HC Deb 29 April 1879 vol 245 cc1399-400

asked the Under Secretary of State for India, Whether his attention has been called to a judgment pronounced by Mr. C. Gr. Plumer, Judge of the Sessions Court, Chittore (as reported in the "Bombay Gazette" of the 18th Nov. 1878), wherein he thus refers to the conduct of Mr. Cox, assistant magistrate:— Mr. Cox admits, in his deposition, that he permitted one Velu, an ex-policeman who took the greatest interest in the prosecution of this case, in his presence, to put burning camphor into the hands of several of the weavers at his tent, to elicit from them information favourable to the prosecution. And again:— I must do Mr. Cox the justice to say that he has not made the slightest attempt to conceal any of his actions. He seemed considerably surprised that any objection should be offered to the mode of procedure adopted by him; whether Mr. Cox retains his office; and, whether it is a fact that torture is commonly practised in India for the purpose of eliciting evidence?


We have received no official information on this subject; but The Bombay Gazette, from which the hon. Member's quotations are taken, states that Mr. Plumer has brought Mr. Cox's conduct to the notice of the High Court. We are not aware whether the High Court has taken any action in the matter; but the Government of Madras has, I believe, condemned Mr. Cox's conduct as most irregular and improper. If torture is ever used by the Natives in India for the purpose of eliciting evidence, it is entirely contrary to the principles upon which the Government of India is conducted.


Will the hon. Gentleman make inquiry as to whether Mr. Cox is retained in his position?


Yes; I will make further inquiry.