CORNWALLIS CODE PART-2

As we have studied how reforms were introduced in the Civil Administration during the period of Lord Cornwallis . Similarly, he tried to bring about reform in the field of Criminal Administration . Again, the District Faujdari Adalat , headed by the Indian Officers , were abolished and in thier place the District Judge was given power to look into Criminal Cases of Arresting and Bail . And Provincial Circuit Courts of Appeal were empowered to hear Appeals of Criminal Cases of lower Courts . Apart from being Courts of Appeal for Civil Cases upto certain limits mentioned in my Part-1 of my blog , these were the Courts of Appeal for criminal cases also . The Judges of Provincial Circuit Courts used to visit their divisions twice a year to hear Criminal Cases with the help of Indian Qazis and Muftis . These Courts were empowered to foster Capital Punishment subject to confirmation of the Sadr Nizamat Adalat, the highest Court of Appeal in Criminal Cases . The Governor General had power of pardon or commutation of punishment .

Corruption was rampant in the Commercial Department . The Company’s servant were playing mischieves by selling goods in Europe on higher prices and minting money like anything . For that, the Board of Trade was established in Calcutta in 1774 . However , he reduced the members of the Board from 11 to 5 because the goods supplied by the contractors were of low quality and they in conivance with the members of Board, used to get clearance from the Board. Now , supply of goods through the contractors was given up . Instead supply of goods through Commercial Residents and Agents began . When practices changed the role the Commercial Residents became important . They used to give advances to the manufacturers and settled prices . So , the Company started getting goods at chipper rate .

The land Revenue was the other area which was quite complex during his period . It has been in the Company’s interest that the land Revenue be such that both— the Company and the Peasants would equally be benefited . Prolong discussion regarding this went at the level of the Government . Lord Cornwallis , Sir John Shore ( the President of the Board of Revenue ) and James Grant ( the Record Keeper ) had continuous discussions on ; with whom settlement be made— with Zamindars or directly with the Raiyot ? Should settlement be made for a particular year or forever ? And how much would be the share of the state in such Revenue Collections ? Such were the questions continuously discussed at Government level for long .

Firstly the Zamindars were recognized as the owners of the land and ten years settlement was made in 1790 with them . Lord Cornwallis was not satisfied with the arrangement . He considered the Zamindars of Bengal equal to that of the landlords of England . He did not went into details of the nature of the land . As in England the property rights on land generally was with the landlords , defaultly he also applied the same parameters in the then Bengal , so far as the settlement of land Revenue was concerned . In 1793 , the decennial settlement with the Zamindars was declared permanent . It is called Permanent Settlement . The state demands were fixed at 89 % while the Zamindars share in land Revenue was kept as low as 11 % . The Zamindars were also given hereditary rights over the lands . The Zamindars also had to deal with their Raiyots to recover more and more Revenue . At last , it became a system of exploitation and , thus , misery for the tillers of the land . That’s why in later years the British Government in India brought about two different instruments of settlement in the different parts of the country . They were : Raiyotwari System in the South and Mahalwari System in the North .

Thus, the Cornwallis Code was the instruments through which Lord Cornwallis tried to bring about overall changes in the Administration in India. Europeanization of Administration, creation of the post the Police Superintendent in the District, appointment of Magistrate at the District level and abolish the power of the Zamindars to enforce criminal justice in their areas were some of the few contributions of Lord Cornwallis as such …..etc.

NOTE : THE SOURCES OF THE BLOG IS TEXT BOOKS AND MY STUDY OF THE PAST . IF ANY MISTAKE IS DETECTED IN SPELLING OF THE WORDS , PLEASE READ IT WITH CORRECTIONS AS I AM LITTLE SICK . THANKS FOR YOUR COOPERATION …..ARBIND KUMAR , THE BLOGGER .

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