2 BACKGROUNDRaja Nandkumar, an influential man in Bengal was instigated by the majority of the Council who were the opponents of Warren Hasting, and his mentors to bring certain charges of corruption and bribery against Warren Hasting.Warren hasting was very much annoyed by this allegation; that he left the council meeting when these charges were heard.
3 FACTS OF THE CASEFew days after, Mohan Pershad filed certain charges of forgery against Nandkumar in the Supreme Court.In order to bring further disgrace to Raja Nandkumar, Hastings manipulated another case of forgery against him at the instance of Mohan Pershad.The forgery bond was believed to have been committed in 1770.
4 RULINGRaja Nandkumar was tried by a jury of twelve Englishmen who returned a verdict of ‘guilty’ and consequently, the Supreme Court sentenced him to death under an act of the British Parliament called the Forgery Act which was passed as early as 1728.The sentenced of Raja Nandkumar by the Supreme Court was duly executed.
5 CRITICAL APPRAISALThe offence for which Nandkumar was convicted had been committed much before the Supreme Court was founded.The Act of 1728 under which Nandkumar was convicted had never been formally promulgated in Calcutta.The Hindu or Muslim law never regarded forgery as an offence.
6 CONT.The court rejected his application for grant of leave to appeal to the privy council.The court exercised no mercy in favour of Nandkumar though there could not be perhaps a stronger case deserving exercise of the court’s power.To sentence an Indian to death under these circumstances, by applying literally an obscure English law, was nothing short of miscarriage of justice.
7 CONT.Chief Justice Impey in this case acted unjustly in refusing to respite Nandkumar.No rational man can doubt that he took this course in order to gratify the Governor- General.The trial has been characterized as ‘judicial murder’ which rudely shocked the conscience of mankind.
8 POINTS TO PONDERWhether an English statute was applicable to a place or not depended on two things.1. Whether or not it was suitable to the conditions prevailing there.2. And the date when the English law was introduced there.