Lastly, the appointment of Impey
helped in fulfilling the need of reforming the judicial system under the control and supervision of a powerful authority.
In fulfillment of his
work of compiling the Civil Procedure Code was quite recommendable.
, being an experienced and trained lawyer was expected to discharge judicial functions in a far better way and curb out evils from the judicial establishment of the Company.
Elijah Impey was, therefore, appointed the sole Judge of the Sadar Diwani Adalat in October, 1780.
continued in this office till November, 1782 when he
was recalled to England.
In fulfillment of his
new duties, Impey
prepared thirteen articles of Regulations for the guidance of the Civil Courts.
They were afterwards incorporated, with additions and amendments, in a revised Code, consisting of ninety-five articles, which was passed in July, 1781.
This was the first Civil Procedure Code of India.
The aims were to explain such rules, orders, and regulations as might be ambiguous, to revoke such as might be repugnant or obsolete to frame a consistent Code, to formulate the procedure and jurisdiction of the civil courts, to prescribe a general table of fees, to make the law of civil procedure cognizable to the people, to provide for arbitration and appeals to the Sadar Diwani Adalat
, to provide for the limitation of suits, giving in most cases a term of twelve years, to protect the litigating people from the extortions or frauds of the unscrupulous officers of the Courts, and so on.
Reforms by Impey:
remained in his
office for about a year but during this time he
made very important reforms in the administration of judiciary of that time.
issued regulations for the improvement of all the courts existing in the Mofussil area.
By those regulations the following new changes were made.
3. The most distinguished work which Impey
did was the compilation of a Civil procedure Code which was first of its kind ever introduced in this country.
The Code was promulgated by the Governor General and Council on 5 July 1781.
Although the Code did not make very far reaching Changes, it put the law on solid and certain grounds so that the people could know as to what the procedure of courts was.
It also bound down the courts to follow the procedure specified in it.
The Code consisted of 95 clauses.
4. The provision regarding the application of personal laws in certain categories of cases viz., inheritance, marriage, caste and other religious usages or institutions was incomplete so far as the rule of decision in other cases was concerned.
Besides, adding the word 'succession' to the word 'inheritance', Impey
filled up the gap
by providing that in all cases for which no specific directions were given, the Sadar Diwani Adalat
and the Mofussil Diwani Adalats were to act according to justice, equity and good conscience, This was a remarkable provision which completed the rule of decision in all civil cases of Hindus and Mohammedans.
5. Another important feature of the Plan was putting the Sadar Diwani Adalat
on a· sounder basis.
brought the union of the powers of a Board of Superintendence with those of a Court of Appeal.
The appointment of Impey
to the Sadar Diwani Adalat
was actually a good step for the reformation of judicial system and he
himself also worked very vigorously and sincerely to reform it.
holding the twin offices of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and the Judge of the Sadar Diwani Adalat
was not favoured by the authorities in England.
They thought it was a violation of The Regulating Act which had established a judicial system at Calcutta independent of all control from the Company.
To them, by accepting the judgeship of the Sadar Diwani Adalat
, Chief Justice, Impey
had put himself under the subordination of the Company from whom he
appointment and also the salary as judge of the Sadar Diwani Adalat
Although after few months Impey refused to draw his
salary as judge of the Sadar Diwani Adalat
unless the Lord Chancellor gave him a clearance.
sincerity was doubted in England and he
was recalled on May 3, 1782 from his
office of judgeship of the Sadar Diwani Adalat
as well as from the Chief Justiceship of the Supreme Court.
After the recall of Impey
the Sadar Diwani Adalat
again came into its previous from, i.e., the court was again constituted of Governor General Council
was accused of compromising his
judicial independence as a Crown's Judge, and was, therefore, called back, he
gave no opportunity to anyone to say that he
, as the sole Judge of the Sadar Diwani Adalat
, acted in a way which compromised his
judicial independence as the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court
Whatever the criticism, his
Code was an extraordinary contribution giving new directions to Judges of the Diwani Adalats and litigants.
Its compilation was the first attempt of its kind in India, and it made the law of civil procedure certain to some extent.
Under the judgeship of Impey
the whole judicial system indefinitely became much better.
Thus the act of appointing Impey
was later regarded as one of the wisest measures which Warren Hastings carried through.