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Full text of "Debates at the India House: August 22nd, 23rd, and September 24th, 1845, on the case of the deposed raja of Sattara, and the impeachment of Col. C. Ovans. With historical notes, and a sketch of previous proceedings at the India House"

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AUGUST 22nd, 23rd, and SEPTEMBER 24tii, 1845, 

















To YOU, the people of this great, enlightened, and Christian 
country ; and to you who represent the British people in 
the Legislature, is this volume dedicated. It contains an 
accurate report of two most important discussions at the 
India House on the case of the deposed Raja of Sattara. 
That the subsequent speeches may be the better understood, it 
has been deemed advisable to prefix some historical notes, 
anc" a brief sketch of proceedings in this country, down to 
the present time. 


Pretaub Shean, ex-Raja of Sattara, is descended from Sivajee, the 
celebrated founder of the Mahratta empire, which grew out of the 
ruins of the vast Mahomedan power which, in the reign of Aurungzib, 
in the early part of the last century, gave laws through the greater part 
of India, Scinde, the Punjab, and a portion of Afghanistan. Sivajee 
was a Rajpoot, and related to the family of the Rana (or King) of 
Odeypoor, the most noble and ancient of all the Rajpoot chiefs. 

The efforts made by the Mahrattas under Sivajee to wrest from the 
Mahomedans the country that had been previously conquered from 
the Hindus, had been arrested by Aurungzib. Sivajee was dead ; 
his eldest son, Sambajee, had been ignominiously put to death by the 
emperor, and Sivajee's grandson, Sahoojee, with his family, remained 
a captive in the hands of the Mahomedans. 

The intestine feuds that arose among the sons of Aurungzib after 
his death were favourable to the enemies of the Mahomedans ; but 
there were circumstances, at the moment, which rendered it politic to 
release Sahoojee from his captivity, and to allow him to recover, if 
possible, the territory his grandfather had conquered and lost ; on con- 
dition that he should consent to retain the military office assigned to 
him in the service of the emperor of Delhi. It was not without some 
difficulty that Sahoojee obtained the recognition and allegiance of his 
subjects. Being, however, once established on the throne, he gave 
himself up to the amusements of the field, leaving the hard labour of 
recovering his grandfather's conquests, and of making encroacliments 
on the Mahomedans wherever opportunity afforded, to his military 
chiefs. The direction of this difficult task was undertaken by his 
prime minister, under the title of Peshwa, who during his sovereign's 
life ruled the Mahratta dominions. 

These dominions (which at tlie period when Sahoojee ascended tlie 
throne, were scarcely more than those subsequently assigned by the 

British Government to his descendant in 1818) were, by the vigour 
and energy of the Peshwas greatly extended, and before the termina- 
tion of the reign of Sahoojee, almost all India, from Tanjore on the 
south, to Delhi on the north, acknowledged the Mahratta sway. Such 
parts as were not actually conquered, consented to pay to the great 
predominant power an annual tribute levied under various pretensions. 
Sahoojee lived to an extreme old age, having survived two Peshwas, 
and leaving by will the care of his government to the then Peshwa, 
Ballajee Bajee Row, Sahoojee left no issue; but his minister caused 
his nephew, Raja Ram, a youth brought up in obscurity, to be pro- 
claimed king, and the great officers of the State recognized him as 
such. From that period to the time when the Raja of Sattara was 
liberated from the thraldom of the Peshwas at the victory of Ashta, 
obtained by the British arms under Sir Lionel Smith, in the month of 
February, 1818, the descendants of Sivajee, under the rule of the 
Peshwas, were deprived of all political power ; but each was recog- 
nized as the head of the Mahratta empire. Every attention was paid 
to the domestic comforts of the Raja and his family. He resided in a 
palace, on the hill fort of Sattara, containing an area of six or eight 
acres of land, affording abundant room even for horse exercise, and 
having a fish preserve for amusement. The several great officers of 
state, with their extensive domains, were always maintained as an 
appendage to the Raja's dignity ; and his signature and seal were re- 
quired to the completion of royal grants and patents for high offices. 
All official reports of military operations, the confirmation of treaties, 
and the declaration of war, went forth in the Raja's name, and he is 
designated up to the present period as "Chatr-Putty," the sovereign 
bearing the Royal Canopy, and is addressed and announced as Hindoo- 
put Raja, the King of Hindostan. 

Nor were these honours merely nominal. In the year 1781, the 
agent of the Peshwa residing with the Raja writes to Nana Furnevis, 
(the Regent at Poonah) — " It is right we should know exactly what 
is to be expended on the kreea (funeral ceremony) of the late Raja 
Ram, deceased : ten or twelve thousand rupees (£1000 or £1200) 
will be required at least; meanwhile we have elephants, horses, and 
cloths, that we can give away as presents, but not enough money ; I 
only brought with me five thousand rupees, which I have still got, 

but we shall ctTtiiiiily want ciglit or niiio tliuusaud ru[)ceb more." 
Again, on the espousal of the Kaja's daughter, we tiiid ilie same 
Regent writuig to the Agent at Saltura, to limit the ex|)enses at the 
marriage of the Raja's daugiiter to fifty thousand rupees, or X'5U00. 

Two more striking instances of tlie respect observed towards the 
Raja occurred on the election of tlie last Peshwa, now living in exile 
at Bittoor. In describing an interview between the Kaja (the present 
Raja's father) and the Regent minister. Nana Furnevis, in the year 
1796, at Sattara, the agent writes as follows : — " His Highness the 
Maharaj then replied, that the Court establishment being on so limited 
a scale, and no measures having been adopted to remove this cause ot 
complaint, it was strange that he (the Regent) should come to him and 
request favours." His Highness then inquired as to the fitness of 
Bajee Row for managing the aflfairs of state, and as to his integrity. 
Nana Furnevis having satisfied him on these points, his Highness 
eventually gave his sanction to the appointment. 

We subsequeutly find a letter from Bajee Row himself, to the present 
Raja's father, acknowledging the patent of office. 

"December 31, 1796. 
" May it please your Highness — 

"By your Highness's favour I am at present in theenjoyment of health, 
and beg to present my most grateful and humble thanks for the khilut 
(robes of office) and seals, together with the patent of office as Peshwa 
to the State. I am your Highness's slave, and live in tlie hope 1 shall 
ever deserve your Highness's favour. 

" Your Highness's dependants have none to look to for protection 
but their master. It is with this feeling that I lay my services at your 
Highness's feet. 

(Signed) " Bajee Row Ragonat." 

It is true that at a subsequent period, the same Peshwa, having 
formed an independent treaty with the British government in his own 
name, did not continue to pay the same respect to his sovereign, and 
even deprived him altogether of the use of his own money, causing 
him and his family to be provided with all necessary wants ; he still, 
however, maintained towards him the outward forms of respect, and 
the Raja, to the last day of his connexion with the ex-Peshwa, Bajee 
Row, addressed him personally as his servant, and always spoke of 


him as such. The Raja meanwhile retained, as he still does, the title 
of Maharaja Chatr-Putty, or, " His Majesty of the Imperial Canopy," 
and is addressed by his subjects and proclaimed as Hinduput Padsha, 
*' Emperor of Hindostan ;" and these titles and distinctions have been 
sanctioned during the twenty-seven years of his alliance with the British 

At the commencement of the Mahratta war in 1817, the present 
ex-llaja of Sattara was a state prisoner in the hands of Bajee Rao, 
the then Peshwa; and, on the conquest of the Mahratta empire, which 
was completed on the 20lh of February, 1818, the power of the 
Peshwa was entirely annihilated, and the British Government proceeded 
to carry into effect the terms of a previous proclamation to the Mahratta 
people and chieftains, that the Raja, on being released, should be 
placed at the head of an independent sovereignty, of such an extent as 
might maintain him and his family in comfort and dignity. On the 
20th of May, the Raja made his public entry into Sattara, escorted by 
the British troops, and most of the officers, and was formally placed 
upon the gadee (or throne) in full durbar. The motive avowed by the 
Governor-General of India, in thus establishing the Raja on the throne 
of his ancestors, with a limited territory, was to aflbrd an honourable 
maintenance to the representative of the ancient Princes of the country, 
and to establish among the Mahrattas a counterpoise to the remaining 
influence of the former Brahmin Government. On the 25th of Sep- 
tember, 1819, a treaty was concluded with the Raja of Sattara, by 
which the British Government ceded to his Highness, his heirs and 
successors, in perpetual sovereignty, certain districts specified in a 
schedule annexed. This territory was to be held in subordinate co- 
operation to the British Government, and the Raja was to be guided 
in all matters by the British political Agent or Resident at his Highness's 

Having now seen the Raja placed on liis throne — that throne secured 
to him by solemn treaty, ratified, sealed, and delivered, let us look 
back for a moment to the still earlier history of this interesting Prince. 
His father had died in the year 1808, leaving two sons : himself, then 
four years old, and iiis brother, Appa Sahib, now his successor, and 
tlien an infant in arms. Their mother was a woman of high family, of 
great spirit, and of coubiderable natural talent. She was proud of her 

elevated rank, devoted to the interests of her children, a hater of the 
Brahmins, who had usurped the power originally wielded by the Mah- 
ratta princes, and was bent on giving her sons an education which 
should render them, in some respects, equal to cope with the monopo- 
lized learning of the priesthood. She, besides, carefully instilled into 
their minds the dislike which she herself cherished to the whole Brah- 
minical race ; and, as will be seen in the sequel, the ex-Raja was not 
slow to profit by her lessons. It had been the policy of the Brahmins 
to prevent the Satlara princes from being taught to read and write, and 
to confine their accomplishments chiefly to skill in horsemanship, and 
the use of the bow. Tlie Dowager Ranee, however, contrived to have 
her sons instructed in letters, after midnight, while their attendants 
slept ; and the result was, that they were both tolerably educated before 
they were released from the Peshwa's power. The conduct of the 
Raja, when placed on his throne, evinced so much gratitude and fidelity 
to the British ; so much talent and aptitude for public business ; so 
much enlightened liberality and zeal for the interests of his people, that, 
in three years from the time of his installation, the entire management 
of the principality was placed in his hands, and the designation of 
Political Age7it, to whose advice he had been required to yield sub- 
mission, was changed to that of Political Resident, whose advice was 
only to be enforced, when the Raja's conduct was likely to lead to 
inconvenience or injustice, or to a positive breach of the treaty. Left 
to himself, he displayed a laudable, and in India, extraordinary desire 
for the education of the people. He was most anxious to fit tlie Mah- 
rattas for business, that they might supply the places hitherto filled by 
the Brahmins. For his own connexions, and the sons of the great 
officers of his government, he set apart a suite of rooms, in his own 
palace, as a college. On one occasion, when it was deemed necessary 
to ascertain what was the state of education in Sattara, a town contain- 
ing 10,000 souls, it was found that it contained no fewer tlian forty 
schools. He manifested the deepest respect for the advice of those 
who had placed him on his throne, and superintended liis early adminis- 
tration ; and rigidly fulfilled the parting promise which he gave to 
Captain Grant Duff, the Political Agent, on his quitting Sattara for 
England, in 1823, that he would never depart from the laws established 
for him by that gentleman, and confirmed by the Hon. Mountsluart 

Nor was it on the subject of education alone, that the Raja displayed 
his zeal for the welfare and improvement of liis people, and his fitness 
to rule over the portion of his ancestors' dominions conferred upon 
him. lie made Sattara, from being a small and insignificant place, a 
handsome and populous town. He planned and laid out broad streets 
in every direction. He supplied the want of water by an aqueduct, 
brought from the neighbouring hills, a distance of two miles ; and with 
so much skill, that a well-known civil engineer in this country, who 
saw and examined the work while in progress, declared that he was per- 
fectly astonished at the science which had been displayed in every part 
of its construction, whether as to the knowledge of hydraulics, or the 
ingenuity in discovering and leading to the main trunk the several 
small streams of water which were conducted into it; and he even 
carried with him the recipe for forming the cement which was used in 
laying the pipes. The Raja also laid out considerable sums in the 
formation of roads and bridges, and set aside other large sums, annually, 
out of his revenues, for that purpose. 

Such was the Raja of Sattara, as he appeared every day in the eyes 
of the men appointed to watch his conduct. From year to year he 
received the lavish praises of the Bombay Government, and from year to 
year he was complimented by the authorities at home upon the wisdom 
and beneficence of his sway. At last, in the latter end of the year 
1835, seventeen years from the date of his elevation to the throne, six- 
teen from the signing of the treaty, and fourteen from the period when 
he assumed the entire management of the affairs of his kingdom, the 
Court of Directors, desirous of bestowing upon him the highest and 
most gratifying mark of their admiration and respect, resolved that he 
should be presented with a sword, and at the same time with a suitable 
letter. In the letter, which received the signature of every one of the 
twenty-four Directors, they complimented the Raja upon the exemplary 
fulfilment of the duties of his elevated situation ; they declared that 
the whole course of his conduct reflected the highest credit on his cha- 
racter—that he had won their unqualified approbation — that his liber- 
ality in executing, at his own cost, various public works of great 
utility, had justly raised his reputation in the eyes of the princes and 
people of India ; and that, therefore, they had sent him a present of a 
sword, in testimony of their admiration and high esteem. Such was 
the Raja of Sattara in 1835. The sword and letter went out in 1836, 

but never readied tlie Prince. Before they arrived, he had incurred 
the displeasure of the Bombay Government, and engines were already 
at work to effect his ruin. Unhappily, they succeeded, and this 
exemplary Prince is now — the ex-Raja of Sattara. We proceed to 
sketch the story of his downfal — a story reflecting the deepest and 
most indelible disgrace upon all the parties concerned in effecting it. 

The treaty which placed the Raja on the throne, secured to him the 
absolute sovereignty over certain estates, or jagheers, as they are in 
India called, which, on the death of their then occupants, were to lapse 
to the Raja of Sattara. It may be proper to observe, that it is the 
practice in India to reward services rendered to the State, by the be- 
stowment of jagheers, or certain portions of territory, over which the 
parties to be rewarded are empowered, during their lives, to collect the 
revenue. These jagheers stand in the place of pensions. The sove- 
reignty over several such jagheers was secured to the Raja of Sattara, 
by the same treaty which placed him on the throne. If any power 
was competent to deprive him of these jagheers, the same power was 
competent to take from him his entire dominion. It became a matter 
of the utmost importance, therefore, that the Raja should assert his 
right in this matter, and claim the fulfilment of the treaty. He did so, 
and was evaded. He offered to submit the point in dispute to Mr. 
Elphinstone, the framer of the treaty, then in England, and gave his 
word that he would abide by Mr. Elphinstone's decision, whatever it 
might be. This was never done. He prayed that the matter might 
be referred home, for the opinion of the Court of Directors. This was 
done. The decision of the Court was in his favour ; but that decision 
was concealed from him by Sir Robert Grant. The disagreement about 
the jagheers took place in 1832 and 1833. After a promise of the 
Bombay Government that the subject should be again submitted to the 
Court of Directors, the Raja rested for some time contented ; but, at 
the end of a year, he discovered that he had been deceived — that no 
reference of his case had been made to the home authorities. He was 
displeased — he lost his confidence in the Bombay Government — he 
became disquieted in his mind, and declared he could not take his food, 
so deeply had the conduct of the local authorities affected him. He 
announced his intention of sending an agent to this country to repre- 
sent his case, and to claim the fulfilment of tiie treaty. Tliis openly 

avowed intention of appeal, the Bombay Government construed into 
an infraction of the treaty, and, still more, into an insult to themselves ; 
and they retaliated, by rejecting the Raja's customary annual present 
and letter, thus breaking off all amicable relations with him. Tliey also 
withheld the sword and the Directors' letter. Let it be here observed, 
that these alleged infractions of the treaty on the part of the Company, 
in the matter of the jagheers, are now admitted. Mr. Elphinstone, 
who was always at hand to be appealed to, and whose word would have 
settled the point at once, has never been appealed to. Lord Clare, the 
Governor of Bombay at the time of the dispute, and who was at first 
inclined to sanction the resumption of the jagheers, has since confessed 
tiiat lie was wrong, and the Raja right. The treaty has been again and 
again produced in the presence of the Directors; and the three suc- 
cessive Residents at the Raja's Court, Generals Robertson, Briggs, and 
Lodwick, have all declared their unqualified opinion in favour of the 
entire justice of the Raja's claims. His right to appeal to the home 
authorities, by means of Vakeels or native agents, has never been dis- 
puted in open Court. The right is undoubted ; but it suited the pur- 
pose of the wholesale violators of treaties in India, to pervert a respect- 
ful application to the superior authorities in England, into a breach of 

The loss of the favour and good opinion of the Bombay Government, 
was the signal for the rising of a host of enemies of the Rija, who 
found the local authorities but too willing to listen to every accusation 
they could invent. 

The first charge, gravely preferred against him, was that of seeking 
to corrupt two native officers in the service of the British Government. 
The throne of the Raja, who is a Maliratta, had been raised upon the 
ruin of the Peshwa, who was a Brahmin. The Raja had been guided 
for years by a policy, which led him to adopt every legitimate 
means of destroying the influence of the Brahmins, and of raising the 
intellectual standard and political importance of the Mahrattas, He 
had, despite all opposition and all denunciation, prosecuted the work 
of educating the mass of the people ; and he had filled up the measure 
of his offences, in the eyes of the Hindoo priests, by refusing to appoint 
to the office of prime minister a talented Brahmin, who, from the com- 
mencement of his reign, iiad aspired to that high situation. He had. 

therefore, many powerful, malignant, and unscrupulous foes, who, 
though awed and held in fear during the period that the Raja was the 
favoured child of tlie Bombay Government, took immediate advantage 
of his quarrel with the British authorities, and determined to make it 
subserve the ends of their baffled ambition, their deep hatred, and their 
inextinguishable revenge. Accordingly, Untajee (one of the most pro- 
fligate of Brahmins) accused the Raja of tampering with the allegiance 
of two of the native officers, or soobadars. This charge was first gone 
into before a Commission sent up to Sattara, to try the Raja at his own 
capital, but behind his back. The Commission consisted of one of 
the Secretaries of the Bombay Government, a Colonel in the British 
army, and the Resident at the Raja's Court, General Lodwick. The 
last-named gentleman was appointed the president of the Commission, 
and has since declared, that the originator of the plot avowed himself 
actuated by revenge, and to be unworthy of belief; that while looking 
about for the means of revenging himself upon the Raja, Heaven threw 
these soobadars in his way. He said, too, that one of these soobadars 
declared, that, to promote the plot, he took an oath which he had no 
intention to keep ; and General Lodwick also openly stated that the 
Commissioners, with whom he was associated, would not allow these 
criminators of the Raja to be cross-examined ; although their oral tes- 
timony was in many important particulars irreconcilable with their 
previous depositions. 

A second charge was brought forward — that of conspiring with Don 
Manoel de Portugal, the Viceroy of a petty, poverty-stricken, power- 
less Portuguese settlement, on the southern confines of the Sattara 
territory, some two hundred miles below Bombay ; a conspiracy to 
raise 30,000 troops in Europe, bring them to India, and, with this 
splendid army, to drive the English for ever out of Hindostan ! The 
witnesses brought forward to support this monstrous, wicked, and con- 
temptibly ridiculous charge were almost to a man Brahmins. Several 
among them were gang robbers, whom the Bombay Government par- 
doned. The evidence obtained of a written character, consisted of a 
bundle of Mahratta and Portuguese letters, found in pawn with an 
indigent inhabitant of an obscure village in the Goa territory, and 
purported to have belonged to two Brahmins, who had died ten months 
before, and are declared to have been the agents of the Raja of Sattara; 

but it is admitted that tliese same persons had for years been in the 
service of a man who was regarded as the Pope of tlie Bralimins, known 
by the name of the Swamee of Sunkeshwur, and a known enemy of 
the Raja. These documents, which have been pronounced satisfactory 
evidence of the Raja's guilty intentions, and which, if genuine, might 
have made their possessors rich for ever, were purchased by the British 
Government for the astounding sum of £40 sterling. The Portuguese 
papers thus found, and affirmed to be signed by Don Manoel, have 
been declared by that nobleman to be utter forgeries, and his alleged 
correspondence with the Raja a gross fabrication and falsehood. But 
it will naturally be supposed that the British authorities, both in India 
and at home, took the earliest opportunity of calling upon our ancient 
ally, the Portuguese Government, to explain the conduct of the high 
functionary thus directly implicated in a charge of cherishing, through 
twelve years, the design of subverting the British power in India. How 
great will be the surprise of our readers when we tell them that, while 
pretending to hold the proof of the Viceroy's guilt under his own hand 
and seal, there has not been, down to this hour, the slightest reference 
made to the subject in any correspondence between the British Govern- 
ment and the Government of Portugal. We are equally ignorant if 
there has ever been any correspondence on the subject between any 
person connected with the executive of the East India Company, and 
the Viceroy himself. But there has been between that ex- Viceroy and 
oMer parties. A friend of the Raja proceeded, in April, 1841, to 
Lisbon, where Don Manoel resides, and fills a high situation in the 
household of the reigning Queen. He took with him a letter from Mr. 
Hume, who had expressed his determination to bring the matter before 
Parliament. Mr. Hume called upon the ex-Viceroy to give full and 
explicit answers to the questions which he put relative to the crime 
said to have been by him committed. The high-minded nobleman 
went before the British consul in Lisbon, and made the following 
voluntary and solemn declaration : — " Having received a communica- 
tion, dated on the 8th instant, from the most illustrious Senhor Joseph 
Hume, member of the British Parliament, relating to the conspiracy 
that the Raja of Sattara, at present dethroned, is said to have contrived 
against the British power in India ; and affirming that I was aware of 
the said conspiracy ; — I feel it necessary, for the sake of justice and 

my honour, to declare that, during the whole of the time I governed 
Portuguese Asia, I never had any correspondence whatsoever, upon 
political subjects, with the said Raja of Sattara ; and (hat whatever 
documents may appear, relatina; to it, must be considered entirely false." 

What is to be thought of the conduct of the British Indian Govern- 
ment in this business? They have dethroned a virtuous and benignant 
Prince, upon a charge which they never took the most important pre- 
liminary step to substantiate, and at the same time have concealed 
from the Minister of the British Crown all knowledge of the alleged 
guilt of a Government in friendly alliance with us. It is not possible 
to believe that the Britisli Indian authorities, either at home or abroad, 
ever entertained the most distant idea of the genuineness of the corres- 
pondence which they took out of pawn. Anything approaching to a 
conviction of its authenticity, would have laid them under the most 
solemn responsibility, as loyal subjects, to bring the whole matter 
before the Queen's Ministers, that an immediate and rigid inquiry 
might have been made into the facts of the case. But no. The evi- 
dence that was considered abundantly sufficient to warrant the de- 
thronement of the Raja, was known to be too foul, contemptible, and 
unsubstantial, to be made the subject of a moment's inquiry on the 
part of those who are sworn to maintain the integrity of her Majesty's 
dominions, and to bring to justice all, whomsoever they may be, who 
meditate the dismemberment or ruin of her empire. 

The third and last charge against the Raja is in perfect keeping with 
the two I have already exposed. It is set forth that the Raja, with the 
same design of overthrowing the English, intrigued with the ex- Raja 
of Nagpore. And who, pray, is he ? Why, at the time, a wretched 
fugitive ; subsisting on the bounty of the Raja of Joudpore, A de- 
throned Prince, residing in obscurity, without money and without 
friends. A stale prisoner, inclosed within a court-yard, 20 feet by 12. 
Yet, with this poor spectre of a pauper Prince, the Raja of Sattara is 
charged with conspiracy, for the purpose of overthrowing the colossal 
power of the British in India; and the overwhelming proof, at once 
of guilt and danger, is, that the ex- Raja of Nagpore sent the Raja of 
Sattara a complimentary letter, and that the Raja of Sattara sent the 
ex-Raja of Nagpore a pair of shoes ! 


So much for the charges. The overwhelming refutation of these 
charges, as well as the proof of the guilty part taken in the plot against 
the Raja by one British officer, will be found in the following pages. 
Now for the use made of these charges, by men who are citizens of a 
State, in which the meanest person, accused, of the most petty offence, 
may not be condemned unheard. Did they call on the Raja for ex- 
planation ? No. Did they send him copies of the charges brought 
against him ? No. Did they tell him who were his accusers, and 
confront him witli them ? No. What, then, did they do ? They 
made up their minds that he was guilty. The evidence was so clear, 
so satisfactory, so complete, so irresistible, that it would have been a 
waste of justice to call upon the Raja to rebut it, or even to let him 
know what it was. What mattered it that he felt himself innocent, if 
they believed him to be guilty ? What need of putting the Raja to 
the trouble of defending himself when he was already tried, convicted, 
and condemned ? Sir Robert Grant, one of the chief actors in this 
affair, having died, Sir James Rivett Carnac, at the time a Director, 
was appointed Governor of Bombay in his place. On reaching India, 
he drew out certain articles and a preamble, with which he proceeded 
to Sattara, with a view of winding up the case of the Raja, and, as 
it has been stated by himself and his friends, with the benevolent 
design of saving the Prince from the consequences of his infatuation 
and guilty folly. The preamble to the memorandum, which the Raja 
was called upon to sign, contained an admission of his guilt. The 
articles required him to pass an act of oblivion with regard to his ac- 
cusers — to yield a certain sum from his treasury for the benefit of his 
worst enemies — and to put away from him the persons in whose fidelity 
he could alone repose. What reply did this Indian Prince make to 
such a string of propositions, submitted by a British functionary, with 
the assurance that, if he agreed to them, he should remain upon the 
throne, and be restored to the confidence of Government ? He made 
an answer worthy of the brightest hero of ancient or modern times ; an 
answer which places him at a sublime height above the petty perse- 
cutors to whose arts he has fallen a victim. His answer siiall be given 
in the words of Sir James Carnac, who has reported at full length his 
interview with the Raja. Sir James, speaking of his address to the 

Raja, an address intended to induce him to agree to llie terms of the 
amnesty, as it has been called, says : — 

" When I had concluded, he (the Raja) stated, that ho regarded me as his 
friend and well-wisher ; asserted that the accusations itgainst him originated in 
the intrigues of his enemies; that as long as the British Government enter- 
tained the idea that he had cherished hostile designs he could agree to nothing, 
but this idea being removed, he would agree to anything I proposed ; that he 
would consent to anything, except to abandon liis religion, or to acknowledge 
that he had been our enemy." 

A second and third interview took place with similar results. The 
Raja persevered in his refusal to subscribe his own guilt, and thus sign 
away his honour, and put it in the power of the British Government 
at anytime to publish him to the world a self-admitted traitor, lie 
asked to be heard. He offered to lay aside whatever dignity might 
stand in the way of an ordinary trial, and to place himself before any 
honest tribunal. He offered to relinquish his person, his government, 
his kingdom, into the hands of the British, if they would grant him a 
fair trial. A trial was sternly denied. He was already guilty in the 
determination of the Bombay authorities, and must submit to declare 
himself to be, what they had undertaken to make him out to be, whe- 
ther his conscience accused him or not. But these functionaries had 
to deal with a man whom they were incapable alike of understanding 
or appreciating. Perhaps they reasoned that he would do what, in 
like circumstances, they would have been willing to do. They thought 
that, if they balanced his nice and fastidious ideas of honour and self- 
respect against a throne, and the continued protection of the British 
Government, he would surely yield the former to secure the latter. 
But such views were far from the mind of this noble man. He said 
plainly, " Gentlemen, you mistake me altogether. I can relinquish a 
throne, I can go into exile, I can see my kingdom given to another, or 
absorbed into your own territory ; but I cannot forfeit the testimony 
of my conscience; I can sacrifice everything but my honour !" What 
was to be done ? It was secretly determined that the Raja should be 
forthwith deposed. He had already expressed his willingness to remove 
without a murmur at tiie bidding of the Governor. Nay, he had said, 
when with the Governor at the residence of tiie political agent at 


Sattara, " I will stay, if you please, here, in this bungalow, nor ever 
enter my capital again, till I have established my innocence before an 
impartial tribunal." Neitlier force, nor rudeness, therefore, was re- 
quired. The Governor had but to say, " Depart," and the Raja had 
passed his word that he would quit his kingdom immediately. But 
guilt is ever clandestine, timid, and stealthy. 

" Thus does Conscience make cowards of us all." 

At midnight, when the Raja was in his chamber asleep upon his couch 
■ — at midnight, to suit the better the time to the deed, and cover it witli 
darkness, if possible, black as itself — at midnight, did two British 
officers, instructed by a British Governor, conduct a troop to Sattara, 
and surround the palace. The Raja was asleep — they arrested him — 
thrust him naked into a palanquin — placed the Raja and his family 
under the charge of a British Lieutenant and a company of soldiers, 
and subsequently ordered the escort to march for Benares, a distance 
of nearly a thousand miles. While pursuing their way, the pangs of 
childbirth overtook the wife of Balla Sahib, the Raja's cousin. The 
anxious husband implored a halt, which was denied. In a few days, 
Balla Sahib himself was brought to the point of death, A halt was 
again implored. Again it was denied by this man of fleshless heart ; 
and, at the close of the day, the devoted cousin of the Raja, 

" Faithful among the faithless found," 

lay a corpse in his palanquin. 

People of England ! what think you of acts like these ? Too deep 
your detestation cannot be, at this recital of atrocities, perpetrated in 
your name, by your own countrymen, upon the distant plains of India, 
in the eyes of a people whom we have robbed of their country. Give 
your indignation words. Put it into action. Rouse up at the great 
call of nature and of justice, and check the deeds of those who are 
covering you with infamy, by the spoliations and tragedies they are 
enacting, with the power you have placed in their hands. 

Let us leave the lifeless body of Balla Sahib in the jungle, and the 
Raja in his exile, and return to Sattara. The Raja, out of all his 
private wealth, carried with liim only the jewels which the women of 

his household were able, in llie hurry of departure, to secure. Imme- 
diately upon the abduction of the llaja, his ruthless persecutors made 
themselves masters of all his papers. But I may here, once for all, 
observe, that there is not in the possession of the British Government 
a single document, or fragment of one, in the handwriting of llie Raja, 
affording the slightest evidence of infidelity to the Britisii. IIow tri- 
umphant is this fact ! An intriguer for twenty years — a man accus- 
tomed to make the most regular minutes of all his transactions, even 
the most trivial — accused by a Government that had offered liberal 
rewards, personal indemnity, and honourable distinction, as the pre- 
miums for evidence against him — and yet not a solitary atom of proof, 
under his own hand, of his ever having cherished a thought at variance 
with his fidelity as a prince, or his honour as a man. 

In a very few days after the expulsion of the Raja — while the sighs 
of a travailing mother, the cries of her new-born babe, and the groans 
of the expiring husband and father were disturbing the stillness of the 
jungle— Saitara was the scene of the installation and enthronement of 
a new Raja. And who is he ? Surely, some one more worthy of the 
throne than the man who has been hurled at midnight from it, and 
chased into exile. The deposers of the ex-Raja have, surely, found 
some paragon of perfection, who, by the lustre of his virtues, shall 
mitigate the " deep damnation" of the deed that has been wrought. 
Who is he, that is escorted by thousands of British troops to tlie 
capital, attended by the Governor and his staff to the palace, and 
placed, amidst tlie thundering of cannon, the clangour of trumpets, and 
the explosion of fireworks, upon the throne of Sivajee, and proclaimed 
Raja of Sattara — the ally and friend of the British Government 
— the CHOSEN OBJECT of Confidence and protection — in the place of the 
dethroned, despoiled, and desolated Pretaub Sing? It is Appa Sauib 
— the abandoned profligate — the companion of courtezans — the corrupt 
judge — the man who twice plotted the partition of the principality — 
the Judas Iscariot who betrayed his master — the inhuman brother who 
sold his mother's son into the hands of his enemies. He is the man, 
whom the Governor of Bombay delighteth to honour. He is now the 
favourite of the East India [Company, to whom, doubtless, the sword 
which has been withlield from the brother, has been presented, witli a 
new and amended edition of the Court's complimentary letter of 1S3J. 

b 2 

Tlie Company have also deprived ihe ex-Raja of all the private 
property he left behind him, consisting of money and jewels, and other 
valuables, the savings of the years that he had been upon the throne, 
amounting to at least half a million sterling. All this has been a[)pro- 
priately handed over to the exemplary Prince who now sways the 
sceptre. But we pass over many deeply interesting features in this 
history, that we may describe the conduct of the home authorities. 
On the news of the Raja's dethronement arriving in this country, a few 
of the friends of justice, proprietors of East India Stock, signed a 
requisition for a Special Court for the 12th February, 1840 — 

" To take into consideration a recommendation to the Court of Di- 
rectors, and to the Board of Control, to withhold their sanction to the 
dethronement of his Highness the Raja of Saltara, by the Bombay 
Government, until a full and fair investigation of the charges preferred 
against him shall have been made, according to his Highness's earnest 
and repeated request." 

The Directors, who are, of course, Proprietors, and, in consequence 
of their extensive patronage, most influential ones, came down, and, 
instead of following the dictates of delicacy, and leaving the Court to 
decide for itself, uninfluenced by their votes or dictation, themselves 
moved, and carried by their own votes, an amendment, that '* it is 
higlily inexpedient, and this Court accordingly declines to interfere 
with its responsible executive, in the affairs of the Raja of Sattara." 

No further movement took place until the 23rd of June, 1841, when 
further papers were moved for, and after a sharp struggle in the Court 
of Proprietors, a day was named for the consideration of their contents. 
That day was the 14th of July. During a debate of five days which 
followed, the case was fully argued. It has been most truly said, 
that " the advocates of the Raja went at once into the merits of the 
question. There was no special pleading — no torturing of words — 
no twisting of minutes — no mouthing of high names — no begging of 
the case by quoting mere opinions — (opinions mostly of men deeply 
compromised;) but there was an appeal to the evidence produced 
against the Raja, though not printed by the Court of Directors — that 
evidence was discussed, dissected, put to the test of probability, weighed 
with living testimony of unimpeachable character ; and we fearlessly 
assert, that the verdict of any twelve honest men would be the verdict 

so emphatically pronounced by General Roherlson — llut, ' upmi suck 
evidence he would not ftang a dog.' Yet, upon such evidence, has a 
Prince — an ornament to his kind — been hurled, unheard, from his 
throne. A more wicked, disgraceful spectacle of lawless power 
arrayed against helpless right the world has never beheld." What 
•was the result ? The gentlemen who opened the debate moved for 
the reconsideration of the Raja's case by the Court of Directors. Other 
gentlemen recommended amelioration. The Directors modestly pro- 
posed that the Court should pass over again their resolution of the 12th 
of February, 1840. The original motion was lost by a majority of 
seventeen — the majority being all Directors. On the motion of the 
Directors being put from the Chair, one experienced Proprietor got his 
amendment before the Court, which was, however, lost. The rest 
were jockeyed aside in the most shameless manner, and the Directors 
carried, by their own votes, their own resolution, that there should be 
no interference with the "responsible Executive." 

There were those who ventured to tell the Honourable, the Court of 
Directors, that they must not lay " the flattering unction to their souls,'* 
that they had placed the question of the Raja of Sattara at rest. They 
reminded them, that there were other and higher tribunals before which 
this cause could be tried. That there was a legitimate appeal to the 
Imperial Parliament, the source of their power, and that — to Parliament 
they would go. They reminded them, that we had upon the throne a 
benignant Queen, who would listen to a petition in behalf of a 
prostrate Indian Prince, and that — to the footstool of that monarch 
Ihey would go. They reminded them, finally, that there was a bar, 
before which even they might be placed on their trial, and, peradven- 
ture, be found guilty; and, promised tliem, that no eflforts should be 
wanting, to bring them to that bar, if they should turn a deaf ear to 
the pleadings of disinterested compassion, and obstinately refuse the 
demands of outraged justice. They have fulfilled the worst fears. 
They have resisted evidence, as clear, as cogent, as convincing, as 
authoritative, as ever was submitted to the judgment and verdict of the 
human mind. If, in hot haste, or blind ambition, or wounded pride, 
or partial or entire ignorance of the facts of the case, they drove the 
Raja from his throne, and chose a supple villain to supply his ['l<tCf ; 

time, ample time, has been given them, to grow cool and thoughtful — 
to review and to retrace their steps, and, though late, to do something 
to redeem themselves, and to save the British name from lasting infamy. 
If they ever had a doubt respecting the Raja's innocence, that doubt 
must have been a tliousand times removed by the accumulated proof 
which has been furnished, that the Prince they have trampled upon 
and exiled has been, from first to last, the victim of one of the 
foulest conspiracies ever hatched by perjured caitiffs for the ruin of 
an honest and noble-minded man. From day to day, and from the 
debate of one year to the debate of another, they have seen the most 
upright and distinguished of their own servants stand forth to declare, 
after years of the most intimate knowledge of the Raja, their firm and 
enlightened conviction of his entire innocence. They saw the other 
day the evidence, which they had bought in every market where false- 
hood was exposed to sale, dissected, and demonstrated to be utterly 
unworthy of notice. It has been again and again proved, that them- 
selves were the violators of the treaty with the Raja, when they cast 
upon the jagheers a look, like that which Ahab cast upon the vine- 
yard of Naboth the Jezreelite, and felt like him, when the possessor 
said, " I will not give thee the inheritance of my fathers." Yet have 
they decreed, that there shall be no justice done. The man is proved 
to be innocent, but they abide by the award they made, in the 
day they declared him to be guilty. It is upon record that the 
sentence under which the Raja lies, was not pronounced or in- 
flicted because he was guilty, but for the act — the thrice noble» 
the ennobling act of declining to keep his throne at the expense of 
his honour. 

What now remains, but that the lovers of justice out of doors 
should espouse the cause of helpless innocence, now enduring the 
unjust sentence of unrelenting power ? This, we believe, will be done. 
To you, the people of England, is the appeal made. Send this cause 
for trial to that assembly where your representatives sit, under the 
solemn obligation to restrain the abuse of the power they have, by 
act of Parliament, delegated. Demand, through them, an impartial 
investigation of the merits of this case. There are witnesses at hand, 
who have not yet appeared, whose testimony will carry confusion into 

the camp of the adversaries of the Raja. Let the Raja have a fair 
trial. Vindicate the tarnished honour of the British name ; and prove 
to the world that, though the acts of the East India Company may 
be cruel, the heart of the British people is just. 

London, October 24, 1845. 

C A S E 



A SPECIAL General Court of Proprietors of East India Stock was 
held at the Company's House in Leadenhall-street, on Friday, 
August 22, 1843. At twelve o'clock precisely, the chair was taken 
by Sir Henby Willock, K.L.S., the Chairman of the Court of 
Directors. The announcement of the debate had attracted a large 
number of spectators, among whom were many ladies. 

The Clerk read the requisition in accordance with which the 
Special Court had been convened. It was as follows : — 

"To the Honourable the Chairman and the Directors of the East India 

" IToiiourable Sirs, 

" Wc the undersigned, TropriLtors of Stock duly ijualilicd acoortling lo 
law, request that you will convene a Special General Court ol' East Juriia 
Proprietors, at the earliest period, to take into consideration the Paper.; 


relating to the Case of the Raja of Sattara, Ordered by the House of Com- 
mons to be printed, 4th July, 1845, No. 449. 

" We are, 

" Honourable Sirs, 

" Your obedient Servants, 

Charles Grant. 
John Briggs. 
A. J. Lewis. 
Stephen Gaselee. 
James Stewart Forbes. 

Geo. Thompson. 
John Sullivan. 
RuNGOo Bapojee. 
Charles Forbes. 
Harford Jones Brydges. 
Joseph Hume. 

" London, August the llth, 1845." 

Mr. Geokge Thompson. — It devolves upon me to open the im- 
portant proceedings of this day. My introduction on the occa- 
sion shall be a letter from a venerable and excellent member of 
this body, Sir Harford Jones Brydges. It is addressed to the 
Proprietors now assembled. As I have the pleasure of seeing 
amongst us to-day those whom, without disparagement, we may 
suppose are not quite as familiar with the dead languages as with 
their own mother tongue, I shall put the Latin quotations into 
English. This letter, whether we consider the advice it contains, 
or the age, rank, or virtue of its author, is equally worthy of our 
consideration. It is as follows : — 

" Brother Proprietors, — It is no common affair that has occasioned 
your meeting this day. — It is no less than that one of the Princes of India, 
the Raja of Sattara, has been deposed, deyraded, exiled, and plundered 
even of his private property — by whom 1 by certain of your servants in 
India, — the first and most commonly acknowledged principles of British 
Law and Justice set at nought ; and these evil proceedings not only ap- 
proved, but applauded, by those who call God to help them as they act 
according to the best of their honest judgment. It is possible they may 
have so acted ; and if such be the case, it is quite incumbent on you, on the 
very first opportunity, to relieve them of a charge for the proper execution 
of which they are so totally unfit. 

" It has become necessary also you should prove to Colonel Ovans that 
the Court of Proprietors have not only the power, but that it is part of their 


duty to inquire into, and to pass judgment on the acts of their servants 
when in office in India, and to punish and even dismiss, through the Court 
of Directors, such servants whose acts are manifestly either imbecile or 

" There are few truths less impeachable than that the Proprietors of 
India Stock are the only tangible representation of the EnfjUsh East India 
Company, the Court of Directors are their elected executive servants, and 
neither can, nor ought to hold office longer than quamdiu se bene gesserint; 
(they shall conduct themselves properly.) Well has Goldsmith said of 
the peasantry of this country, which will bear being parodied to your brother 

" 'Princes and lords may flourish or may fade, 
A breath can make them as a breath has made ; 
But bold proprietors, th* Indian's hope and pride, 
If once destroy'd can never be supplied.' 

"And let me recommend to the serious consideration of these Aristocra- 
tical Officials the following words, which appeared in the Times Newspaper, 
of August 1, 1841, and which I am thankful to Mr. Poynder, for having 
preserved in his excellent Literary Extracts. 

" ' Our Government has been an improving government on that of the 
Mahommedan or Rajahpout Government of India, or it would not have 
risen. It must be an improvement on itself, or it will fall. If we fear not 
God, it behoves us to regard man.' 

" I am not quite satisfied that the cause of the Raja has been bettered by 
the quantity of declamation which has been used in debating it. The pith 
and marrow of what the Raja claims may be contained in a nutshell. 
Has the guilt of this Prince been proved before a tribunal, constituted 
according to the rules of English jurisprudence 1 Has this prince had 
such a measure of justice dealt to him as neither the Queen would dare to 
refuse, nor her Chief Justice dare to impede the humblest of her subjects 
from claiming. I admire the justness and acuteness displayed a few days 
ago, in private conversation, by my excellent friend Mr. Sullivan : ' he did 
not want so much to defend the Raja, as to insist he should be heard in 
his own defence, and if guilty, that his guilt should be established by a fair, 
open, and honest trial.' Stick to this, brother Proprietors, it is — " In hoc 
signo vinces" — (in this sign we shall conquer.) 

" Your obedient and faithful servant, 


" Boullibrovke, August Ifci, 18'15." 


Since I last had the honour of addressing this Court, certain 
papers have been laid upon the table of the House of Coirimons, 
and ordered to be printed. I hold these papers in my hand. They 
are the papers referred to in the requisition which has led to the 
holding of this special Court. These papers have already been 
considered in Parliament. The debate upon them took place on 
the 22nd of last month, and lasted for five hours. On the appear- 
ance of these papers, and especially after the discussion of them 
in the Legislature, it seemed to the requisitionists desirable and 
necessary that they should, without delay, be brought before this 
body. It seemed proper to afford the Directors an opportunity of 
explaining the course they had adopted, or purposed to adopt, in 
consequence of the extraordinary revelations which those papers 
contained, that so the proprietors might support the executive if 
they had done, or intended to do right ; and if, on the contrary, 
they had joined with others to stifle inquiry, to neglect their duty, 
to shield criminality, to pervert justice, and to prostitute power 
that then they, as the servants of this body, should be dealt with 
as they deserved. It appeared to the requisitionists that there 
were other reasons also for the immediate discussion of these 
papers. They bear directly, and in a most important manner, 
upon the case of the deposed Raja of Sattara. They throw much 
new light upon the conspiracy by which he has been rained. They 
support many of the statements and opinions which have been 
advanced in this place by the defenders of the Raja. To some 
who are here, these papers, taken by themselves, are held to be 
amply sufficient to extort from every man not utterly lost to all 
sense of what is just and upright, an admission that the whole of 
the evidence on which the Raja has been dethroned, is of a sus- 
picious character ; and that the man who has been despoiled of 
kingdom, character, liberty, and private property, and driven into 
exile, should immediately be afforded the opportunity of examining 
the charges against him, and of sifting the ex-parte evidence given in 
their support. Again, these papers contain grave charges against 
a confidential agent of Lieutenant-Colonel Ovans. This indi- 
vidual is a Brahmin, of the name of Ballajee Punt Nathoo — a 
man of much talent, who has for nearly thirty years been inti- 


mately connected with the affairs of Sattara — who by many has 
long been considered as the chief concoctor of the plots aj^ainst 
the ex-Raja, and who is now accused of having made the down- 
fal of that prince "subservient to his own aggrandizement;" 
and of having practised, to a most guilty extent, the crimes of 
subornation, bribery, extortion, and perjury. The history of 
this man is soon told. During the Mahratta war, he was the in- 
telligencer of the British Government; that is to say, that, though 
a Brahmin and a Mahratta, and the subject of the Peishwa's go- 
vernment, he did all in his power tobring about the ruin of the Mah- 
ratta empire, and contributed in no inconsiderable degree to enable 
the British to circumvent, and ultimately to overthrow BajeeRao. 
When the English became masters in the Deccan, Ballajee Punt 
was able to afford much information to Mr. Elphinstone, in the 
course of his labours as the Commissioner for the settlement of the 
country. I will not stop to characterize the moral quality of the 
acts which recommended this Brahmin to the favour of theBritisli 
Government. Suffice it to say, that they were so valuable, in a 
political point of view, that his new masters rewarded him with a 
pension and an estate ; and that, during the early part of Captain 
Grant Duff's administration of the affairs of Sattara, he was the 
agent and adviser of that officer. He was no favourite of the Raja's, 
however, and was both disappointed and incensed at not being made 
the minister of that prince. The Raja reasoned justly, " The man 
who has betrayed one master may turn traitor to another ; he shall 
never, therefore, be a minister of mine." The charges preferred 
against this man are of great importance in the discussion of the 
Raja's case, because they go to prove that Ballajee Punt has sought, 
and tiius far gained, his own personal objects, through the impeach- 
ment and ruin of the Raja. It is for that reason, chiefly, that they 
are brought under your notice. Again, these papers contain grave 
charges against Lieutenant-Colonel Ovans — for thirty-three years 
an officer in the service of this Company, and more than seven years 
political agent at the court of Sattara — having previously been one 
of those who took evidence against the Raja in 1S3G, and pronounced 
him guilty. To Colonel Ovans, as we all know, the ex- Raja, 
whether justly or unjustly, owes his dethronement. For eight long 


years he was the unwearied prosecutor of the Raja — pursuing him 
even into his banishment — and by means almost unprecedented in 
the annals of political warfare, seeking his utter destruction. This 
man is now charged, by one of his own witnesses, with the grossest 
personal corruption ; with taking bribes and presents from the 
traitorous brother of the exiled prince — the man whom he placed 
upon the throne. He is charged, by an accomplice, with being a 
confederate with Ballajee Punt, in the commission of every kind of 
extortion. In fact, so serious, so overwhelming are the charges, 
and, until the evidence they rest on is examined and overthrown, so 
strong is the proffered proof of his guilt, that, until he meets his 
accuser before an impartial tribunal, and demonstrates his innocence, 
he must, however really guiltless, remain under the most oppressive 
load of odium. If guilty, and if his friends continue strong enough 
to prevent investigation, he may escape punishment ; but can never 
regain his reputation. Again, these papers bring to light a course 
of conduct, on the part of the Bombay government, of the most 
extraordinary and revolting character. No additional evidence is 
wanted on this subject, as the printed official records speak for 
themselves, and supply the most conclusive proof. In our own 
country, we have seen a nation's indignation excited by the exposure 
of a practice of opening letters at the Post-office. We have also 
seen a prime minister compelled to accept the resignation of persons 
in Government employ, accused of offences which, in comparison 
with those charged against Colonel Ovans and Ballajee Punt, are 

Mr. Serjeant Gaselee. — No, no. 

Mr. Thompson. — I speak, of course, of the moral character of 
these acts respectively, and am by no means justifying or extenuating 
the conduct of the servants of the Crown. Colonel Ovans — a well- 
paid officer of this Company — in receipt, too, of an addition to his 
salary of 500 rupees a month, in consideration of his industry and 
zeal in the work of dethroning the ex- Raja (part of which allow- 
ance is paid by the new Raja) is accused of taking 1300 rupees a 
month from the present Raja, under pretence of retaining his wife's 
father in this country as an agent to prevent the success of the 
efforts making to obtain justice for the deposed prince. He is also 


accused of receiving, at one time, 50,000 rupees, or 5,000^. sterling, 
in bullion and Venetian necklaces. These charges, preferred against a 
person filling the situation of Colonel Ovans, and in his peculiar cir- 
cumstances, are charges which, in whatever light they be regarded, are 
infinitely more serious than those which have so recently received the 
attention of the Parliament and Government of this country. (Hear.) 
Far be it from us to say that these charges are true. No evidence 
has yet been taken. But here they are before us. More than a 
year has elapsed since the accuser placed himself within British 
jurisdiction — gave in the names of his witnesses — and bound himself, 
under heavy penalties, to make good his accusations. More than 
a year has elapsed since a British judge took all the steps necessary 
to bring about a thorough and impartial investigation, and having 
done so, wrote to his Government to say that he deemed the case 
too important to be passed over, and that he only waited for an 
order to commence a full inquiry. Colonel Ovans had the most 
ample means of rebutting the charges, if false ; and in the event of 
doing so, summary and inevitable punishment awaited both the 
accuser and his security — punishment amounting to absolute ruin. 
Colonel Ovans has not met these charges, save by a simple denial 
of their truth ; he has not demanded an inquiry ; he has not adduced 
the contradiction of the parties named as witnesses ; he has shrunk 
from appearing in this court ; he has abandoned his long-vaunted 
resolution of meeting in a court of justice other charges brought 
against him ; the consequence, therefore, must be, that, while 
matters remain as they are, however his friends may proclaim 
their conviction of his innocence, he will never be able to hold up 
his head in society. Innocent he may be — innocent I trust he is ; 
but he must vindicate his innocence by demanding a rigorous scru- 
tiny into his coriduct, or the world will draw inferences from his 
silence and his pusillanimity, fatal to his character as a man and a 
British ofticer. There is not, I would fain hope, another officer 
holding a commission in the Queen's or the Company's service, of 
so mean a spirit as not to demand a searching investigation into 
charges so deeply affecting his honour as a gentleman, and his 
integrity as a man. The conduct of Colonel Ovans, in reference 


to these latter charges, is in keeping with his conduct at the last 
court. He was then pleased to write a letter to the Secretary of 
the Court of Directors — a private letter, addressed to " My dear 
Melvill" — in which he disputed the right of this court to examine 
and try him for acts done in his official capacity. From this place 
I tell Colonel Ovans, that his letter was an insult to the body whose 
servant he is. I tell him that every charter ever granted to this 
Company expressly empowers me, and every proprietor of stock, to 
inquire into, and try the acts of our own servants ; and if, in the 
opinion of the majority, they have offended, we have the power to 
censure, degrade, or dismiss. This power extends also to those who 
sit behind that bar, the whole of whom may be ejected from their 
seats by this body, if deemed incompetent or unworthy to fill their 
present situations. Let us hear no more, then, of our servants not 
being amenable to us ; and let us pluck up spirit enough to rebuke 
the insolence of those who, while they eat our bread, set our author- 
ity at defiance. I have already mentioned another reason for bringing 
these papers under the consideration of this court, — namely, that 
they have been lately the subject of a debate in the House of Com- 
mons ; and as what passes in that House on Indian matters has ever 
been regarded as entitled to the consideration of this body, I trust 
I shall not be considered indecorous if, after the proceedings of that 
House in regard to these papers have been a month before the 
world, I make them the subject of free animadversion here. In 
fact, whatever, may be the forms and fictions of that House, it is 
the undoubted right of the people of this country to know what is 
said by those who represent them. On the occasion to which I 
refer, the Deputy Chairman of the Court of Directors spoke, and 
was listened to, as the organ of this body, and as the exponent of 
our views and feelings on this question. Now, as that gentleman 
neither represented me, nor the great majority of those who have 
delivered their opinions in this house ; and as I am prepared to 
prove that every important statement which he made was false, in 
fact — 

Mr. Makriott. — I rise to order. What right has the honour- 
able proprietor to call the statements of a member of this court false ? 


Mr. Thompson. — I do not use the word in any offensive sense. 
(Cries of oh, oh, and hear.) Honourable proprietors seem anxious 
that I should not explain. They accuse me of being out of order, 
and will not let me qualify my meaning. I say false, in fact ; I 
impute not wilful falsehood, but deliberately say, that every import- 
ant statement made by the honourable deputy was at variance with 
the real facts, as brought out in these papers. This I am prepared 
to prove, and do here pledge myself to prove. I will venture to tell 
the honourable deputy, that he dare not make the speech here, 
which he is reported to have made in the House of Commons. He 
dare not do this, because the volumes of evidence before us, which, 
happily for the cause of truth, many in this court know how to use, 
would supply a direct and perfect contradiction to all his statements. 
(Hear, hear.) Those who have signed the requisition, and who 
see their arguments, their facts, their efforts, and even their motives, 
most grossly misrepresented in the speech of that gentleman, deem 
it due to themselves to repudiate that speech, and to declare that it 
was calculated to produce an impression, the very opposite of that 
which a statement of the real case must produce upon the mind of 
every honest man. We wish to know, too, how many of the direc- 
tors are prepared to say that Mr. Hogg acted as their organ in the 
House of Commons ; and how many of them will have the courage 
to come forward and support the speech to which I have referred. 

I will now state, generally, the contents of the printed papers I 
hold in my hand. — I will examine the character of the man whose 
petitions to the Bombay Government, to Mr. Warden, and to this 
court, are contained in them. — I will then look at the nature of the 
charge which this petitioner has brought against Colonel Ovans and 
Ballajee Punt Nathoo. I will place before you the proofs tendered 
by him in support of those charges. I will give you the answers of 
the accused, and the decisions of the Bombay Government upon the 
case; and I will finally call upon you to deliberate upon the course 
which, under all the circumstances, you are required to adopt, in 
justice to the petitioner, to the individuals whose characters he has 
impugned, and to yourselves as a court of review, sitting in judg- 
ment upon the acts of your servants, and the decisions of one of the 
governments of India. The papers are a Return to an order of the 


honourable the House of Commons, dated 10 June, 1845; for copies 
" of all correspondence between J. Warden, Esq., agent for Sirdars 
in the Deccan, and Lieutenant-Colonel C. Ovans, late resident at 
Sattara, and the Government of Bombay, relating to certain charges 
preferred against Ballajee Narrain Nathoo, of Sattara, by Krush- 
najee Sadasew Bhidey, formerly of Sattara, and now of Bombay. 
Of all petitions and correspondence addressed to the Government 
of Bombay by Krushnajee Sadasew Bhidey, with the minutes of the 
Government thereupon, and the answers returned to the same. Of 
all correspondence between the Bombay Government and the Court 
of Directors of the East India Company, on the subject to which the 
above papers relate." 

These papers refer mainly to the contents of nine petitions, written 
by one individual. Seven of these are addressed to the Governor 
in Council of Bombay — one of them is to Mr. John Warden, a 
British judge at Poonah, within the Bombay presidency, and Agent 
for the Adjustment of Claims upon Sirdars in the Deccan — and one 
of them is a petition to the Court of Directors. The writer is a 
Brahmin, of the name of Krushnajee Sadasew Bhidey, by pro- 
fession a carcoon, or writer — and is the man who is now on all hands 
admitted to be the writer of the petition know n by the name of the 
petition of Girjabaee the mother of Govind Rao, the Dewan, or 
minister of the deposed Raja of Sattara. I believe I am the person 
who first brought the name of this individual before the Court of 
Proprietors. It was on the occasion of a debate in the month of 
July, 1842, and I did so for the purpose of showing that the Govern- 
ment of Bombay had been imposed upon, in reference to the author- 
ship of the petition called Girjabaee's, and that Colonel Ovans had 
for eleven months withheld from his government the proofs which 
were in his possession, of the utter falsehood of the information he 
had previously supplied — proofs which, in his own words, " were 
conclusive and satisfactory." When 1 first disclosed these facts, 
and brought this charge against Colonel Ovans, I was subjected to a 
series of obstructions from the Chair, and of indecent interruptions 
on the part of some of the directors, and many of their supporters, 
which, I am happy to say, have never been repeated — and I hope 
never will. (Hear, hear.) My information was at that time drawn 


from the manuscript papers laid before Parliament. Since that 
period, the printed papers which have appeared, have demonstrated 
the entire and absolute accuracy of every assertion which I then 
made, in reference to this part of the subject. My charge against 
Colonel Ovans, which I took special care should come to his know- 
ledge, led that person to prefer a request to the Court of Directors, 
that they would instruct their law officers to institute a prosecution 
against me for the utterance of an atrocious libel. This request was 
warmly seconded by the Bombay Government. Having waited 
three years for this prosecution — having afforded the directors, and 
Colonel Ovans every opportunity of bringing an action against me 
■ — either in this country or in India — having repeated and reiterated 
my charge — having invited Colonel Ovans to meet me in this court 
• — having, in fact, done all in my power to bring about a judicial in- 
quiry into the accusation I have preferred, I may, without being 
suspected of a desire to shrink from a prosecution, speak of the 
request of Colonel Ovans, and of the recommendation of the Bom- 
bay Government as they deserve. How, then, stands the case ? 
Colonel Ovans, a servant of the East India Company, reads in the 
Sun newspaper, a speech delivered by me in this court. He there 
finds himself accused of keeping back from his Government most 
important information which had reached his hands, while officially 
employed under that Government — information which he had been 
specially and repeatedly charged to supply, if it came within his 
reach. What does he do ? He furnishes under his own seal the 
proof of the accuracy of the charge, and at the same time asks, 
that the person who has preferred it be prosecuted for libel — and 
by whom ? By the solicitor and standing counsel of the very body 
of which the accuser is a member, and of which Colonel Ovans is 
the servant ! The first thing that strikes the mind in looking at this 
aifair, is the supreme insolence of Colonel Ovans, in calling in 
question my right, as a member of this body, to look into the con- 
duct of one of its own officers. The next thing is, the pitiable 
ignorance of the man, in supposing that the law officers, who are paid 
by this company, are retained to prosecute their own employers ; 
and that we, who are their clients, are to send them into court to 
get a verdict against ourselves as atrocious libellers. But what 

B 2 


makes the whole affair still more ridiculous, is, that the arrogance, 
the stupidity, and the insolence of Colonel Ovans, are all warmly 
seconded by the Governor of Bombay, Sir George Arthur, and his 
colleague in the council, Mr, Anderson. Were ever folly and in- 
fatuation carried so far before ? The directors appear to have been 
better advised ; and Colonel Ovans, since he found out his mistake, 
seems to have been as deficient in courage, as before he was in wis- 
dom, and to have thought that the better part of valour was discre- 
tion. I cannot find, however, that the directors have ever said a 
word in condemnation, either of the foolishness, or the impudence 
of the request sent them to prosecute one of their constituents for 
having dared to bring a charge against a servant of this company, 
and for having aggravated his offence by proving that charge to be 
true. I know what they ought to have done. They ought to have 
told Sir George Arthur, what I now tell him, that he is unfit to be 
the Governor of Bombay, while he so strangely misunderstands the 
duties which the law-advisers of this company have to perform. 
Mr. Loftus Wigram would surely laugh to scorn an instruction to 
prosecute a member of this court, for an act done in the discharge 
of his solemn duty. As well might a servant of the Crown, abroad, 
and a petty governor, write home to request the Cabinet of the 
Queen to instruct the Attorney-General to prosecute a member of the 
Imperial Legislature, for standing up in his place, and exposing a 
piece of official delinquency, committed by the petitioners them- 
selves. I have already said that Colonel Ovans has himself proved 
the truth of the charge I made against him in 1842, and I give him 
and the directors notice, that until that charge is met, or Colonel 
Ovans is disposed of as he merits, I will not cease to bring it for- 
ward again and again, both here and everywhere else, where an 
opportunity is afforded me of exposing, with effect, so criminal an 
act on the part of a servant of this company. All here are aware 
that, to this hour. Colonel Ovans has made no reply to this charge ; 
neither has any explanation been offered by any other person, save 
the contemptible one which was volunteered at our last meeting by a 
gentleman near me. In the course of my remarks, I shall show 
you the importance of the evidence which Colonel Ovans concealed, 
I shall show you, that while it was in his desk. Sir Robert Grant 


was writing Minutes, founded upon facts, which the evidence in 
Colonel Ovans's possession has subsequently proved to be false. I 
shall show you, that by this embezzlement of evidence, the authorities 
both in India and England were deceived, and that untilJuly, 1842, 
when I produced the deposition of Krushnajee in^this place, every 
one of us had been deceived in regard to the history of the most 
important document connected with the case of the Raja of Sattara. 
"When I consider that the character, the liberty, and the fortunes of 
a large number of persons were all sacrificed in consequence of 
this act, and that the Raja was eventually dethroned upon exparte 
evidence which Colonel Ovans had the means of proving to be 
utterly false, I cannot but conclude that a crime of the most heinous 
nature was committed — a crime against truth, humanity, and justice. 
My right hand shall forget its cunning, and my tongue cleave to the 
roof of my mouth, ere I will cease to denounce this act of atrocious 
cruelty and injustice. The history of this dark transaction is neces- 
sary, in order to the right understanding of the papers now before 

On the 6th of March, 1837 — so say the records of the Bombay 
Government — a packet was received through the post, addressed 
to the Governor in Council. Its contents consisted of a petition, 
purporting to emanate from a lady of rank, the mother of the 
Raja's Dewan, who had been arrested on a charge of conspiring 
with his highness for treasonable purposes, entertained against 
the British Government. The document bore date the 13th of 
December, 1836, and professed to be a revelation of a guilty and 
bloody-minded plot, into which the Raja and twelve other per- 
sons had entered, for the destruction of the British, and the over- 
throw of their power in India. At the time it is stated to have 
been received, General Lodwick was the Resident at Sattara. 
Its existence was concealed from him — Sir Robert Grant being at 
the time engaged in the most disgraceful and degrading stratagems, 
to effect the removal of that just-minded officer. At last. General 
Lodwick was ousted from his post. The history of this shameful 
proceeding will form part of my case at the next Court. Colonel 
Ovans was appointed on the 6th of June, and went from Bombay 
+0 Poonah, to receive his instructions, public and private, from 


Sir Robert Grant. When there, he was placed in communication 
with Ballajee Punt Nathoo, who accompanied the new Resident 
to Sattara ; and ever, afterwards, acted the part of his familiar. 
For a knowledge of the nature of the private interviews at 
Poonah, between the Governor, the Resident, and the Brahmin, 
we must await the disclosures of the great day, when the secrets 
of all hearts will be revealed. On the 13th of June, Colonel 
Ovans received his written instructions, and as these expressly, 
and most emphatically, refer to the pretended petition of Girja- 
baee, I shall lay a portion of them before you. The Secretary to 
Government says : — 

" 7. / am now instructed to call your particular attention to the inclosed 
original letter, purporting to have been addressed to Government by 
Girjabace, the mother of Govind Rao Dervan, at present a state prisoner at 

" 8. This letter is dated the 13th of December, 1836, but was not re- 
ceived by Government until the 6th of March last. It contains information 
of the most important nature connected with the designs of his Highness 
the Raja against the British Government, and names various persons in his 
confidence, who, according to the writer, participated in those designs. 

" 9. The first step to be taken is, to authenticate this document. The 
mode of doing this must be left to your judgment and discretion. You 
may either seek a private interview nnth the writer, and examine her for that 
purpose, or you may, in the first instance, employ some person in whom 
you can repose full confidence to communicate with her on the subject." 

With these instructions Colonel Ovans arrived at Sattara on 
the loth of June, and entered upon his duties the following day. 
What was the pirst act of Colonel Ovans in Sattara .>* Hear 
it, you, who are never weary in trumpeting the praises of this 
man — you, who think he deserves boundless thanks, and are now 
screening him from the effects of an inquiry into the charges of 
Krushnajee. His first act was the subornation of evidence. 
Here is the proof, gainsay it if you can. Read the letter of 
Captain Durack, on p. 641 of the printed papers, and the depo- 
sitions and documents accompanying that letter. You will there 
find, that for some time before the arrival of Colonel Ovans, a 
villain of the name of Bhow Lely, whose crimes I shall hereafter 


have occasion more fully to disclose, had been offering to Lieu- 
tenant Home, (see his letter, p. 613,) to procure some treasonable 
papers with the seal of the Raja, upon condition of being hand- 
somely rewarded. This infamous proposition Lieutenant Home 
communicated to Captain Durack, who, on the arrival of Colonel 
Ovans, immediately told that officer, who — will it be believed? — 
without knowing the man who had thus proffered to sell his 
master — without making a single inquiry — intent only upon the 
accomplishment of that for which General Lodwick had been 
declared unfit, gave instant " authority" to Captain Durack " to 
advance the sum of 200 rupees, to pay the expenses of Bhow 
Lely's trip to the place where the papers were said to be, also 
to pass a note to the effect, that he (Bhow Lely) would be after- 

Such was the commencement of the iniquitous career of this Bri- 
tish officer at Sattara. We are also informed by Captain Durack, 
that when that officer reported, that Bhow Lely had not redeemed 
the promise made by him, when the money was paid, he was told 
by Colonel Ovans to give him another trial, as he might yet be 
useful to the Government. The proof of this transaction rests, 
not alone on the evidence of natives, but upon the testimony of 
two British officers, and the admission of Colonel Ovans himself; 
and here we have letters, receipts, and promises, all demonstrating 
the committal of one of the most cruel and nefarious acts. Let it 
then be kept in mind, that the first act of Colonel Ovans, as 
Resident at Sattara, was the subornation of Bhow Lely, by the 
payment of 200 rupees, and the promise of a future reward, pro- 
portionate to the value of his services — an act disgraceful to 
Colonel Ovans, as a man, and an Englishman ; and infamous as 
the act of a British officer, and the professed adviser of the Raja. 
On the 24th of September, I will give you such evidence on this 
subject, as would lead any court of justice in the world to return 
a verdict of guilty. 

To return to the letter of instructions, and the petition of Gir- 
jabaee. On the 24th of June — one week from the commencement 
of his duties — Colonel Ovans wrote a letter to the Government, 
Baying, that he was " doing all in his power to discover the writer 


of the petition," and in which he dwelt upon his great anxiety in 
the matter; regarding it as superseding, in importance, every 
other branch of the inquiry. In the same letter he says : — 

" I beg most respectfully to propose that the Dcwan (Govind Rao, the 
son of Girjabaee, the alleged author of the petition,) be sent immediately 
under (juard to Ahmcdiui(/f/ur, and placed in strict confinement there ; that 
he only be attended by his own servant, and that all other intercourse with 
him be for the present prohibited. 

" It is to be hoped that this measure, if adopted, may serve to show that 
the rumours of Govind Rao's return are without foundation, and this being 
felt, his mother and his other friends may be induced to come forward and 
disclose all they know as the only means of assisting him. But whatever 
may be the result, the effect of this step should certainly be tried without 
loss of time." 

There is something about this transaction, not only most suspi- 
cious, but, as it strikes my mind, most dark and diabolical. Go- 
vind Rao was at this time at Poonah, living under mild restraint. 
This did not satisfy Colonel Ovans. His proximity to Sattara, 
and his present ability to communicate with his friends, appeared 
to Colonel Ovans to threaten the fate of the petition, and he must 
therefore be sent to a distance, and placed in strict and solitary 
confinement. At this point, I must be permitted to advert to what 
fell from the honourable the Deputy Chairman, in the course of 
his speech in the House of Commons. That honourable gentle- 
man stated, that the confession, which we say was extorted from 
Govind Rao, was a voluntary confession — volunteered before a 
magistrate, wholly unconnected with Sattara ; and that the coin- 
cidence between the facts stated in that confession, and the evi- 
dence taken in Sattara, was so remarkable, as to confirm most 
fully the truth of the latter. I shall now demonstrate, that in 
every sense of the word, that confession, so-called, was extorted — 
I will demonstrate still more — that it was a fabrication by others 
from beginning to end — that it was concocted at Sattara — that 
Colonel Ovans was the real author of it, and that he despatched 
a special emissary to Ahmednuggur, to obtain the signature of 
Govind Rao. 

That you may have all the facts, in this most important case, 

before you, I -will read a passage descriptive of tlie behaviour 
of Govind Rao, when he was first informed of the charge 

Mr. Weeding rose to order, and contended that Mr. Thompson 
was bound to adhere strictly to the papers then under discussion, 
and could not legitimately introduce the matter to which he had 

Mr. Lewis. I also think that, in this discussion, we should 
adhere strictly to the topics brought before us by the newly 
jjrinted papers ; but I must, at the same time, say, that the obser- 
vations of the hon. Proprietor (Mr. Thompson) bear directly, 
and in a most important manner, upon a very material circum- 
stance, expressly referred to in these papers, namely, the confes- 
sion of Govind Rao. The mover, as it appears to me, is collecting 
together the facts which bear upon this essential point, and it is 
highly necessary, and strictly proper, that he should do so ; as it 
would be quite impossible to place the facts now before us, in an 
intelligible point of view, without showing their relation to others 
which have been antecedently stated. I beg, therefore, that he 
may be permitted to proceed without interruption. 

Mr. PoTNDER. I must be permitted to state, that I think the 
observations of Mr. Thompson are so particularly and plainly ap- 
propriate to the point, of the papers generally, which in a case 
like this must be considered (jeneralUj, and not scparatehj, that I 
trust he will receive the sanction of the chair, in proceeding with 
his address. 

Mr. WiGRAM. Sir, — I am sure that neither you, nor any mem- 
ber of the Court of Directors, would wish to place any improper 
restriction upon Mr. Thompson. It is true we are met for the 
consideration of the contents of certain papers, and are bound to 
confine ourselves to what is relevant to them; but still, some lati- 
tude must be allowed to the honourable Proprietor in the discus- 
sion, as an allusion to former papers may be necessary for the 
illustration of those now under notice. Having said this, I must 
also recall to the recollection of the honourableProprietor the fact, 
that it has been several times agreed by this bod)', that it is inex- 
pedient to go again into the general question relating to Sattara. 


He will, therefore, I doubt not, see the propriety of confining 
his observations within as narrow a compass as is compatible with 
the fair consideration of the papers now brought immediately 
under our notice. 

Mr. Thompson. I thank the hon. proprietor who has last spoken 
for pointing out to me the course which I ought to pursue. I shall 
make no references to other papers, which are not essential to the 
right understanding of those before us. In the papers just printed, 
I find a declaration made by Govind Rao, that the document called 
his confession was extorted from hira. I also find documents in- 
tended to prove that it was not extorted. I also find in the public 
journals a report of a speech in Parliament, made by the Deputy Chair- 
man, upon the subject of these papers, in which the confession of 
Govind Rao is alluded to, and strongly dwelt upon. It is, therefore, 
strange that I cannot touch upon the true history of this confession 
without being called to order by an ever-officious gentleman (Mr. 
Weeding) who sits near me. If that gentleman, who is so fond of 
paying compliments to the Chairman on all occasions, would just 
leave him to judge of the pertinence or otherwise of a speaker's 
remarks, he would be acting much more consistently with his own 
Conservative doctrines, and with his frequent eulogiums upon the 
wisdom and prerogatives of the chair. (Hear, and laughter.) I for- 
give him, however, since it is probable he does not perceive the 
bearing of what I say ; or, perceiving it, is aware how completely it 
will destroy the fabric of evidence which he and others have built 
upon this most rotten foundation. 

I shall now return to the passage I was about to read, descriptive 
of the manner in which Govind Rao received the first intimation of 
his being suspected by the Government of treasonable designs. You 
are aware that he was the favourite of the Raja, and was accused 
by the two sepoys of taking them to the palace of the Raja on the 
8th of September, 1836, were they were told by his Highness, that 
he, the Raja, was in league with other princes to cut the throats of 
the British, and that they, the sepoys, must help in the bloody 
work. Well, during the sitting of the secret commission, in the fol- 
lowing October, one of the witnesses examined was the native agent 
of the Resident, whose name was Ballajee Kasee Khibey. This 


man, having been duly sworn, deposed as follows— (p. 334 of the 
Par. Papers) : — 

" About twenty-five days ago, I went on business to bis Highness's 
palace. After talking about Akulcote affairs, his Highness, addressing 
himself to all present, observed, ' I intend to make no change in the ex- 
isting order of things, and have no idea of entering into any war con- 
spiracy with the Company's government ; people say I send for the mis- 
tresses of the officers, and for the sepoys, and conspire with them; I am 
not, however, such a fool ; what advantage would there be in my doing so ? 
my heart is pure.' 

" Again : — Were you present when the Resident called upon his High- 
ness to give up the Dewan ? — Yes ; I went with the Resident, but remained 
below. When about to leave, the Resident called me up, and I heard him 
say to his Highness, ' Send me Govind Row Dewan, Appa Mohiteh, the 
* relation of the Raja of Nagpore, and Purushram the perfumer.' His High- 
ness asked, where was Purushram to be found; and I told him at his shop 
in the same street, and nearly opposite to the Dewan's. The Resident then 
went away, and told his Highness to send the persons in two hours, and 
ordered me to come with them. 

" What occurred after the Resident's departure ? — His Highness sent 
for Govind Row Dewan, who was in his palace. I was present when he 
came. His Highness said, 'The Resident has called you, as you are 
charged with conspiracy with the Company's sepoys, and the matter is to 
be inquired into.' The Dewan began to laugh, and all the rest of 
THE PEOPLE. At this time Purushram was brought by two sepoys, and his 
Highness asked his name and occupation, and whether he had attempted to 
seduce the sepoys. He denied it, and his Highness ordered him to be sent 
with tv)o sepoys to the Residency, His Highness asked Govind Row if he 
had eaten, and he said ' No.' He asked me whether he should be permitted 
to go home to c-t; and I made no objection, and he went. The Raja then 
returned to his bathing-room, and I went with him and many others. Appa 
Mohiteli now arrived, and on being told for what he had been sent, he denied 
all knowledge of what was charged against him. His Highness told me to go 
with Appa to the Dewan's house, and take them both to the Resident) . 
Whea he had finished eating, the Dewan got up, and, with my permission 
went alone to take leave of the R ja, and returned in a few minu*°j. 

" Of what caste is the Dewan, and what salary dot • he receive from the 
RaJaZ — He is of the same caste as myself. Ho is the person in charge of his 


Higbness's treasury, and is much employed about the Raja. His Highness is 
much attached to him. He receives 800 rupees per mensem, and a younger 
brother 100 rupees from the Maharaj. 

" How came you to permit the Devvan to pvocccd alone to his Highness? — 
He said ii was his Highness's order that he should talie leave of him before ho 

" Was the Devfan at all agitated when he was first told the cause of his 
being required at the Residency ? — He did not appear to be at all downcast 
or alarmed. [The witness here states that next day he understood from a 
carcoon, named Bugwunt Row, who was present, that when Govind Row 
went to take leave of his Highness, no private intercourse passed between 
them, the Dewan merely put his head to the ground and took his leave.]" 

You cannot fail to perceive the object I have in view in drawing 
your attention to this passage in the evidence of the native agent. 
It is to fix your attention upon the manner of Govind Rao and all 
present, upon his being informed that he was required by the Re- 
sident to answer a charge of treason. You must all admit that it is 
not consistent with the constitution of human nature that a guilty 
man could hear of the detection of a plot so criminal as that 
in which Govind Rao was said to be engaged, and receive the 
tidings with a fit of laughter. 

I would point you also to the conduct of the Raja, and ask you if 
it was not that of a man perfectly conscious of his own innocence. 
Instead of hesitating, or refusing to give up the persons applied 
for, he sends every one of them, even his own favourite minister, 
without a moment's delay to the British Resident — thereby disap- 
pointing all the speculations of Colonel Ovans and the Bombay 
authorities, who intended to make his refusal the pretext for filling 
Sattara with British soldiers, and to produce the fact as next to con- 
clusive proof of the guilt of the Raja. I repeat it — the scene de- 
scribed by the agent of the British Resident, is full of convincing 
evidence that neither the Raja nor his Dewan were imphcated in any 
plot against our Government. Their conduct was that of noble- 
minded men, conscious of their own innocence and integrity, and 
willing to face any accuser. (Cheers.) Little did they dream with 
whom they had to do. Govind Rao was immediately placed in con- 
finement. The prison of this man of rank — arrested on the evidence 


of two worthless sepoys, who have sincL- been proved to have been 
actuated by a malicious motive, and who upon their own admission 
are convicted of gross perjury — was an empty powder magazine. 
From this place Govind Rao was, after the commission, removed to 
Poonah, from whence, on the recommendation of Colonel Ovans, he 
was sent under a strong military escort to the distant fortress of 
Ahmednuggur. I will read you a short extract from the Go- 
vernment despatch, approving of the proposition of Colonel 
Ovans, that you may understand the nature of the degrading 
and infamous duties that are imposed upon English judges in India. 
All here know what is the high and independent position of a British 
judge, and what the duties are which he is called to discharge. 
Now, listen to the extract I am about to read from the letter of the 
Chief Secretary at Bombay to Colonel Ovans : — 

" The judge at Ahmednuggur has been further informed that it is not 
unlikely the friends of Govind Rao, at Satlarah and Poonah, ivill endeavour 
to communicate with him Oi/ letter, and, at the same time instructed 
quietly to adopt measures to intercept any communications of this hind, 
and forward them to Government." 

Here, then, we seeaBritish judge called upon to play the detesta- 
ble part of a mean and paltry spy, and to become the quiet inter- 
ceptor of the letters of a prisoner placed under his charge. Not only 
is Govind Rao prohibited all intercourse with any person save his 
own servant, but his letters are way-laid and forwarded to Govern- 
ment. It is well worthy of notice, that though this wretched 
system of interception went on throughout the Bombay territory for 
yearS) the Government never obtained so much as a fragment of in- 
formation hinting at any plot or conspiracy against the British Go- 
vernment. I defy the Deputy Chairman and the whole East India 
Company, with all their myrmidons to boot, to produce one inter- 
cepted letter that in the most remote degree refers to any treasona- 
ble design on the part of the Raja or any of his authorised servants. 
This fact alone is a convincing proof of innocence, when we consider 
that for years the parties were utterly ignorant of the felonious 
proceedings of the Government, and employed the public mail 
as their almost invariable mode of conveyance. Did the Deputy 


Chairman tell the House of Commons of this hateful practice, and 
of its utter failure to produce a tittle of evidence against the Raja ? 
No, he did not. I confess that while I listened to the mass of fic- 
tions and fabrications which was uttered in the House of Commons, 
in the presence of persons who, from their ignorance of this subject, 
were unable to answer them, I felt that I could willingly have given 
six months of my life to expose the attempt made to delude the Le- 
gislature and to defeat the ends of justice. (Cheers.) 

Thus far we have seen that Colonel Ovans assured the Go- 
vernment that he is doing all in his power to discover the writer of 
the petition. In his next letter, dated the 7th of July, he says 
that the removal of Govind Rao has had its effect, and that two per- 
sons in the confidence of the mother came to him privately by night, 
on the 5 th ; that after a good deal of conversation, they agreed to 
bring the mother with them the next night, and that she came ; that 
the petition was read to her, and that she admitted that its contents 
were true, but affirmed that she did not know the writer. The " two 
persons" said to have been with her, whose names are not given, but 
one of whom turns out to be Sukharam BuUal, her husband's 
brother, also state that the contents are perfectly true, but that they 
too, are ignorant of the writer. Such are the contents of the second 
letter, sent by Colonel Ovans to Bombay. On its receipt by the 
Governor, Sir Robert Grant, Colonel Ovans is told, in reply, 
to endeavour to obtain from Girjabaee a written statement. He is 
also told that he need not put the lady to the trouble to visit him 
again, but that he can depute some person to her, and that she can 
send her statement back by that agent. Bear in mind that this lady, 
Girjabaee, could not write ; and that, therefore, any person might 
give an unauthorized statement in her name. Nothing but a per- 
sonal interview, and the verbal attestation of the lady, could authen- 
ticate a document purporting to come from her. The Governor 
also directs, that a similar statement should be taken from the two 
persons who accompanied her in her visit to Colonel Ovans. In the 
same despatch, Colonel Ovans is told to find out the writer, and to 
get a deposition from him. Colonel Ovans, in his next letter, 
dated July 21st, says, that since the date of his former letter, of 
the 7tb, he haa been in constant communication with " the two per- 


sons," and that the consequence has been, that one of them, Sukha- 
rara Bullal, has brought him a statement from Girjabaee, in which 
she acknowledges that she was the author of the petition — that its 
contents were arranged by Sukharam Bullal, and that the actual 
writer of it was a man of the name of Mahdeo Fugery. This pre- 
tended deposition of Girjabaee is in the handwriting of Sukharam 
Bullal, and bears the name of no other witness. At the same time, 
Sukharam hands in a statement from himself, in which he confirms 
the truth of what is ascribed to Girjabaee. Now, turn to page 128 
of the printed papers, and you will find another person named as 
connected with this petition. Sir Robert Grant, in his well-known 
minute of the 5th of May, 1838, refers to a witness against the 
Raja, of the name of Vishnoo Kessoo Dewusteley. This man is the 
brother of Girjabaee, and consequently the maternal uncle of Govind 
Rao. At the time we are now adverting to, he was living under 
the roof of Girjabaee, in Sattara. " This man," says the Gover- 
nor, writing in 1838, upon the information supplied by Colonel 
Ovans up to that time, " was one of the advisers of the petition 
of Girjabaee ;" and in the same minute he states, that the history of 
Girjabaee's petition will be found in the letters of Colonel Ovans, 
dated July 7th and 21st, and August 12th, 1837. Let us proceed. 
Having obtained the two documents written by Sukharam Bullal, 
Colonel Ovans writes to say, that the evidence is now all but com- 
plete — that the petition of Girjabaee may be taken as Govind Rao's 
own confession, and it now becomes important to discover whether 
he may be disposed to confirm it. He therefore proposes to send a 
confidential person to Ahmednuggur, to confer with Govind Rao, 
and asks the Government to give orders to the judge to attend to any 
communication which he (Ovans) may make upon this point. Fol- 
lowing this letter to Bombay, we find the Governor, Sir Robert 
Grant, writing a minute in reference to it, (July 24, page 84,) in 
which he says:— > 

" / see no reason to doubt the truth of the history now given hy the uncle 
and mother of Govind Rao of the ■petition forwarded to Government in the 
name of the former. It is, however, I conceive, of the Jirst importance 
that the writer of the letter, named ' Mahdeo Fugery,' should be examined, 


and Colonel Ovans should be vetiuested to endeavour to procuic; liis <it- 
tendance at Saitara for that purpose. Orders should be immediately sent 
to the judge at Aiimednuggur to permit any person deputed by Col. Ovans 
to have free access to Govind Rao." 

"What next ? On the <3rd of August a person is despatched 
from Sattara to Ahmednuggur to get a confession from Govind 
Rao. Who is that person ? lie is Sukharam BuUal. Giving 
him five days to reach his destination, he would arrive on the 
evening of the 7th or the morning of the Sth. Bear in mind how 
deeply implicated this agent is. Hitherto, he is the man who 
has given all the information to Col. Ovans, and his own credit and 
future respectability depend upon his obtaining from his nephew 
a confirmation of the truth of the alleged petition. What takes 
place at Ahmednuggur? Mr. Hutt shall tell. That gentle- 
man, who is the ofircer instructed to intercept the letters 
of Govind Rao, Avriting to the chief secretary to Government 
on the 21th of August, says, "that by desire of Colonel Ovans, 
Sukharam Bullal has for many days had free access to the 
state prisoner, his object being to induce him to disclose what 
he knows regarding the late proceedings at Sattara ; and he 
has been successful. I had an interview with Govind Rao this 
morning, at which he presented me with the enclosed, written, 
as he assures me, with his' own hand, and which I had previously 
given him the means of preparing. He now seems willing 
to communicate to me all he knows, and I have no doubt of 
being able to obtain from him any information Government may 
desire." Then follows the confession of Govind Rao. Here, 
then, we have the history of the petition and the confession, 
down to the 16th of August, 1838 ; documents upon which nume- 
rous persons were imprisoned, volumes of evidence taken, volu- 
minous reports sent in to Government, elaborate minutes written, 
and despatches sent to the Directors at home. Govind Rao is said 
to have furnished the information ; his mother, Girjabaee, is said 
to have authorised the petition ; Vishnoo Kessoo Derwusteley, the 
maternal uncle, is said to have advised itj Sukharam Bullal, the 
paternal uncle, is said to have dictated it; Mahdeo Fugery, a 


Hindostanee writer, is said to have written it ; Girjabaee is said to 
have visited Col. Ovans by night, and to have acknowledged its 
truth, and then to have sent a deposition stating the circumstances 
under which it was prepared; and, finally, the confession of 
Govind Rao is declared to be genuine and unconstrained. Let us 
now test these facts. And, first, as to Girjabaee, the alleged 
author of it. In these recently printed papers we have two 
voluntary declarations, made by this Brahmin lady in the most 
solemn manner. In the first of these, made on the 11th of June, 
1838, Girjabaee affirms that she never gave a petition, nor said a 
\pord about one ; and that if there be any such document pur- 
porting to emanate from her, it is a fabrication and a forgery. 
In the second declaration, dated the 19th of February, 1843, six 
weeks before her death, which was on the 3rd of April, this lady, 
in the presence of witnesses, affirmed as follows: — 

" When my son was imprisoned by the honouralle Company, some 
unprincipled men, taking advantage of my situation, wrote an urzec (pe- 
tition) in my name to the Resident at Sattara. My son hearing of it, asked 
me whether I had authorized this proceeding, to which I replied, that not 
only had I never thought of writing such a petition, but expressed my 
utter astonishment at such a piece of imposition, and told him to be assured 
that I had never directly nor indirectly sanctioned such a transaction, and 
that it was a gross piece of forgery. To impress this more strongly oti 
his mind, I took a solemn oath on the Tulsee leaf to that effect. My sou 
seemed perfectly satisfied, and must have written to you on this subject. 
I have myself written to you, in order that you should make the matter 
known as publicly and extensively as you possibly can. If I am ever 
asked or referred to on this subject, I shall certainly expose the whole 
piece of imposition to everybody. It is, perhaps, unnecessary for me to 
say that I could never sanction such a thing in the remotest degree. Once 
only, with the permission of his Highness the Raja, did I wait on the 
Resident, Colonel Ovans, in the daytime hetnren the hanrs of eleven and 
twelve, and this was for the express purpose of soliciting him to prevent 
my son being removed from Ahmednuggur, as I had heard it was in con- 
templation to have him sent to another prison. Bad as the former was, I 
preferred he should remain there to his being deported elsewhere; and it 
was simply to prevent this, that I was induced to see the Resident. I 
never entered upon any other subject whatever with liim." 



Thus much for Girjabaee. Next with regard to her alleged 
adviser, Vishnoo Kessoo Dewnsteley, This man, the maternal 
uncle of Govind Rao, and the own brother of Girjabaee, was a 
resident in the house of the latter at Sattara, until the dethrone- 
ment of the Raja. Not only is he represented as the adviser of 
his sister in the matter of the petition, but we also find in the 
parliamentary papers, a deposition ascribed to him, containing 
evidence on the Goa plot. This man, who is said to be a witness 
against the Raja, is one of those who have accompanied his 
Highness into exile, and is still with him at Benares. Until the 
arrival of the printed papers at Benares, Vishnoo was ignorant 
of the fact that his name had ever been mentioned among the 
witnesses against his master, and on making the discovery, he 
sent the following attested declaration to Rnngoo Bapojee : — 

Translation of a Letter from Vishnoo Kesso Dewusteley, 


Benares, Nov. I6th, 1843. 
I have heard, since my arrival here, the following strange proceedings 
done in my name. It appears that at the instigation of Ballajee Punt 
Nathoo and others, the Resident, Colonel Ovans, wrote to the Bombay 
Government, which transmitted the same to the Court of Directors, who 
have published it in a great book, which latter you have sent to his 
Highness the Raja ; to the efTtJCt, that I have given my evidene against 
the Raja on the Goa charge of conspiracy. This is mentioned in Governor 
Grant's minute of 5lh May, 1838, para. 81, and my name is given as 
No. 40 in the list of the witnesses. Now, his Highness has asked me 
how it happens that my name is brought forward as a witness against him- 
self. / 710W declare to you that I am certainly the maternal uncle of 
Govind How, and brother to Gecrjahhaee, but that I ever gave a petition 
in her name to the Resident, or ever appeared as a witness in the Goa 
charge, or ituleed, that I ever had any communication whatever with Bal- 
lajee Punt Nathoo or the Resident on the subject, I most solemnly de- 
clare to be false. I write this that you may pul)lish the same wherever 
you like in England, and I have had the declaration duly attested. His 
Highness has commanded me to communicate the same to the English 
Agent here, and to the Judge of Benares, which I have done. 

(Signed) Vishnoo Kessoo Dewusteley. 


Now for Sukharam Biillnl. We have seen tliat he first declared 
that he knew nothing respecting the authorship of the petition, 
and that he afterwards avowed himself the dictator of it, and 
the employer of Mahdeo Fiigery. To dispose of this man, we 
must come to the evidence given by Krushnajee on the 7th of 
September, 1837, which Col. Ovans was guilty of concealing from 
his government for nearly twelve months. A few days after the 
arrival of Sukharam from Ahmednuggur, the real writer of the 
petition presented himself before Col. Ovans, and gave a circum- 
stantial narrative of all the circumstances connected with the writing 
of that document, furnishing at the time incontestible evidence that 
it was written with his own hand, and that his employer was a man 
of the name of Lukshmun Punt Shekdar. Then we have another 
deposition from the villain Sukharam, in which he confesses that 
what he had said before was a lie, that there was no such person 
as Mahdeo Fugery, and that Krushnajee was the real writer of 
the petition. And then we have the proof obtained by Col. 
Ovans himself, but concealed with the rest, that the petition was 
sent from Punderpore, and not from Poonah. Then, finally, we 
have the confession of Govind Rao. The deputy-chairman, as 
I have said, told the House of Commons that this was a voluntary 
confession, and that he laid great stress npon what he called the 
remarkable coincidence between the evidence taken in Sattara, 
and the disclosures made by Govind Rao, a hundred miles away. 
Not one word did he say of the visit of that arch-fiend Sukharam, 
who was sent expressly for the purpose of getting this petition, 
and who was at least sixteen days before he succeeded. Oh, no, 
he had not the honesty to do this. The confession, forsooth ! was 
the spontaneous outpouring of an overburthened mind to Mr. 
Hutt, who took down what was said ; whereas, it was a statement 
prepared at the dictation of Sukharam, and presented, cut and 
dried, to the judge. It is a proof of the pettifogging spirit in 
which matters are done in India, that the only evidence which 
these printed papers contain to rebut the host of charges brought 
against various persons, is a long letter from Mr. Hutt, and a lot 
of depositions from gaol-keepers, to prove that the dungeon in 
which Govind Rao was confined was not rfar/i. I care not whether 

c 2 


it was light or dark. I will not contend about the matter. He 
was in a fortress, and in a prison, and in a dungeon. He was cut 
off from all communication with the world, and with his dearest 
friends. He was sixteen days constantly subjected to the visits, 
the importunities, and the subtle insinuations of the base wretch 
Sukharam. They were alone, — the one a prisoner, the other a 
tempter. Who can tell what passed at these interviews ? The 
sole object of the emissary was to get Govind Rao to support by 
a confession the story that had been hatched in Sattara. Return 
without that confession he would not. Who can tell what passed 
during these solitary interviews with Govind Rao ? What hopes 
were raised, what fears were excited, what apprehensions were 
kindled, what promises were made ? Will any man in this place tell 
me that this was a voluntary confession ! Is there a person here with 
the hardihood to assert, that this confession ought to be received as 
valid evidence ? Would it not be scouted from every court of law 
in Europe ? (Hear.) Sir, I will put to you, and the other direc- 
tors present, a question bearing upon this point. What did you 
do when Colonel Ovans was carried off by the Mahrattas, and 
confined in a hill fort, in the Kolapore territory ? Did you sanc- 
tion what he said and did, while in confinement ; or did you 
declare all his acts null and void, in consequence of the restraint 
under which they were done ? I call upon you to answer that 
question — yes or no. You are silent. Well, I will venture to tell 
this Court, that when your able and zealous officer was released 
from that confinement, you repudiated every act done by him 
during the time. Deny this if you can ; and if you cannot, then, 
as honest men, say what is the worth of that miserable document, 
which you call the confession of Govind Rao. Why, Sir, when 
this confession came home, there should have arisen from the 
twenty-four Directors, the six "outs," and the whole of the 
Proprietors, a burst of honest indignation against the infamous 
conduct of the Bombay Government. But, sir, to complete the 
demolition of this petition and confession, we have two declara- 
tions made by Govind Rao, since his release from the fortress of 
Ahmednugger. The first of these, is a letter written to the 
Raja of Sattara, and dated the 27th of November, 1811, and is as 
follows : — 


" I have received a letter from the Vakeel in London, requiring me to 
state whether the story of my mother, Girjabaee, is true or false. I have 
sent an answer under date the I9th of this month, stating that Girjahaee 
never made the deposition attributed to her, and that tlw (Irposition rvhtch 
J made is also as/ahc as that stated to have been made hi/ her. I have, 
however, received your Highness's orders to report, after questioning my 
mother, whether the story of her petition is true or false. 

" Agreeably to your commands I have questioned my mother, who 
denies all concern in that transaction. Hindoo women, moreover, never 
interfere in matters of state. The petition stated to have been made by my 
mother is entirely fabricated. 1 have further inquired as to the origin of 
the petition. It is the result of the intrigues of two Konkanee Brahmins 
of Punderpoor, and some enemies of mine in Sattara, and the two fabricators 
of this false petition have been pensioned by Government through the 
agency of Balajee Punt Nathoo. 

" This afFdir of the petition requires to be investigated : my mother has 
made no deposition before the Resident or any one else. As to the deposi- 
tion which I made at Ahmednuggur, I made it tvhen suffering great hardship, 
and when ready to die, and persuaded that justice could not be got ; then it 
was that I wrote what Mr, Hutt told me, hut my evidence and that of my 
mother are bothjalse. 

" Signed, Govind Rao." 

The second declaration is dated Sattara, 8th of January, 1812, 
and is as follows : — 

" I do hereby solemnly declare, that my mother, Girjabaee, did not pre- 
fer an urzee, or application, to the Resident, or the Government, but that 
it was given by Ballajee Punt Nathoo, through a karkoon, in the name of 
my mother, and the said karkoon now enjoys a pension under Ballajee 
Punt's aJmiuistration in Sattara ; that the depositioiiS which 1 gave were 
exacted from me while I was imprisoned in a dark dungeon at Ahmednng- 
gur ; that considering there was no justice with Government, and that if I 
did not adhere to what the Sirkar (British Government) wished me to do, 
I would lose my life ; I was therefore forced, in order to preserve my life, to 
give my statements in writing according to the instructions of Mr. Hutt. 
I do now state that it is entirely false and extortion. 

" Signed, Govind Rao." 

I have now laid before you the proofs of the absolute falsehood 
of everything which has been stated relative to the petition of 


Girjabaee, and the confession of Govind Rao. I have proved 
that Govind Rao never furnished the information given in the 
petition; I have proved that Girjabaee never had anything 
to do with it; I have proved that that lady never visited 
Colonel Ovans by night ; I have proved that Vishnoo Kessoo 
Dewasteley neither advised the petition, nor ever gave evi- 
dence against the Raja ; I have proved, that no man of the 
name of Mahdeo Fugery ever existed; I have proved, by 
Sukharam Ballall's own evidence, that all he told Colonel 
Ovans was false; I have proved that the confession was the result 
of a plot originated by Colonel Ovans himself, and carried out by 
his infamous agent ; and I have also brought before you the par- 
ties who really did write and send the document, called the peti- 
tion of Girjabaee. Now, at this stage of the proceedings, let me 
ask, if we have not already enough before us, to justify a demand for 
an immediate and full inquiry into the case of the Raja of Sattara? 
Have I not shown you that the information sent to this House 
was false ? Have I not demonstrated, that those elaborate minutes 
of your Governor, Sir Robert Grant, which you have so often 
cited against us, were written upon false information ? If I have 
done this, how can you refuse an inquiry ? How can you find 
peace in your minds, while the Raja of Sattara is pining away in 
exile ? Why will you allow iniquity to prosper, and an innocent 
man and his followers to perish in banishment under a load of false 
accusations. I shall now proceed to state, very briefly, the con- 
tents of the printed papers recently laid before Parliament. From 
these we learn, that on the arrival of Krushnajee in Sattara, in 
September, 1837 — to claim the reward of 1250 rupees, promised 
him for writing the petition — he was taken by one of the conspira- 
tors against the ex-Raja, to Ballajee Punt Nathoo, who informed 
him that he must remain quiet — communicate his information to 
no one but the Resident — and that he would then receive from the 
British Government the reward he had been promised, and also a 
pension, on the termination of the proceedings against the Raja. 
The conspirator now referred to was Abba Josee. This man had 
long been a spy, in the employment of the British Government. 
Though a subject of the Raja, he was in the pay of the Resident, 


and received a hundred rupees a month for his inldhgcnce. 
There were, as those present who have been at Sattara know, 
two men in the regular pay of our Government. The one told all 
that went on in the palace, and the other picked up the news 
in the public departments. Abba Josee was the spy in the 
public department. He is a near relative of Ballajee Punt, 
and when the latter was obliged to quit Sattara, Abba Josee re- 
mained behind as his correspondent and agent, for the accomplish- 
ment of his infernal purposes. It was this man, Abba Josee, the 
paid spy of the British Government, who picked up Krushnajee, 
and carried him to Ballajee Punt, who took him to Colonel Ovans. 
At this interview, he was told again by Colonel Ovans, that on 
condition of his remaining quiet, and not seeking the promised 
rewai'd from Girjabaee (to whom he was p eremp I or ilij forbidden to 
go) that he would be paid the full amount of his promised bribe ; 
and, in acknowledgment of what was due to him, and as an earnest 
of the fulfilment of the pledge then made, the sum of fifty rupees 
was paid him on the spot, and an allowance of five rupees a month 
assigned him, as long as his services might be required by the 
Resident. After the allowance of five rupees a month had been 
for some time paid, it was increased to eight rupees, and continued 
until the plots against the Raja had issued in his dethronement. 
Krushnajee was then sent for by Ballajee Punt, and oflered a 
hundred rupees, as compensation in full, for the services he had 
performed ; but was at the same time called upon to give a receipt 
for the 1250 rupees which he had been promised. This, Krush- 
najee refused to do, but gave a receipt for the 100 rupees actually 
paid. He continued to prosecute his claim to the remaining 1,100 
rupees, and the additional pension, until the close of IS 12 ; when, 
finding that his appHcations to Ballajee Punt and Colonel Ovans 
were without success, he presented his first petition to the Gover- 
nor in Council of Bombay. 

What I have now stated, is Krushnajee's own account. Let us 
see how much of this is admitted, and how much of it is denied. 
Ballajee Punt admits that Krushnajee was brought to him by 
Abba Josee. Col. Ovans admits that Krushnajee was brought to 
him by Ballajee Punt. Both admit the payment of the fifty rupees 


at the first interview; also the subsequent payment of five rupees, 
and eight rupees a month ; and also, the final donation of a hun- 
dred rupees when the Raja was dethroned, and Krushnajee was 
no longer wanted. Both, however, deny that Krushnajee was 
forbidden to go to Girjabaee ; and both deny that he was ever 
promised the payment of the 1250 rupees, or a pension. 

The first petition, which is dated 22nd December, 1842, contains 
the facts I have stated. — This petition was referred by Mr. 
Willoughby to Colonel Ovans, on the 7th of January, 1843. 
Colonel Ovans immediately handed the petition to Ballajee 
Punt Nathoo, who, on the 25th of January, gave a written denial 
of the truth of Krushnajee's statement ; upon which Colonel 
Ovans sent up a report to Government, dated February 7th, 1843, 
containing the admissions and the denials which I have already 
referred to. I will read the last paragraph of this report, for the 
purpose of illustrating Colonel Ovans's manner of disposing of 
unpleasant matters : " If Government is pleased to approve of 
what is above stated, / beg respectfully to suggest, that this 
petitioner be informed, that this is a matter in which the British 
Government will not interfere." In perfect conformity with 
the advice given in this paragraph, the Government of Bom- 
bay came to the following resolution on the 6th of April, 1843: 
" Ordered, that the petitioner be informed, that this is not a case 
m which the British Government ca?i interfere," — the very words, 
you will perceive, of Colonel Ovans. 

Before this answer reached Krushnajee, he had addressed ^ 
second petition to Government, and it is, in my opinion, of impor- 
tance that the information contained in this document should be 
before the Court. It is addressed to Mr. Willoughby, and dated 
14th of January, 1843 : 

" I have the honour to enclose herewith a memorandum in Mahratta, 
for the consideration of the Honourable the Governor in Council, regarding 
the answers of questions, taken from me by Ballajee Punt Nathoo,p)fwa/e/y 
at his home, together with copy of the questions and answers, which I request 
your Honour will have the goodness to translate, with particular care, into 
English, and take into your serious consideration, when the case will be 
easily understood." 



" I beg to forward herewith a copy of a document which should have 
accompanied my former petition. The reason why it is necessary to lay 
this document before Government is, that Bailajee Punt Nathoo, without 
paying the amount due to me, misrepresented matters to the Resident, and 
persuaded him to the belief that I had set up a false claim. Nathoo, having 
called me to bis house, he himself proposed questions to me, and when, 
from the answers I returned, he was satisfied that he must pay me the 
remaining llOO rupees, agreeably to the Baee's deed for 1250 rupees, he 
did not bring the questions and answers to the knowledge of the Resident, but 
retained them with himself, and kept me in suspense by promises of pay- 
ment. Nathoo is an affluent man, and has been much accustomed to 
manage affairs in a manner, by which any object in which he is interested 
is accomplished, without fear of detection. Under such circumstances, 
what difficulty can he experience in depriving me of ray 11 00 rupees? Nathoo 
can also misrepresent things to the Resident, and cause him to write such 
things to your Excellency in Council, as will tend to accomplish his pur- 
pose. I, therefore, request that the questions and answers which passed 
between me and Nathoo at his house, and which are still with Nathoo, may 
be called for, and, also that those which took place in the presence of the 
Resident, and Nathoo and myself, may also be examined by your Excellency 
in Council, when I shall be able to render Nathoo's fraud clear to your 
Excellency. In short, I beg to say that there is none except your Excel- 
jency in Council, to whom I can look for kind interposition, in obtaining 
payment of the 1100 rupees due tome; under such impression I write 
often to Government, and request that, taking this representation into con- 
sideration. Government will be pleased to cause my money to be paid to me, 
and a pension granted to me alony with others." 


" Ufarch, 1 8 10. 

" Question by Bailajee Punt. — Geerjabaee having deputed Lukshmun 
Punt Shckhdar (to you) as intercessor, caused a representation to be laid 
before Government through you, and letters were written to you in the name 
of the Baee, promising a reward (for the same); state then whether these 
letters were transmitted to Wittul Bulal, a karkoon of the Judicial Depart- 
ment, who was at Punderpore, by Lukshmun or the Baee herself; state in 
whose handwriting they were, and how you can prove the point, by confront- 
ing the above-mentioned two persons I 


'* Answer by Krushnajee. — When the whole of the papers in my possession 
connected with the Baee's case were taken by you from me, and delivered 
to the Resident, you and the Resident were satisfied that they established 
certain transactions, regarding which evidence was desired; in consequence 
of which you considered that there was no necessity for the attendance of 
Lukshmun, whom you had sent for, for the purpose of being confronted, 
and therefore caused him to return. The letters which were written to me 
by Lukshmun in the name of the Baee, found their way to Wittul Bulal, 
who delivered them to me. The notes written regarding these letters by 
"Wittul Bulal, in his own handwriting, were torn by himself, but these were 
pasted together by me. The notes in this state were delivered by you to the 
Resident, along with the other papers. These notes afforded you conclusive 
evidence, and consequently Wittul Bulal was not sent for, and, therefore, 
you yourself stopped the confrontation of the parties concerned. On this 
point documentary proof is in existence. I do not know who was caused to 
write the letters which I received from the Baee, while I was at Punderpore; 
the Baee and Lukshmun must know it. The notes of the Baee, Lukshmun, 
and Wittul Bulal themselves afford every proof. No new proof is, there- 
fore, necessary to be adduced by me. 

"Question by Ballajee Punt. — Geerjabaee does not acknowledge the pro- 
mise of reward. Give your explanation on this point ? 

'^Answer by Krushnajee. — When, after being satisfied from the papers in 
my possession, you introduced me to the Resident, and gave to him the 
papers executed to me by the Baee, regarding the reward, you agreed to pay 
the reward promised to me by the Baee, and having given me 50 rupees, out 
of 1250 rupees, intimated to me, that you would pay the remaining 1200 
rupees on the conclusion of the inquiry. With such an engagement, you 
and the Resident induced me to remain with you, allowing me a batta of 
five rupees per month, and gave me peremptory directions not to go to the 
Baee at all. I have, therefore, nothing to do with the Baee's denial ; for 
instance, Purtabsing Maharaja cairied on certain political intrigues, and as 
he did not confess them during the inqtiiry, he forfeited the friendship ex- 
isting between him and the British Government, was deprived of all benefits, 
and lost his throne; and all persons (who gave evidence against him) were 
benefited. It is not necessary that I should relate these things under such 
circumstances. There remains no ground on which I should be questioned 
regarding the Baee's denial. 

" Question by Ballajee Punt. — You have stated in writing that the notes 
are in the handwriting of Wittul Bulal himself; state then how you can 
prove that the writing is of Wittul Bulal ? 


"Answer by Krushnajee. — Wittul Bulal should be questioned on the 
subject, and if he denies it, the notes may be compared with the numerous 
papers in his writing, which are with the Maharaj Sircar (the Sattara Go- 
vernment.) This is the proof." 

These documents, also, were immediately referred to Colonel 
Ovans, who on the 22nd of April referred the Government back 
to their decision of the 6th, whereupon it was " Ordeued, that 
the petitioner be informed, that the decision commu7iicated to him, 
under date the 6lh of April last, is final ; namely, that this is not 
a case m which the British Government can interfere." — As in the 
first instance, the advice of Colonel Ovans was again followed to 
the very letter. The two former petitions of Krushnajee having 
failed to obtain the attention of the Government, to the claims 
therein preferred for the promised reward, a third petition was 
sent, dated the 29th of June, in which Ballajee Punt Natlioo was 
accused of bribery. It is as follows ; 

" That your petitioner begs respectfully to state, that Ballajee Punt 
Nathoo, while residing at Sattara, durhirj the inquiry rcsjjcctiuf/ the late 
Rajah of Sattara, has acted very improperly and illegally, iii having re- 
ccivrd bribes from the jagheerdars, and other ryots (or land cultivators) of 
Sattara, on account of their business harinr/ been done by the Resident and 
the Raja of that place, and has thereby ruined them ; I have, therefore, 
made this petition to your Lordship, to request that your Lordship will be 
kind enough to allow me to see your Lordship, when I shall explain the 
above circumstances in detail to your Lordship, and evidential proofs to 
prove it, or else, let any other gentleman be instructed to inquire into it, 
by ordering me to see him secretly, when I beg leave to assure your Lord- 
ship I shall disclose everything, particularly, .about the conduct of Bal- 
lajee Punt Nathoo. / also bey that this news should not be brought to the 
notice of the Resident at Sattara, before its being inquired into." 

This petition, like the others, was despatched to the Resident, 
who, on the 'iSth of July, reported, that its contents were false, 
and concluded his letter as follows : — 

"After what is above stated, I must leave it to Government to decide 
what course to pursue as regards this/out and malicious UbelUr. But it 
maybe right to add, that as this petitioner has some trijliny mployment 


nndcr the Sattara Government, and as there is some reason to believe that 
this petition is the result of some low intrigue here, perhaps Government 
nill jtennll me to communicate this matter to his Highness the Raja of 
Sattara, and to request that his Highness n-ill deal nith this vian, being 
his own suhjcct and servant, in any manner that may seem jnst and 

I think it would be in vain to search the annals of official 
iniquity, for a more infamous suggestion than that contained in 
this passage. I know not how to restrain my indignation while I 
quote it. Colonel Ovans well knew that the Raja possessed the 
power of life and death, and I therefore regard his proposition as 
nothing better than the expression of a wish that Krushnajee 
should be delivered up to destruction, for the purpose of silencing 
for ever the accuser of a man, in all whose malversations he had 
been a confidant and a participator. What do the Government do ? 
Record the following minute. 

" Petitioner should be referred to the Government letter of the 3rd of 
June, and be informed that that decision is final. The Residf-nt to be in- 
formed, and no further petitions received on the same subject," 

A fourth petition was presented to Sir George Arthur, at Da- 
pooree, but no notice was taken of it. We come now to the fifth, 
and most important petition, dated the 29th of September, 1843. 
After referring to his former petitions, Krushnajee says : — 


" Your petitioner will, without any further remarks, respectfully solicit 
the consideration of Government to some of the principal cases in which 
Ballajee Punt Nathoo has received large bribes, and committed great ex- 
tortions ; and he begs at the same time to represent that he is quite pre- 
pared to prove them, both by or ki. evidence and written documents, 
before a commission of inquiry. 

" 1st Charge. — It is universally known that it was an act of grace on 
the part of the British Government to restore the possessions of the Punt 
Sucheo, and it is too absurd to say that Ballajee Punt influenced this 
measure of Government, notwithstanding his taking advantage of the 
minority of the Sucheo. Ballajee Punt made the chiei's adoptive mother 


understand, that had it not been fur his interference, the jagheer would 
never have been restored by the British Governnnent, and he then formed 
a league with one of his karbharrees, by name Bajaba Sindkeer, and made 
a private demand for the payment of a lac of rupees ("lOjOOOi.^) as a present 
for his services. The Sucheo being unable to meet so heavy a demand 
from his own treasury, the Nathoo himself suggested a plan, by which a 
portion of the sum ivas paid in hard, and (or the remainder he re- 
ceived bonds, to the efi'ect, that the said sum was advanced by the Nathoo, 
and was to be paid by annual instalments. To prevent the easy detection 
of this villanous transaction, the Nathoo has fahi/icd both his own 
accounts and those of the Sucheo, rendered to the Resident. By this ar- 
rangement, the Sucheo was burthened with what is called a regular debt to 
the amount of about 80,000 rupees (8,000/ ) The Nathoo now receives 
interest upon this sum, as well as instalments in liquidation of what is 
called the principal. He has, moreover, taken from the Sucheo two vil- 
lages in enam. 

"2nd charge. — A warra, or house, situated in the town of Sattara, and 
certain surunjameen enam villages belonging to the Punt Atnatya, had 
been sequestrated by the late Rajah Purtabsing. As a compensation for 
restoring them to the Amatya on the dethronement of his Highness, Bal- 
lajee Punt made an agreement in the name of Ragho Punt Gagtey, a 
great favourite of his, to receive 8,000 rupees (800/.) from the Amatya, and 
has actually received about half of that amount ; besides this, the Nathoo 
made the Amatya give the Gagtey a piece of land as enam, to the value of 
200 rupees. 

" 3rd Charge. — When the Resident caused the property of Khuwaskhanae 
of Khuwaskhan Gangabaee Daflec, which had been seized upon by the 
ex- Raja to be restored to her, Ballajee Punt Nathoo made an agree- 
ment, through Bappoo Nisbut Khuwaskhan to receive a present of 10,000 
rupees (1,000/.), and actually received payment of half of that sum. But 
before the remainder could be paid, the Khuwaskhan lady died ; when her 
property was confiscated, and Baliajee Punt Nathoo, out of resentment for 
the non-payment of the remainder of the bribe, sent a secret intimation to 
the kamgars of the Gutkur Ball Daflec, and instigated them to break open 
the bacJiS pid to Bappoo's house, and to seize upon and take away his 
property, consisting of cash, jewels, papers, &;c. 

" 4th Charge. — A certain person connected with the Dafly family, by 
name Ramchunder Rao Dufley, had not, for upwards of seventy-five or 
eighty years, held possession of six villages; nevertheless, Ballajee Punt 


Nathoo undertook to rescore them to him, and made an agreement through 
Abba Josee, a person connected with him by marriage ties, to receive a 
large bribe. He then deceived the Resident by a misrepresentation, and 
induced him to cause the restoration of the six villages to Ramchunder 
Rao. These villages the Nathoo told the Dafley to mortgage to a Sowkar, 
which the Dafley did, and he obtained from the Sowkar a loan of about 
160,000 rupees (1,600L), and jmid it to the Nathoo. 

"5th Charge. — The British Government having directed, as usual, that 
the nearest male relation should be adopted by Bhageerthybaee Dafley, of 
Jutt, the Nathoo made the nearest heir come to Sattara, and opened a ne- 
gotiation with him for receiving a bribe; but the amount desired by him 
not being agreed upon, and the lady, who wished to adopt another boy, 
making a promise, through her vakeel, Ragho Punt Wasugrekur, to give 
any present the Nathoo desired, if the adoption was allotted agreeably to 
her wishes, the Nathoo managed to give her the boy she selected, and re- 
ceived a bribe of 15,000 rupees, (1,500/.) 

" 6th Charge. — As Ballajee Punt at first felt it impossible to controul 
Shaik Meera Waeekur, he brought a boy who pretended to be brother of 
that jagheerdar, with the visw of putting him in possession of the jagheer, 
and kept him at Sattara, giving him a house from the pago of the present 
Raja, and supplied him from his highness' kitchen, while his highness 
remained encamped near the Residency ; soon after, however, Shaik Meera, 
fearing the ultimate consequences, 5ra?;e in to the Nathoo, who received from 
him a bribe of 1,600 rupees, (160^.) and drove away the boy just alluded to. 

" 7th Charge. — Although it had been decided by the British Govern- 
ment that the Ukeelkatkur, who had arrived to the age of maturity, should 
be put in charge of the affairs of his jagheer, Ballajee Punt Nathoo de- 
ceived the young gentleman, that he himself (Ballajee Punt) was the cause 
of this arrangement, and received from him, through Ramchundrow Nim- 
balker, the newly-appointed carbharee to the chief, and through Abba 
Josee, already appointed vakeel, some gold ornaments, silver ware, and 
cash, in all to the value of about 15,000 rupees (1,500/). 

" 8th Charge. — Ballajee Punt received a bribe from the Futtunkur Baee, 
on the occasion of her being allowed to adopt. Although your petitioner 
cannot now state the precise amount, he will, when the commission opens the 
inquiry, show the exact sum received by the Nathoo. 

" 9th Charge. — Ballajee Punt Nathoo has received as a bribe, enam 
land from the Punt Muntree, with 500 rupees for settling certain afFiirs in 
his favour. 


" lOih Charge. — The ex-Raja had imposed upon Oeagurei Muhunt Gos- 
sain, of Sattara, on account of a certain matter in dispute between him 
and Aheetwargeer Gossaee, a daily mulct, which was progressively increased 
everyday, which amounted to about 7,000 rupees. The Gossaee com- 
plained of this oppression to the Resident and the British Government, 
whereupon it was resolved to return the fine; nevertheless, Ballajee Punt 
Nathoo, before causing the repayment of that sum, exacted from the 
Gossaeen, 1,000 rupees. 

" llth Charge. — Ballajee Punt Nathoo lias surrfptitiously made himself 
master of the property of the late Seenapiittee, and recovered for himself 
certain sums deposited by the deceased in certain quarters. The Nathoo 
succeeded in committing this villany, by gaining over the Seenaputtee's 
kharbharees, RowjeeDerow, and Rowjee Degambeer, who were well versed 
in their late master's transactions; and to deter them from revealing it, he 
procured for them pensions from the present Raja. 

" 12th Charge. — Ballajee Punt Nathoo received large sums of money 
from the Sattara treasury, under the plea of meeting certain expenses said 
to have been incurred by him, consequent on the late inquiry, whichsums 
have been entered under false headings in his Highness' s accounts ; and 
instead of applying the whole of them to the purposes intended, or render- 
ing any account of the sum, he has fraudulently appropriated a great por- 
tion of it to his own use, or in other words, transferred it to his own coffers. 
Though this charge may appear to he very general, your petitioner will, 
when he is offered an opportunity of doing so before a commission, pro- 
duce the necessary evidence in support of specific instances, 

" Having mentioned the most serious charges of the bribery and extor- 
tion, your petitioner would now proceed to detail some instances which, if 
not amounting in the opinion of your honour to undue exactions, may at 
least serve to show, that Ballajee Punt has most shamefully abused his per- 
sonal \njlue7ice, to the great detriment of the Sattara state, for the sake of 

" 1st. Ballajee Punt has induced, if not forced, the Raja, to give him in 
enam a certain garden situated at Sattara, and belonging to the late Seen- 

" 2nd. He has obtained new enam villages, as is well known to the 
British Government, from his Highness the present Raja, to the (annual) 
value of 0,000 or 9,000 rupees (800/. or 900/.) 

"3rd. On Appa Sahib being raised to the throne, the Nathoo repre- 
sented to him that he had made a vow to keep a Chowgura in a temple 


Bituated in the village of Patchwar, (before granted to him as an enam by 
the late Raja,) and induced his Highness to permit hint) to keep one, and 
to give an enam village, v?orth 1,200 rupees (or 120/. annually), to cover the 
charges of the establishment. 

" 4:h. The Nathoo has obtained as a gift a warro or house, called Dawl- 
chawarro, sitaated in the town of Sattara, and additions and improvements 
were made to it at an expense of about 6,000 rupees, (600Z ) the whole 
charged to his Highness. 

" 5th. He received a pearl necklace from his Highness's treasury as a 
gift ; the value of which appears in the Raja's accounts. 

" 6th. He has taken from the Raja's stables horses for himself and his 
sons, of the best sort. These animals are ntpresent with the Nathoo, they 
are valued at about 3,000 rupees (300/ ) 

" 7ih. He has received poshaks (dresses of honour) from his Highness 
for himself, his sons, his own wife, his sons' wives, his relations, and his at- 
tendants and servants, to the value of about 10,000 rupees (1,000/.) 

" 8th. He has received a palankeen from his Highness, having tassels 
made of gold lace, and covered with rich kincaub, valued at about 1,000 
rupees (100/.) 

" 9lh. He has obtained koorons in enam from his Highness, for the 
supply of grass and fuel. 

" 10th. He has taken from his Highness, Furoskhano tents and jajams, 
valued at about 300 rupees (30/.) 

" 11th. Whilst Appa Sahib Maharaj remained encamped near the Resi- 
dency during the late inquiry, all articles of food for himself and his 
horses were received by Ballajee Punt from his Highness ; Ballajee Punt, 
not satisfied with obtaining immunities for himself, used his influence to get 
enams, pensions, wurshasun, &c., for his relations, friends, and retainers, 
some of which are as follows : — 

" 12th. Abba Josee, a person related to Ballajee Punt Nathoo by mar- 
riage lies, and who already received a salary of 100 rupees from the Ukul- 
ketker per mensem, and a pension of 50 rupees from the British Govern- 
ment, has had lately granted to him an additional allowance of 75 rupees, 
from the Chief of Ukulkatkur, and an enam village, of 2,500 rupees 
(annual value), from the Raja ; and his two sons have been provided with 
a salary of 50 rupees per month from the Raja. The reason of heaping 
so many immunities upon Abba Josee, is, that throiujh his acjency, Ballajee 
Punt has received large sums of money as bribes, as may be gathered from 
the 4th and 7th charges, set forth under paragraph 2 of this petition. 


" 13tli. Narrain Shastreo Thiitey, a soti-iii-law of Ballajee Punt Nathoo's, 
who resides at Poonali, has Iiad, through his father-in -law's interference, a 
perpetual wurshasun of 1,250 rupees (125/.) per annum, conferred on hira 
from the Saitara treasury. 

" 14th. Baba Nagurkur, who is now at Poonah, and to a child of whom 
a giandchild of Ballagee Punt's is married, has had a monthly pension of 
50 rupees conferred on him from the liajalis Jhianns. 

" 15th. Ragho Punt Gogtey, an associate of Ballajee Punt Nathoo, in 
playing at sogtees, has a monthly pension of 25 rupees granted him from 
the same source. 

" 16th. Dhandoo Punt, a karcoon of the Nathoo, has a monthly pension 
given him of 12i rupees from his IIi(/h»css''s trcasuri/. 

" 17ih. Roajee Furkia, a nephew of Ballajee Punt, has a similar allow- 
ance given him. 

" 18ih. He has obtained pensions for his jasoods and khizmutgars from 
the RajnlCs treasury. 

" 19th. One Narrain Row Deshmaokh Koadalkur, owed some money 
to Ballajee Punt, who in consequence obtained for hiiu a monthly salary 
of 25 rupees from his Highness, a.nd got it transferred to him in liquidation 
of the deht. 

" 20th. Ballajee Punt had secured /or a dancing girl, by name Manee, 
in his own service, an allowance of 100 rupees (10/.) per month from the 
Sattara treasury. 

" 21st. He has employed all his brothers, nephews, and other relations, 
friends and favourites, in the service of the Sattara State, as if he was him- 
self iAe Chief of that State. 

"Your Honourable Board can ascertain, I'roin the pulilic records, how 
far, and if at all, the individuals mentioned in the above clauses, 13 and 21, 
have been serviceable, during the late inquiry at Sattara, to tnlitie them to 
the liberality of the Rnja." 

Here, then, are twelve principal, and twenty-one minor charges 
preferred against a pensioner and jagheerdar of the British Go- 
vernment. Were I to occnpy your time in dwelling upon them 
minutely, I could prove that many of them are intimately con- 
nected with the previous proceedings against the R;ija; but taking 
them together, they prove how strong the motive was that Balla- 
jee Punt had for seeking to regain his ascendancy at Sattara. 
Many of these charges directly implicate the Resident, Colonel 



Ovans ; and to say the least, if there be any truth in them, he 
must have been criminally negligent in the discharge of his duty. 
Now let me draw your particular attention to the language in 
which this petition concludes. I have seldom met with anything 
more just, or reasonable, than the opinions and sentiments here 
expressed. The petitioner says : — 

" Having thus set forth the principal points, impugning the honesty and 
good faith of Balhjee Punt Nathoo, your petitioner begs most respectfully 
to observe, that it will be doing a great injustice to the subject merely to 
prefer the statement for the report of the Resident ; for that officer, who has 
received so much assistance from the Nathoo, is, as may be naturally ex- 
pected, much biassed in his favour, and therefore little can be e.vpeetedfrom 
him in tracing the truth. He will, in all probability, do no more than de- 
clare the whole of the twelve charges set down under paragraph two, to be 
fallacious and malicious; and that the circumstance of Ballajee Punt having 
been concerned in the late inquiry has made him many enemies ; for, were 
the truth of them established, the fact will go to show culpable neglect on 
his (Colonel Ovans's) part for having so long taken no trouble to check the 
system of bribery and corruption jmssing under his nose. To assert that 
an accusation is false is a very easy thing, hut to prove it to he so by evidence 
is a difficult inatter. Your petitioner respectfully submits, whether it will 
not be unbecoming the high character of the British Government fore/i/^e 
to institute a proper inquiry into charges of so criminal a nature, and 
chargeswhichy our petitioaei ojfersto2}roveby regular evidence. He begs also 
to remark that before he became acquainted with the frauds and villanies 
of Ballajee Punt Nathoo, herein detailed, he had been persuaded that the 
system of bribery and corruption which prevailed under the Mahratta 
Government had ceased with the overthrow; he has been obliged to arrive 
at a difTeient conclusion, to wit, that it has continued in all its forms under 
the British rule. In order, therefore, to clear the high character of your 
Government, so rejleeted upon in the eyes of the people of the Saltara State, 
and to prevent the observations of the public, to which the BritishRepre- 
sentative at his Highness the Rajah's Court has laid himself open, by the 
conduct of Ballajee Punt, a British subject and pensioner; your Honour- 
able Board cannot but deem itself imperatively called upon to adopt ener- 
getic measures, and to sift the matter to its very bottom. 

" In conclusion, your petitioner humbly prays that Government will be 
pleased, as the only most satisfactory way of arriving at the truth, and 
doing justice to all concerned, to appoint a Commission, composed of three 


members; the Resident himself, Colonel Robertson, the visiting Judicial 
Commissioner for the Deccan, or the Agent at Poonah, or any other three 
f/entlemi'n best versed in the customs and manners of the Mahratta Duibar, 
(or Native Court,) to inquire into the several charges preferred against 
Ballajee Punt Nathoo ; vihen your petitioner will produee in support of 
them his WRITTEN EVIDENCE and WITNESSES, who rnif/ht heexamined upon 
oath. Your petitioner requests that he may be favoured with an intiina'.ion 
on the subject, that he may proceed to Sattara to appear before the Com- 

" Your petitioner trysts that the circumstance of Ballajee having staunch 
friends, both in the Secretariate and the Presidency, will not lead to this 
representation being treated with indifference ; let not, Honourable Sir, 
sueh crimes as hribery and extortion, n-hoever may he the offender, jtass with 

Now, sir, I venture to put it to your conscience, and to the 
conscience of every honest man in this assembly, whether it was 
not the bounden duty of the Bombay Government at once to 
institute a rigorous and impartial inquiry into the several charges 
brought before them, with a view of visiting upon the party ac- 
cused, the punishment he merited, if found to be guilty ; and in 
the event of the establishment of his innocence, of dealing with 
the party bringing the accusations, as a malicious defamer of the 
character of an upright man. On the receipt of the petition, the 
following letter was addressed to Krushnajee, by the Secretary to 
the Bombay Government, Mr. Willoughby. 

" Bombay Castle, IWi OctoLer,]S4i. 

" I am directed by the Honourable the Governor in Council to acknow- 
ledge the receipt of your petiiion dated the 29th ultimo, and to signify to 
you that the subject thereof is under consideration, and that an answer will 
be returned to you as soon as possible.^' 

What was the nature of the consideration bestowed upon this 
petition by the Government? A reference on the same day to 
Colonel Ovans. What is the answer of Colonel Ovans ? Does 
he instantly advise the Government to institute a strict inquiry 
into the allegations contained in the petition ? The following 
report, dated November the 2nd, 18l;5, will show : — 

D 2 


" As regards this? pelition, the Resident begs leave very respectfully to 
refer Government to his report under date the 28th of July last, as well as 
to the reply of Government to this petitioner, under date the lOlh of 
August last, and forwarded to the Resident here for his information, in 
which the petitioner is informed that the decision of Government commu- 
nicated to him under date the 3rd of June last, in reply to his petition, 
dated the Hth of January last, is final; and that no further petitions on 
this subject will be received from him. The Resident begs leave merely 
to add, that there is nothing new brought forward in the petition now 
returned, but that these accusations are all equally false and malicious, as 
those formerly brought forward by this petitioner, and consequently that 
this infamous libeller is unworthy of further notice or reply." 

What will be thought of the Government of Bombay, who 
deemed the above a sufficient reply to such a document as that 
which had been sent to Colonel Ovans ? The following is the 
minute of the Governor, subscribed also by another Member of 
the Council : — 

" / do not think any ansnxr should be returned to this petition, and any 
further representations from this person should be returned by endorse- 

Receiving no answer to this fifth petition, Krushnajee sent 
in a sixth, on the 12th of October, which was to the following 
effect: — 

" I did myself the honour to presmt a petition to your Honourable 
Board, on the 29th September last, requesting a proper inquiry into cer- 
tain charyes of bribery and extortion, against Ballajee Narrain Nathoo, 
therein specifically mentioned. Indeed I am a man in humble circum- 
stances, but the Nathoo, a privileged gentleman, has, in the course of his 
villanous transactions, deprived me of a sum of 1100 rupees, which was 
promised me as a reward for services rendered in connexion with the late 
inquiry at Sattara. I was on that occasion a competent and honest witness, 
and my evidence was received by the Resident as credible; but now, when 
I prefer criminal charges against Ballajee Punt, his friend and adherent, 
Colonel Ovans, as may naturally be expected, denounces me as a bad 
character! His Highness the Raja, I understand, joins the Resident in 
his opinion of my character, which, however, is not wonderful, when his 


Hiyhncss is a creature of, and a mere pupjut in lite hands of Culonel 

" I beg, however, respectfully to represent that if the Resident asserts 
that the charges are unfounded, his assertion is far from truth ; and / am 
prepared as already stated in my petition, to suhstantiate them he/ore a 
commission of inquiri/ ,• may I, therefore, humbly solicit an early ititima- 
tion of the decision of Government on the subject." 

A seventh petition was also presented on the 10th of Novem- 
ber, from which the following is an extract : — 

" Though it is nearly a month and a half since the first petition was 
delivered in to Government, no Commission has as yet been appointed 
The delay is very injurious to the cause ; for if the Resident comes to 
know of the specific charges preferred against Ballajee Punt, whom he is 
apparently determined to protect to the last, and at any expense, there is 
every likelihood of S07ne of the witnesses, whom your petitioner wishes to 
bring forward in support of his petition, being tampered with. It is, as your 
petitioner has already before observed, doing great injustice to the subject 
to refer the petition to Colonel Ovans, and to decide upon it according to 
his report, for, when his own character is involved in the issue, he cannot 
possibly be expected to conform strictly to the j)rinci2)les of tndh in 
reporting tipon its merits. Moreover, it is too much to expect the persons 
who have given bribes to the Nathoo, (a greater portion of them to answer 
their own views,) to divulge their own secrets before the Resident, — nay, 
that officer's influence is sufficient to frighten them all into silence ; and 
unless the witnesses and papers which your petitioner has to produce in 
support of the charges, are duly examined, the inquiry, whether instituted 
by Colonel Ovans, or by any other oflicer, cannot be considered to be com- 
plete. The evidence which your petitioner has to adduce against Ballajee 
Punt Nathoo mill not only shoiv culpable neglect on the part of the Hesident, 
bid a cmiceahnent, when brought to his notice, of some of the frauds committed 
by the Nathoo. These are points to which the mature consideration of your 
Honourable Board is particularly requested. la it not a great waste ot 
time, under such circumstances, to mahe any reference at present to the 

These petitions were returned by endorsement. 

The first five petitions, addressed to the Governor in Coimcll of 
Bombay, (Sir George Arthur,) having utterly failed in obtaining 
an investigation, either into the claims of the petitioner himself, 


or into the serious charges preferred by him against the Brahmin, 
Ballajee Punt Nathoo, Krushnee determined to address a petition 
to John Warden, Esq., the European Judge at Poonah, and also 
the Agent for the adjustment of Claims against the Sirdars in the 
Deccan, of whom Ballajee Punt Nathoo was one. In this petition, 
Krushnajee repeats the charges brought against Ballajee Punt 
Nathoo in the fifth petition to the Bombay Government, which 
has been read, and then concludes in the following manner : — 
" During the prosecution of the'inquiries into the charge of trea- 
son, brought fjrward against the ex-Raja, Purtab Shean, my 
depositions, &c., were taken by the Resident, and the testimony I 
then gave, / now confirm as true. That I was a man of high 
character and respectuhilily must have been communicated to 
Government at that time ; but in consequence of my having now 
complained against Nathoo, I hear that the Resident says I am 
not a good man. There is, however, nothing extraordinary in 
this, because when the inquiry shall have been completed, and 
these allegations fully established against Nathoo, the Resident 
will be blamed. It is, therefore, necessary that you should make 
a report to Government on the subject of this complaint. I am 
at present in Bombay, and having heard that Ballajee Punt Na- 
thoo is a subject of your jurisdiction, and that, according to Regu- 
lation, all complaints against him should be made through you, I 
have addressed you." On the receipt of this petition, Krushnajee 
received the following reply from Mr. Warden, dated December 
26th, 1843. "In your petition of the 14th October, 1843, of 
twelve paragraphs, you have accused Ballajee Narrain Nathoo 
of crime. I now call upon you to send me, in writing, all proof s 
you have, to meet the accusation, made in each paragraph of 
your petition ; after which, whatever orders may be given, shall 
be carried into effect." In consequence of this letter from Mr. 
Warden, Krushnajee forwarded to Poonah the following 


" Memorandum, showing in detail, the Evidence applicable to the 
several allegations brought against Ballajee Narrain Nathoo, by Krushna- 
jee Sudasevv Bhidcy, in his petition of the 14th October, 1813. 


"I. Proofs regarding the cash extorted from the Punt Suchco. 
" 1. The ex-Raja was formerly in the habit of levying a sum of 
15,000 rupees per annum from the Punt Sucheo, for supporting tlie 
expenses of elephant establishment, but which was subsequently, on the 
accession of the present Raja, remitted in 1839. Nathoo, however, 
received on this account a sum of 30,000 rupees, (6,000/.), being the 
allowance for two years. The proofs in support of this item are as 
follow, viz. : — 

" 1. The private accounts of the Punt Sucheo, commencing from 
the year 1839 to the year 1843, being for five years, should be called 

" 2. Nathoo, without lending any money to the Punt Sucheo, has 
obtained deeds, the interest whereof, at the rate of 2,000 rupees (200/.) 
per annum, is received by Nathoo. In support of this statement, the 
Sucheo's accounts for the above-mentioned five years should be referred 

" 3. Nathoo also receives an annual sum of 300 rupees (30/.) on 
account of ' Shellah and Turleand,' from the Sucheo. The proof in 
support of this item is the aforesaid accounts. 

" 4. Two Khandies of Ambaymoorriee are annually given to Nathoo, 
which will also be evident on reference to the above accounts. 

" 5. Nathoo is in the possession of two villages, which yield a revenue 
of 2,000 rupees (200/.) per annum. In proof of this item, the accounts 
of the Sucheo's dutftur should be called for. Besides these two villages, 
Nathoo enjoys another, of which only he apprized the Resident ; but he 
is in the actual possession of three villages. 

" In support of the foregoing five items, the following persons are the 
witnesses ; viz. : — 

" 1. Rungoe Keshow Soobadar of the Kusbah of Sheerwul ; not em- 
ployed at present ; resides at Sheerwul. 

" 2. Rowjee Soobadar, the uncle of the Sucheo ; resides at the village 
of Bhore. 

" 3. Dada Phudnees, manager of the Sucheo, who is at the village of 

" 4. Appa, manager of the Sucheo, the natural father of the present 
Punt Sucheo, who resides at the village of Bhore. 

" 5, Bhickajee Krishu, vukeel of the Sucheo, who used to be at Sat- 
tara, and is now at the village of Bhore. 

"6. The carcoon in charge of the Punt Sucheo's treasury. 


" II. The village of Ram Rao Surootum Ammatya had been, during 
the reign of the ex-Raja, held under sequestration. Nathoo, after the 
accession of the present Raja, caused the restoration of these villages to 
the Ammatya, and as remuneration for his exertions, obtained an agree- 
ment for the payment of a sum of 6,000 rupees (600^.) But as the 
Ammayta was unable to pay this sum, Nathoo, by interesting himself in 
the settlement of an old demand of one Babboorow Pundit against the 
Ammatya, caused the latter to execute a fresh deed to the Pundit, and for 
which he received a sum of 4,000 rupees (400/.) from the Pundit. The 
village that was restored to the Ammatya is Churragaon, pettah Kur- 
rand. This village was assigned in mortgage to the Pundit, and a sum 
of 6,000 rupees (600?.) obtained on it. The total amount thus received 
by Nathoo in this transaction is 10,000 rupees (1,000?.) 

"The following are the witnesses on the subject, viz. : — 

♦' 1. Ragho Punt Gogutay, a dependant of Nathoo ; he is now at 
Sattara. All the agreements respecting this transaction were negotiated 
through the medium of this individual. 

" 2. Babboorow Pundit, and his private cash accounts for the month 
of Mang Shukay, 1761. 

" 3. Ram Rao Surootum Ammatya. 

" The above is a detail of the proofs applicable to this item. When 
this circumstance came to the notice of the Raja, he caused the Pundit 
to restore the village to the Ammatya. But the inquiry was not con- 
cluded ; some of the depositions which were then taken, exist in the 
durbar of his Highness. The cause of the inquiry not being concluded 
is the intimacy which subsisted between the Resident and Nathoo. 

" III. TheWuttun of Gunga Baee Dufflee Khuwas Khan, was resumed 
by the ex-Raja, and subsequently restored by the present Raja. In this 
affair, Nathoo obtained an agreement for the payment of 10,000 rupees 
(1,000/.) out of which he received 5,000 rupees (500/.) The following 
persons are the witnesses, viz. — 

" 1. The late Gunga Baee Dufflee. 

" 2. Bappoo, the manager of the Khuwus Khan, now at Sattara. 

" 3. Cassepunt Bundray, who resides at Maholee. 

"4. Bajee Appat, carcoon of Bappoo Khuwus Khan, at Sattara. 

" IV. Ramchunder Row Dufflay is a distant relation of Bhageertee 
Baee Dufflay Jutkureen, and allhougli he had formerly no possessions, 


Nathoo, after the accession of the present Raja, caused the Baee to make 
over six villages to Ramchunder Row. As remuneration for this service, 
Nathoo obtained an agreement for the payment of 16,000 rupees (1,600/.); 
but as Ramchunder Row was unable to pay the money, Nathoo made 
over these villages in mortgage to one Gopall Row Kannaday, and 
obtained the money. 

" In support of this charge, the following persons are witnesses, viz. : — 

" 1. Ramchunder Row Dufflay, of Sattara. 

" 2. Gopall Rao Kannayray, a dependant of the Raja, who is at 

"3. Abba Josee, a relation of Nathoo, who is now at Sattara. 

" 4. Bageerthee Baee Dufflay, a Jageerdar of Juthkurreen. 

" V. The jagheer of Bhageerthee Baee had been resumed by the 
ex-Raja ; but it was afterwards restored to her by the present Raja, who 
was further pleased to allow her an adopted son. In this case Nathoo 
extorted a sum of 15,000 rupees (1,500/,) 

"The undermentioned persons are witnesses to the fact, viz : — 

" 1. Bageerthee Baee Dufflay of Juth. 

" 2. Bappoo, a dependant of Khuwus Khan, vukeel at Sattara. 

" 3. Raghoo Punt Wussudaykur at Sattara. 

"4. Munnohar Punt, late vukeel at Sattara. 

" 5. Doodow Punt at Khannapoor-elaka, Sattara. 

" An inquiry was pending regarding the above subject before his 
Highness the Raja; but owing to the Resident being partial to Nathoo, 
the inquiry was not concluded. 

"VI. Sheik Meerah Waeekur had incurred the displeasure of both 
the Resident and his Highness, the Raja : Nathoo, with the view to a 
reconciliation, as also to nullify the claim of a certain person whom he 
had instigated to come forward as the brother of Sheik Meerah, extorted 
a sum of 1,600 rupees (160/.) 

" The following persons are the witnesses, viz : — 

" 1. Sheik Meerah Waeekur, now in Poonah. 

'• The wukeel of this Sirdar, who is at Sattara. I do not know his 
name, but I can point him out. 

" VII. Ramchunder Row Nimbalker was nominated a manager to the 
Chief of Akulcote, and from whom Nathoo extorted a sum of 15,000 
rupees (1,500/.) The proofs regarding this are as follow ; viz. : — 


"1, Ramchunder Row Nimbalker, an inhabitant of Akulkote. 

" 2. Khundoba Naik Chatty, an inhabitant of Sholapoor. Into this 
person's shop the money was paid hy Ram Bulwunt, the carcoon of the 

" 3. Gokuldass Sowcar, of Poonah, to whom the aforesaid Chatty 
remitted the money by bill of exchange. 

"4. Ram Rao Bulwunt, of Indapoor. 

"5. The accounts of both the Chatty and Gokuldass should be obtained 
and examined, when they will prove that Nathoo received the money. 

•'VIII. Baee Nimbalkurreen, Jagheerdar of Phultun (I do not know 
her name.) Her jagheer was sequestrated during the reign of the ex- 
Raja ; but was subsequently restored by the present Raja, who also 
granted her an adoption, for which Nathoo received cash from the Baee ; 
and the following are the witnesses ; viz. : — 

" 1. Vishnoo Punt Putkee, a dependant of the wukeel, at Sattara. 

" 2. The sons of Jowtepunt Rowjee, a dependant of his Highness. 
These two men are the carbarees of the Baee, at Phultun. 

"3. Nimbalkurreen Baee, in person. 

" IX. The villages of the Punt Muntree, of Islampoor, had been 
resumed during the reign of the ex-Raja, but were subsequently restored 
by the present Raja. In effecting this, Nathoo got enam land of the 
value of 500 rupees per annum, and the following persons are the wit- 
nesses ; viz. : — 

" 1. The Punt Muntree in person, who resides at Islampoor. 

'* 2, Gunput Row Goonay, the vukeel, who resides at Sattara. 

" X. The ex-Raja levied a sum of about 6,000 rupees from Deogheer 
Munt Gosavee on account of ' churtee bhutta,' or daily extra allowance, 
but the present Raja returned this sum to the Gosavee. In this case 
Nathoo took a sum of 1,000 rupees ; and the following are the witnesses 
on the subject ; viz. : — 

" 1. Axjongeer, the disciple of the late Deogheer Gosavee, who is at 

" 2. Mohungeer, who resides at Sattara. 

" 3. The accounts of the aforesaid Gosavee. 

" XI. After the arrest and departure of Ballah Sahib Sennaputtee, with 
his Highness the ex-Raja, Nathoo made away with the Sennaputtee' s 


property and cash deposits. The following persons are the witnesses ; 
viz. . — 

*' 1. Rowjee Deo Rao, the late manager of the Sennaputtce, who is at 

" 2. Rowjee Degumbur, now at Sattara. 

"XII. Regarding the cash, &c., which Ballajee Punt Nathoo took 
away from the Maharaj Sirkar, or the Raja's state property ; viz. : — 

"1. All the expenses which had been incurred on account of ' raj- 
kaurun,' or 'for purposes of state,' were recovered by the Resident 
from his Highness the present Raja ; such being the case, Nathoo, under 
the plea of having incurred expenses himself, took a sum of 30,000 
rupees (3,000;.) 

" 2. The present Raja having removed to the neighbourhood of the 
Residency, Nathoo obtained a fictitious deed from him, in favour of a 
sowcar (or banker) for a lack of rupees (10,000/.), and afterwards 
recovered the money from the Raja. 

"3. Nathoo, without lending anything to his Highness, took a deed in 
his own name for the sum of one lack of rupees (10,000/.) ; and, sub- 
sequently, on the accession of his Highness to the throne, he recovered 
a suiTC of 60,000 rupees (6,000/.), but not the balance of 40,000 rupees. 
Nathoo is in possession of the Raja's wadah, or palace, and although his 
Highness has been requesting him to vacate and relinquish it, yet Nathoo 
refuses to do so, until the balance of 40,000 rupees (4 ,000/.) shall be 
paid to him. 

" 4. Nathoo undertook the construction of the following three grand 
buildings ; viz., a Julmundeer, the Mundup of the Deity, and a bridge. 
And while carrying on these works, he embezzled and appropriated for 
his own benefit a sum of 80,000 rupees (8,000/.) out of the sum allowed 
for their construction. 

" Proofs regarding this are as follow; viz. : — 

" 1. Bujjabah Purradkur, late Dewan, (or State Minister,) residing at 

" 2. Eshwunt Row Bhow, the present manager, residing at Sattara. 

"3. Abba Shelgaomkur, residing at Shelgaom, in the Sattara 

" 4. Succaram Punt Venchlay Kurr, private carcoon of his Highness. 

"5. Succaram Nanna Furnavees, of Sattara. 


"6. The 'jumma khurcli' accounts of his Highness, from the year 
1839 to 1843. 

" Besides the foregoing, the following are items which have lately been 
discovered against Nathoo : viz. : — 

" 1st. Bhawunchkur Socwar (Banker,) of Punderpore, under the pre- 
tence of having become a bankrupt, falsely gave out that 240,000 rupees 
{'ZifiOOl.) had been stolen from him. In the inquiry into this matter, 
Nathoo, with a view to establish it, received a sum of about 6,000 rupees 
(GOO/.) The following persons are witnesses to this ; viz. : — 

" 1. Babboorow Shettay DuUal, of Punderpore. 

" 2. Hurba Caseekur, of Punderpore, 

" 3. Bawunchhur Sowcar. 

" Some of the papers connected with this transaction, which were found, 
exist in the durbar of his Highness ; but owing to the infliwnce of the Re- 
sident, the inquiry has not been prosecuted. 

"2nd. On the first occasion that his Highness went on a visit to Kola- 
poor, Nathoo, on the plea of an advance to the Kolapoor Rajah, got 
his Highness to advance him a sum of 50,000 rupees (5,000/.), but which 
sum he (Nathoo), without paying to the Rajah, appropriated for his own 
benefit. The under-mentioned persons are witnesses to this fact; viz.: — 

" 1. His Highness the Rajah. 

"2. Esw Roaunt Dewan (Minister). 

" The foregoing is a detail of the various proofs and evidences. All 
which it is earnestly requested may be called for and brought to Poonah, 
and an inquiry instituted. The Resident being at Saitara, if the inquiry 
were to be carried on there, fear would prevent every one from speaking the 
truth. Petitioner, therefore, begs that the inquiry may be made either at 
Poonah, or, the Resident being abscyit, at Saltara, when the Government 
will become fully satisfied as to the truth of the whole of the alle- 

In addition to the charges against Ballajee Punt Na tlioo, this 
Schedule of Charges and Evidence contains the following 


" Besides the foregoing, the following two items are applicable to the 
Resident at Sat tar a ; viz. : — 


" 1. The Resilient represented to his Highness that, as the case of the 
ex -Rajah was pending before the authorities in England, it was necessary 
that Counsel (or an Agent) should be nominated on behalf of his Highness, 
and on this plea he got his Highness to consent to the payment of a sum 
of 1,500 rupees per mensem (about 1,800/. a-year) to his (the Resident's) 
father-in-law (a person of the name of Robertson) ; on whose death he 
caused the payment to be continued to his brother-in-law, xvho receives it 
to this day. 

*' At the time the Resident's lady and children proceeded to England, 
gold bullion and Venetian necklaces were purchased and given to the 
Resident, to the value of 50,000 rupees (or 5,000/. sterling). 

" The witnesses on the subject are as follow ; viz. : — 

" 1. Eswont Rao Phoujdar, the present Dewan (or Minister) of his 

" 2. Succaram Punt Mahajunna, residing at Sattara. 

" 3. Wassoodeo Punt Mahajunnee, a resident of Sattara." 

On the receipt of this Schedule of Witnesses and Documentary 
Evidence, Mr. Warden addressed a communication to Krushnajee 
on the 10th July, 1844, to the following effect : — 

" You have made a complaint by lettar against Ballajee Narain Nathoo 
(Ballajee Punt), which is to be investigated; you are therefore summoned 
to appear at Poonah." 

Krushnajee, in accordance with this summons, appeared per- 
sonally at Poonah, and in the presence of Mr. Warden made the 


" Krushnajee Sudasew Bhidey, aged 40 years, a Concunust Brahmin, by 
occupation a carcoon, inhabitant of Sattara, solemnly affirms before the 
Agent for Sirdars at Poonah, as follows: — 

"Of the matter contained in a peiition d.ited 14th October, 1813, and a 
memorandum, dated I9ih June, 1844, and presented by me to the Agent 
for Sirdars, I speak of my own personal knowledcje on the following points, 
which I solemnly afHrm to be true. 

" Govind Rao Dewan's mother, Girjabaee, passed a written instrument 
to me, that I should make known to the Government the information 
against Preetap Singh Maharaj and his associates, and receive for the same 
1,250 rupees; this agreement I gave to Ballajee Punt Nathoo, in the 


presence of Abba Josee, and the former gave it to the Resident in nny pre- 
sence, and the Resident and Ballajee Punt Nathoo said they would give 
me the said reward, and took from me the paper of information I brought, 
and this grant of such reward to me is noted, as I have heard, in the re- 
port of the case sent to England. Of this I passed one receipt for 100 
rupees, and another for 50 rupees, to Ballajee Punt Nathoo, which is all I 
have received : he promised the balance, and detained me on batta twenty 
months, and after all did not pay me the balance. The twelve papers 
alluded to, my affidavit, the receipts, &c., are with the Resident, and if sent 
for, will explain everything. If they have paid me 1,250 rupees, as there 
are receipts for 150 rupees, so there will be for the balance. 

"2.7 have seen some of the accounts of the Punt Siicheo, with entries 
in the name of Ballajee Punt, to which I allude, and will prove my 
assertions through them, and the depositions of bis managers. The two 
villages, fraudulently taken by Nathoo, are in the pnrgunnahs of Moosek- 
horeand Mootekhore. 

" 3. The entry of 6,000 rupees in the accounts of Babboo Row Pun- 
dit, to the debit of Ram Row Survotum Ammatya, I have seen, and I 
will prove by witnesses, that Ballajee Punt Nathoo ffot the money. 

" 4. I have seen the entry of 16,000 rupees in the accounts of Gopal 
Row Kannaday, to the debit of Ramchunder Rao Dufflee, and I will 
prove by witnesses, that Ballajee Punt Nathoo got this money. 

*' 5. I have seen the entry in the accounts of the Punt Muntree of 
500 rupees, to the debit of Ballajee Punt Nathoo ; let them be brought. 

" 6. The remainder of the information brought forward by me, / will 
prove, by documentary and oral evidence, and hold myself liable for a 
failure therein, provided the Resident do not remain at Sat- 
TARA, pending the inquiry. 

(True translation.) 

"John Warden, Agent." 

In addition to the above affirmation, Mr. Warden took the following 
bond from Kruslinajee, which is dated 17th August, 1844 : — 


" Recognizance. — Krushnajee Sudasew Bhidey, Brahmin, a carcoon 

(a writer or account-keeper), an inhabitant of Sattara, now at Poonah, and 

who made accusations against Ballajee Narraiu Nathoo, is called upon by 

Judge Warden to give his security for his appearing against the aforesaid 


Ballajee Narrain Nathoo, and attending till the case is decided. lie there- 
fore declares, that till the case is decided, he will remain in attendance at 
Poonah; and if he fails of doing so, he will pay the sum of 5,000 rupees 
(500?.), and he ist quite aware, that if the aforesaid sum is not paid, lien-ill 
he svbjected to two years' imprisonment." 

Krushnajee was further required by Mr. Warden, to furnish security 
in the person of another, to the amountof 1000 rupees, (or lOOZ. ster- 
ling,) which was done. The following is a copy of the bond : — 

" liecognizance of Jayonath Bhutl. — Krushnajee Sudasew Bhidey, 
Brahmin, carcoon, who is an inhabitant of Sattara, now in Poonah, has 
been called upon by the Judge (Warden) to give security, as informant in 
the case of Ballajee Narrain Nathoo, and to appear at Poonah when re- 
quired, till such time as the case is decided. I, Megha Sham Butt Bin 
Jagonath Bhutt, Decknee, Brahmin, Enamdar, who live at Poonah, ayree 
to he answerable in the above case for the appearance of the said Krushna- 
jee Sudasew Bhidey, till the above suit be decided; and in the event of 
his not appearing, I hold myself answerable to pay to the Court the sum 
of one thousand rupees (lOO/.) I am quite aware that if I do not pay 
this amount, / shall he subjected to two years' imprisonment. It being 
understood that the abode, or place of the person for whom I now stand 
security, and for whom the Court required it, shall be pointed out by nie, 
so that his person can be obtained ; and till such time as I do so, niy bond 
shall remain in force." 

Mr. Warden having adopted these measures, addressed the following 
letter to the Government : — 


" To the Chief Secretary to Government, Bombay. 

" 1. Several months ago, I received by the post a Mahratta paper, of 
which the enclosed (Krushnajee's petition of the 14th of Octolier) is a 

" 2. As it has been usual for the Agent for Sirdars to communicate with 
the Government on alleged misconduct by Sirdars, as the mode of inquiry 
asked for in the present instance by Krushnajee Sudasew is that ordered 
by Government in the case of Dadjee Appajee Seweya, excepting only that 
the committee on him was a native one, and as Ballajee Punt Xathoo is 


not only a Sirdar of the second class, and a Pensioner to the British Go- 
vernment, ' during good behaviour,^ but is the most favoured of all those who, 
on the accession of the British Government to the Deccan, were styled 
'British adherents;^ it did not appear right that I should disregard 
suck serious complaints against him, and so earnest an appeal to me, as the 
Agent of Government in immediate communication with the Sirdars, 
although those complaints relate to the acts of BallajeePunt Nathoo when 
employed in the Sattara country ; and I therefore, as a preliminary step, 
called on Krushnajee Sudasew to state the grounds on which he preferred 
these charges of extortion, fraud, and abuse of authority. 

" 3. The enclosure, No. 2, (the list of witnesses and other evidence) is 
the answer he has brought me, in which he has introduced two additional 
charges against Ballajee Punt Nathoo, as well as matter relating to the 
Resident at Sattara ; and I feel that I only perform my duty in laying 
both papers before the Honourable the Governor in Council. 

" 4. As, however, it would be most unjust to the Resident and Ballajee 
Punt Nathoo to allow Krushnajee Sudasew Bhidey to prefer these accusa- 
tions without confirming such facts as are within his own knowledge, by 
legal solemn affirmation, and placing Idmself within the jurisdiction of a 
British Court, empowered to punish him for defamation ; I have taken the 
solemn affirmation, of which the enclosed. No. 3, is a translation, and ob- 
tained from him security to the amount of 1000 rupees, besides his personal 
recognizance to the amount of 5000 rupees, for his appearance at Poonah, 
nil the inquiry which may be ordered shall have been completed. 


" Agent's Office, Poonah, i9th August, ISO:." 


According to the papers laid before Parliament, the letter of 
Mr. Warden and its accompaniments were taken into considera- 
tion by the Government of Bombay, on the 21st of November, 
1844, when it was the unanimous opinion of the Council, that the 
whole of the charges should be dismissed without inqdiry, 
and they were dismissed accordingly. On the 12th of December 
1844, Krushnajee petitioned the Bombay Government to be made 
acquainted with the decision which had been come to, relative to 
his charges ; he being still within British jurisdiction, and under 
heavy recognizances to make good his accusations. The following 


is the reply which, nearly two months afterwards, he received 
from Mr. Willoughby. 


" To Krushnajee Sudascw Bhidet/. 

" In reply to your petition, dated the 12th of December last, I am 
directed by the Honourable the Governor in Council to inform you, that 
Government having given the complaints and accusations contained in 
your representation against Lieutenant-Colonel Ovans and Ballajee Punt 
Nathoo the fullest consideration, has dismissed them under the conviction 


" By order of the Honourable the Governor in Council. 

^Signed) "J. P. Willoughbv, 

" Chief Secretary. 
" Bombay Caslle, February ^th, IS-iJ." 

Now, gentlemen, what is your opinion of the Bombay Govern- 
ment ? You have the conduct of that Government before you, first 
in the case of the Eaja of Sattara, and next in the case of Col 
Ovans and Eallajee Punt Nathoo. In the former case, a charge 
was preferred against a prince who for twenty years had main- 
tained an unsullied reputation, and by his virtues had extorted 
the highest praises from the Government of this country. This 
charge was brought by two sepoys, one of whom confessed 
at the time that he had taken an oath which he never intended to 
keep. Did the previous character of the Raja, and the acknow- 
ledged perjury of the witness, prevent an inquiry ? No. Forth- 
with a secret commission was appointed to take the evidence of 
the subjects of the R ija, in the R ija's own capital, and the accused 
himself, so far from throwing any obstructions in the way, gave 
up every witness that w'as called for, and even urged the Govern- 
ment to take his kingdom and administer its affairs, until he had 
established his complete innocence by the process of a full and 
rigorous investigation. That charge breaking down, every hate- 
ful stratagem was resorted to, to convict the Raja. Still, the whole 
of the evidence taken together was declared to be unworthy of 
credit, and at last this enlightened ruler was deposed, because he 



would not put his seal to a declaration of his own ingratitude and 
infamy. Now turn to the case of Col. Ovans, and Ballajee Punt 
Nathoo. A man who was at first represented as a credible 
witness, who was retained for two years in the pay of Col. Ovans, 
and at last dismissed with a handsome gratuity, comes forward 
and prefers charges against his former employers; he brings 
himself within British jurisdiction, he supports his accusations by 
a long array of evidence, oral and documentary, he makes a 
solemn affirmation on oath to the truth of his charges, he enters 
into heavy recognizances, he finds security, he makes himself 
and his bondsman liable to imprisonment in default of sub- 
stantiating his charges, a British judge goes through all the pre- 
liminaries necessary to a grave judicial investigation, and on pre- 
senting the case to Government declares the importance and 
necessity of an inquiry ; and what is the result ? The accuser, the 
charges, the securities, and the evidence are all dismissed as utterly 
unworthy the slightest notice or credit. What is the reason as- 
signed for this conduct ? The previous good character of the 
parties accused, and the present bad character of the accuser. 
Was this the rule adopted in the case of the Raja ? Let those 
present lay their hands upon their hearts, and say. Let it not be 
forgotten, too, that the trial sought by Krushnajee was a fair 
trial, while, in the case of the Raja, there was no trial at all. 
In the case of Krushnajee, it was an impartial trial, in open 
court, that was sought, the accuser being a poor and friendless 
man, and the accused having the whole strength of the Bombay 
Government, with its vast resources, at their command. Ballajee 
Punt and Col. Ovans would not have been convicted without a 
hearing. The Raja was convicted without a hearing, ay, without 
even being furnished with so much as a copy of the charges 
against him. In the Raja's case, every tittle of evidence was con- 
cealed from him ; in the case of Ballajee Punt and Col. Ovans, 
the charges and evidence were instantly sent to them, and the 
Government did no more than copy into their decisions the words 
that were sent to them by the accused. But why need I contrast 
these two cases ? They are equally infamous, and are, I believe, 
without a parallel in the history of the world. The deputy- 


chairman, when he stood up in tlie l^Iouse of Commons, exhausted 
his powers of language in heaping euloginms upon Col. Ovans, 
and all possible opprobrious epithets upon Krushnajee. The first 
was all that was manly, and gallant, and honourable ; the last 
was a monster of iniquity, a "liar," a "scoundrel," and a 
"villain." Now I call upon that hon. director to-day, to prove 
the justice of what he tlien said. I have gone through every 
deposition and every petition eijianating from this man, Krush- 
najee. I have weighed every word of which he is the author, 
and I am prepared to say, that a more coherent, a more consist- 
ent, a more consecutive narrative of events I have never met with. 
From first to last I can discover no contradiction, no discrepancy. 
I do not vindicate the original act of Krushnajee, supposing him 
to have been cognizant of the conspiracy against the Raja ; but 
putting that offence out of the question, his testimony is that of a 
talented and truth- telling man. But if his testimony is to be re- 
jected because he was at first one of the gang who conspired 
against the Raja, then what, let me ask, becomes of all the wit- 
nesses who have supplied the evidence that fills these blue books ? 
What becomes of the perjured Soubadars, the wretch Untajee, — 
steeped in perjury, — the oft convicted liar, Sukharam BuUal, the 
leader of gang-robbers, Balkobar Kelkur, and the rest of the 
demon crew, upon whose vile testimony you are compelled to 
rely for every figment of ex parte proof against the Raja ? I tell 
the deputy-chairman, and I challenge him to the test, that he 
cannot find one witness against the Raja whose evidence 
will for a moment bear comparison with that of Krush- 
najee Sudasew Bhidey. Let him take up the gauntlet, if 
he dare. But, say what you will of Krushnajee, I contend 
that it ceased to be a question regarding the character of the 
accuser the moment he gave up the names of his witnesses, and 
referred to the documents in which would be found the proofs of die 
truth of what he said. Look at his schedule of evidence ! Tell me 
if it does not contain the names of persons who, with the exception 
of the Raja, stand highest in rank and respectability of station 
throughout the whole of the Sattara territory. AVho are his wit- 
nesses to prove the charge of corruption against Colonel Ovans ? 

E 2 


One of them is the Dcwan, or Minister, of the Raja himself. To 
what documents does he refer ? State doaiments, and the records 
of Jagheerdars. If you still tell me that Krushnajee was a bad cha- 
racter, I ask you if you have ever read the State Trials of this coun- 
try and of Europe ; and if you have, I ask you if the greatest 
judicial questions that have ever engaged the attention of lawyers, 
and called into exercise the highest forensic talent of the age, have 
not had their origin in the information given in the first instance by 
some Judas in the plot, or some repentant criminal, who, shrinking 
from the enterprise in which he had engaged, gave notice of the me- 
ditated treason. Talk of Krushnajee ! who was Titus Gates ? Who 
are the spies and informers employed by our own and all other Go- 
vernments ? Does the Home Secretary refuse information, because 
the man who brings it is not a paragon of perfection ? Do the 
judges at the Old Bailey refuse the evidence of accomplices ? If 
told that a barrel of gunpowder had been placed in your cellar, and 
that the train was to be fired at midnight, would you refuse to look 
there, because the man who gave you the information was a bad 
character, or because you thought he was influenced by malicious 
and disappointed feelings ? What have we to do with the motives 
of Krushnajee, except as they affect the man's own character ? We 
have to do with his charges, and with his living witnesses, and with 
the books and records he refers to. Describe his motives as you 
will, what have they to do with books, and persons, and bankers' 
accounts, and the transfer of property. If a rogue, he gave you the 
amplest means of proving him one. If a liar, you had only to pro- 
duce the records and persons he referred to, to prove that he was 
one. He had placed himself in your hands — he had braved ruin 
and infamy, and a dungeon — he had once, twice, thrice sworn to 
the truth of his statements. Why, then, I ask, was there no inquiry ? 
Why was all law and all justice outraged and trampled upon by the 
Bombay Government ? 

In justice to myself, but still more to those who are absent, and 
some of them far away, I nuist notice an expression made use of, 
and repeated, in the House of Commons by a member of this Court. 
The deputy-chairman in the course of a speech, to which I have 
more than once before alluded, declared his conviction that the em- 


ployment of paid agents had been the cause of the Ruja's ruin, and 
his belief, that, bul for paid agi.'nts in India and in England, the 
Raja would have been still on his throne. Not content with this, he ex- 
claimed with uplifted hands, that the employment of paid agents by 
princes and others, in India, was the greatest and heaviest curse that 
country had to bear. Now, sir, I must, for myself, say — and I am 
glad to see in this Court those who can bear their testimony to my 
truth and sincerity — that I did not take up this question for the 
sake of money. I did not enter this Court in behalf of the Raja, 
as his paid agent. What I did for the Raja was all unknown to 
him, till the public journals told him of my existence, and of the 
interest I felt in his cause ; and my only reward was, the trouble I 
took to inform myself on the subject, and the payment of my own 
expenses from my residences in Manchester and Edinburgh, to at- 
tend your Quarterly or Special Courts. But what, if I had been 
paid — what, if I am now paid — what, if others have been, and still 
are paid, while toiling in the cause of this injured prince, or of any 
other native of India ! Is that a reason why they should be de- 
nounced in the British House of Commons (where they cannot vindi- 
cate themselves) as the curse of India ? Is it because they are paid, 
that they are the curse of India ? If not, what have they said or 
done, calculated to inflict a curse on India ? Point me to the paid 
agent of a dethroned prince, or of any other injured native of India, 
who has inflicted a curse on India ? What do these words mean ? 
Were they intended to convey the idea that the friends of the Raja 
were sordid in their niotives ? I will answer for myself. I tell the 
gentleman who uttered these words, that, had gold been my object, 
I have not wanted the opportunity to acquire it, by prostituting the- 
gifts of God to the cause of oppression and raisgovernment. Paid 
agents ! Is it a disgrace to be a paid agent ? Granted that it is. 
That gentleman is a lawyer. Did he take no money with his briefs ? 
He was registrar of the Supreme Court in Calcutta. Did he take 
no fees ? Did he reject all perquisites ? Did he scorn all the rich 
emoluments and pickings of his office ? Or, did he return with 
bloated wealth to England, to revel in luxury at the west end of 
London — there to feed the aristocracy — to find his way, .someho/r, 
into parliament, and then, safe from the fear of a reply, to lilt up his 


hands and exclaim, " paid agents on behalf of native princes, are 
the direst curse of India !" He is a Director. Does he take no 
salary ? Does he scorn all patronage ? Does he leave his fee for 
attendance on the board-room table ! Paid agents are a curse ! 
Will he say so in Westminster Hall ? Will he tell the Lord Chan- 
cellor, and the primates, and her Majesty's ministers, and the bench 
of bishops this ? or will he reserve all his indignation against paid 
agents for the humble advocates of the Raja of Sattara, and pour it 
out when he gets at the back of the treasury bench, and knows that, 
for the nonce, his parliamentary privilege saves him from the possi- 
bility of listening to a reply ? Paid agents ! What leads so many 
of the Directors to neglect their duties under this roof, that they 
may manage insurance companies, and dabble in railways, and be 
*' guardians" here, and " pelicans" there, and " atlases," and 
" ROCKS," and " globes," and " universals," elsewhere and 
everywhere ? Is it public spirit ? Is it pure patriotism ? Or is it 
the certainty of present pay, and the pleasant prospect of large pre- 
miums upon reserved shares ? Paid agents ! Sir, I will never 
hear that word uttered, here or elsewhere, as applied to those who 
are honestly, though humbly, and it may be unsuccessfully en- 
gaged in the cause of justice, but I will resent and expose it as a 
cruel and unmanly attack, proving only the want of argument and 
the malevolence of the man who utters it, and nothing better than 
an imputation on the justice of a universally recognized maxim, 
that the labourer is worthy of his hire ; and most of all so, when his 
toils are virtuous, and his motives are pure. Having given utter- 
ance to my feelings upon this subject, I will conclude with one 
additional word upon the topic immediately before the Court. 

I am about to call upon this Meeting to declare their opinion 
that the whole of the evidence taken against the Raja should be 
placed in his hands, and that the opportunity should be given him 
of meeting the charges brought against him. Let me entreat you 
to consider well before you vote upon this question. Hitherto you 
have refused a hearing. Once more I implore you to reconsider 
the matter, and to reverse your decision. I shall also call upon you 
to declare your conviction that the charges contained in these 
recent papers against Colonel Ovans and Ballajee Punt Nathoo, 


should be fully investigated. Can you, will you refuse this ? Do 
not go away with the notion that you can save Colonel Ovans from 
disgrace, by refusing inquiry, and by pronouncing eulogiums on his 
character. You can do no such thing. Nothing but a full and 
honest inquiry, and the refutation of these accusations, can save 
him, either from the suspicion of guilt or the charge of moral cow- 
ardice, arising from an inward consciousness of his inability to prove 
his innocence. Should this Court resolve upon inquiry, my task 
for the present is done. Nothing will fall from my lips upon the 
subject pending the issue of a judicial investigation. When I see the 
Directors and the Proprietors moving in the right path, I will com- 
mend them, and if possible aid them ; but if inquiry be again re- 
fused, then I shall feel it my duty to persevere in my present 
exertions. Beyond these walls I will endeavour to rouse the indig- 
nation of my countrymen against the horrible injustice practised by 
this Company and its executive ; and I misjudge the British public 
if I am wrong in my belief, that when the proceedings of this house 
are known, there will be one burst of execration from Aberdeen to 
Cornwall. No vote of this house, when contrary to the plainest in- 
junctions of all law, human and Divine, will have the effect of 
silencing me. I shall come again and again, until perchance you 
may grant to my importunity what you have thus far denied to 
reason, to argument, and to justice. (Loud cheers.) I now move 
the following resolutions : — 

Resolved, — That in reference to a document sent to the Bombay 
Government, in lSo7, purporting to be a petition from Giijabaee, 
the mother of Govind Rao, implicating in plots against the Bri- 
tish Government, the deposed Raja of Sattara, and twelve other 
persons, by name; the following facts are established by the 
printed papers now laid before Parliament, namely, — 

1. That in two declarations, made in the most solemn manner, 
that a Brahmin woman could make, and at a distance of five 
years the one from the other, Girjabace has deposed that she 
gave no petition of any kind, or at any time, of the iiature 
ascribed to her by the Resident, Colonel Ovans. 


2. That, in the second of these solemn declarations, Girjabaee 
affirms that she never had but one interview with Colonel Ovans, 
which interview took place with the permission of bis Highness 
the ex-Raja, — ^was in the day time, between the hours of eleven 
and twelve — and, that it was for the express purpose of preventing 
the removal of her son : whereas, Colonel Ovans reported to the 
Government that Girjabaee came to him by night, and admitted 
the contents of the petition ascribed to her to be true. 

3. That Vishnoo Kessoo Dewasteley, the brother of Girjabaee, 
described by Sir Robert Grant, the Governor of Bombay, as an 
adviser of his sistei', in reference to the petition ascribed to her, 
and whose deposition as a witness on the Goa charge is printed at 
length in the Parliamentary papers, p. 821, (No. 369,) as having 
been taken down by Colonel Ovans, on the 17th of February, 
1838, has solemnly declared that he never gave a petition in the 
name of his sister, and that he never appeared as a witness on the 
Goa charge, nor had any communication whatever with Ballajee 
Punt Nathoo, or viith Colonel Ovans, on the subject. 

4. That Govind Rao, the son of Girjabaee, was, at the instance 
of Colonel Ovans, removed from mild restraint at Poonah, and 
sent under guard to strict confinement in the fortress of Ahmed- 
nuggur, with orders to the British judge there, that all inter- 
course, except with his own servant, should be prohibited, and 
that his letters should be intercepted. That Govind Rao, when 
thus under strict confinement, made, to an emissary of Colonel 
Ovans, deputed to him for that purpose, and at the expiration 
of many days of secret communication, a confession, which he 
has subsequently declared to be false, and to have been extorted 
from him by the above means. 

5. That the evidence of Krushnajee Sadasew Bhidey, authen- 
ticating the authorship of the petition ascribed to Girjabaee, and 
contradicting the report of it which Colonel Ovans had made to 
the Government on the 17th of July, and 12th of August, 1837, 
and declared by him to be " conclusive and satisfactory," was 
withheld bv Colonel Ovans from the knowledije of the Govern- 


ment, from the 7th of September, 1837, until the IGth of August, 
1 838, a period of eleven months. 

6. That Colonel Ovans paid to Krushnajee Sudasew Bhidey, a 
gratuity of fifty rupees, on his coming to Sattara to give evidence, 
and entertained him there as a witness, on a salary of five rupees 
a month, for a period of nearly two years, and until the Raja was 
dethroned ; and then dismissed him with a donation of one 
hundred rupees. Therefore, — 

Resolved, — That from the foregoing facts, established in evi- 
dence, it is the opinion of this Court, that it is due to justice, and 
the honour of the British name, that the whole of the evidence 
upon which the ex- Raja of Sattara has been deposed, should be 
furnished to his Highness, and an opportunity afforded him of 
defending himself from the charges brought against him. 

Resolved, — That it is established in evidence, that Krushnajee 
Sudasew Bhidey placed himself within British jurisdiction, and 
was bound over by a British judge, in heavy recognizances, to 
prosecute certain grave charges, made by him against Colonel 
Ovans, late Resident at Sattara, and against BallajeePunt Nathoo, 
the confidential adviser of the Resident, and that he produced at 
the same time, a list of witnesses and documents, to substantiate 
the same. Wherefore, it is the opinion of this Court, that it is 
essential to the ends of justice, as well as due to the character of 
those two persons, that the charges above-mentioned should be 

Mr. Sullivan. Sir, I am anxious to take an early opportunity 
of stating to the Court, why my name appears appended to the 
requisition convening this meeting. I think we (the requisi- 
tionists) should have been perfectly justified in calling this Court 
together, even though we had been in possession of no new- 
matter to bring before it ; for it appears to me, that every man 
who loves fair dealing, or who considers the Raja of Sattara to 
have been deeply injured, is bound, at the earliest practicable 
period, to call upon this Court, to rebut the very serious misrepre- 
sentations which have been made by an honourable member of 
this body, during a recent debate in the House of Commons 


(hear, hear,) misrepresentations which I have no doubt arose 
from his imperfect information upon this subject; for this is a 
case, the proceedings in which are so voluminous and entangled, 
and in many of its particulars so contradictory, that it is not to be 
expected that every man can command the leisure to make him- 
self master of it ; still, sii", I am bound to say, that it was a repre- 
sentation containing the suppressio veri to a most extraordinary 
extent. This circumstance would be our justification, and a suffi- 
cient one, if we had no new facts to submit to your consideration. 
(Hear, hear.) But, sir, we have new and important matter to 
propound. We have fresh evidence, which, without any other, goes 
to prove that the Raja of Sattara has fallen a victim to one of the 
most flagrant conspiracies that ever was hatched; and, to their great 
disgrace, the Bombay Government have refused to inquire into 
that evidence. Having said this, I nevertheless fully concur in the 
opinion expressed by the Bombay Government, that it would be 
the grossest injustice to a public officer to subject him to the morti- 
fication and obloquy of a public inquiry upon every vague or foolish 
charge made by persons of suspicious and disreputable character. If 
charges of a criminal nature, so preferred, were to be always 
seriously noticed and dealt with, it would be next to impossible to 
carry on the government of India ; for just in proportion to the 
vigilance, integrity, talent, and zeal with which that administration 
was conducted, would be the spirit of enmity which would be 
awakened against the administrators,by individuals who were suffering 
from the effects of those very qualities. But, when grave charges 
of a specific nature are preferred against a public officer — when evi- 
dence the most full and the most respectable, is adduced in support 
of those charges — when the accuser binds himself under heavy pe- 
nalties to substantiate his accusations ; then the case assumes a very 
different complexion, and Government, in the discharge of its duty, 
has no alternative but to inquire ; and is guilty of a gross neglect of 
its functions, if it does not instantly investigate them : for it is obvious, 
that if we were, as a rule, to permit previous purity of character, 
and length of service, to stand as a bar to inquiry into charges of a 
serious nature against our officers, we should open a wide door to 
every species of raisgovernment. Not that it follows as a matter of 


course, that charges which appear to be well founded, are really so ; 
for none but those who have had melancholy experience upon the 
subject, are capable of judging of the audacity with which accusa- 
tions are preferred in India, or of the ingenuity with which they 
are supported : so that it often happens, as it might have happened 
in this case, that charges which appear to have some measure of 
proof to support them, turn out to be nothing better than the result 
of a deep and well- organized conspiracy. But these results can 
only be known by a searching inquiry. I take upon myself to state, 
without the least fear of contradiction, that the refusing an inquiry 
into these charges, by the Bombay Government, was a departure 
from all precedent. In this case they have been guilty of a very 
serious dereliction of public duty. But although I am astonished at 
the conduct of the Bombay Government, my astonishment is still 
greater that Col. Ovans himself did not insist on an inquiry, or that 
he did not instantly demand a prosecution of this man, whom he 
has represented as having grossly libelled him. Such a prosecution 
which would have necessitated a full and impartial consideration of 
those charges, and given, not only the accuser an opportunity of 
proving them, but himself also an ample opportunity of repelling 
them, and so of obviating the effects of what may possibly be a 
mere calumny, but is nevertheless now resting upon him, and ex- 
posing him to odium. I cannot help expressing my astonishment 
also upon another subject, and that is, to see the name of Mr. Wil- 
loughby appended to these resolutions of the Bombay Government ; 
resolutions which are, in fact, couched in the very words of Col. 
Ovans himself. Now, sir, looking at the circumstances of that gen- 
tleman, and considering how deeply he, as well as Col. Ovans, is im- 
plicated in every transaction connected with the Raja's case, it is to me 
a matter of profound wonder that Mr. Willoughby did not take an 
early resolution, that whenever this case might come before the 
Bombay Government,he wouldabsenthimself from theCouncil, and 
leave it to be dealt with by those who had no previous or personal 
interest in it. (Hear.) I have said, that I think it would be the gross- 
est injustice to subject any individual to the ordeal of public inquiry 
on every futile charge that might be brought against him by 
persons of known suspicious character, and on loose evidence. 


What then, Sir, must I think of those who have inflicted the 
most tremendous penalties on the Raja and his friends, without 
any trial at all ? (Hear, hear.) This is what you have done with 
regard to the deposed ruler of Sattara (Hear.) Sir James Carnac 
dethroned the Raja of Sattara because he would not acknowledge 
himself guilty of charges, the evidence in support of which he 
had not been permitted to see ; and the Court of Directors have 
confirmed that act. Here, sir, is the essence and the pith of all 
the bulky volumes which have been collected, printed, and pub- 
lished upon this subject. This is the naked and glaring fact, 
which not all the eloquence of Cicero and Demosthenes would be 
cible to overturn. Sir, is it a matter of surprise, or should it be 
a matter of reproach, that we are pertinacious in our prayer ? The 
question is not whether this cause has been agitated ten, fifteen, 
or twenty times, but whether it is a good cause. If it is, our per- 
tinacity is commendable ; for a man of principle cannot give up a 
good cause. Our abandoning it would be adduced against us as 
a proof of its being untenable. I ask those hon. gentlemen who 
are members of the House of Commons, whether that is not 
the principle that is recognized there ? — Whether, when Mr. 
Villiers gets up with his annual motion for the Repeal of the Corn 
Laws, he is met in the manner shown towards us ? Is he told, — 
"Sir, what you have said now you have said before, and we have 
answered you. We have heard your arguments, and have refuted 
them, and it is therefore very pertinacious and unseemly in you, 
to be so besotted and bigoted in your own opinions." Is this the 
language that is used? — I trow not. The arguments of Mr. 
Villiers are year by year weighed and discussed on their merits, 
divisions take place periodically, and what is the result ? Why 
that every new discussion gives strength to the hon. member 
(Hear, hear! from Mr. Thompson.) It is not a question now 
whether the Corn Laws are to be repealed at all, but when they 
are to be repealed. (Cheers.) — And so it has been with every 
great question. Let me refer to the experience of Mr. Poynder. 
How was he, in times past, met ? — Precisely as we are now met 
by you. What has been the result ? — We have it now before us. 
All his quetitions have been carried. (Cheers.) I beg to tell the 


Court, that tlie only oflTectual way of preventing the re-agitation 
of this question is, fairly, honestly, and at once to discuss it upon 
its merits. I affirm, without fear of contradiction, that the 
Directors a's a body, have never yet discussed this question upon 
its merits. (Hear.) I affirm, too, that those who have voted against 
the motion for inquiry, have systematically evaded the real merits 
of the question. It is true, that the case of the Raja has been 
repeatedly and most powerfully stated in this Court for the last 
six years. His cause has been most ably advocated by the late 
Mr. Charles Norris, by General Robertson, by General Briggs, 
by Colonel Lodwick, by Colonel Sykes, by my learned friend, Mr. 
Lewis, and most ably by the hon. proprietor below me, Mr. 
Thompson. Now, sir, let me ask the Court what has been the 
answer to those gentlemen ? One hon. gentleman has got up and 
said, " Sir Robert Grant says so and so, and Sir Robert Grant is 
an honourable man ;" another says, " Mr. Parish says so and so, 
and Mr. Parish is an honourable man;" another says, "Mr. Reid 
concurs in opinion with these gentlemen, and Mr. Reid is an 
honourable man." Another says that Colonel Ovans and 
Mr. Willoughby went into an inquiry, and at the end of it pro- 
nounced the Raja guilt}', — that they, too, are honourable men, and 
that their judgment has since been confirmed by the Indian 
Government and the Board of Control. This, sir, is the way in 
which the merits of the case have been evaded. There has not 
been one gentleman, who, in my hearing, either on this side of 
the bar or on that, has told you that Sir James Carnac was justi- 
fied in dethroning the Kaja, because he would not acknowledge 
himself guilty of charges, the evidence of which he had never 
been permitted to see. No man can fairly get up in this Court and 
raise even a presumption of the Raja's guilt, except after a search- 
ing examination of the evidence upon which the charges against 
him are founded. Such an examination you have always refused 
to grant. No man has got up in this Court and told us why the 
Commissioners (who, let it be remembered, were appointed by the 
Bombay Government for the special purpose of making a fair and 
impartial investigation intothiscase,and who solemnly promised the 
Raja that he should be put into possession of the evidence against 


him) have broken their promise to furnish the depositions, wliile 
at the same time they proceeded to deal with the Raja, as if they 
had put the evidence into his hands, and duly considered his 
reply. I say, no one has ever grappled with these important points 
of the question. I confess that until I hear them met, I shall feel 
it my duty always to lend my aid to the re-agitation of this ques- 
tion. I shall do so as a matter of stern duly. We are told by 
the highest authority to be unwearied and unsparing in our 
efforts to obtain redress for the injured. I shall re-agitate this 
question, because I consider that the title of every chief and 
prince in India, and the retention of his possessions, depends on 
the issue of this great case. (Hear, hear.) If it really be com- 
petent to the local Governments, with the sanction of the Court 
of Directors, to depose a chief or prince in India on the strength 
of charges, the evidence of which he is not permitted to see, who, 
I ask, of that class, is safe in his possessions ? I shall re-agitate 
this question, because I most perfectly concur in the opinion 
which was pronounced half-a-century ago by the great Duke of 
Wellington, that a breach of faith and justice is not only a breach 
of morality, but the grossest political blunder. I shall continue 
my exertions, because I am firmly of opinion, that one main 
element of your authority in India is the sense which the people 
entertain of your justice, and that if you shake that opinion, you 
will shake to the very centre the foundation of your power. (Hear.) 
You have dealt with the Raja as you could not have dealt with the 
poorest individual in your domains. There is not a peasant who 
tills the ground, who can be deprived of his land except by a regular 
sentence of a judicial tribunal. And yet you have spoiled this 
Raja of his power, his authority, and his property ; you have 
degraded and banished him, without any rightful authority at all, 
I say, and will say again and again, — without even a pretence of any 
legal authority. I am sorry to be obliged to repeat in this Court, 
that a charge does not criminate. You cannot take one step 
towards justice until you have put the accused in possession of 
the evidence against him, and given him an opportunity of rebut- 
ting it. Have you in this case taken that course ? I deliberately 
make my appeal to your own records, when I say that you have 


not (lone so; and therefore I afFirni, that the Raja of .Sattara 
has been plundered und oppressed without even the form of a trial, 
or the pretext of a legal sanction. Now, is it the opinion of this 
Court that the proceedings in this country can pass without observa- 
tion and animadversion by the people of India ? If such an impres- 
sion prevails, I will undertake to say it is as dangerous as it is 
erroneous. No, sir, the people of India are an observing, a thinking, 
and a shrewd and intelligent people. They thoughtfully weigh all 
your actions ; they compare all your present acts with the acts of 
the Governments that have preceded you, and they strike an even 
balance. They know, sir, the advantages which your Government 
gives them ; they know that you, by your immense military strength, 
can do what none of your predecessors were able to do ; namely, 
protect them from external violence and from internal convulsion. 
If you be true to your avowed principles, your Government cannot 
injure the poorest peasant in his hut, except after the sentence of a 
judicial tribunal. So long as you act upon those principles, so long 
will the natives of India consider that their advantages preponderate 
over the many disadvantages which your Government imposes upon 
them. Once shake their faith in your justice, and they will see no 
advantage in supporting your administration. I will venture to repeat 
what I have before said was my conviction, that if these proceedings in 
the Sattara case were published in the native language, there would be 
one shout of execration from the Coromandel coast to Delhi, at the 
flagrant enormity of which you have been guilty. I hope I shall 
not again hear that stated, which was said on a former occasion, 
namely, that this Court has disposed of the case, and that it is not now 
in their hands ; that therefore they can do nothing in it. "When I 
last had the honour of addressing the Court upon this question, I 
adduced a precedent in which all the authorities in India and in 
this country concurred in deposing a Raja on evidence similar to 
that upon which you have deposed the Raja of Sattara. "When I 
mentioned the case, anhon. proprietor on my right hand, whose pro- 
found knowledge upon these subjects so often enlightens us, told the 
Court that I was telling a fairy tale about some Raja on the INIalabar 

Mr, Weeding. If the honourable gentleman means to allude to 


me, I distinctly contradict the truth of his statement, which I have 
seen in print before ; but it is totally incorrect. I know where Tan- 
jore is as well as the honourable gentleman ; I have been on the 
coast of Malabar, and therefore to allege that I stated w hat he has 
said, is a great untruth. 

Mr. Sdllivan. I can only say I heard you say it ; I am aware, 
however, it may have been a slip of the tongue. 

Mr. Weeding. It is not possible that you could have heard me 
say anything of the kind. I have been on the coast of Malabar, and 
know Tanjore as well as you do. 

Mr. Sullivan. Sir, I was recounting the history of the case of 
the Kaja of Tanjore, on the Coromandel coast. Now, sir, I have 
heard no answer to that quotation of precedent, although the case is 
strictly in point. What is it we ask you to do ? Do we ask you to 
restore the Raja of Sattara ? No. We ask you to redeem the pro- 
mise which was solemnly made by the Commissioners, and which 
was ratified by Sir Robert Grant and Lord Auckland — we ask you 
to put the Raja, even at this eleventh hour, in possession of the 
evidence upon which you have convicted him. Is there a man in 
this Court can refuse such a reasonable request ? I wait with im- 
patience to hear an answer. I shall only, in conclusion, repeat the 
expression of my surprise and delight, that considering the extra- 
ordinary influence which has been used against the Raja by the Go- 
vernments of India for a series of years, that he should have passed 
through this ordeal, in my opinion, with unsullied honour and per- 
fectly unscathed. (Cheers.) 

Mr. Poynder. Sir, As my honourable friend, Mr. Sullivan, has 
stated why he did sign the requisition for this Court, I may be 
permitted to say why I did not do so. The only reason was, that 
being an invalid, and forced to seek a change of air, I was not in 
town, or I should certainly have been amongst the first to have sup- 
ported the opinion which I have humbly ventured to state in this 
Court, and still more humbly to di fend, that the treatment of the 
much-injured Raja of Sattara calls most loudly for redress, and has 
claims upon you, I am almost inclined to think, even stronger than 
any of those subjects (dear as they have been to my heart) upon 
which I have so often and so anxiously addressed you. (Cheers.) 


1 quite agree with the last speaker with respect to the course pur- 
sued in the House of Commons in this matter — that it was the sup- 
pressio veri. I entirely agree with him in every portion of his state- 
ment ; and I also beg leave to say, I think the suppresnio veri, if ever 
it was the case in logic, was upon that occasion the suggestio falsi. 
I do not intend to occupy much of your time, I want no triumph ; 
my conviction upon the matter is this, that the original mistake was 
in the attempt made by the Indian authorities to deprive this man 
of a plain, simple, just and righteous claim to the Jagheers named 
in the treaty. (Hear.) I believe that, because the Raja could not 
obtain justice, because justice was openly and scandalously refused 
him, and he continued to demand it, that therefore those plots were 
formed, which have led to all the misery we have since witnessed, 
and all the embroilments, confusion and distress which have fol- 
lowed, both in India and in England. It was because that original 
blunder was committed — because the authorities abroad were re- 
solved to support one another, and carry themselves thick and thin 
through all their acts, and brought them to this unworthy result — 
that this whole business is now before you, and comes so often under 
discussion in this Court. It is by no means my intention to make 
any undue reflection on the persons in authority in India, one of 
whom was Sir Robert Grant, whom I am sure no one can more 
honour and respect than myself, and 1 would not say one word 
against him, especially as he is called to his great account. I would 
be one of the last to throw a stone at any act of his, or at any docu- 
ment which emanated from him, or on anything that he may have 
done, suggested, or advised in this matter \ — still I cannot but im- 
pute to him very unnecessary delay in coming to a conclusion upon 
the subject of the Jagheers. After so many attempts to obtain 
a decision, delay was certainly very much to be deplored ; but cer- 
tainly the delay took place. We have heard of the delays of the law, 
and the delays and uncertainty of the Court of Chancery. The 
ex-parte statement made, a- id general evidence produced, against 
the Raja, turns out to be of the most false fraudulent, and fallacious 
description. It is one tissue of tergiversation from beginning to end. 
I speak after some experience in my own profession, having been 
engaged in the examination of evidence for forty or fifty years, and 


1 venture to say, I have never yet seen a case which is so per- 
fectly fallacious, and so unworthy of being acted upon, even in 
India, much less in England. I do not wish to speak ill of the 
Indian character. No one can think of it more highly, or love 
it more dearly than myself; but notvvithstanding, the Indian cha- 
racter, like our own, is very bad or very good. Often, we know, 
that the corruption of the best thing turns out to be the worst kind 
of corruption. It is the best, as it falls under the influence of culti- 
vation, civilization, and religion, with all the sanctions that are 
attached to these great principles ; but it is the worst, when it 
falls into the hands of such villains, knaves, and wretches, as 
those who have been called to depose against this most injured and 
insulted R^ja. In fact, it is a portion of injury, that insult should be 
added to it. Wherever wrong is committed, (we find it in the 
history of all nations,) it becomes the necessary duty of those 
who are resolved to go all lengths to support it, to shelter, shield, and 
save themselves as well as they can, by adding one fraud to another; 
so that, as an old divine very truly says, "one lie must be 
thatched by another." I never saw testimony so disgraceful and 
scandalous as in this case. If men are to rely upon that testimony, 
then I must come myself to the conclusion to which they did abroad, 
that the honourable Directors did at home ; but that evidence itself 
requires examination and sifting. How is this to be done, but by 
putting it into the Raja's hands, and letting him know what has been 
done ? 

Here is a petition in this man's hand, in which he tells you what 
he wishes ; he comes on his kness to implore a hearing, and yet you 
refuse it — 1 feel as ray friend does, that this thing must come out ; it 
must be known ; if India could bear it, England will not. Who is 
to palliate that which is unjust, or to endure that such things as 
these be done in open day ? With respect to Sir James Carnac. 
It is with pain and atfliction, mingled, that I advert to his name. 
Personally, I esteem him ; but his official conduct in this matter 
will go down to posterity as the foulest act that ever disgraced Eng- 
land. If he were here, I would say so to his face. I cannot but 
feel that something is due to him ; and therefore, if he can answer, 
let him disprove the evidence, and thereby clear himself. I am 


surprised and astonished how any man, living at this time of day, 
and moving in such a grade of society as Sir James Caniac, can be 
seen, and known, and walk about, and not ask and pray for an in- 
quiry into his case ; for it is as much his case as it is that of Colonel 
Ovans. There is one honourable gentleman among those who hear 
me — a man who is above all suspicion — I allude to General Robert- 
son — he has declared every one of these Jaghecrs is rightly and fairly 
claimed by this the Raja, and he has told you his reasons both in 
print and otherwise. Then, with respect to Colonel Lodwick, what 
can be more upright than his conduct ? What more faithful, honest, 
and manly ? Sir, these things are not, and cannot be got over ; 
they are not to be slurred and put aside ; it is in vain to expect that 
you can do that. I still desire to detain you a few minutes with one 
or two concluding observations, taken from the Raja's petition. I 
think there is something so reasonable in it, looking at the wrong 
and injustice dealt out to him ; that there is something so temperate, 
so patient and I had almost said so Christian (and there are some 
cases in which Heathens might read strong lessons to Christians), 
that you cannot but be moved by what he says. The words to which 
I allude are these, " Compensation for past injuries I cannot re- 
ceive. Full reparation, it is not in the power of the British Govern- 
ment, or any earthly power, to grant me. The sufferings I have 
endured through a departure from the principles of fair and upright 
dealing on the part of those v.-ho have conducted proceedings against 
me, can never be atoned for. P'or more than five years I have been 
an exile from my native hills, and subject to the miseries of cap- 
tivity in a strange and unhealthy region, and worse than all besides, I 
have been made to feel tortures inflicted by the knowledge of the 
infamy with which my name has been branded. No wealth or pros- 
perity, therefore, which I can venture to hope I may hereafter 
enjoy, can be any adequate compensation for such inflictions. 
Nevertheless, if permitted to rescue my character from the disgrace 
which has been heaped upon it, and to establish my innocence to the 
satisfaction of the British Government, I shall readily forgive the 
wrongs I have endured, and be ever grateful for the magnanimous 
interference, though late, of the head of the Indian Government in 
my behalf." Fie thus touchingly concludes :- 

!-■ -1 


"Uiilil I receive your reply, I shall draw comfort from the belief tiiat 
an unjustly deposed and exiled Prince, though fallen in his fortune 
and injured in his character, cannot make an appeal to you in vain." 

All that the Raja asks, as has been well said, is " a hearing." All 
that we have hitherto said in support of him — every argument in 
favour of his cause — has been for a fair hearing. Whether the hearing 
be far away over the water, or here, no matter, — let your agents be un- 
corrupt, honest, and honourable, and justice will yet be done. I feel 
that the honour of my country depends very much upon the decision 
to which the Court of Directors may eventually come upon this subject. 
I have personally received nothing but kindness and honourable treat- 
ment at their hands, and they therefore have my best wishes for the 
continuance of their reputation. I am only one of the many, who 
again ask, that justice be done to the Raja of Sattara; and I will not 
think that I shall live to be refused. (Cheers.) 

RuNGoo Bapojee, the Native Agent of his Highness the Raja of 
Sattara, then rose, and, addressing the Court in the Hindostanee lan- 
guage, said, that he was very desirous of making a few observations, but 
did not possess a sufficient knowledge of English to enable him to do 
so in that language. The case of his injured master would be found in 
the printed papers, which, though compiled by enemies, proved that 
truth and justice were on the side of the accused, and that the Raja had 
been the victim of a cruel and wicked conspiracy. He had prepared a 
few remarks, and had hail them put into English. They were contained 
in a paper he had brought with him ; which paper, with the permission 
of the Court, he would place in the hands of a friend to be read. The 
Chairman at once; consented ; and Mr. Thompson read as follows : — 

In reference to what has been stated by Mr. Hutt, the judge at Ah- 
mednuggur, that whilst Govind Row was in prison, no paper was ever 
takea from him by improper means, and that "suitable quarters" were 
assigned to him in the jail; I bpg to observe, that in no part of that letter 
has Mr. Hutt ventured expliciily to deny the two main complaints of 
Govind Row ; that is to say that he was incarcerated in a dungeon, and 
that a paper was forcibly (under certain threats) extorted from him. 
The Governor of Bombay, however, and the members of his Council, have 
had the temerity to say, in their mhmteto the Court of Directors (vide 
last par. page 47) that Govind Row's assertions are false, and that Mr. 


Hutt, and his dependants, the Nazir, tlie Deputy Gaoler, tlie Havildar, 
and the Sepoys, are to be relied on as true. 

It was natural that the Government of Bombay would defend their 
own servants and proteges ; but will it be believed that no reference 
whatever has been made to Govind Row himself, the aggrieved person, 
by that Government, as in common fairness, not to say justice, should 
have been done, in a matter affecting the honour and credit of the Go- 
vernment? But I can bring proofs to show that the Government of 
Bombay enjoined, (see Minute by the Governor, 28th June, 1837, 
p. 81,) at the instigation of tiie Resident, Colonel Ovans (par. page 369) 
that Govind Row should be strictly confined. Colonel Ovans says : — 
" 12. In order, however, to dispel the illusion as to Govind Row's 
release, which threatens to throw such serious obstacles in the way of 
this important inquiry, I beg most respectfully to propose that the 
Dewan be sent immediately, under guard, to Ahmednuggur, and placed 
in STRICT CONFINEMENT THERE ; that he ouly be attended by his own 
servant, and that all other intercourse with him be for the present pro- 

Upon this recommendation going to the Government, Sir Robert 
Grant says : — 

" If my colleagues concur, I request that no time may be lost in 
issuing orders to the Session Judge, at Poonah, to forward Govind Row 
to the custody of the Judge at Ahmednuggur. That officer should be 
instructed to place the prisoner in strict confinement, and to prevent 
the holding any communication with any person." Mr. Farish 
in his minute, observes, (vide par. page 81,) "The only question 
on which any doubt could be entertained is the removal of Govind 
Row to Ahmednuggur. The absolute necessity of putting an end 
to the erroneous expectations of his release, in order to obtain the 
important information which Geerjahbaee may be able to communicate, 
fully warrants his being placed under greater personal restraint and 
stricter guard." 

You have, no doubt, heard that during the recent war in tlie Mahratta 
Country it so happened that Colonel Ovans was captured by tiie insult 
gents and imprisoned in a hill fort. Here is almost an exact parallel 
to the case of Govind Row, with the exception that Colonel Ovuns was 
of course, not subject to the same degree of personal reslranl as Govind 


Row was, but still he was in strict confinement. It was during this 
confinement in the fort that the chiefs of tiie insurrection came to him, 
detailed their grievances, and obtained from him a paper favoura- 
ble to their claims of justice, in which he was pledged to exert 
himself to the utmost, with the Commander of the Forces and 
the Bombay Government, to bring about terms favourable to 
them during the negotiation then taking place for the pacification 
of the country. Upon these terms, and these conditions only, did 
they liberate him, and sent him, under a safe escort to the British 
lines. This paper was sent by the Chiefs to the Bombay authori- 
ties ; but what did the latter do ? They immediately disclaimed 
the competency of their own officer to sign such a paper under 
such circumstances, and refused to receive it as a genuine document. 
Nay, they went further, they declined to listen to what Colonel 
Ovans had pledged himself to plead in their behalf; giving as 
their reason that the paper in question, as well as the pledge, were 
forcibly obtained and extorted from him under threats of personal 

That Govind Rao was closely imprisoned and strictly watched in a 
confined dungeon, and that a paper was, under the penalty of per- 
sonal violence, taken from him, has, I presume, been clearly de- 
monstrated. This same paper was received by the Bombay Au- 
thorities, and is insisted upon as being a bond fide confession of all 
that individual is said to have known on the subject of the charges 
against the Raja. Here are two persons placed by circumstances in 
nearly parallel positions. They are both confined, imprisoned, and 
closely watched ; a paper, under certain threats and inducements, 
is obtained from both ; the first of these papers is received and held 
forth as a genuine production, because it exactly suits the purpose 
of the Bombay Government so to consider it ; the second paper, 
for the same reason, is rejected and repudiated, though quite as 
genuine as the former, because it would not suit the same Authori- 
ties to acknowledge it. Really is this not too glaring to be glossed 
over ? Are the people of India to rest satisfied with this specimen 
of British justice ? I seriously beg to ask, whether such conduct 
on the part of the rulers of that vast empire will tend to consolidate 
and render permanent their sway and dominion in those regions ? 


The Bombay Authorities deny that Govind Row, was incarcerated 
in a ^^ dark" dungeon. Will their ov n proceedings bear being 
brought to light ? I will take the liberty of telling them what the 
world will consider "dark" in their deeds. It will be considered 
dark to oppress and imprison the innocent, and forcibly extort from 
them that which they afterwards disavow. It will be considered dark 
secretly to promote the intrigues of the wicked, with a view to cause 
the ruin of others, and to profit by the result. It will be considered 
dark for men to assemble ostensibly for the purpose of furthering 
the ends of justice, but secretly to combine and persist in their 
tyranny and oppression, and by transmitting false reports, concocted 
after their own fashion, to continue in the exercise of irresponsible 
power. Such deeds as these will be held by the world to be dark. 
Even the Governor- General, Lord Auckland, could see into the 
improbability of the pretended confession of Govind Row ; for Mr. 
Macnaghten, in his letter to the Secretary to the Government of 
Bombay, dated 16th October, 1837, says, (see Pari. Pa. page 112, 
par. 3,) "Except from the statement which may possibly be made 
by Govind Row, his Lordship in Council sees nothing in all this 
evidence which is likely to throw light upon the conduct of the Raja, 
so far as it is proper or incumbent on us to inquire into it ; and under 
the circumstances of recent strict duresse, and expected liberty 
under which this evidence is to be elicited, it must be received with 
very considerable caution." And again, "The Governor- General 
in Council will look with some anxiety, though, under the circum- 
stances, not without suspicion, to any further confession which he 
may offer to support, by direct and substantial proof, which may 
be made by Govind Row, as tending to weaken or confirm the 
original charge, adduced against the Raja or any of his family, of 
attempting to seduce our sepoys from their allegiance." I will not 
take up the time of the Court by quoting documents, but will briefly 
specify certain facts, each and all of which can be supported by 
printed papers. I will also give some references, to assist those 
who may desire to look into the points named. 

The Bombay Governmentya6/ua/t'<:/(/or«wc«/.v(vide Par. pa. 801 
to 818.) And w^aAfalse seals (vide pages 818, 821), 8G1), 881.) Took 
the evidence of person-; inimical to Ihc Raja (vide Par. papers.) 


Gave money to persons of bad character, who invented stories, and 
whose evidence, though fabricated, was received as good (Par. pa. 148, 
69, 642, 317, 42.) Gave money to a person to write a false petition. 
(Par. pa. 1028, 436; also last Par. pa. 17.) Fabricated depositions 
of witnesses, on subjects with which they (the witnesses) were unac- 
quainted (vide Par. pa. 821 ; also last Par. pa. 43, and page 10.) 
Made the papers of the case as voluminous as possible, in order to 
impede the investigation. (See Par. pa, printed by House of Commons, 
5 volumes.) Attempted to entrap the Raja into a confession of guilt, 
by means of certain sepoys, whom he was alleged to have bribed. 
(Par. pa. 1309, 1099, 1100, 1101.) Let me state, also, that no 
mention is made in the proclamation of the false charges brought 
against the Raja, (Par. pa. 1153,) although the draft prepared by Co- 
lonel Ovans, to be given to the Raja, agreeably to the instructions of 
the Governor- General, and kept back, contains the alleged proof of 
three distinct charges. (Vide page 1063.) 

Mr. THOMrsoN. — Such, sir, are the contents of the Vakeel's state • 
ments, one word of which I never saw until it was placed in my 
hands. The Vakeel has also handed me a number of extracts from 
Parliamentary papers, which are intended, I suppose to support the 
assertions which he has made in the documents just read. 
Mr. Thompson having finished the reading of the papers, 
RuNGOo Bapojee again rose, and addressed the Court in imper- 
fect English, to the following effect : — That it was both remarkable 
and lamentable that a country like England, so famed throughout the 
world for its greatness and its love of justice, should be called to 
witness, in its capital, a spectacle so shameful as that then before 
him — the spectacle of a body of men persevering in a course of 
manifest injustice toward a fallen prince. It was also surprising, that 
in an assembly like the Parliament of England, such statements 
should be made as those which had been put forth by the De- 
puty-chairman — statements which were wholly untrue, and which 
he (Rungoo Bapojee) had it in his power to disprove. He could 
also bear his testimony, that the statements which had been made by 
his friend Mr. Thompson were perfectly true, and could be sup" 
ported by documentary evidence. He asked nothing on behalf of 
his injured master but a fair inquiry, and he hoped the people of 


England would be strong enough to compel the East India Com- 
pany to grant it. 

Sir H. WiLLOCK (the Chairman). — The real object of the gen- 
tleman who has brought forward the present motion, and of those 
who support him, is to re-open the whole case of the Raja of Sat- 
tara. I should very ill show my respect for the numerous decisions 
which have been recorded by the Court of Proprietors, if I were to 
give my consent to any such a review. The papers at present under 
discussion have been carefully considered by the Court of Directors 
and that Court are of opinion that they contain nothing which should 
induce them to disturb the former decisions in this question. Recent 
proceedings in Parliament will, I have no doubt, have the effect of 
confirming the opinion of this Court that it is inexpedient to go again 
into this subject. Before I submit an amendment, I must record my 
strong disapprobation of the opprobrious language which has been 
applied to a gallant officer in the service of the East India Company 
— Colonel Ovans, as well as of the accusations preferred against hinr 
That gentleman has been far more than thirty years in the employ 
of this body, with a constantly increasing reputation for faithfulness 
and integrity ; and nothing that has occurred recently, nor the accu- 
sations made against him by a person who has been guilty of per- 
Mr. THOMrsoN. — I deny that Krushnajee has committed perjury. 
Sir H. WiLLOCK. — It has been considered by the Court of Di- 
rectors of a nature calculated to impair their confidence in that offi- 
cer. I must state, to the credit of Colonel Ovans, that, on being 
informed of the charges against him, he proposed, notwithstanding his 
ill state of health, to proceed at once to India for the purpose of pro- 
secuting his accuser, and of subjecting himself, if we wished it, to 
examination on the charges. Under these circumstances I must 
oppose the motion, and meet it by the following amendment : — 

" That there is nothing in the papers recently printed which induce the 
Court of Proprietors to depart from the resolutions of i;5th Feb., 1840, 
the 20th July, 1841, and the 18th of June last." 

Mr. Thompson. — 1 call upon the Chairman to substaiiliate his 
assertion that Krushnajee Sadasew Bhidi y, the accuser of Colonel 


Ovaris, has been guilty of perjury. (Hear, hear.) I deny that 
the assertion can be supported by these papers. (Order, order.) I 
demand the proof of the truth of what the Chairman has asserted. 
(Confusion.) I demand, I say, that Sir H. Willock should make 
good his charge. Why does he not, as a gentleman, refer to the 
proof ? 

Mr. Hogg, the Deputy Chairman, seconded the amendment. 

Mr. Weeding denied that he was ignorant of the situation of 
Tanjore, for he had been upon the Coromandel coast ; the story 
had been told for the purpose of making him ridiculous. The 
question was a political one, and not to be dealt with according to 
the usual forms of law. It would have been wrong to give the 
Raja the evidence taken by a secret commission. The papers 
before the Court had been brought forward to serve the purpose 
of re- opening the whole question ; such an object should be firmly 
resisted. Were it possible to show the absolute innocence of the 
Raja, the decision could not be disturbed. The House of Commons 
had refused an inquiry, and therefore all parties were bound to be 
silent. Mr. Hume's papei's had been sent to Bombay, and had 
been there declared unworthy of credit. The case of Vishnoo Kes- 
soo Dervusteley might be easily explained ; Sir Robert Grant had 
mistaken the maternal for the paternal uncle ; Col. Ovans was not 
answerable for that. Girjabee's declaration had been extorted 
from her by the Raja. Krushnajee had not been bribed ; he was 
only paid as other witnesses were, as, for instance, at the Old Bailey. 
Mr. Hutt was an honourable man, and he had contradicted the 
statements of Govind Rao. He should have thought that Mr. 
Sullivan would have had too much of the esprit de corps to say 
anything against his fellow servants. Krushnajee Sadasew Bhidey 
had either uttered falsehood in the first instance, or committed per- 
jury in the last. He would leave Mr. Thompson in the horns of 
the dilemma. Krushnajee was influenced by feelings of disap- 
pointment and revenge. His charges were against men of the 
highest character. Ballajee Punt Nathoo had been a faithful ser- 
vant of the British Government for thirty years ; so had Col. 
Ovans. The Court should protect these persons. He called upon 
the Directors and Proprietors to be firm, to resist agitation aud 


intrigue, to abide by their former decisions, to arm themselves 
against clamour and importunity, and to entertain a confident beUef 
that by such means they would preserve the peace of India, and 
finally triumph over the faction in that Court. 

Mr. Sullivan. — Sir, allow me to make a single observation 
upon the speech we have just heard. I ara very anxious to rivet 
the attention of the Court to the purport of the proposition of the 
hon. Proprietor, Mr. WeeJing. He says this question is apolitical 
one. Who doubts it ? Everybody acknowledges that the offence 
charged against the Raja is a political offence ; but are you for that 
reason to deprive the man of the only possible means by which he 
can rebut the charge ? I challenge the honourable rroprietor 
to get up and state how it was possible for the Raja to exonerate 
himself from a political charge, except by a searching examination 
of the evidence adduced ? 

Mr. Weeding. — He was offered a hearing, but he refused it. 
You have spoken once, you have no right to speak again. 

Mr. Serjeant Gaselee. — Certainly he has, in explanation. 

The Chairman. — You are speaking now in explanation, Mr. 

Mr. Sullivan. — I am. Sir, and I put it to the judgment of the 
Court, whether the hon. Proprietor has said one word to the ques- 
tion, which is, whether at this, the eleventh hour, you will, or will 
not give this unfortunate man the evidence upon which you con- 
victed, degraded, and dethroned him ? That is the question. Has 
Mr. Weeding said one word upon that subject ? No. I ara very 
willing to recall the words that fell from me about a mistake in his 
geography. I do not wish to cast ridicule upon him ; but, be it his 
mistake or mine, it has nothing to do with the merits of the case. 
Nobody has yet told me that the case of the Raja of Tanjore is not 
strictly in point. When I quoted it first, the hon. Gentleman, >fr. 
Weeding, got up and told the Court I was telling them a fairy tale. 
That is what he said. 

Mr. Weeding. — Sir, I stated another thing also ; I said I could 
tell the gentleman a still more marvellous tale, that of a man who 
had been convicted of murder, and hanged for the crime, and thai 
the man supposed to be dead had afterwards a})pearcd. 


Mr. Geouge Thompson. — 1 thank you for that. Let the Raja 
have the benefit of the fact. 

Major Oliphant (a Director.) — This question of the Raja of 
Sattara has several times recently been brought before this Court. 
On the occasions I refer to, I have treated it judicially, and have 
abstained from voting, for the reason that it had already been dis- 
posed of by this tribunal — such as it is. Having so acted previous 
to this discussion, I should not have deemed it consistent to have 
taken a part in the present debate, had there not been brought be- 
fore us, new and important matter — matter with which I think I am 
fairly entitled to deal, and am in duty called upon to consider. I 
have taken all possible pains to sift to the very bottom the statement 
of Krushnajee Sudasew Bhidey. There is much in what has fallen 
from the gentlemen who have spoken first and second iu this de- 
bate, which, if it were necessary, I could go over and fully corro- 
borate. Indeed, with one trifling exception, namely, that Girjabaee 
did not speak to Krushnajee, (it being in evidence that she did say 
a few words,) I am ready, from my examination of these papers, 
to attest the accuracy of all that these Gentlemen have stated. 
(Hear, hear.) 

A word, in the first place, respecting the state of affairs at Bom- 
bay, at the time this, so called, petition of Girjabaee was got up. 
The printed papers prove, that, down to the 4th of February, 1837, 
the Council of Bombay had been unable to make anything of the 
case against the Raja. As to punishment, I will read you an ex- 
tract from the Minutes of one of the Councils, showing the extent 
to which the members of the Government thought they could go in 
that respect. 

" 1 concur in all respects (says Mr. Parish) in the conclusiun come to, 
that the transfer of the Akulkote Raja from his connexion with the Raja of 
Sattara, to a connexion with the British Government, together with the 
proposed modification of the office of Resident at Sattara, would be a 
sufficient punishment fo)- the past, and be best suited to operate as a warn- 
ing to him (the Raja) for the future." 

Such was the view of the Government on the 4th of February, 
1837. On the 6th of March following, the petition of Girjabaee 


arrived at Bombay, and thereupon new measures were immediately 
contemplated. Now, it is a very curious fact, and I beg the atten- 
tion of the Court to it, that it was not until the former evidence had 
been found to be insufficient to effect the Raja's ruin ; — it was not 
until the case was about to be brought to an end, in the way we 
have seen, that anything was heard respecting Girjabaee or her 
petition. It is of great importance that we should take the trouble 
to look attentively at the various dates connected with this myste- 
rious affair. The petition is dated the 13th of the previous Decem- 
ber ; but it does not arrive at the Presidency until the 6th of March, 
an interval of more than three months ! I conclude, from this, 
that it was considered necessary to antedate the petition, that it 
might appear to be written about the time that Govind Rao was 
placed in confinement at Poonah. It is very desirable to discover, 
if possible, at what precise time it was, that Govind Rao was 
actually sent from Sattara to Poonah. I have searched diligently 
for information on this point, but the only assistance I have been 
able to obtain, in determining the period of his removal, is from a 
minute, recorded by the Governor, on the 3rd of December, 1836, 
ten days prior to the date of the petition — in which he says : — 

" Concurring, as I do, with the Commissioners in their suggestions re- 
garding the disposal of the prisoners, 1 think Govind Row, and the Brahmin 
Untajee, should be removed without delay to Poona/i, and be there confined 
as state prisoners, under the usual irarrants, pending the receipt of the 
instructions of the Governnunt of India." 

Such are the words of the Governor's minute, recorded on the 3rd 
of December. Now, before the opinion of Sir R. Grant, here re- 
corded, could be regularly acted upon, it would be necessary that 
all the usual forms of Government proceedings should be gone 
through, and then, finally, that there should be a letter, with the 
proper warrant, sent to the Resident at Sattara, and then would come 
the removal of Govind Rao to Poonah. Hence, some time must 
inevitably elapse, between the working of the order, and the execu- 
tion of it at Sattara. Let these things be kept in mind, for they are of 
very considerable moment in this examination. There may have been 
a much greater delay than that which was absolutely necessary for the 


due observance of the required official forms; but, as I liavf already said , 
there is nothing but this minute of the 3rd of December to guide me, 
and I shall take nothing for granted. Now let me draw your special 
attention to the heading of the petition : — " A Petition of Girjabaee, 
the mother of Govind llao, now in confinement as a stale prisoner 
at Poonah, dated 13th of December, 1836." An honourable gentle- 
man has I'emarked, that " Cunning sometimes overreaches itself, and 
defeats its own object." I cannot but think that such was the case 
with the concoctors of this petition. It is just possible, and no more, 
that Govind Rao was at that time, namely, on the 13th of December, 
actually a prisoner at Poonah. I cannot say he was not, because I 
have no evidence on the subject. But, looking a little further into 
the matter, what do we find ? Why, a circumstantial narrative of what 
took place during the preparation of the petition. This narrative is 
furnished by Krushnajee, the " real Simon Pure" — the bo7id fide 
writer of the petition. This man, describing a conversation between 
himself and Lukhsmun Punt Shekdar, at Sattara, says : — *' Thus, a 
conversation having mutually passed, we went to our respective lodg- 
ings." Mind you, at this time tlie petition had been ivritten, and 
Krushnajee had, according to his own statement, seen the Baee, who 
came out to him as he stood in a verandah at the back of a house at 
Sattara. Who can believe this story? What! a Brahmin lady, of 
high rank, come out to a Carcoon in a verandah ! Who ever heard of 
such a thing? The assertion is absolute nonsense. But let that pass. 
Now mark what follows, and reconcile it, if you can, with the heading 
of the petition. That heading asserts, that Govind Rao is now, that is, 
at the .time it was written, on the 13th of December, a state-prisoner 
at Poonah. Well, after the petition had been written — after the 
Baee had been seen by Krushnajee — after all arrangements had been 
made — " Afterwards'' (says Krunshnajee) " I set out and went to the 
Ks'.ietru (that is, to Punderpore.) Just then a rumour arose about 
the Rao Sahib (Govind Rao,) being removed to Poonah, but I did 
not dispatch the Lukhota ; for the affair being a serious one, I consi- 
dered, and kept it back." Now this is a most extraordinary fact. 
Thus, at the very outset, the authenticity of the petition is destroyed by 
the evidence of the man who wrote it ; for he makes the petition say, 
that Govind Row is, at the time it was wrilte7i,a. prisoner at Poonah, 


and then lie tells you, lliat aoine lime afler the priition wan /aOii- 
cated, he heard a rumour that Govind Rao was about to be removed 
to Poonah. These facts cannot be reasoned away. Here is the peti- 
tion itself, and here is the deposition of the writer. So much for the 
truth of the first words of this petition ! Now, sir, if it were neces- 
sary, I could go through this document, and make it condemn itself. 
I could prove to you from internal evidence, that it is utterly worthless, 
in whatever point of view you regard it. I could prove that the whole 
was a barefaced and wicked plot; but this would lead me to travel 
over the ground which has been gone over by the gentleman who has 
moved the resolutions. I am perfectly satisfied in my own mind, that 
tliroughout the whole of this affair. Sir Robert Grant was deceived. 
Tiiat distinguished man, I believe, meant well, but he was deluded — de- 
luded by the cunning artifices of others. As for the appearances of Girja- 
baee, they were, I believe, purely fictitious; and as for Malideo Fugery, 
the pretended writer of the petition, there was no suth person. Sir 
Robert Grant saw the necessity of having this man produced ; but 
how could that be done, when he had no real existence ? At last, how- 
ever, it was thought that the mind of the Governor had been satisfied, 
and so the parties who had got up the thing became content ; thinking, 
that there would be no more inquiry respecting the imaginary writer, 
Mahdeo Fugery. The repeated statements of Colonel Ovans, had, 
indeed, succeeded in bringing the Governor to the opinion, that the 
history of the petition given by Sukharam Bullal, was correct ; and 
he believed the story told him, of the writer having gone to a distance 
in quest of employment. The real writer of the petition, however, 
when he found that all was going on well — that the petition was taking 
effect — and that suspicion was lulled — said to himself, " It is true. 
I am a rogue in this affair, but 1 may as well have my reward for the 
work I have done ;" so out he came, and boldly asked for his money. 
But from whom did he ask it? — From Girjabaee, as has been stated ? 
Nothing of the kind. He considered he had served the Government, 
and to the Government he looked for his reward ; and he was rigiit. 
Thus it was, that, as I have said, "The real Simon Pure," came 
upon the stage. And now, sir, I must take leave to occupy your time 
for a few moments, while I advert to the extraordinary desire shown 
by the Government to be made acquainted with the real writer of this 


petition, and to tlie conduct of Colonel Ovans in this affair. Over and 
over again had the Bombay Government written to Colonel Ovans, 
directing him to get hold of the writer. The Government felt satisfied 
that, unless the writer of the petition could be found, the document 
itself was not worth anything. Now, sir, on the 7th of September, 
ten days after Colonel Ovans had written to the Government to say 
that " he had done all inhis power, hut could discoverno trace of 
the writer" — on that very day he found out, beyond all possibility 
of doubt, who the writer was. Sir, I deliberately ask, what can 
justify a servant of Government in not immediately reporting such a 
circumstance to his superiors ? (Loud cries of " Hear, hear, hear.") 
What reason can any honourable gentleman assign for such conduct ? 
(Hear, hear.) I do not seek to bring a charge; but, standing here in 
the capacity of a Director of the East India Company, I think I have 
a fair right, and that it is my duty, to put these questions. (Hear, 
hear.) For eleven months, sir, as stated by the hon. proprietor, (Mr. 
Thompson,) was this evidence concealed from the Government — that 
very Government which had displayed so much anxiety upon the sub- 
ject ! For eleven months was Colonel Ovans in possession of the 
knowledge which his Government had repeatedly stated they deemed 
it of the fir St importance they should obtain. During these eleven 
months, (as the same hon. proprietor has truly stated,) accusations 
were made, persons were examined, and reports and minutes were 
written — all founded upon the petition in question; yet, all that 
time, the information which Colonel Ovans had obtained was kept 
back from his Government, though it had been repeatedly demanded. 
(Hear, hear.) Is not this a most extraordinary circumstance? Can 
any j ustification be set up for a public servant acting in such a man- 
ner? Upon this ground, then, in the first instance, I desire informa- 
tion ; for at present I can find none, and so important a matter ought 
to be cleared up. 

Mr. Weeding read tlie Government letter to Colonel Ovans. 

Major Oliphant. — I will thank the hon. gentleman to be good 
enough to make his observations at another time. Sir, I am stating 
what I am but too thoroughly convinced is true. Nothing but the 
strongest convictions, produced solely by my own investigations, could 
have led me to make the assertions I have just inade. I have 


stated facts, and facts alone ; and I consider that they are facts whicli 
imperatively require investigation. (Hear, hear.) What does Colonel 
Ovans do on the arrival of Krushnajee, and on the discovery of the 
real writer of the petition ? He sends to incjuire at the Punderpore 
post-office whether an urzee was forwarded from thence on a particular 
day. As the question is put with great precision, the consequence is, 
that an answer is returned in the affirmative. Here is the reply of the 
native postmaster : — 

" An order from the Sahib, under date the 19ih December, 1837, has 
come thus : Krushnajee Sudasew Bhidey, inhabitant of the said kshetru 
(sacred place), now at Sattara, sent on the 10th February an urzee to the 
Mherban Governor, Sahib Bahadoor (the Bombay Government;) thus it is 
understood by the Surkar. As to this, whether that urzee was sent by pay- 
ing postage for it, or whether it was sent free, or how it was sent, and on 
what date ; thus an order has come. As to this, the said person gave a 
lukhota of urzee to the address of the Mherban Governor Sahib on the 10th 
February, which was despatched as free on the same date." 

Here then is an affirmative answer to the question put. But turn to 
the subsequent examination of this man, and see what he says. He is 

" Do you recollect receiving the letter addressed to the Governor ? — 
Yes: I do not recollect the doy, but it was between 10 and 11 o'clock, 

" From whom did you receive it ? — From a Brahmin, who lives at Pund- 
erpoor ; I did not knoio his name at the time ; hut vihea I heard from the 
office at Poonah about the letter, I asked him his name, and he said it was 
Krushnajee Sudasew Bhidey." 

In the first instance he had mentioned the man by name, and knew all 
about him ; but now he neither recollects the day, nor more about the 
man than that he was a Brahmin. But we will suppose that it was 
really posted on the 10th of February ; and now I would ask General 
Briggs, or any other gentleman acquainted with that part of India, 
whether it be probable that a letter addressed to tlie Ciovernment, and 
put into the Punderpore post-office on the 10th of February, would be 
twenty-four days before it arrived at Bombay ; tiiat is to say, would 
not reach its destination until the 6th of March? (Ileai.) Honourable 



gentlemen will draw tlieir own inferences from these facts and dates. 
I speak for none but myself ; but I am free to confess that a sifting 
inquiry into these papers has left no doubt upon my mind, that a more 
infamous plot was never conceived for the purpose of destroying an 
innocent man, than that which has led to the ruin of the unhappy Raja 
ofSattara. (Loud cheers.) Now, sir, I have done with the petition. 
I have given facts and dates ; and if any one who rises to reply to me 
will only stick to facts and dates too, I am quite sure he will not be 
able to gainsay what I have advanced. I shall be but too glad if any 
gentleman will find me out to be wrong. 

Sir, a word regarding Govind Row. I take up the minute of that 
highly-respected gentleman, Sir Robert Grant (5 May, 1838, 
p. 124), in which he alludes to the evidence given by the Dewan, 
and I find him saying, 

" 40. Govind Row Dewan (No. 12 of my list) held a confidential office 
under the Raja of Sattara, and is now a state prisoner at Ahmednuggur, 
for being deeply implicated in the attempt made to seduce from their alle- 
giance the soobahdars of the 23rd regiment. He was not, therefore, like all 
the other witnesses, examined by Lieutenant-colonel Ovans, but hy the 
Judge of Ahmednuggur. I think it extremely probable that this person has 
not disclosed all he knows ; but nevertheless he has corroborated several of 
the circumstances detailed by the other witnesses, ivithout the possibility of 
commuiiicating with them, or acting in concert." 

Sir, I object altogether to the conclusion of this paragraph, which 
I will show you does not state that which is true, inasmuch as special 
means were employed to obtain from Govind Rao, just such a con- 
fession as would support the statements in the petition, and the evi- 
dence given by others. In proof of this, I will read you Mr. Hutt's 
letter to Government, dated 24 August, 1837 (p. 618). 

" I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your letter, dated the 
28th ultimo, and to inform you that, by desire of the Acting Resident at 
Sattara, Sukaram Bulal, uncle to Govind Rao, the state prisoner now in my 
charge, has for many days had free access to his nephew; and that I have 
also, at Sukaram's solicitation, permitted his (Govind Rao's) brother to 
accompany bim in his visits ; their object has been to induce him to disclose 
what he kneiv regardiyig the late proceedings of the Sattara court, in which 



"2. I had an interview with Govind Rao this morning ; at which, after 
explaining the circumstances under which he was, as he describes it, 
reluctantly led to take part in them, he presented me with the 
ENCLOSED, written, as he assures me, with his own hand, and which I had 
previously given him the means of preparing. 

" 4. He (Govind Rao) seems willing to communicate to me all he knows, 
and I have no doubt of being able to obtain from him any information 
the Government may DZSX'RZ." 

From this letter of Mr. Hutt, I find that the confession was obtained 
by Sukharam BuUal, the confidential agent of Colonel Ovans, and 
the chief conspirator, who for many days had free access to the pri- 
soner, with the express object of Inducing him to confirm the truth 
of what had been stated in the petition ; I find also that the confes- 
sion, as it was called, was ready prepared for Mr. Hutt, and merely 
placed in his hands, with an assurance that it was written by Govind 
Rao ; and when I connect these facts with the previous anxiety of 
the Government to obtain such a confession (since, without it, the 
petition was worth nothing), I am at no loss to account for its con- 
tents, nor for the alleged coincidence of those contents with the evi- 
dence of the parties in Sattara. (Hear, hear.) 

I must now call the attention of the Court to another very extra- 
ordinary document, in the shape of a despatch from the Bombay 
Government, addressed to Mr. Hutt, the acting session judge at 
Ahmednugger. This despatch is dated Bombay Castle, September 
4, 1837 (p. 619), 

" 1. I am directed by the Right Honourable the Governor in Council to 
acknowledge the receipt of your letter with enclosure, dated 24th ultimo, 
reporting the interviews betwixt the state prisoner, Govind Rao, under your 
charge with his uncle, Sukharam Bullal, &c., the enclosure being a paper 
given you by Govind Rao, and stated to be in his own hand-writing, and to 
communicate to you the following observations and instructions thereon. 

"2. The Governor in Council fully approves of your proceedings as re- 
ported in your letter under reply ; the confession of Govind Rao, I am 
directed to Inform you may be considered important, as far as it goes; but 
that person has apparently reserved the more complete disclosures which 
it is in his power to make, until he may have an interview with the Acting 
Resident at Sattara. 

G 2 


" 3. The Governor in Council, however, considers it desirable that a 
preliminary examination on some oithe leading points elicited by tlw inquiry 
at Sattara should be conducted by yourself. 


Gentlemen, I call upon you to weigh calmly and judicially the very 
singular paper now before you, I am aware that it is no uncom- 
mon thing to admit what is called " king's evidence," but there is 
something most extraordinary in the fact of a Government framing 
a set of leading interrogatories, clearly intimating to the prisoner 
the kind of answers which are desired — making him, in fact, ac- 
quainted with the nature of the evidence he is required to support 
— and then telling him that his " onli/ chance of being leniently dealt 
with, is to disclose all he knows" — that is, if he wishes to escape 
perpetual imprisonment, he must answer the questions according to 
the wishes of those who propound them. (Loud cries of Hear, 
hear, hear !) Let me give you a sample of these questions, and then 
ask you if you can at all wonder that the answers tallied with the 
evidence taken at Sattara ? 

" State in what room the interview occurred, and who was present on 
the occasion, and whether the Soobedars were in their usual dress vr in 
disguise ? 

" Are you aware of communications having passed betwec7i the liaja and 
Appa Sahib, the ex-Raja of Nagpoor ; if so, by whom were such com- 
munications made, and what was their nature and object? 

" Are you aware that a sword, concealed in a musical instrument (a vena) 
was sent from Sattara to Appa Sahib, and that presents in return were sent 
to the Raja, and to other persons residing at Sattara. 

" Were any letters sent to Appa Sahib from Sattara, or did Appa Sahib 
write any letters to the Raja, or to any person at Sattara ; if so, what was 
their purport?" 

All here must at once perceive that these are leading questions — 
that they suggest the answers to be given — and that a confession. 


founded upon such questions, is altogether different from a confes- 
sion made by a king's evidence, who is told that if he will state all 
he knows, he will be pardoned. No wonder that Govind Rao con- 
firmed the evidence taken at Sattara, when the questions put to him 
at once informed him of the nature of that evidence, and suggested 
at the same time, the manner in which he should support it. It 
has been denied that Govind Rao was placed in " strict confine- 
ment," and that his confession was " extorted." I do not for a 
moment mean to dispute the accuracy of the representation made by 
Mr. Hutt, respecting the treatment shown to the prisoner; for Mr. 
Hutt is a highly respectable and humane man. But, admitting the 
truth of all he has said, we have the evidence before us, that Go- 
vind Rao was denied all communication with his friends— that his 
correspondence was intercepted, and that he was seen only by the 
person deputed by Colonel Ovans to obtain his confession. Now, 
with these facts before us, can we wonder that he did what he did ? 
I, for one, cannot be surprised at anything. The treatment he re- 
ceived was such, as in the nature of things, would affect his spirits ; 
and we are told by the Government that he was informed that his 
"only chance of being leniently dealt with," was to do what he was told 
to do. Looking at all the circumstances of thecase, I am brought to the 
conclusion, that the petition ascribed to Girjabaee was a gross forgery, 
and that the confession of Govind Rao was extorted. I believe the 
declarations of the lady herself, in which she denies, on oath, having 
had anything to do with the petition; and I must therefore think 
that Colonel Ovans and the Bombay authorities were imposed upon. 
I have thus endeavoured to place before the Court what appears to 
me to be the most material facts in this case. 

And .low, sir, in conclusion, allow me to state, that I should not 
have spoken upon this question to-day, but for the conduct of the 
Bombay Government. On looking into these printed papers, I find 
that one of the judicial functionaries of that Government, had for- 
warded to him in due course, and according to the Regulations, a 
statement of charges against an influential oflicer in the service of 
this Company. 1 find that he called upon the accuser to furnish a 
list of his witnesses, and other evidence in support of those charges, 
and I find that a list was accordingly sent in. I find, that upon this 


being done, the judge sent for the accuser, took his deposition, 
required him to give security for the prosecution of his charges, and 
bound him, under heavy penalties, to remain within British juris- 
diction until the inquiry terminated. I find, too, that the person 
making these charges, was liable, not only to infamy, but to loss of 
liberty and a prison, in the event of his failing to substantiate his 
accusations. Throughout these proceedings, the judge I have re- 
ferred to (Mr. John Warden) appears to have acted in a most 
regular, a most proper, and a most judicial manner. I find, that 
after these judicial preliminaries, the case was brought before the 
Government of Bombay in the usual and regular form ; but, to my 
astonishment, I find that the inquiry is quashed, by the summary 
dismissal — by that Government — of the whole case. Standing here, 
I deem it my duty publicly to avow the opinion, that in adopting 
this course, the Bombay Government acted most unjustly. (Hear, 
hear.) Sir, I cannot see how justice in India can be administered, 
if the proceedings of the judicial tribunals of the country can thus 
be set aside, because the Government takes a particular view of a 
question. (Cheers.) Sir, I am as fully aware, as any gentleman 
here can be, of the difficulties by which this question is beset ; and 
I am not ignorant of the fact, that what I am now saying may add 
another difficulty to those which already exist. That I am aware of 
this, may perhaps add something to the weight of what I say. But, 
let me say, without professing to foresee what may come of this 
business — without attempting to anticipate what may hereafter take 
place — that for myself, I would rather face any difficulty — I would 
rather incur any penalty, than quietly to sit dovni and allow the 
Bombay Government to throw aside all justice in the discharge of 
their duties. (Cheers.) With these feelings, and for the reasons I 
have stated, I shall certainly support the original resolutions, in con- 
tradistinction to the amendment which has been moved by the 
Chair. (The hon. Director sat down, amidst loud cheers.) 

Mr. Hogg. — No observation made by any honourable member 
during this debate, shall induce me to go again into the case of the 
Raja of Sattara. (Hear, hear). An honourable proprietor, for whose 
opinion I entertain great respect, cheers that sentiment. I do en- 
tertain respect for the opinion of that honourable gentleman, and fov 


the opinions of those who have taken up the subject with a diflerent 
view from myself. I never have, either here or elsewhere, imputed 
improper motives to any persons who take a view of the case favour- 
able to the Raja of Sattara. I have conceded to them the free ex- 
ercise of their judgment, and I must express my regret that a similar 
course has not been adhered to by the friends of the Raja of Sat- 
tara. But if I profess respect for the opinion of these honourable 
members, in numbers very limited 

Mr. G. Thompson. — No, no ! 

Mr. Hogg. — Allow me to say, I feel much greater respect for the 
opinion of the immense majority of this Court of Proprietors, for the 
great majority of the Court of Directors, for the three several Go- 
vernors of Bombay, the Governor of India, and all the members of 
the Supreme Council ; with the exception of Mr. Shakespeare, who 
died, as the commission terminated, and before the later evidence was 
adduced. This, I hope, is a satisfactory reason for not re-opening 
the case. With respect to the observations that I felt it my duty to 
make in my place in Parliament, I should not have adverted to 
them here, except to disclaim the expressions which the honourable 
proprietor who proposed the resolutions was pleased to put into my 
mouth — expressions and language with which he is so familiar, that 
they escape from him unconsciously ; — but I beg to tell him, I am 
not in the habit of polluting my mouth by such expressions as he 
has imputed to me, nor shall I show disrespect to this Court by at- 
tempting to reply, as perhaps I should be justified in replying, to the 
imputations he has cast upon me, and the language he has used. 
Sir, this Court of Proprietors has been, and may again be, of great 
importance as regards the East Indies, and I never shall be a party 
to lessBii its influence with the pvxblic ; but I do say, that if any one 
individual could pursue a course likely to lessen the just influence of 
this Court with the public, and to bring it into disrepute, if not con- 
tempt, it is the course pursued by the honourable proprietor who 
brought forward these resolutions. He has indulged in language 
which I have heard with regret, but shall not reply to; he has 
reiterated again and again, that nothing can be considered as deter- 
mined or settled, but what happens to be in accordance with 
liis own views. " Never mind what all the Governors, and 


all the Members of Council, what the Court of Proprietors, 
and what the Court of Directors and the Parliament say; treat 
all, all with contempt. I, Mr. George Thompson, entertain a 
different opinion. I entertain a different opinion, surrounded by a 
small knot, and we will control the immense majority of the proper 
tribunal." An honourable member, Mr. Sullivan, said — "Are mat- 
ters not to be re-discussed ?" He adverted to two cases : he spoke of 
the Corn-laws, and I think Parliamentary Reform. Now, I always 
listen to that gentleman with pleasure, because he argues acutely 
and speaks ably, and every thing he says is entitled to attention ; for 
it is never mixed up with vituperation or coarseness : but I ask him, 
is there any analogy between a decision on evidence on matters of 
fact, and a discussion of abstract political questions ? Why, the dis- 
cussion on the Corn-laws in 1830 is one thing, in 1840 it is another, 
and in 1850 may be another. Circumstances may change, and do 
change. That which was right in 1820, may be wrong in 1830 ; 
wrong with reference to its application to existing circumstances ; 
but, good God ! does that apply to a judicial determination, on evi- 
dence, before a proper tribunal 1 What is right once, is right^for 
ever; what is wrong once, is wrong for ever. (Hear, hear! and 
ironical cheers.) But who is to determine what is right, or what is 
wrong? Is the honourable proprietor Mr. Thompson and his friends? 

Mr. Serjeant Gaselee. — The Court of Proprietors are to determine. 

Mr. Hogg. — Is it you who are to determine, or any one honour- 
able proprietor, or is it a majur'ity of the properly constituted tri- 
bunal? Why, everybody has a right to entertain their own opinion, 
that I admit. Everybody has a riglit to think that the majority are 
wrong. I do not ask honourable gentlemen to think the decision is 
right, if they differ from it. I beg pardon for this digression, which I 
declare I have been unsconsciously drawn into, and I mention it only 
for the purpose of disclaiming the allegation, that I told Mr. Hume 
in the House of Commons that his statement was false. I beg to 
tell the honourable gentleman that I never used such language : if I 
had, the constitution of that House would very soon have told me 
where I was, and what I ought to have done, I should have been 
called to order by the Speaker, as well as by Mr. Hume himself. 
No, sir, I did no such thing; I told Mr. Hume that many of his 


statements were inaccurate, and I did say that he had mixed to- 
gether dates, witnesses, and transactions in a manner so as to prevent 
those who listened to him from knowing tlie true state of the case, un- 
less they were familiar with the papers that were laid hefore the House. 
I am accused of having applied opprobrious epithets to Krushnajee 
Sudasew Bhidey. It is said I called him " liar," and " scoundrel," 
and " villain." I beg to deny that I used any such terms. It is 
true that, in speaking of the contradictory evidence he had given, 
and the calumnious charge he had brought against an honourable 
man, / described him as a perjured ivretch, but I did not use the 
language imputed to me by the hon. proprietor. (Hear, hear, and 
laughter.) The same gentleman has also taken me to task for 
what I said in reference to paid agents. One word more, there- 
fore, on that subject, and for the purpose of explaining what it was 
that I really did say. Until I heard what the hon. gentleman said 
to-day, I was under the impression that he received no remunera- 
tion from the Raja of Sattara, and I declare most solemnly that I 
was under that impression when I spoke in the House of Commons. 
I was alluding to a part of Sir James Carnac's letter, in which he 
talks of the cause of the failure of his attempts to retain the Raja of 
Sattara on his throne. He ascribes that failure to several causes, 
and amongst others, to the unhappy confidence which the Raja re- 
posed in his various agents in India and at home. When reading 
that part of the letter, I could not help expressing the opinion I 
entertained, that such agents, whether native or English, in Eng- 
land or India, were a bane and a curse to the native princes. That 
was what I said in the House of Commons ; and I believe, in my 
conscience, that if it had not been for the mischievous influence of 
such agents, the unfortunate ex-Raja of Sattara would have been 
at this moment upon his throne. I will now confine myself strictly 
to the papers before the Court. 

What are the three new points of this case ? One is, by whom 
the petition of Girjabaee was written, and whether it was written 
by her desire or not. Then comes the statement, that the confes- 
sion of Govind Rao was e-xtorted from him ; and lastly, the charges 
brought against Col. Ovans and Ballajee Punt Nathoo. I will deal 
with these points separately, and as concisely as I can. The first is 


the authenticity of the petition of Girjabaee. My honourable friend, 
Major Oliphant, wasted a great deal of ingenuity in dates and com- 
parisons, which would have been of great importance, if the ques- 
tion before the Court had been, whether such a petition ever had 
existed or not. All such nice inquiries, and critical disquisitions, 
are of great importance when you come to ascertain and discuss, 
whether such petition ever had existence or not. But who doubts 
that there was a petition in the name of Girjabaee ; and who doubts 
the fact that this man Krushnajee Sudasew Bhidey wrote it ? Is 
there anybody who denies that ? The hon. proprietor who brought 
forward the question will not deny that. There is no doubt that 
Krushnajee's was the hand that wrote it. He came before Colonel 
Ovans and stated he wrote it ; and to remove all doubt about the 
matter, he put his hand into his pocket, and brought out a duplicate. 
What did he say then ? He said he had been employed by 
Girjabaee to write that petition — that was his statement. Let 
us see how he acts up to it. His first petition prays for the 
intervention of Government to recover 1,250 rupees promised 
him by Girjabaee for writing that petition. The concluding words 
are these : — " Being the amount of reward for which Girjabaee had 
passed a writing." This he says was sought, not from Girjabaee, 
but from Col. Ovans and Ballajee Punt Nathoo. Why did not 
my honourable friend make that a little more distinct in his 
statement ? His impression appears to have been that Krushnajee 
all along went to Colonel Ovans and Ballajee Punt Nathoo. But it is 
not at all so ; he says that Girjabaee promised the reward, and passed 
a writing, and that Ballajee Punt Nathoo promised him the inter- 
vention of Government. But was the intervention of Government' 
to be employed, because an officer of Government had undertaken 
to become responsible for him ? Does this point want any proof? 
If it does, why look to the Report made by Colonel Ovans. " Go- 
vernment have nothing to do with the case. If Krushnajee has 
any claim upon Girjabaee, he must prefer that claim against her in 
the usual manner;" thereby showing what the purport of the peti- 
tion, and the order made upon the petition was, " If you have any 
claim on Girjabaee the Courts are open to you — Government have 
nothing to say to it." What Krushnajee wanted, was the interven- 


tion of Government to get the money from Girjabaee. I beg 
honourable members to bear that in mind, when we come to 
the interrogatory of whether he has been guilty of perjury, for- 
gery, or extortion ; because / will demonstrate that he has com- 
mifted all these crimes. Krushnajee then goes on with a second, 
tliird, fourth, and fifth petition ; he is told in reply to the third, that 
the matters have been considered. In those petitions he brings 
some general charges against Ballajee Punt Nathoo, though not the 
specific ones now under discussion. He is told that the Government 
have considered the matter, and that any further petition would not 
be received. He sent a great number of petitions ; and as the 
honourable proprietor has told you, the last four or five of them 
were returned unopened. "That will not do," he says, "the 
Government have found me out, I have reiterated these petitions 
again and again, and there is no use in wasting my labour, my 
pens, and my ink, and my paper; I will therefore try another expe- 
riment, I will go off to Mr. Warden, the Agent for the Sirdars, and 
endeavour to entrap him. Well, he goes off to Mr. Warden. In 
the petition he presented to Mr. Warden, in October, 1843, he 
reiterates his statement of the petition having been written at the 
dictation, and by the desire of Girjabaee. What is the statement 
now ? What is the whole case as regards this petition ? I am 
astonished at the advocates which this Krushnajee finds. It is quite 
a new complexion in the case. When these papers first started into 
existence, you attached great importance to this petition of Girja- 
baee, and said, " Why this fellow Krushnajee comes forward to 
confess a forgery, and he is one of your own witnesses." That is 
the purport of Mr. Hmne's letter to my honourable friend, Mr. 
Shepherd, who sits on my right hand ; while at the very same time, 
I find the other statement from Girjabaee declaring that she never 
was a party to the transaction ; therefore, that the petition from the 
beginning to the end was a forgery of Krushnajee ; so that the fact 
now before the Court is this — Krushnajee comes and says, " Why, 
true it is, I went to Colonel Ovans and told him that I wrote this by 
the desire of Girjabaee, and that Girjabaee promised me 1250 
rupees. True it is, that I year after year, down to October, 1 843, 
endeavoured to extort from her the 1250 rupees, but it was all a lie 


from beginning to end, there was not a word of truth in the state- 

Mr. George Thompson, — Quote the words, for I deny their 

Mr. Hogg. — " I forged the petition, at the suggestion of Ballajee 
Punt Nathoo." 

Mr. George Thompson. — I deny that Krushnajee ever said 
what you are pretending to quote. As I cannot prove a negative, 
the onus j>rohandi lies upon you to bring forward the proof. I put 
it to you, as a lawyer, whether you ought not to give us the refer- 
ence to what you are now alleging 1 

Mr. Hogg. — I do not object to the honourable gentleman put- 
ting the question. I do not mean to say that this concludes the 
matter, but just to show that there was no doubt about it, when the 
papers went out by Mr. Hume's desire, they contained this state- 
ment. I will give you the summary of the Bombay Government^ 
In No. 7, it says, "That Krushnajee has avowed himself to be the 
writer, and declares that he was induced to forge this document for 
1250 rupees." 

Mr. George Thompson. — The papers are here ; if Krushnajee 
himself has stated what you say, you can, and you ought, as an 
honest man, to show us where he has stated so. I deny that he has 
ever made such a statement as you are now attributing to him. 
Produce his words, I say. 

Mr. Hogg. — He does not say he forged the papers, but he says he 
was inveigled by a promise made him, having before stated to Colonel 
Ovans, that he wrote it by the desire of Girjabaee. The man, it is 
true, abstains from using the words, " I forged the papers ;" but it 
was regarded, ex concesso, that he did so. Mr. Hume said, " I give 
up Krushnajee." I believe the words used by Krushnajee were, "7 
was inveigled into writing this by the desire of Ballajee Punt Nathoo, 
who promised me 1250 rupees." 

Mr. George Thompson. — Through the agency of Lukshman Punt 

Mr. Hogg. — Then, if he did not write it by the desire of Girjabaee, 
why he is still worse. How dare he come forward, and attempt to 
sue her for liaviiig employed him to write that paper which he now 
says he never did? 


Mr, George Thompson. — He never di.l sue her. He was told not 
to go near her. Read his first petition. 

Mr. Hogg. — He never did sue her! Why, good God, I have read 
every word of his first petition. It is very painful to bo constantly 
interrupted in this manner. 

Major Oltphant. — I should like to hear the statement of this 
transaction made correctly, if you will allow me to say so. 

Mr. Hogg — I beg your pardon. I am in possession of the Court. 
These are the words of Krushnajee : " Being the amount of the re- 
ward for which Girjabaee passed a writing." These are his words, I 
say : " I want 1 250 rupees ; being the reward for writing the peti- 
tion, for which Girjabaee had passed a writing.'" Now, perhaps my 
honourable friend can special-plead those words away ; because he 
does not say it in words as explicit as he perhaps would dictate to 
him ; but if there is any honourable proprietor who can suppose 
that a man comes forward and says, " Give me the money for which 
Girjabaee passed her writing to me," and yet suppose that it is not to 
be inferred that he wrote the petition by her desire, I have then no 
more to say. If such is not the case, there is no such thing as in- 
ference in human nature, nor as conclusions to be drawn from state- 
ments. Krushnajee now comes forward and avows that he wrote 
the petition, inveigled by Ballajee Punt Nathoo to do so. I again 
repeat that these papers demonstrate, in the first place, that there is 
no doubt that the paper was written by Krushnajee, and written by 
the desire of Girjabaee. Whether the petition was written by Gir- 
jabaee or by Ballajee Punt Nathoo, it is of no matter from whom it 
originated, because it states no evidence ; it only indicates witnesses ; 
therefore, if it had had no name, if it had dropped from the skies, or 
if it had sprung from the earth, it does not signify one jot or tittle. 
Now, I do not attach much importance to the circumstance ; but all 
these papers which were sent to my friend Captain Shepherd were 
transmitted after poor Girjabaee died. In April, when these papers 
were transmitted home, and all these statements got up, and these 
papers were forged, this wretched Girjabaee was not in the land of 
the living, to state whether they were or were not authentic. So 
much for the petition. Now I come to the other important point, 
which is the statement of Govind Row — important, not so much from 


what it said, as for corroborating the statement of others. Here we 
have a man at Ahmednugger, a distance of nearly one hundred miles 
from Sattara ; and one of the things complained of — mark me ! — ^is 
the strict manner in which he was confined, and the way everybody 
was kept from having communication with him. Hence, the moi'e 
correct that statement of his strict confinement and seclusion, the 
more impossible was it that he should know what was stated by the 
other witnesses before the Sattara Commission ; and yet we have the 
statement of this same Govind Row, made a hundred miles off, 
WITHOUT THE MEANS of Jcnowing the evidence stated elsewhere, taken 
BY Mr. Hutt, the magistrate, — a gentleman as unconnected with 
Sattara affairs as any honourable proprietor who now listens to me ; 
and yet it is said he knew what had taken place at the Sattara Com- 
mission. I do state, that the confession of Govind Row is most 
strong corroborative evidence ; and its strength is felt; and it is be- 
cause the strength and weight of it is so felt, that the adherents of 
the Raja of Sattai'a are obliged to set their wits to work (of course, I 
mean in India, not here) to see how they can get rid of this evidence. 
" It presses very hard upon us," say they, "what shall we do?" We 
all know that the adherents of the Raja attach very little regard to 
the character of any man, civil or military, opposed to them. Every- 
body implicated in this transaction, whether at home or abroad; 
every one who has been called upon to give an opinion, and has 
happened to take a view adverse to the Raja, is vituperated and 
calumniated by them. Why should poor Mr. Hutt expect to escape? 
He does not escape. They immediately fasten upon him, and say, 
" You, Mr. Hutt, (who had no more to say in reference to the Sat- 
tara affairs than anybody who hears me,) made yourself the base tool 
of the Bombay Government, in extorting from this man a confession ; 
making him give that confession for the purpose of saving his own 
life." Will the honourable proprietor call upon me to read these 
words? He, Govind Row, states it was extorted from him, and that 
he considered his life in peril. 

Mr. George Thompson. — Prove, sir, that I ever in my life 
brought such a charge against Mr. Hutt as you have said I and others 
have done. 

Mr. Hogg. — The words are : "That the depositions which I gave 


were extorted from me, wliile I was imprisoned in a dark dungeon 
at Ahmednugger ; that, considering there was no justice with Go- 
vernment, and that if I did not adhere to what the Sirkar (British 
Government) wished me to do, I would lose my life, I was therefore 
forced, in order to preserve my life, to give my statements in writing, 
according to the instructions of Mr. Hutt." 

Mr. George Thompson. — Those are the words of Govind Row, 
and refer to Sunkaram Bulla!. Produce the words you have 
attributed to us regarding Mr. Ilutt. 

Mr. Hogg. — And yet my honourable friend, Major Oliphant, says, 
he will not take the statement of Mr. Hutt. You cannot take the 
matter by halves. You must take it as a whole, or not at all. If 
this statement is true, Mr. Hutt has abandoned his public duty, and 
prostituted his public situation for the basest purposes ; and knowing 
the particulars, he was perhaps more base than the subordinates, if 
you could institute a comparison. But, sir, I deny it. I say that a 
more honourable man does not exist than Mr. Hutt. I will never 
condescend to call corroborative witnesses to what he says. You 
have the evidence of everybody connected with the gaol ; but I fling 
it all overboard. I will read the letter of Mr. Hutt itself, one 
syllable of which was not read by the honourable proprietor. 

Mr. George Thompson. — Simply for the reason that I never in 
my life brought a charge against Mr. Hutt, either in this Court or 
elsewhere. You are most grossly misleading the Court. 

Mr. Hogg. — The honourable proprietor said that this confession 
was extorted from Govind Row. 

Mr. George Thompson. — Yes, and I showed by whom. By Suk- 
haram Bullah, who was sixteen days at Ahmednugger. Why not 
have the manliness to state that fact ? 

Mr. Hogg. — If Mr. Hutt's letter is true, the confession was 
voluntary: it could not have been extorted. It was not o«/// volun- 
tary, but it was, if I may play upon words, VOLUNTEERED. I 
beg to read to the Court the letter of Mr. Hutt ; and I am bound to 
do so, after the statement made with regard to Mr. Hutt. He says : 
— " It was I think about August, during my absence on circuit at 
Dooliah, for the Sessions, that Govind Row arrived at Ahmednugger. 
He was, accordingly, received by my assistant, and for the time 


lodged in the most suitable quarters in the gaol. On my arrival, a 
few days after, he was, with the consent, if not the express direction 
of Government, provided with a lodging in a Hindoo house in the 
town, hired for the purpose. This, doubtless, was less spacious, and 
afforded fewer conveniences than he had been accustomed to at his 
house at Sattara ; but it was deficient in nothing essential to com- 
fort." This, gentlemen, is what has been called "a dark dungeon." 
Now let us go on to the charge of extortion. " He had with him 
some one, two, or three of his own dependants, and after a time others 
were permitted to visit him. (Hear, from Mr. Thompson.) One 
in particular, came very soon after Govind Row himself arrived 
(hear, hear) with a letter from Colonel Ovans, (hear, hear, hear,) and 
he was with him constantly by day, (loud cries of " Hear,") yet did 
not reside with him. I visited him also myself, frequently ; some- 
times sitting and conversing with him for a considerable time. He 
always expressed himself as being perfectly comfortable. Govind 
Row had not been long under my care, when one day he sent a 
message to say he particularly wished to see me. I accordingly re- 
paired to his lodgings. He then, after a brief preliminary discourse, 
told me that when inquired of at Sattara, he had denied all know- 
ledge of the matters upon which he was interrogated ; that his duty 
to his sovereign required it, but that he found he could do him no 
good by longer persisting in what was false ; that the kind and con- 
siderate treatment he had experienced had inspired him with con- 
fidence; and that he was prepared, under certain conditions, to di- 
vulge the whole of what he knew." Now, gentlemen, this is the man 
in the " dark dungeon ;" this is the man who, at the peril of his life, 
had a confession extorted from him ; this is the statement to which 
you are expected to give credit, and on the faith of which you are 
called on to review your decision. What says my friend Major Oli- 
phant ? He dwelt greatly on the interrogatories sent to him. Now, 
it is a matter to which I attach little importance ; but when a mind 
acute like his does attach importance — 

Mr. Serjeant Gaselee. — Hear, hear. 

Mr. Hogg. — Do not call " Hear," too soon, because I am able to 
show how utterly worthless that argument is ; for at the time this 
confession was made, it so happens that the interrogatories had not 


been sent by Government; so that these interrogatories and in- 
structions could have had very little weight in the confession : they 
were not received till after the confession. 

Mr. Sergeant Gaselee. — Hear, hear. 

Mr. Hogg. — It may be very well sai-castically to cheer my words. 
I do not ask you to attach more worth to them than they deserve ; 
(hear;) but I do ask for quiet and decent attention. I will read the 
next paragraph, to prove what I have said : — " The answers to the 
questions, which were afterwards sent me by Government to be put 
to him, were obtained in the same way; all are in possession of Go- 
vernment. Govind Row was, I think, several times at my house, 
and once or twice he came to walk in the garden. He was allowed 
to take exercise beyond the limits of the town, attended by an escort 
of the Poonah Auxiliary Horse. In short, my own inclination so 
fully responded to the wishes of Government in respect to him, that 
there was nothing I could think of, in an ordinary way tending to 
alleviate his condition, that could consistently be awarded him, that 
he had not." This will serve to show nothing was done in a hostile 
spirit. Mr. Hutt, with a degree of kindness and consideration which 
is commendable in him, in place of commencing his letter in a spirit 
of vituperation, says he entertains a good opinion of Govind Row, 
and after that he writes, " I am really sorry that he is capable of 
making such a statement." Now, you have heard the charge and 
the answer. Where is the man prepared to say that that is the sup- 
pressio veri ? 

Mr. George Thompson. — I am. 


Mr. Hogg. — One charge still remains. If anything could pre- 
judice the cause of the Rajah of Sattara, and render it hopeless — that 
cause already sufficiently damaged by his wouhl-be friends — it is the 
charges now brought forward against Ballajee Punt Nathoo and 
Colonel Ovans. (Hear, hear.) I am happy to say there was not 
a single voice in the House of Commons in favour of the charges. 

Mr. George Thompson. — But there were many in favour of an 
inquiry into them. 

Mr. Hogg. — They were spurned there as they were by the Court 
of Directors, and as they will be to-day by the Court of Proprietors. 
There was but one gentleman who rose in the House of Commons, 


who adverted to the charges, and said at the time that he had read 
the papers, and that gentleman was Sir Edward Colehrook. I say 
Sir Edward Colehrook was the only man who spoke, and he repu- 
diated the charge, and, though entertaining an opinion favourable to 
the cause of the Ex-Raja, he expressed his regret that the charge 
was brought forward. I ask the honourable proprietor if I am not 
stating it correctly? Not one single individual who had read the 
papers supported the charge, except Mr. Hume, who made the mo- 
tion, and that motion was negatived, and negatived without a di- 
vision. It is very well to assign reasons for not dividing the House, 
but at the time the division was about to take place the House was 
pretty full, for I had the honour of addressing the House nearly at 
the end of the debate, and I kept that subject to the last; but the 
honourable member for Montrose knew too well the feeling of the 
gentlemen who compose the British House of Commons, to venture 
to submit it to their votes. Sir, these charges were preferred in 
Bombay. How were they met ? Will the honourable proprietor 
tell me they were not spurned with contempt by the Bombay Go- 
vernment ? They were, and I tell him that they deserve to be so 
spurned. It is very well to say, " Institute an investigation," and 
to allege that an honest man would ask for investigation, if he knew 
that he could pass well through the ordeal. It is very easy to bring 
arguments of that kind; but I contend that the bare institution of 
an inquiry into charges so false and malicious would be a stigma 
upon any British officer. (Hear, hear, and ironical cheers.) There 
would be an end to the civil and military services, and all the high 
feelings of those services, if a servant of the East India Company, 
alike remarkable for integrity and zeal, were to be so treated. I say, 
there would be an end to those services, if a man could be liable to 
the disgrace of having charges such as these investigated, — charges 
preferred by whom? Preferred by a man whom I say, according to 
my interpretation of those papers, stands self-convicted of perjury, 
extortion, and forgery. That is my construction of those papers. 
And would the Government of India institute an inquiry (founded 
on charges proceeding from such a source) into the conduct of a 
public man, who for thirty-three years had resided in India, and 
filled the most important posts, discharging his public duties all the 


time with honour to himself and with advantage to the country ? If 
they would, then away with character; character would go for no- 
thing ; it would be worse than valueless, if it could not protect a 
man from inquiry. The only way to meet such charges, is to 


testimony to the high character of Ballajee Punt Nathoo. My testi- 
mony, perhaps, is of no value, for I know him not ; I never was in 
that part of India where he resides, but I speak not from my own 
experience. There will be some little respect entertained for the 
judgment of others, and eminent men say that he is an honourable 
man ? What says Mr. Elphinstone ? and he was a man as little 
liable to be deceived as any of the astute proprietors who so warmly 
espouse the cause of the Raja. What is his opinion 1 He expresses 
himself in language as strong as it can be, in favour of the integrity 
and intelligence of this man ; of the services which he rendered the 
British Government; and of the little reward which he received for 
those services. From the year 1803, I think, for nearly half a cen- 
tury, that respectable native has been in the service of the British 
Govei-nment, or in some way connected with the Government. He 
had the misfortune to give testimony against the Raja, on the Com- 
mission, and from that day to this, he has been persecuted with 
charge after charge, each one surpassing the other in falsehood. But, 
Sir, is there any want of disposition to prefer charges by the adher- 
ents of the Raja of Sattara ? Are they very scrupulous ? I think 
not. How came it that these charges against Colonel Ovans were 
never heard of before? How came it that, till October, 1843, when 
Krushnajee presented his petition to Mr. Warden, that up to that 
period, not even when the papers were sent to Captain Shepherd, 
there was not one word of these charges? Were the charges i-espect- 
ing acts of recent date ? No. The charges were, that his father-in- 
law received a pension of 1500 rupees a month; that his father-in- 
law died, and that the allowance then went to his brother-in-law. 
So that there was continuity in the charge. But not a word about 
all this in the papers sent to my friend Captain Shepherd ; no, not a 
tittle of it. When were these new charges against Ballajee Punt 
Nathoo preferred? Not till the end of 1843. Those formerly pre- 
ferred were of a different character ; but the new charges were also 

H 2 


of a recent date. Why, the fact is, they had tried every possible way 
to resuscitate this departed case ; they found that they were, through- 
out, baffled by the talent, ability, and integrity of Colonel Ovans, 
and they were determined, if possible, to get rid of the whole case, 
by throwing, if they could, a stigma on the character of these two 
distinguished individuals — the one, perhaps, who had originated the 
case, Ballajee Punt Nathoo, and the other who had conducted it 
through. What is the character of Ballajee Punt Nathoo, as given 
on the Commission, by some of the adherents of the Raja himself? 
I will give j'ou the best evidence about Ballajee Punt Nathoo, be- 
cause his character is material. He was produced before the Com- 
mission, and his name was suppressed. Was that suspicious ? It 
was suspicious. Did Mr. Willoughby and Colonel Ovans satisfy 
themselves with examining this witness anonymously? They did 
no such thing. They said, " Who is this person without a name ? 
We do not understand this kind of evidence." They interrogated 
Colonel Lodwick upon oath. He stated that he was a man of the 
greatest respectability, that he had always been in communication 
with him, and that he had received from him the most material as- 
sistance, and that many points of his duty, since he came to the 
residency, could not have been managed, if it had not been for him. 

Sir, I have spoken of the character of the civil and military ser- 
vants of the East India Companj^, and I hope it will be felt to be 
the duty of the Court of Directors to maintain that character ; and 
I trust the ■'^yourt of Proprietors will ever do the same. Visit 
every dereliction of duty as severely as you please ; search every 
charge that is worth being inquired into ; punish your servants, when 
they are detected : but, when a man who has been engaged with 
honour and integrity for thirty-three years, is attempted to be im- 
peached by a wretch like Krushnajee, come forward boldly, and pro- 
tect him. Repudiate, with contempt, the charges ; or, I tell you, 
you do not deserve to maintain your present position. (Cheers.) 

Major Oliphant. — I do not know whether the honourable gentle- 
man alluded to me in the remarks which he made with respect to Mr. 
Hutt. If he did, I beg to tell him that I never said a word against 
that gentleman ; on the contrary, I stated, that whatever Mr. Hutt 
did, was under the orders of Government. But I will just mention 


one thing in reference to the confession given by Govind Row to Mr. 
Hutt. I am quite aware that it was given before the Government 
order of September arrived, but all that he said in his confession 
was, as the Governor, Sir R. Grant said, not worth anything. It 
was not till the Government sent the string of interrogatories, that 
they got anything that was of importance ; therefore, what I said 
before is exactly to the point, that they never could have got the 
evidence they wanted but for the interrogatories put to the prisoner, 
by order of the Bombay Government. 

Mr. Hogg. — I must really rise to order, or claim the right of 
making another speech. An explanation is this — if I have miscon- 
ceived what my opponent has said, he is at liberty to correct the 
error; he has a right to get up and state the fact. But if he does 
more, we may have rebutter and sur-rebutter, rejoinder and sur- 
rejoinder for ever, and there would be no end to the discussion. I 
must object to anything except a simple explanation. 

Major Oliphant. — I beg your pardon. I was strictly speaking 
in explanation of what I stated in regard to the first confession of 
Govind Row, taken in the month of August. That which the 
honourable gentleman asserted on the subject was not correct. 

The Chairman. — You may correct what you consider an error. 

Major Oliphant. — My honourable friend, Mr. Hogg, has no right 
now to claim to open his mouth, or to read a line in answer to any- 
thing that falls from me in explanation of what I myself said — that 
is the rule in all assemblies. 

Mr. Serjeant Gaselee. — Major Oliphant is quite justified in the 
course he has taken. 

Mr. Hogg. — A man may get up and bring forward the whole of 
the Sattara question under the pretence of an explanation. 

Mr. Serjeant Gaselee. — If you have made a mis-statement the 
honourable gentleman has a right to correct it. 

Mr. Hogg. — You have no right to give anything in explanation 
except it is relevant to the reply. I distinctly said that interroga- 
tories did not arrive till after the confession. You do not dispute the 
correctness of that. 

Major Oliphant. — The interrogatories had not arrived when the 
first confession was made. The second confession, which was the 


only one to the point, was not given to Mr. Hutt until after the in- 
terrogatories were forwarded. (Hear.) That is the important fact 
which I wish to establish. (Hear, hear.) 

Major-General Robertson. — The first question is, with regard to 
Colonel Ovans. I perfectly agree with all that the honourable 
Deputy has said of the character of that gentleman, and am per- 
fectly willing to admit that he is a good man, and everything else 
which has been said of him. I have known him for many years. 
We have been associated together in duty in India, and a more 
honourable man, as far as my knowledge goes, does not exist. 
Moreover, connecting with the charge the motive which Krushnajee 
pleads for having made it, I am disposed to attach no credit to it 
whatever. Krushnajee, in his own statement, says, that it was re- 
sentment which actuated him ; re sentment, because his petitions 
had not been attended to. His statement to this effect is in page 
eleven of these papers. " Ballajee Punt Nathoo thus practised with 
me a shameful act of perfidy, and on that, I presented a petition to 
the Bombay Government ; but the answer to which was, by reason 
of a league between the resident and the native, that the petition was 
not to be taken into consideration. In consequence of this answer, 
I then, out of resentment, proceeded to Poonah, and presented a 
petition to the Honourable the Governor at Dapoorie, reflecting on 
the intrigues of the Nathoo, the enormous bribes that he had secretly 
managed to procure for himself, and his different machinations." He 
does not here mention Colonel Ovans's name ; but no doubt he was 
actuated as much against Colonel Ovans as against Ballajee Punt 
Nathoo. I must say, that so far as Colonel Ovans is concerned, 
there appears no ground for inquiry. But while I feel thus per- 
suaded with regard to him, I think there is great reason why the 
Raja should have justice done to him. As for the petition attributed 
to Girjabaee, why, it is to me no matter of consequence whether it 
was fabricated or not, as far as Krushnajee is concerned. 

Mr. Hogg. — Hear, hear. 

Major-General Robertson. — But I say, that the petition itself is 
of great consequence in the case of the Raja, and the mode of its 
being got up is of great consequence, because it furnishes a test of 
the spirit and motives of the Government. (Heai-.) The conspira- 


tors, defeated by the result of the inquisition — I should say secret 
inquisition, or rather the Star-chamber jjrocess that was instituted in 
the case of the charges of corrupting the Sepoys, brought against 
the Raja — I say when the conspirators saw that these charges had 
failed to reach the Raja, they resolved upon another plot, actuated 
solely by Brahm'mical hatred. (Hear, hear.) Much has been 
said in favour of Ballajee Punt Nathoo ; but still it should be borne 
in mind, that he was a most inveterate Brahmin, and that a spirit of 
hatred actuated him, and all the rest of his class, against the Raja ; 
and excited in them a strong desire for his dethronement. Finding 
nothing was to be got by this first foul conspiracy, except by perjury 
and intriguing with regard to the evidence, they set their wits to 
work, and they got up this petition. How it was done I do not 
care ; whether it was fabricated or not, is a matter of no conse- 
quence. That it was got up, nobody can deny. There it is. It was 
sent to Government, who seized upon it, feeling at the time that 
their characters were deeply implicated by the failure of the inqui- 
sition, and they were anxious to carry out the case. I will say, 
with respect to Sir Robert Grant, that he was anxious to get a case 
against the Raja; and he said, when the petiton arrived, " This is a 
God-send." He kept it in his own desk, is stated, for a period of 
three months, until he removed Colonel Lodwick, and got Colonel 
Ovans to go up to Sattara, He would not trust Colonel Lodwick. 
He gave it to Colonel Ovans, with instructions to investigate most 
strictly into the Avhole history of the transaction. "What does Colonel 
Ovans do ? He makes overtures to Girjabaee. First of all, how- 
ever, she makes, we are told, overtures to him. She wishes to pre- 
sent a petition to Government in behalf of her son. She sends her 
confidential agent to him. I am speaking from memory ; it is a 
long time since I read these papers. Colonel Ovans wishes to see 
Girjabaee. Girjabaee goes to him — she is asked about the peti- 
tion, and she denies it. Colonel Ovans says, " Government has 
heard of your unfortunate position, and they regret it;" and he 
spoke to her in a manner which led her to see the pardon of her son 
in the vista. 

Mr. Lewis. — The matter which the gallant General is about to 
enter upon is very material and important, and the proprietors arc 


now very much exhausted, will you therefore have the kindness, 
sir, to move an adjournment? 

The Chairman. — I do not think it necessary; gentlemen cannot 
be taken from their business another day. 

Major-Gen. Robertson. — Girgabaee, I have said, saw the pardon 
of her son in the vista, and, luider this feeling, she made an acknow- 
ledgment that what was written in the petition was true, though she 
did not know it. Secrecy was promised to her. She states in her own 
petition, that it was with the understanding that the matter was to 
remain secret, that she made the confession. Here is a proof of the 
baneful effects of secrecy. This was also shown in the evidence of 
Ballajee Punt Nathoo — he, too, was told that his evidence should not 
be promulgated; and in consequence of that, not only did he give 
evidence which was not pertinent to the ^subject in hand, but, un- 
der cover of concealment, he stated that which was not correct. Now 
much has been said about Govind Row, and his statement as to the 
proceedings at Sattara ; but I must request you to recollect, that 
Suckharam Bullal was sent from Sattara fully instructed as to all 
the particulars to which Govind Row was to make confession. (Hear, 
hear.) There is no doubt about that, and that simple fact will ac- 
count for the answers which are given. (Hear, hear.) The honour- 
able Deputy-Chairman has told you that this is a judicial question, 
and not one of those matters which are to be agitated from time to 
time ; that it does not involve a political principle, like the question 
of the Corn-Laws, which may be one thing to-day, and another 
thing to-morrow. But, what has there been in the manner of con- 
ducting these proceedinx/s of a judicial character ? Is it a judicial 
proceeding to try a man with closed doors, upon evidence taken in 
secret ? Is it a judicial proceeding to condemn a man on perjured 
testimony, without giving him an opportunity of seeing and re- 
butting it? (Hear, hear.) I ask the honourable Deputy-Chairman, 
who, from his profession, must know whether such a mode of pro- 
ceeding is correct or not, whether if, in any case in which he had 
been an Advocate, he would have called such a secret investigation 
A FAIR TRIAL for Ms cUcnt ? Would he have consented to the re- 
ception of evidence taken in prison ? Would he have been satisfied 
had his client merely been called in, after all the evidence had been 


taken, and had had two long depositions only read to him, and those 
not in his own language ? What would he have said, had his client 
been promised a copy of the depositions, and then that promise had 
been broken, under the plea that the inquisition was a secret com- 
mission ? Can he say that such a proceeding as this is a trial, or has 
it any thing _;Mr7icia/ about it? I say there has been nothing judicial 
in any of the proceedings throughout this case. It is a case in 
which the most flagrant injustice has been done ; in which all 
judicial rules have been set at defiance ; and it ought to be discussed 
and urged over and over again, until full justice is done. I will not 
trouble the Court with any further remarks. (Loud cheers.) 

Mr. George Thompson. — I do hope, sir, we shall now have an 
adjournment. I am sure honourable proprietors feel, like myself, 
quite exhausted. 

Tlie Chairman. — It would be very inconvenient to bring gentle- 
men here again another day. I hope Mr. Lewis will at once pro- 
ceed with his speech. (Cries of "No, no I — Adjourn.") 

Mr. Sergeant Gaselee. — Sir, I shall move an adjournment, and 
divide upon the question. 

Mr. Hogg. — I am sure every attention will be paid to Mr. Lewis, 
if he will proceed. 

Mr. Lewis. — I am too much exhausted, and so are other honour- 
able proprietors, to proceed at this time of da}'. 

Mr. George Thompson. — Sir, there are several gentlemen upon 
this side who are anxious to speak ; and it is impossible that they 
should have time to do so, as they desire, to-day. If therefore you 
do not consent to an adjournment, I shall feel it to be my duty to con- 
tinue moving that this House adjourn, until you do adjourn. I will 
again never consent to the gross injustice of Directors dictating to 
proprietors, whether they shall or shall not adjourn. 

The Chairman. — All proprietors that are not qualified to vote, 
will please to retire. 

Mr. Clark. — Sir, in a question like the present, involving matters 
of so much importance, it is not fair that you should extinguish the 
speeches which gentlemen wish to make. Is it not better to give 
every gentleman an opportunity of expressing his sentiments, and 
after that has been fairly done, to go to a division ! Really, in a 
matter of this deep importance, upon which half a dozen other gen- 


tlemen intend to speak, there should he no indisposition among the 
Directors to an adjournment. We have a question hefore us, in- 
volving the great principle of moral justice. 

The Chairman. — The time of public men and private gentlemen 
is really so important, that I cannot consent to an adjournment. 

Mr. George Thompson, — Then, sir, as I stated before, I shall 
continue to move the adjournment until it is carried, if I stay here 
till to-morrow morning. 

Mr, Lewis. — I really think, sir, on a question of this great im- 
portance, you should not act the ungracious part of refusing an ad- 
journment. I am myself very much exhausted, and labouring 
under some indisposition. 

Mr. PoYNDER. — I do not appeal on my own behalf, sir, for I have 
already spoken, and am therefore not entitled to speak again ; but 
I think that, as a matter of generosity and courtesy, if not of common 
justice, you ought at once to consent to an adjournment. I hope, 
vyith the example before you, of that long, long night wh ich you 
once experienced, (hear and laughter,) that you will not refuse to 
grant the adjournment. 

The Chairman, (after consulting with the Directors.) — We will 
adjourn till ten o'clock to-morrow. 

(Loud cheers followed this announcement.) 

SATURDAY, August 23rd. 

Mr. Lewis, — Sir, when about two years ago, a discussion took 
place in this Court on the Sattara case, and the Court decided upon 
rejecting the motion for inquiry tlien proposed, on the ground that it 
was inexpedient to re-open the question, I determined, in deference to 
the opinion of the majority, although that opinion was opposed, in my 
judgment, to the first principles of justice, not to open my lips again 
upon the case, unless new facts and fresh disclosures rendered a renewed 
appeal to the Court necessary. That resolution may have been formed 
in error. I find no fault with those who think this question ought to be 


again and again discussed, whether fresh disclosures are made or not : 
that is their view of the case, and they are as much entitled to act upon 
it, as I am to act upon my own. Sir, I have read the papers recently 
printed by Parliament and now before the Court, and they are my jus- 
tification for again appearing before you, for I find in these papers a 
statement of new focts having a most material bearing upon the Sattara 
case. Facts and disclosures so important, that in my humble judg- 
ment, the question, whether the Raja of Sattara should be put on liis 
defence, is no longer a question of expediency, but a matter of absolute 
right and of urgent and imperative necessity. It appears to me tliat 
we cannot evade this necessity, or shrink from what is now demanded 
of us, without fixing upon the character of the British Government, 
and upon thi3 body, a deep and eternal stigma. Sir, if the new facts 
and fresh disclosures to which I have adverted are to be found in these 
papers, I beg to say, that I wish to confine myself, as the Deputy- 
Chairman has done (though in a different way) solely and exclusively 
to those papers. These facts and disclosures consist : first, of a state- 
ment made recently by a witness named Krushnajee Sadasew Bhidey, 
referring to the authorship of a petition said to be authorized by Gir- 
jabaee ; secondly, a statement regarding the seals of the Raja of 
Sattara ; and lastly, a statement alleging the personation of a pretended 
witness, called Vishnoo Kessoo Dewusteley, and the fabrication of 
evidence in his name. Sir, the honourable Deputy-Chairman, I think, 
omitted the two latter circumstances. I believe he confined himself 
to the declaration of Govind Row, and to the charges made against 
Colonel Ovans. I confess, I think, those two points upon which he 
has so copiously treated, are, in comparison to the others, of minor 
importance. Sir, as to the statement now made by ti»e witness Krush- 
najee, in order to understand the testimony he now gives, we must 
consider the evidence, and so far I am obliged to enter on previous 
matter. We must review the evidence which Colonel Ovans took, in 
order to authenticate that petition, and the orders which he received 
from the Bombay Government. We must observe closely the means 
he took, and the evidence he adduced, independent altogether, for the 
present, of the subsequent testimony of Krushnajee. We all know, 
that upon the 6ih of March, 1836, a petition, purporting to emanate 
from Girjabaee, was received by the Bombay Government. Upon 


this, and the consideration of its contents, rest the many charges con- 
tained in it. I think the honourable Deputy rather underrated the 
importance of the fact, when he said that the authorship of the petition 
was not material, as it contained nothing but an index to the parties 
who could give evidence, or who were implicated in the alleged plot. 
If he looks again, he will find a memorandum attached to that petition, 
containing the most explicit charges of conspiracy. The petition itself 
deals in general charges ; the memorandum annexed to it states much 
more particularly those charges. When the Bombay Government saw 
that petition, and considered its contents, it struck them that it was 
their necessary duty to authenticate it. They felt they would not be 
justified in proceeding with any inquiry until they had the true history 
of the document before them, and had ascertained with certainty the 
source from whence it emanated. With these views, they sent an order 
to Colonel Ovans to obtain the necessary information. Now, sir, what 
is the course that was pursued by that officer to effect this object ? 
There was a rumour at the time that Govind Row, who was then in 
prison, in consequence of the proceedings of the Commission held at 
Sattara, would be speedily released. Colonel Ovans conceived that 
the explanation which this rumour might excite, would be an obstacle 
in the way of obtaining the information that he required for the 
authentication of the petition. What then did he do ? He immedi- 
ately dispatched Govind Row to Ahmednuggur, under a guard, with 
directions that he should be placed in strict confinement there; 
that he should be only attended by one servant, and that all other 
intercourse with him should, for the present, be prohibited. It is 
stated that this measure was adopted for the purpose of showing that 
the rumour of Govind Row's return was without foundation ; and this 
being felt, that his mother and his other friends might be thereby in- 
duced to come forward, and disclose all they knew, as the only means 
of assisting him. When it was intimated to Girjabaee that her son had 
been removed to stricter confinement, she appeared at the Residency 
in the greatest possible distress at what had been done, and petitioned 
for the release of her son. Colonel Ovans professed to sympathize 
with her, and told her that he was directed by Government to inquire 
into her case. It is a singular circumstance that he was directed by 
Government to inquire into her distiress. I conceive the real object he 


had in view, was artfully to allude to the framing of a petition. 
What was her reply ? " I know nothing of tiny petition." — " Slie did 
not know of any such document, though one might have been written." 
She then denied that she had written it, or was acquainted with the 
writer ; and the two persons who attended her, also denied the fact. 
This, therefore, did not answer the purpose of Colonel Ovans, of obtain- 
ing the information he wanted. What was the next thing done ? 
Colonel Ovans states it himself, in his letter of the 2tst of July, 1837 
— in the first paragraph of which he says: — "I had the honour to 
report in my letter to your address of the 7th instant, the result of my 
first interview with Girjabaee, the mother of Govind Row Dewan, and 
since that time I have been in constant communication with her, 
through the medium of the two friends alluded to in that communica- 
tion. I directed them to inform her, that until all the circumstances con- 
nected with her petition were clearly understood, that it would be 
impossible to take Govind Row's situation into consideration." Mark 
you ! — " and I assured her of the protection of Government, as well as 
that whatever statement might be made, would at present be kept 
perfectly secret." Now I ask under such a guarantee as this, amount- 
ing to entire indemnity and secrecy, what was there that this woman 
might not have said, and that these attendants might not also have sub- 
scribed to ? Really this is a most material circumstance. As a natural 
consequence, the very statement and information that Colonel Ovans 
wanted, is brought ready cut and dry by Suckharam Bullal. What 
is that statement? "I employed a person of the name of INlahdeo 
Fugery to write this lettei-, he wrote it after I had seen the Bhye." He 
leaves Colonel Ovans to infer that it was written in concert with the 
Bhye, by this person Mahdeo Fugery, who came there as a visitor, and 
shortly afterwards left, and went he knew not where. A similar state- 
ment was handed in, as from Girjabaee herself. This information was 
forwarded by Colonel Ovans to the Bombay Government. It was 
regarded by them as satisfactory. Having thus satisfied themselves of 
the authenticity of this petition — they instituted those proceedings 
which resulted in the dethronement of the Raja. Those proceedings 
terminated antecedently, recollect, to August, 1838. Bear in mind, 
for it is most important, that the material evidence was all taken 
before that period. Now, mark ! Shortly after the communication 


was made to the Bombay Government, containing the statement 
of Suckharam Bullal and Girjabaee, the witness Krushnajee appears 
at Sattara, and informs Colonel Ovans that he, and not Mahdeo 
Fugery, was the writer of the petition. His evidence is in the Blue- 
book, page 1028. He says — that Lukshman Punt Shekdar came to 
him, and told him that he had a communication to make from Gir- 
jabaee, that it was a delicate matter, and he must write a petition to 
the Government. The witness asks, " Of what benefit will my lend- 
ing myself to this affair be to me ?" He is told that he shall receive 
five rupees for writing the petition. This satisfies him, and he pre- 
pares and writes the petition. When the petition is so prepared, 
and before it is sent to the Bombay Government, he asks what re- 
ward he shall receive for his services ? He is told by Luckshman 
Punt Shekdar — " When the Lukhota is forwarded, 250 rupees, and 
when an inquiry is commenced, 1000 rupees ; out of which half of 
the amount of rupees will be given, and when the persons whose 
names are given are imprisoned, and the inquiry has terminated, 
the other half of the amount of the 1000 rupees will be given." 
" No sooner had he said so," says the witness, " than I said, — when 
the persons named by you are about to be taken for inquiry, let me 
have on account of Sheila and Pagotee (that is for a turban and 
something else) fifty rupees, and afterwards one hundred rupees on 
account of each person, — that is, of the twelve persons named in the 
petition; being 1200 rupees in all." The Shekdar said, "I will 
communicate your proposal to the Bhye." Having said so, he went, 
and afterwards he returned, saying he had asked the Bhye, and he 
said, " the Bhye says, as to the urzee putru (or petition) having 
reached the Company's Government, an indication will be seen here 
when the persons who are named begin to be taken (seized), then the 
amount of reward proposed by you, or that on our part, as men- 
tioned by you, which are of the same nature, will be ready (become 
due.) Why is any fresh writing required?" So, that the effect of 
what the witness says is, that he wrote the petition — that he did so 
at the dictation of Lukshman Punt, and that Lukshman Punt com- 
municated to him, and with him, as the agent of Girjabaee, and that 
he was to receive for the services rendered in this transaction, in all, 
1250 rupees. That is shortly the substance of his testimony. Now, 


sir, before I contrast that testimony with what has since transpired, 
I think it is necessary to pause, and to consider what really appears 
to me the most extraordinary, and I must say, the most damning 
transaction in the whole of this case. You will all remember that 
this evidence of Krushnajee's, which I have just been reading, was 
in the possession of Colonel Ovans a fortnight after the other evi- 
dence had been sent to the Government. From that moment, till all 
the inquiries had terminated, that evidence was retained in secrecy 
in the possession of Colonel Ovans, and was never forwarded to the 
Government that had so anxiously required it. Now, sir, I ask, was 
it just towards the accused party, that this material testimony, in 
every respect directly contradictory to that which had been forwarded 
to Government, should be suppressed? (Hear, hear.) Was it just 
to the Government of Bombay, who from the first had made the 
authentication of that petition a matter of the very highest impor- 
tance? who would not proceed upon that petition at all till they were 
satisfied upon that point? Was it just, I ask, to that Government, 
utterly to suppress that testimony, and allow them to adjudicate upon 
what Colonel Ovans knew to be false ? Was it candid, was it in- 
genuous, was it honest, on the part of Colonel Ovans thus to act ? 
Sir, we have seen the importance that the Bombay Government 
attached to the authenticity of that petition, and very rightly so ; I 
ask, then, whether, if that testimony which was suppressed had been 
forwarded by Colonel Ovans, as it ought to have been, shortly after 
the commission, and antecedent to the imprisonment and examina- 
tion of witnesses, is it not quite certain — certain to demonstration — 
that the Bombay Government would have said — " Why this story 
that has been told us is all falsehood — it is a fabrication from begin- 
ning to end. Here we have one pei'son stated to be the writer of the 
petition, and then another. Here it is attributed to Girjabaee, and 
here to somebody else; — we can do nothing upon such evidence? ' 
(Hear, hear.) I really do put it to any candid man who hears me, 
whether these proceedings would not have dropped in limine, if Col. 
Ovans had honestly and fairly sent that testimony to the Govern- 
ment? If you think that, and I know not how you can come to any 
other conclusion, in candour and justice, then, I ask you, as judges 
in this case, to give the Raja the benefit of these siibsequent disclo- 


sures. You have now the discovery of this fact, the evidence in 
support of which is perfectly unanswerable ; indeed, it has not been 
attempted even to be explained. Let the Raja I say, have the 
benefit of it. The honourable Deputy-Chairman did not venture to 
grapple with this damning feature of the case. And why ? because 
he knew he could not ; and therefore he left it where he found it, 
and where it still stands. As honest men, give the Raja of Sattara 
the benefit of this revelation. As honest and independent men, say 
you will not believe one single portion of testimony which was col- 
lected under a false impression of the authenticity of that petition. 
I repeat it, — I look upon this as the most extraordinary, the most 
convincing, and the most damning circumstance in the whole history 
of these transactions. 

Now, sir, I will proceed to contrast the testimony which was 
given by this person to Colonel Ovans, in September, 1837, with 
what he has since said in the course of the petitions presented by 
him against Colonel Ovans, and Ballajee Punt Nathoo. This wit- 
ness, Krushnajee, after the inquiries had terminated, and had issued 
in the dethronement of the Raja, came to Sattara to claim his pro- 
mised reward. He went, not as the honourable Deputy-Chairman 
stated, to Girjabaee for the money — that was not the case — (hear, 
hear) — he applied to Colonel Ovans for it. What he states is this, 
and upon this point I shall be borne out by the petition, which I 
shall shortly read — that having in his possession certain papers — 
and amongst others two letters purporting to be from Girjabaee, 
which promised him a reward of 1250 rupees — he gave these, with 
other documents, to Abba Josee, who gave them to Ballajee Punt 
Nathoo, and through him they came into Colonel Ovans's possession. 
The evidence on this point is perfectly clear. All the letters, and 
other documents, in the possession of this man, were obtained by 
Colonel Ovans through that medium. That has not been, and 
cannot be denied. (Hear, hear.) Ballajee Punt Nathoo, on re- 
ceiving these letters, entered into a guarantee to this person, and 
pledged himself to the payment of 1250 rupees. That is what this 
witness says, and I think the conduct of Ballajee Punt Nathoo will 
pretty well make out what he states. Allow me just to call your 
attention to the petition itself, from which it is perfectly clear that 


he went, not to Girjabaee, but to Ballajee Punt Nathoo for his re- 
ward, lam sure the honourable Deputy- Chairman did not wil- 
fully misrepresent the case, but he certainly did not state the fact 

Mr. Hogg. — I think the words in the petition are, " that she 
passed a writing" — "that she made herself responsible in some 

Mr. Lewis. — Yes, it is in the first petition in these papers — the 
petition of the 2-2nd of December, 1842, p. 15. He says, " I beg 
to represent, that as Govind Rao Dewan was put into custody on 
account of the political proceedings of the ex-Raja of Sattara, his 
mother, Girjabaee, widow of Wittal Ballal jSIahajunee, sent Lulmh- 
man Punt Shekdar to me, and caused a representation of her cir- 
cumstances to be laid, through me, before the Government; in 
consequence of which, (that is, after I came to Sattara again,) x\bba 
Josee took me to Ballajee Punt Nathoo. Nathoo having looked 
over the papers of Girjabaee's case, which were in my possession, 
said that they would be useful to the Resident ; that I should give 
them to him (Nathoo) to be made over to the Sahib ; that I should 
furnish a statement in writing, of what might have been done 
through me ; that the Sahib would then be pleased with me ; that 
I would receive the amount of the reward for which Girjabaee had 
passed a writing to me, (namely, the letter sent to him at Punder- 
pore by Lukshman Punt Shekdar,) and that such an arrangement 
as I would wish would be made. Having made such promises, 
Nathoo took the papers from me, and gave them to the Resident ; 
to whom he afterwards introduced me, when I furnished to him 
(the Resident) a written statement of what had taken place, which 
proved satisfactory to him. Subsequently, Nathoo, having given 
me fifty rupees on account of the reward of 12jO rupees, stated in 
the Bhye's writing, took a receipt from me in the name of the Resi- 
dent, and intimated to me, that the payment of the fifty rupees must 
be an acknowledgment (on the part of the Resident) of the obliga- 
tion to pay the remaining 1'200 rupees, which would be paid to me 
on the conclusion of the investigation." Thus, sir, the petition at 
once demonstrates, that Krushnajee never sought, or asked, for the 
interference of Government to obtain money from Girjabaee, which 


is a great mistake of the Deputy- Chairman, in reference to this 
ease. The prayer of the petition is this : he says, " I therefore ear- 
nestly entreat, that the Resident may be directed not to pay atten- 
tion to their misrepresentations, but to view my case with an indul- 
gent eye, and to require Josee and Nathoo to cause 1100 rupees 
to be paid to me, and to obtain the grant of a pension to me from 
Government, and to protect me." In a subsequent petition, on p. 
19, I find the same statement, and a prayer is to the same effect. 
I say then, this witness, from the very beginning, and throughout, 
came for his reward, as is evident from these papers, to Ballajee 
Punt Nathoo and Colonel Ovans. "What did Ballajee Punt do ? 
He paid him one hundred rupees — that he himself admits — but he 
would pay him no more. In consequence of this, Krushnajee went 
to Colonel Ovans ; and, very naturally, for he knew, and every one 
else was also aware, that Ballajee Punt Nathoo acted as the agent of 
Colonel Ovans. He knew that what Ballajee Punt Nathoo had 
undertaken to do. Colonel Ovans was bound to perform. It was 
the most natural inference that he could draw. He goes therefore 
to Colonel Ovans, and asks for his reward, and Colonel Ovans 
refuses to pay it. He then appeals to the Bombay Government. 
What do they do ? They send the petition to Colonel Ovans for 
his report. It is in that report, that Colonel Ovans makes it appear 
(as I think certainly most unfairly and improperly) that what this 
petitioner sought, was a reward from Girjabaee : and that, as he 
sought a reward from Girjabaee, the Government ought not to 
interfere. Let him go, he is told, to the native Courts, and get 
what remedy he can there. 

Mr. Weeding. — " Apply to the Raja," he says. 

Mr. Lewis. — Yes, but Col. Ovans knew very well that it was a 
mockery to tell this man to apply to the Raja, who was a puppet in 
his own hands. He knew perfectly well the nature of the pledge 
that Ballajee Punt Nathoo had given. In the third paragraph of 
Col. Ovans's report, at page 17, the prayer of this petitioner is 
stated by Ovans to be, " that the reward due (as he says) to him by 
Girjabaee, may be paid to him, conformably to her agreement, and 
that a pension may be granted to him." Let any man read the 
petition upon which this report is made, and I think he will see at 


once that it justifies no such statement as that. What further does 
he say ? "As regards the reward promised to him hy Girjabace I 
know nothing." Is this the statement of Col. Ovans, the man who 
took the deposition of Krushnajee ? — (hear, hear) — who had in his 
possession all the papers which Krushnajee had ? who saw the letter 
in lSo7, p?-omising the reward of 1,250 rupees ? Is this the man 
who can now venture solemnly to state to the Government, that he 
knows nothing about any reward made in the name of Girjabaee ? 
I was going to say, what credit can be given to any statements made 
hy such a man ! 

Mr. Weeding. — Col. Ovans meant to say he was no participator 
in the promise of the reward. 

Mr. Lewis. — I beg your pardon ; words are words ; they are not 
to he explained away in such a manner. I must request that, 
unless I am really out of order, I may not he interrupted. 

Mr. Weeding. — I beg pardon. 

Mr. Lewis. — Such interruptions divert a speaker from his 
argument, and the case itself is sufficiently intricate. 

The Chairman. — I beg you will not interfere^ Mr. Weeding. 

Mr. Weeding. — I will not, sir; I am sorry I have done so 

Mr. Lewis. — "If this petitioner," says Col. Ovans, " has any 
claim against Girjabaee, he should bring forward that claim in the 
regular courts of this country, or make a petition to his Highness 
the Raja of Sattara." A recommendation, founded on the assump- 
tion of a fact, which, Col. Ovans knew, if he had read that petition, 
was not true. He must have known it was utterly false. The 
petition asserts no claim on Girjabaee whatever. What is the 
answer of the Bombay Government ? Why, of course, they echo, 
as they always do, the language of Col. Ovans. They have no dis- 
cretion, poor creatures ! they are bound hand and foot by whatever 
Col. Ovans says. They tell the petitioner that they cannot interfere 
in this matter, that he must go to the Courts, and establish his claim 
as well as he can. What was the consequence of this? Disap- 
pointed of his reward from the parties from whom he had a right 
to expect it, and mortified at the treatment he had received, and 
having the means of criminating the conduct of Col. Ovans and 

I 2 


Ballajee Punt Natlioo, he determines, — I care not what his motive, 
whether resentment or revenge, it does not affect his veracity, — he 
determines to make these facts public. I have said he was annoyed 
at the treatment he received ; he knew that there ought to be honesty 
even amongst certain men, and that honesty he did not find 
there. He seems to have said, " As you have not performed the 
contract into which you entered with me when you thought I might 
be of use to you, I will treat you as you deserve to be treated." He 
presents therefore a petition to Government, in which he states 
various charges of corruption, malversation, and bribery against 
Ballajee Punt Nathoo and Col. Ovans ; not vaguely and indefinitely, 
but supported by the most distinct and available evidence : and he 
openly and fearlessly undertakes to prove all his charges if the oppor- 
tunity be given him. With regard to these charges, let me say, 
that in my humble judgment they have but little to do with the 
Sattara case. Whether Col. Ovans or Ballajee Punt Nathoo 
are or are not guilty, is, in my opinion, immaterial to the 
Sattara case. Their innocence or guilt cannot affect the innocence 
or guilt of the Raja. There is no connexion between them except- 
ing this, — that if these charges had been gone into, and the witness 
Krushnajee had established them, then I admit there certainly would 
have been established a strong collateral case in favour of the Raja, 
because we should have been able to point to the nature and 
character of the agents who were intrusted with the conduct 
of the inquiry. Nearly three parts out of four of the Deputy- 
Chairman's speech consisted of remarks on the charges made 
by Krushnajee against Col. Ovans. He seemed to consider him- 
self the advocate of Col. Ovans, and he laboured very hard 
to draw from the petitions of this witness the proof of contra- 
dictions, for the purpose of showing that he was what he described 
him to be, "a perjured wretch." And hence he sought to 
justify the Bombay Government in the mode in which they dealt 
willi these charges. Sir, I am at issue with the Deputy-Chairman on 
this point. He has stated that the Bombay Government was right in 
treating these charges as they did. I say that they were not justified 
in their mode of proceeding. If a petition is presented, containing 
vague charges, and you do not know who the author of the petition is, 


you might so treat it; but when a petition is presented by a party who 
was a Government witness — when it comes from such a witness as tliis 
— when it clearly specifies definite charges, accompanied by evidence 
most minutely detailed — when the accuser gives his own and other 
security, to prove the truth of every one of his assertions — when he 
places liimself within the jurisdiction of tlie British Government, and is 
willing to abide by any punishment tiiat Government may clioose to 
inflict upon him, if he does not prove the truth of every tittle of his 
statement; — I say, sir, when a petition, containing charges, comes in 
this shape before the Bombay, or to any other Government, inculpating 
the conduct of public functionaries connected with that Government, it 
is the solemn duty of that Government at once to institute proceedings 
with a view to ascertain the whole truth, (Cheers.) Why, what does 
the justification which has been attempted to be set up amount to? 
Admit that Krushnajee is a " wretch," as you have chosen to describe 
him : he may be all you have said, and yet his testimony may be cre- 
dible and the evidence he offers good. He may be all that you describe 
him, but you are not therefore justified in repudiating his charges 
against an officer in your employ, whom he accuses of being a confe- 
derate. It is very well to say that when a charge comes from such a 
person as this, it would cast an unmerited stigma on the accused to 
treat it with seriousness. I put it to tlie Deputy-Chairman whether, 
supposing (and such a thing has happened within my recolkctioo) that 
any person were to calumniate him publicly, and to impute to him 
offences of which, in the opinion of everybody else, he would be ac- 
quitted on his bare denial ; — suppose the individual who made these 
charges was a person of the most vile character, and everybody ad- 
mitted he was so, I vv-ish to know what the course would be that he 
would think it due to liimself and the public to pursue ? Would he 
leave the matter where he found it ? Would he say to those who heard 
of these charges, "My good friends, do not trouble yourselves about 
tliese calumnies ; the fellow who utters them is a perjured wretch, and 
my character is so high that they cannot reach me. Treat tiiem with 
contempt?" " No," he would reply, " no matter who my accuser may 
be, these atrocious charges are gone forth to the public, and the public 
shall be satisfied." Now, sir, in tlie case before us the administration 
of justice has been grossly interfered with. A public officer is most 


deeply concerned in these charges, and the public has a right to be 
satisfied of their falsity. In your own case, I am sure you would 
demand an immediate investigation, and you would never rest satisfied 
until a jury of your country had acquitted you of so foul an imputation, 
(Cheers.) If in the case of a private individual, such is the invariable 
course pursued, how much more important is it that in such a case as 
that before us the Government should take care that their functionaries 
are fully cleared from such charges as those contained in this petition ! 
Recollect upon what ground it is that the Bombay Government dismissed 
these charges against Colonel Ovans ; when they received this petition, 
they forwarded it to Colonel Ovans and to Ballajee Punt Nathoo. 
They did right. They ought to have done so in the case of the unfor- 
tunate Raja; but they forgot their duty then. It was just to these 
parties that they should see the charges. What is their reply ? that 
the charges are false — that the person who makes them is a calumnious 
and foul libellei". What then does the Government do ? Why, upon 
the ipse dixit of these persons they dismiss the petition. They believe 
the empty and unsupported assertion of the accused, and dismiss the 
petition at once! Sir, I agree in the opinion of the Honourable Mover 
of these resolutions, that Colonel Ovans, as a British officer, ought not 
to have rested night nor day until he had compelled the Bombay Go- 
vernment (if reluctant to do so) to institute an inquiry into this matter. 
It was due to himself — to the character of the service to wliich he 
belonged, and it was absolutely necessary to insure the peace and hap- 
piness of his future life to have demanded inquiry ; for, speak of him 
as you please here, extol his character as you will, represent this witness, 
Krushnsjee, if you choose, as the worst of human beings, yet, after all' 
this stigma never will leave the character of Colonel Ovans until a 
public tribunal iias honourably acquitted him. (Cheers.) I do not 
know wliat induced the honourable Deputy to enter so largely upon 
this part of the case, and to dwell so long and so vehemently upon the 
propriety of suppressing all inquiry into the conduct of Ovans. If it 
was intended to influence the conduct of his colleagues in the Direction 
I trust they will carefully consider the sophistry of his arguments before 
they come to a resolution to approve of the conduct of the Bombay 
Government in having thus prevented the due administration of justice- 
If his speech was intended to forestall the public judgment, if he delivered 


his views on tliis case, well knowing at the time that other Directors 
did not intend to take the opportunity of delivering theirs, I do trust 
that those who have been misrepresented on this occasion will give us the 
benefit of their opinions to neutralize the effect of what has been 
said. (Hear.) Let me now direct your attention to one or two state- 
ments made by the witness Krushnajee in the course of these pro- 
ceedings. I will first take a statement in the petition to the hon. 
Governor in council, at page 13 of these printed papers. This is a 
material part of the case. He says: " I did myself the honour to 
present a petition to your honourable Board on the 29th of Sep- 
tember last, requesting a proper inquiry into certain charges of 
bribery and extortion against Ballajee Narrain Nathoo, therein 
specifically mentioned. Indeed I am a man in humble circum- 
stances, but the Nathoo is a privileged gentleman, who, in the course 
of his villanous transactions, has deprived me of a sum of 1,100 
rupees, which was promised me as a reward for services rendered 
in connection with the late inquiry at Sattara." Again, he says in 
his petition (on page 11) : — " I most earnestly beg the indulgence 
of your honourable Court, most humbly to intimate, that when Go- 
vind Rao, the Dewan (Minister) of the late Raja of Sattara, was 
imprisoned, I was, being connected with the affair of his mother, 
Girjabaee, inveigled by Ballajee Punt Nathoo to his own side, and 
was promised by him a reward of 1,250 rupees, and a pension in 
addition." Then, in the solemn affidavit made by this witness, 
which you will find on page 12, he makes this statement : " I, Krush- 
najee Sadasew Bhidey, now residing in Bombay, do hereby make 
oath and solemnly declare, that the several charges preferred 
against Ballajee Punt Nathoo, in the two petitions that I have pre- 
sented to the Bombay Government, the former dated the 29th day 
of September, 1843, and the latter dated 10th day of November, 
1843, are just and correct, aiid I pledge myself to support them as 
such, by legal and competent witnesses, and also by documentary 
pooofs now in possession of the local Government. I further 
make oath and declare, that the said Ballajee Punt Nathoo made 
the deposalof the late Raja of Sattara subservient to the aggrandize- 
ment of himself and his creatures, and that he (Ballajee) had pro- 
mised me, in connection with the affair of Girjabaee, the sum of 


1,250 rupees, and that out of this sum Ballajee paid me only 150 
rupees through tht Resident, Colonel Ovans, and that, after avail- 
ing himself of my services, he now refuses to pay me the remainder 
of the promised sum." Sir, contrast the statements which he now 
makes with those which he made in 1837. In that year he repre- 
sented that the contents of the petition M'hich he had written pro- 
ceeded from Girjabaee ; here he states that they emanated from Bal- 
lajee Punt Nathoo. On this point the Deputy- Chairman and my- 
self are agreed ; and so far we both differ from the views of the hon. 
mover of these resolutions. Here Krushnajee states that Ballajee 
Punt Nathoo was the author of the petition. He says, — "Ballajee 
Punt Nathoo made the dethronement of the Raja subservient to his 
views." " Ballajee Punt Nathoo inveigled me to his own side." 
" Ballajee Punt Nathoo promised me a reward of 1,250 rupees." 
As the Deputy-Chairman observed, " you may see, although there is 
not a positive and direct statement to that effect, that Ballajee 
Punt Nathoo was the source whence the petition emanated." 
In that remark I perfectly agree with the Deputy Chairman. You 
can put no other construction upon these statements than this, that 
the petition emanated from Ballajee Punt Nathoo. I would ask you 
to take these material discrepancies — discrepancies, however, 
which reveal the real author of the petition — into your most serious 
consideration. I would ask you, which do you believe to be the 
true statement ? Can any one doubt that the latter is the true 
statement ? (Hear.) Consider for a moment the circumstances 
under which the two statements are made. "When Krushnajee made 
the first, he was induced to do so under the expectation of a reward 
of 1,250 rupees. When he made the second, not only was there no 
reward or promise to warp his evidence, but he had placed him- 
self under the jurisdiction of the British Government, had given 
security and bound himself under fearful penalties to speak the 
truth upon his oath, knowing that he was subject to imprisonment ; 
and upon his oath he states that Ballajee Punt Nathoo was the 
author of that petition. (Hear.) But that is not all. This second 
statement is casual and accidental, and, as it were, involuntary, 
arising naturally out of the proceedings pending at the time, and not 
intended to benefit the Raja. Krushnajee is no friend of the Raja of 


Sattara ; but, on the contrary, he is a witness against him — a wit- 
ness for the prosecution — so that his testimony becomes infinitely 
more valuable in consequence of that circumstance. (Hear.) He 
distinctly swears that Ballajee Punt Nathoo is the author of this 
petition. Now, if that statement is true, I ask you whether that 
for which the advocates of the Raja of Sattara have been contending 
— upon which they have so often laid such stress — namely, that 
this was a Brahrainical conspiracy, emanating from the avowed 
enemies of the Raja, w ith Ballajee Punt Nathoo at its head, is not 
true ? The honourable Director, General Robertson, proved, at 
least to my thorough satisfaction, that this was nothing but a Brah- 
minical conspiracy, and that its fosterer and concoctor was Ballajee 
Punt Nathoo ; and that the British Government were the mere tools 
and dupes in the hands of him and his accomplices. I say, if these 
things be true, then that which we have been contending for is made 
out, and the case of the Raja of Sattara ought to be considered as at 
an end. Sir, I contend, that if there be the slightest suspicion about 
this petition — if it be possible to cast but the shadow of a shade 
of doubt upon the statement of its having emanated from Gir- 
jabaee, if there exist the least ground to suppose that Ballajee Punt 
Nathoo was its author, we have an unquestionable right to contend 
that the whole case ought to be subjected to the most severe investi- 
gation. But there is not only the evidence of Krushnajee, but a 
considerable amount of collateral and corroborative testimony. We 
have the evidence of Ballajee Punt Nathoo himself. There is his 
declaration, that when he was applied to for the reward he paid 100 
rupees, having paid 50 previously. Is not that a strong corrobora- 
tion of Krushnajee's statement, that Ballajee Punt Nathoo was the 
author of the petition ? If he paid the man this money — which he 
admits — I think every one must infer that he was in some way or 
other connected with the getting up of the petition. You have also 
tTie statement of Girjabaee. When first interrogated she denies 
that she knew anything of the petition or its authorship. Then you 
have her two subsequent declarations, made in the most solemn 
manner. Here, then, you have negative testimony to the truth of the 
statement, that Ballajee Punt Nathoo was the author of the petition. 
In the first instance you have the original declaration of this 


woman, according to Col. Ovans himself, in his own handwriting, 
that she was not the author of the petition, and that she knew no- 
thing about its contents, and then you have her making solemn 
affirmations, accompanied by the most impressive ceremonies known 
to the laws and religion of her country, denying that it came from 
her, or was ever in any manner authorized by her. You have, fur- 
ther, the declaration of Govind Row, also upon oath, in which you 
will find it stated that Ballajee Punt Nathoo was the writer of the 
petition. This evidence has satisfied my own mind ; and unless 
any honourable proprietor can show by an examination of the papers 
that the facts are not as I have stated, I trust those who hear me 
will believe that the evidence is strong enough to establish the pro- 
position that this petition is the result of a foul conspiracy. Sir, a 
majority of the Court of Directors thought this disclosure a very 
important fact, and accordingly remitted it, as well as other evidence, 
to the Bombay Government, in the hope of receiving further infor- 
mation. Now, let me ask, what is the information given by the 
Bombay Government with regard to these statements of Krush- 
najee ? The evidence on the one hand is strong that Ballajee Punt 
Nathoo is the author. "What do the Bombay Government state with 
regard to the authorship of this petition ? I have read these papers, 
and all I can find in the way of information, is a most immaterial 
and unimportant point. It is contained in the minute of the Bom- 
bay Government, at page 40. Their comment upon the evidence 
of Krushnajee is this : — " It is most improbable that Krushnajee 
Sadasew Bhidey would have so long concealed his present story, if 
it was the true one." Now, I put it to honourable proprietors, 
whether this is not the most unsatisfactory, lame, and feeble com- 
ment which could well be made upon such a statement ? Why, the 
probability or improbability, is quite the other way. How was he to 
make known his story, if it was a true one, before ? He had pledged 
himself for a bribe to tell the former tale, and so long as he had a 
hope of receiving it, he would, of course, adhere to that story. It 
is only when he discovers that he shall not obtain his promised 
bribe, that he resolves to come forward and state the true facts of 
the case. That, Sir, is the first disclosure to which I advert. The 
second, and a new fact, which I think lays another ground for in- 


quiry, is, with regard to the seals of the Raja of Sattara. I 
beg that honourable proprietors who are influenced by the judgment 
of the majority within the bar, will recollect, that the Court of 
Directors have considered these facts, which were new themselves, 
important, and have asked for a satisfactory explanation. "NVe all 
know that certain papers were purchased by Col. Ovans from 
Balkoba Kelkar, a gang robber. Among them were the impres- 
sions of mortub and sicca, or the great and small seals, supposed to 
be the seals of the Raja of Sattara. They were forwarded by Col. 
Ovans to the Bombay Government. Since these proceedings took 
place, the seals have been examined, and the inscriptions translated, 
and the seals, — which were supposed to be those in daily use by the 
Raja, are proved not to be his at all. (Hear.) They are found to 
be the seals of a sovereign named Sevajee, who reigned some one 
hundred and seventy years ago. Now, Sir, the forged papers, sup- 
posed to have been sent from the Government of Goa, and the Raja 
of Nagpore, were sent up to the Bombay dovernraent, by whom 
they were very much relied upon, and were considered by Sir Robert 
Grant as most material evidence in support of the charges. These 
are all proved to be fabricated, and the seals, as I said before, are 
found not to be the seals of the Raja. What is the further infor- 
mation which has been received upon what everybody must admit 
to be a most material part of the case ? The Directors sent to the 
Bombay Government for further information, and what have they 
done ? They have referred the matter to Col. Ovans. And what 
does he say ? At page 43 of these printed papers you have his 
statement upon this very material point. The 6th and 7th para- 
graphs run thus : — "The papers marked Nos. 13, 14, 15, and 16, 
of these accompaniments, refer to the inscriptions on the seals used 
by Nagoo Dewrow. But although these inscriptions may not have 
corresponded with the inscriptions on the seals in daily use by the 
ex- Raja of Sattara, still this does not appear to me to throw any 
doubt on the Goa case, or to disprove the mission of Nagoo Dewrow, 
as it is not likely, that upon such a mission, the real seals of govern- 
ment, or fac similes of them, would have been intrusfed to him. 
It is rather to be supposed that concealment would be resorted 
to, and seals of a former reign used, which would answer the 


purpose as well, and thus less danger would be incurred. But 
the seals used by Nagoo Dewrow are now at Sattara, and 
perhaps, if carefully compared with the old seals of the Sattara 
Government, of which I believe there is a great number in the 
possession of the present Raja, this might throw some light on this 
part of the affair." Now, I put it to those who hear me ; where 
does the probability in this case lie ? Is it probable that if this 
transaction had taken place, fictitious seals would have been used ? 
Remember, that the transactions were carried on through the 
medium of an agent, and that they related to most important affairs. 
It was necessary that the Governor of Goa should be satisfied, that 
whatever passed between him and Nagoo Dewrow, should be 
authenticated, and that, too, in the clearest manner, by the genuine 
seals of the Raja of Sattara. There is the probability. Not that 
such an agent as this should have recourse to fictitious seals, and 
for this simple reason ; because he would not be believed to be the 
accredited agent of the Raja of Sattara. (Hear.) Now, Sir, it is 
a little singular that Col. Ovans did not give you this remark at the 
time the seals were discovered. 

Mr. Weeding. — He did, Sir. 

Mr. Lewis. — Not fairly. 

Mr. Weeding. — Here are his words, " That the seals are not 
those generally used by the Raja, and there is no direct proof 
to show how they first came into Nagoo Dewrow's possession." 
Colonel Ovans, in his letter, lays no stress on the seals, and thinks 
them of no great consequence. 

Mr. Lewis. — I admit the remark, but mean to say that Colonel 
Ovans did not give the Raja the benefit of this fact ; but, on the con- 
trary, made it, as he now does, tell against him. The Government 
of Bombay, and Sir Robert Grant, attached great importance to 
the papers with these seals, and looked upon them as part of the 
evidence, and as a very material portion of it. Sir, I put it to you, 
whether, if it is but barely possible, that this charge of the Goa 
conspiracy was in any degree substantiated by the existence of these 
seals, if it is not a fact which deserves further consideration ? Now, 
Sir, with regard to the other seals. There were two which were 
transmitted by the Bombay Government through the medium of 


Mr. Dunlop and the Svvaracc of Sunkf sluvur. They were for- 
warded to the Government, and at the time, Mr. Dunlop stated in 
his letter, that these seals had the name of the Raja upon them. 
Now, Sir, in consequence of these proceedings, the inscriptions upon 
them have been translated ; and it is found that they are not the seals 
of the Raja, and that they have not even his name upon them, 
which Mr. Dunlop represented they had. That they have the name 
of a Peishwa, Sadasew Bajee Row ; and upon investigating the 
records of the Government, in order to ascertain who were the sove- 
reigns who from time to time have reigned in that country, it is 
found that there is no such person of that name who was ever upon 
the throne, or ever filled the office of Peishwa. Now, Sir, here is 
palpable, direct, and uncontradicted forgery. This you very pro- 
perly thought material, and you have asked for information upon if. 
What information have you received? Does Colonel Ovans ven- 
ture to deal with these seals ? No ; he does not even condescend 
to make a remark upon them. AVhat do the Bombay Government 
say ? Do they give you the necessary information upon this point ? 
No ; they see Colonel Ovans has not made any remark upon them 
to explain away this circumstance, and they say in their minute, 
alluding to Colonel Ovans, that " he has omitted to notice the discre- 
pancy in the 7iame of the Peishwa said to he engraved on the one 
set of seals." He has omitted to notice the discrepancy ! Good 
God ! For a Government deciding the fate of an honoured prince, 
to call such a fabrication a mere " discrepancy!" I appeal to you with 
the utmost emphasis and solemnity, are you, or are you not, satisfied 
with this miserable answer to your demand ? You have thought it 
material — you wanted information — you required that information 
— and you received none. If this was the only fact I had to show, 
is not this sufficient to justify a demand for inquiry ? I put it to 
you again ; let us have your answer. 

The next point. Sir, which I think very material, is the discovery 
of the personation of the witness Vishnoo Kessoo Dewasteley. This 
discovery has arisen, in consequence of the proceedings which have 
taken place here. The testimony of this man, or rather the evi- 
dence attributed to him, has been printed ; he has seen it, and has 
made a solemn oath (I have his affidavit in my hand) that he never 


was examined as a witness during these proceedings, and that he 
never delivered one tittle of that evidence which is imputed to him. 
That is his solemn oath. This you thought material ; and very pro- 
perly so, and required information upon it. What information have 
you upon this subject ? Does the Bombay Government give you 
any ? No ; they refer it to Colonel Ovans. What does Colonel 
Ovans say ? His answer is in the 7th paragraph of the document 
to which I before alluded. " As regards No. 17 of these accom- 
paniments, which is stated to be the translation of a letter from 
Vishnoo Kessoo Dewasteley, denying that he ever appeared as a 
witness against the ex-Raja; not having the evidence of this person 
to refer to, / cannot now recollect either the person or the state- 
ment of this witness. All I can say, therefore, is, that the deposi- 
tion of every witness was duly taken, and attested by me ; and that 
it is not likely that any mistake as to the identity could have oc- 
curred. But, Ballajee Punt Nathoo ra\x?,i\)c personally acquainted 
with the witness, and must have a perfect recollection of these 
occurrences. I have little doubt that he would be able to afford 
Government any further information either upon this or any other 
point connected with these proceedings, though, as before remarked, 
it does not appear to me to be either wise or expedient to re-open 
the case of the ex- Raja of Sattara." Now, really, Sir, is it not 
enough utterly to disgust and nauseate one, to find such language 
employed, as an answer to every attempt to obtain inquiry and 
justice. (Hear.) From first to last, here and in India, we are con- 
stantly met with this phrase, " the inexpediency of re- opening the 
case." He then goes on to say that to re-open the case, " or to in- 
stitute any fresh inquiries upon this subject, would not only be in- 
expedient, but might raise the hopes of the disaffected throughout 
the country." Instead of inquiring, then, the consequences are 
held 171 terrorem over you. And are you to be made to quake under 
such a statement as this ? And will you deny justice, because the 
doing of it might involve both public and private inconvenience ? 
Is this information satisfactory to you ? (Cries of No, no.) What 
have you on the other side ? A solemn statement of this man made 
upon oath, that he never delivered one tittle of the evidence im- 
puted. There is nothing to meet that but this disgusting reason for 


stifling inquiry suggested by Colonel Ovans. But the deficiency of 
Colonel Ovans is attempted to be supplied by a reference to Ballajee 
Punt Nathoo. Why then was not Ballajee Punt Nathoo resorted to ? 
Why was he not interrogated upon this question ? and why did not 
the Government, after interrogating him, lay before you the examin- 
ation ? These are questions which the Bombay Government will 
have to answer, if justice be done by the authorities in this country. 
Sir, I started with saying, that tliese were the three important disco- 
veries on which I relied as fresh grounds for an inquiry. I think I 
have shown you, by intelligible references to these documents, that the 
evidence of the witness Krushnajee proves that Bullajee Punt Natlioo 
was the author of the petition. I have also attempted to show you, by 
confirmatory evidence, that the allegation of that witness is true. I 
have shown you, by a reference to tiie information you liave received 
from the Bombay Government, that on that most material point you 
have only a lame and inconclusive comment on probabilities. I have 
shown you that, with regard to the seals, evidence clearly and dis- 
tinctly proving that, as to one set of those seals, tliey were not those 
belonging to the Raja, but to a person who lived some one hundred 
and seventy years ago. With regard to the otliers, that tliey were 
mere fabrications from beginning lo end. I liave proved also, by a 
reference to the minutes made from time to time by tlie Bombay Go- 
vernment upon that part of the evidence, that it had considerable weight 
in influencing the judgment of that Government, so far as the charge 
of the Goa conspiracy was concerned. I iiave shown you most clearly, 
that one witness has proved that he has been personated, he having 
solemnly declared that he never delivered the testimony that is attri- 
buted to him ; and that, although his evidence has been submitted to 
the very man who attested the alleged fabrication, there has been no 
disproof, and not even a denial. I deliberately ask, therefore, whether I 
have not shown, from these documents, a clear and undeniable case 
for further inquiry ? If any proprietor or director shall follow me in 
this debate, and distinctly prove the contrary of wliat I iiave asserted ; 
if he shall show that the allegations I have made, and the references 
which I have given, are false ; or that the inferences I have drawn are 
not justified, I shall be the first to recant the opinions that I have ex- 
pressed. Sir, there is one more point, though I do not bring it forward 


as a new fact ; I allude to the confession of Govind Row, a matter 
which formed the subject of a considerable part of the speech of the 
honourable Deputy-Chairman. Now, I really must say that the chief 
portion of his observations and remarks upon that case were not fair. 
For instance, a great deal, it is said, turns on the character of Colonel 
Ovans ; and then a long dissertation is read to us on the ability with 
which that gentleman has discharged his public functions. What has all 
tliis talk about the zeal, ability, and past honourable conduct of Colonel 
Ovans to do with a question of evidence, with which his character has 
nothing to do ? Then again, in order to introduce a parade of compli- 
ments, it is assumed that Mr. Hutt is attacked. Why, the notorious 
fact is, that not a single person, either here or elsewhere, has ever said 
one word in disparagement of Mr. Hutt. 
Mr. George Thompson. — Hear, hear. 

Mr. Lewis. — We all admit him to be a person of the highest re- 
spectability ; and observing the treatment he pursued towards Govind 
Row, we say he has discharged his duties with humanity. And yet a 
vindication of Mr. Hutt was a part of the speech of the Deputy-Chair- 
man. This mode of proceeding is unfair. There are proprietors here 
who are influenced by opinions uttered by directors, and by such pro- 
ceedings as these are drawn away from the real merits of the case. 
They are led to consider that the conduct of their public officers 
is attacked, and that the discussions upon the Sattara case are merely 
the vehicle for the purpose of wounding their characters, (Hear, hear.) 
Now, sir, as to this confession of Govind Row — what is it 1 He has 
stated in his declaration, that the confession, as it is called, was ex- 
torted from him in a dungeon. Is not that true ? Was not that con- 
fession " extorted" from him in the strict legal, moral, and universally 
accepted sense of the word ? The extortion was on the part of the 
Government — the extortion was on the part of Colonel Ovans — the 
extortion was, the strict confinement to which he was sent, the banish- 
ment of the man from his family, the interception of his letters, a soli- 
tary captivity of ten long months. The extortion was, the iniquitous 
mission of Sakharam, the author of the statement attributed to Girja- 
baee, who was sent (o Nugger for the express purpose of getting the 
confession, and at whose dictation this " voluntary" statement was 
drawn up, and delivered to Mr. Hutt. There is the extortion; and 


1 iisk any man who looks calmly at liicsc (acts, to yay wliellipr liiat 
confession was not extorted ? Who is the man who, under such cir- 
cumstances, would not be ready to say anything and everything he was 
asked? (Hear, hear.) When the law says that evidence taken under 
duresse is not to be admitted, what is meant by it ? Duresse is but 
another word for extortion. W'e do not mean to say you must present 
a pistol to a man's head before you are guilty of extortion. You take 
a much more efficacious method; you adopt a more quiet, secret, and 
efficient plan ; you irritate his mind, you annoy and perplex 
him, you subject him to every conceivable privation, you place him 
in a situation in which his mental energy is exhausted and his moral 
firmness broken down; you cut him off from the common air, 
from the free use of his own limbs, from social intercourse, until at 
last he can do nothing, think of nothing, enjoy nothing ; life itself be- 
comes a burden ; and he is ready, in tlie state of imbecility to which 
you have reduced him, to do anything, to say anything, and to sub- 
scribe to anything you please. (Loud cheers.) This is the Bombay 
method of extortion. Mr. Hutt's letter leaves the charge of extortion 
completely untouched — extortion in the sense in which that charge is 

Now, Sir, I think I have gone over the material points of this 
case. Let me now for a moment institute a contrast. Let me ask, 
how the Bombay Government can reconcile their conduct to them- 
selves; or, if you approve of their course, how you can reconcile 
your conduct to yourselves ? A petition was presented by Krush- 
najee; that petition contained charges against Ballajee Punt Nathoo 
and Colonel Ovans, — clear and distinct charges, supported by abun- 
dant evidence. Securities were given to prosecute those charges, 
an oath was also taken, so far as the witness could affirm that the 
facts were within his own knowledge. Besides that, there was the 
recommendation, together with the opinion of the agent for Sirdars, 
Mr. Warden, a man most competent to advise the Government on 
the subject. A rccomn\endation that a prosecution should bo con- 
ducted against Colonel Ovans and Ballajee Punt Nathoo, and tliat 
Krushnajee, the writer, should be called on to prove his statement. 
If I am wrong, I should like to bo corrected in that. Is it not so? 

Mr. Hogg. — If tho honourable proprietor appeals to mo, I say 



there is no recommendation ; Mr. Warden takes the question gene- 
rally ; it is a general statement of the truth of his assertion. He 
sends that, with certain records, to Government ; but he does not 

Mr. Lewis. — I may be mistaken; perhaps I may be using too 
strong a term when I say there was a " recommendation." 

Mr. Hogg. — It is very important. 

Mr. Lewis. — Well, I think this will be admitted, that Mr. War- 
den's views and sentiments upon the question are quite obvious, and 
decided. From the steps taken by Mr. Warden, and the letter 
written by him, it is evident that his belief was, that the parties ac- 
cused should be called to account. He instances the case of a per- 
son of the name of Dadjee Appajee Seweya, who, in consequence of 
making similar charges, was called on by the Government to prove 
his allegations. Now, mark what was the course pursued by the 
Bombay Government. They sent that petition, and they very pro- 
perly did so, to Colonel Ovans and Ballajee Punt Nathoo to reply to 
it. What was the answer ? That the statements therein contained 
were false, and the man was a malicious libeller ; and on this bare 
statement of the accused parties, they dismissed the charges. Now, 
Sir, turn to the other side of the picture. Who, let me ask, was the 
writer of the petition inculpating the Raja of Sattara? Was it not 
this same witness, Krushnajee ; this same " vagabond," who is now 
not to be credited ? Was he not the author of that very petition ? 
The charges in that petition were vague and indefinite ; he was not 
under any obligation to prove a statement contained in that petition. 
What was the course the Government pursued then? The Raja of 
Sattara, recollect, was then sought to be criminated. Was not the 
character of the Raja of Sattara as high, as great, and as excellent 
as that of Colonel Ovans, or that of Ballajee Punt Nathoo ? (Cheers.) 
Had there not been 19 years of faithful attachment to the British 
Government, and an 'administration of affairs which called for, and 
received, the loudest admiration ? (Cheers.) Did not the Raja stand 
on the very highest pinnacle in respect of his reputation ? (Cheers.) 
Recollect, it was on the ground of high character, as the Deputy- 
Chairman has urged, that this petition against Ovans and Nathoo 
was dismissed. (Hear, hear.) Did they send the petition of Girja- 


bace to tlie Raja of Sattara? f Cheers.) Did they ask the llaja for 
his reply ? (Hear, hear.) No ; they assumed the truth ou tlie false 
and perjured testimony they had obtained, and finally dethroned 
him, never having once permitted him to see either the petition or 
any other fragment of evidence given against him. (Loud cheers.) 
Now, Sir, I ask, how do you reconcile conduct of this description ? 
Why is it that when charges are made, by identically the same wit- 
ness, against Ballajee Punt Nathoo and Colonel Ovans that you say, 
" so high is tho character of these persons, and so great their ser- 
vices, that you will not examine them ;" and on the other hand, 
when a charge against the Raja of Sattara emanates from the same 
identical person, you assume almost every fact in it to be true, 
and punish the Raja without a hearing ? How do you reconcile this? 
Why, Sir, it is conduct, showing on the one hand, the most disgust- 
ing favouritism and partiality, and on|the other, a relentless, revenge- 
ful spirit of persecution almost without a parallel. Sir, in both 
instances you outrage the principles of justice, by your favouritism 
on the one hand, and your persecution on the other. (Hear, 
hear.) We have heard a great deal about "decisions." When- 
ever this question is discussed, we are told, as a matter of 
course, " Why, you will not take the opinion of anybody. The local 
authorities have decided; the Supreme Government have decided ; 
we have decided, and the Board of Control have decided." Sir, 1 
agree with the Deputy Chairman ; the question has been decided, 
but that which has been decided is that which we are not contend- 
ing for. What we are now contending for, and have been, and 
shall still, 1 hope and trust for ever while we live contend for, is, that 
a man shall not be condemned without being heard in his defence. 
(Loud cheers.'' I admit that that point, also, has been decided else- 
where ; but I contend that it has been decided according to justice, 
and in favour of the Raja of Sattara. I.,et me now call your atten- 
tion to the evidence, showing how that point has been decided. It 
has been decided by the local authorities, by Sir Robert Grant, and 
by the Governor- General, that the Raja ought to be heard in his 
defence. (Hear, hear.) What says Sir Robert Grant in a minute 
in Council, dated the lath of August, 18;J7 ? You will find it in 
the printed papers, page S(J. He says, " 1 am further strongly of 

K 2 


opinion that before the ease is conclusively disposed of, the Raja 
should be made acquainted with the fresh evidence that has been 
elicited against him, and should be allowed the opportunity of 
offering some defence or explanafAon." In his Minute of the 31st 
of May, 1808, which you will find in page 30o of the printed papers, 
he says, (and it is quite impossible for the right of the Raja to be 
stated in stronger language than is used here by the Bombay Gov- 
ernment,) it is, as Sir Robert Grant says, his natural and in- 
alienable right to be heard in his own defence. It will be asked, 
says Sir Robert Grant, "whether he is to be condemned without 
the opportunity of defending himself. The Raja has not been told 
of the evidence taken by Lieutenant- Colonel Ovans." Here is an 
admission by the Bombay Government, " and undoubtedly he has 
a right to be heard in his vindication. I have never meant other- 
wise." (Cheers.) " In my minute of the 15th of August, 1837, 
I observed," — he then quotes the paragraph I have just now read, 
and .says : — 

" I repeat that opinion, 7iot meaning that there should he merely the form 
or farce of a trial, to be closed by a ready-made judgment, but that the de- 
fence should be fairly heard and impartially weighed. So far as this Go- 
vernment should be called to decide on that defence, it would be my honest 
endeavour to discharge my mind of ail my previous opinions on the sub- 
ject, and to judge the case as if I heard it for the first time. But if it be 
thought that the Bombay Government is too strongly prepossessed with 
the guilt of the Raja, to be placed in the cliair of judgment over his High- 
noss, let the Government of India constitute, in any manner which they 
think fittest, an impartial and a competent judicature for the occasion." 

You that are fond of authorities, say now, whether the question 
has not been decided for which we are contending, namely, that 
there should be a hearing. The next minute is that of the Governor- 
General, Lord Auckland, dated the 23rd of September, 1838, and 
which is to be found at page 229 of the printed papers. He says : — 

" It is not necessary to establish it as a fixed rule that the Briiish 
Government cannot depose any prince not taken flagrante hello, except 
through the medium of a formal trial. But in this instance, if the Raja 
should eventually demand to be confronted with the witnesses against bim, 


and to be placed on his trial ; or, even if he sliould not himself mako that 
demand, but the written explanation or defence which 1 would propose in 
the first instance to require from him, should seem, as it very possibly may, 
to leave a necessity for some further proceeding, there may, perhaps, be no 
alternative to such a mode of final examination and disposal of the case ; 
however cumbrous, dilatory, and inconvenient it must be felt to be. Com- 
missioners of high rank and character, from the other Presidencies, if 
necessary, might be assembled for the purpose. Detailed orders would, in 
such a case, if we are forced to the measure, be necessary on the precise 
mode of trial, and all the other circumstances attending the procedure, to 
which allusion is made in the letters from Bombay. But it would be 
premature to enter at all upon these points at present." 

" As the first step," — now mark you these expressions, I earnestly 
entreat you : — 

" As the first step, I would, as suggested by Sir Robert Grant, request 
that the Raja sliould he furnisficd with a loritten statement, embodying a 
full and clear detail of the facts connected with the several charges, and of 
/Ac ?<«««« (with any reservations which may be absolutely required for the 
safety of the party) of the witnesses by whom they are proved, with a notice 
of the circumstances under which the evidence ivus obtained." 

How just! how proper! and how becoming of a Governor- 
General of India thus to decide ! Then he says : — 

" Call for from him, within a certain reasonable time to be fixed, a 
similar written statement of whatever he may desire to urge in his own 
behalf. The acting Resident will of course take care by every means in his 
])ower, ^0 see that his guaiantees to witnesses are in letter and spirit fully 

Now, sir, singularly enough, such a statement as is referred to 
has been prepared ; so that you would have no difficulty whatever, 
did you resolve to do that which is just. The statement to be fur- 
nished the Raja is now in your possession ; you would only have to 
hand it to him. A statement was prepared, but, at the suggestion 
of Col. Ovans, it was kept back ; not that the Government of Bombay, 
or the Governor- General of India ever changed their opinion 


respecting the right of the Raja to be heard in his defence. There 
never was any intention of finally deciding the case without the 
Raja being heard. Now, sir, let me ask how you have decided this 
case ? We have the decision of the Bombay Government, and that 
of the Governor- General of India. These decisions were sent to 
you. Why, sir, the Court of Directors, so far from thinking it even 
necessary that the Raja should be called upon to defend himself, 
stated, that they were so thoroughly disgusted with the proceedings 
in Bombay, — so completely ashamed of them, — so perfectly con- 
vinced that the accusations were all false and absurd, that they wished 
the affair to be quashed altogether, (Cheers.) That was, in effect, 
what you said in your despatches. Now, sir, recollect I am stating 
what is extremely important, as far as regards the hearing of the 
Raja of Sattara. I am appealing to your own recorded statements, 
I find in one of the Court's despatches, dated January 6th, 1838, the 
following words : — 

"The Governor-General informs us, that he has witnessed with con- 
siderable pain the protracted and extended investigations into which the 
Government of Bombay has thought it necessary to enter, in connexion 
with the original charges against the Raja, and that he has ' required that 
the proceedings be terminated and brought under the review of the Supreme 
Government, at the earliest possible period,' 

" 2, It is our particular desire to receive as soon as possible your review 
of these proceedings, and in the confidence that it will be transmitted 
without any avoidable delay, we shall suspend our own review of the case, 
till we are in possession of yours. At the same time we have no hesitation 
in giving it as our decided opinion that it would be not only a waste 


OUR Government to carry on any further inquiry in the 


" Seriously detrimental to the character of our Government to 
carry on any further inquiry in the matter ! " Why here, while you 
tacitly acknowledge the necessity of the Raja being heard, and the 
necessity of it in the event of any ulterior measures, you at the same 
time said, " We will not put him even to the trouble of vindicating 
himself; we will at once dismiss the whole proceedings, and place 

him where he ought to be, in the confidence of the British Govern- 
ment." (Cheers.) I say, the Court of Directors having before them 
the papers, and the evidence connected with the Sattara case, and 
making a solemn declaration of this description, must have believed 
that the Raja was free from the guill imputed to him. There 
is no other inference to be drawn from that despatch. Well, 
sir, Sir James Carnac went out from this country, knowing that this 
was your opinion. He went with instructions from you, to consign 
the past to oblivion, and to replace the Raja in the confidence of the 
British Government. Yet, Sir James Carnac, notwithstanding these 
express oi'ders from you, deposed the Raja: deposed him illegally, 
and contrary to your own orders : and yet you have confirmed that 
act, acquiesced in it, and approved it. I think, when you come to 
reflect upon the matter, you must acknowledge that you did so, more 
on the ground of expediency, than from any other motive. I am 
quite sure that if I could probe the conscience of every person here, 
if I could take you to the confessional, and extort from you real opi- 
nions, you would say, " We believed him to be innocent ; he never 
ought to have been deposed ; but, having been deposed, we were in a 
dilemma, thought it best to sanction the act, and we must now reso- 
lutely refuse to restore him." (Loud cheers.) 

Mr. PoYNDER. — ^That is the honest truth. (Cheers.) 
Mr. Lewis. — Now, Sir, I ask you, if you have, for expediency's 
sake, deposed the Raja of Sattara, is that a reason why we, for the 
sake of justice, should not demand that he be heard in his defence? 
Does your fatal error obliterate the decisions which all the authorities 
in India have given, that he ought to be heard ? You have com- 
mitted an act of wanton cruelty. You have, without hearing 
him, inflicted upon him the severest penalty that can be inflicted — 
you have deprived him of all but life, and that life is one of infamy. 
You have not heard his defence; you say you will not hear it; but 
afe your unrighteous judgments to be the rule of our conduct ? God 
forbid ! Before it is too late, beware ! You are but perpetrating 
injury upon injury ; wrong upon wrong; you arc determining to 
persist in a false course, and it may conduct you to your ruin. The 
right to be heard is an inalienable right; a right to which the Raja 
is entitled by the laws of nature, of society, and of God ; and your 


(Iccisions can no more destroy that right than they can disturb the 
pillars of tlie universe. (Cheers.) The Ryja's right to be heard is 
an eternal right — a right, be it recollected, cherished if in any coun- 
try on the face of the earth more dearly and sacredly than in another 
in this. (Cheers.) It is a right which is inwoven in our own consti- 
tution — we are taught it from our very infancy — it grows with our 
growth and strengthens with our strength — it is the pride of our 
manhood — the glory of our laws — the palladium of our liberties ; 
and, where we find it insulted, or in any way outraged, we are its 
champions, its supporters, and its martyrs. (Loud cheers.) I thank 
an honourable friend near me for referring me to a paragraph of 
great importance in the letter of the Raja himself to Sir Henry 
Hardinge ; which letter, though not in the papers, I may still, 
I trust, be permitted to refer to. 

Mr. Sullivan. — There is an excuse given, why it is not in the 
papers. It was ordered by Parliament, but it has not been received 
from India. 

Mr. Levpis. — Hear what the Raja says :— " Of the nature of the 
other charges brought against me, I was permitted to know nothing, 
until in August, 1839, 1 was summoned to attend the late Governor, 
Sir James R. Carnac, then at my capital ; when I was called on to 
acknowledge my guilt, not only of the crime laid to my charge 
before the Commission, but of two others, upon evidence which I 
had neither seen nor heard ; I was then assured that, if I admitted 
my guilt I should be confirmed in the possession of my principality ; 
but, that if I refused to criminate myself, I should be forthwith 
deposed. Spurning the condition upon which, alone, I was per- 
mitted to retain my sovereignty, and resolved to preserve my 
honour and integrity, even at the expense of everything besides, I 
was, on the 5th of September, 1839, removed from my palace, and, 
from that day to this, have been suffering the punishment of crimes 
of which I am entirely innocent, without the opportunity having 
been ever afforded me of being heard in my own defence," (see p. 
21, letter to Sir H. Hardinge.) Sir, when it is stated in reply, here 
or elsewhere, that the question has been decided, let it also be 
fairly stated, that that for which the advocates of the Raja have been 
all along contending, namely, a hearing, has been decided as just 

1 r>:i 

and right by all the authorilies in India, and even by yourselves. 
You who have gone even further than the local authorities in excul- 
pating the Raja, Let that fact be recollected, and candidly brought 
forward. Sir, independent of this paragraph, there is a passage in 
the letter of the Raja of Sattara, with which I think I cannot do 
better than conclude the observations I have made to the Court. 
It bears upon the point that I have been pressing upon your atten- 
tion ; nanaely, the necessity, in justice, of his being heard in his 
defence. The sum of his prayer is here strongly, feelingly, and 
emphatically expressed. The Raja says : — 

" I might be content to trust my future fate in the hands of any impar- 
tial individual, competent to examine and weigh the contents of the official 
documents which have been laid before the House of Commons ; but, con- 
scious of my innocence, and strong in the conviction of my ability to expose 
the utter falsehood of every charge, and to purge my character from every 
imputation which has been cast upon it, I ask — this is the sum-total of my 
prayer — I ask to be heard. I solemnly and emphatically, before you and 
the world, plead not guilty to the charges which have been brought 
against me; I solemnly and emphatically declare, that I have suflered, and 
do still suffer, as an innocent man. 

" I ask not, however, that my declaration should be received as proof of 
my innocence, but that I may be heard ; that I may have a fair trial, before 
an enlightened, a qualifud, an upright, and a disinterested tribunal. If, 
before, such a tribunal, I do not make my entire and absolute innocence 
apparent, — if 1 do not demonstrate, that I have been made the victim of 
the arts of wicked, perfidious, and perjured men, I will thenceforth for 
ever be silent, and bear without complaint the sentence passed upon me. 

"Judge you, right honourable sir, if, in making this request, 1 am ask- 
ing mo-e than that which all law, human and Divine, grants to the meanest 
criminal ! Suffer me to crave, that you will for a while place yourself in 
my situation, and therein judge of the reasonableness, or otherwise, of my 
request. Let me entreat you to cast your eyes over the mass of evidence 
registered against me, to no one atom of which 1 have been permitted to 
reply, and then say whether, if in my circumstances, you would not earnestly 
desire to purge yourself from such a load of infamy, ere you descended to 
your grave. 

" 1 am a Hindoo prince, of illustrious ancestry ; and, bj birth, the ac- 
knowledged head of a renowned and once mighty nation ; but I crave no 


greater right than that which is granted to the meanest supplicant owing 
allegiance, or subject to the power of the British Crown — the right to be 
heard in my own defence. 

" I am instructed to believe that the vilest criminal in England, whose 
crime has been committed in the face of the sun, and before a thousand 
witnesses, is not condemned without a trial ; is not subjected to punish- 
ment, until he has had the fullest opportunity of defending himself from 
the charges brought against him. Shall I, then, ask in vain for that which 
the law, the constitution, and the religion of England, grants to the traitor 
and the assassin — the right to be heard in my own defence." 

I will trespass upon the time of the Court no longer. But, ere I 
resume my seat, and we quit this place, suffer me to invoke you, in 
the name of all that is just and sacred — by every feeling of respect 
which you cherish for your own reputation — by every sentiment of 
attachment to the interests of India, and by your hopes of a 
righteous judgment for yourselves hereafter, to concede that which 
is now asked at your hands — a full, a complete, a rigid, and an im- 
partial investigation. I have assisted to make your path easy, by a 
careful detail of the new and additional evidence contained in these 
papers. Let me then request you — suffer me even to entreat and 
beseech you, as you value the safety and peace of India, to grant an 
inquiry. Be not found inflexible in wrong doing. The question 
before you is one of solemn, I might even say, of vital importance, 
involving the infraction of every principle of the law, both of God 
and of man. I entreat you to yield, graciously, and at once, to our 
request. (The hon. Proprietor sat down amidst loud cheers.) 

Mr. Lewis again rose and said — Sir, allow me to ask one ques- 
tion. The Chairman has moved an amendment. I wish to be in- 
formed if that amendment will be first put from the chair ? 

The Chairman. — The first question will be — That the original 
words stand part of the question. 

Mr. Lewis. — I wish, myself, to propose an amendment. The 
honourable mover has introduced a series of resolutions. My wish 
is to propose a short resolution, as an amendment on the Chair- 
man's amendment, which I believe I can do. If the resolutions of 
the mover are lost, mine, I believe, can come on. 

The Chairman. — Yes, when the original words are disposed of 


by a negative, then it will be in your power to propose your reso- 
lution as an amendment. 

Mr. Lewis. — 'i'hen, if that be the case, I wish to ask. for liberty 
to do so, and 1 shall confine my motion simply to these papers, and 
propose, That it appears to the Court, that the llaja of Sattara ought 
to have an opportunity of defending himself from the charges on 
which he has been dethroned. 

Major-General Bkiggs. — Sir, I should not have risen to take a 
part in the proceedings of this day had I not believed that it was 
in my power to throw some light upon a portion of the printed 
papers that have been brought before us. In tiais belief 1 think I 
shall be able to explain to the satisfaction of honourable Proprietors 
the mystery connected with the seals employed in the Goa con- 
spiracy. Mr. Hume, in his letter of the 'ioth of June, 1844, ad- 
dressed to the late Chairman of the Court of Directors, states, 
" With reference to my letter of the 18th of May, I take the 
liberty of inclosing an extract of a letter received by the last mail 
from the ex- Raja of Sattara, dated Benares, the 19th. i'ou will 
perceive, that the document sent refers to the most important part of 
the ex parte evidence in support of the Goa charge, as now for the 
first time fully disclosed to his Highness in the papers printed by 
order of Parliament." The nature of that evidence reached his 
Highness the Raja of Sattara for the first time through the medium 
of the English press, and from the papers which were ordered to be 
printed by the Imperial Parliament. " His Highness declares, that 
the seals attached to certain documents redeemed out of pawn by the 
Government of Bombay, and asserted to be his genuine seals, are 
forgeries. In the first place he states that their inscriptions, as will 
be seen from the copy he has sent, do not correspond with the in- 
scriptions on the genuine seals. In the second place, that the seal 
said to contain the name of the present Raja of Sattara, does not 
contain any part of the name of the Raja, but purports to be the 
name of some one filling the situation of peishwa. In the third 
place, the Raja proves by authentic public records, that no such 
person as Sadasew Bajee Row ever filled the otfice of peishwa, and 
that such a person, in such an office, was wholly imaginary." Now, 
Sir, in deciding upon the guilt of the deposed Raja, considerable 


weight has been attached to these instruments. There are two sets 
of these seals, one of which was dehvercd to Mr. Dunlop, and was 
described as having been discovered among the papers of Nursing 
Bharty, the late Swamee of Sunkeshwur, and as having been 
found among them after his death. The other set was taken from 
amongst the papers which were purchased by Col. Ovans for forty 
pounds sterling, and delivered to him by the head of a gang of 
robbers apprehended in the Concan. These two sets of seals are in 
themselves perfectly distinct. But it is of great importance, in re- 
ference to them, to look at their character. The one set of seals — 
that in the possession of the late Swamee of Sunkeshwur, are stated 
by Mr. Dunlop to be the seals of the present Raja of Sattara. Now 
the seal which Mr. Dunlop forwarded, has upon it these words : — 

" Sadasew Bajee Row, the prime minister of Raja Shahoo, 
King of Men." 

This seal is very much like that which has been used by the Peishwas. 
The inscription is a Sanscrit couplet, consisting of the following 
words : — 

" Raja Shahoo Nerputty Hersh Nidan ; 
" Sadasew Bajee Row Mookee Pradhan." 

These are the words (excepting the name) which have been ordi- 
narily used by the Peishwas during a very long period. In the case 
of the late Bajee Row, instead of the words " Sadasew Bajee Row," 
the words were "Bajee Row Ragonatt," which gives the rhyme 
equally well. Now, the seal before us is one purporting to be the 
seal of " Sadasew Bajee Row (or the son of Bajee Row) the Prime 
Minister of Raja Shahoo," and is said to be the seal of the present 
Raja; but the present Raja's name is Pertaub Shean, There is 
not, therefore, upon the seal, forwarded by Mr. Dunlop to Go- 
vernment, as the seal of the dethroned Raja, a single word that 
is applicable to him ; or would ever be put upon a seal used by 
him or for him. But further. My historical knowledge enables 
me to bear testimony to the fact, ihat there never was such an 
individual as Sadasew Bajee Row in the family of the Peishwas, 


and thai from the time of the first Peishwa, IJallajec Vishwanatf, 
there is not to be found an individual of the name of Sadasew 
Bajee Row at all. The only person of that name was a son of 
Chimnajee, the cousin of the first Bajee Row, and he was slain at 
the battle of Paniput, in 1760. There never was a person of that 
name in the family. Well, sir, these papers and seals were found, 
—where ? They were found in the Mutt, or hermitage, as it may 
be called, of the late Swamee of Sunkeshwur. Now, I have as- 
serted, and I think proved, that these seals are not the seals of 
any person living, or who ever did live ; and they must consequently 
be forged seals. Where, I ask again, were they found ! In the 
Mutt of the late Swamee of Sunkeshwur. This Swamee, therefore, 
may be fairly assumed to be the person who forged these seals. 
I lay great emphasis upon this, because I regard it as an extremely 
important part of this inquiry, as relating to the alleged Goa con- 
spiracy. We find, then, this Swamee having forged seals in his pos- 
session, we also know perfectly well, that the Swamee of Sunkeshwur 
was the chief and acknowledged representative of the Biahminical 
power of the Deccan. When this person first came to Sattara, after 
the Raja Pertaub Shean was recognized, in 1818, he required that 
his Highness should go out from his capital to the distance of a mile 
to pay him homage. This the Raja refused to do. He stood upon 
his rights as a sovereign, and said, that whatever respect he might 
entertain towards the Swamee, as the head of the religious portion 
of the Hindoos in that part of the country, that he, being a sove- 
reign, would pay him no homage. He acted according to his 
words, so that the Swamee was obliged to come and pay his respects 
to the Raja, as other persons were in the practice of doing. At a 
subsequent period, the same Swamee issued letters and sent them 
throughout the Sattara territory, calling on all the Raja's subjects 
to contribute a certain sum to the support of his Holiness, that is, 
the Swamee. Captain Grant Duff" was then conducting the admi- 
nistration of affairs at Sattara, and very properly put a stop to this 
proceeding. He said the Raja would not interfere with any volun- 
tary contribution that the people might be disposed to make, but 
that he would not recognize an order thus made, by a person having 
no legitimate authority, to levy a contribution from his subjects. In 


consequence of this opposition offered to the Swamee, there was, as 
might naturally be expected, no very cordial feeling between his 
Holiness and the Raja. 

Now with respect to these Goa documents, I find they occupy 
177 folio pages in the Parliamentary papers. They contain, it 
must be confessed, a great heap of very perplexing and contra- 
dictory evidence. Indeed, they are most unsatisfactory from begin- 
ning to end. Although they do in some measure inculpate the 
Raja, if they are true, yet there is so much of hearsay evidence, 
and of testimony of the most trumpery nature, that, as my friend 
General Robertson said, no one would venture to hang a dog upon 
the strength of it. In these papers, however, the Swamee is stated 
to be the first person who employed the Brahmin Nagoo Dew Rao, 
of Waee, to go down into the Concan. But this same Nagoo Dew 
Rao, is also the head of the party who are said to have been employed 
as the agents between the Raja of Sattara and the Governor of Goa. 
This Brahmin had for his secretary his own cousin Nana Wydc, 
and the Swamee is avowedly the instigator, in the first instance, of 
the Goa proceedings, and is recognized as such by Sir R. Grant. 
Unfortunately for the Raja, too, these three persons, the Swamee, 
Nagoo Dew Rao, and Nana Wyde, happen to be dead, and have 
never been called upon to answer any questions which might have 
been put to them, or to afford any information calculated to clear 
up this mystery. The documents which were purchased by the 
Resident of Sattara, consisted of thirty-eight pieces, and were sold, 
as I have said, by a captain of banditti for 40/., though they had 
been pawned for 50/. ; but there is this very extraordinary circum- 
stance connected with these papers, which I am sure must strike 
everybody as strange, namely, that they consist mainly of letters 
alleged to be written by two parties, to each other. They purport 
to be the original letters, bearing the seal of the Raja of Sattara on 
the one hand, and the seal and signature of the Governor of Goa 
on the other. They are termed original documents, which, instead 
of being in the hands of the parties who ought to have received and 
retained them, are found in a pawnbroker's shop in the Concan, 
left there by a gang of robbers, and 50/. raised on them, but which 
were given up for the sum of 40/. Now I repeat it again ; this is 


a very extraordinary fact. How comes it that these letters, instead 
of being in the possession of the Raja of Sattara in the one case, 
and of the Governor of Goa in the other, happen to be found toge- 
ther in the same place, and in such very disreputable hands ? The 
letters from the Governor of Goa, too, I beg to observe, are 
not addressed to the ex-Raja, Pretaub Shean. Consistently with tliis, 
also, the seal is not in the name of the ex-Raja, but in that of one 
Seevajee Raja. The seal of Seevajee is in the Record Office at Sattara, 
and it might have been compared, if deemed requisite, with the seal 
which has now been put forward, and produced by Colonel Ovans, 
purporting to be that employed by the ex-Raja Pertaub Shean in this 
conspiracy. Without inquiring into the inscription on the seal, which 
does not correspond with the original, the shape is even dissimilar, 
the seal now produced being round, while that of the ex-Raja, as well 
as that of Savajee, are both octagonal. Suffice it to say that, as they 
are not of the correct shape, they cannot be fac-similes of the original 
seals. It must be admitted, therefore, from these circumstances, that 
these seals must have been fabricated, and we are not left in doubt as 
to the fact, for Bali^oba Kelkur, the captain of tlie gang, says with 
regard to them, that the late Nago Dew Rao, the head conspirator, told 
him they were manufactured at the town of Pedney, in the Southern 
Concan. Now, Sir, what an important fact is this ! Here are these 
seals, brought forward as condemnatory of the Raja, and as being Iiis 
seals, acknowledged by one of the parties themselves, and one of the 
principal witnesses against him, as having been manufactured by Nago 
Dew Rao, at a town called Pedney! But, Sir, I have said that Nago 
Dew Rao was originally employed, for his own purposes, by the 
Swamee of Sunkershwur, in the Concan, before he was introduced to 
the ex-Raja. The parties who have given evidence in this plot, and 
formed part of the gang, are the relatives of Nagoo Dew Rao. Among 
them are Ballajee Patuk, his uncle; Hurry Bulal, his Jirst cousin; 
Nana Patuk (his secretary) his second cousin, since dead ; Balkoba 
Kelkur (captain of the banditti) his wife's brother ; another his sister's 
husband; and one of them, another sister's husband; another also is his 
nephew, and so forth. Now it is a very curious fact that these are 
tlie parties who have given evidence, and who are at present living. 
There is also Tejeram, the banker of Sattara, a person whose books 


are very much relied upon. lie, as I can prove, is the banker of the 
whole party, and of the Swamee of Sunkeshwur; and Balkoba Kelkur, 
tlie captain of the gang, states, that this Tejeram told him that the pro- 
ceedings at Goa were the business of the Swamee. Now I have shown 
that Nago Dew Rao (deceased), the original agent of the Swamee, 
was the forger of owe set of seals. We know that he was the person 
who was sent by the Swamee down to the Deccan, and, as Sir Robert 
Grant states, the Raja became the dupe of that intrigue, and connected 
liimself with it afterwards. We iiave proved that this Swamee, the 
originator of the intrigue, had also other forged seals in his possession. 
Now it is impossible to divest the mind of the idea that Nagoo Dew 
Rao, the manufacturer of one set of false seals, was identified with the 
person in whose records were found the other set of forged seals. The 
sequence seems to me to be as palpable as possible that the Swamee, 
the enemy of the Raja, was, as stated by Tejeram, the banker, the prime 
mover in this business. At his death, certain other documents also 
were found, furnishing a clue to his general character and the nature 
of his transactions. First of all is an agreement made by Nagoo Dew 
Rao, in the name of the ex-Raja of Sittara, and by Raojee Kotnes on 
the part of the Governor of Goa. For what? To obtain 30,000 
European troops, through the Portuguese Governor of Goa, of which 
number 15,000 were to be Frenchmen, and the Raja of Satlaia was to 
pay for them, as a subsidy, three millions of moneif. Now it is a 
remarkable fact, that although this instrument is one of those said to be 
found amongst the papers discovered in the pawnbroker's shop, yet a 
copy of it is also found in the possession of the Swamee, and is 
sworn to by the person who copied it for the Swamee. There were 
other papers found among the records of this Swamee ; for instance, 
there is an agreement of five articles of a treaty or compact made with 
the Guikowar of Baroda, the original draft of which is stated by the 
servant of the Swamee to have been sent to Baroda in cypher, having 
been concocted, at Sunkershwur, by the Swamee, to form a treaty, 
which treaty was also found. Amongst these papers, also, are let- 
ters from the ex-Peishwa Bjjee Row, besides others from Hyder- 
abad and Sorapoor. But there is one very remarkable paper which 
I shall beg to dwell upon, for it is one of very great importance- 
Tl>e paper purports to be a yrant (from Modoojee Bhosla, tire 


ex -Raja oC Nagpore) of ti jagheer of four lacs of rupees to ike 
Swamee, wlieiievcv lie, Modoojee Bhosia, shall rtcovi;r llie ter- 
ritory of Nagpore through the Swamee's agency. Now it is 
charged against the ex-Raja of Sattara, that he sent, through a com- 
mon runner, a message to the said ex-Raja of Nagpore, asking him to 
advance on loan 25 lacs of rupees, to enable him to send the 30,000 
European troops to conquer the territory of Nagpore for him, and 
we at the same lime find the grant of an estate to the Swamee of 
Sunkeshwur, when the recovery of those very territories takes place. 
Why, what an extraordinary coincidence, that the Raja of Sattara, 
without communicating even with the Swamee, should demand twenty- 
tive lacs of rupees in order to fulfil the very object with 30,00u Portu- 
guese troops, after the completion of whicii his Holiness the Swamee 
was to obtain his estate ! But who is this ex-Raja of Nagpore, that 
is to send this money ? This Modoojee Bhosia, entitled Appa Sahib, 
is a poor exile, who made his escape from a British escort in 1818, 
and having wandered all over the North of India, last settled in Jood- 
pore, the Raja of which state is called on to take care of him, and 
though not required to deliver him up to the British Government, to 
guarantee that he sliall do no mischief. This poor creature is at Jood- 
pore, and receives from the Raja, as I understood when I was in 
India, ten rupees a-day for his subsistence. This is the man, then, 
who is called upon by the ex-Raja of Sattara, to lend him twenty-five 
lacs of rupees (250,000/.,) as part of the contribution, which he is to 
pay to the Governor of Goa, to furnish troops for the purpose of 
recovering Nagpore in the interior of the country ! ! ! Is it possible. 
Sir, to believe this story? or is it fit that any weight should attach to 
papers of this description ? It is quite clear that here is a fabrication 
for some dark purpose or other, and that the Swamee and others, the 
Raja's enemies, are at the bottom of it. I iiave gone through the 
whole of the printed documents in this case with great caro, and really 
I must say, with my knowledge of the Indian character, in connection 
with this evidence, that I never saw a greater mass of trash and trum- 
pery in my life. Moreover, it appears that this Swamee authorized the 
collection of a gang, destined to attack Rutnagerree in the year 1836 ; 
that they came to Sunkeshwur, and remained there some time; that the 
men were paid 500 rupees in cash by the Swamee, and tlie value of 



500 more was given in cloths. These were given, I say, at Sunkeslivvur 
by Nursing Bharty, the late Swamee. Another plot was also formed 
to attack the treasury of V'ingorla, which was defeated only by the 
vigilance of the acting magistrate, Mi: Spooner, and the parties, who 
were apprehended as concerned in that plot, were the very individuals 
who have produced the Goa papers and the forged seals. 

Mr. George Thompson. — Those men, too, were paid by the 

INIajor-General Briggs. — Be that as it may, the former party is 
proved to have been paid by the Swamee. I have not yet myself seen 
it stated, by whom the latter party, which was to have attacked tlie 
Vingorla treasury, were to have been paid ; but, they are persons of 
Nagoo Dew Rao's party, and some of them his relations. Now, sir, 
it is a fact placed on the Bombay records, that there was an old feud 
existing between the Deccan Brahmins and the Prublioos, who were of 
different castes. Ballajee Punt Nathoo was a Brahmin of the former 
caste, and the Raja's minister was of the latter caste. Never-ceasing 
complaints and appeals had been made to the Raja, calling upon him 
to put down these feuds. In the time of Sir John Malcolm, no fewer 
than 6000 Brahmins of Waee came out to petition him on this 
subject, and they threatened, if not attended to, to subvert the Raja's 
Government by arms. Now mark, sir. The whole of these confede- 
rates, with Nago Deo Rao at their head, are his relations, and the gang 
robbers themselves are all from this very town of Waee. The 6000 
persons of whom I spoke, persecuted Sir John Malcolm, and de- 
manded that he should require, that the Prubhoos should not exercise 
certain privileges which they were stated to have formerly done. The 
Governor refused to interfere, and sent notice of his resolution to 
the Resident of Sattara. I arn sorry that General Robertson, 
who was then the Resident, is absent, because he would have 
confirmed the statement I am now making about these Brahmins. 
Sir John Malcolm recommended the Raja not to interfere, but 
to allow matters to take their course. I could bring forward papers, 
though not printed ones, yet indubitably authentic, to prove this. 

[At this point, Mr. Wigram, one of the directors, left his cliair, 
and whispered something into the ear of the Chairman : General 
Briggs paused.] 

1 (>;j 

The Chairman. — I wish to ask the honoura'jK' and gallant Pro- 
prietor if he is aware that all he is now saying has nothing to do 
with the papers under discussion. 

General Briggs. — I should be the first to sit down if I deemed 
myself out of order; but, sir, I really did think that what I wag 
saying had a direct bearing upon one of the most intricate, but 
most important branches of the subject brought under our consi- 
deration by these papers. That branch of the subject is, the seals 
said to have been used by the authority of the ex-Raja in the course 
of a treasonable correspondence, and those seals I find specially 
referred to in these papers. (Hear, hear.) I have collected evi- 
dence to prove those seals false. I am trying to show you who 
manufactured those seals ; where they were manufactured ; for 
what purpose they were manufactured ; and by what motives the 
parties in this plot were influenced. I was just going to demon- 
strate that the Raja was not, and could not have been, a party con- 
nected with the fabrication of those seals. I was going to prove the 
strong religious hatred towards the Raja cherished by the very 
parties said to have been his co-partners in all his alleged intrigues 
to overthrow our Government. That, in fact, from beginning to 
end, the Raja has been the victim of a Brahminical conspiracy. 
(Hear, hear.) But I must, of course, bow to the chair, if I am told 
that all this has nothing whatever to do with the question. 

Mr. George Thompson. — I rise to order. The remarks of the 
Proprietor who has been interrupted bear most directly upon a very 
important branch of the subject before us. The Raja was con- 
victed, in part, upon the evidence of the seals referred to. If they 
were his, and if he used them for treasonable purposes, he is guilty. 
But if they were not his, if they are forgeries, and if they were the 
inventions of his enemies, and if this can be proved, then the Raja 
is so far shown to be innocent, and a case for inquiry is made out. 
Now, sir, evidence touching these seals was sent to this house by a 
member of Parliament and a Proprietor. That evidence was sent 
to India to be investigated. These papers, which contain the 
answers of Colonel Ovans and the Bombay Government, prove that 
they were not investigated. These papers contain a distinct 
acknowledgment on the part of the Bombay Government, that the 

L 2 


discrepancies pointed out by Mr. Hume were not explained, or so 
much as referred to by Colonel Ovans. Before us is a gentleman 
who has taken great pains to unravel the mystery. He is, I will 
venture to say, the only man now in this Court competent to under- 
take this task. He has achieved his object. He is giving us the 
result of his examination into the subject, and I therefore solemnly 
protest against the interruption he has met with as an attempt to 
defeat the ends of justice by intercepting most vital evidence, in its 
progress from the lips of a witness to the ears of a judicial assembly. 

Mr. Marriott. — (Referring to Mr. Thompson, who sat within 
the bar.) Is that a Director sitting there ? (Laughter, and cries 
of order.) 

Mr. Thompson. — No. Only a lover of justice and fair play. 

Mr. Hogg. — The Chairman decides, that the observations of 
General Briggs are not pertinent, and do not bear upon the question. 

Mr. Thompson. — I saw the Chairman prompted to his act by 
Mr. Wigram. I request that Mr. Wigram will no more prompt 
the chair — either on this or any future occasion. We are not to 
have the proof of the Eaja's innocence burked by a whisper, 

Mr. IIoGG. — (Much excited.) What does the honourable pro- 
prietor mean ? 

Mr. Thompson. — This, sir ; that it was Mr. Wigram's whisper 
that brought the Chairman upon his legs. Let the Chairman deny 
it if he can. 

Mr. Wigram. — I will not be put down by that honourable pro- 
prietor — who seems to disregard all the usages of this room, and 
who has no legal right to sit where he does. 

Mr. Thompson. — Indeed ! Prove it. 

Mr. Wigram. — No, sir. Why, one honourable Director, seeing 
some books upon the table look them up, thinking they belonged 
to the Court, and they turned out to be Mr. Thompson's. 

Mr. Thompson. — And he was quite welcome to the use of them. 

Mr. Wigram. Now, in the same way, Mr. Thompson may, by 
mistake, take up some papers that belong to the Directors, and 
there will be no end to the confusion. I throw it out for the consi- 
deration of the Proprietors, whether they will allow an individual to 
break through the customs of the Court, by sitting behind this bar. 

1 ar, 

All I can say is, that, as man and as boy, I recollect the praciicst- 
of this Court for nearly fifty years ; and I never before knew a per- 
son attempt to sit where the honourable Proprietor does, but by the 
courtesy of the Chairman. I tell the honourable gentleman that he 
is doing the greatest possible injury, not only to the cause he is now 
advocating, but to the general interests of India, by the conduct he 
is pursuing. 

Mr. Thompson. — What ! by putting my books and papers on 
this table ? Alas ! for poor India. 

Mr. WiGRAM. — In my humble opinion, if these things go on, 
(and I have a great regard for the general interests of India,) the 
door of this Court will, sooner or later, be completely closed 
against the discussion of political questions, (no, no,) and if they 
do go on, the sooner the better, I say. 

Mr. Sergeant Gaselee. — I think, Mr. Chairman, you have 
given the honourable Director sufficient latitude, and I hope, there- 
fore, the discussion will proceed. 

Mr. Makuiott. — I beg to move, " that those who are not Direc- 
tors do take their proper seats." 

Mr. Thompson.— (To Mr. Marriott.) Really, sir, your motions 
are always most truly edifying. 

The Chairman. — General Briggs will proceed. 

Mr. Thompson. — But, if you please, I will reply to the remarks 
of Mr. Wigram, which are personal. As you did not call Mr. 
Wigram to order, you must, injustice, hear me. I am sure General 
Briggs will allow me a minute for that purpose. 

The Chairman, (to Mr. Thompson.) — You are out of order. 
I call upon the proprietors to express their opinions. (Great con- 
fusion, and loud cries among the Directors of, " Sit down.") 

Mr. Thompson. — Is it thus you will sacrifice the riglit of a man 
to reply to a personal attack ? 

Sergeant Gaselee and General Briggs interposed, and re- 
quested Mr. Thompson to waive his right. 

Mr. Thompson. — I yield, not to clamour, but to the wishes of 
my friends. " I bide my time." 

General Briggs. — Now, Sir, as connected with these papers, the 
consideration of the seals is really a most important question. I again 


allude to them for the purpose of showing the character of these 
Goa papers. If I am told that I am out of order in referring to 
those documents, I must desist. (Loud cries of '* Go on, go on.") 
Certain portions of these Goa papers are stated to be originals in 
the handwriting of two parties. On the one hand of Don Manoel, 
the Governor of Goa, and on the other of the Raja of Sattara. On 
examining them, however, we find, from the evidence before Par- 
liament, by an analysis made in Mahratta by my honourable friend 
before me, Rungoo Bapogee, and which analysis is translated into 
English, that the parties by whom they were sold were questioned 
as to them before Col. Ovans. These parties consist of Dajeba 
Waeed, Balkoba Kelkur, Moropunt Josce, Narain Chittey, Hurry 
Punt Futuck, Raojee Kotnes, besides the banker Tejeeram and 
his son. The documents are thirty-eight in number. The first of 
them appears to be from Don Manoel to one Sivajee Raja, su{)- 
posed to represent the present ex-Raja Pertaub Shean. It is 
dated 2'2nd July, 1833, and Dajeeba Wyde, Balkoba Kelkur, Mo- 
ropunt Josee, and Raojee Kotnes, state, that this paper, purporting 
to be from Don Manoel, was written by one Suckharam Khainut, 
and that a copy of the same was made by Moropunt Josee, who 
himself confesses that he did so. There are five letters of the 22nd 
February, ISol, the 21st of December, 1830, the I8th of June, 
1833, and the 14th December, 1829, with another of the latter 
date, said to be addressed by the ex- Raja to Don Manoel, and the 
false seal is affixed to each. These letters are all in the handwrit- 
ing of the late Nana Patuck. Moropunt Josce, and Hurry Bulal, 
the father of Nana Patuck, swear to the fact ; Nana Patuck appear- 
ing to have been the secretary of the late Nago Deo Row, the ori- 
ginal agent of the Swamee, but converted into the agent of the ex- 
Raja. These letters purport to be from Sivajee, Raja of Sattara, 
who died 160 years ago, and to have the seal of Sivajee affixed to 
them, but which seal is proved on oath to have been lately manu- 
factured by the conspirators themselves, who also confess that the 
letters were written by their own party, and the same rule applies 
to all the other letters, not one of which is written by the person 
from whom it emanates. I need not go through the whole of them ; 
I do not believe it is important to do so ; but will hand over the 

analysis to one of the reporters present :— and yet, Sir, this is the 
evidence brought forward by Col. Ovans, and on wliich the Horn- 
bay Government rely as proofs of the Rajas treason. Letters — 
concocted by a set of gang-robbers, and sold to the British Resident 
to criminate the unhappy individual who has fallen a victim to this 
base conspiracy. Now, Sir, I have had a good deal to do with the 
taking of evidence in India, in my judicial capacity there. I beg you 
to recollect, the whole of the examinations and the evidence are 
written in the Mahratta language. Who examined the evidence ? 
Col. Ovans ? If Col. Ovans did so, he only did so through the 
means of an interpreter: the whole of the oral examinations were 
evidently made by a native, because the questions put by the exa- 
miner are translated from the Mahratta language into such un- 
grammatical English, that it is absolutely painful to read it. It is 
impossible to go through those papers, I think, without getting the 
head-ache. They are not English at all. Most of those questions 
must have been put by a native, because when translated into Eng- 
lish, the native idiom is preserved throughout. The questions were 
not put by Col. Ovans, for if they had been, they at all events would 
have been in correct English ; while the answers might have borne 
the mark of the Mahratta idiom. I say the whole of these (lues- 
tions have been put by some native, I cannot say who, and trans- 
lated badly into English by somebody else, to which translation Col. 
Ovans has affixed his name. I cannot think he translated them ; it 
would be paying him a bad compliment to suppose so. Yet, 1 re- 
peat it, this is the evidence upon which the Raja has been con- 
victed. Why surely he has a right to see the documentary evidence 
in the original, and to be confronted with the parties who gave it 
orally. All these will have to be laid before him before he can 
fairly be convicted. He has had no opportunity of seeing any of 
these papers, and I say, before any one can come to a determina- 
tion, whether the Government of Bombay, or even Col. Ovans 
himself, that it would be necessary that there should be a compe- 
tent examination of these native documents, and the parties be ex- 
posed to a searching cross-examination. Ou the occasion of the 
measures taken, preparatory to the deposing of the Raja, Sir James 
Carnac gave as a reason why he should not permit the Raja to go into 


the inquiry respecting these proceedings, that he, Sir James, did not 
come there to punish the Raja, but to confer favour on him. Such is 
the reason he assigns why he did not allow him to see the evidence 
against him. Did he confer favour on him ? If he went there to pass 
an act of oblivion, it was competent for him to withhold the evidence, 
but if he came there to punish, he was bound, and even enjoined, 
(as has been said by my learned friend, Mr. Lewis,) by the late 
Government of Bombay, and by the Supreme Government in 
Bengal, to give him a fair trial. The Court of Directors here, 
however, were satisfied that no further inquiry should be prosecuted, 
that it would be discreditable to the character of our Government to 
do so, and that the whole ought to be buried in oblivion. Sir James 
Carnac, when he sat in the chair in the Court of Directors, had the 
same feeling. He did not go out to India to punish the Raja, but 
to pass the act of oblivion, and to keep the Raja upon his throne. 
Had he relied on his own judgment he would have done so, but there 
was an actor behind the scene, who, I have not the least doubt, has 
regulated all the proceedings in India in this case. This is clear 
from the beginning. Whenever the evidence was promised to the 
Raja, as it was by the Commissioners in the first instance, and sub- 
sequently directed by the Supreme Government to be laid before 
him, there has been a secret agent behind preventing his getting 
access to it, and it has been withheld systematically, because it was 
known to those who got it up, that it could not stand the test of 
scrutiny by the Raja. Sir James Carnac was prompted, I have no 
doubt, by the same parties, and told, that the Raja was not to be 
trusted unless he signed such and such a paper, they well knowing 
the Kaja, and being fully aware that he would prefer the sacrifice of 
his kingdom to that of his honour. (Cheers.) The main actor in 
this scene knew that the Raja never would put his hand to the docu- 
ment which required him to confess himself a traitor to the British 
Government. It was this refusal on the part of the Raja which 
placed Sir James Carnac in the dilemma in which he became in- 
volved. He underrated the firmness of the prince he had to deal with. 
Sir James Carnac himself states that the Raja said, " Take my terri- 
tory, put it in charge of your Resident, or anybody you like ; but lay 
me the papers before me, and I will sit down in Sattara and answer 


them. If 1 do not prove the evidence to be falbc, I will be content 
to remain without having any claim to the restoration of my country." 
The Raja not only said that, according to Sir James Carnac's own 
statement, but he has since used similar language in his letter to th(.' 
Governor- General of India. What is it that the Raja has asked for, 
and what do we ask ? Merely, that a man charged with heinous 
crimes, should have an opportunity of seeing the evidence brought 
against him, and of refuting it, if he can do so. Upon my word, sir, I 
do not know how so moderate a request can be refused. We are not 
asking you to say that the Raja is innocent, but he is surely entitled 
to be heard in reply to the evidence. Now, sir, much has been 
said, as to the effect which a revision of this case would have, upon 
the character of our Government in India. It is alleged that it would 
give encouragement to the disaffected, if you were to replace the Raja 
of Sattara on his throne. I hold in my hand a native newspaper, 
from which I have made a short extract. The paper has just arrived 
from Bombay. I do not attach much importance to remarks of 
newspapers in general, and particularly to native newspapers ; but 
still this is worthy your attention. The article I allude to, relates to 
the case of the ex-Raja of Sattara ; I have translated it into English, 
and here it is : — 

" Bombay, June 16, 1845. 
*' Our opinion of the Sattara business is as follows, — First, Colonel 
OvanSjtlie Resident, infringed the treaty of Sattara, published a proclama- 
tion, and got up forged papers. Ballajee Punt Nathoo is au infamous 
intriguer. He has been the confidant of the Resident, and has recieved a 
Jagheer. His intrigues have led to the refusal to the Raja of the written 
statements against his Highness. The persons who have given evidence 
against him are intriguers, traitors, theives, the relatives of Ballajee Punt 
Nathoo, and the enemies of the Raja, and conspirators. For this opinion 
we have ample authority. Colonel Ovans is the individual who has given 
support to this faction, and he has even gone so far as to bring forward new 
seals forged in the name of the R-ija. We feel bound, therefore, to reprint 
in this our paper for general information here and everywhere, impressions 
of the true seals and the false seals. The latter being copied from the 
printed parliamentary documents, in page 818." 

Now, sir, this statement with regard to these proceedings is pub- 


lished and circulated throughout India. It is possible the author of 
it may be prosecuted for defamation. 

Mr. Serjeant Gaselee. — No, no ! 

General Briggs. — I say he may be. Well, sir, I ask if papers 
of that description,— respectable native papers, — are distributed 
throughout the country with these proofs of forged seals being 
appended to the documents on which the Raja was found guilty, and 
those proofs taken from parliamentary documents circulated far and 
near, what do you imagine will be the result ? What plea can you state 
for refusing the Raja a hearing. There cannot be a greater proof of 
the necessity of doing justice, however late, to that individual, than 
the fact of opinions of this kind being promulgated throughout your 
territories. Nearly the whole of this newspaper is taken up with 
quotations from the parliamentary papers. The matter is not confined 
to individual opinion, but it is supported on the strength of the evidence 
itself, as derived from the parliamentary papers. There it is in black 
and white, — the page even is quoted, — showing to the whole of the 
people of India that the seals appended to the criminating documents 
were false seals, and that these form part of the evidence upon 
which the ex-Raja was deposed. There cannot be assigned a 
stronger reason for allowing this injured Prince to be heard in his 
defence than the impression which has now gone abroad throughout 
India on this subject. Before sitting down, Sir, I feel bound to 
advert to two observations which fell from the honourable Deputy- 
Chairman yesterday. I believe he stated that had it not been for 
the paid agents of the Raja of Sattara in England, he might or 
would have been (I do not recollect the exact words) still upon his 
throne. I believe I am right in saying that the Deputy-Cliairman 
made that statement. 

Mr. Hogg. — I said that I believed that had it not been for the 
intervention of agents in England, the Raja might still have been 
UjDon his throne. 

General Briggs. — Now, Sir, the expression, in my mind, is am- 
biguous. I am prepared to admit that, but for these paid agents, 
the Raja of Sattara might yet have been upon the throne, and for 
this reason, that I do not tliink these charges would ever have been 
brought against hiui, had he not ventured to appeal direct to the 


Court of Directors. These charges originated after tlie Raja's de- 
terinination to refer liis case relating to the Jagheers to Kngland, 
finding that he coidd not get redress in India; and immediately he 
came to tliis decision, and began to take measures for carrying it 
into effect, these charges were got up against him. If that is the 
meaning of the honourable Deputy, I perfectly concur with him ; 
but, if he means to say, that he believes that the reliance of the 
Raja of Sattara on the influence of his agents in England was the 
reason why he refused to sign the condenmatory document pre- 
sented to him by Sir James Carnac, I can only say that the honour- 
able gentleman, as well as Sir James Carnac, knew very little of the 
character of the Raja of Sattara. Another observation, which I 
think fell from him was, that these constant references through 
agents to England from Native States, was a curse to our Indian 
Government. Now, Sir, with regard to that, we must recollect that 
the march of science and of public opinion is so rapid, and the 
proximity of India has been so much increased of late years, that 
we can no more prevent the natives of India bringing their com- 
plaints to the fountain head in this country, than we can prevent 
the progress of civilization there, unless a law be passed that should 
make it felony for a native to come to England at all. Not only, 
Sir, have we natives of India coming with their complaints to this 
country, but we have seen the son of Tippoo Sultan becoming a 
proprietor of the East India Company, and here we have before us 
the representative of the Raja of Sattara in the same position. Who 
would have expected in the year 1799, when Tippoo fell, that we 
should have had his son sitting here with the privilege of consider- 
ing the affairs of India. Sir, we cannot help it ; the honourable 
and learned gentleman may call it the curse of our Indian Govern- 
ment, but. Sir, we have, both here and there, a great mercantile com- 
munity, and a free press. The people of this country demanded 
more frequent intercourse with India, and whether it be convenient 
to the governing body here, to have that intercourse continued, or 
not, it is beyond our means or theirs to prevent it. We are in this 
dilemma, if it be one, though for my own part I do not consider it 
so. I think it a manifest advantage. The honourable and learned 
gentleman spoke of the military and civil services, to one of which 1 


have the honour to belong, and of them I hope I shall ever speak 
with the high commendation they deserve. Yet, Sir, the character of 
those services and of all our officers in India is dependent on a nar- 
row and scrutinous supervision. The persons who enter into them 
from this country are not different from other public officers in 
Europe. There is nothing peculiar either in the class of society 
from whence they are derived, or in the education they receive. 
They have no particular advantages. There are, however, in India, 
great rewards and very heavy punishments; there is very little 
chance, therefore, of an evasion of the law, and consequently very 
little opportunity of escape for those who misconduct themselves. 
Sir, they are narrowly watched; it is impossible that anything can 
go wrong without its being brought sooner or later to the notice of 
the authorities there. I say it is owing to this vigilance that we are 
enabled to pride ourselves on the superiority of the individuals who 
compose the services justly eulogised by the honourable Deputy- 
Chairman. (Here Mr. Hogg nodded assent.) But I conceive, Sir, 
that that vigilance may be extended with advantage to the proceed - 
ings of our government in India. I conceive that great good arises 
from a frequent and severe scrutiny of their proceedings. Sir, it is 
unfortunate that an individual going from this country as a governor 
of India, should depend too much on the influence he has here. In 
such a case he often ventures to do unprecedented acts, in the con- 
fidence of immunity in this house, or elsewhere. I say that it is a 
misfortune whenever such a circumstance occurs. I abstain from 
referring to particular cases, but they have too frequently happened. 
Therefore I do think, that a vigilant superintendence over the Go- 
vernment of India itself by this Court is extremely wholesome, and 
will tend to preserve that high character which it has almost al- 
ways sustained, whenever inquiry has been made into it. I except 
this particular case of the Raja of Sattara, however, for I do think 
there has been a great deal of partial feeling in its decision. It is 
much to be lamented that Sir James Carnac did not adopt the sug- 
gestion originally made by the Prince himself. Had Sir James 
followed that course, a course which has been pursued upon many 
similar occasions, he would have relieved you from the embarrass- 
ment of confirming his measures, though under the protest of some 


of the directors in a divided Court. Had he merely £ct tlio Kajii 
aside, as in the cases of the Raja of Tanjore, the Nabob of Arcot, 
and the Raja of Mysore, the matter would have been very different. 
TTe had, I say, abundant precedents before him. The ex-Raja 
liimself pointed out the course which would have enabled his 
Highness to exculpate himself, and would have left you free to 
decide on the merits of the case with impartiality. All we ask for, 
and all that he asks for now is, an opportunity of repelling the evi- 
dence brought against him ; — grant him but this, and if yoii are 
satisfied that the charges are false, place him again on the throne of 
his ancestors. This you neither ought, nor in justice can refuse. 
Mr. Serjeant Gaselee. — Sir, I am very unwilling to give a silent 
vote upon this question, though I am also very unwilling, at this late 
period of the day, to enter as fully as I should otherwise have wil- 
lingly done, into the merits of this case. In justice to the 
proprietors who are around me, and to yourself, whose courtesy and 
urbanity in the Chair I beg to acknowledge, and also in mercy to 
myself, I propose to be short. Sir, I rejoice that these papers have 
been presented to the Court, and that I was one of the humble indi- 
viduals who signed the requisition convening this meeting. I rejoice, 
in the first place, because I differ ioto coolo, from the Deputy- Chair- 
man, in the opinion that these frequent agitations do harm to a just 
cause, and because I believe that the friends of the Raja, however 
it may suit the Deputy-Chairman to sneer at them, know the true 
interests of the person whom they undertake to defend, as well, or 
better than he does. Differing as I do, therefore, from him upon 
those points, I think that the oftener the case of the Raja is brought 
forward in this Court the better it will be for him, knowing, that 
though justice may be denied for a time, yet, notwithstanding the 
denunciations of the honourable Deputy-Chairman, it will, because 
it must, be granted at last. For these reasons, amongst others, I am 
glad that the present investigation has taken place. But let me also 
state, that I rejoice beyond measure that this Court has been held, 
because it has enabled two honourable Directors to come forward and 
avow themselves in the most noble and creditable manner, friendly 
to the cause of the Raja. (Loud cheers.) They have independently 
asserte d the right to state their genuine s-entiments, and have, during 


this debate, delivered manly, able, and truly honourable speeches. I 
refer with gratitude and pride to my friends, Major Oliphant and 
General Robertson. (Cheers.) I may be allowed to say, that they 
have this day done honour to themselves, and shed a redeeming 
lustre on the Direction. (Cheers.) They have shown. Sir, that though 
elevated to power, and though they have ceased to sit among us who 
are unofficial Proprietors, they have preserved untainted the princi- 
ples they advocated on this side of the bar, and have, as we have 
seen, the manliness to avow, and the boldness to maintain, unfettered 
by the trammels of office, the just and righteous sentiments 
which they previously professed. (Loud cheers.) Sir, I wish the 
Deputy-Chairman had met in a fair and honourable spirit the speech 
of my friend Major Oliphant; I wish he had set himself to work to 
grapple honestly and boldly with the close reasoning and impressive 
facts of that speech. As he could not fail to see the importance of 
that speech, I must suppose that he did not answer it, for the very 
sufficient reason, that he could not. Certainly it was worth an an- 
swer if one could be found. 1 wish he had done this, instead of 
acting the part, ably I confess, of an advocate, rather than of a 
judge ; and instead, as I think, though perhaps not intentionally, sup- 
pressing certain important circumstances, and colouring others, to 
mislead honourable proprietors, many of whom (I blame them not) 
always follow at the beck of the chair, leading them from the ques- 
tion, and diverting their attention from the real points of the case. 
Sir, wliat on earth had the Deputy's eulogium on Colonel Ovans, 
delivered in set Parliamentary language, to do with the present case? 
If the Deputy-Chairman will allow me to repeat his own observation, 
when he said the friends of the Raja are injuring his cause, I will 
tell him that the friends of Colonel Ovans are injuring him ; and if 
I was that officer I should say, " God defend me from my friends." 
(Cheers.) If the Deputy-Chairman wishes to meet the case fairly 
and honestly, let him not indulge in vague generalities and clap- 
trap declamation about the character of this "honourable and much- 
injured individual," as he calls him, but, like a man, answer my 
honourable friend Major Oliphant, as to the damning and conclusive 
fact of keeping back for nearly a year, most important evidence 
from Government. We have challenged you, who are the friends of 


Colonel Ovans, to come forward and meet tliis charge. Wliy do you 
not do it, if you are sincere when yon profess to be concerned for liis 
honour? I do not intend to go over this very serious affair again, 
but I will just draw your attention to a very few important facts. It 
was stated by an honourable Director yesterday, that Colonel Ovans 
had neglected his duty both to the Government and to the Raja. I 
agree in that opinion. Of Colonel Ovans I know nothing, and am 
bound to believe him to be an honest man ; but I do not hesitate to 
express my firm and deliberate opinion, that he did neglect his dut}' 
to the Government, and that, above all, he did gross injustice to the 
unfortunate Raja. That lie was made a dupe, I think I shall pre- 
sently show by the admission of the Deputy-Chairman himself. It 
appears that on the 12th of August, 1837, Colonel Ovans wrote to 
the Bombay Government, saying : — 

"In accordance also with the Instructions coRveyed to me in the third 
paragraph of Mr. Chief Secretary Wathen's letter to my address, under 
date the 13th ultimo, I have to report that / hai:e made every inquiry in 
my power rccjarding Gecrjabaay's petition, but wiflwut success ; and I hai'c 
now the honour to submit a separate deposition on the subject from Sukha- 
r am Bidlal, confirming lohat was previously stated both hy the Bhyc and 
himself regarding this person ; fthe imaginary man called Mahdeo Fngery ;) 


This passage shows the great anxiety of tlie Government, and the 
professed desire of Col. Ovans to get them the information tliey required ; 
and, in passing, let me just recall your attention to tlie dreadful shift 
to which the Deputy-Chairman was reduced on this subject. You 
will rec'iilect that after floundering about for some time, he was at last 
obliged to give up the petition. " It does not signify," he at last found 
courage to say, " a farthing who the writer of it was." Why then, in 
the name of common sense, were the Government so anxious to get 
information upon that point ? Why, in every despatch which they 
sent to Col. Ovans, they said, " You must discover who is tlie autlior 
of the petition." Why did they tliinkthe discovery so important then, 
if it strikes you as of no consequence now? The Deputy-Cliairman 
tells us it was not at all important, because it was not evidence. Now 
sir, (o show (hat it was important, let me refer to an extract from Col. 


Ovans's letter of July 2lst. " From all tl):it I have been able to learn, 
as well as from tliese statements of the parties themselves, now for- 
warded, it appears that Govind Row was very anxious latterly to con- 
fess all he knew, but he was doubtful whether it would be safe to do 
so to any person then here. In this dilemma it was agreed, by his 
mother's consent, that his uncle, Sukharani Bullal, should draw up 
this petition, in her name, from Govind Row's own account of these 
intrigues, and a Brahmin, living in their own house, was employed to 
write it; this person being sent off immediately afterwards, to prevent 
discovery. This siatement may, therefore, in point of fact, on the evi- 
dence both of his mother and of his uncle, as now given, be taken as 
Govind Row's own confession, and it now becomes imporlant to dis- 
cover whether he may be disposed to confirm it." Yet, when he is 
driven into a corner, and finds he cannot support his position, the 
Deputy-Chairman throws his own witness overboard, and the petition 
with him, and says, " It is not at all important ; it does not at all sig- 
nify a farthing who is, or who is not, the author of the petition: no 
importance need be attached to it ; it only indicates where you are to 
get the evidence." Not important! Why, has it not just been 
asserted by Colonel Ovans, " that it may be taken as Govind Row's 
own confession, and that it now becomes important to discover whether 
he may be disposed to confirm it ?" So much for the plausible assertion 
of the Deputy-Chairman. The honourable gentleman has not practised 
in India to no purpose. (Hear, hear.) I was surprised, however, to 
hear so able an advocate quoting statements which, I am sure, a mi- 
nute's reflection would have shown him could not be borne out. On 
the 7th of September this Krushnajee, the real writer of the petition, 
came to Colonel Ovans, and told him all about it ; and on the 20th of 
September he gave him documentary evidence, and made the whole 
history of it clear. What does Colonel Ovans then do.' He allows 
the Bombay Government to act upon evidence which he knew to be 
false, which he must have known to be so, because the evidence of its 
falsity had been supplied to him. Now, meet us like men upon that 
broad and tangible fact, which I think you cannot get over. Do not 
talk to me of the character of Colonel Ovans. What have I to do with 
the question whether he is a respectable man or not, while I am in the 
midst of this solemn investigation? I do not want your fulsome praise 


of ilie man; I want your answer to tliis fact. " Ay" or " no ;" did lie 
or did he not conceal tliis evidence? If he did, how on earth can he 
justify himself to his Government or tiie country ? Surely, such a man 
as this Colonel Ovans is quite unfit to try even a dog. What can be 
said of a judge wlio, when there are circumstances in favour of the Raja, 
conceals the knowledge of them for eleven months ? Gentlemen may 
think this is a slight charge, and they may continue to praise Colonel 
Ovans ; but they would be better employed in trying to show that we are 
incxxrect, and that this most serious allegation is unfounded. We who 
are on this side have no motive in coming to this House but a desire to 
promote truth and justice, and we shall be the first to acknowledge the 
innocence of Colonel Ovans, if you will prove it : but do not deal in 
vague generalities ; do not think to screen this man, as all official delin- 
quents are attempted to be screened, by high flown eulogiums on his 
general character. 

Now, observe how the honourable Deputy-Chairman disposes of 
this petition. He cannot answer my friend Major Oliphant ; and so 
he says, "Well, be it so, it has all turned out a forgery ;" and he 
is obliged to give up his witness, and will not now call him one, 
but denounces him as a "perjured wretch," and having so called 
him, he then, with a refinement that is really quite amusing, turns 
round and says to my honourable friend, Mr. George Thompson, 
— why, you falsely accused me of calling him a scoundrel. (Laugh- 
ter.) I never called him scoundrel, I only said he was a perjured 
wretch ! This is certainly an edifying lecture upon parliamentary 
politeness. The Deputy would call Krushnagee a ^'•perjured 
wretcli," but, oh ! fie, he would not pollute his unsullied lips by 
calling him *' a scoundrel." Let us hope we shall all profit by the 
Deputy's definition of coarseness of language. We may call a man 
a perjured wretch, but it is coarse, and rude, and vituperative to 
say. " scoundrel." (Laughter.) The same honourable gentleman 
stated that Col. Ovans was " duped;" and it occurred to me at the 
time, that he really was, and that I should be able to prove him 
one. There are three new points in the evidence before us, and 
how have they been answered ? I was anxious that somebody 
should, if they could, answer my friend, ISIr. Lewis. (Hear.) I 
wished to see whether our opponents could deal with the evidence in 


the same manly and masterly way in which he had dealt with it. 
They have not attempted to do so, and therefore I do not intend to 
go over it at length. 

It is well known that the Directors thought the papers obtained 
by Mr. Hume worthy of an answer, even in the House of Commons. 
The Deputy -Chairman upon that occasion abandoned his purpose, 
never to re-open the Raja's case again. Really when I reflect 
upon the nature of such a resolution I confess that I tremble for his 
reputation, and hope before he fills that chair we may see him 
change his mind. 

The principal allegation contained in these printed documents 
appear to be as follows : — 

1st. That Ballajee Punt Nathoo made the deposal of the ex-Raja 
of Sattara subservient to the aggrandizement of himself and his 

2nd. That the ex- Raja was deposed by a system of subornation 
and perjury. 

3rd. That Girjabaee, the mother of Govind Rao, formerly 
dewan of the ex- Raja, has declared that she never addressed any 
petition to Government upon the subject of the imprisonment of 
her son, and that any letters presented in her name must have been 
a forgery, and that she never, as has been alleged, waited upon 
Lieut.- Col. Ovans at night ; and that if the interview to which that 
officer has deposed, actually occurred, she must have been personated 
by some other individual. 

The Bombay Government say, with respect to these allegations, 
that " They could only be proved or disproved by reopening, ah 
initio, the whole case of the ex-Raja of Sattara, than which we would 
respectfully submit nothing could be more inexpedient, even if 
these assertions were not solely dependant on the veracity of a per- 
son who, by his own confession, has proved himself to be utterly 
unworthy of credit." Thus, then, you demand information, and 
these functionaries tell you it is inexpedient to re- open the case. 
My honourable friend asks, and I think he is entitled to a distinct 
answer, say "Ay" or "No," did Ballajee Punt Nathoo inveigle 
this man Krushnajee, or did he not ? Why, you have the strongest 
evidence on this point. You have the man's own confession that 


he was bribed to silence. The honourable proprietor, Mr. Weed- 
ing, says, that he only had Crirainal Court allowance. He forgets the 
one hundred rupees. 

Mr. Weeding. — That was after the case was over. 

Mr. Serjeant Gaselee. — In such dirty cases the money is gener- 
ally paid afterwards. (Cheers.) 

Mr. Weeding. — Will you allow me to state what I said? 

The Chairman. — You had better not interfere. 

Mr. Serjeant Gaselee. — This honourable gentleman thinks he 
has made a notable discovery, in finding that the 100 rupees were 
paid after the transaction. His memory seems very good, and he 
may therefore possibly recollect something about fifty rupees having 
been paid at the beginning of the job. Let him try ; if he cannot, 
I will help him to a few words of Colonel Ovans's on the point. 
But what does it matter ? Where is the importance of the fact of 
whether the money was paid before or after ? As it happens, there 
was money paid in both cases ; and not too much, considering the 
way in which it was earned. I think Col. Ovans should not have 
forgotten the interest. Now, what on earth did he pay him this 150 
rupees for ? It is true, Col. Ovans and Ballajee do not acknowledge 
the claim upon them for the 1,250; but tell us, you who defend 
them, what the 150 were for? Tell us, also, why this Criminal 
Court allowance was paid ? Take the admissions of these men, if 
you will take no more, and tell us what all these rations and gratui- 
ties mean ? Where money is paid, money's worth is received. 
What, then, was it paid for ? We will nail you to this point, for 
this man is your own witness until the Raja is dethroned. The 
Deputy- Chairman seemed to exult in the fact that Girjabaee was 
dead and could not be called as a witness ; but when rejoicing over 
this event, he was sublimely oblivious to the fact that to contradict 
the unauthenticated paper of Sukharam she left behind her two 
attested declarations. Oh ! that Deputy- Chairman has a most 
lawyer-like memory. lie will not surely say that she went out 
of the world with a lie in her mouth ! What object had she in de- 
posing falsely ? It is all very well to say that this man Krushna- 
jee was actuated by malice. I need not tell the honourable Deputy, 
because I have the honour to belong to the same profession as him- 

M 2 


self, that a man being actuated by malice is no reason why his evi- 
dence should not be received. It may affect the weight of his own 
testimony, supposing he is proved to be so ; but how can his motive 
affect the evidence of the witnesses he calls ? Let him answer 
that. I will take the honourable gentleman again on his own words, 
for I like to try him by his own text. He says it is quite immaterial 
by whom the petition was written, because it merely gives you the 
names of parties who are to prove the statement. Then, I say, it 
is quite immaterial what sort of a character Krushnajee is, because 
he offers to prove every single statement he makes — not by his 
own evidence, but by the testimony of others. (Loud cheers.) 
Does the Deputy- Chairman suppose that he can mislead the Court 
of Proprietors by such tergiversations as these ? Take these un- 
answered charges of Krushnajee alone, and there is sufficient ground 
for inquiry. (Hear.) The Bombay Government have dismissed 
them in a manner most discreditable, and most unsatisfactory to 
myself and others. Pinning the Deputy- Chairman to his own 
maxim, we demand an inquiry. I now come to a question with 
which I have taken a little trouble, because the tone of the Deputy- 
Chairman was so exceedingly triumphant on that part of the case 
that it led me at once to turn my attention to it; and I think I shall 
be able to show you that, as in everything else, he was totally wrong. 
I refer to his remarks upon the declaration of Govind Rao. 
" Oh," says the Deputy Chairman, "it is stated to have been ex- 
torted in a dark dungeon. You will find it proved to be quite a 
volunteer statement." I confess I was rather surprised at the hon. 
gentleman, who is a lawyer, venturing to call the confession of Go- 
vind Rao a volunteer statement. (Hear, hear.) He said the 
questions sent by the Government were sent after the confession. 
I confess that the impression made upon my mind by the honourable 
gentleman was, that he wished to represent that those questions were 
never used at all. I am quite sure that such was the general im- 
pression of the Court ; if so, that also very nearly amounts to the 
suppressio veri. I shall call the honourable gentleman's attention 
to dates, because I think I shall be able to show from them that he 
is wrong. In passing, let me say, the honourable gentleman gave 
a very good character to Mr. Hutt ; now all that might be very 


good clap- trap, but it had nolhing to do with the case. Let mc also 
say a word respecting Colonel Ovans. Instead of answering Krush- 
najee's statement, he calls him a malicious libeller, displays the 
feelings of a decided partizan, and then does that which, I think, 
when he comes to reflect, he must see was most unworthy of his 
high character — he suggests that Krushnajee should be given up to 
the Raja for punishment. When he comes to consider this part of 
his conduct, it must be with deep regret. It would have been much 
better for him to have taken a lesson out of Mr. Hutt's book. 
Now, sir, as to this statement of Girjabaee : " This statement," 
says Colonel Ovans, "may, therefore, in point of fact, on the evi- 
dence both of his mother and his uncle, an now given, be taken as 
Govind Rao's own confession, and now it becomes important to dis- 
cover whether he may be disposed to confirm it." You will see 
that all the subsequent proceedings are carried on with a view of 
getting Govind Rao to confirm this forged petition. Yet this is 
what the honourable gentleman calls a " volunteer confession." I 
confess I heard that statement with surprise and regret, coming as 
it did from one who is a member of my own profession, and who 
has ventured to declare that such a confession, under such cir- 
cumstances, can be called a volunteer confession. You will ob- 
serve that, in furtherance of this desire to get Govind Rao to 
confirm the supposed story, they proceed in the following manner : — 
" In order, however, to dispel the illusion as to Govind Rao's re- 
lease, which threatens to throw such serious obstacles in the way of 
this important inquiry, I beg most respectfully to propose that the 
dewan be sent immediately, under guard, to Ahmednuggur, and 
placed in strict confinement there ; that he only be attended by his 
own servant, and that all other intercourse with him be for the 
present prohibited. It is to be hoped that this measure, if adopted, 
may serve to show that the rumours of Govind Rao's return are 
without foundation ; and this being felt, his mother and other frienda 
may be induced to come forward and disclose all they know as the 
only means of assisting him. But whatever may be the result, the 
effect of this step should certainly be tried without loss of time;" 
reckless of the consequences, whatever they may be. "Well, Govind 
Row was sent to Ahmednuggur; and what arc the instructions sent 


with respect to his treatment? " The judge at Ahmednuggur has 
been further informed that it is not unhkely the friends of Govind 
Kao, at Sattara and Poonah, will endeavour to communicate with 
him by letter, and that he has been instructed quietly to adopt mea- 
sures to intercept any communications of this kind, and forward 
them to Government." Now this is what has been called getting a 
volunteer statement. A man is placed in strict confinement, his let- 
ters are intercepted, and is tampered with for sixteen days, and yet, in 
the face of this Court, we are told that he made a volunteer confes- 
sion. On the 3th of July, 1837, he was sent from Poonah to 
Ahmednuggur. You will find he arrived there on the 13th of July, 
see p. 44 of these papers. Mr. Hutt was at this time absent on cir- 
cuit. Now, what does Mr. Hutt say ? In his recent letter he 
writes: — " It was, I think, about August, during my absence on 
circuit at Dholia for the sessions, that Govind Rao arrived at 
Ahmednuggur." Now, here is accuracy. Surely he ought to have 
informed himself better. The man who took him into custody re- 
ceived him on the 13th of July, 1837. Mr. Webb was consequently 
in charge. " By his order Govind Rao was placed in the criminal 
gaol." This volunteer ! — " he occupied that portion of it allotted 
to Brahmins." When was he removed to the house ? Not till the 
23rd of August. I will give you chapter and verse, and you may 
answer my facts if you can. Again I refer to the evidence of the 
same man, p. 44, in which he tells us, " On Mr. Hutt's return 
from Dholia, he had an interview with the prisoner in the gaol, 
shortly after which he (the prisoner) was transferred, on the 23rd of 
August, 1837, to apartments in Durree Cusbun's Warra." He has 
been, for more than six weeks, in close confinement in the prison. 
How does that tally with Mr. Hutt's statement? " He was accor- 
dingly received by my assistant, and, for a time, lodged in the most 
suitable quarters in the gaol." "Suitable quarters!" very well. 
What ! were criminal quarters " suitable quarters ?" " On my arrival 
a few days after, he was, with the consent, if not by the express 
direction of Government, provided with a lodging in a Hindoo 
house." Now, Mr. Ilutt would have you believe that the man had 
only been a few days in gaol. I think it is negligence that caused 
him to make that statement ; he ought to have been more careful, 


for it turns out that he had positively been in the criminal gaol from 
the 13th of July to the 2:3rd of August. But the case goes further. 
I do not wish to be too severe upon the Deputy-Chairman, because 
he has not an opportunity of reply, but I hope some friend of his 
will do that kindness for him. Where was this confession made ? 
I say, most assuredly, in the gaol, and not in the house. Then, 
what becomes of the " volunteer confession," so much boasted of by 
the Deputy- Chairman ? When was the confession made ? On the 
'24th, Now, see if I am right. I am referring now to a letter from 
Mr. Hutt, dated the 24th of August, which you will find in these 
Parliamentary papers, p. 618. I beg to call your attention to it, be- 
cause it is a very important document. " I have the honour to acknow- 
ledge the receipt of your letter, dated the 28th ultimo, and to inform 
you that by desire of the acting Resident at Sattara, Sukharam 
Bullal, uncle to Govind Rao, now in my charge, has for many days 
had free access to his nephew." I would here, in passing, remark 
that the honourable Deputy- Chairman forgot that all this time his 
uncle, — who, not to use stronger language than the Deputy-Chairman 
has adopted, was quite as much "a perjured wretch" as Krushnajee, 
— " had for many days had free access to his nephew, and that I 
have also at Sukharam's solicitation, permitted his (Govind Rao's) 
brother to accompany him in his visits ; their object has been to 
induce him to disclose what he knew regarding the late proceedings 
of the Sattara Court, in lohich they have been successful. I had an 
interview with Govind Rao this morning, at which he presented 
hand, and which I had previously given him the means of prepar- 
ing." Now, mark, that this was on the 24th, which he had " pre- 
pared before ;" he was only removed to the house on the 23rd, and 
therefore he must have prepared it while in gaol. Contrast that 
with Mr. Hutt's statement, and then see how essentially the two 
accounts vary. I have no doubt Mr, Hutt is a very honourable 
man ; but is he accurate in these statements ? Are any of these 
statements sent home from Sattara, satisfactory ? I answer, they are 
not. Nothing is cleared up. All is evasion, or concealment, or 
trick. I do not wish to use an offensive term, but I was going to 
ask you whether you will allow yourselves to be humbugged by 


Colonel Ovans ? I will not, however, say " humbugged," (laugh- 
ter), but whether you will be misled by him ? Mr. Hutt says, " Go- 
vind Rao has not been long under my care." This statement will 
again show the carelessness with which the thing has been done ; 
yet be it remembered, in a case where the lives and liberties of 
people are involved. " Govind Rao had not been long under my 
care, when one day he sent a message to say he particularly wished 
to see me ; 1 accordingly repaired to his lodging ; he then, after a 
brief preliminary discourse, told me, that when inquired of at Sat- 
tara, he had denied all knowledge of the matter upon which he was 
interrogated, that his duty to his sovereign required it, but that he 
now found he could do him no good by longer persisting in what 
was false, that the kind and considerate treatment he had experienced 
had inspired him with confidence, and that he was prepared under 
certain conditions to divulge the whole that be knew. These con- 
ditions were, that he should not he compelled to malie a public dis- 
closure, and that no public native officer should be called to take it 
down. To the best of my belief, I then proposed to send for pen, 
ink, and paper, and write it ; but he offered some objection, to the 
effect that suspicion would be excited, and reports circulated about 
it, which might be hurtful. It was then arranged that he should 
come to my house on the following day, at about ten o'clock (mark 
this, for the purpose of having his confession taken by Mr. Hutt) for 
the purpose, when I was to have ail prepared, proper precautions 
being taken that 7io one should he within hearing, and he would 
then fulli/ and unreservedly divulge all he kjieio. He came accord- 
ingly, attended I think by the person above referred to, but whose 
name I do not now remember, and sitting in the room on the south 
side, with all the doors and windows, down to the ground, open, he 
related the whole he had to say, he writing it in Mahratta, in his own 
hand, whilst I wrote it in English." Now, call to mind the 
letter of August, 1837, and say can you reconcile these two state- 
ments ? Here Mr. Hutt tells you now, that Govind Rao wrote it in 
Mahratta, and he wrote it in English, In the other letter, written 
the very day of the translation, he tells you positively that the confes- 
sion was brought to him ready tvritteii, and that Govind Rao assured 
him it was written with his own hand. "What, now, becomes of the 


triumphant reply of the Deputy-Chairman ? But he feels secure ; 
he knows that he is backed by a majority ; or, perhaps, he thinks he 
may make any sort of statements and that nobody will get up in this 
Court and contradict him. I say, what becomes of his triumphant 
quotation of Mr. Hutt's letter ? Let me again ask as a lawyer, if a 
confession dictated to a man in a dungeon, although it may not be a 
" dark" one, is a volunteer confession ? Sir, I think the arguments 
of the Government of India are, at all events, completely demo- 
lished upon this point; and if so, they are demolished on all. I 
think I may now leave the Deputy- Chairman to your tender 
mercy. It appears to me that that declaration of Govind Rao is 
conclusive. Then there comes a second point of inquiry — the case 
of Colonel Ovans. It is all very well to refer the charges made to 
Colonel Ovans for his information. It is right that he should have 
a copy of the charges, but it is wrong, and grossly wrong, that you 
should allow him to be the judge in his own cause, and because 
he may have friends in this house, determine that he shall 
not be tried like every other man. Such a course is con- 
trary to the principles of justice, and opposed to your interests 
in India. I shall not at this late period go through the evidence 
with reference to the man who was said to be personated, but I think 
it is most satisfactory. Colonel Ovans says, " I do not know anytliing 
about it." Colonel Ovans has been accustomed to have his own way 
so long, that he answers upon this point with perfect carelessness. "I 
dare say he came before me, I dare say he did ; perhaps he did not ; 
perhaps he did; I do not know anything about it, but, if you like, ask 
Ballajee Punt Nathoo." The seals have been very ably disposed 
of by General Briggs. I was very glad to hear my friend, jNIajor Oli- 
phant, say, that the Bombay Government had been tampering with jus- 
lice. That is a charge which I am prepared to maintain. In this matter 
the- Bombay Government stopped the course of justice, shut the 
judicial Courts, and decided by Military Government, wliat ought to 
have been determined by Civil. I care not whether the charges against 
Col. Ovans and Ballajee Punt Nathoo are true or felse. One thing is cer- 
tain, they should have been immediately inquired into, and most imparti- 
ally heard. They were dismissed, and hence I say, justice and law were 
alike outraged. Had I been Col. Ovans I confess notinng siiould have 


induced me to write a letter to this Court, or to any one in it to shield 
myself. 1 would have vindicated my character in open Court. That 
is the fair, manly, and open course, which he ought to have pursued . 
It is due to himself still to do so, and I think he is badly advised by 
his friends not to do so. He may come clear out of this part of the 
inquiry ; if so, so much the better. 1 am sure of this, that while the 
charges remain unayiswcred, people will not be satisfied of his inno- 
cence. How does the case stand ? Krushnajee had, from time to 
time, petitioned the Bombay Government, but obtained no redress. 
Naturally enough, he turned round upon those who had prevented his 
redress, and he accused them of their gross malpractices. "Oh," 
says the Deputy-Chairman, " think of the treachery of this man, 
turning against them in the manner he has done." I hope, if the 
honourable gentleman is a magistrate, and ever sits at Quarter Sessions, 
and finds hereafter one sheep-stealer impeaching another, that he will 
not receive the evidence of the treacherous accuser. — (Hear, hear, and 
laughter.) The man evidently had originally no such object, and never 
wished to do anything of the kind ; but faithlessness to him made him 
irritable, and he said to himself, *' Well, since I have been thus treated, 
why should I conceal the facts I know ?" To me, the process of think- 
ing, and mode of acting in this affair, are quite natural and intelligible. 
Why so much ad» about his motives ? Why not in a manly manner 
take his evidence, and sift his charges to the bottom ? I do not wish 
to enter into the point of whether the charges are true or not : I look 
only at the manner in which they have been dealt with. Krushnajee 
went to the Judge. What did the Judge do? The Judge seemed to 
know his duty. I do not understand why he should have been obliged 
to refer these proceedings ultimately to Government. I was not before 
av/are that that was the system in India ; but if it is, it is a very 
bad one, because it is quite impossible for a Judge to be independent 
under such a system. The Deputy-Chairman said, that " recom- 
mended" was a stronger term than the letter of Mr. Warden warranted. 
Let us see : — Krushnajee presents his petition to this gentleman, who 
knows his business, and what is the letter to Government ? " Several 
months ago I received by the post a Maliratta paper, of which the 
enclosed is a translation. As it has been usual for the Agent for 
Sirdars to communicate with the Government on alleged misconduct 


by Sirdars, as the mode of inquiry asked for in the present instance 
by Krushnajee Sadasew is that ordered by Government in the case of 
D.idjee Appajee Seweya, excepting only that the Committee on liini was 
a native one, and as Ballajee Punt Nathoo is not onlij ' Sirdar of the 
second class, and a pensioner of the British Government during good 
behaviour,' but is the most favotircd of all those who on the accession 
of the British Government to the Deccan were styled ' British ad- 
herents ;' it did not appear right that I should disregard such serious 
cotnplaints against him, and so earnest an appeal to me, as the Agent 
of Government in immediate communication with the Sirdars, 
although those complaints relate to the acts of Ballajee Punt Nathoo 
when employed in the Sattara coiuitry, and I therefore, as a pre- 
liminary step, called on Krushnajee Sadasew to state the grounds on 
which he preferred these charges of extortion, fraud, and abuse of 
authority." Can any calidid person say that this letter is not really 
something even much more than a recommendation ? Mr. Warden 
binds Krushnajee down in his own security and that of some one 
else. Let me here challenge a certain member of Parliament with 
saying in the House of Commons, " What was the worth of Krush- 
najee's recognizances 1" I refer to the Deputy-Chairman. 

Mr. Hogg. I understood the honourable proprietor at first, as re- 
ferring to the speech of the Secretary of the Board of Control. 

Mr. George Thompson. The observation made by the honourable 
Deputy-Chairman in the House of Commons was this, namely, that 
the security of Krushnajee was worth nothing, as he was a man who 
had nothing to pay ; but he did not tell the House that both Krush- 
najee and the man bound for him, were liable, in default of payment, 
to two yjars imprisonment. (Hear, hear.) 

Mr. Serjeant Gaselee. Nothing is more common than for a 
man to say " I cannot pay ;" and then you send him to prison, say- 
ing, "You must pay in person if you cannot pay in pocket." The 
witness, too, actually makes an oath to the truth of his charge, and 
brings himself within Britisli jurisdiction. Now, here are the 
charges; how do the Bombay Government deal with them? Dis- 
miss them ! Krushnajee has been abused. Well, if Krushnajee is 
the wretch you describe, do not believe his evidence ; but at all 
events give credit to the witnesses he puts forward. Believe the 


documents, which cannot err. Now, these are circumstances which 
appear in connection with these petitions ; and I say again, that 
they are facts which should be inquired into. I again state my 
opinion, that the whole of the conduct of our Government to- 
wards the Raja of Sattara is a foul blot on the British charac- 
ter. Sir, that is strong language ; but I am prepared to prove 
its truth. I regret that whenever this Court has been moved upon 
this subject, we have been met by amendments, and twitted, and 
taunted, and ridiculed, as men who think no opinion but our own 
worth anything. Thank God ! your taunts and jeers pass us by as 
the idle wind. We are here to-day, we shall come again to-morrow, 
and so continue firmly and steadily to prosecute our cause, attribut- 
ing no motives to others, and allowing none to be imputed to us. 
When I hear it said that this case has been decided, I answer that it 
has not been decided. If you were to decide five hundred millions 
of times against the immutable and eternal principles of justice, it 
would be no decision at all. (Cheers.) The Raja has been con- 
demned, and you have not heard him in his own defence. You may call 
your proceedings decisions, — I say they are libels on justice. You 
have convicted him unheard ; and until you hear him, there can be 
no righteous decision. But more than this, you do not believe the 
guilt of the Raja yourselves. None of you believe it ; for if you 
did, you never would have offered him his throne upon such terms 
as were proposed, for if he had been guilty of the crimes imputed to 
him, he was clearly quite unworthy to reign. It comes, therefore, 
sir, to this, that the cause of all this persecution of the Raja was his 
perseverance in seeking his rights. You found him a troublesome 
customer in the matter of the jagheers. Finding him a difficult 
subject to deal with upon this point, you thought the best way would 
be to get rid of him altogether. But, sir, you have miscalculated 
your strength, and overrated your power in this Court. You thought 
that by coming down here a few times, and swamping us with the 
votes of a majority, who had never listened to our arguments, but 
whom you could always rely upon to support your silly amendments, 
that you could stifle the public voice, and keep your job undisclosed; 
but depend upon it, that in this, as in all other questions, the public 
voice will prove too strong for you. Ir may not prove so to-day, or 


to-morrow ; buf, rely upon it, the day will come when you must do 
justice to the Raja, when you will be compelled to re-open the case, 
and to hear him, — and if innocent acquit, or if guilty, condemn him. 
(Cheers.) Sir, I implore you not to treat this question as one 
which has been decided. Let us not be met again, as we have been, 
with scornful censures upon our pertinacity, and our fondness for our 
own opinions. We do not so much put forward opinio7i8, as f acta. Give 
us credit for good motives, whatever may be the result. I hope there 
will always be found in this Court a band of honest men, who, feel- 
ing strong in the confidence of a just cause, will not hesitate to come 
forward again and again to tell you that the Raja has had no trial, 
and to demand for him a hearing. You may call your Bombay pro- 
ceedings atrial if you please ; but I, sir, in the language of the Lord 
Chief Justice of England, denounce those proceedings as " a mock- 
ery, a delusion, and a snare." (Cheers.) 

Mr. Clarke. Sir, it is not my intention to prolong this discus- 
sion. The question before the Court is one involving much higher 
considerations than the mere guilt or innocence of the Raja of 
Sattara. (Hear.) The principles embraced in this question are not 
exclusively applicable to the situation of the deposed Raja, but in- 
volve the fundamental principles of the measures adopted by the 
Executive Government of India, not merely as applied to the Raja, 
who happens to be a prince, but to the poorest of our native fellow- 
subjects. There cannot be a greater injustice done to a native of 
India, or any human being, whether rich or poor, than that he 
should be deprived of his station in society, and have his property 
confiscated and his good name taken away, upon the proceedings of 
a Secret Commission, upon evidence strange and improbable, and that 
evidence altogether ew parte. This is a course of adjudication 
which no country can adopt without a violation of the first principles 
of justice, and no Government so acting can have the slightest claim 
10 be called a just Government. (Hear.) The Raja of Sattara has not 
only had no opportunity afforded him of bringing forward his 
defence, but he has even been refused the evidence which would have 
enabled him to make one. (Hear.) The only means of enabling 
him to defend himself, would have been to have given him a copy of 
the charges preferred against him, and with it, the testimony by 


which those charges had been sought to be supported, by those who 
were so assiduously persecuting him, — for, sir, I must use that 
term. (Hear.) In my opinion, the case of the Raja of Sattara 
involves a great principle, most materially affecting our moral and 
political influence in India. What will the people of that vast 
empire think of our Government, when they see charges brought 
against one of their most distinguished princes, and the pretended 
proofs of their truth denied to him ? What will they think, when 
they see the property of this prince confiscated, and his throne taken 
from him upon ex parte evidence, without the slightest intimation 
being given him of the nature of the charges, and without one tittle 
of the evidence of his accusers being laid before him ? What will 
they think when they look on and see, that when that prince seeks 
redress from the supreme Government of India, the door is shut 
against him there, and when he appeals to this house, the door of justice 
is closed against him here ? Can we afford to have these facts stated and 
circulated in India ? Will not the publication of them produce a 
conviction in the minds of the natives that great injustice is prac- 
tised by us ? And will not this conviction, sooner or later, sap 
that moral influence, which, upon the evidence of the best and 
wisest statesmen, is the greatest and strongest element in the 
composition of our political power ? Sir, entertaining this view 
of the subject, I see much more in the balance than the mere 
fate of the Raja. I am very much surprised at the course which 
the Directors take on this question. " These charges," say they, 
"have been considered and decided upon by the local authorities in 
India, by the Directors at home, by the Court of Proprietors, and 
by Parliament ; and we cannot therefore have them re-opened." 
But I must for ever contend that it is impossible to arrive at any 
just decision upon ex parte statements. Suppose a trial was to take 
place in this Court upon a question between two men, and that we 
took evidence in secret from the one party, and refused a copy of 
the proceedings to the other, whom we afterwards convicted, and 
condemned, and punished ; would not such conduct call down upon 
us universal execration ? Sir, such a course as has been taken in 
this case of the Raja is monstrous in principle, and is nothing more 
or less than a total denial of justice, and a foul prostitution of the 


name. The Deputy-Chairman said yesterday, that nothing should 
induce him to re-open this question. I heard that statement with 
astonishment. The question has never been decided at all. The 
question never can be determined justly, while the whole of the 
evidence is on one side. When I hear such a declaration as that 
which I have quoted, made by a Deputy- Chairman of this Company, 
and know that it will be circulated throughout India, as having come 
from him in his official capacity, I feel persuaded that it will be 
calculated to produce, and in all probability will produce, an im- 
pression on the minds of the natives, that no appeal against injustice 
done in India can be successfully made to this house, and that the 
door of this house is shut against the injured. If, by our vote of 
to-day we deny inquiry, what then ? It will go forth that the 
Executive Board in this house, no matter what they do, are supported 
through thick and thin by the Company. And must not the know- 
led^ of such a fact, and the feelings which it must necessarily 
awaken, sap, and ultimately destroy our moral influence in India ? 
1 contend that there has been no trial in this case. Certain one- 
sided measures have been adopted ; but who will say, who can say, 
that the guilt of the Raja of Sattara has been fairly proved, while as 
yet he has not been heard ? (Cheers.) Talk as you will, there has 
been no just decision on his case. I might advert to the evidence 
upon which this so-called decision has been founded, and I might 
show that it is impossible for any man to read that testimony, 
without being forcibly struck with its inconsistency, its many con- 
tradictions, and, above all, its great improbability. And yet, upon 
this one-sided evidence, which has been dissected in such a masterly 
manner by my hon. friend, Mr. Sullivan, and other members of this 
Court, who have together shown that there is not a shred of anything 
like proof, — upon this evidence it is, that the Indian authorities and 
Court of Directors have acted. How, then, is it possible, under these 
circumstances, to support the amendment moved by the Chairman ? 
If the Court of Proprietors support that amendment, it will make them 
parties to the perpetuation of this gross act of injustice. By so doing, 
they will make themselves parties to the whole transaction, because 
they will lend themselves to the perpetuation of wrong. Sir, I for 
one cannot hold up my hand for any purpose of that description. 


The amendment really involves the principle of the entire irresponsi- 
bilty of Government. The Deputy-Chairman told us yesterday, that 
if this case is re-opened, there is not a man in India who would 
attempt to carry on the Government ; and that it would affect the 
character of all who are concerned in the administration of public 
affairs. Now I take quite an opposite view of the matter. I think 
every question which is supported by a sound moral principle, must 
triumph sooner or later, and I think you had much better do justice 
now, and do it willingly, than be compelled to do it hereafter. 1 
should myself have moved, had not Mr. Lewis anticipated me in so 
doing, to the effect, that the evidence which has been brought before 
this Court, relative to the case of the Raja of Sattara should bV laid 
before that prince, and an opportunity be afforded him of defending 
himself. This is nothing more than a simple act of justice, which 
every man has a right to claim. In doing this I should bring no 
charge against Col. Ovans. His character has had very honour- 
able testimony borne to it by gentlemen on both sides of the question. 
Col. Ovans may have been actuated by pure motives and high in- 
tegrity ; but he may nevertheless have been duped ; and if he has 
been deceived, every one is misled, who acts upon his statements. 
I repeat it, — the result of supporting the amendment of the Chair 
is the perpetuation of a system of injustice. I do not ask the 
Court to decide on the merits of the case, but to adopt a plan which 
will lead to a just decision. You cannot decide this case till you have 
the defence of the Raja of Sattara. As regards the Raja himself, 
looking at him only as a human being, I care not whether he is a 
prince or a peasant ; but I do feel concerned that the administration 
of justice should be pure, and that we should not deprive either the 
Raja, or any other man, of the inalienable and most sacred right 
of being fairly and impartially heard in his own defence. (Loud 

Mr. Twining. Sir, I shall not answer the arguments of the 
honourable mover of the resolutions, because he has been so ably 
replied to by the Deputy- Chairman. I am satisfied the honourable 
gentleman may be left in his able hands. I record my vote in 
favour of the amendment, because the case has been already before 
three tribunals in this country — this honourable Court, the Board of 


Control, and the House of Commons. We all know, that in courts- 
martial a trial can only be reviewed once ; this has been reviewed 
three times, and has been confirmed by the voice of the nation, by 
this honourable Court, and by Parliament. Gentlemen, a great 
deal of extraneous matter has been introduced upon this occasion, 
and much abuse has been heaped upon an absent officer of distin- 
guished ability — I am alluding to Colonel Ovans.— He has, however, 
been ably defended by the Deputy- Chairman. I think the abuse 
was extraneous, uncalled for, and certainly most improper. Under 
these impressions I could not withhold expressing my conviction, 
that Colonel Ovans stands unsullied in his character, both as a sol- 
dier, and a man who has performed his duty to this country in the 
most honourable and proper way. I thus record my reasons why 
I intend to support the amendment of the honourable Chairman. 

Mr. Mauriott. Sir, I intend to support the amendment, but not 
because I am at the beck of yourself and the Directors. I owe the 
Directors nothing, I look to them for nothing, and I think the 
Deputy- Chairman has had rather a hard measure dealt out to him, 
in the comments which have been made upon his speech of last 
evening. He would not go into the case at large, to keep us till 
twelve o'clock at night. Was that the siippressio veri which we 
have heard so much about, or was it the cui bojio veri ? He saw 
that it would be no use for us to open the case again. Parliament 
could do nothing with it, and I am sure we cannot touch it at this 
time of day. If it had been shown that any flagrant act of injustice 
had been inflicted upon the Raja, Parharaent would have entered 
upon the question. There is no doubt of that. Had they viewed it 
as it has b?en regarded here, particularly by the legal gentlemen who 
have spoken upon the other side, they would have taken up the 
case. With these views I shall still support the amendment, and 
vote against what may be called the popular side of the question. 
(Laughter.) I hope that the Marquis of Wellesley (alluding to the 
statue) will never see in the Direction the two persons whom he now 
apparently looks down upon, and who have no business upon that 
side of the bar. (Laughter.) 

Captain Randall. Sir, in giving an opinion, I am unwilling to 
occupy much of the time of this Court ; I feel satisfied that in 


supporting the amendment of the honourable Chairman, I am 
discharging my duty as an East India Proprietor ; I am here unin- 
fluenced by anything but a sense of duty, forming an opinion, as 
well as I can, from the multitudinous matters which have been 
brought before us, upon this and previous occasions, when the 
Court of Pi'oprietors have come to such decided opinions. If those 
opinions, so decided, are not to be called decisions, I know not 
when we ever can arrive at one. There would be no end of discus- 
sions upon every question, however decided in fact it might be, if 
questions were to be constantly open to renewals of this sort. We 
have had the most deliberate consideration of all the points, and we 
are now brought here again upon them. I do think, that unless 
we support the Court of Directoi's in this matter, we shall not be 
performing our duty to ourselves, or doing justice to them. (Hear, 
hear.) I feel, sir, perfectly unmoved by those allusions and threats, 
which, I am sorry to say, have been indulged in to a degree un- 
known in former times. I feel that the East India Company, and 
this Court, forming part of it, will be lowered in the opinion of the 
public, both here and in India, if they do not remain firm in the 
decisions to which they have come. I can view with no feeling 
but that of dismay and alarm, the re-opening of such a question as 
this (which God forbid anybody should treat as a light one.) If 
that is to be opened, again to be entangled, with all the contradic- 
tions which we have seen arise throughout the course of these 
debates, I think it will do more to shake the confidence of England 
and India in this Court, than any other course which could be 
adopted. I do therefore hope, sir, that though this Court is thin, 
and though we have had a display of ability to a very great extent, 
as I am sure eveiy one must admit, from gentlemen on the other 
side of the question, yet I do hope there are sufficient Proprietors 
to demonstrate that our confidence in the Court of Directors is undi- 
minished ; that they have done wisely, supported as they have been, 
by every authority calculated to give confidence, and in whose 
award the confirmation of your proceedings is truly valuable. I 
trust we shall prove that we are fully satisfied with the Court 
of Directors, and express our opinion that they are deserving of 
the support which we give them. 


Mr. P. Gordon. — Sir, though not entitled at present to vote 
upon this question, I am entitled to speak to it. 

Mr. Marriott. — Is this a director, or a proprietor, who is 
about to speak .'' 

The Chairman. — A proprietor. 

Mr. P. Gordon. — Willing, however, to become a director any 
day you please. (Laughter.) A despatch was forwarded from the 
Court of Directors to the Bengal Government in 1 832, in which 
they fully and ably demonstrate the general prevalence in India of 
a system of extorting confessions from prisoners. If the volume is 
at hand I should like to refer to it. It is the Appendix to the Ju- 
dicial Evidence, page 32. There are half a dozen paragraphs on the 
subject, showing that it is the system of all the police offices, both 
in the British and native governments, to extort confessions ; I 
would also refer to another document, being an account of what 
took place in the Select Committee of the House of Commons, Sir 
Robert Grant himself in the chair, on the 17th of April, 1832. I 
was there at the time. On that occasion Alexander Duncan Camp- 
bell, Esq., Registrar of the Supreme Court of Madras, afterwards 
Chief Puisne Judge, and a relative of Mr. Hill, in the Examiner's- 
office, up- stairs, was examined. Sir Robert allowed me to put a 
question to the witness, whether torture was made use of in India 
for the purpose of extorting evidence. The document is so im- 
portant that I beg to call for it. It has been reprinted by order of 
this Court, and therefore is in the hands of the proprietors. It states 
explicitly, in the same manner as the Court's own despatch, that it 
is the prevailing and almost uniform plan to extort confessions. My 
feelings with regard to the case of the Raja of Sattara are so 
very strong that I do not like to venture to express them, for his 
treatment forms an exact parallel to »(y oww. (Laughter.) It may 
be a laughing matter to some of the honourable proprietors, but they 
have not, like me, been imprisoned by the East India Company. 
(Cries of ** Question.") 

The Chairman. — Confine yourself to the subject before the 
Court, and do not enter into your own case. 

Mr. P. Gordon. — I mention my own case because it is a parallel 
to that of the Raja of Sattara. A man has been imprisoned. 1 do 

N 2 


not care whether dethroned, or taken from Sattara. He has not 
been tried, but he has been punished. He is a black man — I am an 
Englishman, and I, though an Englishman, have been imprisoned, 
but have not been tried. The benefit of that, which is the birth- 
right of every Englishman, the Habeas Corpus Act, was denied to 
me. I applied to every authority for redress. I went to the 
Supreme Court of Madras. (Question.) 

Mr. Twining. — Sir, I rise to order. We have already endured 
a very long confinement here. I do not want to allude to the sub- 
ject of torture, but this speech pretty nearly approaches to it. 

Mr. P. Gordon. — The question before the Court concerns the 
case of a person who has been imprisoned, but has not been tried. My 
own is such a case. I, too, asked for a trial. What answer have 
you ? My own and the Raja's case are one. 

Captain Randall. — The Raja has been tried. 

Mr. P. Gordon. — What ! when he has not been heard ! When 
he has not been furnished with a copy of the charges. Have I been 
allowed to plead my own cause ? Could I esteem it a trial when I 
was dragged before a magistrate without a shoe to my foot, and was 
not allowed to go to my own house ? When in prison, I said, " I 
will answer no questions while I am in a dungeon. Show me the 
charges. Bring me to trial." I applied to the Supreme Govern- 
ment, and they referred me to the Court of Directors. Fifteen 
years have I been here seeking a trial. (Question, question.) 

The Chairman. — The sense of the Court is, that you shall not 
introduce irrelevant matter. 

Mr. P. Gordon. — My sense is, that mine is a strictly parallel 
case. The greatest blessing to India would be order, purity, and 
reformation in this Court. That is what I earnestly desire to wit- 
ness. I would go on, but you will not let me. I will therefore sit 
down. I have not, as one proprietor said at a recent Court he had 
done, brought my night cap with me, but I hope I shall never 
engage in a cause which I believe to be just, without, like the 
Mussulman, being accompanied by my shroud. 

Mr. George Thompson. — I shall postpone to a future occasion 
uiuch of that which I deem it necessary yet to say, in reference to the 


vast mass of evidence that lias been brought togeilier to defame and 
ruin the Raja of Sattara. I look forward to many future discussions 
upon this question, unless the masterly revelations of iniquity which 
have been made to-day and yesterday, should lead to the doing of that 
long delayed act of justice, for which we have so often pleaded, but 
hitherto in vain. In availing myself of my privilege of reply, I shall 
confine myself principally to what has fallen from the lips of the De- 
puty-Chairman of the Court of Directors, who has been our only an- 
tagonist, with the exception of a proprietor opposite, whose speech in 
this debate I do not think calls for notice, although I feel a strong 
desire on every occasion to do him the justice he deserves. — (Laughter.) 
I must not, however, neglect to record my protest against the injustice 
of the present Chairman, who, after permitting Mr. Wigram to in- 
dulge in a direct attack upon me, prevented me from offering any 
reply. It is the law of all public assemblies, to give an individual 
who has been personally assailed, an opportunity of defending himself; 
and when a Chairman by non-interference sanctions an attack, he is 
bound to grant a hearing to the party assailed. The conduct shown to 
me to-day, has been in keeping with the rest of the proceedings of this 
body. I have been rudely and unjustly attacked, but I have been 
denied the opportunity of defending myself. The accuser was heard, 
but the accused was silenced. This is the justice administered at the 
India House — and nowhere else. Suffer me to state the reason of my 
occupying a post behind this bar. In no other part of this house is 
there any suitable accommodation for a human being; still less for a 
person whose duty requires a frequent reference to books and papers. 
There are no chairs, no tables, no pens, no ink, no paper. Wiiat are 
called seats, are not seats — they are not even as good as the stairs of 
a warehouse, for there are wells or gulfs between, exposing one to the 
chance of breaking one's shins. Who can sit with comfort beyond 
this bar ? Who can take notes ? Look at this moment at the Re- 
porters for the press, with their books on their knees. Have pity on 
those, who, after a long debate, have gone home sore and ill in conse- 
quence of the discomfort of the place. On this side the bar you liave 
every luxury — easy chairs, with higli backs — in cold weather a good 
fire — and in yonder room an abundance of other creaturely comforts to 
betake yourselves to, whenever you please. Consider, I say again, tho 


convenience of your fellow-proprietors. I made choice of this seat this 
morning, because I was made ill by my position yesterday. Spend a 
little money in fitting up the Court, that it may be what it ought to be, 
and then you may keep this part of the house to yourselves. Not that 
you have more right here than other proprietors, for in this Court we 
are equal. Think not, however, that I desire to intrude. Think not 
that I seek better company than I find among my friends yonder — far 
from it — if I did, I should certainly not come here. Now, if you doubt 
the truth of my description of the miseries we have to endure on those 
dirty steps, just change places with us next Court day, and I warrant 
we shall see cushioned benches with backs, and every thing else, 
required to render tolerable a protracted sitting in this Court. Whenever 
you render the other portion of this Court fit for our reception 
I will retire from this place, and gladly take the lowest seat, if I 
can occupy it without a pain in my back. 

I shall now refer to the Deputy-Chairman's assertion, that the 
friends of the Raja who are prosecuting this cause are a " SMALL 
KNOT OF PERSONS." I suppose he means small, in contrast 
with the opponents of the Raja. One proprietor has had the bold- 
ness to tell us, that " the nation is against us." What he under- 
stands by the word " nation" I cannot tell ; but if he means the 
people of this country, I can inform him, that I have addressed 
many thousands of them on this subject, and never yet did so, with- 
out finding them unanimously of opinion that the dethronement of 
the Raja was an act of base and cruel tj^ranny, and that those who 
had done it and sanctioned it, were worthy of the severest punish- 
ment. But to return to the Deputy- Chairman and the small knot. 
Sir, as the friends of the Raja have been thus described by one of 
the chief executive officers of this Court, I will take the trouble of 
answering him. I will untie this small knot — I will lay its indivi- 
dual threads before you, and then I will twist them together again, 
and leave you to judge of the number, the intelligence, the moral 
worth, and the strength of this " small knot of persons." Now, I 
do not deny that we have been outvoted here. The division list has 
always shown a majority against us. But who knows who the ma- 
jority is composed of? I do not. I see men straggle in here, and 
peep about. I see certain nameless persons lounging in the lobby, 


with their eyes fixed on the Chairman. I see them wlien the 
votes are called for, herd themselves together, and I see them counted 
by the teller ; but who they are, where they come from, or where 
they go to, I know not. One thing I know, they have never spoken 
on the question, nor have ever heard an entire debate, at least since 
I have sat in this Court. I have been told they are frequently brought 
here by notes and messengers, and that they dare not refuse to come. 
But this I know, that hitherto, justice in this Court has been strangled 
by these " mutes." They are here to-day, they are sitting before 
me, with the faces of contractors and of pickers up of unconsidered 
trifles — they are in time to vote ; that is enough. Verily ! they will 
have their reward. 

" A SMALL Knot of Persons." Let us see. We will begin with the 
Residents who have represented the British Government at the Court 
of his Highness the Raja of Sattara. The first was Captain Grant 
DufF. He has borne the most flattering testimony to the disposi- 
tion, the talents, the honour, and the loyalty of the Raja. In a letter 
not long since addressed to the agent of the Raja, now in Court, 
(and which I am prepared to produce,) he avows his disbelief of tlie 
charges brought against his Highness. His words are, — " He" (the 
Raja) " never could be guilty of what has been alleged against him. 
I believe he never for one moment entertained inimical intentions 
towards the British Government. The whole story of intriguing 
with Goa, and of corrupting the sepoys, I also believe the Raja had 
nothing to do with, and I think his deposal was impolitic and unjust. 
I have always said, that, judging from all I ever knew of the Raja, 
I do not believe him guilty of the silly crimes with which he has 
been charged, and for which he has, in my humble judgment, been 
unjustly set aside." I shall presently refer to this gentleman again. 

The next Resident at the coiu-t of Sattara was my friend Major- 
General Briggs. What need I say of him ? You all remember his 
able speech in 1841, and you have heard his masterly exposurcof the 
Goa plot to-day. There he sits, waiting to record his vote for a man 
whose conduct he had the opportunty of watching for more than 
four years, and whom he believes morally incapable of the crimes 
laid to his charge. 

The next resident at the court of Sattara was Major- General Ro- 


bertson. What shall I say of him? In 1841, when standing at 
this table, he demonstrated that the Bombay Government broke the 
treaty with the Raja, by denying his sovereignty over the Jagheers 
secured to him by Mr. Elphinstone, and that the plots against the 
Raja were got up and fostered in consequence of that breach of 
treaty. You heard General Robertson's voice yesterday. Was it 
for or against the Raja ? Answer me that. Let the public of 
Great Britain know that General Robertson, who was for six yeai"s 
a daily observer of the life and actions of the Raja, has solemnly de- 
clared in this Court that he would sooner take a denial of the 
charges brought against the Raja, from the lips of that prince, 
than the whole of the evidence collected to co7ivict Mm. (Cheers.) 

The next Resident at the court of Sattara was Major-Gen, Lod wick. 
What shall I say of him ? This : that in him you see a victim of 
the same arts which have destroyed the Raja. This noble-minded 
man has been one of the most able and efficient exposers of the de- 
testable machinations of the Bombay Government. He has revealed 
many of the previously hidden springs of action among the enemies 
of the Raja. He told us of " the paper of hints." He unmasked 
Colonel Ovans and Mr. Willoughby. He has had the frankness to 
confess that he was himself deceived. In this Court, as well as in 
his printed letters and memorial to the Directors, (all of which are 
official documents, and novif before the Court,) he has had the cou- 
rage to reveal the secrets of the prison-house. There is not a man 
in existence who more firmly believes in the innocence of the Raja, 
or more strongly condemns the conduct of his persecutors, than 
General Lodwick. Here, then, are four British officers of high rank 
and unsullied rtputeit'ion, whose personal knowledge of the Haja ex- 
lends over nearly twenty years, all found among the "small knot" 
of persons who are pestering this Court with their clamours for 
justice. Who among those who have been ambassadors at Sattara 
is against the Raja? Lieutenant-Colonel Ovans ! The opener of 
letters — the suborner of evidence — the paymaster of Balkobur Kel- 
kur — the employer of Sukharam BuUal — the concealer of the testi- 
mony of Krushnajee, and the bosom-friend of Ballajee Punt Nathoo. 

** A SMALL Knot." Having gone over the list of Residents at the 
Court of Sattara, let us come to the Court of Directors, and let us 


begin with those who have placed on record their written protests 
against the Court's despatch of April 1, 1810, sanctioning and com- 
mending the dethronement of the Raja. Never was there a more 
disgraceful proceeding than that. There had been a special Court 
only six weeks previously, to recommend the Court of Directors to 
withhold their sanction until a full and fair investigation of the 
charges against the Raja had taken place, according to his High- 
ness's earnest and repeated request. Those who spoke, and who in- 
tended to vote, were told to wait until the evidence was before them ; 
but did the Directors wait ? No ; as soon as they had got rid of the 
proprietors, they sent out a despatch, warmly commending all that 
had been done. On that occasion the proprietors were juggled, de- 
ceived, and betrayed. (Hear, hear, hear.) But do all the Directors 
deserve the condemnation with which every upright man must regard 
such a proceeding? No ! Honour to whom honour is due. There 
were four men who washed their hands in innocency. Their pro- 
tests are on record, and their children will point to them with pride. 
And who are those Directors? I name them with respect, with 
admiration, and with gratitude. First on the list stands the vener- 
able Mr. H. St. George Tucker. He denounced the dethronement 
of the Raja as premature, uncalled for, impolitic, and unjust ; and 
as contrary to law, because done without the sanction of the home 
authorities. Next, we have the incomparable minute of the late 
lamented Mr. John Forbes ; a document which I cannot read without 
astonishment, at the profound sagacity, the statesman-like ability, 
the noble generosity, and the inflexible principle which it displays. 
(Cheers.) Summing up the evidence against the Raja, he declares 
it a m^ss of fiction, of forged cyphers and seals, of false entries in 
books, of suborned testimony, of direct perjury, the result of every 
artifice that great cunning, great ability, and inveterate hatred could 
employ; and selecting from among the traitors to the Raja the man 
most deeply dyed in guilt, he points to Ballajee Punt Nathoo, and 
says, "Thou art the man." Mr. Forbes concludes by saying, that 
the charges against the Raja rested on evidence on which no grand 
jury in England would have sent a case to trial. (Cheers.) Next, 
we have Mr. John Shepherd. He declares that the preamble of the 
conditions which his Highness was called upon to sign, entiingled him 


in an admission of guilt, it also involved the Government in the 
glaring inconsistency of propounding a principle which required the 
strongest proof of the Raja's unvvortliiness to reign, as a necessary 
condition on which he was to continue on the Guddee. "Who will 
deny (he asks) that his rejection of the proposal furnishes presump- 
tive evidence of his innocence, and raises him more in the estimation 
of the world, than if he had ignominiously complied for the sake of 
retaining his sovereignty ? Mr. Shepherd has also protested against 
that iniquitous act of spoliation, by which the Raja was utterly de- 
prived of his private property, in violation of the written engage- 
ment of the Government, and three several assurances in the hand- 
writing of Colonel Ovans. Next, we have Mr. John Cotton, who 
declares that, however strong and conclusive the ex-parte evidence 
obtained against the Raja was considered to be, it was never con- 
templated by the Authorities, either at home or abroad, to depose 
the Raja without first giving him the opportunity of refuting the 
charges preferred in a formal trial ; or, without the express sanction 
of the Home Authorities. Such, in brief terms, are the opinions of 
the four honourable Directors whose written protests are upon the 
records of this House. Sir, these are a portion of the small knot. 
If we are outvoted to-day by the mutes in reserve, we are neverthe- 
less in good company, whether we look at the living, or think of 
the dead. (Cheers.) But I have not done with the Directors. 
Amongst the small knot, I find Colonel Sykes, who in 1841 con- 
cluded his speech in this court by saying, " As I am called upon 
to give my verdict, having read the papers carefully, (who amongst 
those by whom we are outvoted in this Court, can say that ?) — having 
read the papers carefully, and having heard what has been advanced 
against the Raja in this debate, I cannot, I confess, give credit to the 
charges, and my conscientious verdict must be Not guilty, on my 
honour." (Cheers.) And now, Sir, we have to add another honourable 
director to the small knot of persons, and oh, I do thank God for 
the truth's sake, that we have — I refer to Major Oliphant. (Loud 
cheers.) My thanks are little worth, but such as they ai-e, I tender 
them out of a full and grateful heart to that gentleman for his speech 
of yesterday. Newly come into the direction, I can appreciate the 
moral courage he has displayed in walking out of that room into this. 

'J 03 

ti) speak the honest seiUiineiits of liis soul upon this question. lean 
well imagine liis desire to avoid the causes of division and dissent; 
well imagine the struggle it must cost him to act in opposition to 
those whose views and conduct on other questions he respects ; and 
I can admire the firmness that rises superior to all personal con- 
siderations and private friendships, and leads him to take part with 
the small knot of persons. It is not that he loves his colleagues 
less, but truth and justice more, that he stands forth as we have seen 
him, and witli an ability which I cannot hope to equal, and with a 
temper which I wish from my heart I could copy, commits himself 
for better and for worse on this question. (Cheers.) Let him not 
fear the result. Let no one on this side fear the result. The hearts 
of all good men are with us. Judgment, Justice, and Truth are on 
our side. Noah was in a minority of one, when he preached 
righteousness to the antediluvians. See, how the ark in which the 
hand of God preserved him, floats above the waste of waters ! Where 
now are those who through forty years derided him as a fanatic, and 
a disturber of their sinful pleasures ! His warnings have come down 
to us, and he is canonized — but where are they ?^ God help us to 
remain an inseparable knot ! I have no fear of — I will not say of our 
triumph but — our success. In the distance, and not far away, I see 
the Raja's innocence established. I see his enemies humbled, I 
see our opponents here ; convinced, or if not, at least overpowered by 
the might of innocence and truth and justice. Sir, I have no more 
doubt that the Raja will again sit upon the throne of Sattara, than 
that my hand now rests upon the bar before me. Let directors and 
proprietors but be faithful, and they may smile with pity and con- 
tempt 'ipon the dumb votes of a few sycophantic expectants, who for 
a little while longer may be able to give the withholders of justice a 
numerical triumph. What can our opponents do? What can these 
lobby voters do ? Can they extinguish truth ? Can they overturn 
our principles? Can they prove wrong to be right; falsehood, truth; 
cruelty, kindness ; or condemnation without a trial, a fair judicial 
proceeding? But tliough we should not succeed, though the Raja 
should die, and we should die without seeing justice done, the senti- 
ments which have been uttered and recorded during the present and 


the past day — sentiments than which I never heard any more noble > 
more lofty, or more jnst — these shall live. 

" Cold in the dust the perish'd heart may lie, 

" But these which warm'd them once — these, these, shall never die !" 

" A SMALL Knot of Persons." Turn we to the proprietors who 
are not directors, and whom do we see ? The Honourable Mountstuart 
Elphinstone. Need I tell you who he is ? Would you dare to leave 
to his decision the settlement of this question ? — Lord Clare, who says 
the Raja was right, and you were all wrong. — Sir Charles Forbes. 
Would he be against you, if your conduct was just ? — Sir H. Jones 
Brydges; who tells the Directors that they have set law and justice at 
defiance, by degrading, exiUng, and plundering the Raja; who tells the 
proprietors, in the letter I read yesterday, to relieve the Directors of a 
charge, for the proper execution of which they are totally unfit ; and 
who moreover asks if the Raja has had such a measure of justice dealt 
to him, as neither the Queen would dare to refuse, nor her Chief Justice 
dare to impede the humblest of her subjects from claiming. — Joseph 
Hume, Esq., who told the House of Commons that a more gross and 
monstrous case of injustice than this of the Raja's had never been 
brought to light. — Mr. John Poynder, who brings the acuteness of a 
lawyer with tlie spirit of a Christian to the consideration of this case. 
Mr. John Sullivan — but he is present; and if he were not, the mention 
of his name would be enough. — Mr. Charles Norris, late Secretary to 
the Bombay Government, a man not to be mentioned without a tribute 
of profound respect to his memory. — Mr. Lewis and Serjeant Gaselee, 
who, to go no further than their speeches of to-day, have proved them- 
selves ornaments of the profession to which they belong. — Mr. Salomons, 
who, though not with us to-day, and averse from the irksome task of 
appealing again to tiiis Court, has again and again declared himself in 
favour of all we ask — a hearing for the Raja. — Sir Gore Ouseley,General 
Hogg, General Clarke, Mr. Carpue, Mr. Savage, Major Hancock, 
Charles Forbes, James Forbes, George Forbes (all worthy sons of a 
most worthy sire), Messrs, Martin, Brown, Clarke, Cogan, E. S. Bain, 
Grant, Eastwick, (Captain) R. W. Eastwick, Malcolmson, Newnham, 
A. Bain Rogers, Copland, Iveson, Bellasis, and Jones, These are 

some of the proprietors who compose the small knot of persons. Whom 
have we on the other side ? Messrs. Fielden, Marriott, and Weeding, 
the three Thomases (a laugh), and Mr. Twining, worthy members all 
of that illustrious corps that goes by the name of the By-law Com- 
mittee ; and with them we have Sir H. Willoughby, brother of the 
accused Secretary, Major Clarke, and Mr. Jones, and some others 
whose names I know not, who belong to that class of which I spoke 
at the beginning, who come to this house to indulge in the noble 
pastime of " follow my leader." Test the small knot by the number of 
votes they hold. On our side T find seventy-nine, and on yours — 
thirty-five. It is right, I should say, that I have not included the votes 
of those whose names I know not. When you adopt the practice of 
giving us lists of those who vote on this floor, they shall shine in the 
starry constellation, to the full extent of their numbers and their bril- 

" A small knot of persons " — Shall I cany you beyond this build- 
ing, and in the presence of your fellow-countrymen test the accuracy 
of the Deputy-Chairman's scornful epithet? Shall I spread before you 
the petitions sent from Dublin, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Manchester, and 
London, to Parliament, in favour of the Raja ? But I spare you a 
repetition of the reproaches wiiich the public of England heap upon 
you. But I warn you of what is coming. The idea is abroad that you 
are proof against the holiest and strongest demands of justice. That 
idea will take unto itself form, and body, and power. You can only 
arrest it by timely retrogression. If you go on, your destruction is 
sure. You may kill the Raja, but you cannot kill the idea. If you 
are prepared to deny justice, prepare also for swift and sure destruction, 
as a governing body. 

A few words now in reply to the Deputy- Chairman, the sole 
speaker on behalf of the majority of the Directors. He says the 
whole of the authorities in India and England are against us. It 
has been triumphantly proved in the course of this debate, that 
every Indian authority was with us, to the full extent of our present 
demand — which is, that the Raja should be fairly heard in his 
DEFENCE. It has been proved that Sir James Carnac went out 
empowered to put an end to proceedings against the Raja, which the 
Directors in their own despatches called a waste of time, and detri- 


mental to the character of the Governmpnt. The Deputy- Chair- 
man talks of authority being against us ! I tell him that the 
Statute Law of England is against him — that by the law of Eng- 
land, made expressly to meet such a case, the act of Sir James 
Carnac is ipso facto, null and void — being directly in violation of an 
explicit enactment, and that the confirmation of that Act by the 
Directors, was an infraction of the conditions upon which the 
charter of this Company is held. I do not dispute the learned gen- 
tleman's ability to quibble and evade, to distort and misrepresent (I 
shall come to the s?/;/j/j?'ess?'o «m! presently), but all unlearned as I 
am, I defy him successfully to deny what I am now going deliber- 
ately to state — and I permit him to call the standing counsel of the 
Company to his aid — that the Raja could not be legally dethroned, 
without the express command of the Secret Committee of the Court 
of Directors, by and with the consent of her Majesty's Board of 
Commissioners for the Affairs of India. The Raja was not ^xxn- 
ished flagrante hello — there was no critical emergency — no imminent 
peril — no frontier invasion — no declared hostility — there was no one 
cause, pretext, occasion, or excuse for the summary dethronement 
of the Raja. Will the world learn, without learning at the same 
time to execrate the doers of such a dark deed — that the noblest of 
men was dragged from his throne like a traitor, when his letter was 
before the Government, saying, " Take the management of my 
kingdom, and deliver me from the agonies of suspicion and perse- 
cution ; but give me, 'tis all I ask on earth, or hope from heaven, 
the opportunity of proving my innocence?" Yea, more, he was 
dragged from his throne but a few hours after he had said to Sir 
James Carnac, " Hear me, and I will submit to any punishment 
you may choose to inflict, if I do not answer every charge that my 
unknown accusers have preferred against me." Let the people of 
England know, that even his dethronement was effected like the cap- 
ture of a felon. He was taken from his couch at night — he was 
taken naked from his couch — no time was allowed him even to cover 
himself with a garment to screen his body from the chili air ; the 
officer is in this country who saw this done, who saw an attendant 
throw a cloth over him, as he was being hurried to the palankeen 
that was to convey him for ever from the palace of his fathers. 


Thus was treated the man who, at any momenr, on the requisition 
of the Government, would have yielded up his throne, his king- 
dom, and his power, and gladly have purchased the restoration of 
his honour at the expense of all besides. This is what the Deputy- 
Chairman calls ajudicial proceeding. " Oh, Shame ! where is thy 

Now for the suppressio veii. The Secretary of the Board of 
Control quoted from a book the words of Captain Grant DufF 
against the Raja; the Deputy-Chairman also referred to the same 
words, and did all in his power to strengthen the house in the belief 
that Captain Grant DufF believed the Raja to be a man likely to do 
the things imputed to him. It will be in the recollection of those 
who hear me, that I had occasion, in 1842, when I was dissecting 
Mr. Willoughby's report of the Sattara Commission, to expose the 
mppressio veri of that report upon this very point. Mr. Willoughby 
in his report, now open before me, says, " We also learn from the 
best authority (mark the words, best autliority,) that at the time the 
present Raja was established on the Sattara throne, both himself 
and his family" — then comes Mr. Willoughby's citation — " enter- 
tained the most extravagant ideas, and that their expectations 
were proportionate, so that for a time the bounty they expe- 
rienced was not duly appreciated. Grant Duff's History of the 
Mahrattas, vol. iii. p. 483." Mr. Willoughby then goes on to say, 
" Perhaps in this passage a key to his highness 's conduct may be 
fcund." Sir, we shall presently see whether this key was a true or 
a false key. The real key supplied by Captain Grant Duff, or the 
fraudulent invention of Mr. Willoughby. I think I shall show that 
it was a false one, made to rob the Raja of the jewel, reputation. 
The general dishonesty of that report led me to suspect the fairness 
of this quotation, and T determined, therefore, to get the book. I 
did get it, and I have kept it ever since, and it is here to-day ; here 
in my hand at this moment. I will now turn to page 483, and read 
you what the author says. Remember, Mr. Willoughby expressly 
makes the writer affirm that the Raja himself entertained these 
opinions and feelings, and that in this passage may, perhaps, be 
found a key to his subsequently alleged misconduct. You shall now 


see that this key was a most wicked fabrication of Mr. Willoughby's. 
What says Grant Duff: "The Raja Pertaub Sing was in his27th year, 
naturally intelligent and well-disposed, but bred amongst in- 
trigues, surrounded by men of profligate character, and ignorant of 
every thing except the etiquette and parade of a court." Here is a 
full stop. So much for the Raja. " His whole /«?«% entertained 
the most extravagant ideas of their own consequence, and their ex- 
pectations were proportionate, so that, for a time, the bounty which 
they experienced was not duly appreciated." Need I dwell upon the 
dishonesty of this transaction of Mr. Willoughby ? Need I say 
anything to increase the disgust you must feel at the mingled false- 
hood, cruelty, and malignity of this proceeding ? Is not the quota- 
tion as complete an instance, both of the suppressio veri and the siig- 
gestio falsi, as is to be found on record? Nay, is it not a direct 
falsehood, since Captain Grant DuflF distinctly separates the Raja 
from the rest of the family, speaking of him, as intelligent and well- 
disposed, and putting a full stop between him and others? Does 
not the one sentence refer to the Raja, and to him exclusively ; and 
the other to his relatives and to them exclusively ? Is there any such 
a word as " himself here ? But turn to page 492, and see additional 
proof of the suppressio veri. "The Company," says Captain Grant 
Duff, " charged itself with the defence of the Raja's territory, 
which, for a time, was to be governed under an agent of that Go- 
vernment (Captain Grant Duff himself), until the Raja and his 
people were made acquainted with business. The Raja himself was 
taught to expect power according to his ability to exercise it, and 
ill a short time laboured as assiduously as any carcoon under his Go- 
vernment. The entire powers of the state were delivered over to 
him on the oth of April, 1822, at which period the boon thus con- 
ferred by the British nation on the descendant of Sevijee was cer- 
tainly appreciated by the country generally, as well as by his rela- 
tions and himself." Here we find the word " himself" coupled with 
an encomium, but not a word of this in the report. Such is the 
language of this able author, who is here recording his own experi- 
ence while writing his history of the Mahratta nation. Now can it 
be believed that the Deputy- Chairman of the East India Company 


would stand up in the House of Commons and confirm the truth of 
this garbled and false passage, when again quoted by the secretary 
of the Board of Control ! 

Mr. Hogg here rose and, addressing Mr. Thompson, said, You are 
quite in error respecting the extract which was read by my friend, Mr. 
Emerson Tennent, in the House of Commons. It was not the passage 
you have now referred to, but a part of a letter addressed by Captain 
Grant Duff to Mr. Elpliinstone, on the •28th of March, 1819. If you 
will permit nie I will read the extract. It is as follows: — 

" Opposed to the Raja's good qualities, he is very sly ; and this he njis- 
takes for wisdom. Some of the intrigues and tricks he mentions having 
practised during his confinement, prove that he is an adept at dissimulation. 
He has certainly great excuse for this ; but it has given him a taste for 
intrigue, and unfortunately this dangerous propensity is a weakness in 
which he is easily flattered." 

This is the extract read by Mr. Tennent, and when I rose, it was to 
this extract that I referred. This was the passage then present to my 

Mr. Thompson. — That then, Sir, is the passage quoted in the House 
of Commons? Do I understand you aright? 

Mr. Hogg. — Yes, it is taken from a letter dated 1819. 

Mr. Thompson. — Then I stand corrected, and withdraw my remarks 
as far as they relate to the Deputy-Chairman, in connection with the 
extract made by Mr. Willoughby ; but let me come to this very extract 
which has been now read, as the extract used against the Raja in the 
House of Commons ; and let me prove that in this case, as in the for- 
mer, there was the suppressio vert. The letter, from which this extract 
is made, is on page 503 of the Parliamentary Papers, and the clause 
quoted, is on page 506. The letter itself is a long official report to the 
Hon. Mr. Elphinstone, respecting the affairs of Sattara, and the conduct 
of his Highness the Raja, during the few months that he had been upon 
the throne. I will now quote from the same letter, from the same 
page, and my quotations shall be the paragraphs immediately preceding 
the passage read in the House of Commons, and just read in your 
hearing ; and then I will put it to those here assembled, whether a 



more gross injustice was ever perpetrated towards an absent and 
defenceless man, than that of putting this isolated sentence before the 
British Legislature, as Captain Grant Duff's complete and faithful 
portraiture of the Raja's character. Let it be remembered, too, that 
the Deputy-Chairman had the letter from which this extract was made 
in his hands at the time, and had, therefore, the means of placing the 
whole truth before the House. Let every word I am about to read 
be weighed, and say whether this extract, when fairly made, is not a 
more genuine key than that of Mr. Willoughby. Do not, I entreat 
you forget, that this is the J?rs< report of Captain Grant Duff on the 
subject, and relates to the Raja's conduct during the few short months 
of his emancipation from profligate companions, and all the corrupt- 
ing influences of a state of close confinement in a Hindoo domestic 
establishment. The Political Agent at Sattara, thus writes to Mr. 
Elphinstone : — 

" At all times, when I have had occasion to ask explanation of any- 
thing that appeared improper, the Raja has shown a very uncommon 
degree of candour. I have never discovered his having told me a 
direct falsehood, although he has several times acted contrary to my 
injunctions, and when I knew it must have cost him an effort to avow 
what he had done; on the whole liis disposition, for a native, is re- 
marlcahly (jood. He is really yratefid for what our Government has 
done for him, and at present / do believe fidly intends to act at all 
times as he may be advised; unfortunately, however, he has a worth- 
less set of people about him, so situated as not to be displaced. After 
some months' intercourse, 1 found no difficidty in obtaining his confi- 
dence (partially, of course,) and he has frequently told me things which 
T should otherwise never have become acquainted with." 

" He is naturally anxious to get the management of the country into 
his own hands; this he frankly tells me, but he as readily admits 
that he has not sufficient experience for the task. He often asks 
when you are coming, and when the treaty is to be made : the other 
day, on my return from Poonah, I told him of such particulars of the 
plan in agitation as you thought I might Safely communicate. He said 
it ivas exactly ivhat he wished, and that / should see how soon he would 
learn everything. ' ' 

" On one occasion, two or three months ago, when W ittul Punt was 


the only person present, tlie Kaja made a long speech, in which, after 
expressing the great gratitude lie felt for the favours conferred upon 
him by the British Government, he disavoiced all his late fanciful 
notions of being considered King of the whole Maluatta nation ; that, 
emancipated as he had just been from confinement, and placed by you 
upon his gudee (or throne, as he still would term it,) he looked upon 
himself as much the founder of a new state as Sivagee had been ; that, 
following the advice of his allies and protectors, the English Company, 
he tvoidd learn to govern his country with justice, and never draw a 
sword, but to preserve the cause of order, or to act in alliance with 
his friends, as you and the Most noble the Governor-general might 
direct; he concluded by begging that when tlie treaty was made, it 
might be expressly mentioned that he was to he allowed to correspond 
with you and me all his life wherever we might he. This I replied to 
by commending his GOOD SENSE, and the EXCELLENT AND 
WISE RESOLUTIONS he had formed." 

Then follows the short passage read in the House of Commons. 
As for the slyness and dissimulation there referred to, as the bad qua- 
lities of the Raja, I may observe, that I have heard them ascribed to 
those who sat not far from the Deputy-Chairman at the time tliis quota- 
tion was made; and I think, when the passages I have brought forward 
are duly pondered, these qualities will henceforth be considered the 
leading features in the composition of one who is not far from me at 
this moment. But let no one, therefore, believe that they would jus- 
tify a suspicion of treason. The Raja was dethroned and his brother 
Appa Sauib was, by Colonel Ovans and Sir James Carnac, enthroned 
in his place. On the very next page of Captain Grant Duff's letter, 
I find a description of this man also. I will give you the entire para- 
graph, and leave you to judge what the British Government and the 
people of Sattara have gained by the change. 

" The name of the (Raja's) younger brother is Sevajee, familiarly, 
Appa Sahib; he is an obstinate, ill-disposed lad, witli veiiy 
LOW vicious habits, which all the admonition of the raja (Me 
dethroned prince^ cannot get the better of; he is married to the 
daughter of Mannajee Raja Mank, of a different family from that of 
Kooshaba Raja." 

o 2 


" Look here, upon this picture, and on tiiis, 
Tiie (genuine) presentment of two brothers. 
See what a grace was seated on his brow : 
Where every god did seem to set his seal. 
To give the world assurance of a man. 

* * * * 

Now sec the other ; like a mildew'd ear. 
Blasting his wholesome brother. Have you eyes ? 
* * « 

What Devil was't. 
That thus hath cozen'd you at hoodman-blind ? " 

The exiled Peitaub Sing pines in captivity at Benares : — Appa 
Sahib sits upon the throne of Sattara, protected by the British 
Government, in the enjoyment of the fruits of fratricidal treason! 

I deem the falsification of these records too serious a matter 
to be dismissed without a few additional words. Here we have two 
quotations ; the first made by Mr. Willoughby, the second referred to 
by Mr. Hogg. One, absolutely false, inasmuch as that was made to 
apply to the Raja, which I have demonstrated, was applied ex- 
clusively to others, and applied to them after an explicit commen- 
dation of the Raja, which commendation was omitted. The other 
is a quotation, alluding to the tricks and petty intrigues of the Raja's 
youth, and stands in immediate connection with a most honourable 
testimony to his every-day actual conduct. Now these are put for- 
ward to prove that the Raja was, in 1819, a sly, dissimulating, 
extravagant, and intriguing man ; and that in 1836 he was but 
more fully developing the propensities he had always cherished. 
Now these quotations are part and parcel of statements, which, taken 
as a whole, prove that the Raja was a noble example of a man 
brought up under the most disadvantageous circumstances, con- 
quering alike his latent evil propensities, and the habits which 
he had been led to form during the period he had lived amongst the 
most injurious associates. When his real conduct, and the actual 
substratum of his character are referred to, he is described as — 
naturally intelligent and well-disposed — as labouring with the assi- 
duity of the meanest clerk under his Government, to acquire a 


knowledge, together with the habits of business — as exhibiting a 
very uncommon degree of candour — as avowing his faults, even 
when it cost him an effort to do so, rather than descend to false- 
hood — as acting at all times as he was advised — as readily giving 
his confidence to the Resident — as spontaneously admitting his own 
want of experience — as cherishing a strong feeling of gratitude to- 
wards the British Government — and, as expressing his determination 
to rule with moderation and justice, and never to draw the sword, 
except in the cause of order, and in alliance with his friends. 
Having for twenty years so acted, as to prove to the whole world 
that the character here given of «him in the first year of his escape 
from thraldom, was a just one, he is at last, in 1845, branded by 
the Deputy-Chairman as an intriguer, an adept in dissimulation, and 
a traitor to his allies ; and the words of Captain Grant DufF, de- 
scriptive of the foibles of his youth, are quoted to deepen and con- 
firm the stigma. Had Captain Grant DufF been correctly quoted, 
instead of a feeling adverse to the Raja being created, there would 
have been one general sentiment of respect and admiration. What 
think you, then, of the British Legislator, now sitting before you ? 
Let me give another instance of the suppressio veri. I have a 
copy of Hansard's report before me, containing the debate in the 
House of Commons on the motion of Mr. Hume. The Deputy- 
Chairman's speech is here, carefully revised by himself, so carefully 
that in reporting his denunciations of agents employed in behalf of 
native princes, the repetition of the denunciation is omitted, the 
"curses" are omitted, and the word "paid" is omitted; and they 
are now merely " agents," and described not as the " curse of India," 
but as the hane of every native power by "whom they are employed. 
There is certainly no suppressio veri here, it is an emendation as far 
as it goes, and is to some extent the suppressio falsi. Well, in this 
speech, General Lodwick is brought forward to condemn the Raja. 
Those who have heard General Lodwick here will scarcely believe 
this, but so it is. Here is the passage (page 22.) I will in justice 
to the Deputy-Chairman quote it entire. "His honourable friend, the 
Secretary to the Board of Control, had read a letter from Captain 
Grant DufF so early as March, 1819, showing that the Raja was 
addicted to intrigue, and was a complete adept in dissinnilation. 


General Brigg?, when addressing the Government, states that he is 
tenacious of his prerogative, and is daily becoming more impatient of 
our control, and expresses his apprehension that he may be detected 
in intrigues which may lead to his ultimate ruin. General Robertson 
states that he knezv of the Goa Intric/tte, and General Lodwick, the 
fourth and last political Agent, when addressing the Government on 
the 18th of August, 1836, says,— 

" That his Highness, the Raja, is ambitious, and capable of giving coun- 
tenance to any conspiracy, that has the advancement of that object in view, 
I have no doubt. So far back as November, 1835, a devoted friend of the 
British Government privately reported to me that the conversation between 
His Highness and his particular intimates constantly hinged on the down- 
fal of the British Government. He further mentioned, that there were 
rumours of a combination, to join which His Highness was invited — adding 
that he very possibly might be flattered into acceding to the plot. Nothing 
short of the M(jh respectabilifi/ of my informant could have induced roe to 
give a moment's credit to their report." 

Again, on the 9th of September, he says, — 

•' That it was beyond doubt that the Raja had proved faithless to his 
engagements with the British Government; " — 

And on the 10th of September, he writes, — 

" Deeply as I regret the errors of His Highness, the Raja, I can discover 
no extenuating circumstances ;" — 

" And he subsequently reported to Government that the Raja had 
gradually increased the troops in his service, and even suggested to 
(Jovernment the expediency of sending additional troops to Sattara ; 
and lastly. General Lodwick was so apprehensive of the consequences 
that might arise from the unauthorised communications of the Raja, 
that he told him that the fate of Bajee Rao would he his own. Such, 
were the opinions of these officers, when on the spot, and in the execu- 
tion of their duty. He admitted, with the honourable Member, that 
they have subsequently expressed opinions of a different character, 
and most favourable to the Raja; and he hoped he need not add, 
that he (Mr. Hogg) gave these gentlemen full credit for the sincerity 
of the opinions which they expressed ; but he was bound to say, that 


he attached more weight to opinions given deliberately under the 
pressure and responsibility of public duty, than to sentiments ex- 
pressed when the case of tlie Raja liad become the subject of excited, 
and rather angry discussion." Now, gentlemen, let me come to facts 
in reference to these extracts from General Lodwick'a despatches. 
First, mark the dates — the 18th of August, and the 9th and 10th of 
September, 183G. Bear these dates in your mind. On the 22nd of 
July, General Lodwick forwarded to Government the depositions of 
the two native officers, who swore that they had been tampered 
with by Govind Row, as agent for the Raja. General Lodwick 
believed those men at Uiat time. He coupled their assertions on oath 
with the private report of the "devoted friend" to the British 
Government, here spoken of. That devoted friend and highly re- 
spectable informant, was Ballajee Punt Nathoo. Doubting at the 
time, neither the Soobadars nor Ballajee Punt Nathoo, General 
Lodwick wrote as he did. The letter on the 9th of September was a 
private note to Sir Robert Grant. It was written the very hour that 
General Lodwick took the second depositions of the Soobadars, in 
which they declared that the night before, they had had an interview 
with the Raja, at which he had avowed treasonable designs. General 
Lodwick believed their story, and wrote as he did. His letter of the 
10th was his official report to Government; when, still believing 
that the Raja had acted as the Soobadars had described, he wrote as 
he did. Here the Deputy-Chairman leaves off, and here I begin. 

Before the Commission was appointed, General Lodwick re- 
ceived a private paper of hints, from the Governor Sir Robert 
Grant, instructing him how to entrap the liaja. The job was a 
base one. General Lodwick felt his honour, as a gentleman and 
British officer, insulted by the proposition, and spurned to exe- 
cute his loathsome commission. General Lodwick wrote again 
and again to Government, to say that he could discover no trace 
of a plot ; but he was told in reply, that the Raja had already 
been reported guilty to the authorities at homo, and that the 
affair could not be quashed. Th# Commission was appointed ; 
it consisted of Willoughby, Ovans, and Lodwick. General Lod- 
wick entreated the Government to allow the Raja to have a 
vakeel, or agent, present — the Bombay Government refused. The 


soobadars were examined ; tliey perjured theinselve>?. Untajee 
was examined, and confessed that he had got up the affair to be 
revenged on the Raja, for the non-payment of a demand. 
Cooshia Maloo was proved also to have been actuated by malice. 
Tne brothel-keeper, Purushram, was the nephew of the villain, 
Untajee. Ballajee Punt Nathoo, who gave his evidence in dis- 
guise, was guilty of prevarication on the spot, and has subse- 
quently been proved guilty of perjury. General Lodwick was 
prevented, though on the Commission, from cross-examining the 
witnesses. At the close of the proceedings he refused to sign 
I lie report drawn up by Mr. Willoughby. He was induced to do 
it as a matter of form, and because instructed by the Govern- 
ment to yield to the majority. He was called upon to give up 
the notes he had taken during the sitting of the Commission ; he 
declined ; he was persuaded, he gave them up, and they were 
destroyed by Willoughby and Ovans. At the close of 
the proceedings Mr. Willoughby exultingly exclaimed, " We 
shall now see what will be done to the pet Raja " General 
Lodwick declared, when the minutes of the Commission were 
forwarded to Bombay, that the evidence was worthless. He 
afterwards remained, from October, 1836, until June, 1837, a 
witness of the Raja's most honourable and prince-like conduct. 
He was then removed, that Colonel Ovans might prosecute the 
matter of Girjabaee's petition, " The reign of terror," says 
General Lodwick, " then began." On reaching Bombay he 
memorialized the Court of Directors. He then stated, that those 
very rumours mentioned in the paragraph quoted by Mr. Hogg, 
were unfounded, and proceeded from Appa Sahib, through Bal- 
lajee Punt Nathoo. He denied, also, the truth of the report, 
which he had made, upon hearsay evidence, of the raising of new 
troops by the Raja. In fact, the man who will read with atten- 
tion the evidence of General Lodwick, will see at once into the 
origin, the mystery, and the object of the whole plot ; and will 
find it demonstrated, that the most culpable parties were the 
functionaries of the British Government. But then, to get rid 
of these statements, it is insinuated in the House of Commons 


that tliey were made in the heat of an excited and angry dis- 
cussion. The suppressio veri again. General Lodwick's memo- 
rial was written at Bombay in 1837. His other letters to the 
directors were penned in the retirement of the country, here. 
They were calm, deliberate, official documents. Those quoted in 
the House of Commons were written confessedly in error. 
After the full proof of that error came before General Lodwick, 
he did all that an honourable, conscientious, and Christian man 
could do to repair the unintentional injury. Most strenuously 
did he labour to bring the Directors to a sense of justice ; nobly 
declaring in his memorinl of December, 1837, that his own 
wrongs he regarded but as dust in the balance, in comparison with 
obtaining justice for a. prince, whose conduct had been so trans- 
parent and above suspicion ; that for eighteen years there had 
never been in the Residency at Sattara a fragment of secret 
correspondence — so intimate was the connection between the 
Sattara state and the British Government. Now, what shall 
we say of one, who, with the full knowledge of all these 
facts, brought officially before him as a Director of this com- 
pany — who has heard General Lodwick declare where I now 
stand, that to the latest hour of his life he should regret having 
signed the Report of the Commission, without a protest against 
its contents — who, from the written memorials and letters of that 
officer, as well as the able speeches of that officer hi this Court, 
(delivered with an earnestness of generous feeling in behalf of 
the Raja, that was as honourable to him as it was convincing to 
us,) must have been aware that those letters of August lyth, and 
Septemoer 9th and 10th, were repudiated and bitterly repented 
of — who, nevertheless, takes them down to the House of Com- 
mons, and reads them as deliberate opinions founded upon ac- 
curate information, and worthy to guide the judicial* decision of 
the last court of appeal in the cause of injured innocence ! What 
think you of such a man, and such a legislator? 

General Briggs is named as a witness against the Raja, and is 
brought forward in the House of Commons as such. A word 
regarding him. From the beginning to the end of those dis- 


cussions, our opponents have never failed to cite a paragraph in 
one of my gallant friend's despatches to the Bombay Government, 
many years ago ; and, when I attended the debate in the House 
of Commons, I felt almost certain I should again hear it referred 
to. Now, what I am about to state, will I trust for ever pre- 
vent the repetition of this stale quotation. I am sure my 
friend General Briggs will thank me for stating, what 1 know it 
was his intention to make known to this Court, but which he has 
been prevented, through a lapse of memory or a want of time, 
from doing. Not previously prepared to pronounce the informa- 
tion upon which he formerly wrote that paragraph, false, he re- 
frained from noticing the frequent allusions to it in the course of 
these debates, while at the same time he deeply regretted that 
anything he had written so long ago, should be used to the injury 
of the Raja, instead of tangible evidence upon the specific charges 
brought against him. He is now prepared however to state, 
that his recent sifting examination of the evidence connected with 
the Goa plot, and above all, his detection of the machinations of 
the Swamee of Sunkeswhur and his agents, has revealed to him 
the proof, that the intrigues alleged against the Raja were in 
reality the intrigues of his enemy the Swamee ; and that his 
informant, the Brahmin Abba Josee, was the confederate of 
Ballajee Punt, and of his holiness the Swamee, and that they 
were, even at the time he. General Briggs, wrote, actively en- 
gaged in those intrigues, in which, owing to the credulity of 
some, and the dishonesty of others, the Raja was subsequently 
implicated. In a word. General Briggs is prepared to say that 
he was imposed upon, and that if he had to write that dispatch 
over again, with his present information before him, he would not 
only omit the paragraph referred to, but lay bare that Brahminical 
conspiracy with which he is now so perfectly acquainted. I 
speak in the presence of General Briggs, who will correct me if 
I have made an inaccurate statement. Let us then hear no more 
of the report of General Briggs, but when his name is mentioned 
in the House of Commons, let it be done with honour, as the 
masterly expounder of the riddle of the false seals. 


1 find the name of General Robertson mentioned as a witness 
against the Raja in the House of Commons, and in connexion 
with the Goa plot. This is really " too bad." If I were to answer 
this, I should have to read three-fourths of that gallant gentle- 
man's speech, delivered in this Court on the IGthof July, 1841, 
which, like the speech of my friend, General Briggs, was an un- 
answerable argument, though on difterent grounds, in proof of 
tlie falsehood of the charge against the Raja. In that speech, 
too, General Robertson, I believe, notices the very fact referred 
to by the Deputy-Cliairman ; but only to say, that the rumour 
which he heard at the time he was Resident, was, on inquiry, 
found. to be unworthy either of credit or notice. Who next shall 
we have dragged into the House of Commons to condemn the 
Raja ? 

Mr. Hogg rose, and said it was unfair on the part of Mr. 
Thompson to make a speech upon what he (Mr. Hogg) had said 
in the House of Commons, seeing that there would be no oppor- 
tunity for hira to reply. Mr. Thompson seemed to have waited 
purposely for his present opportunity. 

Mr. Thompson said it would have been well if Mr. Hogg had 
remembered, when he was in the House of Commons, that the 
parties he then referred to had no opportunity of replying to him. 
But as Mr. Hogg objected to his going farther iitto his speech in 
parliament, he would, though he bad marked many other passages, 
confine himself in what he might say further, to what had fallen 
from that gentleman's lips the day before, in the Court of 
Proprietors. Mr. Thompson tlien continued : — 

I now come to the suppressio veri in the case of Govind Rao's 
confession. We have heard from the Deputy-Chairman's own 
lips the unqualified assertion, that the confession of Govind Rao 
was not only voluntary, but volunteered. My friends who have 
preceded me in this debate have left me little to do in tlie way of 
exposing the absolute untruthfulness of this declaration. At the 
time it was made, the Deputy- Chairman had the official docu- 
ments before him, proving tliat Govind Rao was sent to Alnned- 
nugger for the express purpose of being there made subservient 


to the ends which Col. Ovans had in view, in reference to the 
petition. He had the proof before him, that the confinement 
was to be strict, that it was to be solitary, that the prisoner's 
letters were to be quietly intercepted by the judge and sent to 
the Government. He had the proof before him, that Sukharam 
liullal, the convicted liar, deceiver, and perjurer, was sent on a 
special mission to Ahmednugger to drag this confession from the 
prisoner — that emissary being previously m est intimately aware 
of all that was going on at Sattara. He had the proof before 
him, that that arch tempter was for sixteen days in close com- 
munion with the prisoner in his dungeon, before the scrap of 
paper containing the unintelligible jargon called tlie confession, 
was obtained. He had the proof before him, in the shape of a 
letter from Mr. Hutt, dated the 24th of August, 1837, that that 
confession was not seen by Mr. Hutt, until it was placed ready 
made in his hands, with the assurance that it had been written 
by Govind Rao himself — an assurance that would have been 
ridiculous, if the confession had been made, as the Deputy-Chair- 
inan represented, both here and in the House of Commons that 
it was made, in the presence of Mr. Hutt himself. He had be- 
fore him, also, the two really voluntary declarations of Govind 
Rao, made since his three years' captivity, that that confession 
was extorted ; and yet, in the face of this accumulated and 
irresistible evidence, the Deputy-Chairman, a lawyer and a 
legislator, could gravely tell us that the confession of this man 
was voluntary and volunteered ! 

Now, for the suggestio falsi in the case of Mr. Hutt. I put 
it to those who hear me, and were present previously, whether, 
if a stranger had entered the Court yesterday during the Deputy- 
Chairman's speech, he would not have concluded that a foul and 
calumnious attack had been made upon Mr. Hutt. (Hear, hear.) 
" No one," said the hon. gentleman, " however high in authority, 
has ever given an opinion contrary to the views of the party in 
this house, who call themselves the friends of the Raja, but he 
has been vituperated and calumniated. Why should poor Mr. 
Hutt expect to escape ? He did not escape. They immediately 


fasten upon him, and say, You have made yourself the base tool 
of tiie Bombay Government." 

Mr. Hogg. — You are not correctly representing what I said. 

Mr. Thompson. — I beg your pardon, sir, 1 took down your 
words at the time, and I am too familiar with controversy and 
debate to doubt the accuracy of my own record. You charged 
us with saying, that Mr. Hutt had made himself a base tool ; and 
with a burst of well feigned indignation, you proceeded to the 
vindication of Mr. Hutt, and to the reading of his letter, written 
in 1845. Now, sir, in the first place I deny the general charge, 
that we have vituperated and calumniated every person who has 
taken a different view of this case from ourselves. Have we 
ever abused Lord Auckland ? Never. Have we ever abused 
any of the members of the Supreme Government ? Never. 
Have we ever said anything worse of any otlier persons high in 
authority, than that they were misled and deluded by the con- 
spirators who hatched the plot against the Raja ? Never. Why 
then all this fuss about nothing? Why this fighting with giants 
of your own creation ? And, then, with regard to the specific 
charge of calumniating Mr. Hutt. I defy the lion, gentleman 
to refer to any one syllable ever uttered in this Court, reflecting 
in the slightest degree upon the character or conduct of that officer. 
On the contrary, he has always been mcp.lioned with respect, as a 
person who showed the prisoner under his charge all the indulgence 
in his power. I challenged tlie Deputy- Chairman at the time, to 
produce his proof of the charge he brought against us ; but he 
declined, and went on with his vehement declamation, upon a 
perfectly groundless and imaginary accusation. Now, this 1 call 
a glaring instance of the suggestio falsi. It would have been far 
better for Mr, Hutt, if the honourable Deputy-Chairman had 
left him alone. What he said, led my learned friend to institute 
a comparison between Mr. Hutt's letter of 1843, and Mr. Hutt's 
letter of 1837 ; and lo ! it appeared that the facts slated in the 
latter, were utterly at variance with those stated in the former — 
the former, be it recollected, written on the very days when 
the occurrences to which they relate took place. I will not, 


again, go over those utterly irreconcilable statements, but merely 
say, that I prefer the official letters written at the time, to the 
letter written from memory, after a lapse of five years : and I will 
venture an apology for Mr. Hutt — acquitting liim, as I sincerely 
do, of all intention to depart from the truth. My apology for him is 
this ; that when called upon at the beginning of the present year 
to answer the letter of the Bombay Government, he had not 
before him his letters of 1837, and that, in endeavouring to recall 
the events of that year, he, from pure inadvertence, fell into the 
errors which the learned sergeant so acutely discovered, and so 
ably exposed. But what shall we say of the Deputy-Chairman, 
who grounded all he had to say upon this last letter, when he 
had the whole of the documents, written at the time, before him ? 
His conduct is like that of a judge, who should take the vague 
recollections of a man, in reference to the state of his accounts 
five years before, in preference to the evidence of his cash-book, 
day-book, and ledger, at the time. And yet, such a man is a 
lawyer, and our Indian authority in the House of Commons ! 

I must notice another unsupported assertion made by the 
Deputy-Chairman, and it was a most monstrous one, as indeed 
all his assertions were. He said that Krush'najee, finding that 
his seven petitions to the Bombay Government were of no avail, 
determined to try another experiment, and therefore went off to 
entrap Mr. Warden. Imagine a poor and friendless Brahmin, 
opposed by Ballajee Punt Nathoo, Colonel Ovans, and the whole 
of tlie Bombay Government, going to entrap an English judge. 
Let us see how he baited his trap to catch this functionary. He 
sent him a list of charges of the most clear, explicit, and 
particular kind. Did the judge at once act upon these ? No. 
He said to the accuser, " You must send me a list of the wit- 
nesses and proofs you are prepared to bring forward in support 
of every allegation you have made. When this list is before me,, 
you shall hear further." What did Krushnajee do? Antici- 
pating, tliat at length there would be a judicial investigation, he 
went to Sattara, and was for four months occupied in preparing 
that schedule of evidence, which occupies three folio pages of 


the printed papers now before us. And here, let me answer an 
inquiry boasthigly made by the Deputy- Chairman, when he ex- 
claimed, " Wliy were not the charges against Colonel Ovans pre- 
ferred before ?" I will tell him. It was while Krushnajee was 
in Sattara, collecting his evidence, that he first heard of these 
facts against Colonel Ovans. I will tell him more, — that at the 
times when those charges were made, and that schedule of evi- 
dence was sent in, the Raja of Sattara, and many besides him, 
were groaning under the domination of Ovans and Ballajee 
Punt Nathoo. The Raja found he was a helpless puppet in the 
hands of the Brahmin and the Resident. He saw his revenues 
wasted to gratify the avarice of the Brahmin and his minions, 
and he would have been most happy to have shaken off the yoke, 
and to have aided in the development of the frauds that had 
been committed. It is my firm conviction, arrived at upon no 
insufficient grounds, that had a proper inquiry then taken place, 
not only would the charges against the parties named have been 
substantiated, but there would have been such a revelation of 
affairs, as would have been most inconvenient to some otlier per- 
sons who have not yet been brought before this Court. But to 
return to Krushnajee's attempt to entrap the judge. He sent in 
his list of proofs. What then ? He was ordered to appear before 
the judge at Poonah. Did he go ? He did. What then ? Mr. 
W^arden put the man upon his oath, and said, " Tell me what you 
know, of your own knowledge, of the things stated in your list of 
charges." What is the reply of the man who sought to entrap 
the judge ? On his oath he says : — 

" I HAVE SEEN somc of the accounts of the Punt Sucheo, ivith 
entries in the name of Ballajee Punt, to which I allude, and will 
prove my assertions through them, and the depositions of his 
managers. The two villages, fraudulently taken by Nathoo, are 
in the purgunnahs of Moosekhore and Moontekhore. 

" The entry of 6,000 rupees in the accounts of Babboo Row 
Pundit, to the debit of Ram Row Survotum Amniatya, I have 
SEEN, and I will prove by witnesses, that Ballajee Punt Nathoo 
got the money. 


" I HAVE SEEN tlie entry of 1G,00D rupees in the accounts of 
Gopal Row Kannaday, to the debit of Ramchundur Rao Dufflee, 
and I will prove by witnesses that Ballajee Punt Nathoo got this 

" I HAVE SEEN the entry in the accounts of the Punt Muntree 
of 500 rupees, to the debit of Ballajee Punt Nathoo ; let them 
be brought. 

" The remainder of the information brought forward by me, / 
will prove, by documentary and oral evidence, and hold myself 
liable for a failure therein, provided the Resident do not re- 
main AT Sattara, pending the inquiry^ 

In reference to the charges against Colonel Ovans, he says, 
" My witnesses shall be the present minister of his Highness, 
Appa Sahib, the Raja, and two other persons of influence in 
Sattara." Now the minister, called as a witness, was a man of 
Colonel Ovans's own selection, and the other two were parties 
who had always previously been in the confidence of, and acting 
with Colonel Ovans himself. What, then, did the judge do ? 
He said to the accuser, " Before this inquiry is entered upon, 
you must give security to remain within British jurisdiction 
pending the issue of the trial, and render yourself liable to two 
years' imprisonment if you do not substantiate your accusations." 
" I will do so," was the reply, and forthwith himself and a friend 
enter into the required recognizances. Now, gentlemen, this is 
what a lawyer and a legislator calls trying an experiment to en- 
trap a British judge ! 

I will now gather up the fragments that remain, and conclude. 
A gallant gentleman opposite, took me to task for what he called 
an attack upon Colonel Ovans in his absence, and to make his 
charge against me the more impressive, he favoured us with a 
little Latin : — 

" Absentum qui rodit amicum 
Qui non defendit alio culpante — 
Hie niger est ; hunc tu Romane, Caveto." 

Captain Randall. — Which you do not understand. 


Mr. Thompson. — That was spoken like an officer and a gen- 
tleman, and is an observation which does you much credit. 
Without professing to understand it, however, I can mannge to 
reply to it. I have acted towards Colonel Ovans the part of an 
open and honourable accuser. I have duly notified him of my 
intentions ; I have sent him everything I have said respecting 
him ; and I have done all I could to induce him — even to pro- 
voke him — to meet me face to face in this Court. If the charge 
of cowardice may be justly brought against either party, I fear- 
lessly leave it to my hon. opponents in this Court to say to 
whom it is applicable. The world will judge who is the coward, 
when they read my statements, made in the city of London, and 
within a sixpenny ride of Westminster-hall, and know to what 
consequences I expose myself if my charges are groundless. 
Sir, I do not hesitate to say, that if I have not truth and justice 
on my side, I am a foul and infamous calumniator, and utterly 
unworthy of being listened to in this Court. But how is it, 
let me ask, that I am thus permitted to reiterate my charges 
with impunity, and to print them, and to send them as I do over 
the face of India ? My question is pregnant with meaning. Let 
Colonel Ovans and his friends answer it, and let the world draw 
the inference. 

One choice morsel fell from the lips of the valiant defender of 
Colonel Ovans, who is opposite, and who is just now in a recum- 
bent posture. (Mr. Weeding, who was stretched upon the seats, 
here jumped up, amidst much laughter.) He said, that he won- 
dered ny honourable friend Mr. Sullivan, had not more of the 
true esprit de corps than to be found in opposition to any of his 
old fellow-servants ! This is plain speaking with a witness ! 
Here we are, sitting in grave deliberation upon the conduct of 
parties concerned in the dethronement of an Indian Prince, and 
one of the judges in this case turns to another, and he says, 
" Really, my learned brother, I wonder that you have not more of 
the esprit de corps, than to express your honest opinion upon the 
evidence before you." Well, if the utterance of such a sentiment 
as this does not do that gentleman's business for him, I know not 



wliat will. He also said — that if it were possible to demonstrate 
the Raja's innocence, it ought not to disturb the decision already 
given. So says the Deputy-Chairman. " Once right, right for 
ever — once wrong, wrong for ever." I will venture to say, that if 
the home-secretary, or the prime minister of England, were, either 
of them, to act upon this maxim in the case of a transported felon, 
whose innocence could be proved, he would be driven from his 
place by the just execrations of the British people. 

An amendment has been moved upon my resolutions, to the 
following effect : " That there is nothing in the papers recently 
printed, which itiduce the Court of Proprietors to depart from 
their resolutions of the 13th of February, 1840, the 20th of July, 
1841, and the 18th of June last." I think this amendment 
would read better, if the Secretary would infuse a little of Lind- 
ley Murray into it. (Order, order!) Really, gentlemen, I- think 
I might be permitted to say a word about the grammar of this 
resolution, which it strikes me is about equal to its truth and 
justice. The papers prove, that forgery, perjury, subornation 
and personation, have been among the means employed to de- 
throne the Raja ; but the Chairman moves that there is nothitig 
in these things to lead the Court to grant an inquiry, or to 
induce this Court to allow the unhappy exiled Raja to be heard 
in his defence. Sir, I cannot for a moment believe that you are 
aware, that the direct tendency of these reiterated amendments 
is, to sink this Court into an unfathomable depth of infamy. Sir, 
when an enlightened people shall read the debates that have 
taken place here, since January, 1840 — when they shall come to 
a knowledge of the fact, that almost every man who has rendered 
a reason for his conduct, has been an earnest advocate on the 
side of the Raja, — when the evidence that has been brought for- 
ward in this house, shall be calmly reviewed, and it shall be 
found to amount to a moral demonstration of the perfect inno- 
cence of the Raja ; and the almost unprecedented perfidy of his 
accusers — I say, when this shall be, and come it will, the 
majority of this Court will be held to be the enemies of their 
species, and the most shameless violators of the inalienable and 


indestructible right of man — the right to a liearing when accused 
of crime. (Order.) You say, in this amendment, that the papers 
recently printed contain nothing to induce you to grant an 
INQUIRY ! Can you be serious ? Is it possible, that there are at 
this moment some twelve or fifteen Directors prepared to vote in 
the affirmative on this resolution ? Is it so ? Then permit me, 
with all possible solemnity, to remind the gentlemen on this side 
of the bar, that they, as Directors, are upon their oaths. Yes, 
gentlemen, you have each of you an oath in heaven. (Order, 
order !) Is it not so ? Has not each Director sworn upon the 
Gospels, that he will act justly, indifferently, honestly, and 
equally, in the discharge of his duties towards all manner of 
persons ? I put the question home to the conscience of every 
Director here, and I tell him, that however rife perjury may be in 
India, the violation of an oath is not regarded as a light matter in 
this country. (Loud cries of Order !) 

I have done — but only for the present. The waters of the 
Thames shall flow backwards from London to Oxford, ere I will 
cease to agitate this question ; a question, which has now ceased 
to be one affecting the claims of an individual, and has become 
an all-important and sublime conflict for the maintenance of the 
right to be heard. Vote as you will, here — there is a jury beyond 
these walls — and to that jury I appeal. (Loud cheers.) 

On the conclusion of Mr. Thompson's speech, a division took 
place; when there appeared for the original resolutions, 14; 
against them, 32. The Chairman's amendment then became the 
substantive resolution. Whereupon Mr. Lewis formally proposed 
his amendment. — " That it is the opinion of this Court, that the 
papers now before it, containing the charges and the evidence 
against the Raja of Sattara, be submitted to him, and that he 
may have an opportunity afforded him of being heard in his 
defence." On the question being put, — 

Mr. Sullivan rose and said, — Having already supported the 
original motion, I am anxious to state briefly the grounds upon 
which I am induced now to transfer my support to Mr. Lewis's 
amendment upon the motion of the Chair. I do so because the ten- 

p 2 


•lency of the latter is to rivet the attention of the Court and the 
public to the object for which we are here this day. The simple 
question which that amendment calls upon you to determine is, 
whether you will, at this eleventh hour, afford that imfortunate Prince 
whom you have deposed, plundered, and banished, an opportunity of 
defending himself from those charges, under punishment for which 
he has been writhing for the last seven years ? (Hear.) This is the 
proposition upon which you are now called upon to say " yea" or 
" nay;" and I put it to the conscience and understanding of every 
man, whether he has heard one single reason adduced in the course 
of the debate, which can justify him in putting a negative upon it. 
(Cheers.) I listened with great attention to the speech of the learned 
Deputy-Chairman. I admired its eloquence and its tact, but I was 
totally at a loss to know what he aimed at. (Hear.) He stated his 
premises elaborately, but shrunk from drawing a conclusion from 
them. (Hear.) He told us, Ballajee Punt Nathoo was white, and 
Krushnajee black ; that Girjabaee's petition was genuine, and Govind 
Row's confession voluntary ; and that Colonel Ovans was an honour- 
able man : but he did not dare to insult the common sense of his 
hearers by telling them that these were so many reasons for denying 
to the Raja the right of a defence. (Cheers.) We can afford to grant 
him every point that he contended for, without yielding one inch of 
our own ground. (Hear.) I must again remind this Court, that we 
are not assembled here to try the guilt or innocence of the Raja, or 
even to weigh the evidence of the witnesses for and against him. 
Our simple object is, to show cause why he should be heard in his 
own defence ; why we are bound to redeem the solemn promise that 
was made, and, — as I must still maintain, though very averse to the 
use of strong terms — flagitiously broken by the Commission who were 
appointed for the express purpose of making an impartial investiga- 
tion into the case, and who thought they fulfilled their mission by 
withholding from the Raja the only means by which it was possible 
for him to defend himself from the charges. They did this, as the 
Court will remember, upon the plea that the evidence was secret; 
but they took care to withhold their plea, until they had got rid of the 
Raja. They sent him away, under the impression that the evidence 
was to follow him ; and they had no sooner got finally and for ever 


rid of him, tlian they bethought themselves of tlic plea of seciesy. 
The evidence was secret to him only, who was punished upon it. 
And now let me remind those who complain of the interminable 
discussions on this subject, that the fault is not ours, but the fault of 
those who refuse to grant our most reasoiiable prayer. (Cheers.) 
All that has been so ably stated to-day about Girjabaec and Govind 
Row, Ballajee Punt and Krushnajee, and other outlandish names, 
would have been stated by the Raja himself, upon his defence, if you 
would have allowed him to make one ; but, if you will not, we are 
bound to speak for him, and to show you how triumphant that defence 
would be, and how easily he could tear to tatters all the evidence 
that has been collected against him. (Cheers.) I was sure that the 
learned Deputy would not venture to meet us on the merits of the 
case. He has sought shelter, as usual, in the numbers of Governors 
and high authorities who have approved the Sattara proceedings ; 
but I can follow him there, and show him, as I did upon a former 
occasion, that such authorities arc not infallible ; that years ago, all 
the authorities in India, supported by the authorities in this country, 
concurred in deposing the Raja of Tanjore, much upon the same 
grounds as they have since deposed the Raja of Sattara. That, ne- 
vertheless, they made a grievous mistake — that they were grossly 
imposed upon ; but that they no sooner discovered their error, than 
they hastened to amend it ; that they restored the Raja whom they 
had deposed, and set aside one who had by base means obtained his 
seat. The reasons which influenced the authorities on that occasion 
are particularly deserving the attention of the Directors and this Court. 
When the Government of India determined to re-enquire into the 
Tanjore case, they recorded their reasons in the following words: — 
Adverting to the right of the Company to interfere originally with 
respect to the succession of Tanjore, it is observed, " that the same 
right called upon them, under existing circumstances, to review the 
whole subject, and that if it should appear that the decision of Go- 
vernment had been procured by imposition and intrigue, by which 
the legal heir had been deprived of his rights, a declaration to that 
effect, followed by his restitution, would be more honourable to 
British justice, and more calculated to promote our political character 
and interests than to suffer the continuance of an imposition obtained 


at oQr hands by sinister and undue means. It would manifest to the 
world that the principle of British justice is ever true to itself, and 
that if those entrusted with its administration should be betrayed into 
error, (an event not impossible even from the integrity of their own 
minds,) when truth shall have made its way, the hour of retribution 
must come, and the honour of the British name be completely vindi- 

This was the language of your illustrious predecessors, for illus- 
trious I must call these men who could so magnanimously confess 
that they had done a wrong, and so amply redress it ; and I can only 
express my deep regret that their mantle has not fallen upon your 

Mr. Serjeant Storks. — The important and solemn question now 
pending in this Court is one which deeply interests my feelings, and 
is one on which I feel called upon to give a vote, so conscientiously 
and honestly, that I may be able to reflect upon it with satisfaction, 
when I leave this place. Being, humble as I am, a member of this 
great Company, one great source of whose wealth, and one noble 
arm of whose power in India, is the justice of its government among 
the inhabitants of that great territory, I wish to ask a simple ques- 
tion, the answer to which may guide me to an equitable and righte- 
ous decision. I have come hither with no party motives, with no ex- 
cited passions, with none of that ardent feeling which I have seen 
blazing out in one place, and breaking out more gently in another. 
Soberly and judicially, I wish to know how this question really 
stands ? I have heard the charges upon the one side, and upon the 
other I have felt as well as heard, the vehement indignation that has 
been poured out, and the eloquence that has conveyed the noblest 
sentiments of English justice, and the purest principles of truth, 
while those charges have been repelled. I now wish to ask this 
question — To what extent are the concessions and admissions of the 
party on the other side, that is, the party for again confirming the 
sentence passed upon the Raja ? Is it conceded, or is it not, that the 
Raja of Sattara has had an opportunity of making a full and un- 
restricted defence? (Hear, hear.) I wish to know whether it is 
conceded by you, the Directors, or not, that the Raja has had the 
opportunity of examining the witneses, and, with the spirit that he 


might feel, and the sense of justice or injury that might have ope- 
rated upon him, has had, ov has not had, tlie opportunity of facing 
his accusers / 1 wish to know whether it is matter of inference 
merely, that the commission was secret or open ; .or whether it is 
estahlished hy incontrovertible evidence that it was secret and inqui- 
sitorial, and that the Raja of Sattara, a prince of India (a subject I 
do not call him), has been hurled down, even from a throne, without 
having, what belongs to the meanest, basest, and most degraded of 
human beings — a fair trial ? (Cheers.) I ask, has there been 
accorded to him that which is the right of the most reptile English 
subject ? Let me have an answer to that plain question : let me hear 
a bold, a manly, a candid, and unsophisticated statement — to what 
extent the concession is on the other side, relative to the allegation 
that the Raja has not been heard. (Cheers.) I wish to sustain the 
power that has been concentrated in this place if I can do it, and be 
still an honest man ; a power which has been associated with the 
greatest talent, with the noblest qualities, with the most glorious 
heroism ; a power which has gone on growing, and increasing, and 
extending, until it has reared from the smallest beginnings, the 
greatest empire that the sun ever shone upon, and governed it to the 
admiration of the world. I should rejoice in the opportunity of 
voting to-day for the continuance of that power. But, if I am called 
on by you, to silence inquiry, to extinguish the light of truth, to blow 
out the flame of justice, to condemn without hearing, to reduce to the 
dust a prince whom you have not yet heard ; then let me where I 
stand avow my most determined opposition, and let me tell you, that 
I shall vote as my conscience as an English gentleman — as my love 
of impartiality as a British lawyer — as my natural feelings as a man 
— and as the justice that pervades the world, which is above all 
earthly laws, and which lives in the soul of every human being, 
dictate. (Loud and prolonged cheering.) 

A pause of some length here ensued, during which no answer was 
returned by the Chairman to the question of the learned serjeant, 

Mr. PoYNDER. — Sir, I hope in the name, and as the representa- 
tive of this honourable body, you will furnish a reply to that most 
solemn, emphatic, and important appeal now made, and that you 
will answer the question, as you will have to answer it hereafter. That 


which is asked, is what the Court of Proprietors and the country at 
large expect of you, in the name of the body at the head of which 
you stand ; and that the question should be deliberately answered from 
that chair, which I have made every effort in my power to elevate 
you to, believing that you were well qualified to fill it, and earnestly 
desiring that you may maintain it with honour. The question has 
something so English, so moral, and even so religious in it, that I 
confess it has won my whole heart, and I call upon you Sir, at once 
to give an answer to it. 

After a brief pause. 

The Chairman said : All who are not entitled to vote will now 
please to withdraw. 

Mr. Serjeant Gaselee. — I beg your pardon. Sir! A question has 
been asked for the purpose of eliciting information. If you decline 
to answer the question, then I shall. 

The Chairman. — It is in my discretion whether I answer it or 
not. I have declined to enter into the merits of the case, and I per- 
sist in that view. 

Mr. Hogg. — If the learned Serjeant has read the papers, and con- 
sidered them, he is competent to judge for himself. 

Mr. Serjeant Gaselee. — Then, Sir, I shall feel it to be my duty to 
answer it, because I think in answering that question, I shall be 
answering the question for some other gentlemen also. 

The Chairman. — My only answer is, that I have distinctly de- 
clined entering into the merits of the question, and must contine to 
do so. 

Mr. PoYNDER. — Will the honourable Deputy-Chairman answer 
the question which the Chairman declines to answer ? 

Mr. Hogg. — I suppose the honourable proprietor (alluding to 
Serjeant Storks) who states that he has taken so deep an interest in 
the matter, has read the papers and come to an opinion upon them. 
His duty therefore is, to consider and decide for himself. Far be it 
from me to presume to dictate to the Chairman what he should do. 
For myself / distinctly decline to enter into the merits of the question. 
Each gentleman, I presume, has considered it ; I have considered it, 
and have come to my own conclusion, and I am now prepared to 
record my opinion by my vote. 


Mr. PoYNDER. — Will any other Director have the goodness to 
answer the question which has been put, and the reply to which by 
no means involves that Director in the necessity of entering into the 
merits of the case. I disclaim all desire of entering into the merits 
at this hour of the day ; but I ask you simply to answer, whether 
on your consciences you can say, that the Raja has been heard in 
his defence. 

Major Oliphant. — If the honourable and learned proprietor 
(Serjeant Storks) has read the papers, he must have been satisfied by 
them, that the Raja has never had a hearing. (Loud and 
enthusiaistic cheering.) 

Mr. Serjeant Storks. — After the question having been declined to 
be answered by the Chairman, and the reply that has been distinctly 
given by the honourable Director, nothing shall force me, against 
every principle of justice, to vote for the motion proposed by the 
Chairman. In giving my vote against it, I exceedingly regret that 
I cannot, on this occasion, support the Court of Directors. (Cheers.) 

A division then took place on the amendment of Mr. Lewis. 
Tellers, Mr. Lewis and Mr. Weeding. The Chairman declared the 
numbers to be 

For the amendment 15 

Against it 31 

Majority in favour of a refusal of a hearing to the Raja of Sattara, 1 G. 

The following twelve Directors voted in the majority 


J. W. HOGG, M.P., Deputy Chairman 













In favour of the Raja, 


Against the Raja. 


Of these only two (Messrs. Hogg 
and Weeding) assigned any other 
reason than their determination to 
support the constituted authorities. 




Of the \2th September, 1845. 

We confess to a feeling of proud satisfaction in sending forth our 
present number. Hereafter, we trust, the Directors of the East 
India Company will thank God that when they would have out- 
raged all justice, and silenced for ever the voice of truth in the 
cause of injured innocence, there were twelve men found who 
would not yield to their mandate, but boldly uttered what we 


this day give to the world, and thereby saved the East India 
(y'ompany from unqualified infamy and indiscriminate con- 

A heathen once exclaimed, when addressing his judge, "Strike, 
but hear ;" and the sentiment has been embalmed in the con- 
current approbation of its justice by all subsequent generations. 
The Great Being who created us, and who is the judge of all, did 
not punish the most rebellious of his offspring until he had said, 
" Come, and let usreason together." The just God, who saw from 
his lofty throne the fratricidal act of Cain, did not fix his brand 
upon the murderer until he had said, " Tell me what hast thou 
done ? Where is Abel, thy brother ?" The Divine Teacher of 
mankind has taught us by a parable, that the guiltiest servant is not 
to be condemned, until he has been called upon to give an account 
of his stewardship ; and we are instructed to believe, that the awards 
of eternity will be made upon the principle of an impartial judg- 
ment, and upon the contents of an open book, in which all our 
actions shall be written. All that the friends of the deposed 
Raja of Sattara ask, is a hearing for the accused. Let all who 
read the foregoing debate, render their utmost assistance to the 
men who are now battling at the India House for the inalienable 
right of every man to be heard in his own defence. 


DuHiNG the skirmish which took place at the India House 
between Mr. George Thompson and Mr. Hogg, on the subject of 
paid agencies, the former gentleman stated his belief that the 
latter had once held the situation of Registrar in the Supreme 
Court at Calcutta ; and that while in that office, he did not dis- 
dain the salary, the emoluments, and the pickings connected 
therewith. For our own satisfaction we have had recourse to the 
records of Parliament, and have lighted (as honest Bunyan would 
say) upon a certain document, ordered by tiie House of Com- 


mons to be printed, jth February, 1830, and numbered 4 of that 
year's session. In tliis Parliamentary paper, are several returns^ 
made by James Weir Hogg, Esq., in his several capacities, as — 

1 . Registrar on the Equity side ; 

2. Registrar on the Ecclesiastical side ; 

3. Registrar on the Admiralty side ; 

4. Registrar in the Vice- Admiralty Court ; and 

5. Receiver. 

The salaries, emoluments, and pickings appertaining to these 
officesfor one year, namely, 1827, are given by Mr. James Weir 
Hogg himself, and are stated to be as follow, viz : — 

Sicca Rupees. 

As Registrar on the Equity side . . . 108,371 

Ditto Ecclesiastical side . . 107,295 

Ditto Admiralty side . . . 3,105 

Receiver 9,476 

Total . . . 228,247 

That is to say, Mr. James Weir Hogg did, over his own signature 
in 1828, confess to the receipt of two hundred and twenty 


or, about twenty-five thousand pounds sterling, in return for 
the services rendered by him to the State during the year of our 
Lord 1827. This is the gentleman who now exclaims — " Paid 
agents are the curse of India." He speaks from his own know- 
ledge. Never having been favoured with a peep into the 
private ledger of Mr. James Weir Hogg, we shall not hazard a 
conjecture respecting the profits realized by this same greedy 
pluralist, in the way of ordinary " usance here in Venice ;" nor 
shall we say one word about the success, or otherwise, of large 
speculations in the produce of the rich valley of the Ganges ; his 
own modest acknowledgment, that he pocketed the sum of 
228,247 sicca rupees for one year's fulfilment of his official 
duties, is enough to prove that Mr. Hogg has not, at every 
period of his life, despised payment for his services. 

2;} 7 

Mr. Hogg eschews vulgar things, or we would nommend to his 
attention an adage well known on this side of Grosvenor-street — 
namely, " least said soonest mended." But Mr. Hogg is a wise 
man as well as a polite; a word in his ear, therefore, is enough 
— it is this : Let him not again display his new-born aristocratic 
contempt for those who in the year 1845 (not 1827) receive 
moderate compensation for virtuous labour, or he may provoke 
inquiries even more unpleasant than those which were made 
during the recent debate ; such, for instance, as — Whether there 
are not certain persons whose transactions " Eastward of the 
Cape of Good Hope," if narrowly looked into, would not be found 
to have been (since the renewal of the last Charter) somewhat 
more extensive, than is in strict accordance with the limitations 
prescribed in the rules enjoined upon Directors of the East India 
Company? But as we have already said, verbum sat. 

We are not aware that Mr. Hogg is in receipt of any other 
emoluments for his services at the India House than — a double 
share of the patronage, estimated at the value of 26,000/., a 
salary of 500/. per annum, and his portion of tlie fines imposed 
upon absentee Directors. But who will say that Mr. Hogg's 
services in Parliament and out, are not cheaply bought for 
27,000/. a-year ? 


One of the charges brought against the deposed Raja of Sat- 
tara is that of having carried on a treasonable correspondence 
with the ex-Raja of Nagpore, for the purpose of obtaining from 
that exiled prince (who is an absolute pauper, and subsists upon 
the bounty of the Raja of Joudpore, in whose territory he has 
found an asylum,) a loan of two hundred and fifty tliousand 
pounds, and his influence with the Sultan of Turkey, to allow a 
Russian army tp march through Constantinople on its way to 
invade India ! — the money being required to bribe Don Manoel, 


the then governor of Goa, to introduce 30,000 troops from Europe 
to attack the English ! ! 

As a specimen of the manner in which Colonel Ovans and his 
confederate, Ballajee Punt Nathoo, concocted this charge, and 
obtained evidence in support of it, we shall refer to the case of 
one of the alleged witnesses, whose treatment, while his services 
were required by the two worthies we have named, will serve to 
illustrate the history of the pretended confession of Govind Rao. 
The witness we have alluded to is a mendicant itinerant Brahmin, 
of the name of Ragho Bhutt, who, in the month of February, 
1838, was apprehended by Colonel Ovans at a village near Sat- 
tara, and was brought to the Residency. Subsequently, important 
evidence was sent by Colonel Ovans to the Bombay Government 
as the evidence of this same Ragho Bhutt. The following peti- 
tion from Ragho Bhutt, presented to Sir James Carnac, in the 
month of April, 1840, will show the means by which this evidence 
was obtained. We beg our readers to weigh the contents of this 
petition with the utmost attention. 


One of the witnesses against the deposed Raja of Sattara ; 

Presented to Sir James Rivett Carnac, Governor of Bombay, 

in the month of February, 1840. 

" That your petitioner, in the month of February, 1838, arrived 
at Mahoolee, near Sattara ; and while he was with his father-in- 
law on the 30th of the same month, three men from Baliajee 
Punt Nattoo, with two Putwallas from the Resident, and 
four other Sepoys, with Dajiba Putwurdhun, came and carried 
your petitioner to the Resident, Colonel Ovans. There he was 
interrogated by Colonel Ovans, whether he carried any letters of 
a treasonable character from his Highness the Raja of Sattara. 
Being quite ignorant of those things, he answered that he had 
no knowledge respecting this matter. Your petitioner was then 
ordered to remain for a few days, that they might take down his 


deposition on some important matters. Your petitioner's case 
was then referred to Ballajee Punt Nattoo, Dajiba Putwurdhun, 
and Ballajee Kasee Kibey ; (this man was the native assistant 
of Col. Ovans). Your petitioner was then privately asked by 
Ballajee Punt Nattoo, if he carried any letters of conspiracy from 
his Highness (the deposed Raja) to the Rajas of Joudpore and 
Jypoor, Scindia, Holkar, and Jaycooad. He being ignorant of 
these things, said he never carried such letters to any llnjus, and 
he had no business with such letters. They tried him by other 
means, such as offering rewards, grants, enams, (rent free lands,) 
&c., and then threatened him with punishment, such as putting 
him in chains, transportation, death, &c., that he might be tempted 
to give some information ; but your petitioner being utterly ig- 
norant of these circumstances, plainly said he did not know 
anything of the subject. That your petitioner found himself in 
extreme difficulty with regard to the means of support, and was 
actually without food for some days. While suffering under this 
severe treatment, he was forced by the above-mentioned indivi- 
duals to sign the papers, written in Mahratta, which he could 
NOT read ; and he has since been told, that other papers were 
secretly mixed with his, which were never in his possession, 
and, BY force, some of the above-named men held the pen, 
and caused the letters of his name to be written on those papers. 
That he was kept eighteen months in imprisonment : at the end 
of which period he was sent to Poonah, with orders not to 
RETURN TO Sattara AGAIN. (Signed) " Ragho Bhutt." 

We deliberately declare our conviction that the statements 
contained in this petition are true. We declare our solemn con- 
viction also, that the whole of the evidence against the deposed 
Raja of Sattara was obtained by means equally foul. Let no 
one suppose that the authorities at the India House are not as 
fully convinced as ourselves of the perfect innocence of the de- 
throned Raja. Every atom of the evidence against that unfortu- 
nate prince has been again and again annihilated. Do any desire 
to know the true reason for refusing inquiry V It is this. An 


inquiry into the means employed to effect the ruin of the Raja 
of Sattara, would lead to such a revelation of the mal-practices 
of certain Europeans — Englishmen— and servants of the Honour- 
able East India Company, as would involve those parties in infamy, 
and render them liable to the heaviest legal penalties. The 
guilty parties have friends, relatives, and patrons at the India 
House, who are at this moment resorting to every conceivable 
expedient to prevent inquiry, and consequent exposure. Vain 
effort ! The truth will out. Every mail will bring fresh evidence 
of the official delinquencies of those who, for the last seven years, 
have been the persecutors of a prmce who, in the language of 
Mr. Sullivan, has had to pass. through one of the severest ordeals 
ever prepared for a human being, and has come forth with unsul- 
lied honour, and perfectly unscathed. 

For particulars respecting the evidence obtained from Ragho 
Bhutt, vide Par. papers, pp. 881 and 869, where other names are 
given to this witness for the purpose of misleading the government. 


In the speeches of Mr. A. J. Lewis and Major-General Briggs, 
as well as in the letter of Mr. Hume to the Court of Directors, 
special reference is made to certain forged seals, found in the 
possession of parties connected with the conspiracy against the 
deposed Raja of Sattara. It may possibly render the remarks of 
those gentlemen, and the subject generally, still more intelligible 
to our readers, if we place before them authentic copies of the 
forged seals, and equally authentic copies of the genuine ones. 
The first set referred to, is the one forwarded to Mr. J. A. Dun- 
lop, and described as having been found among the papers of 
Nursing Bharty, the late Swamee of Sunkeshwur. This set 
consists of Jive seals. Two large ones and three small ones. 
The inscriptions on the large ones are the same. The inscriptions 
on the small ones also are the same. Fac- similes of the whole five 
are before us ; but as in form and inscription they are in all re- 
spects alike, one copy of each will be sufficient for our purpose. 

The following is the large seal. 


The inscription upon the above is in Sanscrit, as follows : — 

Ra.ta Shahoo Nerputty Hersh Nidan 
Sadasew Ba.iee Row Mookee Pradhan. 

Which being translated, is, " Sadasew Bajee Row, the Prime 
Minister of Shahoo Raja, King of Men." 

The following is a copy of the small seal : — 

The description on the above is, " Sekhun Sffma ;" or, " The 



In reference to the inscription on the first, or principal seal, 
called Sicca, General Briggs remarks :— 

" These are the words (excepting the name) which have been 
ordinarily used by the Peishwas (or Prime Ministers of the Sat- 
tara Rajas) during a very long period. In the case of the late 
Bajee Row, instead of the words " Sadasew Bajee Row," the 
words were " Bajee Row Ragonatt," The seal before us is one 
purporting to be the seal of" Sadasew Bajee Row (or the son of 
Bajee Row) the Prime Minister of Raja Shahoo," and is said to 
be the seal of the deposed Raja ; but the deposed Raja's name is 
Pertaub Shean. There is not, therefore, upon the seal, for- 
warded by Mr. Dunlop to Government, as the seal of the de- 
throned Raja, a single word that is applicable to him ; or would 
ever be put upon a seal used by him or for him. But further. 
My historical knowledge enables me to bear testimony to the 
fact, that there never was such an individual as Sadasew Bajee Row 
in the family of the Peishwas, and that from the time of the first 
Peishwa, Ballajee Vishwanatt, there is not to be found an individual 
of the name of Sadasew Bajee Row at all. The only person of that 
name was a son of Chimnajee, the cousin of the first Bajee Row, 
and he was slain at the battle of Paniput, in 1760. There never 
was a person of that name in the family. Well, sir, these papers 
and seals were found, — where ? They were found in the Mutt, 
or hermitage, as it may be called, of the late Swamee of Sun- 
keshwur. Now, I have asserted, and I think proved, that these 


We will now give authentic copies of the large and small seals 
(the Sicca and Mortub) of Pertaub Shean, the deposed Raja of 
Sattara. These seals were the State Seals of his Highness, from 
the year 1819 until his dethronement in 1839. They were left 
at Sattara, and were in the possession of Colonel Ovans, and 
would at any time have proved the forgery of those produced by 
Mr, Dunlop. 





The inscription on the large seal is as follows : — 

" Gowrie Nath Wurprapta Shalioo Raja Otma Junmunha, 
Moodra Pretaper Singwursher, Bundra Surwurtra Rajitee," and 
has been translated, " By the favour of Gowrie and Ishwur, the seal 
of Pertaub Shean Raja, the son of Shahoo Raja, obeyed by all, 
or commanding all." The inscription on the small seal is : — 
" Muryadi yem ve Rajiti," and means, " Let all be done accord- 
ing to these orders." 

Copies of the forged seals, above given, having been sent to 
his Highness the deposed Raja, he addressed a letter through 
his secretary, to Rungoo Bapogee, his agent in London, dated 
Benares, 27th of March, 1844 ; from which the following is an 
extract : — 

" Such a person as Sudasew Bajee Row is quite unknown to 
us. Tne first to whom the dignity of Peishwa was granted was 
Balajee Vishwanath, who had two sons, the elder of whom was 
called Bajee Rao Bullal, who succeeded his father as Peishwa. 
I enclose you a list of all the public officers of the Sattara state 
who have fiJled this high situation. The second of Balajee Vish- 
wanath's sons was called Chimnajee Bullal, whose only son was 
" Sudaseiv Chimnajee" otherwise called Bhow Sahib, who held 
a subordinate situation in the Raja's service for a short period. 
He accompanied the Mahratta army, under Vishwas Rao, to 
Paniput, where, as is well known, he was slain in the battle 

Q 2 


with the AfFghans, in the year 1760, I have searched the re- 
cords, aided by the most experienced Karkoons, with the view of 
finding, if possible, the name of Sudasew Bajee Row as Peishwa, 
but none such is to be found. 

" The office of Peishwa, during the reigns of the first three 
Mahratta sovereigns, having been given to persons of different 
families, their names are not here mentioned. 

" Shahoo Maharaj Chuttraputtee, (king or emperor,) the 

" Peishwa 1. — Balaji Vishwanath. 

" Peishwa 2. — Bajee Row Bullal. 

" Peishwa 3. — Ballajee Bajee Row. 

" Ram Rajay Chuttraputtee. 

" Peishwa 1. — Ballajee Bajee Row. 
" Peishwa 2. — Mahdow Rao Bulal. 
" Peishwa 3. — Narain Rao Bulal. 
" Peishwa 4. — Ragunath Bajee Row. 

" Shahoo Maharaj, Chuttraputtee the Second. 

" Peishwa 1.— Mahadow Rao Narain. 
" Peishwa 2. — Bajee Rao Ragunath. 
" Peishwa 3. — Chimnajee Mahdow Rao. 

" Shreemun Maharaj Chattreeyer Koolarwurtu- 
RousE, Rajushiri Pertaub Sing Chuttraputtee (king or 
emperor), the ex- Raja. 

" Peishwa 1. — Bajee Row Ragunath. 
" Peishwa 2. — Vinaek Row." 

We come, now, to the second set of seals, found amongst the 
papers obtained by Colonel Ovans from a gang-robber of the 
name of Balkoba Kelkur, on payment of 40/. and the promise 
of a free pardon. On this subject General Briggs remarks : — 

" The documents which were purchased by the Resident of 
Sattara, consisted of thirty- eight pieces, and were sold as I have 


said, by a captain of banditti for iOL, though they had been 
pawned for 30/. ; but there is this very extraordinary circum- 
stance connected with these papers, which I am sure must strike 
everybody as strange, namely, that tliey consist mainly of letters 
alleged to be written by two parties to each other. They pur- 
port to be the original letters, bearing the seal of the Raja of 
Sattara on the one hand, and the seal and signature of the Go- 
vernor of Goa on the other. They are termed original documents, 
which, instead of being in the hands of the parties who ought to 
have received and retained them, are found in a pawnbroker's 
shop in the Concan, left there by a gang of robbers, and 50/. 
raised on them, but which were given up for the sum of 40/. 
Now, I repeat it again, this is a very extraordinary fact. How 
comes it that these letters, instead of being in the possession of 
the Raja of Sattara in the one case, and the Governor of Goa 
in the other, happen to be found together in the same place, 
and in such very disreputable hands ? Tlie letters from the Go- 
vernor of Goa, too, I beg to observe, are not addressed to tlie 
ex-Raja, Pretaub Shean. Consistently with this, also, the seal is 
not in the name of the ex-Raja, but in that of one Seevajee 
Raja. The seal of Seevajee is in the Record Office at Sattara, 
and it might have been compared if deemed requisite with the 
seal which has now been put forward and produced by Colonel 
Ovans, purporting to be that employed by the ex- Raja Pertaub 
Shean in this conspiracy. Without inquiring into the inscription 
on the seal, which does not correspond with the original, the 
shape is even dissimilar, the seal now produced being round, 
while that of the ex-Raja, as well as that of Seevajee, are both 
octagonal. Suffice it to say that, as they are not of the correct 
shape, they cannot be fac similes of the original seals. It must 
be admitted, therefore, from these circumstances, that these seals 
must have been fabricated, and we are not left in doubt as to the 
fact, for Balkoba Kelkur, the captain of the gang, says with 
regard to them, that the late Nago Dew Rao, the head conspi- 
rator, told him they were manufactured at the town of Pedney 
in the Southern Concan. Now, sir, what an important fact is 


this! Here are these seals, brought forward as condemnatory of 
the Raja, and as being his seals, acknowledged by one of the 
parties themselves, and one of the principal witnesses against 
him, as having been manufactured by Nago Dew Rao, at a town 
called Pedney !" 

We shall now give authentic copies of these — 




A Gang Robber, 

For the sum of forty pounds sterling and a free pardon. 
The inscription on the larger seal is as follows ; — 
" Raja Seevajee Chuttraputtee. Adhar-hatti jaiwuntin tul- 
war :" and has been translated, " Raja Seevajee, king or em- 
peror, holding in his hand the sword of Victory, or his victorious 

The inscription on the small seal has been translated, " Let 
all be done according to these orders." 

By the former of these inscriptions it appears that these in- 
struments were intended to represent the seals used by the great 
Seevajee Raja, who reigned over the Mahratta empire about 160 
years ago. The following copies of the seals really used by See- 
vajee Raja have, however, been forwarded to England, and an 
inspection of them will show that there is not the slightest re- 
semblance between them and those produced by Balkoba Kelkur, 
either in shape, or in the inscriptions which they bear. 
1. Small Seal. 


The Sanscrit inscription on the larger of these seals is as follows : 
" Prutipud ^chandrareke Wawerdavishnoo Vishwa Vundeta 
Shasuno Sewarajese rusaumoodra Bhudrayer Rajate," and has 
been translated, " Like the increase of the new moon from the 
first day, so all the world obey and worship the seal of Sevajee 
Raja, the son of Shahjee Raja." 

Even had the seals produced by Balkoba Kelkur corresponded 
exactly with those of Seevajee Raja, which they were intended 
to represent, the use of instruments in the Goa intrigue, different 
from those usually affixed by the Raja to state papers, would 
have been inexplicable. 


We cannot dismiss, for the present, the subject of the forged 
seals, without offering our best thanks, on behalf of the deposed 
Raja of Sattara, to Joseph Hume, Esq., M.P., to Rungoo Bapojee, 
the faithful agent of his Highness, and to W. N. Nicholson, Esq., 
Barrister at Law (the author of a very able analysis of the Sat- 
tara Papers,) and Major General Briggs, whose labours have so 
greatly contributed to the elucidation of this very important 
part of the case. 

We shall shortly have occasion to lay before our readers the 
proof of Colonel Ovans having been privy to the existence of 
treasonable documents, to which the genuine seals of the Raja had 
been affixed by a band of conspirators, who had bribed the parties 
in charge of the Raja's household treasury, and so obtained the 
means of using his Highness's state seals ; and that Colonel Ovans 
was offered by his own native agent, one of the documents 
bearing the impression of these genuine seals, and declined it, 
from a fear lest the Raja might be able to prove the manner in 
which the seals had been obtained ! Such a document, if ge- 
nuine, would have been condusioc proof of the Raja's guilt. If- 
the work of a conspirator, it was equally a proof of the existence 
of a party, seeking, by the most atrocious means, the destruction 
of the Raja. We write advisedly when we say, that the Bombay 
Government have at this moment in their possession treasonable 
documents bearing the impressions of the genuine seals of the 
deposed Raja of Sattara, and that they have neither produced 
them as evidence against the Raja, nor instituted any inquiry into 
the maimer in which they were fabricated. The history of these 
instruments, however, will ere long be before the public. 




A General Quarterly Court of Proprietors was held at the India 
House, on Wednesday, the 24th of September; Sir Henry Wil- 
lock, K.L.S., Chairman of the Court of Directors, in the chair. 
Ou this occasion, the Court of Directors had ordered a number of 
the servants of the House to guard the entrance to the strangers" 
gallery, and to exclude every person not a Proprietor (the gentle- 
men connected with the public press excepted; from the Court. 
A board was also placed at the door by which the Proprietors 
usually enter, announcing that the Court was closed against all 
holders of stock of a less amount than five hundred pounds. A 
long and angry discussion took place in the Court of Directors 
previous to the hour for commencing the business of the General 
Court, relative to the conduct of the majority of the Directors in 
issuing the orders to which we have referred; the Deputy Chair- 
man and others, however, adhered to their determination that 
strangers should be utterly excluded. On the chair being taken at 
twelve o'clock, — 


Mr. Sergeant Gaselee rose to speak to the question of privi- 
lege, and in the strongest terms condemned the conduct of the Di- 
rectors in excluding the public, and violating the rights of Pro- 
prietors by putting up the board then at the entrance to the Court. 


The learned gentleman referred to the Charter of the Company, in 
proof of the right of Proprietors of all amounts of Stock to be pre- 
sent at General Courts, and argued, that the By-law excluding 
holders of less than five hundred pounds of capital stock was illegal, 
and therefore null and void. He moved that the door of the Court 
should be thrown open. 

Mr. Thomas Marriott seconded the motion, stating at the 
time, that he had no wish to exclude strangers. 

The Chairman said, the gallery had been closed in consequence 
of a circular having been issued by a Proprietor (Mr. Gordon) 
previous to the last Court, inviting the public generally to be pre- 
sent, and therefore some check was necessary, lest the Proprietors 
should find themselves excluded by the influx of strangers. 

Mr. Thompson condemned the whole proceedings. The Di- 
rectors had no right to take the steps they had done, without con- 
sulting the proprietary body. They ought to have asked leave. 
That Court was beyond their jurisdiction. The exclusion of 
strangers would make the Court a Star Chamber and an Inquisi- 
tion. As for the board at the door, it was in direct contradiction 
of the explicit provisions of the statute, and had he been a small 
Proprietor, and had found himself shut out, he would have gone 
immediately to Westminster, and have returned with a Mandamus 
in his hand, compelling the Court to admit him. He accused the 
Directors of sanctioning gross and brutal libels in a demi-oflBcial 
monthly publication, in which even the ladies present at the former 
Court had been indecently assailed, though quite as respectable as 
any related to the Directors themselves. Tyranny and despotism 
would overreach themselves, and bring infamy and ultimate anni- 
hilation upon the Directors. It was not ruin, but reformation, 
which he (Mr. Thompson) sought, and he therefore entreated the 
Proprietors to reverse the decision of the executive, and to throw 
open the doors. 

Mr. Hogg, the Deputy Chairman, declared that it was never 
intended to exclude the public, but merely to require some gua- 
rantee of the respectability of the parties admitted, as was done at 
the House of Commons. The gallery door was subsequently 
opened, and the motion of Sergeant Gaselee therefore withdrawn. 



Mr. George Thompson, — Sir, the object of ray rising to address 
you on this occasion, is, to induce the Court to consent to the ap- 
pointment of a select Committee to inquire into the conduct of a 
public officer of the East India Company. The officer to whom I 
allude is Lieutenant- Colonel Charles Ovans, of the Bombay Army, 
late Political Resident, or Representative of the British Govern- 
ment, at the Court of Sattara. I am aware, that the notice I have 
given would justify a belief, that lam about to prefer, in a formal 
manner, certain charges against that officer. It would have been 
easy for me to have done so ; but after a very careful consideration 
of the subject, I have come to the conclusion that I shall be acting 
more in accordance with the ordinary course of an investigation 
like the present, if I confine myself, in the first instance, to a brief 
statement of the facts of the case, and conclude with a motion for 
the appointment of a Committee to inquire into those facts, and to 
report thereon to this Court. Although the papers which contain 
the entire case I am about to bring before you, are in the hands of 
the Proprietors, yet, it would, perhaps, be unreasonable to expect 
that they should be able, on the spot, so to test the accuracy and 
fairness of my references, and so to weigh the justness of my infer- 
ences, as to feel justified in at once pronouncing judgment upon the 
conduct and character of Colonel Ovans. Some of the facts I am 
about to state are familiar to the Members of this Court, having 
been frequently before referred to. Others may be altogether new ; 
and others, again, though not previously unknown or unnoticed, 
may have been viewed in a very different light from that in which 
they have presented themselves to my mind. At all events, they 
have never yet been presented in a collected and consecutive form 
— have never been made the ground of specific and formal allegations, 
for the purpose of eliciting the deliberate opinion of this Court upon 
the official conduct of Colonel Ovans, It has appeared to me, 
therefore, that courtesy and fair dealing, no less than the gravity 
and importance of the subject, demand that I should in the first 
instance present to this Court what I may call a prima facie view 
of the case. Having done this, it would be competent in me to 
give notice of the charges I intended to found upon the expartc 


evidence laid before the Court ; and if, in going into these charges 
I brought forward no new matter, I should stand acquitted of pre- 
cipitation, or of having in any way taken the Court or Colonel 
Ovans by surprise. I have resolved, however, to adopt a course 
which will put it in the power of this Court to take the inquiry into 
their own hands, and by so doing, to have the utmost possible se- 
curity for the fair and impartial prosecution of the inquiry. My 
present object then, is, to show cause why such an inquiry should 
take place. This object I shall seek to accomplish by placing be- 
fore you certain incontrovertible facts. These facts will be of a 
nature to admit of easy, immediate, and satisfactory investigation, 
I shall lay you under no necessity to call witnesses. I shall not 
oblige you to search voluminous manuscript records ; I shall not per- 
plex you, by placing before you the doubtful and conflicting evidence 
of natives, even when that evidence is to be found in a printed form 
in the papers now before us, I shall make Colonel Ovans the nar- 
rator of his own acts, and, in most instances, the expounder of his 
own motives. There will be only one question of fact for you to 
determine, and that will be, whether certain documents, bearing 
the name of Colonel Ovans, supplied by the authorities of this 
house, and bearing the imprimatur of the Imperial Parliament, 
are correct copies of genuine documents emanating from Colonel 
Ovans, during the time of his administration of the affairs of 

Sir, before I proceed, I must be permitted to state that the in- 
quiry upon which I am about to enter is one of deep importance. 
It nearly concerns the character of an officer of this Company, who 
has filled a high appointment, and who has been intrusted through 
a series of years, with almost unlimited power over the destinies of 
a large number of human beings; an officer who, justly or unjustly, 
has been the almost sole instrument of dethroning a Prince of high 
reputation and rare virtues, and of enthroning another, who is at 
this moment living under the protection and favour of the British 
Government. For many years this officer has been the Represen- 
tative of British authority at a Native Court. Our Representative, 
your Representative, and mine; nor ours alone— the Representa- 
tive of the Monarch and people of this country, as well as of the 


East India Company ; — by the measures he has taken, by the in- 
formation he has furnished, and by the advice he has tendered, 
has for a long period influenced the affairs of a distant nation. On 
almost every page of these voluminous papers, I see the evidence of 
the almost paramount sway exercised by this officer over the coun- 
cils of an important branch of the Indian Government. I am about 
to call upon you to examine into the nature of the measures he 
adopted, the character of the information which he afforded, and 
the kind of advice which he offered, to guide the deliberations and 
determine the decisions of the Government under which he acted. 
An able predecessor of this officer, when called upon to reply to 
certain questions put to him by the Government of this country, 
relating to the qualifications of Residents at Native Courts, has ob- 
served that, " A dishonest envoy is the worst of traitors, as a 
foolish one is a calamity and a reproach." It is equally indisputa- 
ble that an enlightened and upright envoy must be a blessing to the 
country he visits, a credit to the Government he serves, and the 
means of exalting the reputation and influence of the nation 
to which he belongs. It will be for you to say, at the close of 
this inquiry, to which of these classes of envoys Colonel Ovans 
belongs. The present investigation is important, inasmuch as 
it involves the justice or injustice of the sentence pronounced 
upon the Raja of Sattara, and consequently the character of the 
Government by whom that sentence has been pronounced and car- 
ried into effect. If that sentence shall be found to have been a just 
one, then let it stand. The more rigorous the inquiry, the more 
complete will be the manifestation of its justice, and the more hearty 
and permanent the verdict of approbation pronounced upon it. But, 
if it was an unjust sentence, and still more, obtained by base, fraud- 
ulent and foul means, it must and will remain a stigma upon our 
national character— a stigma that can only be effaced by reversal 
and ample reparation. Such is the nature of the inquiry. It 
relates to the character and conduct of a British officer, to the sen- 
tence passed upon a Prince and a people, and involves the reputa - 
tion of the British name throughout those wide dominions which 
we are permitted to govern, in trust for the Crown, and responsi- 
ble to God. 


Lieutenant- Colonel Ovans entered the service of this Company 
in 1809. In 18-20 he was employed upon a survey of Guzerat ; in 
1825 he was engaged in Kandeish ; in 1831 he visited England on 
furlough, and on his return to India, was promoted to the situation 
of Quarter-Master-General of the Bombay Army. In 1836 he was 
associated with Mr. Willoughby and Colonel Lodwick, on a Com- 
mission to inquire into a charge against the Raja of Sattara, of 
attempting to corrupt the native troops, serving under the British 
Government in India. He returned to his military duties at Bom- 
bay, and on the 6th of June, 1837, was officially notified of his ap- 
pointment to the situation of Acting Resident at Sattara, in the 
place of Colonel Lodwick, who had been called upon by Sir Robert 
Grant, to apply for a sick certificate, in order that the Governor 
might put into his office a person of greater tact, dexterity and energy. 

In 1818, Pertaub Sing, the deposed Raja of Sattara, having 
been released by the British Government, from the state of con- 
finement in which he had been kept by the Peishwa, was placed 
upon the Gaddee of Sattara, as the Representative of the ancient 
Princes of the Mahratta country ; one of the objects of the Govern- 
ment being, to establish a counterpoise to the remaining influence 
of the former Brahmin Government. The Raja is described by 
those who found him in the field of battle, as having shown the 
utmost joy at being taken to the camp of the British, and as having 
expressed the utmost confidence in the generosity and good faith of 
our Government. Mr. Elphinstone, in a letter to Captain Grant, 
8th April, 1818, (p. 508,) speaks of the young Raja, as having 
given "proofs of a good disposition, and a sound understanding;" 
and Sir John Malcolm, after an inspection of the Sattara territory, 
eleven years afterwards, speaks in the most favourable terms of the 
character and conduct of the Raja, since he had been intrusted with 
the entire administration of the affairs of his principality ; and in a 
Minute penned on the 22nd of February, 1829, says, " the mere 
loss of revenue that has attended the establishment of the princi- 
pality of Sattara, is compensated tenfold, by the reputation we de- 
rive from the act, and by the scope we have afforded to the exercise 
of talent, and the attainment of rank and consideration to a large 
and prosperous population." 


On the 25th September, 1819, a Treaty of perpetual friendship 
and alliance was concluded, between the Raja of Sattara and the 
British Government. I shall read the second and sixth articles of 
that Treaty, as referring to the position of the Agent or Resident 
at the Court of his Highness. 

" Article 2. The Raja, for himself, and for his heirs and succes- 
sors, engages to hold the territory in subordinate co-operation with 
the British Government, and to be guided in all matters by the 
advice of the British Agent at his Highness's Court. 

" Article 6. The Raja shall ultimately have the entire manage- 
ment of the country now ceded to him ; but as it is necessary, on 
account of the recent conquest of the country, that it should at first 
be governed with particular care and prudence, the administration 
will, for the present, remain in the hands of the British Political 
Agent. That officer will, however, conduct the Government in the 
Raja's name, and in consultation with his Highness ; and in pro- 
portion as his Highness and his officers shall acquire experience, 
and evince their ability to govern the country, the British Govern- 
ment will gradually transfer the whole administration into their 
hands. He will, however, at all times attend, as above agreed, to 
the advice which the British Political Agent shall offer him, for the 
good of his State, and for the maintenance of general tranquillity." 

Were it necessary, I might quote numerous passages from the 
letters of Mr. Elphinstone to Captain Grant, who was the first Re- 
sident, and from that officer to Mr. Elphinstone, for the purpose of 
showing in what manner the duties of Agent and Resident were to 
be discharged. It was enjoined upon the Resident to treat the Raja 
with the utmost respect and deference, to avoid all interference, 
except where it was absolutely necessary ; to be the friendly adviser 
of the Prince in all matters connected with the welfare of the State, 
and his own honour and character ; and to do all in his power to 
render the Raja popular among his subjects, and to establish him 
firmly on the throne to which we had elevated him. Every letter 
from the Resident to Mr. Elphinstone, is replete with the proofs of 
the Raja's profound regard for the friendly counsel of his European 
adviser j and subsequent Residents have affirmed, that the friendly 
injunctions of Captain Grant, were observed with a degree of re- 


verence absolutely religious — as unalterable laws for the regulation 
of his conduct; and that he never mentioned the name, either of 
Mr. Elphinstone or Captain Grant, without an expression of his ex- 
alted esteem for their character, his gratitude for their counsel, and 
his fixed determination to act according to their wise recommenda- 
tions. Happy would it have been for the Raja, and most fortunate 
for the name and honour of the British Government, if every 
Governor and Resident had trodden in the footsteps of these distin- 
guished men. 

I have already stated, that previous to Colonel Ovans's appoint- 
ment as acting Resident at Sattara, he had been a member of the 
Commission, sent in October, 1836, to Sattara, to investigate a 
charge against the Raja. As a member of that Commission, he 
pronounced the Raja guilty of tampering with two native officers 
of the 23rd regiment. In conjunction with Mr. Willoughby, his 
brother Commissioner, he refused on that occasion to pay the Raja 
any outward mark of respect ; he resisted the endeavours of Colo- 
nel Lodwick to obtain for the Raja the services of a Vakeel during 
the inquiry ; he prevented the cross-examination of the witnesses ; 
he obtained the destruction of the notes taken by Colonel Lodwick 
during the sitting of the Commission ; and he finally united with 
his Civil colleague to induce Colonel Lodwick to sign the report 
of the proceedings, well knowing at the time that Colonel Lod- 
wick regarded the evidence as utterly worthless. 

I shall not now dwell upon the conduct of the Bombay Govern- 
ment in appointing to the situation of Resident, a person who 
had previously pronounced the Raja guilty, upon the evidence of 
self-convicted perjurers, of the heinous crime of attempting, by 
the corruption of our troops, the destruction of the English in 
India, and the overthrow of our Government ; neither shall I at 
present go into the details which would be necessary, to bring 
to light the artifices and falsehoods which were resorted to, for 
the purpose of effecting the removal of Colonel Lodwick from 
Sattara ; neither shall I now dwell upon the extraordinary fact, 
that the alleged Petition of Girjabaee was kept, from the 6th of 
March to the 13th of June, in order that it might be committed 
to the hands of Colonel Ovans. Suffice it to say, that while 


Colonel Lodwick was rcmovecl, upon llie declared ground of hav- 
ing lost the confidence of the Rajn, a man was appointed, who 
had secretly declared his conviction of the Raja's guilt, and who 
was specially instructed to he distant and reserved in all his 
communications ivith the Raja ; and who, acting upon his in- 
structions, informed his Government that he had resisted the 
Raja's attempts to throw himself into his hands. It is a dark 
and most distressing chapter in our Indian history, which records 
the transactions of the Bombay Government, from the period of 
the misunderstanding with the Raja, on the subject of the 
Jagheers, down to the appointment of Colonel Ovans, and his 
arrival at Sattara. I proceed at once to the official conduct of 
Colonel Ovans. 

I. — Subornation of Evidence against the 

Colonel Ovans arrived at Sattara on the 15th of June, 1837, 
and commenced his official duties on the following day. These 
papers enable me to state with certainty, what was the earliest 
official act of this officer, I have shown you, that by the Treaty 
existing between the two Governments, he was bound to be the 
friendly adviser of his Highness the Raja, for the good of the 
State over which that Prince presided, who, by the same Treaty, 
could not act, except with the concurrence and approbation of 
the Resident. Bear in mind, that for nineteen years the Raja 
had so conducted himself, as to merit from all persons connected 
with the Government of India, eulogiums higher than any that 
ever before had been pronounced upon any native Prince ; and 
that the testimony of the retiring Resident was, that until the 
Raja had been long and grossly deceived by the Governor of 
Bombay, and had therefore resolved to send an agent of his own 
to England to represent his treatment, he had conducted himself 
with perfect good faith, and firm reliance on the British Govern- 
ment. Remember, too, that during those nineteen years, there 
had never been in the archives of the Residency, a fragment of 
secret correspondence respecting the affairs of Sattara. Let me 
now show you what was the first act of the new Residt-iit, Colonel 
Ovans. The circumstances I am now going to relate, will fur- 


nish a very important clue to the manner in which the evidence 
against the Raja was obtained. It appears that in the month 
preceding that of Colonel Ovans's arrival at Sattara (namely in 
May, 1837) a Brahmin lad of the name of Pandurung Punt, the 
servant of a British officer, made several overtures in person, to 
Lieutenant Home, then attached to the 8th Regiment of Native 
Infantry. These overtures were in the name and on the behalf 
of another person of the name of Bhow Leley, and were to the 
effect, that if a large sum of money was advanced by the British 
Government, and a guarantee of personal safety given, certain 
treasonable documents would be produced, bearing the signature 
of Govind Row and others, implicating the Raja of Sattara in a 
treasonable conspiracy. This Pandurung Punt afterwards had 
an interview with Captain F. Durack, the Line Adjutant, and 
deposed in writing, that Bhow Leley was prepared, on condition 
of a present payment of 1000 rupees (100/.) and a subsequent 
present of a lakh of rupees (10,000/.) to produce a treasonable 
document in the handwriting of Govind Row. Pandurung was 
told to send his principal, Bhow Leley, and accordingly Bhow 
Leley came, and repeated the offer he had made through the 
boy. These occurrences took place while Colonel Lodwick was 
the Resident at Sattara, and in virtue of that office, the Com- 
manding Officer of the British troops, but were not communicated 
to him. On the arrival of Colonel Ovans, however, they were 
instantly made known to him, and he at once gave authority to 
Captain Durack to give Bhow Leley the sum of 200 rupees (20/.) 
to pay the expenses of his trip to the place where the treasonable 
documents were said to be ; he also directed Captain Durack to 
pass a note, to the effect that he (Bhow Leley) would be rewarded 
by the British Government according to the extent of the services 
he might afterwards perform. Such was the first act of Colonel 
Ovans, on the mornmg of the 16th of June, the very day of his 
assumption of the office of Resident at Sattara. According to 
his instructions, Captain Durack on the same day gave to Bhow 
Leley 150 rupees (15/.) and a written guarantee that he should 
be adequately rewarded for all the information he might procure 
" of a certain nature." At the expiration of a month this man 


returned, and reported to Captain Dnrack that he had failed in 
his enterprise; — Captain Durack would have dismissed him, 
but he was told by Colonel Ovans to give him another trial, as 
he yet might be found useful. Here, then, we have an offer 
made to a Lieutenant at Sattara of treasonable papers. There is 
a Resident at the Court of the Raja, who is also the Commanding 
Officer, but the fact is wholly concealed from him. Several in- 
terviews take place, all equally secret and unauthorized. At 
last, the man Bhow Leley sees the Line Adjutant, the Staff Officer 
of Colonel Lodwick, and repeats his proposal to him. He also 
conceals the fact from his superior, the Resident. The moment 
Colonel Ovans arrives, he is informed of all that has taken place, 
and without a moment's hesitation, he authorizes his own Staff 
Officer to enter into a bargain with the man — to pay him a large 
sum of money — and to give him a written assurance, that he 
shall be rewarded " in proportion to his services." What ai'e the 
services he has to perform ? He is to produce papers which will 
criminate the Raja. The man who offers to do this, is all un- 
known to Colonel Ovans ; unknown to Captain Durack, and un- 
known to Lieutenant Home; but he nevertheless receives at 
once, a sum of 15^. sterling, a pledge of indemnity, and a written 
assurance of future reward in proportion to the services he may 
render; that is, in proportion to his ability to enable the Resi- 
dent to criminate the Raja. What is the nature of this act ? Is 
it not direct subornation ? What can be a greater aggravation of 
the criminality of this act, than the fact, that it was committed 
by one who was bound by a treaty to be the friendly adviser in 
all things of the Prince whose destruction was thus aimed at ? 
and that it was the first act of his official career ! What hot 
haste, what extraordinary avidity do we find here ! Without a 
moment's reflection, without any examination of the vile instru- 
ment who proffered his services, without the slightest knowledge 
of his character, his avocations, or his motives — Colonel Ovans 
at once closes with his offer, retains him by a present fee, and 
degrades his own Staff Officer by requiring him to pledge the 
British Government to reward this man in proportion to the suc- 
cess of his detestable schemes ! Imagine the Raja receiving and 

R 2 


welcoming as his friend, his counsellor, and coadjutor, as the 
successor of Elphinstone and Grant, and Briggs and Robertson, 
this same suborner of testimony, Col. Ovans ! Read the account 
which Colonel Ovans has himself given of the frank confiding 
manner of the Raja on that occasion — offering to throw himself 
wholly into the hands of the Resident — protesting his friendship 
for the British Government, and his willingness to die to prove 
his sincerity — and then revert to the scene of the 16th — to the 
first act of this friendly adviser, who has given a wretch 130 
rupees to pay his trip in search of papers for the purpose of 
helping that adviser to hurl this noble and unsuspecting Prince 
from his throne ! Oh, Sir, I feel my need of patience while I 
dwell upon these scenes. I blush for my country, I blush for 
human nature itself, when I think upon acts like these ! What 
a perversion of authority ! What a prostitution of power ! What 
a cool predetermination to ensnare, to deceive, and to destroy, are 
exhibited in this one act ! Can we wonder at anything that 
follows after this ? What must the enemies of the Raja have 
thought, when they saw in the hands of Bhow Leley, a paper in 
the handwriting of Colonel Ovans's Staff" Officer, off"ering a re- 
ward to an unknown man, for papers to criminate the Raja ? 
Imagine the hellish Jubilee there must have been among the 
foes of this most virtuous Prince, when they found a man had 
come among them, whose first act was, to grant a roving com- 
mission to an unknown vagabond, to go in search of treasonable 
papers to convict the Raja. It was a proclamation throughout 
the country, that all who wished to destroy the Raja might come 
forward, and find a warm greeting at the hands of the Resident, 
and a rich remuneration for their treachery. What must Bhow 
Leley himself have thought ? Wretch that he was, he must have 
said to himself, — " I have at length found my fellow in the Bri- 
tish Resident, a man, who, without seeing my face, will send me 
one hundred and fifty pieces of silver, and give me a note of hand 
for a future and a rich reward, if I will help him to effect the 
ruin of the Prince he has come to advise !" Sir, I shall call upon 
this Court to institute an enquiry into this part of the conduct of 
Colonel Ovans. I am prepared to establish the accuracy of every 


fact I have now stated. It will be for llie tribunal I desire to see 
appointed, to say, whether the view I have taken of these cir- 
cumstances be sound or otherwise. Let me, before I dismiss this 
part of my subject observe, that I have been urable to discover 
the slightest evidence that Colonel Ovans communicated to his 
Government a single syllable concerning this transaction with 
Bhow Leley. On the contrary, he appears to have most stu- 
diously concealed the whole affair from their knowledge, until 
the Raja himself detected the infamous proceeding. 

I will now refer you to the printed Parliamentary papers, con- 
taining the undeniable proof of everything I have stated. 

1. Deposition of Panduvung Punt, p. 642. 

2. Memorandum of Captain Durack, engaging to pay Bhow 
Leley for his services, p. 642. 

3. Receipt given by Bhow Leley for the money paid to him 
by Captain Durack, p. 642. 

4. Letter of Lieutenant R Home, relating the nature of his 
interviews with Bhow Leley and his accomplice, p. 642. 

5. Deposition of Anund Row, a native agent of Captain Durack, 
p. 640. 

6. Two depositions of Bhow Leley, taken in Sattara, by order 
of the Raja, on the 17th and 18th June, 1837, p. 640. 

7. Letter from Dr. Milne to the Government of India, dated 
September 18th, 1837, p. 638. 

8. Letter from the Secretary to the Government of Bombay, to 
Colonel Ovans, dated September 21st, 1837, p. 392. 

9. Letter from Captain Durack to Colonel Ovans, dated Septem- 
ber 2')th, 1837, p. 641. 

10. Letter from Colonel Ovans to the Government of Bombay, 
dated September 27th, 1837, p. 392. 

. 11. Ditto, ditto, June 24th, 1837, p. 369. 

12. Letter from the Raja to the Government of Bombay, dated 
17th July, 1837, p. 583. 

13. Minute by Sir Robert Grant, dated 21st July, 1837, p. 84. 

Before I proceed to my next charge against Colonel Ovans, per- 
mit me to lay before you the opinion of an English Barrister, in 
reference to this case of subornation of evidence against the Raja. 


Mr. Nicholson, in his analysis of the printed evidence, referring to 
the commencement of Colonel Ovans's career at Sattara says, (pp. 
37, 38:)— 

" A system of espionage, or more properly, a political inquisition, was 
established at Sattara. Liberal rewards and indemnities for evidence 
touching the Raja's supposed intrigues, had been offered, on the receipt 
of Girjabaee's petition. To take one instance as an example," 

He then refers to the subornation of Bhovv Leley, and pro- 
ceeds : — 

" Here we have a direct attempt to procure evidence against the Raja 
by means of a bribe. Other proceedings of a similar kind might be enu- 
merated, but the case above mentioned is sufficient to test the value of the 
following Affidavit of Colonel Ovans: — 'I, Charles Ovans, Lieutenant- 
Colonel of the Bombay Array, and Resident at Sattara, do hereby solemnly 
make oath and depose, that this accusation is utterly false, and that / 
never, directly or indirectly jmrchased the evidence ef any witness or 
witnesses whatever against the Ex-Raja of Sattara, as above setforth.^ " 

Mr. Nicholson then adds : — 

"If the transaction with Bhow Leley was not 'purchasing evidence 
directly or indirectly,' it is difficult to understand the meaning of 

II. — Interception of Correspondence. 
The next feature in the conduct of Colonel Ovans, as disclosed 
by these papers is, the practice, through a series of years — that is, 
from the time of his arrival at Sattara, until after the dethronement 
of the Raja — of intercepting, opening and perusing the whole of 
the correspondence between the Prince whom he was bound by 
treaty to advise, and of all persons connected with him. A very 
large portion of these voluminous papers consists of intercepted cor- 
respondence. The letters sent by his Highness to his agents — the 
letters from those agents to his Highness — the correspondence of 
all persons connected with the Sattara Government — the letters 
of all persons in every part of India who addressed any com- 
munications to the Raja— the letters of Dr. Milne, the Presi- 
dent of the Bombay Medical Board— the letters of Captain Cogan, 
a captain in the Indian navy, and a justice of the peace in Bombay 


— the letters of Mr. Babcr, a magistrate on the Malabar Coast — 
these and a great variety of other intercepted documents are to be 
found in these printed papers. I have searched in vain for any 
explicit instructions to Colonel Ovans to adopt such a mode of pro* 
ceeding. I have searched in vain for any direct sanction of such a 
proceeding. I have in vain endeavoured to find, in the circum- 
stances of the case, or in the contents of the correspondence inter- 
cepted, an occasion for such a proceeding. I have several times 
before alluded to the fact, and it is one which cannot be too much 
dyv-elt upon — that there is not to be found, throughout the whole of 
this intercepted correspondence, a solitary trace of any hostile 
intrigue against the British Government. Can any sane man be- 
lieve it possible, that the Raja of Sattara could be engaged in wide- 
spread machinations for the overthrow of the British Government 
in India, and that the whole of his correspondence for three years 
should be destitute of any allusion to his designs ? Remember ! 
this intercepted correspondence contains the most confidential in- 
structions of the Raja to his various agents and friends, and their 
most confidential communications to him. This intercepted cor- 
respondence lays bare all the plans and purposes in the bosom of 
the Raja and his adherents. This correspondence is a complete 
revelation of all that was said, and thought, and intended, and de- 
sired. And what does it prove ? That the Raja was a traitor ? 
That he was alarmed at the prospect of his treason being discovered 
by the British Government ? That he was employed in subtle stra- 
tagems to suppress evidence, and buy off witnesses, and mislead his 
prosecutors ? No. It is a correspondence demonstrating that the 
Raja and all persons acting with him, and for him, were honourable 
men. The contents of these confidential communications are in 
perfect keeping with every official communication to the Resident. 
Now that we have this intercepted correspondence in our posses- 
sion, we see at once how pure, how upright, how honourable and 
how noble was the whole conduct of this most ill-used Prince. For his 
sake, and for the truth's sake, I am inexpressibly thankful that we 
have the fruits of this official delinquency before us. I repeat it ; 
if I had no other evidence of the innocence of the Raja before uie, 
than that which is furnished by this intercepted correspondence, I 


should hold him absolutely guiltless of every charge brought against 
him, and regard him as a truly upright and excellent man. This 
correspondence has never been brought forward against the Raja. 
I have never seen or heard a single syllable of it quoted, either as 
direct or collateral evidence of his guilt. Does not this fact strike 
those who hear me as wonderful ? Is it not one of the most strik- 
ing proofs of the perfect guiltlessness of the man who has been de- 
throned ? Is there a parallel to this fact in the history of the 
world ? What is the object of all this correspondence ? Simply 
this — to obtain an impartial inquiry into the case got up against the 
Raja. This, the Resident is himself obliged to admit. But, if this 
confidential correspondence has never been used against the Raja 
— has never been brought into Court — has been most studiously 
kept in the back-ground, and for the reason I have stated, that it 
is the most irrefragable evidence of the purity of the Raja's inten- 
tions, and the absolute justice of his cause, — then, it may be asked, 
what use, if any, was made of it ? I will answer that important 
question. It was used as a means of basely counteracting and de- 
feating the earnest endeavours of the Raja to obtain justice, and to 
place his situation in a correct point of view before the Govern- 
ment. It was used as a means of ascertaining who were the Raja's 
friends. What those friends thought of the plots against the Raja; 
what measures were in progress to defeat these plots ; what know- 
ledge was possessed of the schemes going on at the Residency. 
Mail-bags were rifled ; the sanctity of public conveyances was in- 
vaded; post- masters were bribed; seals were broken ; messengers 
were waylaid ; spies were employed ; and, in fact, treachery, disho- 
nesty, and felony were every day committed, for the purpose— the 
sole purpose — of preventing the truth from being brought to the 
knowledge of the Government. Sir, if this Court grants the Com- 
mittee I am about to move for, I pledge myself to prove all this. I 
will demonstrate to you, that in every instance where the Raja made 
an effort to bring the truth before those who were to be the judges 
in his cause, he was foiled, circumvented, and defeated, by the dia- 
bolical artifices employed by those who had, through the vilest and 
most criminal means, obtained a knowledge of the contents of his 
secret correspondence. For three years I find Colonel Uvans con- 


nt'cted with these most infamous proceedings ; I find him misre- 
presenting, abusing, and maligning all who were actively engaged 
in the disinterested and honourable work of affording succour and 
advice to the Raja. I find the most respectable men calumniated in 
the secret correspondence of Colonel Ovans. I will mention two men 
who were the victims of this most mean, insidious, and brutal con- 
duct. I mention them because they are dead ; they are Dr. Milne 
and Mr. Baber. These honourable, humane and just-minded men, 
did not live to see in print the vile stigmas cast upon their character 
and motives by Colonel Ovans. They died ignorant of the efforts 
made by that person to degrade and cashier them. What was the 
object of this ? It was to prevent the success of their efforts in 
behalf of the Raja. Grant me a Committee, and I will prove from 
these papers, not only the practice of intercepting letters, but will 
prove that that practice was converted into a means of defeating 
the ends of justice, of preventing the publication of the truth, and 
of injuring and degrading honourable men. I will do more. Allow 
me to call living witnesses of the highest character, and I will prove 
that Colonel Ovans intercepted and broke the seals of British offi- 
cers for the purpose of learning what their opinions of his own con- 
duct were ; and when he found that those opinions were unfavour- 
able, did all in his power to injure and degrade them. I am deeply 
sensible of the serious nature of these charges. I am aware that I 
accuse Colonel Ovans of what in this country amounts to felony, 
but my proof is ready when the tribunal shall be appointed. 

III. — The Extortion of Evidence in the Case of Govind 

Govind Rao is the son of the lady of the name of Girjabace, to 
whom the petition which has been shown in this Court to be a for- 
gery, was ascribed. Govind Rao is a Brahmin, and a man of rank, 
and in 1836 was in Sattara, and high in the esteem of the Raja. 
He was a friend and favourite of the Raja, but never actually filled 
the office of Dewan, or Minister. I am aware he is always called 
Dewan, and ex-Dewan. Those who were at the bottom of the 
plots against the Raja, found it very convenient to speak of him as 
the Raja's Minister, because they thereby strengthened their case 


against his Highness. Govind Rao was accused by two native sol- 
diers of being implicated with the Raja in an attempt to seduce the 
soldiers of one of our regiments. In the course of the recent debate, 
I exhibited the conduct of Govind Rao on his first hearing of the 
accusation against him. After his apprehension he was imprisoned 
in an empty powder magazine. In other words, he was immured in 
a living tomb, with soldiers with fixed bayonets to guard him. So 
strict was his confinement, that the food brought to him was placed 
on the ground on the outside of the dungeon, and the attendants 
were made to retire before the prison door was opened. When 
brought before the Commission, Govind Rao asserted his innocence, 
and denied all knowledge of the alleged plot. On the 1 1th January, 
1837, he was removed to Poonah, where his restraint was of a milder 
kind. One of the first acts of Colonel Ovans was to obtain the 
removal of Govind Rao to the fortress of Ahmednugger. He was 
sent there under an armed escort ; he was placed in the common 
gaol ; his cell was small, confined, and unwholesome ; he was allowed 
to see no one but his own servant ; and instructions were given to 
intercept his correspondence and forward it to the Government. In 
the mean time, certain parties in Sattara imposed upon the Govern- 
ment, by sending an account of the petition, which was false from 
beginning to end, but which induced the Government to believe that 
it was the genuine petition of Girjabaee. This document implicated 
Govind Rao, and many other persons, in a conspiracy against the 
British Government. Its contents were represented by Colonel 
Ovans as the information which Govind Rao had given, and Colonel 
Ovans said it might be regarded "as, in fact, the confession of 
Govind Rao himself." Anxious, however, to extort from Govind 
Rao an acknowledgment of his concern in it, Colonel Ovans dis- 
patched a secret emissary, a man of the name of Sukharam BuUal, 
to Ahmednugger, to obtain a statement confirmatory of the truth of 
the petition. Sukharam Bullal was the uncle of Govind Rao, an 
adherent of Appa Sahib the Raja's traitorous brother, a friend and 
creature of Ballajee Punt Nathoo's, and the chief fabricator of the 
falsehoods which had been previously sent to the Bombay Govern- 
ment. On the arrival of this man at Ahmednugger, he was per- 
mitted to have free access to the dungeon of Govind Rao. It 


appears that he was tor sixteen or eighteen days in constant com- 
munication with the prisoner. At the end of that time Mr. Hutt, 
the Judge at Ahmednugger, was called upon to receive from the 
hands of Govind Rao, a paper which had been previously written. 
This paper was dated the 24th of August, 1837. This paper was 
the same day sent to Government, as the genuine confession of 
Govind Rao. The order for Govind Rao's removal to Ahmednug- 
ger is dated the 1st July, 1837, the order for his release is dated the 
15th September, 1839, ten days after the dethronement of the Raja. 
On the 7th of October, the day of his arrest, when questioned in 
the presence of the Raja, respecting his knowledge of the alleged 
plot, he burst into a fit of laughter, and all the people laughed with 
him. He was surrendered by the Raja without demur, denying at 
the time all participation in, or knowledge of the conspiracy. In 
the proceedings of the Commission we find him giving the following 
evidence : — 

" I am prepared, of my own free will and pleasure, to speak the 
truth. I am an hereditary servant of his Highness the Raja of 
Sattara. My father was Dewan ; he died ten years ago. 1 am now 
Acting Dewan, and receive 800 rupees per mensem. 

" Q. Have you any statement to make before this commission ? — 
A. I will answer whatever question I am asked. 

" Q. Do you know any of the native officers or sepoys of the 23rd 
Regiment, now at Sattara ? — A. 1 am not acquainted with unij 
native officers or sepoys of the rerjiment now here. 

" Q. Have any of the native officers ever visited your house, to 
make their salaam or on any other account ? — A. No; they never 
came to my house, and I have no hnoioled<je of any of them. 

" The Commission now fully and explicitly explain to the pri- 
soner the nature of the charges against him, and the evidence upon 
which they are founded. The prisoner declares that the whole of 
ivhat he is accused is false." 

During the time he remained in Sattara he made no confession ; 
during the time he was in confinement at Poonah he made no con- 
fession ; and when at Ahmednugger, he made no confession, until 
the secret agent of Colonel Ovans had been for sixteen or eighteen 


days incessantly occupied in tampering with him. Now, compare 
the confession he is said to have made at Ahmednugger, with the 
Petition and its accompaniment, which are described by Colonel 
Ovans as, in fact, the confession of Govind Rao, while he was at 
Poonah. Here is his confession : — 

** I make the following representation, that the circumstances 
(therein contained) may become known to the Government ; that 
Untagee Wagh did bring the two soobedars of the pultan (regiment) 
to me. They were once taken to the Maharaj, (the Raja of Sattara,) 
and Maharaj, taking them privately aside, did speak to the soobedars 
about (forming) friendship, and other matters." 

Now, sir, without referring to the repeated declarations which 
Govind Rao, since his release, has made, that this confession was 
extorted, allow me to ask if this transaction, as officially reported in 
the letters of Colonel Ovans, of Mr. Hutt, and the Bombay Govern- 
ment, does not bear upon its face the marks of being a dehberate, 
wilful, and infamous extortion ? I am happy to say it has been so 
regarded by every gentleman, but one, who has referred to it in this 
Court. Who is the real author of this report ? Without a doubt, 
he is Colonel Ovans. This extortion is an integral part of a com- 
plicated scheme of villany for the purpose of dethroning the Raja. 
It was Colonel Ovans who called Sukharam BuUal to his aid, on his 
first arrival at Sattara. It was Colonel Ovans who sent Sukharam 
Bullal in pursuit of Girjabaee. It was Sukharam Bullal who brought 
to Colonel Ovans the person who personated Girjabaee. It was 
Colonel Ovans who employed Sukharam Bullal to write the state- 
ment which was palmed upon the Bombay Government as the state- 
ment of Girjabaee. It was Colonel Ovans who assured the govern- 
ment that the inventions of Sukharam mightbe relied on as the truth ; 
and it was Colonel Ovans who despatched Sukharam to Ahmednug- 
ger, to extort from Govind Rao a confirmation of the story that had 
been told. I propose, therefore, that the conduct of Colonel Ovans 
in this matter should undergo investigation by a committee. I am 
prepared with the evidence necessary to support every allegation I 
have made. I do not ask you to adopt my opinions, but to give me 
an opportunity of laying evidence before others, upon which they 


may found their own opinions ; and 1 am both willing and anxious 
that the evidence I bring forward should undergo the most rigorous 
and sifting examination. Before I dismiss this part of the subject, I 
must refer to one singular circumstance connected with it. Govind 
Rao placed his confession in the hands of Mr. Hutt on the 2 kh of 
August, 1837, and yet he was not released from prison until the 
middle of September, 1839. If considered guilty, why was he 
then dismissed ? If not guilty, why was he kept a prisoner ? If the 
Raja deserved dethronement, why did Govind Rao escape ? If Go- 
vind Rao was entitled to his release, why was the Raja dethroned ? 
If the evidence against Govind Rao be true, he was the main in- 
strument in entrapping the Raja, and was therefore one of the most 
guilty parties. If the evidence against Govind Rao be false, why 
was the Raja punished upon it ? But it is not difficult to understand 
the reason for keeping Govind Rao at Ahmednugger. Those who 
obtained his confession knew it to be false, and therefore could 
not allow Govind Rao to be at large, until their guilty plans were 
accomplished, and the victim of their conspiracy was hurled from 
his throne. The following is a petition just received from Go- 
vind Rao. 


( Trannlation.) 


The petition of Govind Ruo Wittul (late in the service of the 
Raja Chuttraputtee, now at Benares,) IGth July, 1815. To that 
enlightened and equitable body, (the Court of Directors,) this true 
statement is now addressed ; to explain the particular circumstances 
of my case. When the two Native Officers of the '23rd Regiment 
of Native Infantry informed the Resident, Colonel Lodwick, of the 
calumny they had raised, accusing me of treason, he (the Resident) 
sent to the Maharaj (the Raja of Sattara) for me, and placed me in 
confinement; after which, Mr. Willoughby and Colonel Ovans were 
deputed to inquire into the business, and formed a conunittee, in 
conjunction with the Resident, for that purpose : and, on that occa- 
sion, on being confronted with my calumniators, I declared their 


statements were false. Though there was no evidence to convict 
me, yet considering me under suspicion, I was sent to Poonah, to be 
placed under the surveillance of the judge ; after which, with no 
other view but to give me further uneasiness, I was sent to Ahmed- 
nuggur, and placed in confinement in a narrow dirty room, where I 
was forbidden to converse with, or see any one ; and so my condition 
was more wretched than before. While there, my uncle, (Sukharam 
Bullal,) who is a servant of Appa Sahib, the present Maharaj, and 
(what I was not at the time aware of) an accomplice of Ballajee 
Punt Nathoo, was brought to me, and had an interview with me ; 
from him I was led to believe that the severity of my treatment at 
the hands of the Bombay Government arose from my not telling 
the story they wanted me to tell, and that without my doing so, I 
could expect no relief ; and indeed, that my life would be endan- 
gered by my obstinately adhering to the truth, which could not 
possibly be of any service to me ; moreover, that since the Govern- 
ment had determined on the rtiin of my master, at all events, no 
good could come of my adhering to the truth now ; so that I had 
far better, just for the present, admit in writing ivhat they wished ; 
for this was not a time when truth would avail anything. Being 
persuaded by this, I wrote as I was desired ; after which, hearing 
that certain enlightened and just persons in London had taken into 
consideration the injustice done to my master, and were inclined to 
assist him, I wrote and sent to London a declaration, dated 8th 
January, 1842, in which the true state of the case was set forth. 
Now, if the judge of Ahmednugger, Mr. Hutt, and other officers, 
were sent to, and questioned, they would not say that I was forced 
to write what I did, but they would of course say that all they did 
was right and proper. What I wish especially to impress upon the 
mind of the enlightened Court is, that at first, when at Sattara, I was 
placed in confinement in a Gunpowder Magazine, in great discom- 
fort, and when brought from thence before the Commission, and 
confronted with my calumniators, / stated what was strictly true, 
namely, that / hnew nothing of any conspiracy. And when thai 
investigation was over, every sort of annoyance was resorted to, in 
order to induce me to write what was wanted ; that is to say, by 
removing me from Poonah, and imprisoning me at Ahmednugger, 


where I was ill-treated, and finally, the writing mentioned extorted 
from me. The injustice and cruelty of this is plain enough surely, 
for the Government had no sooner obtained the requisite admission 
in writing, than / was taken out of prison, and had permission to 
go about and take the air; so that the chief object was to get the 
admission written ; otherwise, why was I for three years in prison 
after the investigation before the Commission ; being first sent to 
Poonah, and then to Ahmednugger, and so about from place to 
place, for the purpose of annoying and distressing me. I do not 
think any other reason can be given, and no doubt the same will be 
equally plain to the Honourable Court. The Bombay Government 
have been guilty of injustice, through listening to the advice of 
disaffected persons. There is no doubt of this. Except through 
the interference of the honourable Court, I have no hope of ob- 
taining fair and even-handed justice; and I have the fullest confi- 
dence in the willingness of the Court to bestow it. This, my 
petition, is now laid before the honourable Court. 

(Signed) Govind Row Wittul, 

In his own hand. 

The official documents to which I would refer you on this part of 
the subject are — 

1. The petition ascribed to Girjabaec, but which, as has been de- 
monstrated in this Court, was the fabrication of Lukhsmun Punt and 
Krushnajee Sadasew Bhidey, at the instigation of Ballajee Punt 
Nathoo. p. 527. 

2. The conduct of Govind Rao at the time of his arrest by order 
of Colonel Ovans. p. 334. 

3. Ihe examination of Govind Rao before the Commission, 
p. 340. 

4. The petition of Girjabaee on behalf of her son, on his removal 
to Ahmednugger. p. GOO. 

5. The extraordinary proceeding of the Government on the 
receipt of that petition, p. 609. 

6. The confession extorted from Govind Rao by Sukharam Bul- 
lal, the secret emissary of Colonel Ovans. p. (jOf). 

7. The voluntary declaration of Girjabaee, dated the J 1th June, 


1838. Papers ordered by the House of Commons, 4th July, 184.'), 
p. 14. No. 449. 

8. The voluntary declaration of Govind Rao, dated 8th January, 

1842. Ibid. p. 15. 

9. The voluntary declaration of Girjabaee, dated 19th February, 

1843. Ibid. p. 15. 

10. Answers to questions, represented to have been made by 
Govind Rao, on the 9th and 11th September, 1837. Par. Papers, 
No. 5G9 of 1843. p. 871. 

11. Statement said to have been made by Govind Rao, on the 
21st November, 1837. p. 878. 

In reference to the statement ascribed to Govind Rao in the last 
two documents, I may observe, that I am utterly unable to discover 
any correspondence between the Bombay Government and the 
Judge at Ahmednugger, by whom they are said to be attested. It 
is also another singular fact, that these statements follow upon the 
receipt of letters from the Government of India, declaring the 
evidence already before them insufficient, and requiring the Govern- 
ment of Bombay to close the proceedings against the Raja. Re- 
membering the frequent instances of forgery and personation which 
have been detected in the course of this inquiry, I cannot resist the 
conviction that these documents were either fabricated by other 
parties, or were obtained in the same manner as the confession of 
the 24th of August. I shall have occasion, hereafter, to refer to 
the letters from the Government of India which called forth these 
supplementary statements ascribed to Govind Rao. I am not 
without hope that I shall be able to clear up the mystery in which 
the fabrication of these documents is at present enveloped. 

IV. — Suppression op Evidence in the Case of Krush- 


Sir, I may be very brief upon this part of the subject, as we have 
recently witnessed in this Court a masterly and triumphant expo- 
sure of the unprecedented rascality practised in reference to the 
depositions of this man Krushnajee. As, however, I am about to 
move for an inquiry into the conduct of Colonel Ovans, it is neces- 
sary that I should recapitulate the circumstances connected with 


what has been properly called the " damning feature" of the pro- 
ceedings against the Raja. On the 12th of August, the Bombay 
Government were assured by Colonel Ovans that there was no 
room to doubt that the petition which had been sent in March was 
genuine ; that Govind Rao furnished the information which it 
contained ; that Girjabaee advised the writing of the document ; 
and that it was written by a man of the name of Mahdeo Fugery, 
in the house of Sukharam BuUal, the brother-in-law of the mother 
of Govind Rao. Sukharam BuUal, at the time Colonel Ovans 
wrote this letter to Government, was already closeted with Govind 
Rao in his dungeon at Ahmednuggur ! On the 26th of August, 
the Government of Bombay were in possession of the extorted con- 
fession of Govind Rao — the only thing required to finish and com- 
plete that part of the plot. It is now demonstrated, that on the 7th 
of September, Colonel Ovans obtained the fullest possible proof 
that every representation he had forwarded to Government was 
false, — utterly, absolutely, and designedly false. On the 7th Sep- 
tember, he had the real writer of the petition before him, that man 
being a living person of the name of Krushnajee Sadasew Bhidey, 
and not an imaginary one, as Mahdeo Fugery was. He had the 
proof before him, that this man was employed by a person of the 
name of Lukhsmun Punt Shekdar, and not by Sukharam Bullal. 
He had the proof before him, that the petition was written while 
Govind Rao was in Sattara, and not, as had been stated, when 
Govind Rao was a prisoner at Poonah. He had the proof before 
him, that the petition had been posted in the village of Punderpore, 
within the Sattara territory, and not at Poonah, the place of con- 
finement of Govind Rao. He had the proof before him, that the 
real writer had been bribed by the promise of a large reward to 
undertake the writing and sending of the petition. He had the 
proof before him, that the first words of the petition had been 
added to the document, long after the body of the petition had been 
prepared. He obtained from Sukharam Bullal a confession that 
he had given an utterly false account of this petition. And yet, 
he suppressed this evidence from the knowledge of the Govern- 
ment for upwards of eleven months. 


On this subject I would refer the Court to the following official 
documents : — 

1. Instructions to Colonel Ovans, on his appointment as Acting 
Resident at Sattara, June 13, 1837, p. 361. 

2. Letter of Colonel Ovans to Government, 24 June, 1837, p. 

3. Ditto, ditto, 3 July, 1837, p. 372. 

4. Ditto, ditto, 21 July, 1837, p. 376. 

5. Ditto, ditto, 12 August, 1837, p. 386. 

6. Deposition of Sukharam BuUal, 30 July, 1837, p. 620. 

7. Deposition of Krushnajee Sadasew Bhidey, 7 September, 
1837, p. 1028. 

8. Ditto, ditto, 20 September, 1837, p. 1029. 

9. Letter of Colonel Ovans to Government, 10 August, 1838, 
p. 436. 

I may also refer you to the contents of the various petitions pre- 
sented by Krushnajee to the Bombay Government, to the Court of 
Directors, and to the British Parliament. These are not necessary 
as evidence, to establish the charge of concealment and suppression ; 
but they throw considerable light upon the motives of the various 
parties concerned in this nefarious transaction, and show who were 
the original instigators of the foul deception so successfully prac- 
tised upon the Government of India, and, through that Govern- 
ment, upon the authorities in this country. 

I may here also say a word by way of accounting for a discrepancy 
which has been frequently noticed in the progress of these discus- 
sions. The petition ascribed to Girjabaee is stated to have been 
put into the post-office at Punderpore on the 10th of February, but 
to have reached the hands of the Chief Secretary, at Bombay, only 
on the 6th of the following March ; and we have the authority of 
the Secretary for saying (p. 328) that it then bore the Poonah, and 
not the Punderpore, post-mark. I think I can account for both 
these circumstances. If you refer to the evidence of the petition 
itself (p. 527) you will find that it is addressed to the Right Honour- 
able the Governor of Bombay. If you read the evidence given by 


Krushnajee, on the 20th of September, 1837, (p. 1031,) you will 
find that he distinctly states that the petition was addressed by him 
to the Governor, and sent through the Punderpore post to Bombay. 
Again, if you turn to the evidence of the man in the post-office at 
Punderpore, (p. 1031,) you will find him affirming that the petition 
was addressed to the Governor himself. Turn now to the recorded 
proceedings of the Bombay Government, and you will find that the 
Governor, Sir Robert Grant, was on the 6th of March, at Poonah, 
to which place the petition was forwarded immediately after it 
came into the hands of Mr. Wathen, the Secretary. You will 
find also, that Ballajee Punt Nathoo was at Poonah, and that, until 
the appointment of Colonel Ovans, when he accompanied that 
officer to Sattara, he was the confidential agent and adviser of Sir 
Robert Grant, and of his private secretary, Major Felix. Now, the 
inference I draw from these facts is, that the petition posted at 
Punderpore on the 10th of February, came, in the regular course of 
post, into the hands of Sir Robert Grant, and that in the interval 
between that date and the 6th of March, it was under the considera- 
tion of the Governor and Ballajee Punt Nathoo, (the secret insti- 
gator of it,) and that it was then placed in another envelope, and 
addressed to the Secretary of the Bombay Government. If gentle- 
men will take the same trouble as I have done to understand these 
papers, they will, I believe, like me, come to the conclusion that 
the petition was in the hands of Sir Robert Grant and Ballajee Punt 
Nathoo, at Poonah, full three weeks before it reached Mr. Wathen, 
and that it was by them, or by their orders, that it was sent from 
Poonah to Bombay. 

V. — Gkoss Fraud upon the Bombay Government. 

Sir, upon the faith of the false information sent to the Bombay 
Government, tliat Government granted plenary power to Colonel 
Ovans to seize and imprison the persons denounced in the petition. 
Colonel Ovans accepted the power thus delegated to him, and used 
it to arrest and incarcerate whomsoever he pleased. He played the 
part of a despot in Sattara. AH real power and authority were in 
his hands, backed as he was by the British troops under his com- 
mand at Sattara. Still acting upon the information in the petition, 

s 2 


and still concealing the fact of its falsehood and forgery from the 
Government, he pushed his secret inquiries in all directions, and 
proclaimed indemnity to all who would give evidence against the 
Raja. Still keeping the evidence he had obtained secret, he sent 
report upon report to his Government, heaping charge upon 
charge against the Raja — the genuineness of the petition being all 
the time the keystone of the arch — the connecting and sustaining 
portion of the entire fabric. During the twelve months of sup- 
pression, the Bombay Government and the Government of India 
recorded voluminous Minutes against the Raja, all based upon 
the reports of Colonel Ovans, and all written in entire ignorance 
of the fabrication and forgery of the document that had led them 
to invest Colonel Ovans with the power which he exercised, and 
to authorize the investigations he was carrying on. In these 
Minutes, the letter written by Colonel Ovans on the 12lh of 
August is referred to, as containing a true history of the petition, 
and the proof of its genuineness. These Minutes were transmitted 
to this house to determine the judgments anddecisions of the Court 
of Directors, and I shall be prepared to prove, that the case 
against the Raja had been virtually closed, before the fraud was 
detected. As the charge which I now propose to establish, affects 
not only the character of Colonel Ovans, but also the decisions of 
all the Indian authorities, as well as those which have been given 
in this house, I shall on the present occasion go somewhat at 
large into the nature of the proof which I am prepared to tender 
to the consideration of a Committee, if you should consent to my 

On page 98 of the printed papers, is a despatch from the Go- 
vernment of India to the Government of Bombay, reviewing the 
evidence against the Raja, down to the 20th of July, 1837. This 
despatch is dated Fort William, August, 1S37. The following is 
the concluding paragraph : — 

" I am directed to state the anxious wish of his Lordship in Council to 
learn, at the earliest moment possible, what prospect there may be, under 
present circumstances, of throwing new light upon this subject by further 
investigation ; and, if the Government should be in danger of becoming 
'nvolved in an indefinite and inconclusive inquiry, in what mode it may 


best be advisable to terminate the proceedings, rather than continue them 
under the inconvenience which tlie lapse of time, political intrigue, and 
the uncertainty of Indian evidence, combined with the obscurity of the 
case, in regard to its extent and iinportancc, must give to them." 

Let me now revert to what took place after the receipt of this 
despatch. In the first place, the confession of Govind Rao was 
extorted through the agency of Sukharara Bullal. This was sent 
to the Government of India, to strengthen their belief in the 
genuineness of the petition. Accompanying this was the letter of 
Colonel Ovans, dated the 12th of August, assuring the Govern- 
ment that the utmost reliance might be placed upon the story he 
had told respecting the origin and authorship of the petition. 

There is next, a letter from Col. Ovans to the Government, 
dated September 6th, 1837, (p. 388.) This letter is a report re- 
garding the twelve persons denounced by name in the fabricated 
petition ascribed to Girjabaee. This letter is referred to by Sir 
Robert Grant (p. 128) as containing, along with the letter of the 
12th of August, a history of the petition. In this letter Colonel 
Ovans informs his Government that he has arrested Bulwunt 
Row, the Raja's Secretary, and has confined him at the Residency. 
As, however, Bulwunt Row has hitherto met every charge 
brought against himself and his master with a positive denial, 
Col. Ovans proposes that he should be removed to strict confine- 
ment at Poonah. He also informs his Government that he has 
apprehended and placed under restraint another highly respectable 
friend of the Raja's, of the name of Dinkur Rao INlohitey. After 
referring to some inferior personages, he concludes by arecomenda- 
tion that the cousin of the Raja — the first officer under the Govern- 
ment, and in a near relation to the throne — that he also should be 
arrested, and if necessary placed in confinement. This cousin of 
the Raja's was a man of irreproachable character, against whom 
Colonel Ovans himself was unable to find a shadow of evidence. 
He had, however, been denounced by name in the petition — as, 
indeed, every person had been who was a known and influential 
friend of the reigning prince ; and it was the object of Colonel 
Ovans, first, to detach from the Raja every person of ability and 


fidelity, and then to try the effect of imprisonment and other 
methods upon them, for the purpose of obtaining evidence. Such 
was the nature of the despatch written one day before the evidence 
of Krushnajee was taken — that evidence which completely falsified 
every syllable of the account which Colonel Ovans had sent to his 
Government, and demonstrated that the persons he had taken into 
his confidence, and was employing as his agents, were of the most 
infamous and treacherous character. I am preparad to prove that, 
at the time Colonel Ovans sent his despatch of the 6th of September 
to Bombay, he knew that Krushnajee was in Sattara. I will not 
undertake to say that he knew the nature of the evidence Krushnajee 
was prepared to give ; but he has himself proved that he took that 
evidence the following day, and then suppressed it for eleven 

Let us follow his letter of the 6th, to Bombay. 

This letter was taken under the consideration of Sir Robert Grant 
on the 22nd, and a minute of some length was written in reference 
to its contents. Krushnajee had now given his evidence for more 
than a fortnight, but not a word of it had been sent to Government. 
Every particle of the information which had been pi-eviously sent 
to Sir Robert Grant, had been proved by Krushnajee to be abso- 
lutely false, but not one word of this was made known ! Two days 
before the writing of this minute. Colonel Ovans received from 
Krushnajee a number of documents of the very highest importance. 
These, as well as Krushnajee's own written deposition of the 7th, 
might have been before Sir Robert Grant at the time he wrote his 
minute of the 22nd. The letter written by Col. Ovans on the 6th, 
announced that he had proceeded to seize and imprison the chief 
men in Sattara, in consequence of their names having been put into 
the petition. That letter was also an application for permission to 
send several of them to distant, separate, and solitary confinement, 
and to go so far as even to arrest and imprison one who was the near 
relation of the Raja, and the highest officer under the Government. 
All these acts and recommendations proceeded upon the fact (de- 
clared by Col. Ovans to have been fully established!) that the 
petition was the genuine petition of Girjabaee, and contained the 
voluntary confession ofGovind liao. The evidence at this time in 


the possession of Col. Ov ana falsified tluU fact, yet he wilfully and 
deliberately kept it back ; and hence, at the time Sir Robert Grant 
wrote the minute before me, he was the victim of a fraud put upon 
him by Colonel Ovans, and was made the unwitting instrument of 
practising a fraud upon others. It could not but be so. Col. Ovans 
was at the fountain head of information ; and at this time, and long 
afterwards, was regarded as a trustworthy man. In this minute of 
the '22nd, Sir Robert Grant approves of all that has been done by 
Col. Ovans, and consents to the removal of Bulwunt Rao to Poonah ; 
but doubts the propriety of seizing the Raja's cousin, as in the event 
of the deposal of the Raja, and the refusal of the Government of 
India to set up the brother in his place, Balla Sahib Senaputtee (the 
cousin) would be the proper representative of the family. All other 
persons in Sattara are left to the disposal of Col. Ovans. On the 
day following Sir Robert Grant's minute, we have a letter from the 
Bombay Government to the Government of India, (p. 102,) referring 
the latter authorities to the contents of the letters of Colonel Ovans 
for all information relative to the development of the intrigues of 
the Raja of Sattara. This letter contains also, a most calumnious 
attack upon the late Dr. Milne, for his advocacy of the Raja's cause. 
The object is apparent. It is to induce the Government of India to 
withdraw the permission given to Dr. Milne to communicate with 
them on the subject of the Raja's affairs. We have, besides, a letter 
on the 23th, (p. 103,) also directed against Dr. Milne, and stating, 
that the Bombay Government had refused the former, permission to 
go to Sattara. 

Let me now solicit special attention to a despatch from the Go- 
vern;iientof India, in reply to letters from Bombay down to the 4lh 
of September. I commend it to the consideration of those who are 
in the habit of saying, that the guilt of the Raja was from the- first 
4)roved to the satisfaction of all the Indian authorities. 

'To W. 11. Wathen, Esq., Chief Secretary to the Government 
OF Bombay. 
" Sir, Fort William, Ocloher 2, 1837. 

" 1. I am desired by the right honourable the Governor-GeDcral of In- 
dia in Council, to acknowledge the receipt of your several letters, dated 


the 30th of August, and 1st and 4th ultimo, together with their respective 
enclosures, relative to intrigues at Sattara. 

" 2. Copies of the letters to your address, dated the 7th, 21st, and 31st 
of July, referred to in the Acting-Resident's letter of the 12th ultimo, 
have not been furnished to the Governor- General in Council ; but, judging 
from the evidence which accompanied your communications now acknow- 
ledged, his Lordship in Council has no hesitation in stating, that his worst 
apprehensions as expressed in the coucluding paragraph of my letter to 
your address, dated the 7th of August, as to the ' danger of becoming 
involved in an indefinite and inconclusive inquiry,' have every appearance 
of being fully realized. 

" 3. The Governor- General in Council had mainly relied on the result 
of the investigation which might be instituted, consequent on the alleged 
petition of the Dewan's mother, for a solution of any doubts which might 
be entertained as to the accuracy of the conclusions formed by the Com- 
missioners on the occasion of the previous inquiry, and for something more 
of intelligible precision in its results. By the Report of the Commission 
the Raja of Sattara was left subject to the imputation of every shade of 
guilt, from that of lending himself to the machinations of the evil-disposed, 
under the influence of discontent and partial insanity, and irritated by sup- 
posed ill-usage, up to that of an extensive treason, in a great degree ma- 
tured, and having for its object the entire overthrow of the British power 
in India. Much of the evidence by which e\ en this imperfect result was 
obtained was uncertain and unsatisfactory; and, whilst his Lordship in 
Council was willing to place confidence in the judgment of the Commis- 
sion, he felt that the case was incomplete, and that to justify the Govern- 
ment in any strong and final measure, further information was absolutely 
necessary. But from all the papers which have since come before him, he 
has seen increa-sed reason to doubt whether any certain grounds of action 
can possibly be obtained, amidst the intrigues, the pcrsoncd animosities, and 
the exaggerated rumours of all descriptions, by which the investigation 
into the petty and obscure details of the supposed treasonable proceed- 
ings of the Raja has been surrounded and embarrassed. 

"4. The evidence relative to the alleged intercourse of the Raja of Sat- 
tara with the ex-Raja of Nagpore, as detailed in the documents which 
accompanied your letter of the 1st ultimo, is, in the opinion of his Lord- 
ship in Council, in the highest degree suspicious. The alleged communi- 
cation between Yelh jee Bapfioo, and the ex- Raja of Nagpore, is admitted 
to hay e originated in some domestic concern. The evidence ofthatindi- 


vidua! and his servant are full of discrepancies, and it was only after 
repeated cross-examinations, that they were induced to implicate the Raja 
of Sattara as having any knowledge of the communications. It is reviark 
able that Yellojee is represented as having been the person through whose 
means the intercourse between the Raja of Sattara and the ex-Raja of 
Nagpore was first set on foot ; and yet the two witnesses, Abba Mahreek 
and his servant Wittoo, deposed that the latter was sent to Joudpore to ask 
whether Yellojee Bappoo sent people there. 

"5. The Governor -Gener&l in CoMncW /tees little or nothing in the evi- 
dence recorded in the documents which accompanied your letter of the 
4th ultimo, to inculpate the liaja. There is no direct evidence aijainst his 
Highness, (if any kind, as regards the supposed intrigue with the Hubshee, 
save that the Hubshee's vakeel, who was a relative of Bulwunt Rao Chit- 
navees, was introduced to his Highness ; that the Raja read a letter, and 
afterwards threw it into the fire ; and that he received a present of cocoa- 
nuts from Bulwunt Rao Chitnavees. Against the last-named indieidual 
no crimimdity is established. There is nothing of a treasonable nature in 
the paper found concealed in the doll, and, if there was, evidence has been 
given to prove that he (the Chitnavees) was not the author of its contents. 
His Lordship in Council, of course, attaches no weight to the unsupjwrted 
rumours of intrigues in all directions alluded to by the ivitnesscs, whose 
depositions accompanied your letter of the 4th ultimo. His Lordship in 
Council observe?, that the expressions contained in the (ith paragraph of 
your letter to the Acting-Resident, that the witness Wittul Rao Parusnees 
saw himself 'poshak (clothes) and a sword sent to the Raja from the Hub- 
shee, 'would appear to imply more than was actually stated by the witness, 
as his Lordship in Council cannot discover that Wittul Rao asserted he 
saw the things in question actually sent to the Raja, 

" 6. As for the alleged combinations with the Portuguese and with 
Arabia, alluded to in the documents which accompanied your letter of the 
31st ultimo, the Governor-General in Council could not but regard such 
plots, even had the accounts which had been furnished of them seemed less 
improbable than they do, to be too extravagant to be entertained for a 
moment by any person in his senses, while it appears from the Report of 
the Commission that the Raja of Sattara is by no means deficient in 

" 7. The Acting-Resident, in the 9th paragraph of his letter to your 
address, dated the I'ith ultimo, observes, the time necessary to bring these 
proceedings to a close will necessarily bo prolonged ; and with refereuct 


to this declaration, to the length of time which has already elapsed sinco 
this investigation commenced, and to the excitement and alarm which in- 
quiries so extended and protracted must necessarily occasion, I am desired 
to repeat the sufff/cstion contained in the concluding paragraph of my letter 
dated the 7th August, and yet more strmujly to urge the inconvenience and 
uncertainty of these proceedings, and the absolute necessity of hrinyiny 
them to an early termination. In the hopelessness that any further evi- 
dence will be otherwise than inconclusive, and looking to the utmost 
degree of criminality which, in any view of the testimony before the Com- 
mission, may be regarded as clearly and absolutely established ;" looking 
too, to the interval which has since elapsed in inquiries leading to no fur- 
ther definite and important disclosures, his Lordship in Council would 
gladly find that the Right honourable the Governor in Council is disposed 
to concur with him in opinion, and would close the jiroceedinys, apprisiny 
the Raja that, althouyh several stispiciotis circumstances reyardiny his 
Hiyhncss have been elicited duriny the proyress of this inquiry, yet the 
British Government is unwilliny, without the clearest proof of yuilt, to 
condemn any of its allies, especially one who has been so pre-eminently the 
object of its favour and yenerosity ; that further investiyation is deemed 
inexpedient, with reference to the general inconvenience it creates ; and 
that the Right honourable the Governor in Council is therefore pleased to 
close the inquiry, with the expression of his hope that the Raja ivill so 
conduct himself for the future as to avoid the predicament (no less painful 
to the British Government than to his Hiyhness) in which he has recently 
been placed. 

" 8. As regards the Dewan, who is now understood to be in confinement 
at Ahmednuggur, his Lordship in Council observes, that if the suggestion 
contained in this letter should be adopted, the liberation of the individual 
in question will 2)robably follow the cessation of further inquiry into the 
conduct of the Raja. I have, &c., 

" (Signed) W. H. Macnaghten, 

" Secretary to the Government of India." 

Let me now call your particular attention to another despatch 
from the Government of India, (p. Ill,) acknovi'ledging still later 
communications from the Government of Bombay, including the 
letters of the 23rd and 25th of September, to which I have 


"To W. II. Wathen, Esq., Chief Secuetaky to Governuent, 

" Sir, Fort William, October 16, 1837. 

"1. I am desired by the Right Honourable the Governor-General of 
India in Council, to acknowledge the receipt of your several letters of the 
dates noted in the margin, (September 23 and 2o,) together with their 
respective enclosures, on the subject of the inquiry into the conduct of the 
Raja of Sattara. 

" 2. The proceedings reported in the communieations now acknowledged 
are not, / am desired to state, such as to meet the approbation of his 
Lordship in Council. 

" 3. That the Raja of Sattara, forgetful of all former obligations, and 
nettled by an alleged grievance, is disaflected to the British Government, 
and that he has been led by designing people, enemies either to him or to 
the British Government, into acts intended to be injurious to that Govern- 
ment, may be conceded ; but the result of the late proceedings of the 
Right Honourable the Governor in Council has, I am desired to add, 
tended rather to weaken than to strengthen the case against him, for they 
prove either the extent of the falsehood which is mingled with these accu- 
sations, or the imbecility with which the Raja is capable of entertaining 
projects of so wild a description. Except from the statement which may 
possibly be made by Govind Rao, his Lordship in Council sees nothing in 
all this evidence which is likely to throw light upon the couduct of the 
Raja, so far as it is proper or incumbent on us to inquire into it; and 
under the circumstances of recent strict duresse and expected liberty under 
which this evidence is to be elicited, it must be received with very consider- 
ble caution, 

" 4. Adverting to these considerations, I am desired to state that the 
papers now acknowledged have strongly confirmed the Governor-General 
in Council in the opinion already expressed, that this perplexed and pro- 
tracted scrutiny should be at once brought to a conchusion, or at least that 
all the collateral inquiries which have been in so many quarters instituted 
should be discontinued as soon as practicable, it being for the real interests 
of the British Government, whilst it watches and suppresses with vigilance 
and firmness the active movements of insurrection, to disregard rumours, 
and even in many cases the realities of petty and obscure intrigues, depen- 
dence being placed for the internal peace of the empire upon its own mani- 
fest strength, and the fears of the disaffected, of whom, in the very nature 


of things, from the transfer of power and property, there must be many, 
and upon the general interests of the population, which cannot but be 
opposed to violent commotion. His Lordship in Council is sorry at feel- 
ing himself compelled to add, that in the present instance, the idea of 
mistrust and insecurity on the part of the British Government may have 
been widely spread, from Rajpootana to Madras and Malabar, though the 
affair is one of no real importance to our power. 

" 5. Against the further prosecution of these hazardous proceedings, the 
Governor-General in Council deems it incumbent upon him to interfere, 
so as to prevent any further aggravation of this evil. I am desired there- 
fore to convey the request of Ids Lordship in Council, that the Right 
Honourable the Governor in Council of Bombay will be pleased to abstain 
from all further inquiries upon collateral points, or rather measures of this 
nature, leading as they must do to nothinc/ but futile and discreditable 

" G. The Governor-General in Council will look with some anxiety, 
though, under the circumstances, not without susjncion, to any further 
confession which he may offer to support by direct and substantial proof 
which -may be made by Govind Rao, as tending to weaken or confirm the 
original charge adduced against the Raja,or any of his family, of attempting 
to seduce our sepoys from their allegiance ; and he is of opinion that what- 
ever the Raja of Sattara may have further to state in reply to those 
charges, s7/o«/i^ be fairly taken into consideration before any measures adverse 
to bis Highness, can be taken upon the proceedings already held. 

" 7. With regard to Dr. Milne, I am desired to state, that though it 
was intended that his personal statements should not be rejected, it was not 
designed to admit him as the partisan and advocate of the Raja, and that 
his intercourse with the Raja is expressly placed under the control of the 
Bombay Government. 

" 8. I am desired at the same time to state, with reference to the altered 
state of European society, and to the freedom of access to this country 
now granted, the policy may be questionable of discouraging respectable 
individuals like Dr. Milne from tmdertaking the defence of natives of rank , 
who would probably be driven by such discouragement to resort to the aid 
of adventurers, careless alike of the reputation of the accused and of their 
own Government. I have, &c., 

" (Signed) W. H. Macnaghten, 

" Secictary to the India Government." 


" P.S. — Since the above was written, jour letter of the 27th and 28th 
ultimo, with their respective enclosures, have been received, hut I am de- 
sired to state, that the contents of those communications do not alter the 
views which the Governor- General in Council entertains of the impolicy of 
the collateral proceedinys recently held under the authority nf the Right 
honourable the Governor in Council, and his Lordship in Council still ad. 
heres to the wish already expressed that the proceedings against the Raja, 
shall be brought to a termination as soon as practicable. 

" (Signed) W. H. Macnaghten." 

Let me now call your attention to the opinion of the Governor- 
General of India, as conveyed in a despatch to the Court of 
Directors three months after this, namely on the Gth of January, 
1838, (p. 11.) 

" Para. 32. / have witnessed with considerable pain the protracted and 
extended investigations in which the Government of Bombay has thought 
it necessary to enter in connexion with the original charges against the 
Raja of Sattara, and I have required that the proceedings be terminated 
and brought under the review of the Supreme Government at the earliest 
possible period." 

Let me now call your attention to the opinion of the Court of 
Directors, as communicated in a letter to the Governor- General of 
India, under date of 13th June, 1838, (p. 45.) 

" Para. 1. In a letter dated 6th January, (No. I of 183S,) the Governor- 
General informs us that he lias ' witnessed with considerable pain the pro- 
tracted and extended investigations into which the Government of Bombay 
has thought it necessary to enter, in connexion with the original charges 
against the Raja of Sattara ;' and that he has ' required that the proceed- 
ings be terminated and brought under the review of the Supreme Govern- 
ment at the earliest possible period.' 

" 2. It is our particular desire to receive as soon as possible your review 
of these proceedings, and in the confidence that it will be transmitted with- 
out any avoidable delay, we shall suspend our own review of the case till we 
are in possession of yours. At the same time ive have no hesitation in giv- 
ing it as our decided opinion, that it ivoiild be not only a waste of time 


MENT to carry on any further inquiry in the matter." 


Let me now quote the opinion of the Court of Directors, as con- 
veyed to the Governor General of India, eight months afterwards, 
namely, on the 22nd January, 1839, (p. 46.) 

" As Sir James Carnac, the Governor of Bombay, Las been in communi- 
cation with us on the subject of your proceedings regarding the Raja of 
Sattara, we are particularly desirous that you should suspend any final de- 
cision on the case until you have had an opportunity of taking into your 
consideration such observations and suggestions as may be made to you 
by Sir James Carnac on a review of those proceedings. 

" In the meantime it may be as well for us to state to you that we see no 
reason to dissent from the opmion expressed hy the Court of Directors, in 
their letter of the \Zth June, 1838. 

" A copy of this letter will be communicated to the Governor in Council 
at Bombay, with a request that he will suspend the transmission of any 
decision to the Raja of Sattara until you shall have had an opportu- 
nity of issuing such further direction as you may think proper in re- 
ference to this dispatch. 

I must now beg permission to impress it upon your minds, in the 
first place, that these opinions were given upon the evidence sup- 
plied by Colonel Ovans to convict the Raja. That officer did all 
in his power to produce in the minds of the Indian and Home au- 
thorities, a belief in the Raja's guilt. A glance at his letters will 
prove this. He was most energetically supported by the officials in 
Bombay. Whatever could by possibility produce an impression 
unfavourable to the Raja, was sent up to Government. The dark 
side, and only the dark side, was presented. The Raja had never 
been heard in his defence, and the Bombay Government had reso- 
lutely refused to allow him to have any counsellor or friend. We 
have seen, too, that the wisest and best men about his person had 
been taken and imprisoned. But more than this. I am prepared 
to prove before a Committee, that during the time these opinions 
were being delivered. Colonel Ovans had in his possession the proof 
of the absolute falsehood of the evidence upon which he had advised 
the Government to rely as truth. I will prove to you, that there 
were before Government depositions that were rank forgeries. I 
will prove, that much of the most important evidence had been 


extorted. I will prove to you, that Colonel Ovans was in possession 
of the knowledge that those whom he had represented as the most 
respectable persons in Sattara, were a f/a?irf of the r/reu (est and 
ivorst traitors. I beg you to mark what I say. I will prove thai 
Colonel Ovans knew this, and that he kept his Government in 
ignorance of the fact. But why need I go further than the petition of 
Girjabaee, and the suppression of the evidence of Krushnajce ? I 
have shown you that the evidence of the latter individual was taken 
on the 7th of September. On the 23rd of October, Colonel Ovans 
comments on the despatch from the Government of India of the 
2nd of October. I will give this letter of the 23rd. I will also 
give an extract from another of the following month — and from the 
products of his own pen, will I furnish the evidence of the gross 
and wicked fraud which Colonel Ovans practised on his Govern- 
ment. First turn to page -100. 


" Sattara Residency, 23rd October, 1837. 

" Sir, — I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of Mr. Chief Secre- 
tary Wathen's letter to my address, under date the lOlh instant, together 
with its acconapaniment, being copy of a letter from the Secretary to the 
Government of India, under date the 2nd instant, on the subject of 
Sattara affairs. 

" 2. I beg you will have the goodness to submit to the Right Honourable 
the Governor, that / will lose no time in prvparing the report therein 
alluded to ; but I would respectfully suggest that I be permitted first to 
submit the evidence and papers now in my hands on the subject of the 
communications with Goa ; these documents being, as far as I am able to 
judge, conclusive, and of the hig]iest importance. 

" 3. To the remark in the 6th paragraph of Mr. Secretary Macnaghten'a 
letter, that such a plot appears to be too extravagant to be entertained for 
a moment by any person in his senses, I shall only venture to reply by a 
reference to the evidence which will be submitted on the subject, leaving 
that evidence to speak for itself. 

" 4. I trust I need scarcely add, that no exertion on my part will be 
spared to forward these papers, as well as all the rkst connected with 
these intriyues, which are still to be laid before Government; hut as the 


inquiry has itself , in point q/"_/ai?/, terminated, inasmuch as the delay at 
present is merely in translating the papers, and drawing up the necessary 
reports to acoompany them, I hope I may claim the indulgence and con- 
sideration of Government for the time yet necessary for these purposes. 
" I have, &c. 
"(Signed) C. Ovans, Acting- Resident." 

Now for his second letter, on the 14th of November, two months 
after he had taken the evidence of Krushnajee, which was, at the 
moment he wrote the letter, concealed in his own desk. 

" 4. With respect to Dr. Milne's, animadversions on my own conduct 
it will be in the recollection of Government, that on my coming here it was 
considered a primary object to ascertain the truth or falsehood of the 
charges against the Raja. The tampering with the soobahdars was proved, 
but there rvas a mystery over it which still required to be developed ; and 
the only clue to that mystery then, was the ursee of Girjabaee, the mother of 
the Dewan, which, if authentic, J was directed fully to inquire into. 

" 5. The view then taken by Government appeared to be, that the trea- 
sonable attempt on the allegiance of the native officers, and through them 
that of the troops, should be punished, but that the innocent should not 
suffer with the guilty ; consequently, it was above all things necessary to 
ascertain if the information given by Girjabaee had any foundation in/act, 
and if those denounced by her by name were really innocmit or guilty of 
the intrigues laid to their charge, 

"6. But how, may I be permitted to ask, could such an inquiry be 
conducted without an examination of the persons accused 1 yet every step 
was taken with the greatest caution, as will be abundantly proved by refer- 
ring to my different communications, nothing of any importance being 
done without the sanction of my superiors ; and I have this to console 
myself with, that these proceedings have been honoured with their approval." 

To complete my proof of the gross fraud practised upon the Go- 
vernment by Colonel Ovans, I will conclude with an extract from 
the voluminous minute of Sir R. Grant, dated 5th May, 1838, 
p. 128. 

"77. For the history of Girjabaee's petition, I beg to 
BEFEK TO Colonel Ovans' reports, dated the 12th of August 


AND 6th of September last. I shall only here quote tlie following 
passage frotii the 14th paragraph of the last despatch, which has reference 
to Nos. 1, 3, 6, 7, 11, and 12, of the above list : ' They are all confidential 
officers of the Raja, and have been so for years, in the enjoyment of large 
salaries and emoluments, and have everything to lose, and nothing to gain 
by a change.'" , 

I humbly submit that I have now made out a case which impera- 
tively demands the most rigid examination. I offer to prove before 
a Committee, that Colonel Ovans was guilty of the heinous crime 
of concealing evidence which he knew to be true, and of furnishing, 
with his own written guarantee of its veracity, evidence ivliich he 
knew to be FAiSE ! 

The following references will assist the investigation into the 
charge I have now preferred, and am prepared to sustain : — 

1. Despatch from the Government of India to the Government of 
Bombay, dated August 7th, 1837, p. 98, 

2. Letter from Colonel Ovans to the Government of Bombay, 
dated September Gth, 1837, p. 388. 

8. Minute of Sir Robert Grant, dated September 22nd, 1837, 
p. 97. 

4. Despatch from the Bombay Government to the Government 
of India, dated September 23d, 1837, p. 102. 

5. Despatch from the Government of India to the Government 
of Bombay, October 2nd, 1837, p. 109. 

6. Ditto ditto, October 16th, 1837, p. 111. 

7. Letter from Colonel Ovans to the Bombay Government, dated 
October 23rd, 1837, p. 400. 

8. Ditto ditto, Nov. 14th, 1837, p. 397. 

9. Despatch from the Governor- General of India to the Court of 
Directors, dated January 6th, 1838, p. 11. 

10. Despatch from the Court of Directors to the Governor- 
General of India, dated June 13th, 1838, p. 45. 

11. Ditto ditto, January 22nd, 1839, p. 46. 

12. Minute of Sir R. Grant, dated 5th May, 1S3S, p. 128. 

13. Minute of Lord Auckland, dated Simla, September 23rd, 
1838, p. 228. 


VI. The Evidence of Krushnajer, forced from Colonel 
OvANS, BY THE Discoveries made by the Raja. 
Upon this subject I have frequently touched before, I shall there- 
fore be brief now. At the beginning of June, 1831, the Raja's 
agents in Bombay heard for the first time of the existence of evi- 
dence against the Raja, in the shape of a petition from Girjabaee ; 
they immediately informed his Highness. The Raja immediately 
interrogated Girjabaee upon the subject, and that lady, on the 11th 
of June, declared, in the most solemn manner, her total ignorance 
of such a document, and her entire innocence of any participation in 
such a proceeding. Colonel Ovans, the systematic purloiner of all 
correspondence affecting the Raja, came into possession of all the 
letters relating to this affair, and finding that a denial was about to 
be forwarded to the Court of Directors and the Government of 
India, he consulted his own safety by packing up the depositions of 
Krushnajee, and sending them to Bombay on the 16th of August, 
1838, Sir, I shall be prepared with the most unquestionable evi- 
dence on this part of the case, whenever I am called upon to sub- 
stantiate my allegations before a Committee of this Court. In the 
mean time, I charge Colonel Ovans with practising a gross and 
criminal imposition upon the Bombay Government, and with being 
a willing party to a foul conspiracy to effect the dethronement and 
ruin of the Prince, of whom he was, by treaty, the official and 
friendly adviser. 

1 . Letter of Rungoo Bapojee to the Raja of Sattara, dated June 
8th, 1838, intercepted by Colonel Ovans, p. 978. 

2. Declaration of Girjabaee, June 11, 1838. Pari. Papers, 4th 
July, 1845, No. 449, p. 14. 

3. Deposition of Girjabaee, dated June 12, 1838, forged by 
Sukharam Bullal, p. 973, 

4. Letter of Col. Ovans to the Bombay Government, dated 25th 
June, 1838, p, 435. 

5. Ditto ditto, 16th August, 1838, p, 43G. 

6. List of accompaniments to the above, containing the suppressed 
evidence of Krushnajee, and the documents delivered in by that 
witness in September, 1837, p. 1027. 


VII. CoLONi;r, OvANS rktained as a Witness against tiik 
Raja, a man whose Evidence was in favour of the Raja, 
but which Evidence Colonel Ovans suppressed. 

This I shall be able to prove by the most abundant evidence. 1 
have already shown that the deposition of Krushnajee Sadasew Bhi- 
dey, taken by Colonel Ovans on the 7th of September, 1837, and 
the truth of which is admitted by the Deputy-chairman himself, 
demonstrated the utter falsehood of every report Colonel Ovans had 
previously made to his Government. Had that deposition been for- 
warded at the time it was taken, it must inevitably have quashed the 
proceedings which had been authorized, under a belief of the truth 
of the previous representations. I need not say what effect such a 
disclosure would have had upon the members of the Government of 
India, and upon the minds of the Court of Directors. It would of 
necessity have opened their eyes to the villany of those who were 
acting as the confidential advisers of Colonel Ovans. A scrutiny 
into all the facts connected with the petition of Girjabaoe, would 
have led to a discovery of the nest of vipers that had found shelter, 
and scope for their malignant ingenuity under the protection of the 
British Resident. Ballajee Punt Nathoo, Sukharam Bullal, Lukhs- 
mun Punt, and the whole of their confederates, would have been at 
once unmasked, and the Raja would have been delivered from the 
brood of reptiles that were then throwing their coils around him. 
The deposition of Krushnajee was a crisis in theaflfairs of the Raja. 
Believe, if you will, that Colonel Ovans was honest down to the 
7th of September, 1837. I will allow you to believe so. I will 
consent to acknowledge him so myself. The events of that day 
must have opened his eyes. No human ingenuity can get rid of 
the fact, that the deposition of Krushnajee must have convinced him 
that he was in the hands of villains and forgers. His reflections as 
ah honest man must have been — " I have been deceived and betrayed. 
I have been made the dupe of deep designing traitors, who have used 
me as a tool to accomplish their wicked ends. I have been made to 
deceive the Government. I have sent them as truth, that which I 
now discover to be forgeries and lies. I will unveil the iniquity I have 
detected. I will hasten to undeceive the Government whom I have 


unwittingly deluded. I will crush this deep-laid conspiracy against, 
the Raja. I will not take another step until I have probed to the 
bottom this mystery of hypocrisy and unnatural perfidy. I will 
not only bring the perpetrators of these frauds to justice, but I will 
ascertain and make known who their prompters and supporters are. 
Happy am I, that there is now the proof before me, that the 
accused Raja is the victim of the snares and plots of hitherto unsus- 
pected villains. He shall be saved if he is innocent, and my boast 
shall be, that I rescued the Raja from the ruin that impended." 
Such, I say, would have been the natural reflections of an honest 
and upright mind upon the disclosures of Krushnajee Sadasew 
Bhidey. But, Sir, honest or dishonest — whether a friend of the 
Raja, or an enemy — whether an open, frank, and conscientious 
British oflBcer, or a disgrace to the name, and a willing confederate 
of the demi-devil Ballajee Punt Nathoo — whatever were the dispo- 
sitions, views, and intentions of Colonel Ovans, in this matter of 
the evidence of Krushnajee, he had no discretion — no, not a hair's 
breadth. He had been charged to furnish, without the unnecessary 
loss of a moment, all the information he could obtain respecting the 
petition. This charge had been repeated and reiterated. Colonel 
Ovans had as often given his word that he would do all in his power 
to furnish authentic information. More than that — he had sent to 
Government a history of this petition, which he now knew to an 
absolute certainty to be false. The Government were acting upon 
the information he had sent. That information, as far as it ex- 
tended, was operating as a mildew and a blast upon the character 
of the Raja. The Government believed the petition to be genuine, 
and the particulars respecting it to be true. The petition was a 
forgery, and its history a fiction. The confession of Govind Rao 
was a base extortion, through the agency of the indescribable villain 
Sukharam. If Colonel Ovans held the power granted to him by 
the Bombay Government — stiil more, if he proceeded to use it, and 
to seize and imprison the parties denounced in the petition, he was 
guilty of the crime of practising a fraud upon his employers, and 
inflicting irreparable injury upon innocent men. Send the deposi- 
tion of Krushnajee, therefore, he must. True, it proved his former 
statements to be false, but it must go. True, it would lead to a 


total change of measure?, and he must henceforth be, in conjunction 
and co-operation with the Raja, the minister of justice to the base 
wretches, Ballajee Punt Nathoo, and his co- conspirators, who stood 
convicted of the two-fold guilt of seeking the destruction of their 
prince on the one hand, and the prostitution, by hypocrisy and 
forgery, of the power of the British Government on the other; but 
still the evidence must be sent. Was it sent ? It was not — it was 
retained in secrecy, and thereby the Government of Bombay was 
deceived by their own servant. The evidence was suppressed, and 
Colonel Ovans was therefore guilty of a dreadful breach of trust — 
the awful crime of intercepting and embezzling judicial evidence of 
vital importance to a prince and all his people. Sir, had this been 
an embezzlement of money, it would have been a grave offence ; 
but the guilt would have been as nothing, and less than nothing, in 
comparison with this almost unparalleled crime of concealing evi- 
dence which would have saved the Raja, and placed the names of 
his enemies among the blackest and most infamous of the human 
race. God only knows the motive of Colonel Ovans, in the com- 
mission of this awful crime. It is beyond my province, as it is 
beyond my power, to fathom the depths of the heart of this 
man — I have only to do with the facts that are before me ; here 
they are — patent as noon- day — immovable as the granite rock. 
These facts convict Colonel Ovans of deliberately and wilfully 
concealing the evidence of Krushnajee Sadasew Bhidey. In the 
hour that he purposed to do this, he became a party to the frauds 
of those whom he had detected ; he became himself a deceiver, a 
liar, a forger; and when I look either at the origin, the object, 
or the consequences of these common crimes against truth, justice, 
duty, every sacred and honourable principle, I am constrained to 
say, that I have not yet met with a case of greater enormity in the 
- annals of human depravity. 

Well, sir, the evidence of Krushnajee Sadasew Bhidey would 
have saved the Raja, and would have brought the enemies of that 
prince to justice ; but it was suppressed by Colonel Ovans, until 
the case of the Kaja had been closed, and the Governments 
of India had given their opinion upon it, and when it was 
at length revealed, no notice was taken of it. What was done 


with the witness ? He was bribed to silence by the immediate 
payment of fifty rupees ; he was told to remain quiet, and was 
peremptorily forbidden to approach Girjabaee, the pretended author 
of the petition which he had written ; he was further supported 
for two years by the payment of a monthly stipend, and he was at 
last dismissed with a gratuity of one hundred rupees. Thus was a 
witness, who would have borne testimony that, if there had been 
justice in India, would have been the salvation of the Raja, quietly 
put out of the way, and the evidence he had given to the Repre- 
sentative of the British Government, and the sole official organ of 
communication, utterly suppressed. It is vain for the Directors 
to attempt to prevent inquiry into this transaction. Hitherto they 
have remained silent. They have praised Colonel Ovans, but 
they have not answered a single charge against him. They 
cannot say that the charge now brought rests upon the testi- 
mony of a perjured wretch, for Colonel Ovans himself is the sole 
witness whom I deem it necessary to call in support of this charge. 
They cannot plead the difficulty of going into this charge. No 
commission in India is required; no sifting of opposing evidence. 
This book, and one hour's attention to what it contains, are all that 
is required to settle this question for ever. 

The evidence on this branch of the subject will be found in the 
papers ordered by Parliament, 4lh July, 1845, No. 469. 

VIII. — FoKGED Seals and Papers purchased of a Gang- 

I allude now to the case of Balkoba Kelkur. I shall not go into 
the particulars of this case now, as they are very numerous, and 
because it has never yet been attempted to be denied that Colonel 
Ovans did authorize the payment of 400 rupees for the redemption 
out of pawn of a bundle of papers possessed by this man, and did 
also obtain for him a free pardon. These papers have all been 
proved to be utter forgeries, — the seals forged, the writing forged, 
the witnesses personated, the evidence perjured. It is, however, 
to the act of subornation at the beginning that I am now directing 
your attention, and I will prove before the Commission that what 
commenced in subornation ended in perjury and the personation of 


witnesses. I will prove also Ballajee Punt Nathoo, the chief adviser 
of Colonel Ovans, was the man who concocted, matured, and deve- 
loped this plan. When I have done this, the Raja will be de- 
monstrated to be innocent at least of one of the crimes laid to his 

Upon this part of the subject Mr. Nicholson furnishes ns with 
the following summary : — 

" In consequence of certain information, five persons were apprehended 
by the chief of Sawunt Warree, and from their depositions it appeared that 
Nago Deorao had originally been the leader of tliis gang, and that after his 
death, men continued to be levied for the same purposes by Balkoba Kel- 
kur and others. On the discovery of the intended attack, Balkoba Kelkur 
concealed himself in a village near Sawunt Warree. 

" On the arrival of the emissaries of Colonel Ovans, a negotiation was 
entered into between them and Balkoba Kelkur, for the delivery of the 
seals and papers before alluded to. Alarmed lest he should be delivered 
up to justice on account of his connection with the intended attack upon 
Vingorla, Balkoba at first refused to come forward ; but, on receiving a 
pledge of safety, a meeting took place between him and the agents of 
Colonel Ovans. On being asked for the seals and papers, he at first 
alleged that they were destroyed, but afterwards admitted that they were 
still in existence, and stated tiiat they had been pledged to defray the ex- 
penses of Nago Deorao's funeral, and that he would deliver them up on 
receiving the sum of dOO rupees. Ultimately 400 rupees and a free pardon 
for his oflence at Sawunt Warree were offered, and on these terms he con- 
sented to give up the papers. The sum of 400 rupees was accordingly 
paid to him, and he accompanied Ballaram Chuprasse and Dajee Bulal 
Waeed to Sattara." (p. 82, 83.) 

Mr. Nicholson also observes : — 

" It will no doubt strike the reader as a singular circumstance, that 
the ex-Raja should have shown so much anxiety that his letters to Don 
Manoel should be returned to him, and yet should have been utterly care- 
less, even after the death of Nago, as to what became of ihe important 
papers in his possession. Detection, as Sir R. Grant admits, was to him 
ruin irremediable ; yet we do not find that any attempt was ever made on 
the part of his Highness to regain possession of these documents, and we 
are required to believe that Balkoba Kelkur, into whose possession they 


had come, though so hard pressed for the means of subsistence as to have 
been driven to join a baud of robbers, sold them to Colonel Ovaiis for the 
paltry sum of 400 rupees. The inference that these papers were forged is 
irresistible. Had they been genuine, what would have prevented Balkoba 
Kelkur from obtaining from the ex-Raja, who would not have dared to 
refuse him, any sum that he chose to ask for them ? What, at all events, 
prevented him from presenting to the ex-Raja the letter said to have been 
addressed to him by Nago on his death-bed, which, according to his own 
statement, it was Nago's dying command that he should at once deliver, 
and which contained a recommendation of his family, and dependents, to 
the liberality and protection of his Highness ? It is impossible to believe 
otherwise than that the ex -Raja would have had the refusal of these docu- 
ments, had they really been what they purported to be." (P. 118, 119.) 

IX. — Suppression of the Proof that the State_ Seals of 
THE Raja had been fraudulently obtained, and affixed 
to Treasonable Papers, for the purpose of effecting the Raja's 

Sir, it may not be known to those who hear me that there' are in 
existence at this moment written documents and blank papers bear- 
ing impressions of the genuine State Seals of the Raja. I admit 
them to be such. The written papers are full of treason — that also 
I admit. If they can be traced to the Raja, he is guilty — that also 
I admit. If one tittle of evidence can be produced to show that the 
Raja knew of their existence, before the fact was known to Colonel 
Ovans, I will never open my lips in the Raja's defence again. 
Before a Committee I will prove that these documents were fabri- 
cated by a gang of conspirators. I will prove that Ballajee Punt 
Nathoo the adviser, and Ballajee Kasee Khibey the native agent 
of Colonel Ovans, were members of the gang. I will prove that 
Colonel Ovans was offered some of these documents. I will prove 
that he declined them, only from a fear that the Raja might be able 
to expose the plot. I will prove that his own confidential servant 
had one of these papers in his possession for some months. I will 
prove that Colonel Ovans concealed this fact from his Government, 
I will prove that he sent a false account to the Government after 
the plot had been detected by the Raja. I will prove that he with- 


held the name of his own native agent. I will prove that Colonel 
Ovans suppressed inquirj' into this affair. I will prove that he tam- 
pered with the witnesses, and made them give false evidence. I 
will prove that he never brought these documents forward against 
the Raja, although, if proceeding from the Raja, they were of infi- 
nitely more importance than all the other evidence put together. I 
will prove that the Raja called for an inquiry into this affair, and 
that Colonel Ovans suppressed that inquiry. Next to the suppres- 
sion of the evidence of Krushnajee, I deem this the most important 
subject connected with the conduct of Colonel Ovans, and I will 
undertake to substantiate every one of my allegations, by the pro- 
duction of the letters of Colonel Ovans himself. Let the press tell 
the world that there are Mahratta proclamations bearing the 
genuine State Seals of the Raja, calling upon all Hindoo soldiers 
to rise and extirpate the English ; and say, besides, that Colonel 
Ovans knew these to have been obtained by false means, and did 
wilfully prevent the Raja from bringing home the fact of their hav- 
ing been obtained by foul means to the knowledge of his Go- 
vernment ! 

Mr. Thompson referred amongst other documents bearing upon 
this part of the subject, to the following: — 

1. Letter from the Raja of Sattara to Colonel Ovans, dated Ja- 
nuary 4th, 1839, p. 1098. 

2. Translation of a Mahratta paper, bearing the genuine Seals 
of the Raja, dated 21st November, 183G, p. 1099. 

3. Letter from Colonel Ovans to the Government of Bombay, 
dated 4th January, 1839, p. 4oG. 

4 Deposition of Ballajee Kasee Khibey, the native agent of 
Colonel Ovans, dated January 25th, 1839, p. 1100. 

5. Letter from Colonel Ovans to the Government of Bombay, 
dated 26 Ih January, 1839, p. 457. 

6. Ditto ditto, 2nd September, 1839, p. 468. 

X. — Seiztjre AND Imprisonment of the Raja's Sibjects with- 
ovT Accusation and without Trial. 

When before a Committee I propose to take the following cases 
as illustrative and confirmatory of this charge. 


1. The case of Bulwunt Rao Chitnees (or Secretary), who was 
arrested on the 1st of August, 1837, and was kept as a prisoner 
at the Residency until the 1st of October, when he was removed 
under an armed escort to Poonah, and there kept a prisoner until 
the 27th of September, 1839, and then only released on condition 
that he returned no more to Sattara. 

2. The case of Dinkur Rao, made prisoner the 24th of August, 

3. The case of Babajee Parunkur, made prisoner the 6th of Sep- 
tember, 1837. 

4. The case of Ram Chunder Rao, made prisoner the 9th of 
August, 1837. 

I might include many others, but these cases will be sufficient 
to exhibit the conduct of Col. Ovans, and to prove the illegality, 
injustice, and cruelty of his acts. Permit me to say a few words on 
this occasion respecting the case of one of the persons I have 
now named. I refer to Bulwunt Rao Chitnees. It will be in 
your recollection that in the letter from the Government of India 
reviewing the evidence respecting this man, it is stated to be the 
opinion of the Governor-General in Council, that there was not the 
slightest shade of guilt cast upon his charactei*. This letter is dated 
October 2, 1837. On the 1st of that month he was conveyed as a 
prisoner to Poonah, and never permitted to return to Sattara 
again ! On page G75 of these papers will be found a letter from 
the Raja of Sattara, addressed to Dr. Milne, dated 7th Oct. 1837, 
describing in pathetic language the separation of this good man 
from his family. I will now lay before you a translation of a 
letter written by this injured man to Rungoo Bapojee, the agent 
of the deposed Raja. 

Translation of a Letter from Balla Sahib Bhulwcnt Rao 
Chitnavees, Hereditary Secretary of State, to Rungoo 
Bapojee, London, Agent of his Highness the Raja of 

" Poonah, March 2ith, 1842. 
" I received your letter from London, dated the 29th of January. 
* * * * You now ask — ' When were you imprisoned ? Were 


there any questions put to you, and what answers did you give to 
the interrogatories? Have you a copy of the questions and 
answers ? Have you received any sums of money during your 
imprisonment from the Bombay Government ? and, When you 
were released from prison, what orders did you receive from the 
authorities in Bombay ? Whatever has occurred from the com- 
mencement of these proceedings, be good enough to write me a full 
and true statement.' 

"In reply to your several questions, I have to inform you, that 
I was sent to prison by Colonel Ovans, the Resident at Sattara, 
on the 1st of August, 1837. The Resident confined me in a bun- 
galow, adjacent to his own, and gave me a great deal of annoy- 
ance and trouble. When I was made a prisoner I had two servants ; 
whenever they went out a short distance to bathe, &c., they were 
invariably accompanied by a native soldier, in order that they 
should not converse with other persons ; whenever clothes or food 
were sent for my use from my house, the bundles containing them 
were strictly examined by the sentries who were placed over me. 
After I retired to rest, I was visited at every relief (two hours) by 
the new sentry, who used to remove the clothes from my face, to 
see that I was the person confined. The truth is, that I seldom, 
if ever enjoyed sound sleep. For twenty-two days I had not a visit 
from the Resident, nor from any officer of the Government. On 
the twenty-third day the Resident sent for me. When I came, he 
said to me, ' If you give me a true statement of the crimes com- 
mitted by his Highness, the Honourable Company will always 
remain your friend.' The Resident also said to me, that from the 
time of Mr. Elphinstone, the Raja had hinted that the sway of the 
East India Company was on the decline, and would terminate ere 
long ; that this was not the part for the Maharaj to act, as he had 
received every kindness from the Government of India. Tlie 
Resident then said, that if I did not tell the whole truth, he would 
punish me in every way that might lie in his power. 

" I replied, that for my own profit and advantage, I would not tell 
a falsehood, nor would I for my own gain be a party to the destruc- 
tion of another; that I would tell the whole truth. That my 
family hud for seven generations been the servants of the Rajas of 


Sattara. That when the Honourable Company was at war with 
Bajee Rao Peishwa, I acted as a meditaor between the Raja of 
Sattara and the Honourable Company : ray exertions in this 
business were well known to, and appreciated by Mr. Elphinstone, 
General Smith, &c. During the battle between Bajee Rao and 
the Honourable Company's forces,* I w^ent into the midst of the fire 
with the Maharaj, his brother, and their mother, and introduced 
them to General Smith on the field of battle. The result was, 
that Bajee Rao, having been made acquainted with this circumstance, 
fled from the field. For having rendered this service to your 
Government, I am now made a prisoner by you ! This is ray 
reward for having done you all the good that lay in my power. 
The Resident on hearing this said, ' What have you to urge in 
reply to the charges brought against the Maharaj by other persons, 
to the effect, that the sway of the English in India would terminate 
before long ?' I replied, ' Those who aspersed the Maharaj, did 
so for their own private ends — if you can prove any misconduct or 
treason against rae under my own signature, I then am satisfied to 
be blown away from the mouth of a cannon.' The several ques- 
tions that w^ere put to me by the Resident, were written by Ballajee 
PuntNathoo,t who was present during the time I was in the 
Resident's company. The Resident put these questions hastily, 
and without giving me the least time for reflection as to the answer 
I should give. He did not even give me a copy of what transpired 
at our interview. I cannot exactly recollect the number of questions 
put to me, nor all the answers I gave ; but I send you an account 
of the principal. 

" Questions put by the Resident, to the Chitnavees, when in 
confinement: — 
'• Question. Did not a Hubshee chief J residing in a small island 
near Bombay, send by one of his people a sword, dress of honour, 

* The battle of Ashta. 

f The man, who for plotting against, and betraying the Raja, has been 
rt' warded with an estate, and an additional pension. 

X Intriguing with the Hubshee, is one of the cumulating charges of which 
tlie Riija is found guilty by tlie Bombay Government. 


yellow cocoa nuts, and some betel nuts (sooparee) as a present to 
the Maharaj ? Did not his Highness send the chief a sword and 
robe of honour (Khilat) as also a person to deliver his Highness 's 
present ? 

" Jnswer. The Hubshee chief has in his service 50 or 100 men, 
and four or five horsemen. The receipt of his Jagheer amounts to 
75,000, or one lac of rupees a year ; could such a chief have it in 
his power to give the Raja assistance, or be the means of over- 
throwing the Company's authority in India ? The chief never sent 
a present to his Highness, nor did the latter send a Khilat to the 
chief. The ISIaharaj has always acted in conformity to the treaty 
existing between his Highness and the East India Company. 
There is a place named Shreewurdhun, in Hubshee island, where 
my brother-in-law resides. He is in the service of the Hubshee 
chief. On the marriage of my son, my brother-in-law sent us, not. 
the Raja, some yellow cocoa nuts and sooparee (betel nuts.) Ad- 
joining the Suchoos* country, there is a place in the occupation of 
the Hubshee chief. A note arrived from the chief, addressed to 
the late Resident of Sattara, General Lodwick. This note was 
brought by my brolher-in-law. When the latter arrived, I invited 
him to my house, and entertained him. I afterwards introduced 
him to the Maharaj. How can sedition for a moment be inferred 
from my brother-in-law, on my son's marriage, visiting us and 
bringing with him a few coaca nuts and betel nuts? Afterward, 
my brother-in-law was brought from the Hubshee chief's country 
by the governor of Bombay's order, and sent a prisoner to Sattara. 
An investigation was entered upon, and as there was no evidence to 
implicate my brother, he was liberated and returned to the chief's 

*' Q,. Were not the Raja and the Raja of Kolapore intimate 
friends ? Did not great friendship exist between both of them, 
from the time of Elphinstone Sahib, in plotting the overthrow of 
the British rule ? Did not the Kolapore Raja send the Maharaj 
a sword and diamond ring ; and did not the R:ija, in return, send 
the Kolapore Raja a sword and ring ? 

* One of t'.ie Sattara JasihoerJai's . 


" A. This is an extraordinary charge. Such lies may obtain cre- 
dence from the lower orders ; but how strange, that people in the 
higher ranks of life should listen to such falsehoods ! 

" Q. Resident. How can you deny these statements ? (charges 
of mine.) 

"A. Here, where you and I are now seated, I can disprove 

" Q. Resujekt. Refute my statements if you can ? 

" A. In the temple of Kolapore is the goddess ' Devee.' The 
Maharaja's Ranee (queen) fell sick. The Maharaj wished to go to 
Kolapore to invoke the assistance of the goddess. The Governor 
of Bombay in the mean time came to Sattara ; the Maharaj asked 
permission of his Excellency to proceed to Kolapore, when he 
could also have an opportunity of seeing his brotherhood. The 
Governor ordered an officer to inquire of the Raja of Kolapore, if 
there was any necessity or occasion for the Raja's going to Kola- 
pore to visit the goddess, as also to see his kindred ? And 
whether it was the Kolapore Raja's wish to see the Maharaj of 
Sattara ? The before-mentioned officer communicated the Gover- 
nor's message to the Raja of Kolapore, who replied, ' The Rajas 
of Kolapore have not had interviews with the Rajas of Sattara for 
one hundred years. Friendship has not existed between them, nor 
do I wish to see the Raja come on the proposed visit to me, I will 
depart from Kolapore should he enter it.' This answer of the 
Kolapore Raja was transmitted by the officer to the Bombay 
Council, who conveyed it to the Resident of Sattara in 1832. The 
Maharaj, on hearing the Kolapore Raja's determination, gave up 
his intended journey to Kholapore.* Now, may I ask, was it likely, 
after the Raja of Kolapore's conduct, that my master, the Raja of 
Sattara, would send him a sword and diamond ring ? and is it possi- 
ble that the Raja of Kolapore would send the Maharaj a sword and 
ring ? The Resident, on hearing this statement from me, referred 
to his books and dates, M-hen he found that I was correct in what I 
related, and remained silent. 

" Q. Did not Wittul Rao Dewanjee, minister of the Guicowar, at 

* Central Robertson, tlie then Resident, can speak to tbis occurrence. 


Baroda, send through you a horse and dress of honour for your 
master, the Maharaj ? 

"A. Tenor twelve years ago, at which time Robertson Sahib 
was Resident at Sattara, the above-named Wittul Rao Dewanjee 
sent me a horse and dress for my own use ; he also sent me a 
letter with the present ; he is a relative of mine. The Resident 
heard of my having received this present. All the circumstances 
attending it were made known through Aba Joshee, the Resident's 
karkoon (clerk.) The Resident felt confident that there was no 
occasion for his interference in the matter. 

" Q. Did not the Maharaj through you engage the services of 
Chintamun-Rao Putwurdhun (Brahmin) for the overthrow of the 
East India Company ? What reply can you make to this charge ? 

"A. Chintamun-Rao, Ballajee Punt Nathoo, Nilkanth Shas- 
three (Brahmins) and our caste* have been at variance for a 
long time on the score of religion. A number of Brahmins, 
among whom were the above, used frequently to set upon us, 
as well as to quarrel and annoy us. In a short time these dis- 
putes were made known to the Government. How could it be 
supposed, from the great enmity which existed between the above- 
mentioned persons and our caste, that we should conspire with 
them for the purpose of exciting sedition against the Government 
of England ? It is all a falsehood, and which you yourself must 

" Q. Did not you communicate frequently with Gopal Rao Put- 
wur-Dhun (the chief of Jumkindce) in order that he should assist 
you in your treasonable designs ? 

" A. The Chitnees (secretary) of Gopal Rao is my son-in-law. 
When my son's marriage was about to be solemnized, I borrowed 
5000 rupees (500/.) through my son-in-law, from Gopal Rao, which 
sum I authorized to be levied from the village of Angapoor. The 
banker, Hurree Raja Ram, was my security for liquidating this 
debt, in case the amount should not be forthcoming from the vil- 
lage receipts. As to the charge of treason, I know nothing of it. 
The Government wrote to the Raja of Sattara, requesting the 

* The Prublioo caste. 


Maharaj to grant Gopal Rao Putwurdun an interview, 'which 
would give great pleasure to the Government.' The meeting did 
not take place. 

" Q. What, and how many agents, has the Maharaj sent to 
Bombay ? 

" A. Such and such persons (writing their names, and presenting 
the list to the Resident.) 

'* Q. Did you not send Rungoo Bapojee to Bombay ? 

"A. Rungoo Bapojee went to Bombay by the Maharaj 's order. 
He is in the service of the Raja. 

" Q. As to the letters which you sent in the Raja's name to the 
Governor and to London : why did not you send them through the 
Resident, according to usage ? What was the purport of these let- 
ters, and to whom were they dispatched under cover ? 

"A. I cannot answer you ; you must put this question to the 
Maharaj, who will be enabled to give you a reply. Should I give 
you an answer, in all probability it would give you pain. (Upon 
hearing this the Resident and Ballajee Punt Nathoo insisted that I 
should give a reply.) I therefore said, that in the time of Elphin- 
stone Sahib, it was ordered that, whenever the Maharaj and Resi- 
dent disagreed, the Raja of Sattara was at liberty to address the 
British Government. The custom has always been, that whenever 
the Maharaj thought fit to write to the Governor, he could do so 
without consulting the Resident. The Court of Directors have 
likewise been pleased to express their pleasure and willingness to 
receive letters from the Maharaj, in order to make any arrange- 
ments that the Maharaj might w ish to have effected. I here referred 
the Resident to the Government orders ; but he declined to peruse 
them. I then told the Resident that the Maharaj had addressed the 
Queen of England, the Houses of Lords and Commons, the Board 
of Control, and the Honourable Court of Directors. The letters 
which I wrote were written by the Maharaj 's orders; their contents 
were not seditious. 

" After my interview with the Resident, he forwarded me to 
Poonah, in a closed palanqueen, escorted by fifty Sipahis, with 
fixed bayonets, held close to the palanqueen. In this way, on the 
3rd of October, 1837, I reached Poonah. I was confined in the 


gaol of Poonah for two years and three months. On the 27th of 
September, 1829, I was released from prison. On the day of 
ray release I received an order from the acting Judge, Richard 
Mills, Sahib, forbidding my entering Sattara, and that I should 
remain at Poonah. I send you a copy herewith of Mr. Mill's 

"From the time that I was made a prisoner, to this day, I have not 
received one pice (penny) for my expences ; nor were there any 
arrangements made for defraying them. On this account I was 
sorely distressed, and put to much inconvenience. 

" While I was in confinement, I addressed a petition to the 
Government, who replied, that until a decision should be come to 
upon my case, they could not assist me. I sent in my petition 
on the 6th of October, 1838. The Government answer reached 
me on the 31st of December, 1838. I also forward to you a 
copy of this petition and the Government answer thereto. 

"On my release from the Poonah gaol, my enemies, by the ad- 
vice of Appa Sahib, made a complaint against me, and presented 
a petition, stating that they had lost a great deal by me. There- 
upon, my house, property, and lands were taken from me. I 
then addressed a petition to the Resident, dated 29th June, 1841, 
but have received no reply up to the present time. 

" My younger brother, Yeswunt Rao, is now in the service of 
the Maharaj at Benares. He has been deprived of his house by 
the Sattara Government, who have made it over to the Karcoon 
(clerk) of the Suchew. Appa Sahib afterwards seized this house, 
and has given it to a woman of his who is a native of Jum- 

"All the books and papers belonging to the Maharaj, as well as 
my own documents, were removed from my house. The papers 
of consequence have been selected, and those which were of no 
use except to rae were left behind. Ten or twelve camel loads 
were thus removed by the Sattara Government. I cannot find 
words to convey to you even an idea of the difliculties and distress 
I have suffered through these tyrannical and shameful pro- 

" In conclusion, as I was not supplied with copies of what trans- 



pired during my examination, you must be content with what I 
furnish you from recollection. I have abridged what took place 
as well as I could. Were I to send you a full statement it would 
fill quires of paper. 

" BuLWUNT Rao. 


XL — Gratuitous Harshness and Cruelty in the Manner 
OF the Raja's Dethronement, 
I believe, Sir, that even my opponents in this Court will be dis- 
posed to admit that the manner of the Raja's dethronement was 
unnecessarily severe. It is too late in the day to go minutely into 
the circumstances. He was taken naked from his couch at night. 
He was placed in that condition in a palanquin. He was imme- 
diately removed from his capital. He was afterwards lodged in a 
manner unbecoming his rank — and all this was under the autho- 
rity, and by order, of Colonel Ovans. Now, Sir, it is only neces- 
sary to bring to your remembrance the fact that the Raja only a 
few days before these insults were offered him by Colonel Ovans, 
volunteered to remain at the Residency, and from thence to accom- 
pany the Governor pending the issue of an inquiry into the charges 
brought against him. Why then was he apprehended like a felon 
in the night, and dragged naked from his bed ? I have no hesita- 
tion in stating in the presence of gentlemen who have been Resi- 
dents at Sattara, that if during any hour of the day a respectful 
message had been sent to the Raja to leave his palace and to place 
himself in the hands of the British Resident, he would have done 
so. Why then was his dethronement effected in the manner I have 
described ? It was that thereby there might be brought about a 
bloody collision between the troops of the Raja and the British sol- 
diery, when the whole of the property in Sattara would have been 
claimed as plunder. Yes, Sir, the scheme was deeply laid, but the 
Raja frustrated it. That good man foreseeing the doom that awaited 
him, took the most effectual means of preventing that conflict which 
it was the object of Colonel Ovans to bring about. But what shall 
we say of the man who thus perilled the peace of a city and the lives 
of its inhabitants ? What ? but that he acted in the closing scene 


of this guilty drama as he had done at its commencement. He began 
with falsehood, treachery, and subornation, and but for the efforts 
of his victim he would have ended with spoliation and blood. 

XII. — Violation of a Written Pledge, that if the Raja peace- 
ably relinquished his throne, his property, bona fide private, 
would be respected. 

On this subject I can do no more than repeat what I stated in 
this Court in March last. On the 30th of August we find the 
governor writing a letter of instructions to the Resident, Colonel 
Ovans, in reference to the conduct he is to pursue in the removal 
of the Raja from Sattara, and the installation of his brother, Appa 
Sahib. And this brings me to the spoiling of the Raja of his 
private property. The letter of Sir James is on page 469, and 
the following is the eighth paragraph : — 

" 8. You will be careful to provide, in the most eflectual manner, for 
the personal comfort and convenience of the Raja and his family, and to 
require the Sattara Government to furnish everything that may be ne- 
cessary for their accommodation, lie is, in fact, to he reyardvd and treated 
as an object of sympathy, and not ofpvnishment. You will inform him that 
he will be permitted to reside within the Honourable Company's terri- 
tories, at such place as may be selected by the Right Honourable the 
Governor General of India, and that an annual alhnvance n-ill be assiyned 
from the Sattara revenues for the support and respectability of himself, 
and those members of his family who may choose to accompany him. 
Further, that all property hehmying to him, hond fide private, and not ap- 
pertaining to the state, uill, ON his PEACEAni,E submission, not be in- 
terfeied with." 

Here, then, we have a solemn and deliberate pledge given by 
■a British Governor, in the name of the East India Company and 
the Government and the people of England. It is a pledge, that if 
the Raja yields a peaceable submission to the order for his de- 
thronement, his private propertu shall not be interfered icith. 
Did his highness, the Raja of Sattara, comply with the condition ? 
He did ; not a single soldier was required to carry the Governor's 
despotic and unauthorised order into eflect. The Raja was be- 

u 2 


loved as few princes have ever been. That he was brave, and 
had a soul that could face death, I have often proved out of the 
mouth of your Governor himself. His people told him of his 
approaching ruin. They would have died around his palace, as 
Mahrattas know how to die, in defence of their own and the 
rights of a prince whom they honour and love. Did the Raja 
ruffle up their spirits by an appeal to them against the almost 
diabolical tyranny of dethroning him without a hearing ? Did he 
call upon them to take up arms, and resist the mercenariesof th e 
British, when they should attempt to march into Sattara to drag 
him from the palace of his ancestors ? No. He ordered every 
grain of powder in his magazine to be damped. He disarmed 
his officers. He left the soldiers without a leader. He commanded 
his subjects to their dwellings. He issued orders for their ob- 
servance of a strictly passive line of conduct. He obliged his 
cousin, the Commander-in-Chief of his forces, to sleep unarmed 
in a room adjoining his own. He removed nothing. He turned 
not a key upon his most private papers. He secreted none of this 
treasure. He went to his couch to rest, and in the middle of the 
night, at the summons of Colonel Ovans, he rose, got into his 
palanquin, and left the British Resident in quiet possession of his 
palace, and retired a prisoner in the hands of our soldiery. Did 
the Raja of Sattara, I again ask, fulfil the terms of the pledge 
given by Sir James Carnac ? Did ever mortal man yield a more 
unresisting compliance with the command of an enemy ? There 
is not a man here who will, for a moment, dare to deny, still less 
undertake to disprove, the truth of what I have now asserted. 
Everlasting shame be upon the heads of those who disgraced them- 
selves by the acts which stain this part of the proceedings against 
the Raja of Sattara. 

The pledge given by Sir James Carnac was thrice repeated 
by Col. Ovans. In official notes, dated respectively the 5th, 6th, 
and 13th of September, the Raja is assured that his private pro- 
perty will be held sacred to his use, and will be at his own dis- 
posal. I will read you an extract from the note dated the 13th, 
and that you may have no reason to question its authenticity, I 
will first read you the words of Major Carpenter, the high-minded 


officer who has had charge of the Raja during the whole period of 
the exile of that prince at Benares. Writing to Mr. Maddock, the 
Secretary to the Government of India, 15tli November, 1840, 
Major Carpenter says : — 

"Par.!?. The ex-Raja has in his possession three letters, signed by 
Colonel Ovans, the Resident at Sattara, and dated the 5th, Cih, and 13th 
of September, 1839, respectively, to the effect that his private property 
would be surrendered to him; and suggesting that lists of such portions 
thereof as he wished to take away, as well as of those articles he desired 
to leave in his palace, might be furnished, that which properly belonged 
to the state being retained." 

Major Carpenter then adds, in the next paragraph : — 

"9. I have carefaUi/ examined lUe documents referred to in the pre- 
ceding paragraph, and therefore believe the statements it (viz., a letter 
from the ex-Raja to the Resident, remonstrating against the claicns of 
Appa Sahib to his private property) contains, to be substantially correct j 
and if it be the pleasure of the Right flonourable the Governor-General 
in Council, the originals or translations thereof shall be submitted to his 
lordship's further consideration." 

With these extracts before the Court, the genuineness of the 
note from Colonel Ovans, which I am about to read, will not, I 
think, be doubted. It is as follows : — 

" Translation of a Mahratta Yad, ahhreviatcd, Jrom Colonel Ovans lo lux 
Highness the Raja of Sattara. 

" I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your Highness's 
communications of the 8th, and two of the lOth of S-iptember. 

" With reference to your Highness's private property, 1 beg to 
observe, that that will be at your own disposal, as distinguished 
from the public property of the state — namely, jewellery, robes, 
DRESSES, &c., money, FURNITURE, PLATE, and Other necessaries, which 
your Highness may require. On your Highnes» intimating the same, 1 


" All the papers and documents of the state will remain in possession 
of the British Government, as agreed on between your Highness and 


" Your Highness will not be long detained here, but will proceed on 
your journey as soon as I have received orders to that effect, for which 
you will be pleased to prepare yourself. 

" I will take the requisite steps in order to supply your Highness, if 
possible, with camels, &c., for the journey, as you have written. 

" (Signed) Colonel Ovans, 

'' Uth September, 1839. Resident." 

Would any man, with these official documents before him, believe 
it possible, that Col. Ovans, as the agent of the Bombay Govern- 
ment, would coolly and deliberately proceed to strip the Raja of 
every fragment of private property left behind him ? Have we not 
seen that his private property was pledged, in addition to an allow- 
ance suited to his rank and circumstances ? Would not a man of 
honour have made any sacrifice rather than violate a promise so 
plainly made ? Yet, without provocation, without an excuse, and 
almost without a pretext, Colonel Ovans proceeded to trample upon 
the pledge of the 30th of August, and the notes of September, and 
to obtain the sanction of the Bombay authorities and the Supreme 
Government to the transfer of the whole of the unhappy Raja's 
property to the hands of his perfidious and abandoned brother! 
The proof of this will be found in a correspondence which I will 
now lay before you. On page 29G, you will find a letter from Mr. 
Willoughby, the Secretary to the Government of Bombay, to Mr. 
T. H. Maddock, the officiating Secretary to the Government of 
India, with the Governor- General. The following is an extract: — 

" 6. With reference to the 10th paragraph of my letter to the Resident, 
I am directed to forward, for the consideration of the right honourable 
the Governor-General, copy of the letter therein alluded to. The Honour- 
able the Governor, Sir James Carnac, deems it only necessary to state it 
to be his opinion that the whole of the claims therein advanced by the ex- 
Eaja of Sattara should be declared inadmissible ; that the property 
which he claims shall be considered as appertaining to the state, and as 
such he made over to the present Raja ; and that the ex Raja be informed 
that the pension of one lac and 20,000 rupees is assigned to himself and 
family in satisfaction of «?/ demands whatever against the Sattara govern- 


Sir, I have now gone through the case against Col. Ovans, which 
I am prepared with evidence to estabhsh before a Committee of this 
Court, or any other tribunal, I cannot suppose it possible that you 
will allow imputations so heavy as those which I have now cast ui^on 
one of your officers, to pass unnoticed. Six months ago, your prede- 
cessor in that Chair read a despatch which had been sent from the 
Court of Directors to the Government of Bombay, dated 30th May, 
1843, in which the following paragraph is found : — 

" We feel it due to Lieutenant-Colonel Ovans and Mr. Willoughby to 
record our opinion that the investigations and discussions which have 
taken place have left not the slightest stain on their character, public or 
private, nor have tended in any way to lower the reputation which tliey 
had justly acquired to their previous public services." 

Sir, this despatch was written in consequence of the statement 
made by me in 1842, and by General Lodwick previously. Now, 
Sir, as the Court of Directors have thus publicly stated their confi • 
dence in Colonel Ovans, they are bound to come forward and vindi- 
cate his conduct, or as openly to retract the commendation they 
have bestowed upon it. As I stated at the commencement of this 
discussion, I have no wish to see my assertions received as truth 
without examination, I desire to place this inquiry out of my own 
hands, and to confide it to an impartial tribunal elected for the pur- 
pose by this body. I therefore move : — 

" That a Select Committee be appointed to inquire into the con- 
duct of Lieutenant- Colonel Charles Ovans, during the period that 
he filled the office of British Resident at the Court of Sattara." 

Mr. Serjeant Storks. — AVill the honourable Proprietor, Mr. 
Thompson, just allow me to ask a question. 

Mr. Thompson. — Most certainly. 

The Chairman. — We had better read the motion first. 

Mr. Serjeant Storks. — I thought, Sir, it would be much more 
convenient to put my question now, it is one which has an impor- 
tant relation to a fact which the honourable Proprietor has slat ed. 
Had I not better ask it before the motion is read ? 


The Chairman remained silent, and — 

The Clerk then read the motion. 

The Chairman. — Who seconds the motion ? 

Mr. Serjeant Gaselee and Mr. Gordon rose together. The former 
said — As I see another Proprietor on his legs I will give way, as I 
do not wish to speak on the question at present. 

Mr. Gordon. — I will second the motion. I must say that the 
conduct of the Directors to-day, in retiring into the next room to 
feed with their supporters, and eating and drinking while they leave 
others to starve, is unwarrantable. (Cries of " Question, question.") 

Captain Randall. — What has this to do with the question ? 

Mr. Gordon. — A great deal. The case is very different with 
those on this side of the bar — with those who are thrj friends of 
justice. The Directors go into an ante-room — there eat and drink — 
eome in again with their mouths full ; but on the other hand, any 
one who does not take their side against the Raja, is not allowed 
even to go near the fire, nor is any opportunity given him of taking 
refreshment. I say that as a Court of Justice you put yourselves on 
a level with your predecessors, who upheld the worship of Jugger- 
naut, and who burnt, or what is tlie same, permitted to be burnt, a 
widow every morning and evening. (Laughter.) It is a laughing 
matter, I know, with you. If Mr. Goldsmid was here he wjulJ 
laugh too, and his son would laugh, no doubt. (Loud cries of 
" Order, order.") 

The Chairman. — Really, Sir, I must call you to order. 

Mr. Serjeant Gaselee. — Sir, I was very anxious to delay speak- 
ing on the subject before the Court, until some one had spoken on 
the other side. My only reason for not seconding the motion was, 
that I wished to reserve my observations until they could be offered 
in reply to what might be advanced against the motion which has 
been made. I thought. Sir, that you (addressing the Deputy- 
Chairman) and other gentlemen would, as a matter of course, have 
spoken on the subject. 

The Chairman. — I deprecate the attempt again made to crimi- 
nate Colonel Ovans. His conduct has been fully investigated in all 
its bearings by his immediate superiors — the Bombay Government. 
A similar investigation has been gone into in a private quarter by 


the Court of Directors, and their confirmation of the decision of 
the local authorities has been confirmed by the Board of Commis- 
sioners for the affairs of India. Under these circumstances, and 
with reference to the opinion which has on more than one occasion, 
been pronounced by this Court, — that the conduct of Col. Ovana 
has been honourable and proper, I cannot, having respect to the 
decisions of this body, follow the speech of Mr. Thompson, nor 
shall I at all vindicate the conduct of the gallant officer who has 
been attacked. I have only to say, that I must negative the motion 
of the honourable Proprietor. 

Mr. Sergeant Gaselee. — Sir, I am very unwilling to go over 
again the ground which has been already travelled ; especially when 
no answer has been given to the charges brought forward by Mr- 
Thompson. I say with great humility, but at the same time with 
much confidence, that I think the friends of Colonel Ovans are 
doing all they can to bring him into disrepute. I certainly expected 
some one of the Directors would have addressed the Court on the 
present occasion, in reply to the honourable Proprietor who pro- 
posed the resolution. I had a right to anticipate this, because it 
has been said by one of your honourable Court (Major Oliphant) 
that the conduct of Colonel Ovans, in relation to the evidence of 
Krushnajee, was a gross dereliction of duty to his Governnunt, 
and an act of oppression to the Raja. I could not imagine that that 
observation would have been allowed to pass unnoticed by the other 
Directors, or by this Court of Proprietors, and therefore I was very 
unwilling to rise at an early period of the debate, naturally sup- 
posing that on a question of such vast importance, the observations 
of the honourable gentleman who has brought forward this question 
would not have been treated with what I must say I consider to be 
very great contempt. Sir, that honourable Proprietor has stated 
facts, the publication of which it is quite impossible to confine 
within the narrow precincts of these walls. They will go forth to 
the world, and I ask you, as a body of gentlemen, whether you be- 
lieve that any man who reads the report of this day's proceedings, 
will be satisfied by your merely passing a vote that Colonel Ovans 
is a man whose character stands unimpeached, when there is such 
a volume of conclusive facts against him ':' I put it to you indivi- 


dually ; if your own characters were so attacked, would you not 
demand the fullest inquiry ? Would you shield yourselves under a 
Note written to a Secretary, or a Despatch read by the Chairman of 
the Court of Directors ? But, Sir, no argument in reply to Mr. 
Thompson has been brought forward on the other side, and I shall 
therefore not waste time by addressing any further observations to 
the Court. I do not think it would be right under the circum- 
stances to do so. I shall therefore leave you the satisfaction of ne- 
gativing, as you no doubt will, this motion. I think it due to my- 
self to say, that I shall most decidedly vote for this inquiry into the 
conduct of Colonel Ovans. I have expressed my opinion strongly 
before, with reference to the conduct of that officer in concealing 
the evidence of Krushnajee for a period of eleven months, conduct 
which I again state, was a gross dereliction of his duty to the Go- 
vernment who employed him, and what is more, an act of the 
grossest injustice to the Raja. Sir, I say this advisedly, I think 
that this fact alone, unexplained as it is by those who are the sup- 
porters of Colonel Ovans, does affect most injuriously and fatally, 
the character of Colonel Ovans. Upon that ground alone, (and 1 
will not go into the other charges in this case,) I rest my opinion 
that this Committee ought to be granted. The fact to which I have 
now referred has been stated broadly by all who have spoken upon 
the subject in favour of the Raja on this side the bar, and by one 
honourable Director at the last meeting — and it has never been 
answered. If Colonel Ovans thinks that his character can be cleared 
by a resolution passed without the assignment of any reason — by a 
majority who come down here without hearing the facts or tlu 
arguments — a majority drummed up merely for the sake of voting 
— I say, if Colonel Ovans is satisfied with such a mode of defending 
him, I can of course say nothing. I consider that a committee of 
inquiry is imperatively required, and ought to be appointed by this 
Court. The accusations brought against Colonel Ovans are most 
serious, and should therefore be fully investigated. For this rea- 
son, Sir, I shall support the motion of the honourable Proprietor. 
It is to me a subject of much regret, that none of the Directors 
have thought it right to give an answer to these charges, which 
will now go forth to the world without one word of refutation — 


charges which most vitally affect the character of one of their offi- 
cers. I conclude by repeating what I have said — you are the 
friends neither of Colonel Ovans nor of yourselves by treating a 
question of this nature in the manner it has been treated by the 

Mr. George Thompson. — I have to-day brought forward a mo- 
tion for a select Committee of this Court, to inquire into twelve 
grave charges against the man who dethroned the Raja of Sattara. 
My proposition has been met by the Chairman with a direct nega- 
tive. That gentleman has declared that the charges I have this 
day preferred, have been fully investigated, and that Colonel 
Ovans has been honourably and justly acquitted. In the presence 
of the reporters for the public press — in the face of the Chairman 
himself — before the assembled Court, and before the world, / most 
deliberately, emphatically, and solemnly deny the truth of 
THAT ASSERTION. I Calmly, pointedly, and personally, defy 
the Chahman to name the time wheii, the place where, or the 
perso?is by whom, these charges were ever invest/gated. I pause 
for a reply. You do not answer. So much the worse for your 
reputation. Here, in this open Court, you tell me that these 
charges have been investigated— fully investigated — publicly and 
privately investigated — that there have been decisions upon these 
charges abroad, and decisions upon these charges at home. Here, 
in this open Court, I tell you that there have been 7io intjuirics, 
and deliberately challenge you to name the tribunal by which any 
inquiry has been conducted. I defy you to point to a7iy records of 
an 'nvestigation into any one of the charges 1 have now preferred. 
Again, I pause for a reply. You are still silent. Silence, iheJi, is 
your only answer to this deliberate, dispassionate, and public denial 
of the truth of what you have affirmed. You do not recall your 
words! Be it so. They, at least, are upon record. You shall 
hear of them another day. The time will come when you will 
have to support the truth of what you have /his day deliberately 
asserted. In the mean time, your position is bad enough, Heaven 
knows ! It is your plain duty to inform this Court, and the public, 
respecting the time, the place, and the circumstances coimected 


with the investigation which you say has taken place. If you can 
do this, and will nut, it will hereafter have to be considered whether 
you are not unworthy of your position as Chairman, and have not 
shown yourself capable of offering a public insult to the body to 
whom you are responsible. If you cannot make good wiiat you 
have said — if, as I believe, you are cognizant of the fact that 
there has been no inquiry of any hind into the charges I have this 
day preferred, then 1 can only say, that Colonel Ovans does not 
stand alone in the unenviable situation which he now occupies. 
** A full investigation into these charges !" Why, the majority of 
those I have made to-day have been made /or the first time. How 
will you explain this phenomenon ? But I will admit, for a moment 
the truth of your assertion. If, then, the ease be as you have 
stated, are you not anxious that this Court, as well as yourselves, 
should have the evidence of the innocence of Colonel Ovans before 
them ; or are you afraid that what has satisfied the minds of the 
local authorities, and your own minds, will not satisfy ours ? The 
first charge I ever brought against Colonel Ovans, was that of con- 
cealing the evidence of Krushnajee. What was the result ^ My 
charge was brought in 1842. I then went to India. When I was 
far away, you attempted to whitewash Colonel Ovans by a despatch 
which your predecessor in office, much to the regret of many who 
knew his opinions, read from that chair six months ago. What 
further result has followed ? Why, within the last four weeks, the 
truth of that charge has been universalUj admitted in this Court, 
and the Deputy Chairman lias exclaimed in our hearing, "Who 
doubts that Krushnajee wrote the petition?" and Mr. Weeding 
himself has ventured to hazard a few lame conjectures regarding 
the possible causes of the suppression by Colonel Ovans of the 
evidence of that fact for eleven months. 

You say these charges have been " fully investigated." Do you 
mean to say that it has been proved that Colonel Ovans did not 
write the letters which I have this day laid before the Court ? Do 
you wish that this should be the interpretation put upon your 
words ? Upon what have I rested my charge of suborning Bhow 
Leley ? of intercepting correspondence ? of extorting the confession 
of Govind Rao ? of concealing the evidence of Krushnajee ? of 


practising for two years a fraud upon his Government '< of entering 
into a solemn league and covenant with the leader of gang robbers, 
Ballcobar Kelkur ? of conniving at the treasonable use of the Raja's 
state seals? of imprisoning persons declared by the Supreme 
Government, upon the evidence of Colonel Ovans himself, to be 
innocent? of violating a thrice-repeated pledge to respect the 
private property of the Raja ? Upon what have I rested all tliese 
charges ? Have I not rested them upon the letters of Colonel 
Ovans, which the Court of Directors, through their sworn examiner, 
have presented to Parliament, as accurate transcripts of the origi- 
nals ? Have I not referred you to these letters, and stated my 
willingness that the examination of them should be placed in the 
hands of a Committee, chosen by the friends of Colonel Ovans ? 
Have I not voluntarily discarded every witness against Colonel Ovans, 
save Colonel Ovans himself ? and have I not, of my own free will, 
offered to bind myself to sustain every accusation by a fair reference to 
the official despatches of that officer. Am I to understand by what 
you have this day said, that there has been a full investigation of the 
contents of these letters, and that the result has been, either that 
these letters do not record the facts I have stated, or that the acts 
which they record were those of an upright and honourable man, 
and fully justified under the circumstances in which he was placed ? 
Why will you not tell us the nature of the verdict ? Has it been 
" aye" or "no" upon the facts, or has it been a verdict upon the 
character of the acts themselves ? If you are prepared to admit 
that Colonel Ovans did the things I have alleged — and I see not how 
you can deny it, since his oion letters tell you that he did them, — 
why do you not tell us upon what grounds you justify his conduct ? 
Why not tell us why you have sanctioned and approved the suborna- 
tion of Bhow Leley ? why you have commended the incarceration 
of Govind Rao, and the employment of Sukharam ? why you have 
praised Colonel Ovans for his systematic violation of the correspond- 
ence of all parties connected with the Raja of Sattara ? why you 
deem him a faithful officer, at the time he caused his Government 
and yourselves to believe a lie, by the concealment of the evidence 
of Krushnajee ? why you fully approve his conduct, in neglecting 
to bring to light the horrid conspiracy connected with the fraudulent 


use of the Raja's seals ? If all these acts were virtuous acts, and if 
they are in your estimation worthy of your commendation and your 
thanks, why do you not boldly come forward and defend them by 
argument ? In this country such ads are crimes. They are 
amongst the gravest in our statute-books — they expose a man who 
commits them here, to imprisonment and transportation. Colonel 
Ovans has sworn that he did not pay for evidence against the Raja. 
/ have offered to prove that he did pay for evidence agai7ist the 
Raja — that his whole course of proceeding was one continued series 
of acts of subornation, bribery, intimidation, and extortion ; and 
that he consorted with the most abandoned wretches on the face of 
the earth, to accomplish one of the worst ends — the dethronement 
of an innocent, an enlightened, and a beneficent prince, whom he 
was bound by treaty to aid with his friendly counsel. I have 
not only charged Colonel Ovans with subornation, and the other 
crimes I have specified, but I have laid the proofs of my charges 
before you ; and every document which I have put in as evidence 
to sustain those charges, bears the signature of Colonel Ovans him- 
self. I call upon you to justify the oath of Colonel Ovans, which 
you have yourselves printed and given to the world. 

I foresee the result of my present appeal. Here are your voters 
ready to do your bidding, and deny the inquiry which I ask. You 
have done as you did on the last occasion. On the evening of the 
first day of the last debate, you sent round your porters with notes 
to summon your forces to the field — and they obeyed your man- 
date. They mustered in your behalf, and voted that the dethroned 
Raja of Sattara should not be permitted to reply to the charges 
upon which he has been exiled and plundered. The same men are 
here to-day, to shield by their votes the criminal whom I would 
bring to justice. I know the odds against which I am called to 
contend. I know the influence of that esprit de corps of which 
Mr. Weeding recently spoke. I see in this Court those who are 
the relatives, by blood and by marrriage, of Messrs. Willoughby 
and Ovans, and Carnac, the guilty parties in this most atrocious 
transaction. What can I expect, but that I shall be defeated by a 
large majority ? Even those with whom I have the honour to 
co-operate on the general question, shrink from the task of assist- 


ing me in this prosecution. I do not deny it — I am all but alone 
on this occasion ; and yet, strange to say, of all who compose the 
East India Company, and of the many who would fain extricate 
Colonel Ovans from his present miserable dilemma, there is not 
one man to be found, with sufficient courage to undertake to gain- 
say a tittle of anything I have advanced. What a spectacle for 
the world to gaze upon ! I stand up here, in my capacity as an 
East India Proprietor, and level the heaviest of all accusations 
against one of your officers, whom you have again and again de- 
clared worthy of your confidence. I repeat those accusations — I 
persist in them through years — I reduce them to writing — I put 
them in print — I sign my name to them — I send them to the party 
accused — I give this Court due notice of them — I make myself 
liable to the severest penalties, in the event of being proved to be 
a malicious or a false accuser — I do not hide myself — I walk 
through the streets of London — my residence is known — I am 
ever to be found, and am ever accessible. And yet, though I charge 
ColonelOvans with being a suborner of false testimony, an opener of 
letters, a confederate of thieves, and forgers and perjurers, a traitor 
to his trust as a British officer, a concealer of evidence, a misleader 
and deceiver of the Government he served, and a swearer to an 
affidavit at utter variance with the statements contained in his own 
official despatches, neither Colonel Ovans nor the friends of Colonel 
Ovans have one word to say in refutation of those charges, nor do 
they take one step towards silencing by a process at law the person 
who brings them. This is what I suppose you dignify with the 
name of a prudent course. Are you quite sure it is a prudent course, 
as far as you are concerned ? Is it not possible that you may be 
involving yourselves beyond future redemption ? Do you ever stay 
to consider the verdict which will hereafter be pronounced upon 
your own conduct ? Are you sufficiently regardful of the fact, that 
all these charges are founded upon the documents which you have 
furnished to the Imperial Legislature of the country ? Do you bear 
it constantly in your mind, as I think you should do, that the evi- 
dence which I bring forward, has come through your hands, and 
that you are under an oath of office to consider all such evidence with 
impartiality, and to do justice without respect of persons. Are you 


aware, that if you fail hereafter to justify your praises of Colonel 
Ovans, they will turn into so many sentences of condemnation on 
yourselves ; and that what may now be sweet as honey to Colonel 
Ovans, may by and by be bitter as gall to you ? Do you reflect 
that these despatches, and minutes, and amendments, will all rise in 
judgment against you, in the day when the guilt of Colonel Ovans 
is manifested, and you see him visited with the punishment he de- 
serves ? You may call your conduct chivalrous towards him, but 
what is it towards the Raja of Sattara, and the cause of truth and 
justice, and innocence ? Beware ! I tell you calmly — you cannot 
save Colonel Ovans, but you may sink yourselves. Remember, we 
are in England ; in a land where the press is free — where judges 
are incorruptible, where juries are honest, and where public opinion 
will decide a cause equitably as respects the criminal, even when 
the accuser may be made individually to suffer, on mere legal and 
technical grounds. It may be, that in my zeal for the innocent and 
suffering Raja, and in my unfeigned horror and detestation of the 
crimes which I firmly believe Colonel Ovans has perpetrated to- 
wards that unhappy prince, I may have exposed myself to danger. 
Be it so. Welcome the penalty of having been less wise than I 
might have been in the cause of truth. It is little, God knows, 
that I can do for the Raja, but I am willing, God also knows, 
to suffer for him. Whatever I may have done that is legally 
wrong (though I am all unconscious of having exceeded my duty 
or my privilege) I am firml}'' upheld by the conviction, that what- 
ever I have done has been morally right. 

Consider well the effect of the vote you are about to give. 1 
am not answered — I recall the word — I am answered. Your pro- 
found silence is an all-significant and convincing answer. It 
proclaims, louder than the sound of trumpets to the world, that 
Colonel Ovans is guilty — guilty of every crime I have alleged 
against him. Guilty in the presence of twenty-four Directors of 
the East India Companj^, and in the presence of this assembled 
Court. Consider well, I say, the effect of your vote. If you ne- 
gative my motion, what then ? I shall immediately hand in 
my charges with all due formality. The press will publish 
them — you must publish them, — and this day three months 


you will have to sit and hear my evidence in support of them ; 
and after that you will have to vote yes or no upon those charges. 
You will then but have put off the evil day. I tell you more. I 
have charges in store for others besides Colonel Ovans, and these 
also I shall prefer and prove. I tell you yet more. I am the de- 
pository of a few secrets concerning the motives and conduct ot 
the leading parties in the proceedings against the Kaja, and though 
the exposure of these may have less to do with the establishment 
of the Raja's innocence than the charges I have now brought 
against Colonel Ovans, I shall nevertheless deem it my duty to 
drag them into the light of day, and hold them up to the wonder 
and execration of the world ; and when I have done so, and those 
whom you are now seeking to justify, are the objects of universal 
abhorrence, you will have yourselves to thanii for the ruin of repu- 
tation in which they will be for ever involved. 

What I again ask, do you expect to gain by your refusal to go 
into the inquiry proposed ? If conscious that you are right, why 
do you not at once bring the question to issue and have it settled ? 
If you are conscious that you are wrong, why do you accumulate 
materials for your future condemnation by resisting the evidence, 
and continuing to keep an innocent man in captivity while you 
protect those who have been the guilty instruments of his ruin ? I 
have told you before, and I once more warn you, of the inevitable 
consequence of such a course — it is your own destruction. The 
idea is already abroad, and it is gaining rapidly on the public mind, 
that you are not the friends but the opponents of justice ; that the 
Court of Directors are the supporters and abettors of those who 
have perpetrated the most-horrid crimes against the Raja of Sattara, 
and that the minions of that Court in this place are ready at all 
times to defend their patrons with their votes, and to declare that 
black is white in the cause of their hon. masters. While you had 
it in your power to prevent publicity being given to such conduct, 
you enjoyed security in your misdeeds. While a vote in this Court 
was sufficient to silence the advocate of truth, you were safe. Such 
is not now the state of things. You are already afraid to speak, 
and are reduced to the last and most miserable expedient of giving 
dumb votes. Before long, your usual supporters will be ashamed 


to come and do your dirty work, and not even your urgent notes, 
nor your liberal lunches set out for them in an adjoining room, will 
be inducements strong enough to bring them to this Court, to dis- 
grace themselves by a vote in your favour. During this process, 
the public will by degrees, slow it may be, but most certainly, learn 
the merits of this case ; and the press, at present disposed to regard 
these proceedings as petty squabbles upon an insignificant subject, 
will embody the feelings of an indignant people. The Government, 
in the interval, will not be indifferent to the matter, and when once 
they have you on the hip, will feed fat the ancient grudge they owe 
you, will make a virtue of necessity, and will not only mete out 
punishment to those you are now seeking to shield, but will deal 
with you as with accessories after the fact. 

I do not wish it to be understood that my sole motive in arraign- 
ing Colonel Ovans, is the exposure and punishment of that indi- 
vidual ; though I consider it of the utmost importance that, by 
making an example of one so pre-eminently guilty, there should 
be some check put to the manifestly unjust and immoral practices of 
British^Residents at Native Courts, and some more clear definition of 
the extent of their power, and the nature of their duties. Apart, 
however, from this view of the question, I am led to feel a deep 
interest in the issue of this inquiry, for the special reason that, if 
Colonel Ovans be guilty, the establishment of the Raja's innocence 
follows as a matter of course, since the proof of that guilt is also the 
proof that the whole proceedings against the Raja were corrupt, 
and that he was ultimately deposed upon evidence not only suborned 
but demonstrably false and perjured. 

I now. Sir, leave my motion in the hands of the Court. It is 
supported by reason, by justice, and by necessity. It suggests a 
course to which I can conceive no possible objection. Should it be 
rejected, I shall then be fully justified in the ulterior measures 
which I contemplate ; and upon the heads of those, who by their 
votes may defeat my present object, will lie the responsibility of all 
future consequences. 

The motion was then put and negatived. 

Mr. George Thompson. — Sir, I have another motion to bring 


forward to-day, which is one of very great importance. The 
motion I have to submit is to this effect : — " That it be proposed as 
a question to Counsel whether the dethronement of the Raja of 
Sattara was or was not an illegal act." There is a statute of the 
3.3rd of George the Third, chap. 32. That Act distinctly and ex- 
pressly declares, that no hostile measures shall be pursued towards 
any prince in India, nor any treaty formed with any native prince 
in India, nor any treaty already made with any native prince in India, 
disturbed, except by the express command of the Secret Committee 
of the Court of Directors, by and with the advice and consent of 
Her Majesty's Board of Commissioners for the affairs of India. 
The Raja of Sattara was dethroned without any of those preliminaries 
which, as expressed in the Act, are necessary to constitute such an 
act a justifiable and legal act. A new treaty may be made, a prince 
dethroned, or a country invaded, where there is open hostility on 
the part of the native power, or imminent peril threatening the 
existence of the British Government in India; but the Raja of 
Sattara was dethroned under no such circumstances ; he was de- 
throned after he was declared innocent by the Court of Directors. 

Captain Randall. — I beg pardon of the honourable Proprietor, 
but I believe it is very unusual in a Proprietor to make a motion. 

The Chairman. — Mr. Thompson is in order. Proceed, Mr. 

Mr. George Thompson. — I will not occupy the attention of 
honourable Proprietors many moments. I merely wish to state the 
grounds on which I bring forward this motion. It has long been 
my opinion that the dethronement of the Raja of Sattara was an 
illegal act, inasmuch as the state of Sattara was, at the time, one of 
perfect tranquillity. The Raja had not been guilty of any overt 
act — no peril threatened our Government — there was no case of 
imminent emergency — and no prospect of our suffering from the 
delay of measures — and yet, under these circumstances — at the very 
moment when the British Resident was instructed by Sir James 
Carnac to assure his Highness of the desire of the British Govern- 
ment to maintain the relations of perfect amity — at that very moment, 
articles were being drawn up, the refusal to sign whicli constituted 


the only crime of the Raja, and led to his dethronement. Now, Sir, 
we are under Statute law. We can do nothing, as a Company, re- 
pugnant either to the letter or the spirit of Statute law. This is not a 
law far-fetched, and only indirectly relevant to the question in hand ; 
but is a statute framed for the express purpose of meeting cases like 
the present. The act is made for the case, and the case is made for 
the act ; it bears directly upon it, and I want to know, without 
speaking of the guilt or innocence of the Raja, w hether the act of 
his dethronement was a legal or an illegal act. To facilitate this, I 
have specified in my motion certain papers, which I honestly be- 
lieve to contain all that is necessary, with the exception of the act 
itself, and the treaty, to be laid before counsel. These papers 
are — the first Minute of Sir James Carnac upon the subject — the 
second Minute, which contains a statement of the measures intended 
to be pursued — his long Minute of the 4th of September, in which 
he states the nature of his interviews with the Raja — his Letters 
of Instructions to Colonel Ovans — the Proclamation which Colonel 
Ovans issued, and the Letter of Colonel Ovans giving the result of 
the measures he had adopted for the dethronement of the Raja. I 
want these documents, together with the treaty, and the reference 
to the statute, to be submitted to counsel, and I am desirous that 
this Court should have before them a legal opinion as to the legality 
or otherwise of this act of dethronement of the Raja. I therefore 
move : — 

" That the following papers, namely : a minute recorded by Sir 
James Rivett Carnac, Governor of Bombay, dated 19th June, 1839, 
(vide papers printed by the House of Commons, No. 569, of 1843, 
p. 253,) a minute by Sir James Rivett Carnac, dated 20th June, 
1839, (printed par. papers, p. 255,) a letter from Sir James Rivett 
Carnac, to Lieutenant-Colonel Ovans, Resident at Sattara, dated 
August 30th, 1839, (printed par. papers, p. 469,) a proclamation 
issued by Lieutenant- Colonel Ovans, dated September 5th, 1839, 
(printed par. papers, p. 1153,) a letter from Lieutenant- Colonel 
Ovans, to Sir James Rivett Carnac, dated September 5th, 1839, 
(printed par. papers, p. 470,) and a minute by Sir James Rivett 
Carnac, dated September 4th, 1839, (printed par. papers, p. 265,) 


be submitted to the consideration of counsel, and that an opinion be 
requested, whether the dethronement of his Highness Pertaub 
Shean, the ex-Raja of Sattara, was or was not a violation of an 
Act passed in the Thirty-Third Year of the Reign of his Majesty 
George the Third, cap. 52, sees. 42 and 43 ; and that such opinion, 
when obtained, be laid before a Special Court, to be convened for 
the purpose of receiving and considering the same." 

The Clerk then read the Motion. 

The Chairman. — Does any person second the Motion ? 

Mr. Peter Gordon. — I second the Motion with great pleasure- 

The Motion was then put and negatived. 

Mr. George Thompson. — Now, Sir, having lost two motions 
to-day, before this Court adjourns, I have two notices to give ; 
one arising out of the defeat of my first motion, and the other 
out of the defeat of the second, which has just been lost. 


1. That Colonel Ovans, who was bound by treaty to give his 
advice to the Raja for the good of Sattara his state, and for the 
maintenance of the general tranquillity, did, on the very day of his 
arrival at Sattara, on the 16th of June, 18;}7, and of his assuming 
office as Resident and Commanding Officer of the British troops, 
authorize his staff officer. Captain F. Uurack, to pay to one Bhow 
Leley, a man Colonel Ovans had never seen, and of the " worst 
character," the sum of 200 rupees, for the production of certain 
documents purporting to criminate the Raja, and also to give to the 
said Bhow Leley a written assurance that he should be further re- 
warded, in proportion to the services he might render ; and that 
when Bhow Leley failed to produce such documents at the time 
appointed, Colonel Ovans authorized Captain Durack to give him 
another trial : which acts of Colonel Ovans, were a subornation of 
evidence against the Raja, a gross violation of his duty as Resident, 
and such as proved him to have come to Sattara, as the unscru- 
pulous enemy of the Raja : further, that these acts were concealed 
by Colonel Ovans from the knowledge of his Government. 


2. That Colonel Ovans did, from the time of his assuming office 
as Resident, down to the period of the Raja's dethronement in the 
month of September, 1839, systematically intercept, and cause to 
be intercepted, the whole of the correspondence of the Raja, his 
servants and his friends ; and that Colonel Ovans did convert such 
systematic intercepting, opening, and perusing of the said correspon- 
dence, into a means of counteracting and defeating every endeavour 
wliich the Raja made to obtain a hearing, and to make known his case 
to the British Government ; and into a means of secretly calumniating 
the friends of the Raja to the British Authorities. 

3. That Colonel Ovans did, in the month of July, 1837, obtain the 
removal of Govind Rao, a subject and friend of the Raja of Sattara, 
then confined at Poonah, to strict confinement in the fortress of Ah- 
mednuggur, where, by means of a Secret Emissary sent from Sattara 
expressly for the purpose, Colonel Ovans, obtained from Govind Rao, 
a paper, purporting to be a Confession of the Truth of a Petition cri- 
minating the Raja, which Petition as Colonel Ovans had previously 
reported to his Government, had been proved by him to be tlie Peti- 
tion of Girjabaee, the mother of Govind Rao ; by which act Colonel 
Ovans was guilty of Extorting Evidence against the Raja by the foul 
means of imprisonment and duresse. 

4. That Colonel Ovans did suppress from the knowledge of his 
Government, for a period of eleven months, that is to say, from the 7th 
of September, 1837, until the 16th of August, 1838, the Evidence of 
Krushnajee Sadasew Bhidey ; which evidence established the fact, that 
he, Krushnajee Sadasew Bhidey, was the actual writer of the Petition 
ascribed by Colonel Ovans to Girjabaee, the mother of Govind Rao, 
and which Evidence furtlier proved, that the account of the said Peti- 
tion, which Colonel Ovans had sent to his Government on the 21st of 
July, and the 12th of Angust, 1837, was entirely false. 

5. That on the faith of the above false information, Colone 
Ovans obtained from the Government of Bombay, full power to 
imprison the persons named in the Petition, and to pursue any 
inquiries which he might deem advisable, into the plots aUeged in it ; 
in virtue of which power, Colonel Ovans imprisoned many persons, 


the subjects of the llaja, and instituted extensive, complicated, and 
secret investigations, which he made the matter of numerous secret 
Reports, — based on which recorded Reports, the Government of Bom- 
bay and- the Government of India, transmitted to the Authorities in 
England, voluminous Minutes; those Governments being wholly 
ignorant at the time, that Material and Important Evidence had been 
withheld by Colonel Ovans from their knowledge. 

6. That Colonel Ovans disclosed the Evidence of Krushnajee 
Sadasew Bhidey to the Bombay Government eleven months after he 
had taken it ; and only when he had learned, from the interception 
of the Raja's Correspondence, that Girjabaee, the mother of Govind 
Rao, had solemnly denied all knowledge of the Petition he had 
ascribed to her. 

7. That Colonel Ovans, notwithstanding the suppression of the 
evidence of Krushnajee Sadasew Bhidey, entertained that person as 
a witness against the Raja, allowed him a monthly stipend for nearly 
two years, and authorised the payment to him as gratuities, in one 
instance of fiftj rupees, and in another instance, of one hundrtd 

8. That Colonel Ovans induced the Government to grant a Free 
Pardon to one Balkoba Kelkur, a gang-robber and fugitive from 
justice, whom he had never seen, and that he entered into a bargain 
with this gang-robber, to redeem, for the sum of forty pounds, 
certain Documents pawned in the Goa Territories, the most important 
of which purported to be authentic and treasonable letters, addressed 
by *he Raja to the Portuguese Viceroy of Goa, and authentic answers 
thereto, addressed by the Viceroy to the Raja. 

9. That Colonel Ovans, in the month of September, 1838, was 
ofFerred by Ballajee Punt Nathoo, his Chief Adviser, and Ballajee 
Kasee Khibey, his native agent, a highly treasonable Paper, or Pro- 
clamation, bearing the genuine seals of the Raja of Sattara, and call- 
ing upon the native troops in the service of the British Government, 
to rise and extirpate the English. That it was intimated at the time, 
that this paper was probably obtained by foul means, and that, if 
then produced as evidence against the Raja, his Higliness might 


establish such to be the case. That on this intimation, Colonel 
Ovans declined, then, to receive the paper, on the ground, as he 
stated, that it might throw doubt on the genuine papers then in his 
possession. That Colonel Ovans afterwards suffered this paper to 
remain in the possession of his native agent for four months, until 
the 25th of January, 1839. That during those four months Colonel 
Ovans wholly abstained from making any inquiry into the genuine- 
ness of this paper, or the means by which it had been obtained, and 
that he apprised his Government of its existence only when he 
learned from the interception of the Raja's correspondence, and from 
the Raja himself, that his Highness had detected the plot by which 
the impressions of his seals had been fraudulently obtained, and the 
treasonable purposes to which they had been applied. 

10. That Colonel Ovans, during the course of the proceedings 
carried on by him in the above manner against the Raja of Sattara, 
did seize and imprison a large number of the Raja's subjects, with- 
out accusation, that he kept them in prison without trial, and only 
released them when the dethronement of the Raja had been 

11. That Colonel Ovans, when intrusted with the execution of 
the measures connected with the dethronement of the Raja of 
Sattara, was guilty of treating his Highness with unnecessary aud 
gratuitous harshness and indignity, and wantonly put in peril the 
peace of the Raja's capital, and the lives of its inhabitants. 

12. That Colonel Ovans, after having been the medium of 
conveying to the Raja the written assurance of the Government, 
that if his H ighness peaceably submitted to the order for his deposal, 
his private property would be respected ; and after having written 
three several official notes to his Highness, in which he dis- 
tinguished the property which was private from that which belonged 
to the State, did nevertheless afterwards advise the Government to 
confiscate the whole of the Raja's pi-operty without exception. 

That whereas, on the 25th of September, 1819, a treaty of per- 


petual friendship and alliance was concluded between the Honour- 
able East India Company and his Highness Maharajah Pertaub 
iShean, the Raja of Sattara : — 

And whereas, his Highness Pertaub Shean, so conducted himself 
as an ally of the East India Company, that on the 29th of Decem- 
ber, 1835, the following letter was unanimously agreed to by the 
Court of Directors : — 

Your Highness, — We have been highly gratified by the infor- 
mation from time to time transmitted to us by our Government, on 
the subject of your Highness's exemplary fulfilment of the duties 
of that elevated situation in which it has pleased Providence to 
place you. 

A course of conduct so suitable to your Highness's exalted 
station, and so well calculated to promote the prosperity of your 
dominions and the happiness of your people, as that which you have 
wisely and uniformly pursued, while it reflects the highest honour 
on your character, has imparted to our minds the feelings of un- 
quaUfied satisfaction and pleasure. The liberahty, also, which you 
have displayed, in executing, at your own cost, various public works 
of great utility, and which has so justly raised your reputation in the 
eyes of the princes and people of India, gives you an additional 
claim to our approbation, respect, and applause. 

Impressed with these sentiments, the Court of Directors of the 
East India Company have unanimously resolved to transmit to you 
a sword, which will be presented to you through the Government 
of India, and which, we trust, you will receive with satisfaction, as 
a token of their high esteem and regard. 

' With sincere wishes for your health and prosperity, we sub- 
scribe ourselves in the name of the Court, your Highness's most 
faithful friends, W. S. Clarke, Chairman, J. R. Carnac, Deputy. 

And whereas, in 18.36, certain enemies of his Highness the Raja 
of Sattara did conspire to effect the ruin and dethronement of that 
Prince, by preferring false charges against him to the British 
Government: — 


And whereas, when these charges, and the evidence in support 
of them, had been forwarded to the Court of Directors, and had 
been considered by them, it was the decided opinion of that body, 
that it would not only be a waste of time, but seriously detrimental 
to the character of the Government, to carry on any further in- 
quiry into the matter : — 

And whereas, this opinion was communicated to the Government 
of Bombay and the Government of India, in despatches from the 
Court of Directors, dated, respectively, the 13th June, 1838, 
and the 20th January, 1839 : — 

And whereas, Sir James Rivett Carnac, on his appointment to 
the office of Governor of Bombay, received no instructions from the 
Court of Directors to dethrone, or otherwise to punish the Raja of 
Sattara ; but, on the contrary, was empowered to suppress all fur- 
ther inquiry into the charges that had been made against the Raja, 
and to consiga the matter to entire oblivion : — 

And whereas. Sir James Carnac did, in a minute recorded by 
him on the 19th of June, 1839, propose that the Resident of Sat- 
tara should be instructed to assure his Highness of the desire of the 
British Government, to maintain the relations of amity with him ; 
and did further declare, ' that the British Government had nothing 
to fear fro;n the Raja, and could afford to act with generosity :' — 

And whereas. Sir James Rivett Carnac did, at a personal inter- 
view with the Raja, on the 23rd of August, 1839, inform his High- 
ness that three important violations of the treaty had been proved 
against him : — 

1st. Of the 5th Article, in having, during a series of years, held 
improper communications with the Goa authorities. 

2nd. Of the same Article, in having held a clandestine inter- 
course with Appa Sahib, the ex- Raja of Nagpoor. 

3rd. Of having tampered with the native officers of the 23rd 
regiment of native infantry. 

And whereas, Sir James Rivett Carnac did, at a subsequent 
interview, on the 27th of August, peremptorily require the Raja to 


sign certain articles, to which the following preamble was affixed ; 

VIZ. :- 

Information having been received by the British Government 
that your Highness, misled by evil advisers, had, in breach of the 
treaty which placed you on the throne, entered into communications 
hostile to the British Government, an inquiry into these accusations 
was considered indispensable. This inquiry has satisfied the Bri- 
tish Government that your Highness has exposed yourself to the 
sacrifice of its alliance and protection. Nevertheless, moved by 
considerations of clemency towards your Highness and your family, 
the British Government has resolved entirely to overlook what has 
passed, on the following conditions, namely, &c., &c. 

And whereas, the Raja of Sattara did, at these interviews, de- 
clare his entire and absolute innocence, and earnestly implore per- 
mission to be heard in reply to the charges which his enemies had 
brought against him, and in refutation of the evidence in support of 
them, and did also express his willingness to submit to any condi- 
tions which did not require him to abandon his religion, or to ac- 
knowledge, in violation of his conscience, that he had been the 
enemy of the British Government : — 

And whereas, for the sole reason of having refused to sign the 
articles and preamble submitted to him, he was, on the 5th of Sep- 
tember, 1839, and, by the authority of Sir James Carnac, forcibly 
taken a prisoner and dethroned, and a proclamation issued by the 
Resident, declaring his brother, Appa Sahib, (his bitter enemy,) 
the Raja of Sattara : — 

And whereas, by the 33 Geo. 3. cap. 32. sec. 43, it is enacted 
that 'it shall not be lawful for the Government of Bombay,' 
&c. 'to make or issue any order for commencing hostilities, or 
levying war, or to negotiate or conclude any treaty with any Indian 
prince or state, (except in cases of sudden emergency, or imminent 
danger, when it shall appear dangerous to postpone such hostilities 
or treaty,) unless in pursuance of express orders from the Go- 
vernor-general in Council, or from the Secret Committee, by the 
authority of the Board of Control :' — 


And whereas it is further enacted, in section 42 of the same 
Act, that ' It shall not be lawful for the Governor- general in 
Council, without the express command and authority of the Court 
of Directors, or of the Secret Committee, by the authority of the 
Board of Coiitrol, in any case, (except where hostilities have 
actually been commenced, or preparations actually made for the 
commencement of hostilities against the British nation in India,) 
either to declare war or commence hostilities, or enter into any 
treaty for making war,' &c. : — 

Resolved, That the dethronement of his Highness Pertaub 
Shean, the ex-Raja of Sattara, under the circumstances now set 
forth, was a violation of the above statute, and was, therefore, an 

The Court then adjourned. 




Of the 22nd October, 18-15. 

We this day present to the contemplation of our readers another 
instructive specimen of the way in which matters are managed in 
Leadenhall-street. How long, we ask, can things go on as at present? 
An officer in the service of the East India Company, and late a repre- 
sentative of the British Government at the Court of a native Prince, 
an Ally of the Company — an officer who is admitted to have been a 
principal agent in the dethronement of that allied prince, — is accused of 
having conspired with a gang of traitorous and abandoned wretches to 
bring false charges against the ruler he was bound to aid willi his 


friendly advice — witli having had recourse to bribery, subornation, 
personation, forgery and perjury, in support of those charges, and with 
having at last duped his own Government into acquiescence in mea- 
sures ending in the ruin of his innocent victim. 

This charge is not preferred hastily and in the heat of debate, but 
deliberately, after long notice, and a patient waiting for the appearance of 
the accused. It is not brought in the way of empty and unsupported 
assertion, but is backed by an array of proof of the most unexception- 
able kind — even the Official letters of the party implicated. It is 
brought by an East India Proprietor — b^a gentleman legally autho- 
rised to prosecute the cause of the dethroned Prince, and entitled, from 
his position at the India House, as a Proprietor, to demand an inquiry 
into the conduct of any servant belonging to the Company. 

How is this charge treated ? The Chairman — the organ for the 
time, of the Court of Directors — declares that the conduct of the 
officer accused has been "fully investigated," both by the local autho- 
rities, and (" privately") by the Court of Directors, but declines to 
say where, or when, or in what way the inquiry was conducted — 
declines to name the records in which the proceedings said to have 
taken place may be found — declines to describe the process of the 
inquiry — and declines to say on what evidence the accused was ac- 

What is the answer given to the Chairman ? We quote from the 
Report of Mr. Thompson's speech : — 

" I have to-day brought forward a motion for a select Committee, to 
inquire into twelve grave charges against the man who dethroned the 
Rajt. of Sattara. My proposition has been met by the Chairman with 
a direct negative. That gentleman has declared that the charges I 
have this day preferred, have been fully investigated, and that Colo- 
nel Ovans has been honourably and justly acquitted. In the presence 
of the reporters for the public press — in the face of the Chairman him- 
self — before the assembled Court, and before the world, I most de- 
liberately, emphatically, and solemnly deny the truth of that 
ASSERTION. I calmly, pointedly, and personally, defy the Chairman 
to name the time when, the place where, or the persons by whom, 
these charges were ever investigated. Here, in this open Court, I 


am told, that these charges Iiave been investigated — -fully investigated 
— publicly 2iX\A privately investigated — that there have been decisions 
upon these charges abroad, and decisions upon these cliarges at 
home. Here, in this open court I tell you, that there have been no inqui- 
ries, ^ndi deliberately challenge you to name the tribunal by which 
any inquiry has been conducted. I defy you to point to any records 
of an investigation into any one of the charges I have now preferred." 

Again we ask, — How long can such a state of things exist? An 
officer of the East India Company is charged upon the evidence of 
his own letters, with crimes of the most tremendous nature, but no 
answer is given, either by himself, or his immediate employers. The 
Chairman of the Court of Directors is distinctly charged, to his face, 
with having declared what he is unable to prove — and the Chairman 
is silent. This is a strange state of affairs ! 

Can it be! that the crime of one party is defended by the silence of 
another? If not, can Sir Henry Willock sit quiet under the imputa- 
tion of having deliberately stated what is not the fact ? One thing, how- 
ever, is certain. The Chairman stated either too much, or too little. 
Having said what he did, he was bound to say more. He was bound to 
put the Court in possession of all the particulars relating to the inquiry 
which he affirmed had taken place. He was bound to show that that 
inquiry had reference to the specific charges which had been brought 
forward. He was bound to state on what grounds the verdict in favour 
of Colonel Ovans had been given. All this it was his duty to do in 
deference to the Court, in vindication of Colonel Ovans, and in justifi- 
cation of his own character; and we might add, in duty to the public — 
made aware of the nature of the charges, through the public press. 

Looking calmly, however, at the quality of the evidence brought 
forward in support of the charges, we are utterly at a loss to conceive 
the possibility of successfully meeting them. All those which most 
deeply affect the moral character and official conduct of Colonel 
Ovans, are made to rest upon the testimony of the letters of that 
officer ; and our examination of these documents leaves no doubt upon 
our minds that those charges are fully sustained. Hence, our in- 
ability to imagine by what process of investigation any tribunal has 
been able to give a conscientious verdict of "Not Guilty." We see 


not how such a verdict can be given, without denying the authenticity 
of the letters which the Directors themselves have returned to 
Parliament, as genuine copies of letters addressed by Colonel Ovans 
to his Government. 

Can it be, that the Directors themselves consider, that a man may 
be guilty of subornation, extortion of evidence, of sending false state- 
ments to his Government, of concealing for eleven months the proof of 
forgery and perjury, and other and similar acts, (regarded in every 
civilised country as crimes,) and yet be an honourable man, and worthy 
their employment, their confidence, and their esteem? If so, what 
then are we to think of the Directors ? 

At present we can suggest no solution of the mystery, but what would 
involve the Directors in the disgrace of supporting Colonel Ovans, with 
a full knowledge of his guilt. 

For four years we have watched the progress of the charges 
against Col. Ovans, and to the present have heard no answer, nor so 
much as an attempt at an explanation of his conduct ; and yet we 
have heard many eulogiums pronounced upon that individual, and 
on occasions when proofs of innocence should have been furnished, 
instead of empty panegyrics. We have read, over and over again, 
all that has referred directly or indirectly to Col. Ovans, and, having 
done so, we can discover neither a refutation of the charges brought 
against him, nor a single circumstance in extenuation of the crimes 
which they involve. As for the Directors, they have committed them- 
selves to a most hazardous issue, and, for the present, we can only 
wish them a happy deliverance. 


It is the wise and just remark of one of the fathers of the church, 
"Primus sapientiae gradus falsa intelligere." Indeed there can be 
no surer mark of a sound understanding, than the capacity to 
distinguish truth from falsehood. 


We are curious to know whether the hon. member for Beverley will 
ever have the hardihood to open his lips again in the House of 
Commons. Should he re-appear among the representatives of the 
people, as an authority on Indian matters, he will prove in his own 
person, the truth of Swift's observation, that every man has just as 
much vanity as he wants understanding. His vanity and assurance, 
however, will scarcely, we think, be sufficient to obtain for him a 
hearing, after the exposure of his mendacity on the subject of 
Govind Rao's confession. 

Our readers must be by this time familiar with the history of 
Govind Rao, the unhappy victim of the baseness and cruelty of 
Colonel Ovans. 

When Mr. Hogg made his speech in the House of Commons, on 
the 22nd of July last, he had in his possession the official papers 
containing the proof that Govind Rao had been removed from con- 
finement at Poonah to the fortress of Ahmednuggur, for the purpose 
of enabling Colonel Ovans to try the experiment whether solitary 
confinement and the employment of a secret agent would have the 
effect of inducing him to criminate the Raja of Sattara. 

Mr. Hogg had also the proof in his hands, at the time he spoke, 
that Sukharam Bullal was despatched by Colonel Ovans on a secret 
mission from Sattara to Ahmednuggur, for the express purpose of 
extorting from Govind Rao a confession to the truth of what Colonel 
Ovans knew to be false. 

Mr. Hogg had also the proof before him, that this secret agent 
visited the dungeon of Govind Rao daily for nearlj' three weeks, be- 
fore he got from him the acknowledgment which Colonel Ovans was 
anxious to obtain. 

Mr. Hogg had also the proof, in the handwriting of Mr. Hutt, the 
judge at Ahmednuggur, that the confession was neither seen nor 
heard by the latter, until it was presented in a written form, having 
been previously prepared at the dictation of Sukharam Bullal. 

Mr. Hogg had also the proof in his hand, whilst he was speaking, 
that Govind Rao, on his liberation after a three years' captivity, 
made a voluntary and solemn declaration, on the 8th of January, 
1842, that the statement given by him at Ahmednuggur, was extorted 
from him by the agent of Colonel Ovans. 


All these facts, we deliberately afiirm, were perfectly well-known 
to Mr. Hogg, when he delivered himself to the following effect in the 
House of Commons, We quote from Hansard's Delates : 

"After the Commission had closed its proceedings, this person 
(Govind Rao) was sent as a kind of state prisoner, first to Poonah, 
and afterwards to Ahmednuggur. About this time, also, Girjabaee, 
the mother of Govind Rao, actuated either by feelings of irritation 
against the Raja for having surrendered her son, or by the hopes of 
obtaining her son's liberation, irresented a petition to Government, 
stating the names of several persons implicated in these trans- 

This statement Mr. Hogg must have known to be false, as he 
had the proofs before him that the petition was a forgerj', and had 
also the declaration of Girjabaee, that she had never sent any petition 
to the Government : 

" These persons were in consequence examined, and their testi- 
mony corroborated and confirmed the evidence taken under the 
Commission. But the strongest corroboration arising from coincidence 
of evidence was the statement of Govind Rao himself, who, at a distance 
of nearly a hundred miles, and examined bi/ a magistrate leholly un- 
connected withthe matter, confirms by his testimony the evidence given at 
Sattara. The importance of this evidence was felt by the adherents 
of the Raja, and how did they meet it? By alleging that Govind Rao 
was confined in a dark dungeon at the peril of his life, and that the 
statement was extorted from him by Mr. Hutt, the magistrate of the 

Mr. Hogg knew that during the whole of the discussions at the 
India House, it had never once been alleged that Mr. Hutt had any- 
thing to do with the confession, 

" Now what were the facts as appears by Mr. Hutt's letter to 
Government? That he ordered a separate house to be taken for 
Govind Rao, who was treated with every consideration ; and that 
Govind Rao himself volunteered the statement, \i\\\c\.\ was taken in 
Mr. Hutt's own house, Govind Rao writing it in Mahratta, while 
Mr. Hutt took it in English." 



Mr. Hogg, not satisfied with the speech from which we have 
quoted, made another in the Court of Proprietors; in the course of 
which he declared that the confession of Govind Rao was not only 
"voluntary, hut volunteered." 

Unfortunately for Mr. Hogg, not many days elapsed after the utter- 
ance of this assertion, before there arrived in this country three petitions 
from Govind Rao, addressed, respectively, to the Court of Directors 
and the tvs^o Houses of Parliament. A faithful translation of one of 
these petitions will be found in our report of Mr. Thompson's speech, 
(see p. 317.) The following extract will enable our readers to judge 
of the amount of credit due to Mr. Hogg ; and will also, we think, 
settle for ever his claim to be regarded, either in or out of Parliament, 
in the light of an Indian authority, or of a credible witness on any 
other subject relating to a matter of fact: 

" When the two Native Officers of the 23rd Regiment of Native 
Infantry informed the Resident, Colonel Lodwick, of the calumny 
they had raised, accusing me of treason, he (the Resident) sent to 
Maharaj (the Raja of Sattara) for me, and placed me in confinement; 
after which, Mr. Willoughby and Colonel Ovans were deputed to in- 
quire into the business, and formed a committee, in conjunction with 
the Resident, for that purpose : and, on that occasion, on being con- 
fronted with my calumniators, I declared their statements were 

" Though there was no evidence to convict me, yet considering me 
under suspicion, I was sent to Poonah, to be placed under the surveil- 
lance of the judge ; after which, with no other view but to give me 
further uneasiness, I was sent to Ahmednugger, and placed in con- 
finement in a narrow dirty room, where I was forbidden to converse 
with, or see any one ; and so my condition was more wretched than 

" While there, my uncle, (Sukharam Bullal,) who is a servant of 
Appa Sahib, the Maharaj, and (what I was not at the time present 
aware of) an accomplice of Ballajee Punt Nathoo, was brought to 
me, and had an interview with me. 

" From him I was led to believe that the severity of my treatment 
at the hands of the Bombay Government arose from my not telling 


the story they ivanted me to tell, and that without my doing so, I 
could expect no relief; and indeed, that my life would be endangered 
by my obstinately adhering to the truth, which could not possibly be 
of any service to me ; moreover, that since the Government had deter- 
mined on the ruin of my master, at all events, no good could come 
of my adhering to the truth now ; so that I had far better, just for the 
present, admit in writing what they wished ; for this was not a time 
when truth would avail anything. 

" Being persuaded by this, / wrote as I was desired ; after which, 
hearing that certain enlightened and just persons in London had taken 
into consideration the injustice done to my master, and were inclined 
to assist him, I wrote and sent to London a declaration, dated 8th of 
January, 1842, in which the true state of the case was set forth." 

What Mr. Hogg will say, when a petition similar to that from which 
we have taken the above is read in the House of Commons, it is im- 
possible for us, who are familiar only with the language of truth, to 

We are prepared at any moment to produce the official evidence, 
that every statement of fact made by Mr. Hogg in the House of Com- 
mons, is capable of as complete and unanswerable a refutation as that 
which we have now offered to his assertion, that the confession of 
Govind Rao was " voluntary and volunteered !" 


The following letters were read by Sir James Emerson Tennent 
during the debate in the House of Commons, 2-2nd July, 1845. 
The idea of prosecuting, as an infamous libeller, a man who 
had entered into heavy recognizances to prove the truth of 
every charge which he preferred against Col. Ovans, and was 
prevented from proving them through the efforts of Mr. Wil- 
loughby and the advice of Colonel Ovans himself, is most amus- 


iiig. Would it not be better to take the evidence of Krushnajee 
first, and prosecute him afterwards ? 

If Col. Ovans is so jealous of his reputation, is there nothing 
requiring to be done in the way of defending it, here in London ? 
Has not Rungoo Bapojee, of No. 9, Blandford- place, Regent's- 
park, London, offered to prove that Colonel Ovans has been 
guilty of moral, if not of legal perjury ? 

Has not Mr. George Thompson, an East India Proprietor, of 
No. G, Waterloo-place, London, accused Col. Ovans — 

1. Of subornation of evidence ? 

2. Of violation of correspondence ? 

3. Of extortion of false testimony ? 

4. Of concealment of evidence ? 

5. Of gross fraud upon his Government ? 

6. Of purchasing forged papers from a gang-robber ? 

7. Of suppressing the proof that the Raja's state seals had 
been fraudulently affixed to treasonable documents ? 

8. Of falsely imprisoning, without accusation, and without 
trial, innocent persons, the subjects of the Raja ? 

9. Of wantonly putting in peril the lives of the people of 
Sattara ? 

10. Of violating a solemn written pledge, by the confiscation 
of the Raja's private property ? 

11. Of maligning, in secret letters, the motives and conduct 
of honourable men in the service of the East India Company ? 

12. And finally, of being the instrument of fulfilling an order, 
that was contrary to the statute law of the realm ? 

Would it be worth while, (unless Col. Ovans is very anxious 
to leave England,) for him to go to India in pursuit of Krushnajee, 
and leave these charges unanswered at home ? Or does Col. 
Ovans deem it easier to crush a helpless native of India, than to 
contend with Mr. Thompson ? 

Why did not Col. Ovans ask the House of Commons to send 
out orders to take the evidence of Krushnajee? And why do 
not his honourable masters set on foot the investigation which 
CoL Ovans talks about in his letter to " My dear Melvill ?" Did 


Col. Ovans know before-hand, that he might vapour as he has 
done in his letters, with nnpunity r' 

Did Col. Ovans never hear of shawls and necklaces being 
given by the puppet Raja to any other persons besides Mrs. 
Ovans ? Can he not remember some scandal in Bombay, about 
six years ago, respecting such things? But enough. Here are 
the letters — they are curiosities in their way, and we transfer 
them from Hansard's to our own columns, because, when the 
charges we have enumerated above, are disposed of, we shall 
have something to say about them, and about the matters to which 
they refer. 

The charges of Krushnajee, if true, are bad enough, certainly ; 
but the charges which Rungoo Bapojee and Mr. Thompson have 
brought against Col. Ovans, are far worse ; and we tell Col. Ovans 
that if he cannot meet and answer these charges, he need give 
himself very little trouble about the others. A man might as 
well make a fuss about a pimple on his face, with a mortification 
travelling to his heart. They must be very simple persons 
indeed, who are led away by Col. Ovans's bluster about Krushna- 
jee's charge, while the honourable and gallant ofiicer is so pro- 
foundly quiet under accusations of an infinitely graver nature. 
While Mr. Willoughby is at Bombay, Col. Ovans may safely 
stay at home. Mr. Willoughby has reasons, almost as good as 
those of Col. Ovans, to desire to keep Krushnajee quiet. Here 
are the letters. 


Secretary of the Board of Control. 

My Lord, — As I observe that a Motion is to be made this evening in 
the House of Commons by Mr. Hume, — " That her Majesty will be 
pleased further to direct inquiry to be made into the charges for bribery and 
corruption by Krushnajee Sudasew Bhidey (as stated in the Papers before 
this House) against Col. Ovans, whilst resident at Sattara," I trust your 
Lordship will do me the favour to lay before Lord Ripon my unequivo- 
cal and unqualified denial of this atrocious charge : as also to state, that 
I am ready to proceed at once to India to prosecute this infamous libeller 
for perjury, should it be considered advisable so to do. Your Lordship 


may easily conceive that it is most painful to me to see such slander at- 
tached to my name, but I feel confident that an upright and honourable 
service of thirty- three years in India, will be my best reply to the base 
attacks now made upon me ; arising, as they do, from my having at 
Sattara honestly and fearlessly performed an important public duty to 
the satisfaction of all my superiors both in India and in England. 

I remain, &c. 


London, July 22, 1845. 

P.S. — I venture to enclose a copy of a note addressed by me to the 
Secretary at the India House, putting on record these my sentiments 
regarding Mr. Hume's Motion. 


Secretary of the Court of Directors. 
Sir, — Observing in the Papers regarding the case of the ex-Raja of 
Sattara, lately printed by the House of Commons, that Krushnajee 
Sudasew Bhidey has preferred the following charges against me — viz., 
first, that Lieutenant-Colonel Ovans has obtained from his Highness the 
Raja of Sattara, payment of the sum of 1,500 rupees per mensem to his 
(Lieutenant-Colonel Ovans's) father-in-law, and that this allowance was 
on his death transferred to the Resident's brother-in-law, who receives it 
up to this day; secondly, that when the Resident's lady andcliildren pro- 
ceeded to England, gold bullion and Venetian necklaces, to the value of 
50,000 rupees, were purchased by the Raja and given to the Resident ; 
and observing also, by the Votes of the House of Commons of Friday 
last, that Mr. Hume has founded a Notice upon those charges, and men- 
tioned me by name, I feel it to be my duty to state that, while I repose 
entire confidence in the Hon. Court to take whatever steps they may 
deem necessary in consequence of these charges, whether injustice to the 
public service or to me as an officer in their employ, I desire to place 
upon record my indignant and unqualified denial of all and every part of 
this most attrocious and calumnious accusation ; and to state, that if the 
Court of Directors deem it right for me to proceed to Bombay, either to be 
subjected to the most rigorous investigation, or myself to prosecute the 
infamous author of this libel, I am prepared, at every inconvenience and 
at all hazards to my health, at once to adopt that course. 

I remain, &c., 

C. Ovans. 

London, July 21, 1845. 




" Je ne puis rien nommer, si ce n'est par son nom : 
J'appelle un chat un chat, et Relet un fripon." 

Poesies de Boileau Despreatuc. 

Note 3. — " Ce vers a passe en Proverbe. C. Rolet, procureur au par- 
lement de Paris, estoit fort decrie. On Tappeloit communtment au 
palais I'ame damnce. M. le Premier President de Lamoignou em- 
ployoit le nom de Rolet pour signifier un fripon insigne." — Page 12, 
Edit, de Londres, 1800. 

Brother Proprietors, — The infirmities which commonly accompany 
a life extended to the period mine is, preclude a personal interview 
between us, and it is only through that glorious instrument oi freedom 
and justiccy the Press, that we can communicate our sentiments and 
feelings to each other. 

Since I last addressed you, I have very carefully perused the very 
accurate and minute account published of the debate which took place 
in your Court, on the 22nd and 23rd ultimo, and if on the one hand I am 
delighted and charmed with the clearness of arrangement, and unusual 
flow of true eloquence, put forth by those who advocated the cause of 
the injured Raja, on the other I was not less surprised at the weakness 
of argument, and the audacity of assertion, of those who undertook to 
reply. Tlie sum of what the last put forth is : We, the Directors, have 
decided on the case ; the Board of Control has confirmed that deci- 
sion ; the Gothamites of the Queen's Head Club, at Westminster, have 
dismissed all appeal. Potent Potentates ! or rather, fractions of ima- 
ginary Potentates ! — remember that you are, at certain periods, elected 
to strut and fret your hour upon the stage ; that those periods revolve ; 
' and that we, the despised, and, in some things, taunted. Proprietors, are 
— your Electors. Great Csesar was cautioned against tlie ides of 
March by a soothsayer ; and I, vvlio am neither vates nor soothsayer, 
caution you, great Sirs, against the Ides of April. 

I will not waste your time by further commenting on the proceedings 
of Messrs. Ovans and Co., especially as they have received an ample and 
able critique from the gentlemen who di.scussed them in your Court ; 


but if there be justice in England, or common sense left amongst us, 
now is the time for you and the gentlemen behind the Bar to correct their 
opinions, revise their decisions, and determine that the Raja shall be 
heard in his own defence, and that the evidence corruptly obtained 
against him, shall be fully and fairly submitted to him, to rebut, if he 

Will you, or will you not, give decent, due, and proper consideration 
to tlie imploring and pathetic letter from the Raja to Sir Henry 
Hardinge, the Governor-General of India? or will you still implicitly 
rely on the consummate wisdom of Mr. Thomas Weeding — "That if 
it were possible" (which I firmly believe it is) " to demonstrate the 
Raja's innocence, it ought not to disturb the decision already given," 
and as implicitly subscribe to the new doctrine imported from Bengal 
by the ex-registrar of many Courts — " once right, for ever right; once 
wrong, for ever wrong." What is the whole system of British juris- 
prudence, at least as I have been taught to read it ? — Balances and 
appeals ! 

After what, both in matter and manner, was said to you by the gen- 
tlemen who spoke at the last Courts, in favour of the Raja, assuredly 
it would be gross vanity to trouble you with many words myself; but 
I wish, through your Court, to call the attention of the great legist, 
lately returned from India, and now by your favour placed in so conspi- 
cuous a station, or rather what the Psalmist calls " slippery places," to 
a few words ; they are words forming a part of a valuable and generally 
admired work, and are to be found in Jeremy Bentham, his preface to 
** Essay on Government:" — 

" If, on the one hand, a hasty and indiscriminating condemner of 
what is decided on may expose himself to contempt, on tlie other hand, 
a bigoted or corrupt defender of works of power becomes guilty, in a 
manner, of the abuses he supports ; the more so, if, by oblique glances 
and sophistical glosses, he studies to guard from reproach, or recom- 
mend to favour what he knows not how, and does not attempt, to 

Now, having put before the ex-Registrar the words of him, acknow- 
ledged to be one of the greatest jurists who has ever appeared in Eu- 
rope, I will also beg to put before the twelve Honourable Directors, who 
voted against a re-hearing and re-consideration of the Raja's case, the 


following words of the most pious, learnnd man of his age, whose early 
loss to the world will be lamented by Christians, by learned and un- 
learned, long after we shall be forgotten — Dr. Thomas Arnold : — 

" If it were so, I should very little regard it ; for as it is great pre- 
sumption in any man to think himself .so certainly rujht in all his opin- 
ions as to refuse to re-consider tliein, so it is great weakness, or great 
dishonesty, to conceal such alterations as further inquiry may have 
wrought ; the means are yet in our hands, whieh it seems far f>elter to 
use, ei'e?i at the eleventh hour, than desperately to throw away." 

" Awake, arise ; or be for ever fallen." 

I remain, with great respect, 

Your faithful Servant, 

IlAnrouD Jones Erydges. 

P.S. — You surely cannot be so wild as to allow the Directors to 
persuade you to join them in establishing in India, a new Court of 
Inquisition, of which Schiller, in his History of the Defection of the 
Netherlands, speaks of as established by Philip II. thus — 

" Which exposes any honest man to a constant fear of the worst 
punishment, inasmuch as it is open to any such person as a priest, 
faithless friend, a Spaniard, or reprobate fellow, to cause, whenever he 
pleases, whomsoever he will, to be accused before that tribunal, to be 
placed in confinement, condemned, and executed, without the latter 
being allowed to know his accuser, or to adduce proof of his innocence." 

Are you become, brother Proprietors, sucii admirers of the most 
ruthless tyrant that ever lived, as to lend a hand in imparting his de- 
testable maxims of government amongst the gentle Indians ? 

Before we part, let me once more earnestly request of you to ponder 
well the proverb, — 

" AdversuB solem ne loquitur," or " Arguing against what is clear 
and self-evident, is the same as denying that the sun shines at mid-day." 
— Bland's Proverbs, page 14. 

Yours as above, 

H. J. B. 

Tyler & Reed, Printers, Bolt-oourt, Fleet-street. 

This book is DUE on the last date stamped below 

MAR U 194a 

Form L-9 
20m-l,' 42(8319) 


1 'S»r?^2YgfflJk 

Debates at 
the Indian house 

AA 001 145 621 

Uj/t^Y^ vJiU