Legal History of Bangladesh

6268 Words Oct 14th, 2010 26 Pages
History & Development of Legal System in Bangladesh: Hindu Period to Pakistan Period

Md. Ziadul Islam Chowdhury Sadi
Department of Law
University of Dhaka

Legal System has developed gradually in Bangladesh with her growth as a nation over the centuries. Before the advent of British rule this part of the country was under Mughal rule. The Mughals seized power from the Turko-Afghan sultans who ruled the country since the beginning of the 13th century. It was under the Hindu ruler (Aryans) for 1500 years before and after the beginning of Christian era when they conquered the land by vanquishing the indigenous people. During the Turko-Mughal rule the country formed the eastern part of Subah Bangla and, during the British rule, eastern part
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Brihaspati[2] has stated that there were four kinds of tribunals: stationary, movable courts held under the royal signet in the absence of the King, and the commissions under the King’s presidency.

IV. Courts in Towns and Districts: These courts were presided by government officers under the authority of the King. Government officers were the judges of those courts in Towns and Districts.

V. Village panchayats: In villages the local village councils or Kulani, similar to modern panchayats, consisted of a board of five or more members to dispense justice to villagers[3] it dealt with small and petty civil and criminal cases. The Judges were selected by the government persons versed in law.

(2.) Judicial Procedure:

I. During Hindu Period, judicial procedure was elaborate as suit or trial consisted of four parts: i. the Plaint (poorvapaksha) ii. The Reply (uttar) iii.The trial and the investigation of dispute by the court.(kriyaa) iv. The verdict or decision. (nirnaya)

II. Ordinarily evidence was based on any or all the three sources, namely, documents, witnesses, and the precision of incriminating objects.[4]

III. Trial by Ordeal: In certain cases, Ordeal which was a kind of custom based on religion and faith in God was a means of proof to determine the guilt of the person. The application