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an account of a murder trial with British colonial implications
Couch, Sir Richard

Sir Richard Couch -Chief Justice of the High Courts of Bombay and Calcutta. Couch writes a two page letter on May 2, 1891 discussing the trial of the Indian Gaikwad of Baroda, charged with poisoning a British resident.

The investigation and trial posed a tricky dilemma for the British. They could not be seen as the Colonial power that was removing a high Indian official so there was natural sensitivity about how he was removed and replaced. At the conclusion of the letter Couch points out that the successor was the adopted son of the widow of the Gaikwad's predecessor.

Couch gives a wonderful first hand account that the prosecution of the Gaikwad was initiated by the Indian Government. The inference being that it was the Indians not the British that sought to remove him from power. He points out that the move was made after the report of a special commission, which he chaired, investigate charges that the Gaikwad had conspired to poison Col Phayre, the British resident at Baroda. The commission was composed of three Indians and three British members. [#3489]