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the north-eastern frontier of Rungpore was deregulationized under Regulation X, 1822. The existing rules for the administration of civil and criminal justice were suspended, and a Commmissioner was appointed with full power to conclude arrangements with the Chiefs, and to conduct the entire administration of the tract under the Governor-General in Council. This law is the germ of the present non-regulation administration.
Assam and its dependencies were annexed during the first Burmese AsBAM war in 1824, and were formally ceded
by the Burmese by the Treaty of 24th February 1826, but it was only by degrees that a regular administration was established there, Upper Assam not having been regularly occupied till a comparatively late date. The Commissioner of the north-east frontier became Commissioner of Assam.
The system of administration introduced immediately after the annexation of the province was very simple. For the administration of civil justice native courts were established, each having a president and three assessors, vested with the powers then exercised by the Sudder Ameens and Moonsiffs of the Regulation Provinces. Appeals from the Senior Punchayet Court, as well as all original suits beyond their powers, were coguizable by the Commissioner, and his decision was final.
In the administration of criminal justice, the Assistants were authorized to perform the functions of Magistrates, and to commit offenders to trial before punchayets* to be presided over by themselves. The punchayet gave a decision as to the guilt or innoceucrf of the accused, and in all cases not involving a severer punishment than Magistrates were competent to award, the Assistants passed sentence. In more heinous cases the proceedings of the punchayet, with the opinion of the Assistant thereon, were forwarded to the Commissioner for final decision, and he was empowered to pass sentence of death for the crimes of murder and robbery attended with murder. In 1835 Act II of that year was passed, by which Assam was placed under the Sudder Court in regard to the administration of civil and crimiual justice, aud under the Board of Revenue iu matters relating to the fiscal administration of the province.
In January 1837 a code of rules for the administration of Assam was promulgated by the Sudder Court with the sanction of Government. These rules, which were subsequently revised in 1847, formed the law of procedure in Assam and North-East Rungpore. or the district of Gowalparah, till they were superseded by the Civil and Criminal Procedure Codes. The Courts in Assam and Goalpara have alwavs been guided by the spirit of the general regulations.
The Civil Procedure Code (Act VIII of 1859) was extended to Assam on the 26th April 1860, and the Criminal Procedure Code (Act XXV of 1861) was brought into operation from the 1st January 1862. Act V of 1861 (the Bengal Police Act) was introduced in 1862.
• This is the origin of the jury system of trial in Assam, which existed in that province long Wore the Criminal Procedure Code authorized the introduction of the system in the Regulation Provinces.
In 1839 an officer was added as Deputy Commissioner (since 1861 called Judicial Commissioner), who relieved the Agent of his duties as Civil and Sessions Judge. In 184-3 there were only six Principal Assistants and three Junior Assistants in the province.
The subordinate officers in all the Non-Regulation Provinces were styled Principal Assistants, Senior Assistants, and Junior Assistants. In 1861 these officers were graded into Deputy Commissioners of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd class and Assistant Commissioners. The SubAssistants, Additional Assistants, Extra Assistants as they were called in one province or another, were all styled Extra Assistant Commissioners.
The grades of Extra Assistant Commissioner as now constituted were sanctioned iu 1868. The Assistant Commissioners who, from a very early date, were appointed to assist district officers in the non-regulation provinces, were placed on their present footing in 1867.
A Commissioner for carrying on the administration of the Cooch Cooch Bbhab Behar estate was repeatedly appointed
"" A!' in the last century and the early part of
the present century; finally in 1863 a Commissioner was appointed during the minority of the Rajah. In 18(56 Cooch Behar was established into a Non-Regulation Commissionership; and Darjeeling, from the Bhaugulpore division, and Goalpara and the Garo Hills, which had been under Assam, were placed within the new jurisdiction. At the same time the northern portion of Rungpore was transferred to this division, and eventually was united with the submontane country ceded by the Bhuteas, forming the district of Julpigoree. Iu 1868 the judicial administration of the Goalpara district was placed under the Judicial Commissioner of Assam, the administration in other matters remaining with the Divisional Commissioner.
A part of the hill portion of the district of Darjeeling was ceded by
DAEJRRLtso the HaJah of sikkim in 1838- Tne
Morung low-land under the hills, and
another portion of the hills, were taken from him in 1850 in consequence of his having seized and detained in confinement the Superintendent of Darjeeling while travelling peaceably through his country. The portion of the hills known as British Bhutan was ceded by the Bhuteahs after the Bhuteab war in 1865, and annexed to Darjeeling.
The district was placed under the charge of an officer called Superintendent (the designation has since been changed to that of Deputy Commissioner).
The Criminal and Civil Procedure Codes were extended to Darjeeling in 1803. The police administration of the district was conducted under Regulation XX of 1817 until the 25th May 1864, when Act V of 1861 was introduced.
In 1824 the Burmese had invaded Cachar. The Rajah sought the CACnAB assistance of the British, who expelled
the Burmese and replaced him on the throne in 1826. In 1830 the Rajah died without issue, and, under the terms of Treaty which had been drawn up in 1826, Cacliar lapsed to the British Government. In August 1832 the district was placed under the Asrent to the Governor-General in Assam. It was transferred to the Dacca division in 1833. Act VI of 1835 placed the district of Cachar under the Sudder Court and the Board of Revenue. From this time the courts in Cachar were guided by the spirit of the general Regulations and Acts.
Under orders of the Government of Bengal dated the 25th April 1859, the Superintendent was authorized to exercise the powers of a Political Agent to enable him to control the wild tribes on his frontier, and to decide without reference to Regulation law all disputes and other matters that may be submitted to him in connection with these people.
Some European British subjects occupied Nunklow in the Khasi „ T „ Hill as earlv as 1826 under a treaty
KH1SI AND JTHTBAH HlLLS. ... v, • I J ■ loo- l-i- 1
with the Rajah, and in 183o a political agency was established there. In the same year the Jynteah territory was confiscated, and the Rajah of Jynteah was assigned a pension of Rs. 500 a month, which his successors still enjoy. The Rajah's authority in the Hills had, however, been little more than nominal, and for the next quarter of a century the people remained practically almost independent. In 1S54 the administration of the Khasi and Jynteah Hills was subordinated to the Commissioner of Assam. In 1862 it was determined to impose a small tax as a token of our authority over the Sintengs or Jynteah people, whereon they broke out into a rebellion, which was only suppressed after a long and bloody war. A Deputy Commissioner was appointed for these tracts after the disturbances of 1862, and they have now become most peaceable subjects. In the petty dependent States the administration of civil and criminal justice, in cases when all the parties belong to the same State, is ordinarily still in the hands of their respective headmen, except in cases of homicide and murder. These latter cases, as well as all cases, civil and criminal, of every description in which British subjects are concerned, or in which all the parties are not inhabitants of the snme state, are adjudicated by the Deputy Commissioner in his political capacity, and his decisions are subject to revision by, and generally appealable to, the Commissioner of Assam. The Deputy Commissioner has also a discretion to hold an inquest in any case of accidental death occurring within any of the pfclitical states. In the portions of the Hills which are absolutely British territory, the administration is conducted under rules laid down by the Lieutenant-Governor, the ordinary laws not being in force.
The Garo Hills, so far as they were known to, or dealt with by us,
were attached to the district of Goalee Hum. para tin the year 1866> when they
were put under a sepnrate officer. The measure has since been legalized by Act XXII of 1869, by which the executive Government has been vested with power to frame rules for the administration of the tract in question, as well as of certain other tracts of country to which the Act may be extended by Government, such as the Khasia, Jynteah, and Naga Hills.
The Naga Hills were also at the same time placed under a N Oa Hills separate officer, who was charged with
ioA Ills. tje p0]jtjoai superintendence of the
Angamee Naga country.
The Hill Tracts of Chittagong were removed from the operation of
„ „ the general regulations by Act XXII
Hill Tbacts Oi Chittaqowo. . m,° ,5 .
of 18b0. The excepted tract was
placed under an officer called Superintendent (now Deputy Commissioner), and a few short rules prescribed for his guidance in the administration of civil and criminal justice and the collection of revenue, which are still acted upon. The Civil and Criminal Procedure Codes have not been extended to this tract.
The South-Western Frontier Agency was called into existence as a
Non-Regulation Province, after the Ciiota Naopokb. 9 .. v , . *
suppression of the Kole insurrection
in 1831-32, by Regulation XIII of 1833. By this Regulation portions of
the Ramgurh district, all the jungle mehals except Senpabari, Sherghur,
and Bishenpore, and Dhulbhoom from the Midnapore district, were
removed from the operation of the general regulations; and the
administration of civil and criminal justice, the collection of revenue, the
superintendence of the police, the land revenue, customs, excise, stamps,
and every branch of Government of the excepted tracts, were placed
under an officer called the Agent to the Governor-General. The
Governor-General in Council was declared competent to prescribe any
rules he deemed advisable for the guidance of the Agent and the officers
subordinate to him.
Subsequently the Tributary Mehals noted on the margin* and
Singbhoom were plnced
• Sumbulporc, Sonepore, Sarunghu, Suktor, Gangpore, under the Agent. Of these
Bamra, Bonai, Rehracolc, Raighur, Patna, Borasamber, rn , Ttr 11 .1
Bindra, Nowagnrh, Khnrriar Phooljl.ur, Sirgoojah, IriOUtaiy JHehalS those
Oodeypore, Jushpore, Korea. Chang Bhukar. which are notedf are still
f »irgooiah, Korea, Oodeypore, Chang Bhukar, Jush- *. 1 3 . ,1 e„..*u
pore, Gangpore, Bonai. attached to the South
Western Frontier Agency of Chota Nagpore Division, and the rest have been transferred to the Central Provinces. By Act XX of 1854 the designation of the officer in charge was changed from Agent to Commissioner, and of his province from South-Western Frontier Agency to that of Chota Nagpore. The Deputy or Judicial Commissioner, as he is now, was appointed in 1843. The other subordinate appointments were at that time two Principal Assistants on Rs. 1,000, two First Class Assistants on Rs. 750, and one Second Class Assistant on Us. 500.
In 1833 a few short rules were issued by Government for the guidance of the Agent, which directed that, pending the issue of detailed instructions, the Agent and officers subordinate to him were to be guided by the "rules heretofore in force for the conduct of all local duties."
These criminal rules continued in force till they were superseded by the Criminal Procedure Code (Act XXV of 1861), which was extended to the districts of the Chota Nagpore division when passed. It was subsequently held in 1864 that the Code was extended to so much only of the Singbhoom district as is comprised in Dhulbhoom and the Kolhan, the remaining estates being administered in the Political Department.
As regards the administration of civil justice, a set of rules was proposed by the Agent at the same time that criminal rules were laid before Government, but orders on them were suspended pending the promulgation of a Bill on the subject then under preparation. This Bill was never passed, and till Act VIII of 1859 was extended to the division there was no specific law or rule to guide the procedure of the civil courts in the province, but they followed the regulations, except in points where some order of the Agent interposed.
From the first creation of the agency the ordinary laws for the sale of land for debt or arrears of rent were regarded as inapplicable to the province, and the rules proposed by Captain Wilkinson provided that no sale or alienation, or even mortgage of hereditary or moveable property, was to take place without the sanction of the Agent. This rule has always been acted on as regards sales, and forms one of the most peculiar features of the agency; and in extending the Civil Procedure Code to the districts of Hazareebaugh, Lohardugga, and Maunbhoom, a proviso to this effect was added to the notification. The Code was not extended to Singbhoom, but is considered in force in Dhulbhoom of that district. The remainder of Singbhoom, quoad civil rules, is administered in the Political Department, as are the Tributary Mehals; the appeals from the Chiefs and Deputy Commissioner lying to the Commissioner, not to the Judicial Commissioner and High Court.
The inquiry into the causes of the Sonthal insurrection in 1855 Sosthal Pmowwih. having brought to light the unsuitabi
lity ot the regulation system to the tract of country now designated the Sonthal Pergunnahs, inhabited by the Sonthals and other rude tribes, who are far behind the Bengalees in civilization, these pergunnahs were exempted from the operation of the general regulations by Aot XXXVII of 1855, except in regard to civil suits above Rs. 1,000 in value, the collection of revenue in permanently-settled estates, the sale of lands for arrears of revenue, &c.
The excepted tract was placed under the Commissioner of the Bhaugulpore division, assisted by a Deputy Commissioner and a number of Assistant and Extra Assistant Commissioners.
In 1856 a few simple rules for civil and criminal administration were laid down for the guidance of the Sonthal officers.
The rules in regard to criminal matters remained in operation till 1862, when the Penal Code was introduced; and although the Criminal Procedure Code was not formally extended to these pergunnahs, the Sonthal officers were directed to act in accordance with its spirit. The Sonthal Pergunnahs drifted more or less under the ordinary law and procedure of the regulation districts; the Rent Law, the Civil Procedure Code, the Stamp Act, and other Acts, were considered to be in force, and the Deputy Commissioner was practically transformed into a Judge.