East India Company's Service Act 1823

Publication Date:January 01, 1823
 
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Anno Regni GEORGII IV. Britanniarum Regis,Quarto. An Act to consolidate and amend the Laws for punishing Mutiny and Desertion of Officers and Soldiers in the Service of theEast India Company; and to authorize Soldiers and Sailors in the East Indies to send and receive Letters at a reduced Rate of Postage.

(4 Geo. 4) C A P. LXXXI.

[18th July 1823]

'WHEREAS an Actwas passed in the Twenty seventh Year of the Reign of His late Majesty KingGeorge the Second, intituled An Act for punishing Mutiny and Desertion of Officers and Soldiers in the Service of the United Company of Merchants of England trading to the East Indies; and for the Punishment of Offences committed in the East Indies, or at the Island of Saint Helena; and another Act was passed in the First Year of the Reign of His late Majesty King George the Third, intituled An Actto extend the Provisions relating to the holding of Courts martial, and to the Punishment of Offences committed in the East Indies, contained in the Act made in the Twenty seventh Year of His late Majesty's Reign, intituled, ‘An Act for punishing Mutiny and Desertion of Officers and Soldiers in the Service of the United Company of Merchants of England trading to the East Indies, and for the Punishment of Offences committed in the East Indies, or at the Island of Saint Helena,’to the said Company's Settlement of Fort Marlborough, and to such other Principal Settlements wherever the said Company may be hereafter empowered to hold Courts of Judicature ; since the passing of which Acts the Territories under the Government of the said Company, and the Forces maintained by the said Company for the Safety and Protection of the same, have greatly increased, in consequence whereof further Provisions have become necessary; and it being requisite for the retaining of such Forces in their Duty, that an exact Discipline be observed, and that Soldiers who shall mutiny, or stir up Sedition, or shall desert the said Company's Service, be brought to a more exemplary and speedy Punishment than the usual Forms of the Law do allow:' Be it therefore enacted by the King's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled and by the Authority of the same, That if any Person who is or shall be commissioned or in Payas an Officer, or who is or shall be enlisted or in Pay as a Non-commissioned Officer or Soldier in the Service of the said Company, at any Time during the Continuance of this Act, shall begin, excite, cause or join in any Mutiny or Sedition, in the Land or Marine Forces of His Majesty, or of the said Company, or shall not use his utmost Endeavours to suppress the same, or coming to the Knowledge of any Mutiny or intended Mutiny, shall not without Delay give Information thereof to his Commanding Officer; or shall misbehave himself before the Enemy; or shall shamefully abandon or deliver up any Garrison, Fortress, Post or Guard committed to his Charge, or which he shall be commanded to defend, or shall compel the Governor or Commanding Officer of any Garrison, Fortress or Post to deliver up to the Enemy or to abandon the same; or shall speak Words or use any other Means to induce such Governor or Commanding Officer or others to misbehave before the Enemy, or shamefully to abandon or deliver up any Garrison, Fortress, Post or Guard committed to their respective Charge, and which he or they shall be commanded to defend; or shall leave his Post before relieved; or shall be found sleeping on his Post; or shall hold Correspondence with or give Advice or Intelligence to any Rebel or Enemy of His Majesty, or the said Company, either by Letters, Messages, Signs or Tokens, in any Manner or Way whatsoever; or shall treat or enter upon any Terms with such Rebel or Enemy, without the Licence of the said United Company, or of the said United Company's Governor General in Council, or Governor in Council at any of their Presidencies, or without the Licence of the General or Chief Commander; or shall strike or use any Violence against his Superior Officer, being in the Execution of his Office; or shall disobey any lawful Command of his Superior Officer; or shall desert the said Company's Service; all and every Person and Persons so offending in any of the Matters before mentioned, whether such Offence shall be committed within the Dominions of His Majesty, or the Possessions or Territories which are or may be under the Government of the said Company, or in Foreign Parts, upon Land or upon the Sea, within or without the Limits of the Charter of the said United Company, shall suffer Death, or such other Punishments as by a Court martial shall be awarded.

S-II Personsaccused of Capital Crimes 120 Miles from the Presidencies may be tried by Court martial;

II Personsaccused of Capital Crimes 120 Miles from the Presidencies may be tried by Court martial;

II. And be it further enacted, That it shall and may be lawful for the General or other Officer commanding in Chief the Forces of or belonging to the Presidencies ofFort William, Fort Saint George , and Bombay respectively, for the Time being, having Authority to appoint Courts martial, to appoint General Courts martial, and to issue his Warrant to any General or other Officer, having the Command of a Body of Troops of His Majesty or of the said Company, empowering them respectively to appoint General Courts martial as occasion may require, to be holden within the Territories of any Foreign State or in any Country under the Protection of His Majesty or the said United Company, or at any Place other than Prince of Wales Island , in the Territories under the Government of the said United Company, and situated above One hundred and twenty Miles from the said Presidencies respectively, for the Trial of any Person under his Command accused of having committed wilful Murder, Theft, Robbery, Rape or any other Crime which is Capital by the Laws of England , or of having used Violence, or committed any Offence against the Person or Property of any Subject of His Majesty, or any other Person entitled to His Majesty's Protection, or to the Protection of the respective Governments of the East India Company or of any State in Alliance with the said Company, within the Territories of any foreign State, or in any Country under the Protection of His Majesty or the said United Company, or at any Place other than Prince of Wales Island , in the Territories under the Government of the said United Company situate above One hundred and twenty Miles from the said Presidencies respectively; andthe Persons accused, if found guilty, shall suffer Death, or be liable to Transportation for Life or for a Term of Years, or to such other Punishments, according to the Nature and Degree of their respective Offences, as by the Sentence of any such General Court martial shall be awarded: Provided always, that any Person so tried shall not be liable to be tried for the same Offence by any other Court whatsoever. [See Sect. 17. post. ]

S-III Person liable to be tried by Court martial may be apprehended and delivered over to his Regiment.

III Person liable to be tried by Court martial may be apprehended and delivered over to his Regiment.

III. And be it further enacted, That if any Person liable to be tried by a Court martial for any such Offence alleged to have been committed within the Territories of any Foreign State, or in any Country under the Protection of His Majesty or the said United Company, or at any Place, other thanPrince of Wales Island , in the Territories or under the Government of the said United Company situate above One hundred and twenty Miles from the said Presidencies of Fort William, Fort St. George and Bombay respectively, and for which no Proceeding shall have been commenced in any ordinary Court of competent Civil or Criminal Jurisdiction, shall be apprehended by the Authority of or brought before any Magistrate for any such Offence, it shall and may be lawful for such Magistrate, and he is hereby required to deliver over such accused Person to the Commanding Officer of the Regiment, Corps or Detachment to which such accused Person shall belong, or to the Commanding Officer of the nearest Military Station, for the Purpose of his being tried by a Court martial for such Offence, as herein before is provided in that Behalf.

S-IV Sentences not to be executed till confirmed by Chief Governor, and approved by Governor of Presidency.

IV Sentences not to be executed till confirmed by Chief Governor, and approved by Governor of Presidency.

IV. Provided always, and be it enacted, That in all and every Case wherein a Sentence of Death or Transportation shall be pronounced for any such Capital Offence, committed at any Place situate above One hundred and twenty Miles from the Presidencies ofFort William, Fort Saint George , and Bombay respectively, and being within the Territories under the Government of the said United Company, such Sentence shall not be carried into Execution until confirmed by the General or other Officer commanding at the Presidency, with the Concurrence of the Governor General in Council or Governor in Council of the Presidency in the Territories subordinate to which such Offenders shall have been tried.

S-V Deserters enlisting in other Corps.

V Deserters enlisting in other Corps.

V. And be it declared and enacted, That no Non commissioned Officer or Soldier who shall desert the said Company's Service shall be exempt from the Pains and Penalties imposed by this Act for such Offence, by again enlisting into His Majesty's or the said Company's Service; butany such Non commissioned Officer or Soldier shall, notwithstanding such subsequent Enlistment, be deemed to have deserted, and shall in like manner suffer Death, or such other Punishments as by a Court martial shall be awarded.

S-VI

'VI. And Whereas Doubts have arisen whether Soldiers who of Right belong to...

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