Click here to download Mobile App for Android

Click here to download Mobile App for iOS


Page Type

                                                                                 HIT COUNTER




              The establishment of Judicial Institutions in Malabar, happened when British East India Company was in its flourishing position during the course of Anglo Mysore war between English East India Company and Tipu Sultan. The war ended with the signing of agreement called “Sreerangapattanam Treaty” in 1792. In the treaty, Malabar was put under Madras Presidency in 1800 for administration and judicial purpose. Thus, Malabar happened to be the typical inheritor of the British Judicial system with elaborate structures of courts and legal procedures. There was no written Code of Laws, nor one law for all but things were managed in accordance with the tradition, custom and practice followed by the society on the basis of “Chathurvarnyam”. But in Malabar, due to the introduction of British legal system the principles of Roman Law were recognized. In 1792, temporary Court of Justice, presided over by each of the Joint Commissioners in turn was established at Calicut, nevertheless it was abolished after three months.   


2. The Malabar province was divided into three Districts which were placed in charge of a Supervisor and two Superintendents. The Superintendents had the tripple duty to preserve, peace to administer justice and to receive revenue. The Superintendent and Supervisor conducted circuit sittings. The Civil Code of 12-06-1793 and the Criminal Code of 09-07-1793 were the governing laws. Subsequently, in 1793 in Cannanore, Koyilandi, Thanur, Thirurangadi, Ponnani, Chettuvai and Palakkad seven local Darogas were established. A Daroga is a native court which is known as “Moffusil Court”. The Malabar Presidency until 1800 was under the supremacy of Bombay presidency. Later, the Malabar Presidency was transferred under the supremacy of Madras Presidency and from 1802 onwards the Cornwallis System of Administration of Justice was followed in the Malabar Precincts. The province of Malabar was divided into twelve circles or Collectorates. For judicial purpose, four provincial Courts which were to hear appeals from the decisions of Zilla Courts were established for the northern, central, southern and western divisions.

3. In 1802, the judiciary was separated from the executive. A provincial court was established at Thalassery during 1802 presided over by three Judges. The Cornwallis System was an amalgamation of the Indian and English elements of justice which gave more importance to the continental features and less regard to the native institutions and customs. Subsequently, to over come the shortcomings of Cornwallis System, a Commission was appointed under the leadership of Colonel Mandro on whose recommendation, a new Zilla Judge as Civil Judge was established at Thalassery. With the enactment in 1843, the provincial courts of appeal and circuit, the civil and criminal Zilla Court, Registrar Court, Auxiliary Zilla Court etc., were abolished. New Zilla Courts with both civil and sessions power were established at Thalassery and Calicut. The Zilla Court was designated as the Civil and Sessions Judge of the Zilla with the jurisdiction of Provincial Court of Appeal.


4. In 1875 another structural change had happened to judicial institutions by designating the Civil and Sessions Judges as District and Sessions Judge of northern and southern Malabar. Thalassery and Calicut became the Headquarters of the District Judges. Thus, before the close of 19th century, Malabar as a whole was roused to a new judicial era with District Courts at Thalassery and Calicut, Subordinate Judges Courts at Calicut, Palakkad and Cochin and nearly two dozen District Munsiffs' Courts in the south and north Malabar arise together. The system followed in these courts was that the native people were governed by their own law and the English law was applied to English subjects. The personal family laws were the governing laws of the native people, although English Judges, Indian Judges, English Barristers, local Lawyers and Vakkils practiced in abundant in these courts. No attempts were made to impose English Laws on the natives. Even different languages were used during the early stages of court proceedings.


          Some of the famous English District Judges were Thomas Harway Babar, H. Clafang, W.Holloway, W.O.Reed, Levimoor. L.C.Harwille Esquice K.S. was the last English District Judge. Apart from English Judges, Indian Judges like a Venkatarman Pai, A.Narayanan Nambiar, T.V.Narayanan Nambiar, A.G.Govinda Menon, K.Imbichunni Nair etc. were a few. The contribution of Thalassery to Higher Judiciary personified in Justice V.R.Krishna Iyer, Justice V.Khalid, Justice K.Bhaskaran, Justice Bhaskaran Nambiar, Justice P.A.Muhammed, Later Justice P.V.Narayanan Nambiar and Justice A.K.Basheer.



Front Page: 
Set Order: