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History of Courts in India

This provided the company to do trade for 15 years, whereas the crown had the rower to revoke the charter with 2 year notice if the company did not appear to be profitable. 5. This gave the company the rights to do trade in Asia, Africa and America. 6. Apart from the license from the company no British Subject was allowed to carry on trade. 7. As per this charter no other company was allowed to do business with this geographic area without the permission and license from the company. 8. The company was not allowed to make any laws which may go against the English laws or customs.

The company was supposed to work in democratic manner. 9. During this time company aim was to do business and make profits, harder does not mention about the war and controlling other nations or lands. 10. This is the beginning, development of Indian legislative system. For Indians this phase is very important as this is beginning of formation of India as well as our legal system. 11. MANAGEMENT OF THE COMPANY: l. A Governor and Twenty four Directors managed the company. II. They were to hold office for one year and were eligible for re-election. Ill.

All the members (shareholders) of the company formed as ‘General Court’. IV. The General court had tenure of one year and could be removed before expiry by the governor and Directors. V. The vacancy was filled by electing new person. 12. LEGISLATIVE POWERS: l. The charter of 1600 allowed limited legislative power on the company to makes laws, ordinance etc. II. These laws were to be reasonable and should not be contrary or repugnant to the laws, statutes or customs of England. Ill. The company was allowed to try piety cases and could impose fines and imprisonment. V. The company had no power to deal with capital offenses and to award capital punishments (death penalty and life imprisonment). 13. KINGS COMMITTEE: l. The company was deprived with powers to control capital offenses like murder, mutiny etc. On high seas. II. The charter awarded the Judicial powers to the company to make laws, to punish servants etc so that the functioning of company does not stop and company does not face losses. Ill. To maintain discipline among its servants, the Crown issued Royal Commission to execute martial law. ‘V.

This commission empowered the captain (chief) of the Ship to try and punish in respect of crimes committed against the ship on high seas. V. The first of such commission was issued by Queen Elizabeth to captain Lancaster on January 24, 1601. VI. The trial was held on board of the ship at Sugar Port about the murder of an Englishman n February 28, 1616 and Gregory Longing was sentenced to death on his confessional statement. VI’. Drawbacks of the Royal Commission a) Such appointment was found impracticable. B) Trail involved inordinate delay in disposal of cases. ) The charter gave the legislative power to the company; company found that the limited powers were useless on the long voyages to control servants and maintain law and order on ships. VIII. On December 14, 161 5 delegated to the company to appoint Royal commissions with provision that incase of capital offense, the verdict should be given by a Jury of twelve company’s servants. X. To maintain discipline on land among the servants of the company, King James I on February 4, 1623 conferred on the power to issue Royal commissions in respect of crimes committed on land. X.

The Presidents or Chief c officers were empowered to try and punish in respect of capital offense with the help of Jury. 14. King James I on May 31, 1609, by the charter of 1609 removed the tenure of 15 years and no limit to the life of the company after 1609 was awarded. 15. The charters of 1615 and 1623 empowered the company to establish discipline amongst its servants both on the high seas and on the land. Q: Why was the Charter of 1661 issued? (MM) the charter of 1661 1 . The limited legislative power of company was broadened by the Charter of 1661. 2. King Charles II on 3rd April 1661 issued the charter. . As per the charter of 1661 the English and the Indians residing under the Company came under its Jurisdiction. 4. This charter authorize the Governor and Council of each factory to try all the cases civil and criminal. 5. In case of no Governor and Council, the chief factor and council was authorized. 6. The charter of 1661 was extended to company’s settlements and authorized all punishments including death sentence. . It authorized the company to appoint governor and other officers for proper and sound administration. 8. The charter did not alter the constitution of the company. 9.

The qualification for voting was defined by this charter member having charge capital of E 500 was given one vote and one more vote for every additional stock of E 500. Q: Write a short not on difference between the charter of 1600 and 1661 | The Charter of 1600 | I The Charter of 1661 | 1 | It gave limited legislative power to the company | 1 I It gave broadened legislative power to the company | 2 | It was limited to the company’s servants. 2 | It extended to all those who lived in company’s settlements I 3 | It did not give power to deal with capital punishment of death sentence and life imprisonment. 3 | It authorized the company to award all the punishment including death sentence. | 4 | Tenure of 15 year was put in respect of profitability of the company with notice of 2 years for trade. | 4 | There was no such clause in this charter as unlimited life was given to the company by the charter of 1609. | Q: Which was the First Presidency of Barristers? (MM) Q: Name the place and the year when the 1st factory of East India Company was established. (Novo-12, MM) NAS: Sugar was the first presidency and Chief Commercial Centre of Barristers. It was made subordinate to Bombay in 1687.

A factory is a place consisted if office, residences for company’s employees and spacious warehouses for storage of goods. Q: What was the name of the land acquired by the English on the eastern sea coast of India? (MM) ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE (1639 – 1665) 1 . Before 1726, the administration of Justice in Madras was in elementary stage and there were two courts biz. , Coulter Court and the Court of Agent and Council. 2. In 639 an Englishmen, Francis Day acquired a piece of land on the Eastern Sea Coast from a Hindu Raja at Maidservants a small village in Madras. 3.

A fortified factory SST. George was constructed there and the people living in it were Whites (Englishmen) and it was called as White Town’ and those living outside the fort I. E. In the village of Maidservants Indians (Blacks) was called as ‘Black Town’ which was later came to known as Madras. 4. Administrative set up: Madras was an agency, the company appointed Agent and Council to administer Madras. 5. Administration of Justice: It was in the elementary stage and can be explained as follows: a) Justice in White Town: There was Court of Agent and Council, it was the Higher Court.

It was competent to decide civil and criminal cases. Serious case was referred to the company for advice. B) Justice in Black Town: There was a court known as ‘Coulter Court’. It was headed by Village Headman Called ‘Adagio or Diagram’. This court was competent to decide Petty Civil and Criminal Cases. Appeals from this court were heard by Agent and council. Capital offenders were convicted only under the authority of local sovereign (Raja). (PERIOD BETWEEN 1665 – 1686) 1 . During this period Madras become the presidency and a court of Governor and Council was established. 2.

In 1665 an English woman Mrs.. Ascent Dates was charged with murder of Indian slave girl, as the court of Agent and council was incompetent to decide on capital offenses the case was referred to the Company’s Authority. 3. The Company raised the status of madras to that of presidency and consequently the status of Agent and council Court was raised to that of Governor and Council. 4. As the Charter of 1661 authorized the Court of Governor and Council to deal with capital offenses and the case of Dace’s was tried by the help of jury. She was found not guilty of murder and was acquitted. In 1678 the court of Governor and Council was raised to High Court of Judicature which heard the appeals from Coulter Court. 6. Coulter Court was also reorganized and in place of Adagio, three company’s servants were appointed as Judges for quick disposal of cases civil or criminal up to 50 pagodas. (a pagoda was a gold coin of the value of RSI. 3/-) (PERIOD BETWEEN 1686 – 1726) During this period two important courts was established namely:- Admiralty court and Mayors Court Q: What was the function of Court of Admiralty? Q: Name the Place where the First Admiralty Court was established and who was the iris Judge-Advocate? Novo-08, MM) Q: Write a Short Note on Working of Admiralty Court (April-10, MM) 1. Establishment of Admiralty Court I. By the Charter of 1683 on 9th August 1683 Charles II ordered the establishment of Admiralty Court. I’. The Court of Admiralty was to try maritime and mercantile cases according to the rules of equality and good conscience, the laws and customs of merchants. Iii. The court got the power to hear and try the cases related with the mercantile, maritime, trespass, injury and wrongs etc. ‘v. The court used Jury in criminal cases and not in the civil cases. V.

The mercantile law was not fixed but it was based on customs of merchants and Roman law not common law of England. V’. The chief Judge of the admiralty Court was known as the Judge -Advocate. Vii. To eradicate unauthorized trade and increasing rate of piracy on high sea’s this court was founded. Viii. It constituted of a civil lawyer and two merchants (company’s servants) as his servants. Ix. The first Admiralty Court was established at Bombay in 1684. X. Sir John Biggs was appointed the first Judge Advocate of the Admiralty Court, as he was a person learned in Civil Law. He was selected by the company at

England to be appointed as Judge-Advocate of the Admiralty Court. X’. One Mayor and two Aldermen formed the quorum of the Mayor’s Court. Xii. Later its jurisdiction was extended to try all cases, civil and criminal. Xiii. Importance – First time in India a professional lawyer came who was studied in civil law and most important thing is Executive gave up Judicial Function. Note: Sir Biggs Died in 1689. And Governor again took the charge of Judicial function. Governor became the Judge advocate. And one Hindu and one Armenian were selected to assist the admiralty court regarding respective communities.

In 1692 Company sent John Dolmen as new judge advocate and in 1694 he was dismissed on the charge of taking bribes. Then William Fraser a civil servant became the Judge advocate. In 1696 company directed that members of the council should in succession serve as the Judge advocate. After Fraser, a merchant was appointed as Judge advocate later he resigned and no one was ready to become the Judge advocate, so company made the court registrar, Judge advocate He left for England in 1704 and it was decided that office should remain vacant.

After 1704 admiralty court ceased to sit on regular basis. 2. Establishment f Mayors Court Q: when was Mayor’s Court established? (MM) Q: Write a Short note on importance of Mayor’s court? (Novo-08, MM) Q: What was the main purpose of the establishment of the Mayor’s Court 1726? (NAS is Underlined(April-10, MM) Q: On What basis did the Mayor’s Court decide the cases? (NAS in italic fond) (April-10, MM) Q: Where the Mayor’s Court was first established in 1687 and where were the appeals from Mayor’s Court heard? (Novo-10, MM) A.

In 1688 a Corporation and a Mayor’s Court was established at Madras under the Charter of 1687 issued by the East India Company and not by the Crown. It was part of Madras Corporation. The Corporation of Madras was established under a charter dated December 30, 1687. B. The King George I issued a charter on September 24, 1726 for establishment of Corporations and Mayor’s Court as a part of the Corporations to introduced uniform system in all three presidencies. C. In England there they got London Corporation and they got London mayors court, as per the British Law that time Municipal corporations enjoyed the Judicial powers also.

D. Constitution of Mayor’s court : I) The corporation consisted off Mayor, 9 Aldermen (7 were to Englishmen and imagining 2 were to be of any nationality). It) Only Englishman can become the Mayor. Iii) The Mayor and Alderman for the corporation of each presidency were nominated by the crown for the first time under the charter. Iv) It was decided that every year new Mayor will be elected from Aldermen by aldermen and burgesses and retiring Mayor. V) The Aldermen hold the office as long as they stayed in presidency. Indirectly they hold the office for lifelong. ‘) A vacancy amongst the Alderman was to be filled in by the mayor and Alderman from the principal residents of the town. Ii) The Governor and Council had a reserve power to remove any Alderman on reasonable cause. The dismissed Alderman could go on appeal to the Privy Council. Viii) The Mayor and Aldermen were to form a “Court of Record” which was authorized to try civil including succession cases. ‘x) The quorum was fixed at three (Mayor or Senior Alderman and two other Aldermen). X) It had Jurisdiction of decide all civil cases including succession cases.

It was empowered to issue letters of administration. X’) Appeals from this court could be laid before the Governor and Council within 14 days, further appeal was allowed o the Privy Council within days if the value of the suit was 1000 pagodas or above. Xii) This court was known as Mayors Court. Xiii) Main features: Uniform Judicial system was introduced in the presidency towns. English Law was introduced in Indian Courts. The Charter conferred on the parties, the right to go on appeal to Privy Council. Iv) Procedure: A “sheriff’ was appointed within area of 10 miles as adopted in England. He was to serve the process of the court biz. Issuing summons, presenting parties before the court, execution of Judgments etc. Xv) The Mayors court was authorized to give allowing punishments: Fine, merchant, imprisonment and corporal punishment. Xvi) The administration of Criminal Justice was vested in Governor and five members of the council known as ‘Justice of peace’. They were responsible to maintain peace and to punish the offenders in respect of petty crimes.

Serious crimes were decided by ‘Court of Records’ consisting of Governor and three members of the council. It was to sit once in three months (quarterly) to decide all criminal cases except high treason with the help of Jury. It was given powers of the Court of O’er and Determiner and Goal Delivery in England. Vii) The laws made by the governor and Council of the respective presidencies was not contrary or repugnant to the laws to the laws of England. Xviii) Meaning of the words – Alderman – 1 . A member of the municipal legislative body in a town or city in many Jurisdictions. 2.

A member of the higher branch of the municipal or borough council in England and Ireland before 1974. 3. One of the senior members off local council, elected by other councilors. Q: What privy council? (MM) NAS: Privy Council in England was also Know as the ‘King in Council’ or Sovereign in Council’. It was the highest appellate tribunal for India till October 10, 1949. Q: Name the people who constituted the Corporation and the Mayor’s Court under the Charter of 1688? (NOVO-08, MM) (April-12, MM) (May-13, MM) NAS: The Corporation consisted of Mayor, 12 Aldermen, and 60 or more Burgesses.

The Mayor and Alderman were to elect Burgesses who were not to exceed 120 in number. Q: Write a Short note on import of English Law in India? (April-09, MM) (Novo-09, MM) NAS: 1. By the Charter of 1726, for the first time Barristers introduce English law in India. It was not the entire English, but it was general law, which was introduced in India. . East India Company made request for English law in India to overcome the several possible legal difficulties, that had cropped up because of the large number of English settlers and their having acquired a good deal of property. . All the Indian as well as English subjects were placed under the obligatory force of the English law of 1726. 4. Laws were similar to the conditions prevailing in England and those conditions and circumstances were alien to India. 5. Punishing people marrying a second wife in case first was alive I. E. Applying polygamy law would have been monstrous. 6. In like manners, the laws that in England punished as a heinous offense, the carnal knowledge of female under years of age could not with propriety be applied to India where early marriage were in vague. 7.

As the Charter of 1726 was applicable in all three presidency town- Madras, Bombay and Calcutta, this charter brought about an end to the diversity and introduced the element of uniformity, which was not there previously as each city has its own discriminatory judicial system of administration. 8. Royal courts were established by the order of King, catering to all Civil and Criminal matters in all the presidency towns. . Prior to 1726 the status of courts were vague and indefinite and where as in the new civil and criminal courts had more formal, regular and definite basis. 10.

The Judgments of the royal courts were regarded as authoritative as that was in England because both England and Indian courts were of same authority I. E. Under the King of England, regarded as fountain of Justice. 11. Also the system of appeals from India to Privy Council in England, thus this made deep impact on Indian people. 12. Thus a channel for the reception of the English law into India was thus created.

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