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Pandey, B. N. (1958) Sir Elijah Impey in India 1774-1783. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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This is study of the life and character of Sir Elijah Impey as the first Chief justice of the first Supreme Court of India. He arrived in India with a commission to administer justice according to English law and to check the Company's servants in their oppressions of the Indians. In order to administer justice according to English legal principles it was necessary. not only to establish the Supreme Court as an independent organ of King's justice but also to treat the English and Indians alike in the eyes of the law. To check oppression and corruption it was further necessary to bring under the jurisdiction of the Court the revenue and judicial officers of the Company. The late 12th century political condition of Bengal was very unfavourable for the attainments of these objects. As against the cause of law and justice which Impey tried to hold above all considerations, the Supreme Council set up the commercial and political interests of the Company. As a result the Council and the Court entered into a long series of quarrels which lasted during the whole period of Impey's stay in India. Whether the Supreme Court was to serve under the supervision and in the interest of the Council or it was to function independently as a body of checks and balances, was the main issue of quarrel between the Court and the Council. This thesis, therefore, considers the background against which Impey had to work, the objects he had in view and the methods he applied for their accomplishment. It also assesses how and under what circumstances Impey led the infant Court in its struggle against the Council and to what extent he was successful in the attainment of his objects.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2020 17:24

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