Resident to Amar Singh
April 27, 1891
Legal Document No
1. I am directed by His excellency the Viceroy and GovernorGeneral
in Council to communicate for the information of the Kashmir State
Council the following observations regarding the arrangements which the
Government of India consider necessary for the exercise of Criminal and
Civil jurisdiction within the territories of His Highness the Maharaja
of Jammu and Kashmir.
2. The Government of India consider that the Regulations published with
the assent of His Highness the late Maharaja in Foreign Department Notification
No. 615-P. of the 28th May 1873 are not entirely suited to the present
time. Since the publication of those Regulations considerable changes have
been effected within His Highness' territories, and year by year the number
of persons visiting Kashmir increases and the opening of the Jhelum Valley
Road will doubtless attract more and more British capital into the valley
of Kashmir. On the other hand the Government of India are glad to notice
that there has been considerable improvement of late in the machinery for
the administration of justice in Jammu and Kashmir, and that if the late
Council continue to devote attention to this important question, it is
believed that the Courts of the State will in time command the confidence
of the general public.
3. Inasmuch as the Governor-General in Council possesses full personal
jurisdiction over subjects of Her Majesty, who may happen to be within
the territories of the Maharaja, it would not ordinarily be necessary to
peaus before issuing such orders concerning them as might appear from time
to time to be necessary. But the existing Regulations having been published
with the assent of the late Maharaja, and therefore, out of courtesy to
His Highness the present Maharaja and the Kashmir State Council, the Government
of India have desired me to communicate to the Council their intention
of making alterations, suitable to the existing conditions, in the present
4. The changes that will be made are embodied in the accompanying notification,
and may be summarized as follows:
(a) Arrangements are made for investing the Resident in Kashmir
and his Assistants with the necessary powers for enquiry into or trial
of cases against
European British subjects.
Europeans of any nationality other than British.
Christians of European descents
Native Indian subjects of Her Majesty, such Indian subjects being either
merely visiting the territories of His Highness or acting as servants of
an European British subject, or
British subjects accused of having committed offenses conjointly with European
(b) The trial of Native Indian subjects who ordinarily dwell
or carry on business or personally work for gain within the said territories
will ordinarily rest with the Courts of the Durbar. At the same time it
is to be distinctly understood that any such person convicted by such Courts
has the right of making a presentation to the Resident in Kashmir, and
that if that officer considers there is ground for interference, his representation
on the subject to the Durbar will be attended to.
(d) Arrangements are made for investing the Resident and his Assistants
with powers to dispose of Civil suits in which
Both parties are subjects of Her Majesty.
(e) All other suits between subjects of Her Majesty on the one hand and
subjects of the Maharaja on the other hand will ordinarily be triable in
the Courts of the State.
The defendant is an European British subject.
The defendant is a Native Indian subject of Her Majesty and at the time
of the commencement of the suit does not ordinarily dwell or carry on business
or personally work for gain within the territories of the Maharaja.
With regard to clauses (a) and (d) above, I am to request that the Kashmir
State Council will favour me with am assurance that they will enforce the
attendance of witnesses being subjects of the Maharaja and residing in
his territories regarding whom processes have been issued by the Courts
thus. constituted by the Governor-General in Council.
Again, in regard to clause (e), I am directed to suggest to the State Council
that, now that they have secured the services of officials who have had
an opportunity of acquiring: a certain amount of judicial and Magisterial experience in British India, it would be wise to issue orders that all
cases, Civil and Criminal, in which British subjects are concerned, should
be tried before specified Courts in Jammu and Srinagar, respectively and
that the officers appointed to such Courts should invariably be chosen
from among the best trained officials in the service of the State. By this
means it is hoped the Courts of the State will command the confidence of
British and Indian traders, and increased capital will be attracted. into