Act of Settlement 1781

Act of settlement 1781 – purpose & salient feature

The Act of Settlement was an Amending Act of 1781, which was passed by British Parliament on 5th July 1781 to remove the defects of the Regulating Act 1773. It is also known as Declaratory Act, 1781.

The Aim of the Act

The main objectives of the enactment of this Act were :

To remove ambiguity regarding the few provisions of the Regulating Act and the Charter which had created the division between the court and the government.

To support the lawful government of Bengal, Bihar, and Orissa, so that revenue could be collected smoothly.

To maintain and protect the laws and customs of the native people.

Salient features of Act of settlement :

Change in the powers of the Supreme Court : The servants of the company which earlier came within the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court were now exempted from the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.

Jurisdiction in Revenue Matter : Expressly set the limit of jurisdiction of supreme court in revenue matters.

Exemption of Jamindar and land holder : Supreme court would not have jurisdiction of any person be position of land holder, farmer, employee of the company.

Recognition of the provisional court of the company

Recognition of Sadar Diwani Adalat as chief court. The Act provides that Sadar Diwani Adalat will be court of appeal to hear appeals from company courts in civil cases.

Conclusion :

Still, the Act failed to give a vibrant impact and to remove all the flaws of the  Regulating Act of 1773. These to enactment brought many great changes to the system of administration and justice.

Author: Pooja Pawar,
NBT law college Nashik

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