Colonial courts are seen as places of action for the “two-facedness of colonial law” wherein the British sought to introduce universalist principles of adjudication, such as the ‘Rule of Law’, yet also appeased the native legal conservatives and traditionalists who formed the dominant class. It is realized that in this process the narratives of colonized subalterns- of adivasis, dalits, gender and religious minorities are often found to be lost. In a quest to find their voices and to register their claims, revisiting our legal history is necessary; but has been made impossible due to an inexcusable neglect of legal proceedings documentation. The author provides a detailed firsthand account of the disheartening condition of archival sections in the Bombay, Calcutta and Madras High Courts, which have been witnesses to the legal process in the sub-continent for over a century and a half. A case is then made out for digitization of colonial court records to ensure their longer sustainability for the future and ensuring possibilities for further research.
"Finding Subaltern Voices: A Case for Preservation of Colonial Legal Proceedings,"
Socio-Legal Review: Vol. 11:
1, Article 5.
Available at: https://repository.nls.ac.in/slr/vol11/iss1/5