Lord Cornwallis brought a number of changes in the judiciary, collectively known as Cornwallis code. What was / were features of this Cornwallis code?
1. The judicial and police functions of Zamindars were taken away
2. East India Company’s employees were brought under the law
3. Uniform Civil Code for Hindus and Muslims was adopted
Choose the correct option from the codes given below:

Answer: [B] Only 1 & 2

Diwani Courts

  1. The difference between lagan and money related cases ceased to exist. Diwani Court was to decide both kind of cases.
  2. The lowest court was ‘Munsif ki Adalat’, in which cases pertaining to matter of value llpto 50 Rupees could be heard. Munsif was an Indian.
  3. Registrar was above Munsif who could hear the case involving value of maximum 200 Rupees.
  4. District Court was above Registrar, in which English judges were assisted by learned Hindus and Muslims.
  5. Four provincial courts were set up at Calcutta, Dhaka, Murshidabad and Patna. Here too the English judges were helped by the Indian advisers.
  6. Highest court was Sadar-Diwani Adalat, where Governor-General and his council delivered justice.
  7. The final appeal could be made in the office of English King and his council.

Criminal Court

  1. District Criminal Courts were set up, which were mobile and whose judges were English
  2. Four provincial criminal courts were set up at Murshidabad, Calcutta, Dhaka and Patna.
  3. Highest court of appeal, in criminal cases, was Sadar Nizamat, which was headed by Governor General and his Council.

Other Features of Cornwallis Code

  1. The Diwani cases of Hindus were governed through their Shastras, especially based on Manu Smriti. The Muslims, on the other hand, were governed through Islamic Shariat.
  2. The criminal court was primarily based on Islamic Shariat with some changes, applicable to all, Hindus or Muslims.
  3. Witness rule was changed, earlier a Muslim witness was treated to be more reliable than a non-Muslim.
  4. Physical amputation was given up, instead, rigorous imprisonment was introduced.
  5. Company’s employees, including collectors, were brought under the law. They could be tried in the court of law. Thus slowly, India moved towards ‘rule of law’ and ‘equality before law’.

This question is a part of GKToday's Integrated IAS General Studies Module