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SCRUTINIZING THE TRIAL AND HANGING OF RAJA NAND KUMAR, THE FIRST JUDICIAL MURDER IN COLONIAL INDIA. WAS IT REALLY JUSTIFIED?

By Parthik Choudhury & Ananya Jadhav

The trial of Raja Nand Kumar is an example of how arbitrary and capricious the justice of administration was in British India. This trial is popularly known as the judicial murder of Raja Nand Kumar. This is a historically significant trial because later on, this trial became the primary Abigail ground for the impeachment of Governor-General Warren Hastings and Chief Justice Impey of the Supreme Court of Calcutta, by the House of Commons, after they returned to England. This is a case of conspiracy against Raja Nand Kumar, this was set up indirectly by the Governor-General Warren Hastings & Chief Justice Impey of the Supreme Court of Calcutta. Warren Hastings, the then Governor-General had belligerency for Raja Nand Kumar for he had fought The Battle of Plessey by the side of Nawab Siraj-Ud-Daulah. He was admired by the Nawabs, so Hastings took the help of other Indians for surrounding him for the conspiracy. Several trials were conducted against him, at first, the case was dismissed by the presidency tow’s court but after that, they filed a case of forgery against him. It was a false case but then also they defeated Nand Kumar & was given a death sentence by the newly settled court. This paper attempts to analyze the relationship between a man’s righteous stand against unethical practices and how he was scapegoated & utilized in furtherance of a failed conspiracy plot which ultimately resulted in an unjustified dishonored death. This paper also highlights how the virtues of legal transparency, judicial responsibilities, the might of legal precedents, righteous fortitude of legal craftsmanship and ultimately, legal & judicious oversight were trampled in broad daylight and the implications it had on the men who discreetly propounded themselves as the ultimate orchestrators. Finally, this article provides an insight into the legal insight and an analysis entrenched in modern foresight as to the prima facie far-reaching implications of the same.

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