34 Law & Hist. Rev. 783 (2016)
The Rare Infliction: The Abolition of Flogging in the Indian Army, circa 1835-1920

handle is hein.journals/lawhst34 and id is 801 raw text is: 










      The Rare Infliction: the Abolition of

Flogging in the Indian Army, circa 1835-1920




                          RADHIKA SINGHA




       the very rarity is argument for retention'

On  September   2, 1920, an amendment to the Indian Army Act abolished
corporal punishment   for the  Indian soldier and  follower  and introduced
field punishment   as a  substitute on active  service.2 This emancipation


  1. General Charles C. Egerton, insisting corporal punishment be retained in the Indian
Army, June 6, 1907, India Office Library and Records, British Museum (hereafter IOR)
IOR/L/Mil/7/13738. Corporal punishment was inflicted with the cat-o-nine-tails on the
back, although menial followers could also be caned with a rattan. In the civil sphere,
whipping was usually inflicted with a rattan on the posterior.
  2. Act XXXVII of 1920. On active service the CO could award Field Punishment No.1
and No. 2 of up to 28 days to enrolled ranks. In the first case, the prisoner in irons was se-
cured to a fixed object, in the second case he was not secured. Indian Army Act (hereafter
IAA) (Act VIII of 1911) section (hereafter s) 24. Indian soldiers and followers were also
exempted from a judicial whipping for any criminal offence (IAA, s 45) although this

Radhika  Singha teaches at the Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru
University, New  Delhi, India <singha.radhika@gmail.com>.The   author thanks
Apama   Balachandran, Neeladri  Bhattacharya, Rashmi  Pant, Janaki Nair, and
Bhavani Raman  for the opportunity to present this article at their lively conference,
Thinking through the Law: South Asian Histories and the Legal Archive, Nehru
Memorial  Museum   and  Library, April 25-27, 2013. The author gratefully ac-
knowledges  the insights they provided, as  well as those of  other scholars:
Pratiksha Baxi, Mark   Brown,  Nonica  Datta, Isaac Land,  Gerald  C. Oram,
Philippa Levine, Douglas Peers, William Pinch, and Poorva Rajaram. The author
also thanks Elizabeth Dale of Law and History Review, who nudged  and tugged
until the author sharpened  her arguments.  Finally, the author thanks  Ravi
Vasudevan  for helping her to redraft this essay.


Law and History Review August 2016, Vol. 34, No. 3
C the American Society for Legal History, Inc. 2016
doi:10.1017/SO73824801600016X

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