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Report No. 169

Chapter II

Indian Military Law-its Origin and Extent

(i) Introductory

2.1. Origin of the Indian Army.-

The origin of Indian Military Law is succinctly described in the Manual of Military Law. The Indian Army sprang from very small beginnings. Guards were enrolled for the protection of the factories or trading posts which were establihsed by the East India company at Surat, Masulipatam, Armagon, Madras, Hooghly and Balasore in the first half of the seventeenth century.

These guards were at first intended to add to the dignity of the Chief Officials as much as for a defensive purpose, and in some cases special restrictions were even placed by treaty on their strength, so as to prevent their acquiring any military importance. Gradually; however, the organisation of these guards was improved and from them sprang the East Indian Company's European and Indian troops. Both these steadily increased in numbers, until in 1857, it numbered (including local forces and contigents, and a body of 38,000 military police) no less than 311038 officers and men. [Imperial Gazetteer of India, 1907, Vol. IV (Ch. XI)]

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