772 for five years had been criticized by Francis on the ground of its narrow commercial outlook of raising as much revenue as possible by settling land with adventures who had given the highest bid in the auction of land settlement. Francis also did not agree with Hastings’ view that conquests had made the Company proprietor of the soil. He was for a permanent settlement of land with the Zamindars. He wanted to reduce the Company’s interference in the district revenue administration by abolishing the Six Provincial Revenue Councils andreverting to the system of supervisors as under the dual government. Hastings, however, refusedto agree with Francis’ points of view. In foreign policy Warren Hastings believed in the principle of expansion in the circumstances of the Indian political situation at the time. He also believed in the principle of extension of British influence on territories on the borders of Company’s dominions.
  47. 47. In pursuance of this policy Hastings created Oudh a buffer state against any possible attack by the Marathas, Rohilla or Maratha attack and made Oudh dependent on the British support. Francis wanted no further extension of British control beyond Bengal and vehemently opposed Hastings’ policy, which he described as, one of extirpation, annihilation and extermination of the native powers on the borders of the British territories. Francis regarded Oudh as a dangerous rival of the Company and it was at his instance that the treaty of Fyzabad in 1775 superseded the treaty of Benares which according to him corrected the imbalance between Oudh and the Company effected by the treaty of Benares. It was also the idea of Francis to reinstate the Emperor to his position as the emperor of India and to turn his help to the Company’s advantage. Francis also opposed Hastings’ policy of offence as a means to defence. The personalities and principles of the two antagonists Philip Francis were not reconcilable. While Hastings’ policy was dictated by exigencies of the situation and was pragmatic, and his policy ruthless and domineering, Francis’ policy was more theoretical and at the same time dogmatic. Although it would not perhaps have been altogether impossible to bring about a harmony between the policies and principles of the two and effect a common approach to the problems of the time but the difference in personalities made it impossible. Despite attempts at reconciliation between the two and temporary cessation of conflict, no permanent understanding or reconciliation was possible and in 1780 the personal differences reached such a point of mutual vendetta that both met in a duel under the pipul tree outside the gates of Fort William in which Francis received a pistol shot and he left for home.

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