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B. Lewis (Benjamin Lewis) Rice.

Mysore: a gazetteer compiled for government (Volume 1) online

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66 2 ADMINISTRA TION

intendcnts in the ] )islricts, the system and establishments for the
administration of justice which then existed being considered
inadequate to the wants of the country, an order for the estabhshment
of Courts of Justice, with a draft of Rules for their guidance, was issued
on the 27th of October 1834. These Rules may be said to form the
basis of the system of Judicial administration existing up to 1854.

The Courts established during this period for the administration of
civil and criminal justice within the Mysore territory may be classed
under six heads or grades.

Taluq or Amils' Courts 85 Superintendents' Courts ... 4

Town Munsifts' Courts 2 I Huzar Adalat i

Principal Sadar Munsiffs' Courts 8 I Court of the Commissioner ... i

Of courts of original jurisdiction there were two classes : — ist, the
Amils' Courts; 2nd, the Town Munsiffs'.

The Amils had power to decide without record all claims not exceeding
Rs. 20 ; with a record of proceedings, suits not in excess of Rs. 100 ; and,
when assisted by a Panchdyat, all suits not exceeding Rs. 500. An appeal
might be filed in the Sadar Munsiffs' Court in the second and third descrip-
tion, but not in the first, unless when corruption or gross partiality was
alleged, or when the claim involved landed property, under which circum-
stances the higher Courts, and eventually the Commissioner, might be
appealed to.

The Mysore Town Munsiff had nearly identical power with that of an
Amil in all suits regarding real or personal property, which was connected
with, or may have originated within the limits of, the town of Mysore. The
Bangalore Town ]\Iunsiff, in addition to the powers of an Amildar, had
authority to decide, with a record of proceedings, all suits for real property
not exceeding Rs. 500, and for personal property not exceeding Rs. 1,000,
and an appeal from his decisions lay direct to the Superintendent of the
Division, whereas in the case of the two former the appeal lay only to the
Sadar Munsiff. A written decision had to be given in all cases, whether a
record of proceedings had been kept or not.

Of courts of original jurisdiction and of appeal, there may be said to
have been two classes : — ist, the Principal Sadar ^Munsiffs' Courts :
and 2nd, the Courts of the European Superintendents.

The Principal Sadar Munsiffs, of whom there were two in each Division,
decided all suits in appeal from the Amils, their decision in all such appeals
being final, unless in cases of landed property, or under circumstances of
corruption or gross partiality ; they also decided all original suits for real
property above Rs. 100 and not exceeding Rs. 1,000, and for personal
property above Rs. 100 and not exceeding Rs. 5,000.

All appeals from their decisions lay to the Superintendents of Divisions,
or to the Huzur Adalat, at the option of the suitor. The Munsiffs kept a
records of all proceedings, and sealed, signed, and delivered, to both



UNDER THE MYSORE COMMISSIOX 663

plaintiff and defendant in a suit, copies of the decree issued in the case.
The Sadar Munsiffs had, moreover, authority to try all cases referred to
them by the Superintendents of their respective Divisions.

The Superintendents had authority to investigate all appeals whatsoever
from the lower courts of their Divisions, as also all original suits involving
real property in value above Rs. i,t>oo, or personal property above
Rs. 5,000. Under the Commissioner's special instructions, the Super-
intendents exercised control over the Munsiffs and all subordinate judicial
authorities within the limits of their Divisions.

Of Courts of Appeal^ there were two : ist, the Huzur Adalat, a
Native Court attached to the Commissioner's Olifice, and having three
judges; 2nd, the Commissioner's Court.

The Huzur Addlat had power to take cognizance of, and to pass a decision
upon, all appeals from the subordinate Native Courts. This court was not
assisted by a panchdyat unless specially ordered by the Commissioner to
convene one, but the judges might be assembled by the Commissioner and
employed by him as his assessors whenever he deemed such a course
advisable. This court was not one of original jurisdiction, excepting when
suits were specially referred to it for investigation by the Commissioner.

The Commissioner received appeals from the decisions of the Super-
intendents and of the Huziir Addlat, either in appeal direct, or by simple
petition through the Firiyad Department of his office. No original suits
were filed in the Commissioner's Court ; it was, however, optional with him
to take notice, in any way he deemed fit, of any representation whatever
laid before him.

The subordinate Revenue officers, the Superintendents of Divisions,
and finally the Commissioner, decided all disputes or suits connected
with Sarkar or mirasi lands or other revenue matters. The Amils,
principal Munsiffs, and Superintendents, were authorized to take
cognizance of all suits regarding landed property when the land lay
within the limits of their prescribed taluqs, Districts and Divisions, and
of all other transactions whatsoever when the defendant permanently
resided, or the cause of action originally arose, within the said limits.
No suits regarding personal property were admitted when it was proved
that no effort for its recovery had been made for a period of sixteen
years.

On a plaintiff presenting himself at one of the Courts of original juris-
diction for the purpose of filing a suit, before a writ summoning the
defendant was issued, the plaintiff underwent a vivA 7



Online LibraryB. Lewis (Benjamin Lewis) RiceMysore: a gazetteer compiled for government (Volume 1) → online text (page 79 of 98)