Home >> Cyclopedia Of Knowledge >> Germanic Mpire to King >> India Law Commission

India Law Commission

laws, code, report and system

INDIA LAW COMMISSION. The act of the 3 & 4 Wm. IV. c. 85, by which the privileges of the East India Company are regulated, provides for the establish ment of a Law Commission in India. The 53rd section recites that it is expe dient, subject to such special arrange ments as local circumstances may require, that a general system of judicial establish ments and police, to which all persons whatever, as well Europeans as natives, may be subject, should be established iu the East Indies, and that such laws as may be applicable in common to all classes of the inhabitants, having a due regard to the rights, feelings, and peculiar usages of the people, should be enacted, and that the laws, and customs having the force of laws, should be ascertained and consolidated. For this purpose the appointment of a commission of five members was authorised, to be called " The Indian Law Commissioners." They were to report from time to time, and to suggest such alterations as they should consider could be beneficially made in the courts of justice and police establishments, in the forms of judicial procedure and laws, due regard being had to the distinction of castes, difference of religion, and manners and opinions prevailing among different races, and in different parts of India. By subjecting

the European population of India to the same system of laws as the native popu lation, the influence of the opinion of the former in the administration of justice will prevent abuses to which the latter might be exposed without having the op portunity of urging their complaints in this country. Mr. T. B. Macaulay was the chief member of the first com mission. The report of a penal code was presented to the Governor-Gene ral on the 15th of June, 1835. The ground-work of it is not taken from any system of law in force in India, though compared with and corrected by the practices of the country. The principles of the British law, the French code, and the code drawn up by Mr. Livingston for the State of Louisiana, are the founda tions of it. Most of the articles which it contains are accompanied with illustra tions to facilitate the application of the law, and it is thus a statute-book and a collection of decided cases. This report was signed by Messrs. Macaulay, J. M. Macleod, G. W. Anderson, and F. Millett. The progress of the present commissioners in dealing with the general law of India has not been published. (Penal Code, Parliamentary Paper, 1838, No. 673.)