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Sinha, Chittaranjan (1967) Evolution of the Structure of Civil Judiciary in Bengal 1800-31. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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In 1793 Cornwallis organised the Company's judiciary on a new basis. The salient features of its civil branch were the union of executive and judicial authorities at the top, the division of those functions in the Districts and their allocation to the Collector and the Judge separately, and the reliance on European agency for carrying out nearly the whole of the judicial administration. By 1831 the picture had changed drastically. The executive and judicial functions had been separated at the top but combined to a large extent in the Collectors of the Districts, and almost the entire original jurisdiction had been delegated to Indian Judges. Structural details had also been altered substantially. Two sets of tribunals, the Provincial Courts and the Courts of Registers, had become extinct. All these modifications came after 1800, on account of the failure of Cornwallis's system, and in the process of evolving a structure that would prove equal to the pressure of judicial business. The jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of Calcutta had been restricted in 1781, in order to remove the grounds of conflict between the Court and the Bengal Government. But in many respects the Court's jurisdiction was still not clear. That the seeds of conflict remained is shown by the subsequent history of the Court. To provide the necessary background to this study of the evolution of the civil judiciary in Bengal between 1800 and 1831, a brief introductory chapter on the pre-Cornwallis period has been included, whilst in chapters on various elements of the Company's judicial structure it seemed desirable to begin by discussing the arrangements made during the Governor- Generalships of Hastings and Cornwallis. Similarly the chapter on relations between the Supreme Court and the Bengal Administration opens with an account of earlier conflicts between the Court and the Executive.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2020 16:53

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