§ MR. CAINE (Bradford, E.)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for India if Mr. J. Clark, who has just been appointed Deputy Commissioner of Cachar, in Assam, is the same gentleman whose sentence of seven men to be hung or to penal servitude for life, for the murder of Mr. Cockburn, at Baladhun, was reversed on appeal by the High Court of Calcutta, and whose conduct has since been under inquiry by the Chief Commissioner of Assam, in consequence of the finding of the Judges that he had been guilty of numerous and serious irregularities in the course of the proceedings; if so, has the inquiry been completed; and what has been the Chief Commissioner's decision thereupon; is it the case that, before this, recent promotion, Mr. Clark was an Assistant Commissioner of the second grade, and that there are in Assam three Civil Assistant Commissioners of the first grade, his seniors; and what have been the special services of Mr. Clark which have caused his promotion over their heads; is Mr. Clark a Civil servant of only eight years' standing, while the 10 other Deputy Commissioners now in Assam average over 14 years' standing; and is there any case on record in which 397 so young a man has been appointed to a Deputy Commissionership; and is he now able to lay upon the Table of the House the full Papers relating to the Baladhun murder ease as well as those relating to the inquiry into the conduct of Mr. Clark and other persons in connection with the proceedings therein, which he stated on the 2nd of April last had been ordered by the Government of India? I beg further to ask the right hon. Gentleman if he is aware that Police Inspector Joy Chunder is specially commended as a zealous officer in the Annual Report of the Province of Assam; if he is aware that this Inspector was severely censured by the High Court Judges of Calcutta, in their decision in the Baladhun murder case, for procuring tutored evidence by torture and other illegal methods, and that the Judges recommended that his conduct should be made the subject of a proper official inquiry; and has such inquiry ever been held; if so, with what result? And, finally, I will ask the right hon. Gentleman if he is aware that Mr. J. L. Herald, lately Deputy Commissioner in Assam, has been promoted to the position of First Grade Joint Magistrate at Faridpur; is he also aware that the High Court Judges at Calcutta, commenting upon his conduct of the earlier proceedings of the Baladhun murder case, suggested an inquiry into certain illegal and irregular proceedings on the part of Mr. Herald, which they described as arbitrary and improper, and deserving of severe condemnation; and has such inquiry ever been held; if so, with what result?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR INDIA (Mr. H. H. FOWLER, Wolverhampton, E.)
My hon. Friend's three questions all refer to the same case, and he will perhaps allow mo to answer them together. I have made inquiry, and am unformed that a full inquiry has been held into the conduct of the police and Magistrates in the Baladhun case, and that the Report has been received by the Government of India and will be forwarded to me by the next mail.
§ MR. H. H. FOWLER
I can hardly say till I receive the document. My desire is to give every publicity.