Arts and Social Sciences Journal

ISSN: 2151-6200

Open Access

Administrative System in Punjab during and after Ranjit Singh: A Case Study of Multan


Ahmad Ali, Muhammad Akbar and Khizar Hayat

An ideal and successful ruler is one who, to make his kingdom a peaceful State, established strong, organized and durable institutions. State institutions or pillars are considered the backbone in stability of the State. Three pillars or institutions, which are necessary for an organized as well as everlasting government and better economy, are legislature, executive and judiciary. Without empowering these institutions, governmental system cannot run for a long time. Though Ranjit Singh, due to his power, intelligence and great struggle, founded a glorious dynasty, yet he failed to form these basic institutions properly. It is a fact that only institutions run the government not men because personalities come and go whilst the institutions exist. It is also true that these institutions existed in any shape, but they were totally under the control of the Maharaja. Judicial courts were established, but they were not only under the direct control of the Maharaja but also too weak to work. Besides a central court, every province had a big legal court under the governor. Similarly, some other small courts were established in every Pargna where Kardars, Chaudharys and Punch settled the disputes of the native people. Sometimes, the governor could alter the decision of these authorities whilst the Maharaja had a right to modify governor’s decisions. Strict punishments were not exercised on dangerous crimes which created law and order situation. To ignore the bad financial condition of the subjects, he invented and introduced innovative procedures for collecting revenue and no proper arrangements were made for the betterment of the masses. The main purpose of collecting revenue was to pay the salary of the army and fulfil other requirements so that the aim of expansionism could be achieved. There was not any check and balance on Kardars and they were free to collect revenue in accordance with their desires. At a time, they were given the powers of a judge, a revenue collector as well as an administrator.


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