Palace disorders and deaths continued and the legacy of Maharaja Ranjit Singh was put to a severe test. At the time of his death Maharaja Ranjit Singh left 50,000 well disciplined soldiers, 50,000 properly armed militia and irregular force besides 500 guns. The army became unruly and ceased to be the willing instrument of the Lahore Darbar. Sher Singh was murdered in 1843 and Dalip Singh, another son of Ranjit Singh was placed on the throne after a period of uncertainty in which a number of persons lost their lives.
During this period of constant intrigues the army gave the Government a semblance of strength and solidarity. Its share in these disorders was no less. With the panchayats the army took its own decisions and also enforced them. Thus it became, more or less, the king-maker. None dared to raise a finger against the decisions taken by the army. On the other hand, each one of the new arrivals wanted to propitiate and win its favour. Earlier, in 1843, the panchayats would not allow the move of any army unit out of Lahore without satisfying themselves of the necessity of the measure, as they felt that the Darbar planned to weaken their authority by dispersing the regiments all over the kingdom. These regimental panchayats were nothing new to the soldiers who all came from the villages. Five representatives or panch were selected from each battalion. This was done on the basis of their influence that they commanded in their villages. A combination of those panchayats decided the issue. These, however, did not interfere with the discipline or training.