JUDICIAL ADMIniSTRATION IN SURAT FACTORY BY BRITISHERS

What is a factory?

It is a building or group of buildings where goods are manufactured or assembled chiefly by machine.

Or historically, we can also say that it is an establishment for traders carrying on business in a foreign country.

The first representation of east India company in Surat.

On 24th August 1608, the principal delegate of East India arrived in Surat for reasons for exchange. 

The East India Company was a British business entity established in 1600 to exchange with the East Indies (a term used to allude to South and South-East Asia); however principally wound up completing an exchange with the Indian subcontinent, the North-West Frontier territories and Balochistan.

The East India Company was granted a royal charter and the exclusive privilege to trade in the East by Queen Elizabeth on 31st December 1600.

  • The route from which they came to India is open into the western coast. So they decided to open their first factory in 1608 at Surat on the west coast of India and sent their captain to Jahangir’s court to obtain royal favours.
  • They can easily keep an eye on their enemies (Dutch, Portugal, France).
  • But they opened their first factory in the south at Masulipatam in 1611 because they didn’t have to face a strong government in the south.
  • And by 1623, they had established factories at Surat, Broach, Ahmedabad and Agra.

The East India Company arrived first at Surat, India, in 1608 in the ship Hector commanded by William Hawkins and within a few years had established a permanent factory there. Surat was the port used by the textile manufacturers of Gujarat and was the most important centre for the overseas trade of the Mughal Empire. However, the Portuguese already had trading arrangements with the Mughal authorities and supremacy on the seas, and it would take several years for the English to gain control. A factory was eventually established at Surat in 1612 when the Portuguese fleet was defeated by the English.

On the other side of India, the East India Company had since 1611 been based at Masulipatam on the Coromandel coast of India. By 1626 it had extended its activities further south and established a settlement at Armagon taking advantage of the cheapness of cloth there. However, the new site had disadvantages, and the Company accepted an invitation from the ruler of the district around Madraspatam to establish a factory there in 1640. The factory was called Fort St George and rapidly grew in importance as a centre for the Company’s trading activity in the east, replacing Bantam in 1682 as the headquarters of the eastern trade. 

What is judicial administration?

The practices, procedures, and offices that deal with the management of the administrative systems of the courts. Judicial administration also referred to as court administration, is concerned with the day-to-day and long-range activities of the court system.

Judicial administration in Surat.

The East India Company established 1st factory in Surat in 1612. British crown sent an ambassador Sir Thomas Roe to the Mughal Emperor to request to grant certain facilities to the English man in India. In 1615 the Mughal Emperor, on the pleading of Sir Thomas Roe, issued a Firman. The Mughal Emperor allowed the Englishman to live according to their own religion and laws and to settle disputes among themselves by their president. However, the conflicts between an Englishman and an Indian were to be decided by the native Judges. 

The white town before 1665 Madras was not a presidency town, and it was subordinate to Surat. The administrative head was called ‘Agent’, and he was to administer the settlement with the help of the Council. The severe criminal cases were referred by them to the Company’s authorities in England for advice. But there were defects. The judicial power of the agents and Council was vague and indefinite, and many delays. Also, they did not have any elementary knowledge about the law. They were Merchant. There was no separation between executive and judiciary. 

The president of the Surat factory and members of His Council constituted a court to decide a dispute between the Englishman interest by their own laws and customs. They were to decide both civil and criminal cases. 

Capital offences were dealt with by a jury. There was no separation between executive and judiciary. The president and the members of his Council who were to decide cases and administer justice were a merchant. They did not have even elementary knowledge of English law. 

 The cases were decided by them according to their wisdom, common sense. And the native judges were corrupt, bribery rampant. They had no request for law and justice. 

Surat was the chief trading centre till 1687. But after that, it lost its importance because, in 1687, the headquarters of the president. The council were transferred from Surat to Bombay.

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.

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We are also running a series Inspirational Women from January 2021 to March 31,2021, featuring around 1000 stories about Indian Women, who changed the world. #choosetochallenge

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