Synopses & Reviews
Excerpt from Life in the Mofussil, Vol. 2: Or the Civilian in Lower Bengal
Several additional magisterial officers were sent to adjudicate the cases instituted in great numbers by the planters, and hundreds of ryots were sent to prison for refusing to sow. The Nuddea gaol had to be entirely emptied of its ordinary class of criminals to make room for the influx of ryots convicted under this Act. It is probable that many of them would not have been so obsti nate, had they understood that sowing this year would not render them any more liable to sow the next. A commis sion of inquiry was to be appointed, and to report on the whole case before the next season, as to the necessity of special measures, legislative or otherwise. But it was diffi cult to convey this clearly to their uneducated minds. In the meantime some very harsh and unjust decisions were passed under the Act by inexperienced Magistrates who had been hurried to the scene of affairs. There was no appeal to any judicial Court; but the Government of Ben gal had a power of supervision reserved to it under the law; the Commissioner of the division could send for re cords of all cases tried, and refer them to the Government, for reversal or otherwise of the orders passed.
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