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(70) Increase of the Company's servants, judicial proceedings, farmers, middle-men, peasants [[509-511]]

[[509]] Within the last thirty years, the number of servants employed by the Company has been greatly augmented; not only on account of their extension of territory, but [[510]] in consequence of the very judicious separation of two offices, incompatible to be held by the same individual. The Collector is now, except in a very few zillahs of less note, confined to the collection of the revenues, having under him one or more assistants, according to the extent of his district.

The whole of the judicial proceedings are under cognizance of a judge, who, aided by his register, decides civil causes between parties residing within his jurisdiction; while the criminal catalogue is handed over to a court composed of natives versed in the Mahomedan and Hindoo laws, though the former are generally the guide. Three of the Company's servants of long standing, having likewise under them a secretary, or register, superintend the proceedings of these native judges.

Such tribunals are established in various parts of the country, particularly at Calcutta, Moorshedabad, Dacca, Patna, Benares, and in the Ceded Provinces, under the names of Provincial Courts of Appeal and Circuit. There are, besides, judges, each having a register and an assistant, stationed at Benares, Moorshedabad, Patna, and Dacca, for the especial purpose of administering justice, and for the correction of abuses within those cities respectively.

The difference made by the conduct of the British government in suppressing an immense number of farmers on the large scale, and of middle-men who again stood between those farmers and the peasants, has been immense. In many places, the lands are now in the possession of an industrious population, holding them from the renters, or proprietors of villages and small talooks, consisting of perhaps three or four thousand bigahs. The revenues are thus rendered far mere easy of collection, and consequently more certain; it being now the ((511))  interest of every honest renter to be forthcoming with his rents at the office of the Collector, at the several periods when they should be paid.

Those periods are not equidistant, as in England; but generally settled for the convenience of the tenants, as their several crops may be reasonably expected to be come marketable. The division is by a certain number of annas, or sixteenths, in each rupee, payable at particular seasons; allowance being made for the different species of grain, &c., cultivated. There being no harvest of grain from the beginning of November to the beginning of March, the collections generally fall light in the intermediate months; but about April and May, a large portion usually becomes payable, and again, in Bengal, after the rice is harvested. On the whole, the rent may he commonly taken at four instalments, two of which are considerable, and two of of smaller portions of the rupee. 


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