§ SIR DAVID WEDDERBURN
asked the Secretary of State for India, Whether his attention has been directed to the Petition of Jadhavrai Harishankar, now a prisoner in Tanna Gaol, praying for a new trial, or for the revision of his case by an independent judge; whether the principal witness against Jadhavrai has been subsequently tried and convicted, and, in the course of this subsequent trial, certain missing documents relied upon by Jadhavrai to prove his innocence, were actually produced; whether the Judge and Sessions Judge of Tanna reported to the Bombay Government in favour of a review of Jadhavrai's case by an independent judge; and, whether he will lay upon the Table of the House the reasons assigned by the Bombay Government for refusing to grant the petition for a new trial or a revision of this case?
THE MARQUESS OF HARTINGTON
Sir, my attention has not been previously directed to the Petition referred to. It appears, however, from the political proceedings of the Bombay Government that Jadhavrai Harishankar, a prisoner under sentence for forgery, has submitted to that Government two Petitions, in which he has alleged that fresh evidence has been discovered which went to establish his innocence, and he prayed to be released. It appears that Mr. Coghlan, the Sessions Judge of Tanna, did represent to Government "as an official visitor of the gaol," that the case of the prisoner Jadhavrai Harishankar appeared to him to be one which deserved consideration. Several Reports have been made on the case by the two judicial officers, Mr. Candy, who had tried and sentenced the prisoner, and Mr. Aston, who had tried and sentenced one of the witnesses against the prisoner, and by the political officer at Kattiawar. 824 The Bombay Government resolved, on both occasions, stating no reason, "not to interfere with the sentence appealed against." The Government of Bombay appear to have acted entirely within the limits of their authority, and, no doubt, on legal advice. There was no obligation on them to state the reasons for their decision, and it would have been unusual for them to have done so. As at present advised, I do not see that there is on the face of these proceedings any ground for calling for further explanation from the Government of Bombay.