21 June 2010

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Part 20 – Indian Legal History - Lord William Bentinck period – July 1828 to March 1835

Part 20 – Indian Legal History - Lord William Bentinck period – July 1828 to March 1835 -

Reality Views by sm –
Monday, June 21, 2010

Governor General - Lord William Bentinck period – July 1828 to March 1835
2nd October 1815 Lord Hastings suggested the establishment of a separate Sadar Adalat for the Western Territory –
The Reason – To get justice people have to travel 1000 miles many times to reach the Sadar Adalat. Because of this Poor people did not get opportunity to file appeals or get justice. 2nd Reason was Delay in getting justice.
Eg. Agra to Calcutta travel for justice just thinks.
But no change was made, but he gave the thought.

Lord Bentinck like the thought and idea of the Lord Hastings to establish another Sadar Adalat.
So Lord Bentinck again forcefully argued for this cause.
This time Lord Bentinck succeeded.
Governor General Bentinck government established through Regulation VI of 1831, Sadar Diwani Adalat and Sadar Nizamat Adalat at Allahabad from January 1, 1832.
Jurisdiction Area – Banaras Province, Districts of Meerut, Saharanpur, Muza ffarnagar and Bulandshahar.

Bentinck Brought Changes in Criminal Judicature of 1793 which Lord Cornwallis established.

Bentinck realized that the people are not getting speedy justice.
Bentinck said that these courts had become the resting place for those members of the service who were deemed unfit for higher responsibilities.
[He said this about the English People.]

Bentinck Brought Changes in Circuit Court –

Regulation I of 1829 appointed Commissioners of Revenue and circuit.
Power of Commissioners – To superintendence and control over the magistrates. Police, collectors, and other executive revenue officers.
The got all the powers of Court of Circuit.
Each Commissioner controlled small area so people will get cheap and fast justice.
Bengal Presidency was divided into 20 Divisions and for each division one commissioner was appointed.
With this change Provincial Courts of Appeal stop to work as the Circuit Courts.
The one of the object was that to make supervision and control of the revenue authorities more effective.

Regulation II of 1829, any order or decision passed by a magistrate or joint magistrate was made appealable to the commissioners. And the order of the commissioner was made final.

The plan improved the justice system. But the work load of Commissioner increased.
Again one person got revenue and judicial function which Cornwallis changed in the past.

Regulation V of 1831 declared that magistrate may refer any criminal case to a Sadar Ameen or a principal sadar Ameen for investigation
Ammen was an Indian servant of British Judiciary.
In 1832 the powers of Ammen and Indian law officers were increased.

Changes Made By Lord Bentinck in Civil Procedure –
Powers of Munsiff increased.
They used to get the fees from suits, it was cancelled and they started to get the monthly allowance.
Any Indian can became Ammen no discrimination based on Religion.

Sadar Ammen and Munsiff – appeal went to district diwani adalat.
The order of district diwani adalat was final.
But special appeal was allowed to Sadar diwani adalat.

The judicial powers of registers were removed.
The munsiff was the poor mans justice provider , he was nearby them so he got speedy justice.

Lord Bentinck Introduced Jury system –

Regulation VI of 1832 made provision for the governor general in council to invest any European civil judge in a trial of civil suit original or appellate with powers to avail himself of the assistance of the Indians in one of the three ways.
First judge could refer the suit to panchayat and they will give him report of investigation
Secondly judge could constitute 2 or more persons as assessors which help the judge during the examination of witness and each assessor gave separate report.
Thirdly judge can appoint any person as jury who will suggest the judge points of investigation or inquiry.

Regulation XIV of 1834 power to try revenue cases was given to collector.

In 1837 the act was passed which gave power to Principal sadar Ammen to try suits of any amount referred to them by district diwani adalat.

Act X 1859 made all kinds of revenue cases cognizable by the collectors.

In 1885 Bengal Tenancy Act was passed which authorized civil courts to determine disputes between landlords and tenants

Suggested Reading –

Part 21 – Indian Legal History – Regulation and Non Regulation Provinces


Neha June 21, 2010  

have you thought about my suggestion? making a book out of these history chapters? :)

sm,  June 21, 2010  

thanks for suggestion
I will think about it.

Neha June 21, 2010  

yeah please do..they are so informative :)

sm,  June 23, 2010  


Vijay,  April 25, 2011  

It is nice

sm,  April 25, 2011  


Anonymous,  November 06, 2012  

its very nice yr :) i m making notes from this..
tnks a lot

Unknown November 21, 2012  

Hey I am not able to view the whole page. When I click on continued, there is no new page. Help Me Out !! These are actually awesome points and I have an exam tomorrow..Please reply asap ! Thank You ! :)

SM November 21, 2012  

@Swati Garg

good luck for exams.

Read the part 21

left hand side you will find a link for all the parts just click it and read one by one

continue = read next part
sorry for confusion