HC Deb 28 May 1906 vol 158 cc55-6
SIR H. COTTON (Nottingham, E.)

To ask the Secretary of State for India whether his attention has been drawn to two recent cases in Eastern Bengal, viz., at Seragigunge and Burisal, in which complaints, filed in the ordinary course in the court of the deputy magistrate duly authorised to receive such complaints, preferring charges of assault against the local police, were refused by the deputy magistrate on the ground that he had been instructed to refer such complaints to the district magistrate, who is the official head of the local police, and, when so referred, were summarily dismissed by the district magistrate; and whether, having regard to the important principle raised in these cases, involving

(Answered by Mr. Sydney Buxton.) The figures are as follows:—

the exercise of judicial and executive powers in the hands of the same officer, as well as interference in the independent administration of justice by subordinate magistrates, he will take these cases into his consideration in finally dealing with the long pending memorial of Lord Hob-house and others praying for the separation of judicial and executive functions in India.

(Answered by Mr. Secretary Morley.) I am not acquainted with the details of these cases, but I have no doubt that they and any similar cases will be communicated to me by the Government of India when they submit to me their conclusions on the memorial referred to.

MR. REES (Montgomery Boroughs)

To ask the Secretary of State for India whether, in dealing with a memorial, signed in 1899 by Lord Hobhouse, Sir W. Wedderburn, and others, praying for the separation of judicial and executive functions in India, he will take into account, not only the opinions of other authorities upon this subject, but also the extra cost which would be entailed by the creation of a magistracy engaged exclusively in magisterial functions, which cost would have to be borne by the masses of the taxpayers, of whose dissatisfaction with the existing and traditional Indian system of joint revenue and magisterial functions no proof exists.

(Answered by Mr. Secretary Morley.) The considerations mentioned by my hon. friend will undoubtedly receive due weight in any deliberations that may take place on the subject.