The Dual system in Bengal was introduced by Robert Clive. During the Dual Government in Bengal the Nawab depended for his internal and external security on the British. As the dewan, the company directly collected its revenues, while though the right to nominate the Deputy subahdar, it controlled the nizamat or the police and judicial powers. This Dual Government in Bengal held a great advantage for the British: they had power without responsibility. The Nawab and his officials had the the responsibility of administration but not the power to discharge it.
Nawab was granted Rs.53 Lakhs per annum for the administration but later on this amount was reduced to 32 Lakhs. Thus all the responsibilities were with the Nawab and all the powers with the British. This dual system was proved to be unsuccessful and in 1772 it was ended by Lord Warren Hastings on the orders of the directors of the company.
During the Dual System Nawab-ud-Daulla and Saif-ud-Daull were the nawabs of Bengal. At the time of end of this system Mubaraq-ud-Daulla was the nawab of bengal.
Warren Hastings became the Governor of Bengal in 1772 and in 1774. He became the first Governor-General of Bengal. When he became the Governor of Bengal, he had to face many problems. The ‘Dual Government’ had caused confusion and disorder in the state. There was no satisfactory arrangement for the collection of revenue and the revenue income was irregular. The treasury was empty and there was terrible famine in the country. The country was infested with robbers. Besides these, the Marathas became powerful under Peshwa Madhav Rao and became a threat to the Company. Shah Alam, the Mughal emperor also joined the hands with the Marathas against the English. And in Deccan, Hyder Ali rose to power and became a formidable rival to the English. However, Warren Hastings was very successful in tackling all these problems.
Warren Hastings carried out a large number of reforms and those of maybe discuss under four hands, viz., administrative, revenue, economic and judicial.
Administrative Reforms: Warren Hastings put an end to the dual system of government in Bengal which was established by Robert Clive in 1765. The Company took over the responsibility of administration of the province and started to collect the revenue through the agency of its own servants. Mohammad Reza Khan and Raja Sitab Rai, who were the Deputy Nawabs of Bengal and Bihar, were removed from their offices. The treasury was shifted from Murshidabad to Calcutta and it became the seat of government.
Revenue Reforms: Although the Company had got the diwani of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa in 1765, the work of collection of land revenue had been left in the hands of amils. Warren Hastings decided that the Company must directly collect the revenue. Consequently, he appointed collectors for revenue collection and administration, who were to be helped by native officers. Settlement was made for five years with the highest bidders. To supervise the whole organization, a Board of Revenue was established at Calcutta. This revenue system was found to be defective and consequently in 1777 the old system of bidding for a year was resorted to. He made the account of revenue simple and intelligible and made many provisions for the protections of ryots.
Economic Reforms: Warren Hastings prohibited the used of dastaks by the servants of the Company and thereby added to the revenues of the Company. He abolished a large number of custom houses or chowkies as they were hampering the growth of trade in the country. He reduced the duties on all goods except salt, betel nut and tobacco.
He reduced the allowance of the Nawab of Bengal from 26lakhs of rupees to 16 lakhs of rupees. He also took over district of Kora and Allahabad from the Mughal emperor and sold them to the Nawab Wazir of Oudh for rupees 50 lakhs. He also obtained a large sum of money from the Nawab of Oudh for helping him against the Rohilas.
Judicial Reforms: Warren Hastings carried out a large numbers of reforms in the judicial sphere. In 1772, he established Diwani Adalat (Civil Court) and a Faujdari Adalat (Criminal Court) in each districts. The Diwani Adalat was presided over by the English collector andFaujdari Adalat was presided over by Indian officers Qazis and Muftis. Two courts of appeal were established at Calcutta. They are the Sadar Diwani Adalat (the Supreme of Civil Court) and the Sadar Nizamat Adalat (the Supreme Criminal Court) which heard appeals from the Diwani Adalat and Faujdari Adalat respectively. He also compiled a simple code about the personal laws of Hindus and Muslims.
Warren Hastings was a versatile genius. He has a limitless energy and strong determination. In spite of their difficulties which he had to encounter in the country he was able to accomplish a lot