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assumed by that Government In the Department of Irrigation the looal Government is principally the agent of the Government of India, by whom these great schemes have been devised.
Under the public works system the District Engineer, like all other local officers, while professionally responsible to his own department, is placed directly under the order of the Magistrate.
The administration of the Police and of Jails, Education and „, , Registration, is under the general
Other departments. a ,. ■ ° . t
y direction 01 the government, supervised
and inspected by a Direotor or Inspector-General in each department. The administration of the Medical Department through the SurgeonGeneral is now also directly under the local Government.
The existing (March 81st, 1873,) judicial organization of the T ,.. . ... Regulation Provinces in Bengal is as
Judicial organization. follows *
High Court Judges .. .. .. 12
Civil and Session Judges of districts.. 26
The functions of these officers are exclusively judicial, and inolude both civil and criminal jurisdiction. The Chief Justice and four of the Puisne Judges of the High Court are Barristers. Another of the Judges is a native gentleman who was a distinguished pleader of the Court. The rest are Covenanted Civil Servants.
Criminal justice is administered by the High Court, the Courts of „ Sessions, and the Courts of the various
Criminal administration. , our • • J rm_ ir i n •
classes oi Magistrates. 1 he High Court on its original side tries by a single Judge, with a jury, all cases committed to it by the Calcutta Magistrates. On its appellate side the High Court, by a bench of two or more Judges, disposes of appeals in respect of convictions on trials before the Court of Sessions ; it revises upon reference from Session Judges or Magistrates the decisions of inferior Courts when in error upon points of law; and it confirms, modifies, or annuls, all sentences of deatli passed by Sessions Courts in the interior. The district Courts of Session are presided over by a single Judge, who tries, with the aid either of juries or assessors, all cases committed by Magistrates empowered to that end, and decides sitting alone all appeals from the decisions of Magistrates of the first class when the sentence exceeds one month's imprisonment or 50 rupees fine. The powers of a Sessions Judge are limited only by the amount of punishment which may be inflicted for the offence under the Penal Code. The limits of the powers of a Magistrate of the first class in sentencing offenders are imprisonment, either rigorous or simple, up to two years, including solitary confinement up to three months; fine to the extent of Rs. 1,000, or imprisonment and fine combined, and whipping. The Magistrate of the district always exercises first class powers, and he also hears appeals from the Magistrates of the second and third class within the district. A Magistrate of the second class can award imprisonment up to six months, fine up to Rs. 200, or both, and whipping. A Magistrate of the third class can only imprison up to one month, or fine up to Rs. 50, or combine these punishments. Benches of Magistrates, consisting of two or more Magistrates sitting together have now heen appointed at most of the head-quarter stations and many of the subdivisional stations in Bengal.
In respect of civil justice the High Court of Calcutta exercises an „ „ , . . . appellate, a legal and equitable, an
Civil administration. , . ,. , j • n j v i
ecclesiastical, an admiralty, and a bankruptcy jurisdiction. The functions which in England have hitherto been divided among different courts are here exercised in one Court and by the same Judges. Below the High Court are the District and Additional Judges, the Small Cause Court and Subordinate Judges, and the Moonsiffs, who are all Civil Judges.
The jurisdiction of a District Judge or Subordinate Judge extends to all original suits cognizable by the Civil Courts. The jurisdiction of a Moonsiff extends to all like suits in which the amount or value of the subject matter in dispute does not exceed one thousand rupees. An appeal lies from the High Court to the Privy Council in England if the value or amount of the subject matter exceeds ten thousand rupees. Appeals from the decrees and orders of District and Additional Judges lie to the High Court. Appeals from Subordiuate Judges and Moonsiffs lie to the District Judge, except when the value of the subject matter exceeds five thousand rupees, when the appeal lies to the High Court. The High Court, with the sanction of the local Government, may also direct, when necessary, that appeals from the Moonsiffs may lie to the Court of the Subordinate Judge. The following suits are cognizable by Courts of Small Causes in the Mofussil, and when there is a Small Cause Court, are not cognizable in any other court:—" claims for money due on bond or other contract, or for rent, or for personal property, or for the value of such property, or for damages when the debt, damage or demand does not exceed in amount or value the sum of Rs. 500, whether on balance of account or otherwise: provided that no action shall be in any such Court (1) on a balance of partnership account, unless the balance shall have been struck by the parties or their agents; (2) for a share or part of a share under an intestacy or for a legaoy or part of a legaoy under a will; (3) for the recovery of damages on acoount of an alleged personal injury, unless actual pecuniary damage shall have resulted from the injury; and (4) for any claim for the rent of land or other claim for which a suit may now (in 1865) be brought before a revenue officer." There is no appeal from the order of a Small Cause Court.
Besides the regular Small Causes Courts, the Moonsiffs of twenty-five stations have been vested under the law with the powers of a Small Cause Court Judge for the trial of cases up to Rs. 50 in value.
By the Statute 53, Geo. Ill, Chap. 155, provision was made for
the appointment of a single Bishop for
Eccledaatical Jurisdiction. the of J^j^ Rnd the Soverdgn
Bishop of Calcutta and Archdeacon of was empowered to grant to the Bishon Calcutta, 1814. i i • j* 1 • • j- i
'such ecclesiastical jurisdiction, and
the exercise of such episcopal functions, as His Majesty might think necessary for the administration of holy ceremonies, and for the superintendence and good government of the ministers of the church establishment. Under the authority of this Statute letters-patent for the Bishopric of Calcutta were issued under date the 2nd of May 1814, establishing the See of Calcutta subordinate to the Archiepiscopal See of the Province of Canterbury, and constituting the Archdeaconry of Calcutta The Judges of the Supreme Court of Judicature at Calcutta and the Members of Council were appointed the King's Commissioners delegate to hear appeals from the decisions of the Bishop and his commissaries.
The Statutes 3 and 4, Will. IV., Chap. 85, empowered the
Sovereign to found and constitute the Bishop of Calcutta metropolian, 1835. Bishopric8 of Madrag and Bombay> and
constituted the Bishop of Calcutta metropolitan Bishop in India. In 1835 the Bishoprics of Madras and Bombay were accordingly constituted by letters-patent, leaving the metropolitical jurisdiction with the Bishop of Calcutta. The Statutes 3 and 4, Will. IV, Chap. 85,
also provided for the appointment of
^Chaplain, of the Church of Scotland, %WQ Chaplains of the Church of S(Jot.
land to be inducted and ordained by the Presbytery of Edinburgh according to the forms and solemnities used in the Church of Scotland, and to be subject to the spiritual and ecclesiastical jurisdiction in all things of the Presbytery of Edinburgh. By the Indian Christian Marriage Acts of 1872 the local Govern. „. ment exercises ecclesiastical iurisdic
Indian Christian Marnago Acts, 1872. .. . . j . "» . .
tion in the power granted to it of giving licenses to ministers of religion to solemnize marriages, to appoint marriage registrars, and to license persons to grant certificates of marriage between Christians. In other respects the Lieutenant-Governor does not exercise ecclesiastical jurisdiction.
CHARACTER OF LAND-TENURES; SYSTEM OF SETTLEMENTS
The decennial settlement of Bengal, Behar, and Orissa—by which
last term was meant at that period Lasd Ststbm Op Bbsoai, Aicd Behah. onlv the tract of country lying between Development of Government revenue. the Rupnarain and Suburnreeka rivers,
and now included in the district of Midnapore—was commenced in the year 1789 A.d. and completed in 1790-91. In the latter year the total assessment amounted to sicca Bs. 2,68,00,989 (Company's Rs. 2,85,87,722), and this assessment was with no doubt some slight variation declared to be permanent in A.d. 1793. The settlement embraced, roughly speaking, the tracts of country now comprised in the divisions of Burdwan, the Presidency, Rajshahye, Dacca, Chittagong, Patna, and Bhaugulpore. It also comprised parts of the Hazareebaugh and Maunbhoom districts in the Chota Nagpore division, as well as Julpigoree, Goalpara, and Cooch Behar, which are now in the Cooch Behar division, but then formed part of the Rungpore Collectorate. The total assessment during the year 1871-72 of the same provinces amounted to Rs. 3,52,08,866.
The zemindars with whom the settlement was originally made were for the most part powerful men, whose authority extended over wide tracts of country, police and other powers being entrusted to them. Of these tracts they were by the settlement constituted the proprietors. But under the influence of debt and mismanagement these large zemindaries were speedily broken up. The Government demand was then one which left a margin of profit but small compared with that given to zemindars in modern days. The rights of the ryot to hold at customary rates were also secured by law, and the power of the zemindars over them was limited. There was wide-spread default in the payment of the Government dues, and extensive consequent sales of estates, or parts of estates, for recovery of arrears under the unbending system introduced in 1793. In 1796-97 lands bearing a total revenue of sicca Rs. 14,18,756 were sold for arrears of revenue, and in 1797-98 the revenue of lands so sold amounted to sicca Rs. 22,74,076. By the end of the century the greater portions of the estates of the Nuddea, Rajshahye, Bishenpore, and Dinagepore Rajahs had been alienated. The Burdwan estate was seriously crippled, and the Beerbhoom zemindari was completely ruined. A host of smaller zemindars shared the same fate. In fact it is scarcely too much to say that within the ten years that immediately followed the permanent settlement, a complete revolution took place in the constitution and ownership of the estates which formed the subject of that settlement. The average annual collections from 1794 to 1798 amounted, however, to sicca Rs. 2,65,00,000, being only three lakhs short of the annual demand.
It was thought desirable to enable the zemindars better to realize their rents. In 1799 the new zemindars were vested with greatly increased power over the ryots, and again in 1812 further power was given them, so that for some 50 years of the present century they exercised a power over the ryots far greater than that given them by the original settlement of 1793.
Some additions were made to the revenue demand when the zemindars were relieved of police charges and otherwise, and in 1824-25 the demand had risen to sicca Rs. 2,79,95,710 or Company's Rs. 2,98,62,021. After that period the revenue expanded as resumptions of invalid revenue-free tenures proceeded under Regulation II of 1819. In 1828-29 the current demand was sicca Rs. 2,K5,26,034, or Company's lis. 3,04,27,770. Eighteen years later (in 1846-47) it had risen to Rs. 3,12,52,676, and after this period a fresh and very marked enhancement occurred, bringing the demand in 1848-49 up to Rs. 3,40,96,605. During the three years 1847, 1848, and 1849, no less than 6,198 estates were added to the revenue roll by resumption, and the revenue was otherwise swelled by escheats, the assessment of lands brought to light l>y survey, and resettlements of Government estates. After this the demand remained almost stationary up to 1856-57, in which year it appears at the slightly reduced amount of Rs. 3,37,38,783. In the following year it rose to Rs. 3,39,10,362, and from that time there has been a steady expansion, interrupted in the year 1866-67 only by the famine, up to Rs. 3,55,34,022, which represents the current demand for 1872-73.
In calculating the figures in the last paragraph, the revenue of the districts in the Assam and Cuttack divisions, and of the districts of Lohardugga, Singhbhoom, Darjeeling, and the Bhutan Dooars, have been excluded, as none of those districts were covered by the settlement of 1789 to 1791.
The fluctuations in the total annual demand of revenue do not indicate the full difficulty of tracing the variations of the revenue roll. Those fluctuations are the net result of variations in the opposite directions of enhancement and reduction, and are therefore the measure of the difference of those variations, not of their sum. But in addition to this the number of estates on the Government revenue roll has been enormously augmented since the permanent settlement—-first, by the admission to the roll of talukdars who succeeded in the claims preferred by them to hold their taluks independently of the zemindars through whom they had previously paid their revenue, and secondly, by partitions of estates. In the district of Jessore alone no less than 1,000 estates were added to the roll by the separate registration of taluks between the years 1796 and 1798. Partitions have occurred in two ways,—first, by the act of Govern