Judicial System

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Judiciary comprised four types of courts: diwan-i-mazalim (Court of complaints and justice), presided by the rulers or his representative known as Amir-i Dad; qazi courts; the courts of muhatasibs especially to deal with certain offences against religious ordinances. These courts gained more power and prestige under the Tughluqs and later under Aurangzeb; and the police (shurta) courts. Along with the system of dispensation of justice by the king or his representatives an important designation was that of qazi who dispensed with the civil disputes among Muslims. With diwan-i-siyasat the king, his military commander and expert jurists dealt with rebellion and treason.

There was a grass root networking of qazi (judges) on provincial and local level. Kotwal (head of the city police) also acted as a court of first instance of the criminal cases. The muhtasib was regarded as the upholder of the public morals and protector of the rights of the weak against the strong. He supervised the markets and inspected weights and measures.

This article was last updated on Monday, Jan 03, 2005