HC Deb 03 March 1882 vol 267 cc8-9

asked the Secretary of State for India, Whether he will cause Jadavrai Harishankar, an advocate at the Indian Bar, now undergoing imprisonment in gaol in the Bombay Presidency, to be furnished with copies of the Reports of Mr. Aston, C.S., recently Judicial Assistant to the Political Agent in Kattiawar, which Reports were forwarded to that Agency under date April 7th 1881; Report or Reply of Mr. E. T. Candy, C.S. on the above Reports, forwarded under date of May 4th 1881, together with a Memorandum by Mr. Aston, also a Report by Mr. Candy on Jadavrai's petition; and, whether, considering the statements contained in these Papers, the Bombay Government would consider whether they might liberate Jadavrai and remit the fine of Rs.24,000 imposed upon him by the Kattiawar Political Agency Courts?


I answered a Question on this subject put to me by the hon. Member for Haddington (Sir David Wedderburn), on the 4th August last, and have only to add that I have since ascertained privately from the Governor of Bombay that in March, 1881, the Governor visited the gaol where the prisoner was confined, and on his making a fresh appeal and presenting a Petition, the Governor sent for all the Papers and himself went through them carefully, with the result that he was convinced that the conviction was right; and, at the same time, Mr. Justice Kemball, one of the Judges of the Bombay High Court (who was then acting as member of the Council of the Governor), also read all the Papers at the request of the Governor, and arrived at the same conclusion—namely, that there was no doubt the conviction was right. It is clear that the case has received the fullest and repeated consideration; and, under the circumstances, there is no ground whatever for interfering in the matter. The documents asked for are confidential Papers to which the prisoner has no sort of right, and cannot be furnished to him.