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Ministry of Law and Justice

Act nº 12 of 1859

  • Act nº 12 of 1859



[Act, No. 12 of 1859]

[4th May, 1859]


An Act to make better provision for the trial of plots at the Presidency of Fort William in Bengal for breach of duty.

WHEREAS it is expedient to amend the law for the trial of persons employed in the Hoogly Pilot Service of the Commissioners for the Port of Calcutta], when accused of breach of duty, and to extend the same to persons licensed to act a pilot at the laid Presidency.

IT is enacted as follows:

Section 1. Repeal of Acts XXIV of 1845 and 1 of 1851

1 [1. Repeal of Acts XXIV of 1845 and 1 of 1851]

1. Repealed by the Repealing Act, 1870 (Act 14 of 1870).

Section 2. Trial of pilots accused of breach of duty

When any person employed in the Hoogly Pilot Service of the Commissioners for the Port of Calcutta, or licensed to act, as a pilot at the said Presidency, shall be accused of having committed any breach of duty while engaged in such service or acting under such license, and it shall appear to the Port Officer or to the Central Government that such person ought to be brought to trial for such breach of duty, such person shall be brought to trial upon a charge or charges framed by the said Port Officer, or such other person as the Central Government shall direct, before a Court constituted under the provisions of this Act.

Section 3. Appointment of Judge

The Central Government shall appoint a fit person to be Judge of the said Court.

Section 4. Appointment of prosecutor

The Central Government shall appoint such person as it may think proper to conduct the proceedings before the Court as prosecutor on the part of Government.

Section 5. Trial to be held before Judge arid Jury

Every trial under this Act shall be held before the said Judge and a jury composed of two merchants of Calcutta, a master of a merchant ship lying in the Port of Calcutta, and a pilot of not less than twenty year's service.

Section 6. Lists of merchants and plots liable to serve on Jury

The Judge shall cause to be prepared and shall keep two separate lists, one containing the names of merchants, the other containing the names of pilots, liable to serve on such jury.

The names in each list shall be arranged in alphabetical order, and the place of abode and quality or business of each person named shall be stated.

Section 7. Notice to prosecutor and place for appoint in jury

When the judge shall be about to hold a trial under this Act, he shall give notice to the prosecutor and to the party accused of a time and place to be fixed by the Judge for appointing a jury to serve at such trial.

Section 8. Appointment of Jury

At the time and place mentioned in the notice, the Judge in the presence of the prosecutor and the person accused shall read over the names which first occur in each of the said lists of those merchants and pilots who he has reason to believe are present in Calcutta and capable of attending as jurors at the trial; and shall also propose the name of a master of a merchant ship lying in the Port of Calcutta, whom he deems qualified to serve on such jury

If no objection be made and allowed, the persons so nominated shall be the jury to serve at the trial.

If the prosecutor or the party accused shall object to any of the persons named as jurors, he shall assign the grounds of his objection and such objection shall forthwith be decided by the Judge.

If the objection be allowed, the Judge shall read from the said lists or propose (as the case may be) another name in the place of the one objected to and the person so nominated shall serve on the jury provided no objection to such person be made and allowed as aforesaid.

Section 9. Day of trial to be fixed and summons to issue to Jurors. Penalty for non-attendance

When a jury has been appointed under the last preceding section, the Judge shall fix a day for the trial and shall summon by writing under his hand the persons so appointed, to list as a jury.

If any such person when duly summoned shall, without such excuse as the Judge shall allow to be sufficient, neglect or refuse to attend at the time appointed or to remain in attendance until the trial shall be completed, it shall be lawful for the said Judge to impose upon any such person a fine not exceeding two hundred rupees for every such default; and such fine, if not paid, shall be levied by distress and sale of the goods and chattels of the defaulter under a warrant to be issued for that purpose by the Judge.

Such warrant may be transmitted by the Judge to any Presidency Magistrate for the town of Calcutta, and thereupon such Magistrate shall endorse the same and shall cause it to be executed in the same manner as if the warrant had been issued by such Magistrate.

Section 10. Trial how to proceed lf any jurors does not attend

It for any cause any of the persons summoned to attend as jurors shall not be in attendance at the time fixed for the commencement of the trial, the trial may with the consent of the prosecutor and the party accused be held before the Judge and such jurors as shall be in attendance.

If such consent be not given, the place of the absent juror shall be supplied by some other person selected by the Judge from the same profession or calling as the person originally summoned and who shall consent to serve, provided no objection to such person be made and allowed in manner aforesaid.

If the parties or either of them do not consent that the trial shall be held before the Judge and such jurors as may be in attendance and the place of the absent juror cannot be supplied by a person consenting to serve, the trial shall be postponed to another day and the Judge shall either re-summon the same jury or appoint and summon another jury in the manner hereinbefore provided.

Section 11. Register of jurors who have served

The Judge shall register in a book the names of all jurors' mentioned in either of the said two lists who have attended and served on a trial held under this Act.

A juror who has served shall not be required again to serve and his name shall be excluded in reading over the jury lists until all the persons named in the said lists who are present in Calcutta and capable of attending as jurors shall have served.

Section 12. Repealed

1[12. Repealed]

1. Repealed by the Indian Oaths Act, 1873 (10 of 1873).

Section 13. Judge may summon witnesses to attend at certain time and place, Examination of witnesses about to leave Calcutta

It shall be lawful for the Judge of the said Court, at the instance of the prosecutor, or of the party accused, or of his own motion, by writing under his hand, to summon any person to attend as a witness at a time and place to be specified in the summons, for the purpose of being examined at any trial before the said Court; or if such person shall be about to depart from Calcutta, so as to be unable to attend at such trial without serious inconvenience, then to be examined before the Judge of the said Court before the day fixed for the trial:

PROVIDED that due notice of the time and place of such examination shall be given to the accused party;

PROVIDED ALSO that such witness may nevertheless be examined at the trial if he shall be able to attend there at in which case his previous examination may also be read at the trial.

Section 14. Penalty for witnesses not attending or refusing to give evidence

If any person who shall have been duly summoned in attend as a witness shall, without sufficient excuse, neglect or refuse to attend, or attending shall refuse to give evidence or to answer any question which may be lawfully be put to him, such person shall forfeit and pay such fine not exceeding five hundred rupees, as the Judge of the said Court shall order; and such fine, if not paid, shall be levied by distress and sale of the goods and chattels of the person ordered to pay the same in the manner prescribed in Section 9 of this Act.