HC Deb 04 August 1842 vol 65 cc1059-61
Mr. Hume

rose to make the motion of which be had given notice, in reference to the case of the Rajah of Sattara. He said, the circumstances connected with the deposition of that Prince, had received less public attention, both in India and this country than they deserved. He should have thought that the very misfortunes of the Rajah entitled him to general sympathy; and when it was considered that he was one of a long line of princes who had been at the bead of the Mahratta empire, some little attention should be paid to his demand for redress. He contended that the prince had been most unjustly treated, and that the conduct of the East-India Company towards him was anything but creditable to them. The conduct of the Rajah of Sattara, as an ally of the British Government, had gained for seventeen years, the entire approbation of the directors of the East-India Company. What had produced the change? He had been charged with interfering with the native seapoys; but how little was there to fear from him, over whose district the Bombay forces were thickly scattered ! Then there was a commission to inquire into those charges. That inquiry was secret; the Rajah had no opportunity of defending himself; and evidence was received from persons of the most suspicious character. The steps taken to obtain evidence were such as in any part of India would procure evidence against the most respectable men in that country. The hon. Member concluded by moving:— That an humble address be presented to her Majesty, that she will be graciously pleased in conformity with the prayer of the petition presented to this House by Purtaub Shean the deposed Rajah of Sattara, now a state prisoner at Benares, to direct that a full investigation of the charges preferred against him be made before her Majesty's Privy Council, upon the evidence taken in India and sent to the Court of Directors of the East-India Company; which evidence the Rajah has never had an opportunity of seeing or answering, in order that he may receive that justice which, as he states, 'had his lot been that of a peasant, he would have had a right to claim from the laws of the British realm.'

Dr. Bowring

seconded the motion. He believed that the Rajah of Sattara was a. most injured individual and he felt persuaded that when the whole of the evidence was fully and fairly considered, an effort would be made to repair the injustice of which he had been the victim.

An Hon. Member moved that the House be counted.

House counted out and adjourned it a quarter to eleven o'clock.