With reference to your No. 159, dated 8th March, 1889, 1 beg to inform you that the letter with its enclosures was laid before his Excellency the Viceroy and governor-general in Council, who, after full consideration of the circumstances and the general condition of affairs in the Kashmir State for a long time past, has ordered me to inform His Highness the Maharaja that for a time at least he will be expected to refrain from all interference in the administration. He will retain his Rank and dignity as Chief of the State, but full powers of Government will be vested in a Council consisting of the Maharaja's brothers and three or four officials selected by the Government of India. It is not thought desirable that one of these officials should be an Englishman. Besides retaining his rank and dignity, the Maharaja will receive from the revenues of the State an annual sum sufficient to maintain his household in due comfort and to defray any expenditure that may rightly devolve upon him, but he will have no power of alienating the State revenues, and the sum placed at his disposal though Adequate, will not be extravagantly large.
His Highness the Maharaja and the Members of Council should thoroughly understand that, although the Council will have full powers of administration, they will be expected to exercise those powers under the guidance of the British Resident. They will take no step of importance without consulting him, and they will follow his advice whenever it may be offered.
Such are the orders of the Government of India, and on my own part, I beg you will assure His Highness that it will be my endeavor to assist in carrying them out in the way I trust that may be most conductive to the happiness and benefit of His Highness and the State.
( Extract )
Lord Lansdowne has recently done an exceedingly kindly thing in a characteristically pleasing way. What he has done will stand him in good stead as Viceroy of India. Nowhere in the world does a generous deed meet with so much appreciation as in India. Evidently moved by the many circumstances, pathetic and otherwise connected with the virtual deposition of the Maharaja of Kashmir, Lord Lansdowne, I am informed, has granted permission to the Maharaja to see him. This kindness has raised great hopes in the heart of the Maharaja and in the minds of his supporters. They argue, t is thought on good grounds, that the Viceroy would never have suggested the interview it is declared the suggestion came from above - unless he was prepared to do justice to the Maharaja as H's Highness understands that phrase. If Lord Lansdowne does not intend to restore Partab to his throne and reinstate him with the authority taken from him a few months ago, the kindness will prove to have been a mistake; the resulting disappointment will be most keen. It is not possible to overstate the excitement, which has been caused -throughout India by the Maharaja's deposition. Nothing that has happened in the Empire during the past thirty years has so vitally stirred Indians of all races, in every grade of society-this, too, in feudatory States and British districts alike. For the sake of peace and good-will in India and for better government and the increased security of our rule, it is earnestly to be hoped That a return to the status quo in Kashmir is contemplated by Lord Lansdowne and will shortly be arranged.
Lord Lansdowne, if-with such guarantees as the Maharaja has expressed his willingness to give for the good government of the people of Kashmir - he were to restore Partab Singh to his throne, would do not merely a kindly, but also an eminently wise thing. Notwithstanding what has been publicly said by an-ex India official, who ought to have known better, respecting the character of the Maharaja, His Highness is not 'a drunken debaucher ', nor is he a man of immoral life. He has never been in the habit of taking intoxicating liquors; he is singularly abstemious. He has led a simple life, and has carefully avoided sensuality. The only fault I have ever heard brought against him by any one acquainted at first-hand with his character is that the rites of the religion he believes in have had more influence over him than on his subjects or his co-religionists think right, but more than certain Europeans Approve, and that his devotions and his contemplation regarding a future life have taken up too much of his time. He is kind and indulgent and very affectionate. Instances were related to me while I was in India last year, illustrative of his great -thoughtfulness and goodness of heart. He has more than once been known to put himself to inconvenience rather than occasion additional trouble to those about him. So much for his character as a man. If he had only had fair play as good a record of the Maharaja as a ruler would by this time have been forthcoming. Partab Singh, a despotic sovereign, began his reign well. Here is a record of what was begun-very largely in many cases, entirely in others-on the Maharaja's own initiative. I mention only the more prominent reforms:
Besides all these, a number of other reforms were taken in hand, and it was intended to press them with velour. Unfortunately, matters did not continue so excellently as they were begun, though they have always been fairly well conducted The fault is only a remote degree, if at all, lies with the Maharaja. The Residency system has been the bane of the Kashmir State, as it has been the bane of many another State in India. Let me show how this came about.
Partab Singh's accession was marked by a new departure in our relations with Kashmir. For the first time since Kashmir has been a feudatory of the British Crown, a Resident was appointed to the Himalyan Kingdom. The result was not satisfactory. Soon after Colonel Nisbet became Resident, a bundle of letters incriminating the Maharaja and making him a party to reasonable practices were handed to the Resident. He took them to Calcutta. Sir John Gorst, in the house of Commons, speaking the mind of the Government of India, as well as of the Secretary of State, declared no importance was attached to them. In the meantime by the exercise of what, the Maharaja himself in his letter to the Viceroy calls "many-sided pressures, a (so-called) letter of abdication was obtained from the Maharaja. On the strength of that document Partab Singh has been deposed. But not even the conditions of that communications have been carried out. The utmost that, under "many-sided pressures", the Maharaja would agree to was, that the assistance of the Government of India should be asked in the formation of a Council, over which Maharaja was to preside. This Council was to assist the Maharaja in carrying out needed reforms. Five Years was the limit set to this arrangement. The response to this proposal was a letter from the Government of India, informing the Maharaja that his offer has been accepted (!), he was to stand aside from all exercise of authority, the Resident was to become the Raja, and he was told an allowance, which was ungenerously described as sufficient for dignity but not for extravagance, would be made to him. No period was fixed for this arrangement to end. It might be As long as the sun and the moon endure", so for as the letter of (virtual) deposition was concerned. The Government of India say that the letter contains some inconvenient stipulations' and it would be embarrassing to it as it stands. As soon as the Maharaja saw the manner in which the offer extorted from him had been misinterpreted, he wrote a long letter to the Viceroy disclaiming the interpretation put upon what he said, and concluding by asking Lord Lansdowne, if he could not release him from the intolerable position in which he had been placed. to shoot him through the head. Death was preferable to the dishonor to which he had been subjected. Despite the Resident's efforts to detain him, the Maharaja left Srinagar and moved nearer to British territory to await the Viceroy's reply. That reply a telegram in The Times last week tells us, contains an expression of the hope of the Government of India that it may hereafter see its way to restore Partab Singh to his rightful position. Possibly the interview promised to the Maharaja may be the means of the bringing this about speedily. This incident, like scores of others affecting Indian Princes and their States, has happened, because the Government of India is in no way subject to that embodied conscience of present day civilization-an enlightened public opinion possessing punitive power. Without meaning it, and doubtless working, as it considers, with a shingle eye to the maintenance of British supremacy in India, the Indian Foreign Office is frequently guilty of grievous injustice. That office, more than any other department in the Indian Government, is in a position which neither man nor institution is good enough, or free enough from liability to error, to bear. There is no one to call it to account, no over-zeal, no one to suggest one to check its (may be inadvertent) that there is, perhaps, another side to a matter than that which has fixed itself in the Foreign Secretary's mind; not a whisper is ever raised, or is likely to be ever raised, by any one possessing power in India, suggesting that the traditions of the office might with advantage be at times broken; it is prosecutor, judge, and executioner, in its hands an India Prince is between the upper and nether millstones. The healthy criticism, the more or less adequate knowledge, and the sense of responsibility to Parliament and the Press, which keep the Foreign, Home, and Colonial Departments in touch with the nation, and which prevent any gross injustice or wide deviation from righteousness are wholly wanting in India. They are not supplied by the British Parliament, the ultimate ruler of India. As a consequence, the Indian Foreign Office, without possibly knowing it and certainly in many instances without meaning it, has been and s responsible for a vast number of acts of injustice which, f set forth in detail, would hardly be credited. The Kashmir incident is one of these.
If it be true that Lord Lansdowne intends himself to see Maharaja Partab Singh, and to restore, with guarantees, the ruler of Kashmir to his place of power, His Excellency will do as much to strengthen the Queen-Empress's supremacy in India, as has been done by all the money spent during the past four or five years in strengthening the North-Western Frontier.
POWERS OF COUNCIL
CONDUCT OF BUSINESS
DUTIES OF SECRETARY
22. The Secretary shall:
23. The Secretary shall keep:
The Council may frame subsidiary rules for carrying out the above provisions and for regulating other matters. falling within the scope of their authority.
I will avoid making any allusions to faulty procedure and technical drawbacks, instances of which are too numerous to mention, but I feel bound to state that, so far as my experience goes, the presiding officers of the Courts are as a class, generally, far from upright. Holding their appointments during. the pleasure of the Chief, they not uncommonly gave way to influence, in fact the dominant influence of the Maharaja's servants had so powerful an effect over the Courts, that on one occasion nearly three weeks after my arrival, Mian Sawal Singh sent word to me through a big official, asking me to let off a person sentenced to imprisonment by one of my Subordinate Judges. This however, was the first and the last attempt so far as I was concerned, as I took the opportunity then and there to announce publicly, that I shall be compelled to take very serious notice if such perversion of justice was again attempted. I had reason to believe that my action did not meet with the approbation of the Maharaja, and on a second occasion when His Highness himself spoke to me in regard to another criminal case, I told him that I could only decide cases. according to the dictates of my own conscience.
The presiding officers of Courts and judicial work performed by their clerks, and it has been with great difficulty that I have partially succeeded in getting them to record their proceedings in their hand. There are still a number of ignorant and illiterate Tehsildars and other officers, owing their employment to strong official influence, who would not and could not carry out by instructions.
I have come across cases, nay criminal trials in which a single line in the form of a judgement had never been recorded while instances have repeatedly come to my notice of Courts, neglecting the rudest principles of equity and jurisprudence, and putting suitors to all sorts of annoyance. Having had the honour to showing to the Resident a number of my decisions, bearing out the views expressed above, I hardly think it necessary to encumber this note with detailed particulars.
Judicial cases against private persons or State servants, interested in politics, or in the intrigues at Court, are as a rule kept pending or adjourned sine die, such postponement having the two-fold object of keeping the culprit in awe and chestising him on occurrence of a suitable opportunity.
During the ministry of Diwans Lachman Dass and Anant Ram, Judicial Courts could not work with a grain of independence or self-respect. Judges blindly disposed of cases, as required by the Ministers in power, without any reference to the merits, and not infrequently received written orders dictating decisions which were to be given.
Judicial officers, from corrupt motives, or to suit the interest of their employers, sometimes destroyed important papers and depositions, replacing them by false proceedings adapted to their judgements. To such an extent had the Courts lost public confidence that no party to a suit would credit them with original documents, and the pettiest case found its way to the highest Court, swelling law charges to the extent of double or triple of the amount claimed.
A curious custom prevailed, enabling private persons to make money by laying information exposing the conduct of State servants. Such complaints were called "Khair-Khwai" and were entertained by the Criminal Courts without any reference to the department in which the accused was employed. The officials, in a body, being addicted to misappropriation of monies received by them in the course of official duty, easily avoided investigation by bribing the informers, and the Darbar itself, not being well prepared to check corruption, or recover monies embezzled by its servants, such misappropriations were committed with impunity, so that as the present day there is hardly an official who, if a proper enquiry was instituted, would not have to account for his misconduct.
Receipts on account of unclaimed deposits and unclaimed property, as also fines and penalties, in certain cases, were seldom paid into the State Treasury. Judges of Sadar Adalats spent large sums without any reference to higher authority. The other day I found that tile Nazir of tile Jammed Court has c large of items aggregating Rs.2500, extending over several years past, without having been brought to book in the finance accounts of the State. The same practice prevailed with greater impunity in other departments; the whole being due to the absolute want of a proper system of audit and control.
Tehsildars and other Revenue officers are known to be in the habit of imposing fines without recording any proceeding, and appropriating the receipts to themselves.
Execution of decree is tedious, and, as no civil case is held to be finally decided until it is confirmed in appeal by the highest tribunal, which generally takes seven to ten years, execution is generally stayed till then.
I will here say a few words regarding the laws in force. There is a Penal Code, but there is no Code of Criminal Procedure.
Similarly, there is a Code of Civil Procedure, but there is no substantive code of civil law, nor is there any law of limitation.
The stamp and registration laws are grossly imperfect.
My critical review of the State Penal Code was submitted to the Resident at Gulmarg. It is sufficient to show that the penal law is a wretched specimen of barbarity and oppression. It gives the Courts power to entertain complaints against witches and sorcerers, on payment of a fee of Rs.50. The cow is held in the highest veneration, and no punishment is spared, however faulty the evidence may be. When a person is shown to have put a cow to death, his lands and property are confiscated, houses are brunt, permanent exile is ordered, and whole families are ruined. If the charge is proved by evidence, the culprit is sentenced to imprisonment for life. A person is bound to be sent to jail if he happens to yoke a cow to the plough, or otherwise take excessive hard work from that animal. It is a penal offence to kill animals for food or sell meat on certain days in each month. Adultery with a widow is punished with great severity, particularly if the woman is related to the adulterer, and a complaint of adultery may be lodged by any person, whether he is or is not in any way connected with her.
There is clause in the Penal Code under which a Magistrate could take cognizance of an act or omission not specified therein, if such act or omission appears to him to be objectionable in the cause of society, and he may sentence the accused to a fine of Rs.25. This gives Tehsildars and Revenue officers ample opportunities of punishing people for disobedience of order, contempt of authority, and other supposed offenses.
A State defaulter is considered a criminal, he is kept in irons in the criminal jail on reduced diet, and is deported to distant and unhealthy stations, if he is unable to bride the officials.
One of the official arguments in justification of the deposition of the Maharaja of Kashmir is the apparent indifference of the entire body of the Indian Princes in regard to this violent act of the Government. Those who advance such an argument altogether ignore the fact that Indian Princes are perfectly incapable of criticizing the conduct of the Paramount power. It is, however, not a fact that, slaves though they practically are they allowed this act of violence pass by without some sort of protest. Many Indian Princes were so powerfully moved by the incident that they did send secret messages to the Maharaja, deeply sympathizing with his hard lot. They advised him to remain strictly loyal to the British Crown, and at the same time lay his case before Lord Lansdowne, from whom they assured him he would get justice. But the Maharaja has already anticipated his friends, and sent his memorable letter to the Viceroy. Lord Lansdowne will thus see that, by denying justices to His Highness, he has not only bitterly disappointed the Maharaja of Kashmir, but also the Native Princes of India as a body.
That the deposition of the Maharaja caused immense sensation amongst the people of Kashmir and Jammu goes without saying. Indeed, an outbreak was seriously apprehended and the European officials of the State passed their time in great anxiety. General Marquis de Bourbel, the Chief Engineer of the State, who had access to all classes of the people, found their temper so bad, that he thought it prudent to send away his family from Kashmir to Sialkot. There is no doubt that a serious outbreak would have occurred, if the Maharaja and Raja Ram Singh had not supreme control over the army. A hint from them was enough for the Dogras to rise against the new order of things and commit horrible deeds. But both Maharaja Partab Singh and Raja Ram Singh preferred to trust to the sense of justice of the British Government, and they firmly restrained the Dogras from committing any act of violence.
To what a length these Dogras are capable of going may be conceived from an incident, which happened at the end of October last. One of the policies of the present regime is the reduction of the Kashmir army. A regiment of about 1,000 sepoys was thus ordered to be disbanded. But their pay was heavily in arrears, and they refused to obey the order till their salaries were paid in full. The Commander of the regiment had however no money to pay, and he pointed to them the house of the Governor of Kashmir. They besieged the Governor's house and threatened to kill him, and loot the bazaar if he would not pay them. But the treasury was empty, and the Governor was unable to oblige them. So the poor man had to run to the Residency and seek the help of the Resident. Colonel Nisbet however left for Jammu, leaving Captain Ramsay temporarily in charge of the Residency. Captain Ramsay was in a fix. He however advised the Governor to withdraw the order of disbandment at once, and pacify the troops by reinstating them. This was done, and a serious outbreak prevented.
The above incident brings one fact prominently before the public - the utter emptiness of the Kashmir treasury. Indeed, the financial collapse of the State is almost complete. And we shall show by a few facts, how this has been brought about. First of all, highly paid officials have been thrust upon the State. For instance, the three paid Members of the Council are Bhagram, Suraj Kaul, and Sheikh Ghulam Mohi-uddin. The first to get Rs.1,500 per mensem, and the last Rs.800. And yet Bhagram and Suraj Kaul each got only Rs.600 while Extra Assistant Commissioners in British India, and Sheikh Gulam only Rs.300.
But not only do these Members receive high salaries, they have been each given an Assistant or Naib on a pay of Rs. 300 per months All these Assistants are creatures of Colonel Nisbet, whom he has imported from the British territory and through them he manages to keep his control over the Members. One of these Naibs or Assistants is a Gurkha named Thapa. Just fact a Nepalese thrust upon the people of Kashmir, not a word of whose language he can speak or understand. Besides the pay, these Assistants are allowed free quarters. The Governor of Kashmir has also an Assistant or Naib of the above description, one Afzal Khan, who is a well-known creature of Colonel Nisbet.
But if Colonel Nisbet is filling the State with his creatures, so is Raja Amar Singh procuring berths for his own favourtes. The old Vakil got Rs.66 per month. He has been dismissed, and a railway man put in his place on a salary of Rs.500 per mensum: A photographer, who previously taught Raja Amar Singh photography, has been appointed as Superintendent of the printing press on a pay of Rs.500. The old officer of the Toshakhana, who got Rs.200, has been dismissed, and the father of head servant of Amar Singh appointed to the post on a salary of Rs.600. The loaves and fishes of the State are being thus divided mainly to the creatures of Colonel Nisbet and Amar Singh.
Besides many Europeans have been imported into the State on high pay. The Survey Officer, the Chief Engineer, and two or three Assistant Engineers, and the head of the Forest Department are Europeans. The contractors for Jhelum Valley road (the Murree road) and their subordinates are also Europeans. And this road alone devours half a lakh every month, perhaps more. Need anybody now wonder why there is no money in the treasury?
Add to the above the costly hobbies of the Colonel Nisbet. One of these hobbies is the waterwork at Jammu. The treasury was empty, but yet he must prosecute the work and leave a name behind. So he introduced two Engineer friends into the State and asked them to make an estimate of cost and undertake the work. But he was not yet satisfied. He promised them a reward of Rs.10, 000 if they would finish the work in 6 months. The result was that the engineers employed men and purchased materials at exorbitant rates so as to finish the work in time, and get the reward. They finished the work and got the reward, but they have left a veritable white elephant upon the Kashmir State. The mere cost of pumping up the water is Rs.100 per day, or nearly Rs.40, 000 per annum. The water might have been brought down from a higher level, and the cost reduced to almost nil. But the engineers must finish the work in 6 months - the prospect of a reward of Rs.10, 000 was before them. 'o they had no time to search and find out a reservoir on the top of some hill from where the water might come down of its own gravity. And they therefore dug out a well in the bed of the river, and the water has to be raised from there to a height of some 300 feet at the enormous cost stated above.
Nor is this all. Wretched water-piles, with old-fashioned stands, have been introduced. They have been constantly bursting forth, and deluging the streets with water, and waterwork at Jammu has proved altogether a strange phenomenon to the people. And one of the Engineers, who were entrusted with the charge of this water-work, has been appointed for the Kashmir road on Rs.1, 000 per month.
Colonel Nisbet is about to confer the same blessing upon the people of Srinagar at an equally enormous cost. Indeed the water-works there have been already commenced. But there is no immediate necessity for good water at Srinagar. The Jhelum water is quite enough for the purpose. But, we believe, the water-work at Srinagar will also be soon finished by Colonel Nisbet, and the treasury still further exhausted, and the State burdened with another white elephant. If Srinagar wants anything it is the cleaning of its street, and not water.
But while such is the wretched condition of the finance of the Kashmir State, the British Government is going to thrust four British Officers upon the State, with the object of organizing the Kashmir troops. Whether they will be placed under the direction of Raja Ram Singh, who is the Commander in Chief of the Kashmir army, we do not know. But it is not likely that these British officers will ever agree serve to under a Native Commander. We also see that Lieutenant-Colonel Neville Chamberlain has been posted as military to the Council. It is needless to point out that these officers will cost a good deal of money to the State.
Here are a few more items of Expenditure. A new Residency House is about to be built at Jammu at a cost of one lakh. The Resident has already got a house there. But he must have another at the cost of the State. As Jammu and Sialkot have been joined by Railway, there is absolutely no necessity for sucl1 a palace at all at Jammu. And then money is being spent like water upon the Lalmundi palace and Residency houses, in expectation of Lord Lansdowne's visit to Kashmir in March next.
And lastly, the building of the Gilgit Residency which being vigorously pushed on, is a costly affair. Even such things as flag, staffs, furniture, etc. are being sent to Gilgit at the cost of the State. And the following cutting from an Anglo-Indian paper shows how Captain Durand is making himself merry at the expense of the poor people of Kashmir, and how he has been dealing with the subjects of the Maharaja as if they were British subjects:
"Captain Durand, the British political Agents at Gilgit, is reported to have recently invited the chiefs of Punyal, Hunza and Nagar to come in person or to send suitable representatives to Gilgit to be present at a Darbar. Raja Saddar All Khan of Hunza deputed his half-brother, Mohammad Nasim Khan and the Raja of Nagar his eldest son, Raja Uhzar Khan, while the Punyal Chiefs, who are subjects of the Maharaja of Kashmir, came in person. A Darbar was held by the British Agent, with whom were the Governor of Gilgit and the General Commanding the Kashmir troops. and the establishment of the Gilgit Agency was formally announced. The Chiefs remained in Gilgit as guests for a week, the time being filled up with horse-racing, sports and polo matches in which the people of the country and the Kashmir sepoys freely joined".
1. I am directed by His excellency the Viceroy and GovernorGeneral in Council to communicate for the information of the Kashmir State Council the following observations regarding the arrangements which the Government of India consider necessary for the exercise of Criminal and Civil jurisdiction within the territories of His Highness the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir.
2. The Government of India consider that the Regulations published with the assent of His Highness the late Maharaja in Foreign Department Notification No. 615-P. of the 28th May 1873 are not entirely suited to the present time. Since the publication of those Regulations considerable changes have been effected within His Highness' territories, and year by year the number of persons visiting Kashmir increases and the opening of the Jhelum Valley Road will doubtless attract more and more British capital into the valley of Kashmir. On the other hand the Government of India are glad to notice that there has been considerable improvement of late in the machinery for the administration of justice in Jammu and Kashmir, and that if the late Council continue to devote attention to this important question, it is believed that the Courts of the State will in time command the confidence of the general public.
3. Inasmuch as the Governor-General in Council possesses full personal jurisdiction over subjects of Her Majesty, who may happen to be within the territories of the Maharaja, it would not ordinarily be necessary to peaus before issuing such orders concerning them as might appear from time to time to be necessary. But the existing Regulations having been published with the assent of the late Maharaja, and therefore, out of courtesy to His Highness the present Maharaja and the Kashmir State Council, the Government of India have desired me to communicate to the Council their intention of making alterations, suitable to the existing conditions, in the present procedure.
4. The changes that will be made are embodied in the accompanying notification, and may be summarized as follows:
(a) Arrangements are made for investing the Resident in Kashmir and his Assistants with the necessary powers for enquiry into or trial of cases against
(b) The trial of Native Indian subjects who ordinarily dwell or carry on business or personally work for gain within the said territories will ordinarily rest with the Courts of the Durbar. At the same time it is to be distinctly understood that any such person convicted by such Courts has the right of making a presentation to the Resident in Kashmir, and that if that officer considers there is ground for interference, his representation on the subject to the Durbar will be attended to.
(d) Arrangements are made for investing the Resident and his Assistants with powers to dispose of Civil suits in which
The defendant is an European British subject.
The defendant is a Native Indian subject of Her Majesty and at the time of the commencement of the suit does not ordinarily dwell or carry on business or personally work for gain within the territories of the Maharaja.
(e) All other suits between subjects of Her Majesty on the one hand and subjects of the Maharaja on the other hand will ordinarily be triable in the Courts of the State.
5th September, 1896.
Sd/- (Amar Singh)
Read Resident in Kashmir's letter No. 6575 dated 29th October, 1899 suggesting the distribution of different departments to be controlled by members of the State Council.
Resolved unanimously that the following distribution of the departments proposed by His Highness Maharaja be sanctioned and that the members concerned be informed accordingly.
Vice - President to Administer:
Revenue Member to be In Charge Of:
Judicial Member to Control:
LORD CURZON'S SPEECH
Your Highness, three times since I came to India as Viceroy have been privileged as representative of the Government to install an Indian Prince, but have never before enjoyed the pleasure of conferring an enhancement or restitution of powers upon a ruling Chief, and in the annals of the Foreign office we can discover no record of such a ceremony ever having taken place. The present occasion is therefore unique in its character, as well as agreeable in its relation both to the Prince who is the recipient of the compliment and to the people who share in the honour that is being conferred upon their ruler.
This ceremony may be looked upon from a threefold point of view either as typing the policy of the paramount power, or as affecting the fortunes of the Maharaja or the destines of his State.
BRITISH POLICY TOWARDS NATIVE STATES
Let me say a word upon all those aspects of the case. The position which is occupied by the British Crown towards the feudatory princes in India is one of the greatest responsibility that is anywhere enjoyed by a sovereign authority. Some times it may impose upon that authority unwelcome or distasteful obligations. But far more often it is the source of a relationship which is honourable and advantageous to both, and which associates them in the bonds of a political union without any parallel for its intimacy or confidence in the world. As one who has represented the sovereign power for an unusual length of time in India I can speak with some right to be heard when I say that anything that enhance the security or adds to the dignity of the Indian princes is above all things welcome the British Government. Titles and honour and salutes it is in the power of the supreme authority in many countries to bestow, and it is from no vain or childish instinct that the world in all ages has attached value to these emblems or rewards. But surely amongst them the most dignified distinction to offer and the proudest to receive must be the augmentation of governing powers bestowed upon a ruler, to whom they are given not as a matter of course, but because he has been merited them by faithful devotion to the interest of the people and by loyal attachment to the paramount power. Such an act is even more congenial to the latter if it marks the rescission of an attitude that may have been called for in different circumstances but that might be thought to carry with it the suspicion of distrust.
It gives me, therefore the highest pleasure to be here today to confer this particular honour upon one of the foremost of the Indian Princes. But the pleasure is enhanced by the circumstances of the State and of the ruler to whom it is offered I know not why it is, but the State of Kashmir, so fertile in all its resources, has always been more productive of strange rumours than any other native State in India. Thus in Lords Lansdowne's day it was widely circulated that the State was about to be taken over by the Crown. Similarly a few years ago, at the very time when I was first considering with Your Highness the restoration of your powers. it was actually spread abroad that I was discussing with you a territorial exchange by which the Kashmir Valley should pass into the hands of the Government of India and that the British officials were even to come after the manner of the old Moghuls and spend their summer at Srinagar or Gulmarg. Only the other day a fresh crop of silly rumours had to be formally denied, namely that in handing back to you the first place in the government of your State, we had imposed conditions as regards the tenure of property by Europeans in Kashmir for which there was not one word foundation. Your Highness, is not the action which I am taking today the most eloquent commentary upon these absurd fictions? Does it not testify in the most emphatic manner to the rectitude and good faith of the British Government?
If excused for a different policy, for a policy of escheat or forefeiture in native States, were required, History will supply cases in which they have sometimes not been lacking. But we have deliberately set ourselves to carry out opposite political theory, namely to retain the native States of India intact, to prolong and fortify their separate existence, and to safeguard the prestige and authority of their rulers. Such has been our Attitude towards Kashmir ever since the end of the first Sikh War when we made over to your grandfather, already the ruler of the State of Jammu, the much more valuable possession of Kashmir. Since that day there has been no departure from this policy, and there has been no more striking evidence of it than the step which I am taking today and which I consider it my good fortune that before I leave India I am in a position to take. It shows conclusively, if any further proof were required that it is our desire to see Kashmir and Jammu a single and compact State in the hands of a ruler qualified to represent its dignity and authority before all India.
Your Highness, there is a third reason why I have found this act so agreeable, and that is personal to yourself. Since I arrived in India when you were the first ruling chief to greet me upon the steps of Government House at Calcutta we have met on many occasions and have constantly corresponded. You have been my guest at Calcutta, and it is only by a -series of accidents first the flood in 1903, and then the delay in my return from England last year, and finally the circumstances attending my departure in the present autumn-that have prevented me from enjoying the princely hospitality that you have so frequently pressed upon me at Srinagar. However, though these opportunities have been wanting there have not been lacking many others not merely of acquiring your Highness's friendship but of forming a personal regard for yourself and a High opinion of these qualities of head and heart which -will now find an even wider scope for their exercise. I feel that I am the indirect means of honouring a prince who will so conduct himself as to be worthy of honour, and who will never cause my successors to take the step which I have taken.
ADVANTAGES AND IMPROVEMENTS IN KASHMIR
The State of Kashmir is indeed a noble and enviable dominion of which one would wish to be the ruler. Its natural beauties have made it famous alike in history and romance, and they draw to it visitors from the most distant parts. It possesses a laborious population. Its industrial resources are already growing rapidly, and are capable of immense additional expansion. Its accounts have been placed in excellent order; its land settlement has been effected on equitable lines; its revenue are mounting by leaps and bounds; it is about to be connected with India by a railway and will thus lose the landlocked condition which has often been the source of economic suffering, without, I hope, sacrificing the picturesque detachment that renders it attractive to visitors. Your Highness will remember that this railway was my first official suggestion to you at Calcutta in January, 1899, and though nearly seven years have since elapsed I am pleased to think that the alignments and gauge are now fixed.
Finally, your State possesses a mountain frontier unequalled in diversity of race and character, of natural beauty and political interest, and towards its protection you make the largest contribution of any State in India to imperial defence. I allude to the Kashmir Imperial Service Troops of which your Highness is so justly proud, and whose service to the Empire has already won for your Highness the exalted rank of a British General. Such are the features and the Prospects of the State of which your Highness is the ruler, and of which you are now given the supreme and responsible charge.
NATURE OF THE NEW POWER
Henceforward the State Council which for the last sixteen years has administered the affairs of the State will cease to exist, and its power will be transferred under proper guarantees to your self. You will be assisted in the discharge of these duties by your brother Raja Sir Amar Singh, who has already occupied so prominent a position in the administration and
who will be your chief minister and right-hand man. I am convinced that he will devote his great natural abilities to your faithful service, and it will be your inclination as well as your duty to repose in him a full measure of your trust.
In all important matters you will be able to rely upon the counsel and support of the British Resident, who, owing to the peculiar conditions of Kashmir, has played so important a part in the recent development of the country and whose experience and authority will always be at your command and will assist to maintain the credit of the State.
COUNCIL AND EXHORTATION
I feel convinced that your Highness will exercise your powers in a manner that will justify the Government of India for their confidence and that will be gratifying to your people and creditable to yourself. You rule a State in which the majority of your subjects are of different religion from the ruling caste, and in which they are deserving of just and liberal consideration. You rule a State which is much before the eyes of the world and is bound to maintain the highest standard of efficiency and self respect. Finally, you rule a State which has a great and splendid future before it, and which should inspire you with no higher or no lower aim than to be worthy of the position of its ruler, and thus to add fresh lustre to the proud title of Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir.
Note on the new arrangements for the administration of the Jammu and Kashmir State.
Chief Revenue Officer.
Chief Judicial Officer.
Chief Engineer, Public Works Department.
Engineer-in-Chief. Railway Department.
Engineer-in-Chief, Electric Engineering Department.
Superintendent of Customs and Excise.
Director of Sericulture.
- orders modifying the annual budget for the year as finally passed by the Maharaja;
- orders involving alienation of the revenue or remission of taxation;
- orders involving the appointment or removal of gazetted officers;
- orders effecting the new Railway or Electrical Engineering Department;
- orders passed on the assessment reports of the Settlement Department, or on their reports on Rev rue-free Holdings, Jagirs, Muafis, Inams, & c;
- orders passed on the proposals made by the Sericulture Committee or the head of the Sericulture Department;
- orders passed in regard to annual or periodical contracts given by the State;
- orders appertaining to the administration of the frontier.
The powers of Members in charge of, and Head of Departments and the regulation of work between the various Departments have already been clearly defined in State Resolutions, and no change shall be made until the necessity for such change has been established.
Consequent on the abolition of Council the following arrangements as to the conduct of work by the Ministers and the Chief Ministers are hereby laid down:
The Ministers shall for the present continue to exercise the same delegated authority in respect of the various departments under their control, which they used to exercise as Members of Council during the existence of the State Council, and shall submit such matters for the orders of His Highness the Maharaja as were submitted to that administrative body for decision Such matters shall be submitted through the Chief Minister accompanied by a clear memorandum on the case and the connected files. His Highness may, if he considers necessary make verbal enquiries from the Minister about a matter thus submitted to him, by calling upon the Minister concerned to to attend at a special time.
The Chief Minister shall be the channel of communication between the Ministers and His Highness the Maharaja. All references received by the Chief Minister from the different Ministers shall be forwarded by him to His Highness the Maharaja for orders, together with his own opinion on the proposals as made by the different Ministers. When submitting the files to His Highness the Maharaja, the Chief Minister will forward with them an abstract of the case which shall be prepared in the office of the Chief Minister in form appended hereto. A chalan giving the details of the cases thus sent up should also be forwarded. This chalan shall be signed by the Private Secretary to His Highness and returned to the Chief Minister's Office. On the day following the one on which the papers are thus received, they will be produced before His Highness and the Chief Minister by the Private Secretary at the time fixed for the transaction of such business. The items of business in which His Highness has only to express an agreement with the Chief Minister's views shall have a note made to the effect in that statement, while the references in which His Highness entertains a different opinion shall be discussed -with the Chief Minister, and their final opinion arrived at shall form the basis of His Highness's order which shall on its being passed be recorded and note thereof duly entered in the appropriate column in the said statement. Such cases when -finally disposed of by His Highness shall also be returned to the Chief Minister, together with the statement above referred to, setting forth the orders of His Highness on the references submitted to him. The Chief Minister shall then retain in his office the abstract of each case sent up by him, his own note of opinion, and the original order of His Highness, and shall communicate the orders passed on the references by His Highness to the Ministers concerned, returning to them at the same time the original files.
His Highness reserves to himself the function of seeking the advice of the Resident in Kashmir in matters of importance, particularly where difference of opinion is involved, in such manner as he may consider desirable.
The fortnightly abstract of proceedings to be sent up to the Resident shall be prepared in the Chief Minister's Office and forwarded to the Residency by the Chief Minister.
In accordance with the direction contained in Your Highness's letter dated the 28th January 1919, I communicated officially to the Resident in Kashmir Your Highness's request for the grant of full and unrestricted powers in the control of the administration of the State and asked him kindly to move His Excellency the Viceroy to accord his sympathetic and favourable consideration to it.
The Resident laid Your Highness's request before His Excellency the Viceroy and has communicated His Excellency's decision thereon in his letter No. 180-C dated the 28th May, 1919.
I laid this letter before Your Highness and explained its contents. In accordance with Your Highness's verbal orders the changes sanctioned by His Excellency are explained below:
(a) Method followed in respect of the tendering of advice by the Resident in matters of importance.
The procedure in vogue is that a proposal is first submitted to Your Highness for sanction. If it is sanctioned by Your Highness, it is referred to the Resident for approval. In future the procedure will be that it will first be laid before Your Highness. If it is approved or sanctioned by Your Highness, it will be referred to the Resident by the Chief Minister demi-officially for advice. The case will be again laid before His in Highness for final orders after the Resident's advice has been obtained. The present method will thus be altered so as to ensure that the Resident's advice will in all cases be obtained before and not after a proposal is submitted to Your Highness for sanction.
(b) Submission of fortnightly synopsis of proceedings and orders passed by Your Highness.
In accordance with the condition (viii) of Lord Curzon's Kharita dated the 30th August 1905, a synopsis of orders passed by Your Highness in certain cases is to be forwarded to the Resident fortnightly. The Government of India have agreed that orders passed under headings (a), (c), (d), (e), (f) and (g) need no longer be reported, provided that any orders passed in these classes of cases, which are contrary to or involve any important established principle, are, communicated by the Chief Minister to the Resident, but orders passed under (b) and (h), viz., (1) orders appertaining to the frontier, should continue to be reported.
(c) Preparation of Budget
The holding of the annual Budget meetings will be discontinued. The Budget estimates will in future be submitted to the Chief Minister who, after consulting Your Highness, will take the advice of the Resident with regard to individual items included in the Budget will not be required if the expenditure is devoted to the purpose for which the allotments are made. Your Highness will also be able to sanction expenditure up to a limit of Rs. 20,000!- on the entertainment of Ruling Chiefs and other distinguished guests visiting Kashmir which cannot at present be incurred without Resident's approval.
It may be added that subject to the limitations imposed by the first five conditions laid down in Lord Curzon's Kharita dated the 20th August 1905 as subsequently modified; Your Highness possesses and can exercise powers of veto, revision and review in all cases.
It may also be stated that the Government have sanctioned an increase in Your Highness Privy Purse allowance from 101akhs per annum with effect from the Baisakh, the commencement of the current financial year.
If Your Highness approves, the revised procedure will be introduced forthwith.
Approved. The action may please be taken accordingly
Pratap Singh, Maharaja
Lieutenant General, G.C.S. I.,
G.C.I.E., G.B.E., L.L.D., 23-7-1919.
(B) Whoever breaks any rule made under clause (b) shall be punished with a fine which may extend to fifty rupees.
The Court of the District Judge, also called the District Court;
(2) The Court of the Additional Judge;
(3) The Court of Subordinate Judge; and
(4) The Court of the Munsiff.
The High Court may, with the previous sanction of His Highness, and by notification in the State Gazette, direct that appeals lying to the District Court under sub-section (2) from all or any of the decrees or orders passed in an original suit by any Munsiff shall be preferred to such Subordinate Judge as may be mentioned in the notification, and the appeals shall thereupon be preferred accordingly, and the Court of such Subordinate Judge shall be deemed to be a District Court for the purposes of all appeals so preferred.
In exercise of the powers under Section 6 of the Sri Pratap Reforms Regulation 1918, l hereby direct that Military matters "shall be laid before me by the Commander-in-Chief and the following matters with the opinion of the Member-in-Charge of -the department concerned for my final disposal; all others being laid before me in Council:
I accord sanction to Sri Pratap Reforms Regulation, first part, as a tentative measure for one year. It will come into force from the date the first Council meeting of the Executive Council sits. This order should be published in the State Gazette.
Whereas, in view of the stage of evolution which the Administration of the J&K State has reached, it is expedient to amend its constitution so as to increase the efficiency of the Administration and to afford the means for the association therewith of subjects of the State, it is hereby enacted as follows:
(1) This Regulation may be called the Sri Pratap Reforms. Regulation, 1918.
(2) It shall come into force on and from the date to be fixed in this behalf by His Highness the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir.
CONSTITUTION OF THE J & K STATE COUNCIL
100. (1) Save where otherwise expressly provided in the body of this Code or by any other law for the time being in force, as appeal shall lie to the High Court from every decree passed in appeal by any Court subordinate to the High Court on any of the following grounds, namely:
(2) An appeal may lie under this section from an appellate decree passed exparte.
1. The Council shall consist of the following Members:
Commander-in-Chief and senior and foreign Member.
Home and Law Member.
Public Works Member.
Finance and Police Member.
Member for Commerce and Industries.
2. The Council shall have a Secretary and necessary establishment.
Except as provided for in Article 5 below, the Senior Member, the member next in order of the seniority present at the meeting shall preside.
A quorum of the Council shall consist of four Members.
With the exception of the subjects enumerated below which are reserved for the Commands of His Highness all matters shall be dealt with by the Council and the proceedings of the Council shall be submitted to His Highness by the Council Secretary for sanction, no resolution being brought -into force until the sanction of His Highness has been obtained. If His Highness disagrees with any resolution he will inform the senior Member of the time and place at which the Council should attend and discuss the case in question in the presence of His Highness. If after discussion His Highness still disagrees, he will there upon exercise in Council his prerogatives of veto And decision in the case shall be as commanded by His Highness.
In the Reserved subjects enumerated below, the following procedure shall be adopted:
Military matters shall be submitted to His Highness for his commands by the Commander-in-Chief
Cases connected with other Reserved subjects shall be submitted to His Highness for his commands by the Member concerned through the senior Member.
Appeals which lie to His Highness under section 34, 35, 36 of the High Court Regulation and cases for confirmation of sentences under section 38 of the said regulation, shall be referred to the Law Members for opinion, who shall after hearing the parties, submit the cases through the senior Member for the orders of His Highness.
Nothing herein contained shell, in any way derogate from the powers of His Highness to refer any matters enumerated in the list of Reserved subjects to Council whenever he may consider it expedient to do so.
Political matters affecting the peace and Good Government of the State.
Treaties and agreements now in force or which may hereafter be entered into by His Highness with the British Government or his Feudatory chiefs.
The relation between His Highness and the British Government or his Fendatory Chiefs.
Prerogatives and powers of His Highness, and the rights, privileges, gifts and allowances of the ruling family, its relations and connections.
Titles, Salutes, Ceremonials, Tours and Special occasions.
Residency and Residency Correspondence.
Khillats, Tambols, Vartans and Grants at His Highness disposal.
Reception and Entertainment of Guests, Allocation of Huts, Rest-Houses and Guest-Houses.
Rakhs and Game Preservation.
Baggikhana, Malmaveshi, Stables, Boats and Cars.
Jagirs and Muafis.
Devasthans and Dharmarth Trust Fund.
Appeals which lie to His Highness under Section 34, 35, 36 of the High Court Regulation, of Sambat 1978 and cases submitted to His Highness for confirmation of sentences under section 38 of the said Regulation.
Police special Reports as Accidents, Riots, Arrival and suspicious movements or actions of Visitors.
Note: Petitions submitted to His Highness direct shall be referred through the Senior Member to the Memberin-Charge of the Department concerned for disposal or report as the case may require.
DISTRIBUTION OF PORTFOLIOS
1. Commander-in-Chief and Senior and Foreign Member.
Political matters affecting the peace and good Government of the State.
Receipt and despatch of all correspondence between His Highness and all officials.
General Administration Report.
(c) Foreign Member.
Treaties and agreements now in force or which may hereafter be entered into by His Highness with the British Government or his feudatory chief.
The relation between His Highness and the British Government or His feudatory chiefs.
Prerogatives and powers of His Highness and the rights, privileges, gifts and allowances of the Ruling Family; its relations and connections.
Titles, Salutes, Ceremonials, Tours and Special Occasions.
Residency and Residency correspondence.
Khillats, Tambols, Vartans and Grants at His Highness.
Reception Department, Entertainment of Guests, Allocation of Huts, Rest Houses and Guest Houses.
Rakhsand Game Preservation.
Baggikhana, Malmaveshi, Stables, Boats and Motor cars.
(d) Revenue Member.
Jagirs and Muafis.
Co-operative credit Societies.
Devasthans and Dharmarth Trust Fund.
State property in British India.
(e) Home and Law Member.
Education.Medical and Jails.
Research and Libraries.
Archeology and Museums.
Judicial department and Legislation.
Appeals which lie to His Highness under Section 34, 35 and 36 of the High Court Regulation of Sambat 1.978, and cases submitted to His Highness for confirmation of sentences under Section 38 of the said Regulation.
(f) Public Works Member.
Roads and Buildings.
(g) Finance and Police Member.
Kashmir valley food control.
Police Special Reports, such as Accident, Riots, Arrival and Suspicious movements or actions of visitors.
(h) Member for Commerce and Industries.
Sericulture and Silk Weaving.
Commerce and Industries.
POWERS OF THE COUNCIL
1. Subject to the sanction of His Highness, the Council shall be the final authority in all matters which cannot be dealt with finally by any member or any other officer, by virtue of powers delegated to him under any law, rule, regulation? order, resolution or practice sanctioned before the constitution of the Council, or sanctioned in future by the Council with the exception of cases relating to the subjects reserved for the commands of His Highness under the title or Reserved Subjects.
2. The Council shall, amongst other things, be empowered:
to see that the Annual Budget is framed and submitted to Council six weeks before the commencement of the next Financial year;
to pass the Annual Budget;
to sanction the reappropriation of any expenditure from one Head to another of the General Budgets over and above the powers delegated to Members;
to sanction all extra grants not provided for in the Budget;
to sanction all appointments and removals of Gazetted Officers;
to sanction leave to officers, over and above the powers delegated to Members;
to hold or cause to be held departmental enquiries. into the conduct of any officer and to call for records from any office through the Member-in-Charge and to pass such order as may be considered necessary;
to sanction pensions or allowances to Gazetted officers, over and above the powers delegated to Members, also special pensions and compassionate or other allowances for life or for lesser periods to employees of the State, their heirs or representatives;
to pass progress and other Reports submitted by Members.
to sanction acquisition of land under the Land Acquisition Act, over and above the powers delegated to the Revenue Member and to grant land under the State Waste Land Rules or under the House-building Rules;
to settle boundary disputes and questions relating to the Settlement Department, over and above the power delegated to the Member concerned;
to decide Appeals against orders passed by Member of Council in cases which are not specifically included in the Reserved Subjects;
to sanction suspensions or remissions of Revenue over and above the power delegated to the Member concerned;
to issue instructions for the more efficient organisation and dispatch of business in the various departments of the State and to make rules to regulate the Proceedings of any department;
to settle all matters pertaining to more than one department;
to revise any order passed by the Member-in-Charge of a department;
to call for and modify any proceedings in any department of the Administration and to stay the execution of any order pending the final decision of Council;
to sanction scheme of general reform, no such scheme being introduced without the previous sanction of Council.
RULES FOR CONDUCT OF BUSINESS IN THE COUNCIL
The Rules for the conduct of business in the Council shall be as follows:
Every case to be submitted to Council shall be sent to the Council Secretary by the Member concerned. She Member concerned shall see that a complete precis of the case is drawn up. and that his own opinion and opinions of the Head of the Department or Heads of the Departments subordinate to him and affected by the question at issue are duly recorded.
In every case in which financial issues are involved, the opinion of the Finance Member shall be obtained by the Member concerned and submitted with the case to Council.
When it is proposed to sanction, amend or repeal any regulation, rule, Law, order or notification the opinion of the Law Member shall be obtained by the Member concerned and submitted with the case to the Council.
In every case which directly affects more than one Member of Council, the Member submitting the case shall see that the opinion of the other Member or Members directly concerned and the opinion of the Heads of Departments affected are duly obtained and recorded before the case is referred to Council.
The Council Secretary shall prepare, in the order of the receipt, a list of all cases received from Members in the prescribed and complete form, he shall then draw up with approval of the Senior Member the Agenda for the Council Meeting; as a general rule, no case shall be entered in the Agenda unless it has been received at least four clear days before the next meeting is due to take place.
When the Agenda has been drawn up, copies shall be forwarded to every Member at least 48 hours before the time fixed for the Meeting of Council except in emergent cases.
Except, as provided for in Rule 19, the Council shall assemble at such time and place so appointed for the meeting.
The Council shall, as far as may be practicable meet on two consecutive days in every fortnight, but any matter of special urgency requiring immediate disposal may be dealt with at an extraordinary meeting which may be called at any time by the Senior Member.
Four Members shall constitute a quorum.
If a Member is unable to attend any meeting, he shall notify the fact to the Secretary.
Except as provided for in Rule 19, the Senior Member shall preside at meetings of the Council.
The Presiding Member shall, be responsible for the proper working of the Council and for compliance with, these rules and with any other rule or orders which may be passed by the Council from time to time.
The business of the Council shall be transacted in English.
At meetings of Council the cases shall be dealt within the order in which they are entered in the agenda unless the Presiding Member otherwise directs.
If any Member desires postponement of the consideration of any case, it shall be postponed, unless the Presiding Member, for reasons to be recorded, rules otherwise. All cases so postponed shall be taken up at a subsequent meeting of Council.
Any cases not disposed of at a meeting of Council shall be taken up at the next meeting if practicable.
Should the Council decide to refer any question to a Select Committee, the Chairman and the other member of the Committee shall be appointed by the Council. The Council may authorize any such Committee to record evidence or to summon representatives of any class or community.
In all cases discussed in Council, if there be no difference of opinion, the decision of the Council shall be recorded in the form of a Resolution. If opinion be divided, the question shall be put to vote and the opinion of the majority shall be recorded in the form of a Resolution, the presiding Member being entitled to casting vote in the event of the votes being equally divided, but in all cases where the decision is not unanimous, the opinion of every Member shall be separately recorded.
The proceedings of each Council meeting shall be subs misted by the Council Secretary to His Highness for his sanction and no Resolution shall and come to force until and unless it has been sanctioned by His Highness. Should His Highness disapprove of any Council Resolution, he will inform the Senior Member to that effect and the Members of Council shall attend at such time and place as His Highness may appoint for discussion, in his presence, of the subject involved. His Highness will preside and after the Members have been given the opportunity of explaining their views, His Highness shall there upon decide and announce his decision in Council as to whether the Resolution shall be confirmed or vetoed.
All orders of the Council shall be issued in the name of His Highness in Council and shall be signed by the Secretary.
The Proceedings of Council shall be reduced to writing and recorded by the Secretary in a Minute Book, which shall be signed by the Presiding Member. In the absence of the Senior Member, the duties assigned to him under these rules shall be discharged by the Member next to him in order of Seniority, who may be present on the occasion.
DUTIES OF THE SECRETARY OF THE COUNCIL
to receive all papers submitted to Council;
to prepare and circulate the Agenda of Business with the approval of the senior Member and to give due notice of meetings to members;
to return cases to Members which have not been submitted in a complete form as laid down in Rules 1 to 4;
to record the proceedings of Council;
to obtain His Highness sanction to the Resolutions of Council; to issue the Members concerned the Resolutions of Council without loss of time;
to furnish each Member with a copy of the printed proceedings;
to comply with requisitions made by the Members of Council;
to see that reports called for by the Council are promptly sent for, from the Department concerned.
to supervise the working of the office and be responsible for the custody and maintenance of records;
the Secretary, subject to appeal to Council shall have complete control over his once establishment including the Superintendent, in the matters of appointment, suspension, leave Punishment and promotion;
he shall be responsible for the custody of the Seal of the Council and for the maintenance of the usual office registers, a list of pending references and the Minute Book of the Proceedings of the Council;
In all cases in which the Secretary sees no objection, copies of Resolution of the present and the late State Council and His Highness orders if applied for, may be given by him to applicants with reference to Council;
The Council Secretary shall be empowered to authorize fluctuating expenditure and to pass travelling allowance bills of his subordinate establishment within the allotments provided.
Should His Highness disapprove of any Council Resolution arrived at in his absence he will command the Council Secretary to direct the Members of Council to attend at such time and place as His Highness may appoint for discussion in his presence of the subject involved. His Highness will preside and after the members have been given the opportunity of explaining their views, His Highness will decide and announce his decision in Council as to whether the Resolution shall be confirmed or vetoed.
Note: - Petitions submitted direct to His Highness shall be referred by the State Secretary to the Member-inCharge of the Department concerned for disposal or report as the case may require.
POWERS OF THE COUNCIL
As regards Revenue Appeals, applications for Review or Revision, the opinion of the Law Member shall, where he agrees with Revenue Member, be treated as the decision of the State Council, and the Secretary State Council shall inform the Revenue Member accordingly, to enable him to take action accordingly. In cases in which the Law Member differs from the Revenue Member, the papers shall be submitted to the Council by the Secretary of Council with a detailed note for orders.
Note: - Reserved subjects shall be excluded from the operation of clauses C to H both inclusive above.
DISTRIBUTION OF PORTFOLIOS
The following matters shall be under the direct control of His Highness the Maharaja Bahadur:
HOME AND LAW MEMBER
(a) Home Member.
(b) Law Member:
FINANCE AND POLICE MEMBER
MEMBER FOR COMMERCE AND INDUSTRIES
PUBLIC WORKS MEMBER
RULES FOR CONDUCT OF BUSINESS IN THE COUNCIL
The Rules for the conduct of business in the Council shall Be as follows:
1. Every case to be submitted to Council shall be sent to the Council Secretary by the Member concerned. The Member concerned shall see that a complete Precis of the case is drawn up, and that his own opinion and the opinions of the Head of the Department or Heads of Departments subordinate to him and affected by the question at issue are duly recorded.
In every case in which financial issues are involved, the opinion of the Finance Member shall be obtained by the Members concerned and submitted with the case to Council.
When it is proposed to sanction, amend, or repeal any regulation, rule, law, order or notification the opinion of the Law Member shall be obtained by the Members concerned and submitted with the case to Council.
In every case which directly affects more than one Member of Council, the Member submitting the case shall see that the opinion of the other Member or Members directly concerned and the opinion of the Heads of the Department affected are duly obtained and recorded before the case is referred to Council.
Note: - All the Members of Council and Secretaries attending Council meetings, shall do so in black Achkans or black morning or frock coats
DUTIES OF THE SECRETARY OF THE COUNCIL
The Council Secretary shall dispose of notices served on the Government under Section 79, 80, 82 (i), 89 (i) order XXVII Rules 2,3,4,5 and 8 order XLI, Rule 7 and appendix XIX (2) of the Civil procedure code, vice Council Resolution No. 72 dated the 4th September 1922.
No. I-L/84. - The following definition of the term "State Subject" has been sanctioned by his Highness the Maharaja Bahadur (vice Private Secretary's letter No. 2354, dated the 31st January, 1927 to the Revenue Member of Council) and is hereby promulgated for general information.
The term State Subject means and includes:
Class I. - All persons born and residing within the State before the commencement of the reign of His Highness the late Maharaja Ghulab Singh Sahib Bahadur, and also persons who settled the rein before the commencement of samvat year 1942, and have since been permanently residing therein.
Class II. - All persons other than those belonging to Class I who settled within the State before the close of samvat year 1968, and have since permanently resided and acquired immovable property therein.
Class III. - All persons, other than those belonging to Classes I and II permanently residing within the State, who have acquired under a rayatnama any immovable property therein or WIZO may hereafter acquire such property under an ijazatnama and may execute a rayatnama after ten years continuous residence therein.
Class IV. - Companies which have been registered as such within the State and which, being companies in which the Government are financially interested or as to the economic benefit to the State or to the financial stability of which the Government are satisfied, have by a special order of His Highness been declared to be State subjects.
Note I. - In matters of grants of the State scholarships State lands for agricultural and house building purposes and recruitment to State service, State subjects of Class 1 should receive preference over other classes and those of Class 11, over Class III, subject, however, to the order dated 31st January, 1927 of his Highness the Maharaja Bahadur regarding employment of hereditary State Subjects in Government service.
Note II. - The descendants of the persons who have secured the status of any class of the State Subjects will be entitled to. become the State Subject of the same class. For example, if A is declared a State Subject of Class II his sons and grand sons will ipso facto acquire the status of the same Class (II) and not of Class I.
Note III. - The wife or a widow of a State Subject of any class shall acquire the status of her husband as State Subject of the same Class as her husband, so long as she resides in the State and does not leave the State for permanent residence out-side the State.
Note IV. - For the purpose of the interpretation of the term 'State Subject' either with reference to any law for the time being in force or otherwise, the definition given in this Notification as mended up to date shall be read as if such amended definition existed in this Notification as originally issued.
(Issued by order of His Highness the Maharaja Bahadur dated Srinagar, the 27th June 1932, (14th Har, 1989, published In Government Gazette dated 24th Har, 1989).
No.13L/1989. - -Whereas it is necessary to determine the status of Jammu and Kashmir State Subjects in foreign territories and to inform the Government of Foreign States as to the position of their nationals in this state, it is hereby commanded and notified for public information, as follows:
WHEREAS it is expedient to establish a High Court of Judicature for the Jammu and Kashmir State, His Highness the Maharaja Bahadur is pleased to command as follows:
The usual places of sitting of the High Court of Judicature shall be Jammu and Srinagar.
Whenever it appears to the Chief Justice convenient that the jurisdiction and power vested hl the High Court of Judicature by this order or by any other law for the time being in force, should be exercised in any place within the jurisdiction of any court subject to the superintendence of the High Court of Judicature other than the usual places of sitting of the High Court of Judicature or at several such places by way of circuit, one or more Judges of the High Court of Judicature shall hold court at such place or places.
The High Court of Judicature shall comply with such requisitions, as may, from time to time, be made under the commands of His Highness the Maharaja Bahadur for records, returns and statements.
Cases requiring confirmation of sentences of death or of imprisonment for life shall be submitted to His Highness the Maharaja Bahadur for confirmation in accordance with the provision of the Code of Criminal procedure.
"I …… appointed Chief Justice (or a Judge) of the High Court of Judicature Jammu and Kashmir State, do solemnly declare that I will administer Justice according to the law and usage of the Realm, without fear or favour, affection or ill-will".
The said seal shall be delivered to find kept in the custody of the Chief Justice or of an officer of the court from time to time nominated by the Chief Justice.
They (Princes) had imagined a committee different alike in composition and functions from that which ultimately materalised. It was expected that round a nucleus of English statesmen of reputation, there would be grouped representatives of the Government of India, of British India and of the Indian States together with financial, constitutional and political experts. Two things Inhere uppermost in their minds; firstly, they had become painfully conscious that what was called political practice whittled away rights, which they believed to have been safeguarded by treaties: secondly, they found their position was one of considerable uncertainty, not merely in regard to their future relations with a self governing British India, but also in regard to their present relation with the Government of India. They were anxious to find out precisely where they stood, where their rights began and those of the Paramount power ended so that they might take stock of the part they were called upon to play in greater India which they saw shaping before their eyes, but the Committee from the very nature of its personnel and restricted lines of reference could not conduct an examination satisfactorily. The Committee by its own admission was not a judicial tribunal. This was conclusive evidence that the State could not receive at its hands that kind of award which was their principal reason for asking for an enquiry at all."
"Allied by treaty with the British Crown and within our territories, independent rulers, we have come with a full sense of responsibilities to our State and all India. As the allies of British we stand solidly by the British connection. As Indians and loyal to the land of our birth, we stand as solidly as the rest of our countrymen for our land's enjoyment of a position of honour and equality in the British Commonwealth. Our desire to cooperate to the best of our ability with all sections of the Conference is genuine, as also is our determination to base our cooperation upon the realities of the present situation.
Neither England nor India can afford to see this conference end in failure. We must resolve to succeed. Difficulties shall not be insuperable. We must exercise patience, tact and forbearance and be inspired by mutual understanding and goodwill and we must give and take. The task is gigantic. In case of no people would such an aim as ours be easy to accomplish. In case of India, complexity of factors is unique but by the grace of God and with good will and sympathy on both sides difficulties shall be surmounted and with the words of the King Emperor still ringing in our ears, we Princes affirm that the Conference shall not fail "through any fault of ours."
What is the problem and its implications? If religion a private affair? Would you like to see Islam, as a moral and political ideal, meeting the same fate in the world of Islam as Christianity has already met in Europe? Is it possible to retie in Islam as an ethical ideal and to reject it as a polity in favour of national politics, in which religious attitude is not permitted to play any part? This question becomes of special importance in India where the Muslims happen to be in a minority. The proposition that religion is a private individual experience is not surprising on the lips of a European. In Europe the conception of Christianity as a monastic order, renouncing the world of matter and fixing its gaze entirely on the world or spirit. led by a logical process of thought, to the view embodied in this proposition. The nature of the Prophet's religious experience. us disclosed in the Quran, however, is wholly different. It is not more experience in the sense of a purely biological event happening inside the experiment and necessitating no reactions on his social environment. It is individual experience creative of a social order. Its immediate outcome is the fundamentals of a polity with implicit legal concepts whose civic significance cannot be belittled merely because their origin is revelational. The religious ideal of Islam, therefore, is organically related to the social order, which it has created. The rejection of the one will eventually involve the rejection of the other. Therefore, the construction of a polity on national lines, if it means a displacement of the Islamic principle of solidarity is simply unthinkable to a Muslim. This is a matter which at the present moment directly concerns the Muslim of India. "Man", says Renan, "is enslaved neither by his race, nor by his religion, nor by the course of rivers nor by the directions of mountain ranges. A great aggregation of men, sane of mind and warm of heart, creates a moral consciousness which is called a nation".
Such a formation is quite possible, though it involves the long and arduous process of practically remaking men and furnishing them with a fresh emotional equipment. It might have been a fact in India if the teaching of Kabir and Divine Faith of Akbar had seized the imagination of the masses of this country. Experience, however, shows that the various caste-units and religious units in India have shown no inclination to sink their respective individualities in a larger whole. Each group is intensely jealous of it collective existence. The formation of the kind of moral consciousness which constitutes the essence of a nation in Renan's sense demands a price which the people of India are not prepared to pay. The unity of an Indian nation, therefore, must be sought, not in the negation, but in the mutual harmony and cooperation of the many. True statesmanship cannot ignore facts, however, unpleasant they may be. The only practical course is not to assume the existence of a State of things which does not exist, but to recognise facts as they are and to exploit them to our greatest advantage. And it is on the discovery of India Unity in this direction that the fate of India as well as of Asia really depends. India is Asia in miniature. Part of her people have cultural affinities with nations in the east and part with nation, in the middle and west of Asia. If an effective principle of cooperation is discovered in India, it will bring peace and mutual goodwill to this ancient land which has suffered so long, more because of her situation in historic space than because of any inherent incapacity of her people. And it will at the same time solve the entire political problem of Asia.
It is however, painful to observe that our attempts to discover such a principle of internal harmony have so far failed.
Why have they failed ? Perhaps, we suspect each other s intentions and inwardly aim at dominating each other. Perhaps, in the higher interests of mutual cooperation, we cannot afford to part with the monopolies which circumstances have placed in our hands, and conceal our egoism under the cloak of a nationalism, outwardly stimulating a large-hearted patriotism but inwardly as narrow-minded as a caste or a tribe. Perhaps, we are unwilling to recognise that each group has a right to free development according to its own cultural traditions. But whatever may be the cause of our failure, I still feel hopeful. Events seem to be tending in the direction of some sort of internal harmony. And as far as I have been able to read the Muslim mind, I have no hesitation in declaring that if the principle that the Indian Muslims entitled to full and free development on the lines of his own culture and tradition in his own Indian homelands is recognised as the basis of a permanent communal settlement, he will be ready to stake his all for the freedom of India. The principle that each group is entitled to free development on its own lines is not inspired by any feeling of narrow communalism. There are communalisms and communalisms. A community which is inspired by any feeling of ill-will towards other communities is low and ignoble. I entertain the highest respect for the customs, laws, religious and social institutions of other communities. Nay, it is my duty, according to the teaching of the Quran, even to defend their places of worship if need be. Yet I have the communal group which is the source of my life and behavior; and which has formed me what I am by giving me its religion, its literature, its thought, its culture, and thereby recreating its whole past, as a living operative factor, in my present consciousness. Even the authors of the Nehru Report recognise the value of this higher aspect of communalism. While discussing the separation of Sind they say:
'To say from the larger viewpoint of nationalism that no communal Provinces should be created is, in a way, equivalent to saying from the still wider international view-point that here should be no separate nations. Both these statements have a measure of truth in them. But the staunchest internationalists recognises that without the fullest national autonomy it is extraordinarily difficult to create the international State. So also, without the fullest cultural autonomy, and communalism in its better aspect is culture it will be difficult to create a harmonious nation.'
Communalism, in its higher aspect, then, is indispensable to the formation of a harmonious whole in a country like India. The units of Indian society are not territorial as in European countries. India is a continent of human groups belonging to different races, speaking different languages and professing different religions. Their behaviour is not at all determined by a common race, consciousness. Even the Hindus do not form a homogeneous group. The principle of European democracy cannot be applied to India without recognizing the fact of communal groups. The Muslim demand for the creation of a Muslim India within India is, therefore, perfectly justified. The resolution of the All-parties Muslim Conference at Delhi is, to my mind, wholly inspired by this noble ideal of a harmonious whole which, instead of stifling the respective individualities of its component wholes, affords them chances of fully working out the possibilities that may be latent in them. And I have no doubt that this house will emphatically endorse the Muslim demands embodied in this resolution. Personally I would go -further than the demands embodied in it. I would like to see the Punjab, North-West Frontier Province, Sind and Baluchistan amalgamated into a single state. Self-Government within the British Empire, or without the British Empire, the formation of a consolidated North-West Indian Muslim State appears to me to be the final destiny of the Muslim, at least of North West India. The proposal was put forward before the Nehru Committee. They rejected it on the ground that, if carried into effect, it would give a very unwidely state. This is true in so far as the area is concerned; in point of population the State contemplated by the proposal would be much less than some of the present Indian Provinces. The exclusion of Ambala Division and perhaps of some Districts where non-muslims predominate will make it less extensive and more Muslim in population so that the exclusion suggested will enable the consolidated state to give a more effective protection to non-Muslim Minority ties within its area. The idea need not alarm the Hindus or the British. India is the greatest Muslim country in the world. The life of Islam as a cultural force in this country very largely depends on its centralization in a specified territory.
It is clear that in view of India's infinite variety in climates, races, languages, creeds and social systems, the creation of autonomous States, based on tile unity of languages race, history, religion and identify of economic interests, is the only possible way to secure a stable constitutional structure in India. The conception of federation underlying the Simon Report necessitates the abolition of the Central Legislative Assembly as a popular assembly, and makes it an assembly of the representatives of federal states. It further demands a redistribution of territory on the lines which I have indicated. And the report does recommend both. I give my wholehearted support to this view of the matter, and venture to suggest that the redistribution recommended in the Simon Reports must fuel two conditions. It must precede the introduction of the new Constitution and must be so devised as to finally solve the communal problem. Proper redistribution will make the question of joint and separate electorates automatically disappear from the constitutional controversy of India. It is the present structure of the provinces that is largely responsible for this controversy. The Hindu thinks that separate electorates are contrary to the spirit of true nationalism, because he understands the word nation to mean a kind of universal amalgamation in which no communal entity ought to retain its private individuality such a state of things, however, does not exist. Nor is it desirable that it should exist. India is a land of racial and religious variety. Add to this the general economic inferiority of tile Muslims, their enormous debt, especially in the Punjab and their insufficient majorities in some of the provinces as at present constituted, and you will begin to see clearly the meaning of our anxiety to retain separate electorates cannot secure adequate representation of all interests, and must inevitably lead to the creation of an oligarchy. The Muslims of India can have no objection to purely territorial electorates if Provinces are demarcated so as to secure comparatively homogeneous communities possessing linguistic racial cultural and religious unity.
To my mind a unitary form of government is simply unthinkable in a self-governing India. What is called "residuary power must be left entirely to self-governing states, the Central Federal States exercising only those powers which are expressly vested in it by the free consent of federal states. I would never advise the Muslim of India to agree to a system, whether of British or of India origin, which virtually negatives the prince pies of true federation or fails to recognize them as a distinct political entity.
I have no doubt that if a Federal Government is established, Muslims will willingly agree. for purposes of India's defence, to the creation oft, neutral military and naval force. Such a neutral military force for the defence of India was a reality in the days of Mughal rule. Indeed in the time of Akbar the Indian frontier was, on the whole, defended by armies officered by Hindu generals. I am perfectly sure that the scheme of a neutral Indian army, based on a federated India will intensify Muslim patriotic feeling, and finally set at rest the suspicion, if any of Indian Muslim joining Muslims from beyond the frontier in the event of an invasion.
I have thus tried briefly to indicate the way in which the Muslims of India ought in my opinion to look at the two most important constitutional problems of India. A redistribution of British India, calculated to secure a permanent solution of the communal problem is ignored then I support, as emphatically as possible. The Muslim demands repeatedly urged by the All India Muslim League and All India Muslim Conference. The Muslims of India cannot agree to any constitutional changes which effect their majority rights, to be secured by separates electorates, in the Punjab and Bengal or fail to guarantee them 33 per cent representation in any Central Legislature.
No Muslim politician should be sensitive to the taunt embodied in that propaganda word-communalism-expressly devised to exploit what the Prime Minister calls British democratic sentiments and to mislead England into assuming a State of things which does not really exist in India. Great interests are at stake we are seventy millions and far more homogeneous than any other people in India. Indeed the Muslims of India are the only People who can fitly be described as a nation in the modern sense of tile word. The Hindus, though ahead of us in almost all respects, have not yet been able to achieve the kind of homogeneity, which is necessary for a nation, and which Islam has given you as a free gift. No doubt they are anxious to become a nation, but the process of becoming a nation is a kind of travail, and in the case of Hindu India, involves a complete overhauling of her social structure. Nor should the Muslim leaders and politicians allow themselves to be carried away by the subtle but fallacious argument that Turkey and Persia and other Muslim countries are progressing on national, i.e. territorial, lines. The Muslims of India are differently situated. The countries of Islam outside India are practically wholly Muslim in population. The minorities there belong, in the language of the Quran, to the people of the book. There are no social barriers between Muslims and the "People of the Book". A Jew or a Christian or a Zoroastrian does not pollute the food of a Muslim by touching it, and the law of Islam allows inter-marriage with the "people of the Book". Indeed the first practical step that Islam took towards the realization of a final combination of humanity was to call upon people possessing practically the same ethical ideal to come forward and combine. The Quran declares, "O people of the Book; Come, let us join together on the "word" (Unity of God), that is common to us all". The word of Islam and Christianity, and European arression in its various forms, could not allow the infinite meaning of this verse, to work itself out in the world of Islam. Today it is being gradually realized in the countries of Islam in the shape of what is called Muslim Nationalism.
TO MY BELOVED PEOPLE
From time immemorial all communities within the State have been living on terms of closest harmony and friendship with each other and I used to take the greatest pride in the fact that we were happily from all communal strife. I am, therefore, greatly pained to see that quite recently owing to external influences a changed and regrettable attitude is observable in certain sections in the cities of Jammu and Srinagar. This is greatly to be deplored. Two unfortunate incidents which occurred recently in Jammu city and which could not by any stretch of imagination be associated with any action or policy of my Government and for which the responsibility rested solely on the persons involved have been seized upon and widely misrepresented aside and outside the State so as to convey to those who are not in a position to know the true facts that the policy of my Government is such that Islam is in danger. It is not my intention to deal with the details of these incidents in this message as they are being dealt with separately. So far I have preferred that my Government be judged by its actions alone. But numerous representations from my loyal subjects of all sects and creeds have reached me within the last few days to the effect that such agitation even though at present it Ends no response generally is calculated to promote communal strife and might even lead to breaches of the public peace in some cases. It has accordingly been deemed necessary to make this formal announcement of the policy and intention of myself and my Government in regard to such propaganda asked communal relations within the State generally.
As the beginning of my rule I announced to you, my people, that my religion is justice. That announcement has guided all my public acts and policies and I shall always adhere to it. I have not made, and will not permit, any discrimination against any class of my people on the grounds of religion The humblest of my subjects has free and direct access to me and any grievances my people may have can be submitted by them personally to me. Subject to tom fundamental conditions, viz.,
I have no desire whatever to suppress the legitimate requests and voice of my people whether expressed in writing or in speech It is my intention to give effect to these views but I am unable to do so, so long as communal tension exists' for fear of aggravating it. Consequently, the first essential is that the leaders of the various communities should take immediate action to put a stop to all political activities tending to prevent tile re-establishment of friendly relations between them. As soon as it is reported to me that any community has faithfully responded to my desire, I shall be prepared to receive and consider most sympathetically any re-presentation that community may desire to submit to me.
Every person within the State is, and shall always be, free to practice his own religion, subject to the paramount necessity of maintaining public peace and public order. I particularly wish to refer in this connection to a malicious rumour now being spread that cow killing is shortly going to be permitted. This malicious rumour has no foundation whatever. And it has given me great pleasure to receive from Muslim subjects spontaneous condemnation of such an insinuation or any other insinuation likely to injure the religious susceptibilities of any other community. There is no question whatever of making any change in the matter.
In regard to recruitment for the State services prior consideration is and shall always be given to the public interest and the obligation of maintaining the efficiency of the administration at the highest possible level can never be overlooked. There is also no desire to follow a blind rule of percentages for the various communities irrespective of considerations of qualification and merit. Subject to these conditions' the policy governing recruitment will be such that no class or community should gain undue predominance Al any branch of the public service and that adequate representation is secured to duly qualified. Hereditary State Subjects from all classes and communities of my people. Instructions to this effect have been recently issued and I shall watch closely their practical execution by my officers.
I have dealt above in a brief manner with what I conceive to be points of major importance with regard to which some misunderstanding prevails in certain quarters. I trust such misunderstanding will be dispelled by this authoritative enunciation of my beliefs and intentions with regard to these points. It is my aim to carry on the administration in consonance with these views in your best interests. Whenever I have found that any of you have been led into wrong action, I have always tried to make you see the error of your ways and to win you over to the right path by reasoning and conciliation. I am not a believer in false ideas of prestige, for I hold that just action is a sign of strength and not of weakness. But should, God forbid, all appeal to reason fail, I must discharge in effective manner the supreme responsibility which rests on me for the maintenance of law and order. I cannot chow my Government to be coerced by threat into unjust action and it is my duty to protect the law-abiding sections of my people from encroachments on their lawful rights. The immediate burden of maintaining law and order necessarily falls on the Magistracy and the Police whose duty it will be to see that the law is upheld at all costs, and where the law is defied, its authority will be restored. It is the duty of the Police to act impartially and with calm judgment in such emergencies and I wish to assure them that they will be supported by myself and my Government in the due discharge of their duty and will not be sacrificed to unjust clamour or intrigue.
In conclusion, I trust that the old policy of 'live and let live' which characterized your relations with each other in the past will be restored It is easy to excite public feeling by misrepresentation, but it is difficult to restore harmony and friendship. Do not attribute false motives to those placed in authority over you or to one another. As regards people outside the State, whether Hindus or Mohammedans, I ask them not to interfere in any way in matters concerning my State and my people, as I do not interfere in matters concerning British India and British Indians. The whole basis of political action is impaired if one political unit interferes in the domestic concerns of another. I do not wish to claim immunity from legitimate criticism of the acts and policies of my Government, which, I have no hesitation in saying, have always been designed to promote the moral and material progress of my people. It is my duty and my one aim in life to maintain the progressive character of my administration. But this end is defeated by unjustifiable outside intervention which has, within the last few weeks, done nothing but immense harm to the true interests of you all. I pray to God that you will receive the light of truth and wisdom and that you will live peacefully and happily with one another as before.
"Sd. HARI SINGH, G.C.I.E., K.C.V.O., A.D.C.,
Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir.
The most important issues which the Conference has examined are as follows:
(a) Is it desirable that there should be a Legislative Assembly?
(b) If so,
As regards the first of these questions, it will be seen from the proceedings that there has been some difference of opinion. In regard to the functions of the proposed Assembly something closely approaching unanimity has been achieved. So far as the other main issues are concerned, there has been a: very considerable divergence of views, especially with regard to the composition of the Assembly. This divergence is hardly surprising, considering the conflicting interests which different members have represented. There appeared unfortunately to be no hope whatsoever of attaining any semblance of a unanimous finding on these points, and it was therefore agreed that there was no prospect of submitting a joint report. The Chairman accordingly forwards his owns recommendations, referring, as may be necessary, to the opinions put forward on behalf of various interests: the proceedings recorded will show that the recommendations made, follow in general the joint views expressed, where there has been a consensus of opinion: where opinions have differed endeavours have been to bear in mind the legitimate interests of all communities concerned.
The full purport of the draft recommendations has been read out in Urdu at a meeting held on the 7th of April so as to provide an opportunity for the suggestion of modifications or amendments; any such suggestion received has been given due attention, and each member has been informed by letter of the final recommendations which are being made in regard to the composition of the Assembly after further consideration of the views put forward.
ESTABLISHMENT OF A LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY
Certain members have, it will be seen from the proceedings, expressed considerable misgivings as to the wisdom of such an innovation at the present time, in view of tine disturbed conditions which have unhappily been prevailing.
The general feeling is, however, in favour of such an. experiment being tried.
It appears highly desirable that the subjects of the State should be given a voice in the administration and in view of the announcement already made by His Highness in this behalf there would seem to be no room for doubt as to the action which should be taken in this respect.
It is recommended that a Legislative Assembly should be established as soon as may be practicable.
POWERS AND FUNCTIONS OF THE ASSEMBLY
The proceedings will show that a virtually unanimous opinion has been expressed at the Conference in Favour of the functions of the Assembly being defined as follows:
Subject to the final assent of His Highness the Maharaja Bahadur the Assembly should have power to make laws.
All Government bills except such bills, if any, as relate exclusively the reserved subjects (namely (1) the person or privileges of His Highness or members of the Ruling Family, (2) foreign relations, (3) the discipline and control of the State Forces) should be referred to the Assembly and should not become law until ratified thereby provided that:
The introduction of any private bill should be allowed and the bill, if passed, should, subject to His Highness' final assent, become law provided that:
His Highness shall have the power of referring back any bill to the Assembly for further consideration or amendment.
The above proposals, representing, as already remarked, the practically unanimous opinion of the Conference, are recommended for adoption.
Various other suggestions have been put forward; it has been suggested for instance that no bill should be introduced (a) which affects the privileges o} Rajputs as such or (b) which affects any class of non-state subjects residing in the Jammu and Kashmir State.
There does not appear to be any sufficiently strong reason for adopting these suggestions. In regard to the rights of non-State subjects for the purposes of the Assembly, opinion is expressed below.
QUESTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS
Questions and resolutions should be permitted without restriction provided that:
Supplementary questions should be allowed.
PERIOD OF NOTICE
In the case of questions, thirty days' notice should ordinarily be given, so as to afford due opportunity for the supply of the information required. The President should have the power to reduce this period where it may be necessary.
In the case of private bills, a similar period of thirty days' notice should be given, and the member wishing to introduce a bill should forward a copy thereof together with a statement of the objects and reasons.
In regard to resolutions fifteen days, notice should be given.
In the case of any bills, resolutions of questions for which previous sanction is necessary, an additional period of fifteen days' notice over and above the minimum period ordinarily prescribed should be required.
The President should appoint certain days prior to the announcement of the State financial year (at present the first of Katik or mid-October) for the discussion of the State Budget In the Assembly.
A week before the first date so appointed, a copy of the budget and a brief explanatory statement thereof in Urdu should be forwarded to each member of the Assembly. Members should on the dates appointed be given full opportunity to ask questions and make suggestions relating to any part of the budget with the exception of reserved subjects.
No kind of new taxation should be imposed without reference to the Assembly; the grant of monopolies etc. which amount in themselves to the imposition of new taxation should be treated in the same manner.
FREEDOM OF SPEECH IN THE ASSEMBLY
Speeches delivered in the Assembly should be privileged and should not be actionable. It should be the function of the President to intervene in the case of exceptionable remarks.
In regard to the above points, namely questions and resolutions, period of notice, budget procedure and freedom of speech, the proposals recorded above represent the general consensus of opinion expressed at the Conference, and their Adoption is recommended accordingly.
It has been suggested that simultaneously with the creation of the Assembly, a non-official Standing Committee should be appointed and that the policy of Government in regard to finance, public health, etc. should be explained to the members of such Committee and their opinions on these point should be Ascertained.
This is a development which might well take place after a suitable period has elapsed. It appears advisable, however, that it should be deferred until the Assembly has actually been created and some experience of its working has been gained.
It is generally agreed that the number of voters on the Electoral roll should amount approximately to ten per cent of the total population, a ratio which has frequently been adopted as the working rule in British India. In order to achieve this object the appointment of a Franchise Committee or some Organization corresponding thereto will be necessary. Information is unfortunately lacking as to the number of people likely to be entitled to vote if different kinds of qualifications are adopted; the proposals put forward are therefore merely tentative and suggested as a temporary expedient.
As a working basis for the time being, various qualifications have been suggested. It will be observed the proceedings that opinions have differed to a marked extent in this respect
For instance, the views given in respect to land revenue qualifications have varied between Rs. 10 payment and Rs. 50 payment per annum; in respect to immoveable property between Rs. 500 and Rs. 2000 in value, and in regard to educational qualifications between Middle pass and Graduate standard.
It is recommended that in the four following cases, the standards now prescribed for the right of voting at Municipal elections may be adopted as franchise qualifications in regard to the Assembly:
In addition to the above it is recommended that any of the following additional qualifications should also be regarded as. sufficient:
The qualifications suggested above would appear to be sufficient for the present. It does not appear advisable to provide for further qualifications in the way of annual income, payment of house-rent or payment of customs as there will be difficulties in the way of satisfactorily verifying such qualifications.
The same qualifications for membership or the Assembly as those recommended for franchise might be adopted.
It is recommended that the following should be regarded as disqualified for purpose of franchise:
With regard to the latter disqualification. it has been represented on the one hand that only State subjects as now defined should have the right to vote and that on the other hand that one year's residence in the State should be sufficient of qualify for franchise and that the present definition of "State subject" should be discarded all purposes. It is not within the scope of the Conference to consider the appropriateness of the existing definition of "State subject" for general purposes. As regards qualification for the franchise, however, though there is every reason for upholding the prior claims to State subjects in general, the present definition appears to be unduly rigid; domicile in the state for a thousand years cannot according to the definition qualify a man to become a hereditary State subject. It would seem both unfair and inexpedient to deny the right of franchise to a man who has so far identified himself with local interests as to make his domicile in the State over a consecutive period of five years. As one member of the Conference has aptly expressed it, man can beret sons, he cannot beget his ancestors.
Some Members have given their opinions in favour of an experiment in the direction of female suffrage. But the general consensus of opinion is against this departure. In view of the backward condition of female education it appears advisable to defer for the present any proposal of this nature.
In regard to disqualifications for elected membership of the Assembly, it is recommended that the same standards as those proposed above in the case of franchise should be adopted with the following additions or modifications:
In the case of this letter disqualification, the remarks already made in connection with the question of State subjects should suffice.
It will be observed from the proceedings that there has been a fair approach to unanimity in regard to the question of disqualifiations.
COMPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY
In the absence of detailed information in regard to the number of persons likely to be qualified to vote on the basis suggested above, a rough guide can be afforded by the population statistics as recorded in the Census which has recently taken place. Once again it may be pointed out that the proposals put forward are only tentative and may be found to require considerable modification when statistics have been collected showing the approximate voting strength of various classes and communities.
The total population of the State is recorded as roughly 36-1/2 lakhs. Excluding the Poonch and Chenani Jagirs and certain distinct Frontier Illaqas such of as Hunza and Nagar which are in certain respects withdrawn from the scope of the ordinary State machinery, the population comes to approximately 32 lakhs. If Ladakh and Gilgit proper are also excluding there would be a further reduction of about 2-1/4 lakhs. The general feeling of the Conference is that Ladakh and Gilgit proper should not be excluded for the purposes of the Assembly. It is true that these tracts are comparatively backward, also that they are cut off at certain times of the year; they from however, an integral part of the State for ordinary purposes and except in the winter months communications are open.
It is clearly undesirable that the Assembly should be composed of so large a number of members as to become unwieldy. A working basis in regard to the number of elected members would seem to be provided by the allotment of one such member to every lakh of the population. On this basis there would be 32 elected members in all.
JOINT OR SEPARATE ELECTORATES
One important question that arises is whether electorates should be separate or joint. It will be observed that there has been a general consensus of opinion at the conference in favour of separate electorates. Some members have pointed out that, although the establishment of separate electorates has some times been regarded as responsible for increasing communal tension in British India, the acute communal feeling which unhappily prevails in the State at the present time can certainly not be ascribed to this cause; it has been maintained that in the case of the Srinagar Municipality the introduction of joint electorates has enhanced the feeling of antagonism and distrust between the different communities. It would appear that in the existing state of tension, the institution of joint electorates must be regarded as a dangerous experiment. It is obviously advisable at the present time to avoid as far as possible all superfluous elements of danger. Separate electorates are accordingly recommended,
There has been a consensus of opinion on the point that there should be no plural voting. The place at which a voter should record his vote should depend upon the locality in which he normally resides at the time of the election.
In regard to the allocation of elected seats in the Assembly among the various communities widely different views have been put forward. It has been claimed on the one hand that at least 25 seats out of 32 should be allotted to Muslims, who number 75 per cent. Out of the population of the part of The State with which it is proposed that the Assembly should be concerned. On the other hand it has been represented that there should be two elected Hindu members to every one Muslim. And special claims have been but forward on behalf of the particular classes or communities, such as Sikhs and Rajputs and also on behalf of the depressed classes.
The two main communities are Muslims and Hindus. The population of these two communities stated in round numbers is as follows for the various portions of the State which it is proposed to take into consideration:
|Jammu Wazarat excluding Jammu City||1,37,000||1,93,000|
|Southern Kashmir excluding Srinagar City.||5,75,000||20,000|
Buddhists who are almost entirely confined to the frontier districts of Ladakh amount to 39,000. Sikhs whose numbers are more or less equally divided between the provinces of Jammu and Kashmir, also come to 39,000.
If population is strictly followed, Muslims, whose ratio works out at 75 per cent, should get 24 out of 32 elected seats and Hindus, who come to 22 per cent should be given 7, Budhists and Sikhs would hardly qualify for one seat between them.
The principle of "weightage" has, however, to be taken into account in order to safeguard the interests of minor communities. This principle has been fully recognised in British India. In the United Provinces for instance Muslims, whose number only a little more than 14 per cent of the population, have been given not less than 29 per cent of elected seats in the Legislative Council. In Bombay non-Muslims, whose numbers amount to nearly 79 per cent of the population, have been reduced in the matter of elected seats to a bare majority. Responsible Mohammadan opinion has teen expressed in favour of the principle of "weightage" being applied to the State Assembly provided that Muslims are allowed to retain an actual majority in the matter of elected seats.
A fair solution would appear to be provided by allowing to Hindus sufficient "weightage" to bring their number of elected seats in the Assembly upto 33-1/3 per cent Muslims would in this case be awarded a fraction over 60 per cent while Sikhs and Buddhists would each be given just over 3 per cent.
It has been claimed that not less than 4 seats should be allowed to Sikhs, or, failing that, two' one for Jammu and one for Kashmir. It is true that, as has already been remarked, the Sikh population is scattered over the two Provinces. It is also true that the behaviour of the Sighs has been exemplary during the recent disturbances and that they are fully deserving of consideration, but, as far as the State is concerned, they are relatively a very small community and it is difficult to allot them more than one elected seat without unduly affecting the interests of others. It is suggested that their aspirations might be met by the practice of including among the nominated members one Sikh member coming from that province to which the elected Sikh member does not belong. This should be sufficient to provide for the reasonable requirements of the community as the Sikh representative at the Conference has explained, the Sikhs are not striving for power in the State, they only desire that their voice should be heard. The only other alternative that seems possible is to increase by one the total number of elected members, this would of course disturb the general ratio.
In the case of the Buddhists one elected seat should suffice. As mentioned above, the Buddhist community is practically confined to one portion of the State and it is doubtful what their actual voting strength will prove to be.
Some difficulty is to found in deciding how effect is to be given to the "weightage" proposed for Hindus. It is true that the great bulk of the Hindu population belongs to the Jammu Province, but there are obvious objections in the way of allotting them a larger number of seats in that Province, than can be given to Muslims, who even in Jammu are more numerous shall Hindus. The most satisfactory solution appears to lie in giving the "weightage" its main effect in the Kashmir Province; although the Hindus in Kashmir are relatively small in numbers, they are a highly advanced community and it is to be expected that their population would suggest.
It is not proposed that any elected seats should be reserved for the depressed classes. In the census the depressed classes are recorded as Hindus, and there appears to be no sufficient reason for according them different treatment from that received by them in the Punjab, where no special reservation obtains.
It is recommended that the total number of elected seats should be 33 and that they should be distributed as follows:
|Total Jammu Province||7||7||0||1|
|Total Kashmir Province||11||4||0||0|
Here again there has been a great difference of opinion, the proposals put forward by various members for the proportion of nominated to elected seats vary between 25 per cent and 150 per cent.
It would seem a fair solution that the total number of nominated members should be equal to two thirds of the number of elected members, namely 22. and that in addition to these His Highness the Maharaja Bahadur should, if he sees fit to do so, appoint his ministers, not exceeding 5 in number; as ex-officio members. The total membership of the Assembly would thus be limited to 60 (33+22+5). In regard to the nominated members, not less than one third should be non-officials; apart from His Highness should have entire discretion in their matter of nomination. There has been a general consensus of opinion, however, expressed at the Conference that nomination should be so regulated as to provide as far as possible for the representation of interests which are not specially catered for in the elected membership, such for instance as Jagirdars and commercial interests.
If the above recommendations are adopted, there would be a clear erected majority and there would be a proportion of not less than two non-official members to the one official member.
PRESIDENT OF THE ASSEMBLY
It is recommended that the Assembly should be presided over by the Prime Ministers or such other Ministers as His Highness may be pleased to appoint for the purpose.
NUMBER AND PLACE OF MEETINGS
A part from any special meetings which it may be found necessary to call, it is recommended that there should be two regular meeting of the Assembly a year, one at Srinagar in the month of Assuj (September-October) when the budget proposals amongst other matters can be discussed, and one at Jammu in the month of Phagan (February-March) or such other time as may be convenient.
LIFE OF THE ASSEMBLY
The life of the Assembly should, it is recommended be fixed at three years in the first instance.
Rules relating to the number necessary to form a quorum and other matters of comparatively minor importance can be provided for suitable in the bye-laws.
It is recommended that the Assembly should have no power to propose an alteration in the enactment creating the Assembly unless the previous approval of His Highness is obtained through the President.
Apart from the question in creating a Legislative Assembly the subject of District Boards and Municipalities has also been raised at the Constitutional Conference.
At present there are no District Boards in the State. There has been a general consensus of opinion expressed at the Conference in favour of a beginning being made in this matter in the following way.
Wazirs or District Officers should once every year call a meeting of all the Zaildars in their District. The Tehsildars and the Road Cess Overseer should also be present. The Wazir should make known the amount of funds available from the Road Cess Fund for expenditure in the Wazarat, he should ascertain from those present the requirements of the various Zilas and he should then proceed to make allotments after taking into consideration the views expressed. Zaildars should at the same time be given an opportunity to put forward their views in regard to other matters such as Schools, Medical Relief, Sanitation, etc.
In the case of districts in which distances are great and communications indifferent, such as for instance the Udhampur Wazarat which includes Kishtwar, Bhaderwah and Ramban, it may be difficult to summon Zaildars to District headquarters without causing them undue inconvenience; in such cases the Wazir should make a point of consulting Zaildars at convenient places when he proceeds on tour.
It has been agreed at the Conference that it is inadvisable to hold more than one such meeting a year at the headquarters. Of a Wazarat, as it is believed that, if the number of such meetings is multiplied, many Zaildars will be unwilling to attend. It has been pointed out that under present conditions Zaildars are put to much inconvenience in visiting District headquarters. because there is no suitable building in which they can be accommodated; this is a matter which should receive the attention of the State authorities.
The following views in regard to Municipalities have been' expressed and deserve consideration.
It is considered that the electoral rolls should be revised in such a way as to make the numbers recorded thereon equivalent to about ten per cent of the total population of each Municipality. At present the number of voters appears to be considerably less than this in the case of Srinagar city.
In view of the opinions expressed in regard to the undesirable effects of joint electorates in the matter of communal tension it is suggested that the question of substituting separate electorates should receive attention.
NUMBER OF ELECTED MEMBERS
It is recommended that the proportion of elected members who now form 50 per cent of the total, should be slightly increased so as to provide for an elected majority. An increase in the total number of Municipal members does not appear to be desirable in the interests of efficiency.
EXTENSION OF POWERS
It is understood that the Municipal Committee of Srinagar has already put forward proposals to the Minister-in-Charge for an increase of powers, and that the matter is under the consideration of His Highness' Government; and early decision appears to be desirable.
The proposal that Municipalities should be presided over by a non-official is far from meeting with universal approval. No recommendation in this direction appears at present to be justified.
DELAY IN AWARDING COMPENSATION
It is represented that Municipal Committees at present allow great delay to occur in paying compensation for property acquired etc. Endeavours should be made to expedite the disposal of such cases.
(Sd) B.J. Glancy
Constitutional Reforms Conference
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