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Nuncomar's trial. Sir James Stephen inclines to the opinion that English criminal law was originally introduced to some extent by the charter of 1661, but that the later charters of 1726, 1753, and 1774 must be regarded as acts of legislative authority whereby it was reintroduced on three successive occasions, as it stood at the three dates mentioned. If so, the statute of 1728 would have been in force in Calcutta in 1770 when Nuncomar's offence was alleged to have been committed, and at the time of his trial in 1775. But high judicial authorities in India have maintained a different view. According to their view British statute law was first given to Calcutta by the charter establishing the mayor's court in 1726, and British statutes passed after the date of that charter did not apply to India, unless expressly or by necessary implication extended to it l. Since the passing of the Indian Penal Code the question has ceased to be of practical importance. In 1744 war broke out between England and France, and Mutiny

Act and in 1746 their hostilities extended to India. These events Articles of led to the establishment of the Company's Indian Army. Indian

War for The first establishment of that army may, according to Sir Forces. George Chesney ?, be considered to date from the year 1748, 'when a small body of sepoys was raised at Madras, after the example set by the French, for the defence of that settlement during the course of the war which had broken out, four years previously, between France and England. At the same time a small European force was raised, formed of such sailors as could be spared from the ships on the coast, and of men smuggled on board the Company's vessels in England by the Company. An officer, Major Lawrence, was appointed by a commission from the Company to command these forces in India.' During the Company's earliest wars its army consisted mainly, for fighting purposes, of Europeans.

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Morley's Digest, Introduction, pp. xi, xxiii. ? Indian Polity (3rd ed.), ch. xii, which contains an interesting sketch of the rise and development of the Indian Army. The nucleus of a European force had been formed at Bombay in 1668, supra, p. 18. ILBERT


It has been seen that by successive charters the Company had been authorized to raise troops and appoint officers. But the more extensive scale on which the military operations of the Company were now conducted made necessary further legislation for the maintenance of military discipline. An Act of 1754 1 laid down for the Indian forces of the Company provisions corresponding to those embodied in the annual English Mutiny acts. It imposed penalties for mutiny, desertion, and similar offences, when committed by officers or soldiers in the Company's service. The Court of Directors might, in pursuance of an authority from the king, empower their president and council and their commanders-in-chief to hold courts-martial for the trial and punishment of military offences. The king was also empowered to make articles of war for the better government of the Company's forces. The same Act contained a provision, repeated in subsequent Acts, which made oppression and other offences committed by the Company's presidents or councils cognizable and punishable in England. The Act of 1754 was amended by

another Act passed in 1760%. Charters The warlike operations which were carried on by the East and 1758 India Company in Bengal at the beginning of the second booty and

half of the eighteenth century, and which culminated in cession of Clive's victory at Plassey, led to the grant of two further territory.

charters to the Company.

A charter of 1757 recited that the Nabob of Bengal had taken from the Company, without just or lawful pretence and contrary to good faith and amity, the town and settlement of Calcutta, and goods and valuable commodities belonging to the Company and to many persons trading or residing within the limits of the settlement, and that the officers and agents of the Company at Fort St. George had concerted a plan of operations with Vice-Admiral Watson and others, the commanders of our fleet employed in those parts, for regaining the town and settlement and the goods and com27 Geo. II, c. 9.

1 Geo. III, c. 14.

of 1757

as to



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modities, and obtaining adequate satisfaction for their losses ; and that it had been agreed between the officers of the Company, on the one part, and the vice-admiral and commanders of the fleet, on the other part, assembled in a council of war, that one moiety of all plunder and booty which shall be taken from the Moors 'should be set apart for the use of the captors, and that the other moiety should be deposited till the pleasure of the Crown should be known. The charter went on to grant this reserved moiety to the Company, except any part thereof which might have been taken from any of the king's subjects. Any part so taken was to be returned to the owners on payment of salvage.

A charter of 1758, after reciting that powers of making peace and war and maintaining military forces had been granted to the Company by previous charters, and that many troubles had of late years arisen in the East Indies, and the Company had been obliged at very great expense to carry out a war in those parts against the French and likewise against the Nabob of Bengal and other princes or Governments in India, and that some of their possessions had been taken from them and since retaken, and forces had been maintained, raised, and paid by the Company in conjunction with some of the royal ships of war and forces, and that other territories or districts, goods, merchandises, and effects had been acquired and taken from some of the princes or Governments in India at variance with the Company by the ships and forces of the Company alone, went on to grant to the Company all such booty or plunder, ships, vessels, goods, merchandises, treasure, and other things as had since the charter of 1757 been taken or seized, or should thereafter be taken, from any of the enemies of the Company or any of the king's enemies in the East Indies by any ships or forces of the Company employed by them or on their behalf within their limits of trade. But this was only to apply to booty taken during hostilities begun and carried on in order to right and recompense the Company upon the goods, estate, or people of those parts from whom they should sustain or have just and well-grounded cause to fear any injury, loss, or damage, or upon any people who should interrupt, wrong, or injure them in their trade within the limits of the charters, or should in a hostile manner invade or attempt to weaken or destroy the settlements of the Company or to injure the king's subjects or others trading or residing within the Company's settlements or in any manner under the king's protection within the limits of the Company. The booty must also have been taken in wars or hostilities or expeditions begun, carried on, and completed by the forces raised and paid by the Company alone or by the ships employed at their sole expense. And there was a saving for the royal prerogative to distribute the booty in such manner as the Crown should think fit in all cases where any of the king's forces should be appointed and commanded to act in conjunction with the ships or forces of the Company. There was also an exception for goods taken from the king's subjects, which were to be restored on payment of reasonable salvage. These provisions, though they gave rise to difficult questions at various subsequent times, have now become obsolete. But the charter contained a further power which is still of practical importance. It expressly granted to the Company power, by any treaty of peace made between the Company, or any of their officers, servants, or agents, and any of the Indian princes or Governments, to cede, restore, or dispose of any fortresses, districts, or territories acquired by conquest from any of the Indian princes or Governments during the late troubles between the Company and the Nabob of Bengal, or which should be acquired by conquest in time coming, subject to a proviso that the Company should not have power to cede, restore, or dispose of any territory acquired from the subjects of any European power without the special licence and approbation of the Crown. This power has been relied on as the foundation, or one of the foundations, of the power of the Government of India to cede territory

· Lachmi Narayan v. Raja Pratab Singh, I. L. R. 2 All. 1.


The year 1765 marks a turning-point in Anglo-Indian The Comhistory, and may be treated as commencing the period of pany as

territorial territorial sovereignty by the East India Company. The sove

reign. successes of Clive and Lawrence in the struggle between the English and French and their respective allies had extinguished French influence in the south of India. The victories of Plassey and Baxar, made the Company masters of the north-eastern provinces of the peninsula. In 1760 Clive returned from Bengal to England. In 1765, after five years of confusion, he went back to Calcutta as Governor and Commander-in-Chief of Bengal, armed with extraordinary powers. His administration of eighteen months was one of the most memorable in Indian history. The beginning of our Indian rule dates from the second governorship of Clive, as our military supremacy had dated from his victory at Plassey. Clive's main object was to obtain the substance, though not the name, of territorial power, under the fiction of a grant from the Mogul Emperor.

This object was obtained by the grant from Shah Alam of Grant of the Diwani or fiscal administration of Bengal, Behar, and Diwani.

the Orissa?

The criminal jurisdiction in the provinces was still left with the puppet Nawab, who was maintained at Moorshedabad, whilst the Company were to receive the revenues and to maintain the army. But the actual collection of the revenues still remained until 1772 in the hands of native officials.

Thus a system of dual government was established, under which the Company, whilst assuming complete control over the revenues of the country, and full power of maintaining or disbanding its military forces, left in other hands the responsibility for maintaining law and order through the agency of courts of law. The great events of 1765 produced immediate results in Plassey (Clive), June 23, 1757 ; Baxar (Munro), October 23, 1764.

The grant is dated August 17, 1765, The 'Orissa' of the grant corresponds to what is now the district of Midnapur, and is not to be confused with the modern Orissa, which was not acquired until 1803.

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