Report No. 111
1.9. History of legislative proceedings.-
It appears from the proceedings relating to the Bill which led to the Indian Act of 1855, that in the beginning, the proposal1 was to follow the English Act of 1845, almost verbatim. The Select Committee which reported on the Bill does not2 seem to have made radical alterations in the Bill. However, the Select Committee did make a few changes on matters of detail in the Bill. For example, it added a preamble to the Bill and introduced a provision enabling the plaintiff to include a claim for the loss to the estate.
The Select Committee also altered the last clause of the Bill, by directing that particulars as to the nature of the claim and as to the persons for whose benefit the claim was brought, should be inserted in the plaint. The Select Committee observed that this alteration had been made to accommodate the provisions to the practice of the mofussil courts. Besides making a few other verbal alterations, the Select Committee added an interpretation clause. This clause was taken from the British statute on 1845 on the subject, but limited the meaning of the word "parent" so as not to include a step-father or a step-mother. Cause of action for wrongful death has thus been effectively provided for.
1. National Archives Papers relating to Act 13 of 1855.
2. Report of the Select Committee on the Fatal Accidents Bill, 185.- 2nd February, 1855.