Home » Courts in India » History of Courts in India

History of Courts in India

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 offences and to award capital punishments (death penalty and life imprisonment). The company was deprived with powers to control capital offences 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 History of Courts in India By sanitized 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 offence, 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 offence 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 authorities 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 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 1639 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. 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 offences 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 offences and the case of Dace’s was tried by the help of jury. She was found not guilty of murder and was acquitted. 5. 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 first Judge-Advocate?

Novo-08, MM) Q: Write a Short Note on Working of Admiralty I. By the Charter of 1683 on 9th August 1683 Charles II ordered the establishment of Admiralty Court. It. 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. . 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. ‘x. 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. I. 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 Lillian 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 of 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? (Mans is Underlined(April-10, MM) Q: On What basis did the Mayor’s Court decide the cases? (Mans 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 : remaining 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. V) It was decided hat 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. Vi) A vacancy amongst the Alderman was to be filled in by the mayor and Alderman from the principal residents of the town. Vii) 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 to 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 n appeal to Privy Council. Xiv) 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 following punishments: Fine, impairment, 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 Ore and Terminate and Goal Delivery in England. Xvii) 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 of a local council, elected by other councilors. Q: What privy council? (MM) Mans: 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. The Charter of 1688? (NOVO-08, MM) (April-12, MM) (May-13, MM) Mans: 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) Mans: 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. 2. 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 offence, 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. 9. 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. Q: Write a Short note on distinguishes between Mayor’s Court under Charter of 1687 and Mayor’s Court under Charter of 1726. Mayor’s Court under Charter of 1687 | Mayor’s Court under Charter of 1726 | 1 | Company Court. 1 I Crown Court. I 2 | It was established under the charter issued by the Company. | 2 | It was established under the charter issued by the Crown (King Gorge l). 13 1 It could decide civil and criminal cases. 3 | It could decide civil cases only. | 4 | Appeals from this court would lay before the Admiralty court. | 4 | Appeals from this court would lay before the Governor and Council. | 5 | There was a provision for appointment of Recorder. | 5 | There was no such provision. I 6 | It applied no technical rules of law, and decided cases according to ‘Judges’ Sense of Justice. 6 | It applied English law on the principles of Justice and Q: Discuss the Working of the Mayor’s Court with special reference to the Conflict between the Mayor’s Court and the Governor in Council? (Novo-08, MM)(April-09, MM) Novo-09, MM) (May-13, MM) Q: Explain the functioning of the Mayor’s Court with special reference to the Conflict between the Mayor’s Court and the Governor in Council? (April-1 1, MM) (Novo-11, MM) Q: Describe the Working of the Mayor’s Court with special reference to the Conflict between the Mayor’s Court and the Governor in Council? April-12, MM) Q: Write a Short Note on Working of the Mayor’s Courts? (Novo-12, MM) (For Mans include the establishment of Mayor’s court and the two point of this answer) Q: Explain the functioning of the Crown’s Court and the Company’s Court and highlight the Jurisdiction difference? (Novo-12, MM) Mans: Working of the Mayor’s Courts: (Conflicts between Mayor’s Court and the Governor and Council): The functioning of Mayor’s Court was not satisfactory for the following reasons: 1 . The Judges of Mayor’s Court claimed independence of Judiciary and tired to maintain autonomy.

Similarly the Governor and Council tried to maintain supremacy over the Mayor’s Courts. 2. The Judges of Mayor’s Courts were ill-treating the Hindus. Conflicts in Bombay Presidency: The relations between Mayor’s Court and Governor and Council were cardinal resulting in frequent conflicts which can be seen through the following cases: a) Conversion case or shimmy’s case 1730): In this case the question was whether mayor’s Court had Jurisdiction over caste and religious matters? Facts of the Case: In 1730, a Hindu woman of Shimmy Caste converted to Christianity and got married.

Consequently, her 12 year old son was parted (separated) from her and kept under the custody of her relatives. She filed a suit against the relatives for unlawfully detaining some Jewels and the boy. The Mayor’s Court gave decree in her favor. On appeal to Governor and Council by the Head of the caste, it was held that the Mayor’s Court had no Jurisdiction to deal with caste and religious conflicts and reversed the decision. ) Arab Merchant’s Case (1730): An Arab Merchant’s ship, on his way to India, Caught fire and he lost some valuable pearls.

The person who rescued him was alleged to have taken them and was sued in Mayor’s Court. The Governor and Council directed the Mayor’s Court to invalidate the claim of Arab Merchant; but the Mayor’s Court decreed in favor of the Arab Merchant. C) Cow Oath Case (1746): The Judges of Mayor’s Court insisted upon Hindu witnesses to sworn upon ‘cow instead of the book ‘Get’. This affected the sentiments of Hindus and they were annoyed. If the Hindu witness refused to do so, they held up the quarter sessions. A Complaint by Hindu witness to the Governor and Council resulted in conflicts.

Conflicts in Madras Presidency: Here too the relations between Mayor’s Court and Governor and Council were satisfactory. Pagoda Oath case given below illustrates on this point. A) Pagoda Oath Case: The Judges of Mayor’s Court insisted upon Hindu witnesses to be sworn upon ‘Pagoda Coin’ instead of the book ‘Get’. On refusal, Hindu witnesses were sent to prison. Then the Hindus had to resort to the help of the Governor. The Governor directed the prison authorities to release them on parole (subject to good behavior). B) Mayor and Secretary Betting Case: Tertian, secretary to the Madras Government and Mayor pay.

Terrain sued him in the Mayor’s Court which ruled that Mayor was immune (exemption) from prosecution. The Government later complained that its secretary had been treated with indignity (dishonor) by the Court. Conflicts in Calcutta Presidency: At Calcutta also the relations between Mayor’s Court and Governor and Council were not cardiac resulting in many resulting in many conflicts. Thus it can be concluded form the above case that Mayor’s Court and the Governor in Council did not pay due respect to law and Justice. To remove these defects, a new charter was issued in 1753 by incorporating certain amendments to the charter of 1726.

Q: Why was the Judiciary sub-serviette in the administration of Justice between 1600 and 1726? Mans: The Company gave lesser importance to the Judicial independence, fair Justice and rule of law as it was interested in the expansion of its trade and territorial possession and it was in favor of protection its interest even at the cost of justice. THE CHARTER OF 1753 Q: What was the Jurisdiction of the court of Request? (May-13, MM) (Mans 3rd Point) Reasons for the Charter of 1753 1 . The company tried to remove all the disadvantages of the charter of 1726 by the charter of 1753. 2.

In the year 1746, The French got the control of Madras Presidency so the Government Lawyers suggested the company to restore the Judicial institution. 3. The relation between Mayor’s Court and the Governor in Council was not cardiac and was giving rise to frequent conflicts. These were the few reasons because of which the King George II issued a new charter nil 753. Reforms brought by the charter of 1753: The Reforms of the charter of 1753 was applicable to all the 3 Presidency Towns. (Bombay, Madras and Calcutta) 1 . Appointment of Judges in Mayor’s Court: New charter changed the method of appointment of Mayor and Aldermen.

Governor and Council got the power to appoint the Aldermen. Regarding selection of the Mayor, the corporation was to prepare a panel of 2 people from amongst Aldermen, Governor and Council selected one of them as the Mayor. 2. Reorganization of Mayor’s Court: The mayor’s court had no power to try civil suits of the natives, unless they submit themselves to its Jurisdiction. Regarding taking of Oath’ by Hindu witnesses, it stated that the oath must be taken in a manner, which was considered most binding on their conscience according to their castes.

The charter of 1753 conferred power on Mayor’s court to hear the cases of Mayor and Aldermen. However the party to the suet was not allowed to sit as Judge. The court was allowed to hear the Indian cases only if both native Indian parties agreed and submitted the case to the Mayors court. 3. Creation of Court of Request: This charter also created the new court called as Court of Request at each presidency town to decide, cheaply and quickly cases up to 5 pagodas. (1 Pagoda equals to 3 Rupees). This court was established to help poor Indian litigants who cannot afford the expenses of the court.

The court weekly sat once, and was manned by commissioners 8 to 24 in number. The government appointed the commissioners the ballot method by remaining commissioners. 3 Commissioners sat in each court on rotation. For small claims, cognizable by Requests court if people, plaintiff went to the Mayors court, the rule was that Defendant was awarded costs, this way it saved time and money also. Requests court got the power to hear the Indian matters also. 4. Court fee provisions (Oath Provisions): Now suitors deposited money with the Government not to the Mayors Court.

Drawbacks of the Charter of 1753: 1. This way Mayor became the puppet of the Governor and Council. 2. This way Mayor as well as Aldermen became the nominee of Government. 3. Government got the full control of Corporation. 4. This way Government got the power to appoint the Judge of the Mayors Court and remove him also if he disobeyed the Government or Governor. 5. Mayor’s court lost all the autonomy and independence, and became secondary in nature. Q: Why were the Charters of 1726 and 1753 were issued? 1. The Charters of 1726 and 1753 deal with Mayor’s courts.

Cite This Work

To export a reference to this essay please select a referencing style below:

Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.

Leave a Comment