HC Deb 30 July 1833 vol 20 cc183-4
Mr. Henry Lytton Bulwer

rose to move that an humble Address be presented to his Majesty, praying that he would be graciously pleased to cause the claim of Narroba Govind Outia to be judicially re-considered before the Deccan Prize Money be distributed. The individual on whose behalf he made the Motion was a man who had no friends or connexions in this country, and he (Mr. Bulwer), therefore, appealed to the justice and the generosity of the House to give the case a fair and a patient hearing. During the war, which terminated in the subjugation of the Deccan country, the inhabitants of one of the places which surrendered were I allowed to go forth upon conditions expressly stated in the terms of the capitulation, one of which was, that the individual mentioned in the Motion, should, with others, be permitted to remove with his property, and if he went into any place in the possession of the British, he should enjoy the protection of British authority, and the benefits of British law. He did go to a town in the possession of the British forces, but so far from the compact made with him being observed, he was cast into prison, put in irons, robbed of all his property, and died in the extremest misery and want. Previous, however, to his sufferings thus being terminated by death, he had offered to refer his claim to a servant of the East-India Company. The decision of that functionary was in his favour, yet he got no relief. After his death, his heirs had no remedy but to bring the matter under the consideration of the Supreme Court at Bombay. It was then said, that the Supreme Court had not the power of adjudicating in this matter, because the Poonah country was in a state between peace and war. The Supreme Court, however, allowed that the property was that of these individuals, but that what they had to do was to appeal to another Court—to the Privy Council. They did so, and the Privy Council said they would hear the case, but the evidence should be confined to that which had been laid before the Court of Bombay. These individuals being limited to that evidence, could not well prove upon it their right to the property, nor show how it had been taken away from them. In fact, they were placed in the same position with ordinary individuals, the title deeds of whose property had been taken from them. With respect to the decision of the Privy Council, what did the hon. and learned Gentleman opposite (the Attorney General) then say? The hon. and learned Gentleman said, that the question was of a most mysterious description, and that, he thought, the way it had been decided was unsatisfactory, and he said, that had it not been involved in mysterious circumstances, which had taken place so long a time ago, he would advise that the case should be again gone into. These were the only objections the hon. and learned Gentleman had to having the case re-considered. He thought, that unless the hon. and learned Gentleman could satisfy the House that the case had been properly tried, the House ought in justice to consent to the present Motion, and thereby give that individual an opportunity of making out by evidence the justice of his claims. The hon. Gentleman concluded by moving for "an humble Address to his Majesty, that he will be graciously pleased to cause the claim of Narroba Govind Outia to be judicially considered before the Deccan Prize Money be distributed."

Mr. Halcomb

seconded the Motion, and said, that he had been requested to do so by parties whom, after a careful examination of documents, he believed entitled to the fullest confidence, and whose claims he considered as strongly deserving of attention, and of having justice done to them, as any that he ever recollected having been brought before that House. The hon. and learned Gentleman was proceeding to read a pamphlet, containing a statement of the claims of the parties, when,

Mr. James moved, that the House be counted.

The House counted out.