(Last Updated on : 22/01/2009)
The Regulating Act was the first serious attempt by the Europeans to organize their Government in a far off country. Through the Regulating Act the company was given the undisputed powers to administrate India. It tried to establish the supreme authority of the English in Bengal, Madras and Bombay. The Regulating Acts though aimed to achieve a better administrative system however it could not solve the problem in India. Rather it made the situation worse. As a result certain remedial and supplementary legislation followed by the Regulating Act and it was the Amending Act of 1781was one such remedial measure.
The Amending Act of 1781 exempted the actions of the public servants of the Company done by them in their official capacity from the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. The jurisdiction of the Supreme Court was settled. It was declared that the Court had its jurisdiction over all the inhabitants of Calcutta. The Court had the right to administer the personal law of the defendant. The Act also provided tats the Supreme Court must taken into consideration the religious concerns and the social customs ands usages of India while enforcing any decrees or processes. The Amending Act provided that the Government was to keep in view all the socio-religious and the ethical customs of the respective society before making rules and regulations.
Apart from these the Amending Act also provided for certain alterations and amendment in the judicial cases. It was envisaged in the Amendment Act that the appeals could be taken from the provincial Courts to the Governor General in Council. The Governor General in Council was considered as the final Court of Appeal except in those civil cases, which involved a sum of Rs. 5000 and more. Finally it was laid down that in the Amending Act of 1781 that the rules and regulations made by the Governor-General in Council were not to be registered with the Supreme Court. Before the Supreme Court under the Regulating Act was entitled to register and publish such rules and regulations.
The Act of 1781 thus brought important changes in the system inaugurated by the Regulating Act. The Amending Act of 1781 emphasized in the unequivocal terms the immediate need to strengthen the government. The Amending Act of 1781 also asserted the needs of an unimpeded system of revenue. Unlike the Regulating Act, the Act of 1781, insisted that the socio-religious customs and usages prevalent in India should be taken into consideration before implementing any decree.