|Sir Elijah Impey Chief Justice,Fort William,Bengal.en.wikipedia.org|
Maharajah Nandakumar, (also known as Nuncomar) was a collector of taxes besides being the Diwan of some areas that now fell under Bengal state (now West Bengal), India. After the removal of Warren Hastings, apparently over some financial irregularities Nandakumar was posted as collector of taxes for Burdwan, Nadia and Hoogly in 1764. Being a man of amiable nature and good disposition, he carried on his duty with skill and intelligence.
|Hastings offering presents cartoon.blogs.warwick.ac.uk|
The trial of this case had many holes and the motto of "Fiat Justitia'' was thrown into the garbage can. The hanging of Nanda- Kumar became a serious issue and the natives were terribly upset over miscarriage of justice. The media also believed that the honorable judge, forgetting his professional ethics and the sanctity of his position, wantonly acted in a biased manner. This matter was taken up before the British Parliament and eminent people like Burke and Macaulay considered this a judicial murder - hanging a highly respectable man with biased trial without room for appeal.
Hastings, along with Sir Elijah Impey (1732 –1809), the chief justice, was criticized and the British Parliament impeached the judge for abuse of judicial powers vested in him, conspiring to murder Nandakumar and tarnishing the image of the British. Sir Elijah Impey, thus became the first chief justice of the Supreme Court of Judicature in India, perhaps in the entire British Empire to have been ceremoniously removed from the post through impeachment in 1787. It was simply dereliction of honorable judicial duty.
"If we do not maintain justice, justice will not maintain us." --------- Francis Bacon
"Equal justice under law is not merely a caption on the facade of the Supreme Court building, it is perhaps the most inspiring ideal of our society. It is one of the ends for which our entire legal system exists...it is fundamental that justice should be the same, in substance and availability, without regard to economic status." -------- Lewis Powell, Jr., U.S. Supreme Court of Justice
For further reading:
James Fitzjames Stephen, The Story of Nuncomar and the Impeachment of Sir Elijah Impey (1885).