Historical Background.

1.The right that granted permission to the English east india company came to india as traders in 1600 is

A charter act granted by Queen Elizabath 1.

2. The right that granted by mughal emperor sha Alam in 1765 raised the East India
company as a territorial power is

The diwani of bengal ,bihar,and orissa.

3.The british crown assumed direct responsibility for the governance of india in the wake of

Sepoy mutiny in 1858.

4.At first suggested the need of a constitution for India was

M.N .R oy in 1934.

5.The constituent assem bly formed in the year


6.The constitution came in to being

january 26 1950.


1.Regulating act of 1773.
Main constitutional importance.

a.the first step taken by the british government to control and regulate the affairs of the
East india company in India.
b.for the first time it recognised the political and administrative functions of the company. laid the foundation of central administration in In india.

Important features.

· Governer of bengal turnes to Governer general.
· created an executive council of 4 members to assist the governer general.
· first governer general of India was lord Waarren Hastings.
· governers of bombey and madras precidencies subordinate to the governer general.
· provision for the establishment of a supreme court .
· In 1774 the first supreme court was formed at Culcutta with one chief justice and three other
· it strengthend the control of British government over the company by forming court of Directors
-the governing body of coimpany.

2.Pitt’s India act of 1784.
It was introduced in British parliament by the then prime minister ,William Pitt.

Imoportant features.
· Distingushed between the commersial and political functions of the company.
· the commersial affairs of the company is managed by Court of Directors.
· the nwew body created for managing the political affairs of comp[any is Board of control.

· Established a system of double goverment,that is court of directors and board
of control.
· the supervisery power to all operations of civil and militarygovernment and revenue of the
British possesions in India goes to the board of control.

The important two Constitutional significants of the act was

· At first time the companies territories in India called “British Possessions in India”.
· Through the Board of control the British government was given the supremecontrol over
companies affairs and its administration in India.

3.Charter act of 1833.
Main constitutional importance.
It is the final step towards centralisation in British India.


Important features.
· Governer general of Bengal turns to Governer general of India.
· first such governer general of india is Lord William Bentic.
· The act created for the first time a government of India having authority over the entire territorial
area pocessed by the British India.
· The laws made under the previous acts were called as regulations,while the laws made under
this act were called as acts.
· Through this acts ended the east india companies commercial activities ,and which become a
purely administrative body.
· Provided that the company’s territories in India were held by it ‘ in trust for His majesty ,His
heirs and successors’.
· Attempted to indroduce a system of open competition for selection of civilservants and stated
that Indians should not be debarred from holding any place ,office and employment under the
· The provision for employment was negated after opposition from the court of directors.

4.Charter Act of 1853
It was the last of the series of charter acts passed by the British government between 1793
and 1853.

Main features and constitutional significants.
· It separated for the first time , the legislative and executive functions of the Governer general’s

· It established a separate Governer general’s legislative council came to be known as indian or
central council included six members.
· Legislation for the first time treated as a special function of the government.
· The covenented civil service(Heigher civil service)was open to Indians also.
· In 1854 appointed a committee on the Indian civil service known as the Macauly committee.
· It indroduced for the first time local represantation in the Indian legislative council.That is out of
six members four where appointed by local governments of Bengal and Agra.


5.Government of India Act of 1858.
· It enabled in the wake of the revolt of 1857.
· This act is also known as the’ Act for the good government of India’.
· It abolished the English East India company and transferred all the powers of government to the
British crown .

Main features.
· Changed the designation of governer general of India to the viceroy of India,who was the direct
represantative of the British crown .
· Lord canning became the first viceroy of India.
· Ended the system of double government by abvolishing the board of control and court of
· Created a new post thatis secretary of state for india,a memnber of British cabinet ,who was the
complete authority of Indian administration.
· It establishes a 15 member council of India to assist the secretary of state.

6.Indian council acts (1861,1892,&1909).
The Indian council acts were inacted in the pursuence of “the policy of association with Indians”.

Main featurasof the act of 1861.
· Biginning of representative institutions by associating Indians with the law making process.
· Provisions for nominations of some Indians in viceroy’s expanded executive council .
· Initiated the process of decentralisation by restoring the legislative power to the Bombey and
Madras precidencies.
· Provision for the establishment of new legislative councils for Bengal(1862),North Western
Frontier provinces(NWFP) in 1866 and Punjab (1867).
· Gave reccognition to the “portfolio system ” introduced by Lord cannig in 1859.
· It empowered the viceriy to issue ordinances ,during an emergency
wi th six month durablity.

Main Features of tha act of 1892.
· Increased the number of non official members in the central and provincial legislative concil.
· Incrteased the functions of legislative councils and gave them the power of
discussing the Budget.
· The Budget was introduced in Brithish India in 1860.
· This act made a limited and indirect provision for the use of election in filling up of some non official seats in the legislative council,how ever the word election is not used.

Features of the act of 1909.
· It is a first attemtpt at introducing a representative and popular element.
· It also known as Minto Morley reforms,morly-the then secretary of state,Lord Minto-the then
viceroy of India.
· It raised number of members in the central legislative councilfrom 16 to60 .
· Allowed provincial legislative councils to have non official majority,its size was enlarged by
including elected non official members.
· Enlarged deliberative functions of members in both legislative councils such as allowed to ask
supplementary questions ,move resolutiuon on the budget and so on, but saved some specific
subject such as armed forces,foreign affairs and Indian states.
· It providedfor the first time the assosiation of Indians with the executive councils of the viceroy
and governers.
· The first Indian to join vciceroy’s executive council was Sathyendra prasad sinha,appointed
as the law member.
· The provision for the separate representation of the Muslim community and throughhthis
communal represantation was introduced.
· This act legalised communalism and Lord Minto came to be known as ‘the father of communal
· Provisionfor the separate represantation of presidency ,corporation,chembers of
commers,universities and zamindars.

7.Government of India act 1919.
This act is inacted in the wake of Aiugust Declaration (1917 August 20).
It is also known as Montagu Chelms ford reforms,Montague the then secretary of state of india and Lord
chelms ford the then viceroy of India.

Main features of the Act.
· Relaxation of central control over provinces through devolution of rules,that is the subjects of
administration were separated in to central and provincial subjects.
· Provision for making laws on central and provincial legislatures on their respective list of subjects
,however the structure of government continued to be centralised and unitary.
· The provincial budget were separated from center and the provincial legislature were
empowered to levy its own taxes relating to the provincial sourse of revenue.
· Introduction of Dyarchy or dual government in the provinces.
· It divided the provincial subjects in to two ,that is transfered and reserved.
· The transferred subjects were to be administered by the governer with the aid of ministers
responsible to the legislative council.
· The reserved subjects were to be administered by the governer and his executive
council.However Dyarchy was largely unsuccessful.
· It introduced for the first time bicameralism and direct election in the country.
· The legislative council was replaced by a bicameral legislature with upper house or council of
state composed of 60 members ,out of this 34 were elected and a Lower house or legislative
assembly composed of about 144 members of whom 104 were elected.

· The majority members of both houses were selected by direct elections that is the Indian legislature made more representative.

· The act required that the three of six members of the viceroy’s executive council were to be
indian,other than commander -in- chief.
· Extended communal representation provioding separate electrorate s for siikhs indian
christian,Anglo indians europeans.
· It granted a limited franchise on the basis of property,tax or education.
· It created a new odffice of the High commissioner of India in Londen.
· Provision for establishinbg a public service commission,hence a central public service
commission was set up in 1926 for recruting civil servants as per the reccomendation of the Lee
commission on superior civil services in India on 1923-24.
· It separated for the first time ,provincial budget from the central budget.
· provision for the appointment of a statutery commission to report on its working after ten years
of its coming into force.

Simon Commission.
· Appointed in 1927 as a statutery commission based on the provision in 84A of the goverment of
India act 1919.
· It headed by Sir John simon and submitted its report in 1930.
· It reccomnended for the abolision of Dyarchy and continuation of communal electorate.
· To consider the reccomendations of the commission ,the British government convened three
round table conferences of the representative of the british India and princly states.
· The reccomendations from this ,incorporated in the government of india act of 1935 with slight

Communal Award.
· It was issued by Mr.Ramsay Mac Donald the then British Prime minister in 1932 August 4.
· This award extended separate electorate for deppressed classes or scheduled classes also.
· Agaainst it ,Gandhiji under took fast un too death in Yarvada jail Poona.
· The agreement called “Poona Pact ” retained the Hindu joint electrirate and gave reserved seats
to the depressed classes.

Government Of India Act 1935.
It was so lengthy and detailed having 321 sections and 10 schedules.

Main Features.

· Provision for the formation of Indian Federation including
of provinces and princly states as units.
· Divided the power between center and units in terms of three lists.
· Federal list for center with 59 items.
· Provincial list for provinces with54 items.
· Concurrent list for both with 36 items.
· Povide residuary power to the viceroy.
· Federation never came due to the lack of agreement of princily states.

· Abolished Dyarchy in te provinces and introduced provincial autonomy, came to effect in 1937
and continued till 1939.
· It provided Dyarchy at the center and consiquently the federal subjects were divided in to
reserved subjects and transferred subjects,but it did not come to operation at all.
· Introduced bicameralism in six out of elelven pro vinces ,thus the legislature of Bengal ,Bihar
,Bombay,Madras,Assam and United Provimces(U.P)were bicameral including with legislative
council or upper house and legislative assembly or lower house.
· Extended the principle of communal representation by providing seperate electrorate fo r
scheduled castes ,women and labours.
· Abolished the council of India established as per the government of india act of 1858.
· Extended franchise,thus about 10% of the total population got the vpoting right.
· Provision for the establishment of the Reserve Bank of India.
· Provision for the establishment of federal,provincial and joint public service commissions.
· Provision for the establishment of a federal court,which was set up in 1937.

Indian Independent Act of 1947.
· The Indian independent bill was introduced in the British parliament on July 4 1947.
· It recieved royal assent on July 18 1947 and came in to force on August 15,1947.

Main features of tha act.

· It ended the British rule in India and declared India as an independent and soveriegn state.
· Provision for partition and creation of two independent dominions of India and Pakistan,withn the
right to scede from the British commonwealth.
· Abolished the office of viceroy and provision for each dominion a governer general appointed
by British king on the advice of dominion cabinet.
· Empowered the constituent assembly of each dominion to frame and adopt constitution for their
respective nations.
· Empowered the constituent assemblies of both the dominions to legislate for their respective
territories till the new constitution were enforced.
· Abolished the office of the secretary of state for India and transferred his functions to the
secretary of state for commonwealth affaires.
· Granted freedom to the Indian princly states either to join the Dominion of India or Pakistan or to
remain independent.
· Provision for the governance of each of the dominions and provinces by the government of India
act of 1935 ,till the new constitution were framed.
· It designated the governer general of India and the provincial governors as constitutional or
nominal head of the states.
· It discontinued the appointment to civilservants and reservation of posts by the secretary of
state for India.
· Lord Mountbatten became the first govrner general of the new dominion of India.
· The constituent assembly formed in 1946 became the first parliament of the Indian dominion.



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