In 1774 Supreme Court was established in Calcutta presided over by a Chief Justice. But the real beginning of the modern judicial system in India was made by Lord Cornwallis. With a view to establishing the ‘rule of law’ in India Cornwallis not only reorganized the judicial administration but reformed the laws to be applied in the courts.
In his famous ‘code’, also known as the ‘Cornwallis Code’, Cornwallis set forth various reforms which included the judiciary also. Accordingly, civil and criminal courts were soon established in the district level with courts of appeal in the district headquarters and in the Presidency towns. Further, written laws and regulations were to govern the process of the judgment in place of vague customs and the whims of the ruler.