British come here as merchant for doing jobs, slowly they establish their
factories and increase the territorial area under them because their factories
provide a lot of opportunity of employment for Indian and they started shifting
near the factories which later called as mofussil area and then slowly British
take control over the native people. Because of increasing trade and business,
they require a proper management of the system and a regular system for
suppressing the wrong activities. Slowly this process of management led to such
a vast system of administration.
Charter by charter their system and administration criteria enhanced and
development in the system of administration all over the country takes place.
This also give us a sense a proper administer, by the flaws in the system, it
gives us idea to improve the system. Among these the Enactment of the Regulating
Act of 1773 and the Act of Settlement were two major enactments in the Indian
The Regulating Act of 1773 was the first Act to bring in major
changes in the administration and justice. then, late on, the Act of Settlement
in the year 1781, was enacted to remove the flaws of the earlier passed Act. For
the very first time there is introduction of SC in India which is separated from
the executive and centralization of power takes place.
This charter is 1st one
to provide more power to the judiciary from the executive. The Regulating Act of
1773 was the first attempt at creating a separate and somewhat independent
judicial organ in India, under the direct control of the King. The Chief Justice
and other puisne (junior) judges were appointed by the King.
The Regulating Act, 1773
After the battle of Plassey, the Britishers gain control over Bengal and
established their company right in Bengal. In 1765, Robert Clive earned the
Diwani of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa from the Mughal Emperor Shah Alam, against
payment of Rs. 26 lakhs and Nawab give up his Nizamat right. Therefore, Company
become the virtual sovereign and master of this territory.
But instead of this success Company was under debt and had to pay a large sum to
the Crown to maintain the monopoly rights in India. The affairs of the company
were poorly managed and the natives were unhappy. Even the Tea Act of 1773,
which triggered the American War of Independence, was designed to rescue the
near bankrupt company and to generate money from the colonies. In 1773, Lord
North, the then Prime Minister of England, decided to introduce some form of
legal government to manage the Indian possessions of the East India Company .
So, a secret and select committee appointed by the house of common, on the basis
of the report provided by these committees Parliament of England enacted the
Regulating Act 1773.
This act modifies the constitution of the company, subjected it, to some extent,
to the control of the British Government and parliament: reorganized the
Calcutta government and established the supreme court of Calcutta. The
Regulating Act 1773, described fully as an act for establishing certain
regulations for the better management of affairs of the East India Company as
well in India as in Europe (Jain, 2014).This act come in order to remove the
defects and deficiencies of the company's rule in India and to improve the
Among the plethora of changes and innovation, one of the important innovations
takes place in the history of the judicial system of India i.e. THE
ESTABLISHMENT OF SUPREME COURT OF JUDICATURE, 1774 under SEC 13 of the act BY
Supreme Court of Judicature, 1774
On March 26, 1774, a Charter of Justice was granted for the establishment of the
Supreme Court at Calcutta King George III. The Supreme Court was established on
22nd. October, 1774, and began functioning In January,1775. It is the
1st attempt in creating a separate and independent judicial system in India.
This Supreme Court consisted one Chief Justice and three other regular judges or
Puisne Judges. The Judges had to be Barrister-at-Law of England or Ireland of
not less than five years' standing The charter appointed Sir Elijah Impey as
the chief justice and Robert Chambers, Stephen Caesar Lemaitre and john Hyde as
puisne judges who were appointed by the king.
Also, under Clause XVIII of the first Charter ordained that 'the Supreme Court
should be a court of equity, and shall and may have the full power and authority
to administer justice, in a summary manner, as nearly as may be, according to
the rules and proceedings of our High Court of Chancery in Great
Britain'. This court had the power to exercise of all the cases related to
civil, criminal, admiralty, and ecclesiastical matters. Especially in criminal
cases, the court has to act as court of oyer and terminer and goal delivery for
the Town of Calcutta and the factories subordinate thereto, and was to use grand
jury as well as petty jury consisting of British subjects residing in the Town
Jurisdiction of Supreme Court of Judicature 1774
The jurisdiction of the court is only to the Calcutta region but can extended to
the people residing in the Bengal, Bihar and Orissa, if-
- they are British and His Majesty's subject.
- Person, directly or indirectly, employed by the company or under the
services of his Majesty's subject.
- Person voluntarily submits to the supreme court. The similarity between
the legislation of 1773-74 and the Charter of 1753 is obvious .
- Cases exceeding the limit of 500 rupees.
But the problem is that neither the Regulating Act 1773 nor the Charter of 1774,
stated or give any hint related to the law, which should administer by the court
especially in those cases which involve Indian as well.
The governor general and his council fall outside the jurisdiction of the
supreme court and not under its ambit to hear anything against them for any
offence committed by them in Bengal, Bihar, Orissa except in cases of the felony
Under the Regulating Act 1773, the King's bench is eligible to hear
cases of crime, misdemeanor and offences committed by Governor General or any
member of his council or by any judges of supreme court and also these high
officials are indemnified from the imprisonment under the supreme court's order.
The court of King's Bench could likewise require the Governor-General in Council
to examine witnesses in India and to send the records to England lie when cause
of action involved the Chief Justice and other puisne Judges of the Supreme
Court at Calcutta. When the proceedings were by Bill in Parliament concerning
any offence committed against the Regulating Act of 1773, or any other offence
committed in India, the Chancellor or the Speaker of the House of Parliament
could issue warrants for the examination of witnesses in India. Parliaments
power of requisition extended even in cases of capital offences, whereas the
King's Bench could not order for the examination of witnesses in India when the
evidence in question related to some capital offence. In criminal cases,
court decided cases with the help of jury both the Grand Jury and Petty
Legislative PowerSupreme Court has authorized to make his own procedures and rules which help it
in exercising his jurisdiction. But these rules were subject to the
King-in-Council's approval. Governor General and Council has the power to make
laws but that law should be registered under the Supreme Court and should be
reasonable in nature and that law become effective only after the registration
Miscellaneous ProvisionsWith the Regulating Act 1773 another change in the provision takes place that
is, the Governor General and council and the Judges or the Supreme Court would
not accept any kind of present; and no persons who is holding a civil or
military office under the crown or the company, would accept any present. But
this was not applicable to the cases of the Councilors, Surgeons or
Procedendo: the ability of the Supreme Court to order the lower court to procced
to the judgment of the cases without specifying.
It is also a court of equity and court of record.
Ecclesiastical JurisdictionSC issue probates of bill for the British subjects who reside in Bengal, Bihar
and Orissa for the British Subjects who resides in Bengal, Bihar and Orissa. Sc
also had the power to issue the letter of administration if no executioner of
the will is present then the SC had the power to appoint an executioner. With
this it also had the power to appoint the guardians of the infants and insane
Admiralty JurisdictionThe court had the power to try the civil maritime causes or the crime that has
been committed upon the high seas in these cases petty jury sit to take the
decision and crimes which takes place at offshore or on the ship at the offshore
of the Bengal, Bihar, Orissa, such cases tried by the SC who come under direct
and indirect employment.
Appellate JurisdictionAppeal from all the courts present at that time went to the SC and from here the
appeal went to the kings-in-council if the case was of value more than Rs.1000.
The Merits of SC were:
- The judges of the Supreme Court were professional lawyer.
- They were directly appointed by the crown, sent from England and held
office during Crown's pleasure.
- The tenure was free from the wish of the Governor and the Company.
- Judges and lawyer had the adequate knowledge of English law and know how
to apply the law in the case.
- Separation of the Judiciary and Executive. Most important it had the
jurisdiction to try company's servant in both the civil and criminal cases.
- The Englishmen residing outside the Calcutta thus fell beyond the pale
of the judicial system and so they could commit crimes with impunity as
there was no court to try them. But now SC was designed to take care of this
- Now there is publication and registration of the law made by the
Governor general and Council, under SC of judicature, only then the rule or
law will come into existence.
- Administration of Centralization of Power in India by making Bengal,Bihar ,Orissa subordinate presidencies under the control of Governor
General and Council at Calcutta. Governor general become the central executive
authority in India.
- Also, the system of Judicial Review come into existence in India.
- There is also the supervision of the power by the kings-in-council over
the legislative power of the SC, regulation or the procedure created by SC
subjected to the approval of the Kings-in-Council, even on the legislative
power of the executive, by trying any case filed against the law or rule
made by them within the 60 days of the registration of the law.
- Now there is independence from the appointment and removal of the judges
from the company and the Governor-in-council.
- Supreme Court is both the Court of Equity and the Court of Law. It has
both the admiralty and ecclesiastical jurisdiction at the same time.
Raja Nandkumar Case
Under the rule of the Nawab Siraj-ud-daulah, Raja Nandkumar was once held the
position of the Governor of Hugli. After the British arrival, he has a friendly
relation with the Britisher and he was also famous for his loyalty and famously
known as Black Colonel during Clive's period. 
He brought up many charges of bribery and corruption and present many evidences
against Warren Hasting, the Governor General in front of the council, due to
which he shares a very bad relation with the Warren Hasting.
The Council received another letter from Nand Kumar dated 13th March 1775
through which he offered to produce vouchers supporting his charges of bribery
against Warren Hastings and the Monson's motion was carried by a majority of
votes in the Council. This irked Hasting and he left the seat. The Council
elected Clavering to occupy the presiding seat at the meeting. He said that
Warren Hasting take the bribe from the Munni Begum of about Rs. 1,04,105 and
from Nand Kumar of about Rs. 2,50,000/- for appointing his son and Munni Begum
as a diwan and guardian of Nawab respectively. 
Raja Nand Kumar produce the
letter written by Munni Begum to him. Raja Nand Kumar said that Warren Hasting's
Baniya Kanta Babu had come to him, nearly four months ago to collect this
letter, but the original letter was not provided to him. The Council also called
Kanta Babu, but he avoided appearing at the instance of Warren Hastings.
Council found the charges of Raja Nand Kumar, against Warren Hastings to be true
and therefore the Council by a resolution directed Warren Hastings to pay the
same amount into the Company's treasury. This verdict makes Nand Kumar the
foe of Warren Hasting and make their relation more bitter and Warren wants to
remove him from his way.
Only a few months Nanda Kumar was arrested with Fawkes and Radhacharan for
conspiracy at the instance of the Warren Hasting for coercing third party to
make the bribery against the Warren Hasting. Also, Warren Hasting had a friendly
relation with then know chief judge of SC Impey and he already told him
everything about his intention. So, later on Fawkes was charged with fine
whereas Nand Kumar was reserved for a totally unrelated and pending case of
forgery against him, which was manipulated by the Hasting. 
an Indian brought this case of forgery done in bond in 1770 against Nand Kumar.
Even the council of other three people protested against it but nothing happened
and at last Nand Kumar was tried by the jury of twelve
Englishmen who returned a verdict of ‘guilty' and consequently, the supreme
court sentenced him to death under an act of the British parliament called the
Forgery Act which was passed as early as 1728.  After passing the sentencing
several actions were taken in his defense, they want to appeal in
King-in-Council was refused by the SC, even the mercy petition to the council
was turned down  and finally on 5th August 1775 Nand Kumar was hanged at
This verdict shows that Nand Kumar suffered the wrath of the
Warren hasting because suddenly only after few months of presenting the bribery
evidences against the hasting this case was taken into consideration and
Hasting's friendly relation with Impey and also didn't provide opportunity to
the defendant to proof himself and witnesses were cross examined by the judges
themselves, also forgery never treated as a capital offence in personal laws of
both Hindu and Muslim and at that time SC has power to give mercy to death
sentence but nothing was done.
Nand Kumar's execution shocked Indians and provoked strong protests from
Hastings's critics and rivals, both in India and in England. It was considered
most unfortunate and unjust. 
Two broad questions come into existence with
Whether Nand Kumar was under the jurisdiction of the SC, because he was not the
resident of the Calcutta, the offence, for which he was convicted, was committed
before the advent of SC and that time it was taken by the Faujdari Adalat.
Whether the Act of 1729 of British Parliament, which made forgery a capital
offence, is eligible to apply in India?
For the 2nd issue SC said that the statue of 1729 was introduced in India by the
Charter of 1753, which had replaced the Charter of 1726. Since the Charter of
1726 introduced all the statutory provision of England till that time. And
remaining provisions were introduced by the Charter of 1753 till 1753. 
This verdict show that Nand Kumar faces the wrath of the Hasting and this
punishment id the result of going against the Governor General, because of many
reasons and one of them is Hasting and Impey were school friends and this
verdict come only after a few months of presenting the evidences of bribery
against the Hasting.
The Patna Case
A native of Kabul (Afghanistan) Shahbaz Beg Khan came to India and served in the
company's army for some time and retired. He earned considerable wealth and
settled in Patna and married Nadirah Begum. Having no issues, he expressed his
desire to adopt his nephew Bahadur Beg as his son and made him the heir of his
property. But before giving effect to his wish, he died in December
Now, the conflict arises between his wife and the nephew for the
property. Here nephew want property on the basis of adopted son whereas the wife
gave the plea that his husband never adopted him with rituals as a son, he only
makes desire to do so. The widow Nadirah Begum, then again, asserted her claim
to the said property on the basis of three documents are:
Gift- Deed (Hibanama
Acknowledgment (Ikrarnama) 
Suit was filed in the Patna Council, where judges were accompanied by the Qazis
and Muftis. On the very day the Patna council ordered the qazis and muftis to
take the inventory of the property, collect the property and seal it according
to the ascertained facts and legal justice, allotted shares to them according to
the Muslim law and send such report to the council. 
But at that time instead of giving importance to justice, there were some other
activities in which English judges were involved and give preference to those,
this led to leaving all the work in the hands of the Qazis and Muftis, which was
not according to the regulation prevailed. Qazis and muftis were not allowed to
examine witness and to decide facts of the cases and give decision to the
parties, their work is only to expounded the law applicable to the facts of the
cases which were decide by the English judges after listening all the witnesses.
Later, qazis and muftis sealed and locked the property and the house of the
decreased and widow was forced to took refuge in the mosque and she was insulted
and humiliated by these qazis and muftis during the investigation.
Muftis and Qazis invalidate the 1st claim of widow i.e. dower deed on the basis
of that it was already paid by the decreased As respects the other two documents
, namely, the gift-deed and acknowledgment-deed, the law-officers recommended
that they were invalid being forged and, therefore, the property of the deceased
should be divided into four shares, out of which three should be given to
Bahadur Beg as illustrative of his dad in India and the fourth offer ought to be
go Nadirah Begum in accordance with the Mohammedan Law of
Accepting this decision of the law officers English judges,
they ordered the execution of the decision.
Nadirah Begum was not satisfied with this decision, so she file an appeal in the
Sadar Diwani Adalat where governor general and council sit as a judge. But there
also no action was taken by the judges. Later she approaches to the SC and file
a petition in the court against Bahadur Beg, muftis and qazis for abusing her
and humiliating her, for assault, battery, wrongful imprisonment, trespass into
her property, and other injuries and damages faced by her.
Now the question arises:
Q. Whether SC had the jurisdiction over Bahadur Beg?
Q. Whether Qazis and Muftis were liable for the act done under official
For 1st issue court said that he was a farmer of the land revenue, which is
almost similar to the revenue collector so he directly or indirectly employed by
the British Government. So, he was under the jurisdiction of the court.
2nd issue court said that Patna council and Quazis and muftis did not function
as per their duties and did not perform their duties as per the procedure of
law.  Because they have no right to give decision and decide the facts of
the cases. And also, because they gave the ex-parte judgement and without any
regular and proper proceeding
On that day court pass the arrest on mense and set the bailable amount to
4lakhs, which was very difficult to pay at that time. Later muftis and Qazis
were taken out from the jail by the government providing the bailable amount.
Courts give the judgement that the gift deed presented by the women wasn't
forged and she all the property of her husband and Bahadur beg, muftis and qazis
were liable to all the injuries suffered by her and had to pay her damage of
about 3lakhs. If they lived in the jails because failed to pay the damage.
It is said that in this case the fight between the council and court reached at
its climax because of the ambiguity of charter of 1774 regarding the
jurisdiction of the SC over the governor general and council.
In this case, Raja Sundernarian, who was a Zamindar of Cossijurah, was under a
great debt to Cossinath babu. Cossinath babu tried to get his money from Raja by
approaching to the Board of Revenue at Calcutta, his efforts proved in producing
no result. So, Cossinath babu filed a civil suit against the Raja in the supreme
court at Calcutta.
He also filed an affidavit on 13th August 1777-stating Raja
being Zamindar, was employed in the revenue collection and therefore under the
jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. Supreme Court issued a writ of Capias for
Raja's arrest Raja avoided service of the writ by hiding himself.  After
this, Council was informed by the collector of the Midnapur, under whose
district raja resided, about the incident because it create problem in the
revenue system and zamindars and landholders got feared by this verdict that are
also now under the.
The council sought the advice of the Advocate General It
issued notification informing all the landholders that they need not pay
attention to process of the supreme court unless they were servants of the
company or had accepted its jurisdiction by their own consent. Conflict between
the Council and the Court The supreme Court issued another writ of sequestration
on 12th November, 1779 to seize property of the Raja's house in order to compel
his appearance in the Supreme Court The sheriff came with armed force Raja was
imprisoned, the Englishmen outraged the sanctity of the family idol Action of
the Council The governor General and the council ordered Colonel Ahmuty,
Commander of armed forces to detach a sufficient force and to arrest the sheriff
with his party.
And the sheriff and his party were arrested and sent to Calcutta
as prisoners Council released them Order given to Colonel Ahmuty to resist any
further writ of Supreme Court. Reaction of Cossinath babu brought an action for
trespass against the GG and his council members individually. Now, SC ask the
governor general and his council to present before the court.  This create a
huge disturbance and GG and council refuse to do so, not present in court and SC
also didn't force them further.
At last, nothing happens and petitioner himself withdraw the case.
Defects in the Charter of 1774
Because of the ambiguity in the provisions of the Regulating Act 1773 and
inadequate description of the jurisdiction and power of Supreme Court in both
the Regulating Act and the Charter of 1774, so many problems were
created.· Undefined terms in the Act and Charter of 1774
Vague and undefined terms are used to define the jurisdiction of the SC over the
people like His Majesty
, British Subjects
or sentence like person directly
or indirectly employed by the Company
- Executive-judiciary relationship
The charter didn't clearly mention anything about the status of governor general
in the civil proceedings.
Nor it differentiate the status of act done under official capacity and private
It also didn't clarify whose decision should prevail in case of conflict between
council and court.
- Changed pattern of Power
After, the establishment of SC, judiciary had a control over the executive. Now,
court has capacity to try civil and criminal cases of Company's servant for the
acts committed in their public or private capacity. This create a conflict
between the governor general and court and even to that extent governor general
started resisting the court from doing is work.
- Two distant and Independent judicial system
In Bengal, Bihar and
Orissa, there was already a system of mofussil courts which was a company's
court and these courts derived their power by the Diwani Rights provided by
the Mughals Administration. Now, by the Regulating Act another system of
court come into existence, which were king's court. SC had jurisdiction over
certain kind people in Bengal, Bihar and Orissa, who also come under the
jurisdiction of the Company's Courts.
There was nothing in the regulating act which clarified this situation.
Nor it was clarified that if these company's courts done anything wrong that did
SC had power to take it into consideration. Because also judges in mofussil
courts were the servants of the company so they fall into its jurisdiction.
- Difficulties of Indians
By other ways SC make the people from outside Calcutta or people of Bengal,
Bihar and Orissa fall under its jurisdiction and,
If not then also for proving that they did not fall under its jurisdiction they
have to present before the court and plead to its jurisdiction, this create a
lot of inconvenience to the people in travelling and also expensive in nature.
Most importantly they didn't understand the procedure followed by the SC and
people had no clue which law applied by the court on what basis.
Unknown language and verdict and proceedings make difficult for the native to
believe that it is established for their welfare.
- Which law to be administered
It is created on the foundation of the Mayor's court which is an English court.
So, SC also administered English law, but only to that extent which is suitable
to the Indian conditions. This create a certain amount of uncertainty.
Act of Settlement, 1781
Due to such demerit with time everyone starts hating SC, executive dislike
because it controlled administrative process and interfere in their actions.
British subject dislike SC because it interferes in revenue collection matters
It stood in the way of their own progress at the cost of the local people.
Whereas Indian were already in fear and dislike SC because of what happened in
Raja Nandkumar trial and the law adjudicated by SC was not known to anyone. 
So, the court of directors send a complaint to the king-in-council in England
against the SC and said that SC interfere in the administration and natives were
feeling alienated. In return of which they appoint a secrete and select
committee known as Touchet Committee.
Main Purpose of the Act
- To remove doubts and difficulties of certain provisions of the
Regulating Act and the Charter which had created divisions between the court
and the government.
- To support the lawful government of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa so that revenue
might be collected with certainty.
To maintain & protect the inhabitants in the enjoyment of all their ancient
laws, usages, rights and privileges. 
Changes Brought by this act of 1781
Changes in the jurisdiction of the SC:
Impact of the Act
- Collectors, revenue officers and judges or all courts were exempted from
the jurisdiction of the court. Not only they but also the SC didn't have the
competence to try revenue cases. 
- Governor general and council, jointly and individually acting in their
public capacity and could not be imprisoned except the cases of felony or
any person appointed by them for doing their act were exempted from the
jurisdiction of the SC.
- While if any misdemeanor or wrongful act committed by the governor
general and council members or by any judges or by any British official,
then would be subject to any competent court in England.
- This act tries clarify many vague terms of the Regulating Act and
Charter of 1774 and also settled the question of jurisdiction of SC.
- The Appellate jurisdiction shifted in the hands of the Governor-General
and Council. Now, the appeals went from Provincial Courts to the
Governor-General in council. 
The act gave superior authority to the council over the court and favored the
This act made the position of the council very strong so that it could continue
to have a good control over the Indian empire.
It was the first attempt to separate the executive from the judiciary by
defining the respective areas of jurisdiction.
Still, the Act failed to give a vibrant impact and to remove all the flaws of
the Regulating Act of 1773.
Initially the judicial system was not that well versed because of many reasons
like the first priority of the Britishers was revenue collection or any activity
of making profit instead of delivering justice and also these people are only
merchants, who came here just for making profits and take back it to their own
country. There was no intention to established a system as such. They start with
a progressive step by making a system of courts and executive body.
These to enactment brought many great changes to the system of administration
and justice in India per se. It can also be concluded that the Regulating Act of
1773 laid the foundation of the Centralization of power and Parliamentary
Control and also most important modern concept of Judicial Review. It also based
on the principle that that judiciary and executive should be kept separated. But
though there were also some drawbacks to both the acts which can't be ignored.
These drawbacks mostly due to the lack of experience and probabilities of the
extreme or different situation. still these drawbacks give the scope of further
enhancement and growth and development in the system and help in making new
provision which help in future to deal with the situations.
- http://cbseacademic.nic.in/web_material/doc/Legal_Studies/XI_U3_Legal_Studies.pdf basically
unit 3 Historical Evolution Of The Indian Legal System of a book
- Outline of Indian legal and constitutional history by mpjain lexis nexis
7th ed pg. 75
- Mp jain Indian legal and constitutional history book pg 76
- M. P. Singh Outlines of Indian Legal & Constitutional History universal
- a group of people who decide if a person who has been charged with a
crime should be given a trial in a law court.
a jury of 12 persons empanelled to determine the facts of a case and decide the issue pursuant to the direction of the court on points of law.
- J. K. Mittal Indian Legal and Constitutional History
- https://thearticle.in/hindustan/judicial-murder-rajanad-bengal/ by Rohit
Kumar1 year ago1 year ago
- M. P. Singh, 2010, universal