By Radhika Singha

This quantity offers with law-making as a cultural firm during which the colonial kingdom needed to draw upon present normative codes of rank, prestige and gender, and re-order them to a brand new and extra particular definition of the state's sovereign correct.

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Extra resources for A Despotism of Law: Crime and Justice in Early Colonial India (Oxford India Paperbacks)

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The element ofpressure lay in the infamy ofcausing a Brahmin to ~ffer, wQrse still of being responsible for making a Brahmin shed his blood. 10 'thus,when Kishan Kachchi was wanted for the murder of his daughtert the zamindar placed people over his house and crops, and sent for Kishan'ssurety one Shea La! Missert a Brahmin who 'after suffering the strongest urgency', induced him to make an appea'rance in court. II In parganas patterned by small zamindari holdings it was the amil's kachcheri which was often the site of preliminary investigation, where his agent would take down the zebanblmdies of the I J I I I I i f f the zamindars for an indenUuty he had paid to merchants robbed in that pargana.

DR Basta 15, No. 82, October 1794, p. 8, RAA. Subsequcntly I3ritish magistrates had to take:1 similar oath not to receive any fcc or reward. Reg 9, s 2, 1793. { 48 A Despotism ofLaw . ~ . resident. the officers to the President in Council, reporting that they were ready to resign rather than agree. '47 The officers said they had joined the Banaras adalat because it was ~l highly respectable institution; the Company had hitherto shown a regard for their dignity. 4H The existing procedures of the court they pointed out, provided adequately against illegal gratification.

The oath, . meant to provide a· standardizing procedure for invoking legal obligation, became a sort of test of rank. The imposition of an oath of office to encourage professional probity among the judicial. personnel of the courts also raised contrc,wersies over rank. Ali Ibrahim may have been reluctant to submit to a ·ceremony which placed him so publicly in subordination to the ; U CPC, vol. XI, 1794-95, No. p. 316. Cf. Home Mise 432 for similar objections from a group of Bombay merchants in the 17405.

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