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    E   MAYOR'S   COUR A C LCU *   #  he   Qaeen   Elizabeths   Charter   of   1601   gave   he   Governor   and   Company   of   Merchants   of   London   rading   into   the   East   ndi<^ ,   popularly   known   as   the   London   East   ndia   Coup   any,   some   legislative   authority   empowering   them   to   make   such   laws   and   orders   as   were   neeessary   for   the   good   government   of   the   Company*   For   the   better   advancement   of   the   Company ’ s   interests   the   activities   of   the   personnel   employed   by   the   Company   had   be   to   regulated.   he   laws,   orders   and   penalties   of   the   Company   had,   however,   to   be   reasonable   and   not   repugnant   to   the   laws   of   England   for ã the   time   (19)*   he   loyal   Charters   of   1609,   1661,   1669/   and   1683   recognised   the   same   power   of   the   Coup   any.   he   Charter   of   1693   incorporating   “  he   English   Coup   any   ra   ding   to   the   East   ndies ,   popularly   known   as   the   English   East   ndia   Coup   any,   remained   as   the   foundation   of   the   privileges   of   he   United   Company   of   Merchants   of   England   rading   to   the   East   ndies   which   emerged   as   a   new   Company   from   the   amalgamation   of   the   two   former   Companies   in   the   year   1?08.   n   exercise   of   its   power   the   London   East   ndia   Company   had   taken   up   as   early   as   1668   the   judicial   adminis   tration   of   the   islands   of   Bombay,   whose   sovereignty   also   had   vested   in   the   British   King   by   its   transfer   in   1661   by   the   King   of   Portugal   (20).   he   laws   there   were   fairly   exhaustive   and   a   hierarchy   of   Courts   was   duly   established   with   distinct   jurisdictions,   -though   not   always   with   a   duly   qualified   judicial   personnel.   n   Madras,   again,   the   Mayor ’ s   Court   consisting   of   the   Mayor   and   Alderman   and   other   officers   had   been   functioning   satisfactorily   for   a   pretty   long   time .   (21).   Only   in   the   4 settlement   at   Fort   William   there   was   no   duly   constituted   court-of   judicature   enjoying   specific   jurisdiction   over   the   Englishmen   living   in   factories   subordinate to   the   Fort   William.   The  Court   of   Directors   ifc   London   proposed   as   early a 1693   to   set   up   for  the   settlement   at   Fort   William a regular   court   of   judicature  like   the   one   that   was   . the time   functioning   at   Fort   Saint   George   ( )..   But   the English   as   yat   felling   to   obtain   a  firm   footing   in   Bengalbecause   of   the   Nawab ’ s   refusal   to   grant   them   a   permanentright   of   settlement   under   the   revenue  law   of   the liughals ( 3)   it   was   accordingly   decided   to   -await   the   proper   timeand   proposed   that   offenders,   when   necessary,   would   be   sent to   Fort   Saint   George for   trial   ( 4).   Goon   however   the   acquisition   of   the   three   villages   of   Sutanati,   Govindpur   and   Calcutta   in   1698   placed   the   Company   in   the   position   of   a   Zamindar   paying   revenue to   the   Emperor..   It   was   estimated   that   the   said   three   villages   contained,   a the   beginning   of   the   eighteenth   century,   a   population   of   well   over   30,000.   The   Company at   this   time   had   thus   two   distinct   authorities,   namely,   one   of   a   Zemindar   concerned   with the   collection   of   revenue   and   the   exercise   of   some   amount   of   magisterial   functions   of   settling   petty   offences   and   revenue   disputes   occurlng   in   the   area   under   its   control   and   secondly,   of   a   corporate   body   exercising   some   amount   of   sovsroign   authority   derived   from   the   king   of   England,   through   the   medium   of   Charter,   over Bis   Majesty ’ s   subjects   residing   at   the   various   settlements   in   India. In   obedience to   necessity,   the   Company,   therefore,   had   to   establish   three types   of   courts   with  if   1 ^   5 /   jurisdictions. First,   there   was   the   foujdary   court   presided   over ■ --S *   * *n   —   *t M 'nrirt n.ri«- ffTg-T ii.v3»; by   a   Member   of   the   Board   of   Council   or   a   servant   of   the ã   ã Company   under   Council.   The   court   .proceeded   in   s mmary way,   obtaining   in   case   of   capital   sentences   the   approba   -   tion   of   the   President   and   Council   before   execution   ( 5).   Its   jurisdiction   extended   only   to   complaints   of   a criminal   nature   lodie^by^^Jtie^j^ian^iiihajDitants. Secondly,   the   court   of   cuchery   was   established   consisting   of   the   Company ’ s   servants   under   Council,   any   three   of   whom,   their   President   being   one,   upon   fixed   days,   met   for   adjudication,   in   a   summary   way,   of   smalls   causes *■*-*ã ‘   —   Tf * 7 '   ^ of   action   arising   between   the   ocal   people   of   the   Company ' s   settlement .( 6).   dore   important   and   difficult   causes   action   had   to   be   referred   by   t! s   court   of   cuchery   to   the   Council   for   their   hearing   before   a   full   Council   ( 7).   Appeals   from   this   court   of   cuchery   ay   to   the   Governor   and   Council. Thirdly,   there   was   another   court   called   the   Collector ’ s   Cuchery   exercising   its   jurisdiction   in   the   affairs   and   causes   involved   in   the   collection   of   ground   rents. The   Company   next   decided   to   establish   among   other   things   a   tayor   s   Court   at   Calcutta.   On   an   application   to   the   King   in   Parliament   the   Company   obtained   a   Royal   Charter   in   17 3   empowering   the   Company   to   manage   with   greater   authority   the   administration   of   its   settlements   in   India.   Under   this   Charter   the   Company   proposed   to   introduce   many   in novatio ns, J jn,4i-he-.administration   of   justice   at   Fort   V/illlam   in   Bengal. One   Charter   more   was   granted   for   this   purpose   on     6  4th   September,   17 6   According   to   his   Charter   an   Ann ual   Sheriff   and   nine   nominate   ersons   were   to   make   the   Court i- ,   .   i rn   M   mi   Tinm   n   ã  - ni T of   uayor   and   Aldermen   to   try   all   civil   causes.   From   the   decisions   of   his   Mayor ’ s   Court   appeal   lay   to   the   President   a nd   Council   and   then,   under   certain   conditions,   to   His   .Majesty's   Privy   Council   in   case   the   sentence   was   for   one ■   ã   ti   ã thousand   pagodas,   a   pagoda   being   equivalent   to   three   rupees.   Three   of   the   Judicial   members   of   the   Mayor*s   Court,   the   Mayor   or   senior   Alderman   being   one,   were   regarded   as   the   quorum   for   the   hearing,   trying   and   determining   all   civil   causes.   It   was   nevertheless   enjoined   on   the   court   to   persuade   as   many   members   as   possible   to   si as   Judges   so   that   Justice   might   be   done   more   scrupulously   and   with   greater   care   and   more   serious   deliberation   ( 8).   ã It   seems   that   under   the   earlier   Charter   of   17 the   aldermen   elected   their   own   mayor   instead   of   two   members   as .   “ - “ ãw   ã   ;?Cr*vr*V* '   jr   9 if-' their   nominees,   as   under   the   second   charter   of   1753   for   the MiwiisritnMi   >   t   ‘   JKl %agriW3^<.j^ choice   of   the   Hon'ble   the   President   and   Council   at   tort   -   Hilliam   ( 9-30).   The   period   of   mayoralty   being   over,   the   President   (Mayor)   would   si on   the   Bench   as   an   ordinary   alderman   Judge   of   the   court   (31).   »V en   vacancies   arose,   the   Court   elected   i s   alderman   (3 ).   The   aldermen   when   to   resign   did   i with   the   leave   of   the   court.   The   Mayor   being   indis   -   posed   or   absent   the   senior   most   alderman   would   take   the   chair,   A   full   court   would   be   summoned   for   the   election   by   ballots   of   two   members   under   the   charter   of   17 3   to   be   presented   to   the   Governor   and   Council   at   Fort   H'illiaa   for   them   to   elect one   of   them   to   serve   as   Mayor   of   the   Corporation   for   the *   ■ ensuing   year   (33-34).   A   full   court   would   be   again   summoned   to   attend   the   President   and   Council   with   the   Mayor   Elect, to   see   him   sworn   in   office.   (36),   The   Judges   were   very   keen
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