The Trial of the Colonial Legal Order: The Tilak Trial 1908 and the Colonial Fiat

  • Ankita Sadhukhan
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  • Ankita Sadhukhan

    Student at Dept. of History, University of Delhi, India

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The paper seeks to accentuate the case of Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak’s trial and the functioning of the colonial legal order. This paper would try to bring out some grave complexities of the colonial legal order in the context of Bal Gangadhar Tilak’s trial proceedings and how the court trial discourse perplexed the meaning of the imperial law and justice which was then ascribed to be universal. This study of jurisprudence would highlight the marked indifferences in the legal operation between the metropole and the colony. The major argument of this paper is that it was not Tilak who was found guilty or not guilty but through Tilak, the colonial legal regime was tried and checked to be guilty or not. The trial proceedings of Tilak ostensibly establish that it was not Tilak who was defending himself rather the colonial legal regime which was questioned and was found to be guilty of its glaring prejudices. The trial then became an event where the colonial law and its impartial “universal” judiciary was challenged, and the prejudiced visage of the colonial justice was observed with its final verdict.


Research Paper


International Journal of Law Management and Humanities, Volume 4, Issue 3, Page 3025 - 3033


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