|Maharajah Nanda Kumar and Warren Hastings. mpstudy.com|
|The place where Nanda Kumar was hanged. Aug.1775, Kolkata. ouble-dolphin.blogspot.in/|
|His fair lady. crazyhyena.com|
Nanda Kumar's bold accusations of peculation against Hastings drew the attention of the members of the Supreme Council of Bengal, in particular Sir Philip Francis. Many EIC officials did not like Hastings' over-bearing attitude and arrogant behaviour. Holding a powerful job, vested with special powers by the Crown, Warren Hastings could overrule the Council's charges. In order to escape from the charges against him, in 1775 Warren Hastings made counter charges of fraud and mishandling of a rich Indian widow's estate against Maharaja Nanda Kumar.
Nanda Kumar stood trial in the Court of Elijah Impey at Ft. Williams, Calcatta. He was India's first Chief Justice, and a close school buddy of Warren Hastings. It was something like Kangaroo court trial. Impey, relying on unsubstantiated, poor pieces of evidence, found Nanda Kumar guilty, and gave him death sentence by hanging till death in Kolkata (near present-day Vidyasagar Setu),on 5 August 1775. In those days the punishment for forgery by any native was hanging.
Thus poor Nanda Kumar, an honest and sincere man, on trivial grounds was put to death. He became the first man to be hanged to death through the Judicial court verdict under the East India Company rule. It was nothing but travesty of justice.
Judge Eliah, on purpose, put the noose around Nanda Kumar's neck in the cloak of dispensing justice gave a wrong verdict, to save the neck of his childhood pal Hastings. The people were furious over the death of a gentle man on account of mistrial and the media did not carry any reports favorable to Lord Hastings and Judge Impey.
Nanda Kumar was hanged by a judge sent by the British who was supposed to protect him and the natives in the court of justice.
Nanda Kumar was hanged for a pretended crime, the crime that never happened.
The learned English judge was more interested in sending the accused to the gallows than making room for the poor man for retrial or appeal
It was a one man bench, did not have additional justices to go into the case foisted on Nanda Kumar by Warren Hastings.
This is how Burke accused Warren Hastings, the first Governor General of India, and concluded before the House of Lords, “I impeach him in the name of the English nation, whose ancient honour he has sullied. I impeach him in the name of the people of India, whose rights he had trodden under foot, and whose country he has turned into a desert. Lastly, in the name of human nature itself, in the name of both sexes, in the name of every age, in the name of every rank. I impeach the common enemy and oppressor of all!”