Modern History Simplified: Judiciary and Judicial reforms under Warren Hastings

The beginning of a common law system, based on recorded judicial precedents, can be traced to the establishment of ‘Mayor’s Courts’ in Madras, Bombay and Calcutta in 1726 by the East India Company.
With the Company’s transformation from a trading company into a ruling power, new elements of the judicial system replaced the existing Mughal legal system.

Judiciary  Under Warren Hastings 

District Diwani Adalat (Civil Court)
  1. District Diwani Adalats were established in districts to try civil disputes. 
  2. These adalats were placed under the collector.
  3. It had Hindu law applicable for Hindus and the Muslim law for Muslims.
Sadar Diwani Adalat (Civil court of appeal)
  1. The appeal from District Diwani Adalats lay to the Sadar Diwani Adalat (Civil Cases) .
  2. They functioned under a president and two members of the Supreme Council.
District Fauzdari Adalats (Criminal Court)
  1. Were set up to try criminal disputes 
  2. It Was operated under an Indian officer assisted by qazis and muftis.
  3. These adalats also were under the general supervision of the collector.
  4. Muslim law was administered in Fauzdari Adalats.
Sadar Nizamat Adalat (Criminal Court of appeal)
  1. Court of Appeal for District Faujdari Adalat (criminal cases).
  2. The approval for capital punishment and for acquisition of property lay to the Sadar Nizamat Adalat at Murshidabad which was headed by a deputy nizam (an Indian Muslim) assisted by chief qazi and chief mufti.
Supreme Court established under Regulating Act 1773
  1. Competent to try all British subjects within Calcutta, including Indians and Europeans.
  2. It had original and appellate jurisdictions.

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