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Landmarks in the Development of the Indian Constitution

 Regulating Act, 1773:

  • It made a provision of Supreme Court at Fort William, Calcutta, comprising 0one Chief justice and three other judges.
  • It prohibited the company's servanCompany from engaging in any private trade or accepting presents or bribes from the natives.

Pitt's India Act, 1784:

  • It made a provision of separation in the compaCompany'sercial and political activities.
  • It created a new body called the Board of Control to manage the political affairs while the Court of Directors was allowed to manage the commercial affairs.
  • The compaCompany'sitories in India were for the first time called British Possessions in India.'

Charter Act, 1793:

  • Salaries of the members of the board to be drawn from the Indian exchequer.

Charter Act, 1813:

  • The compaCompany'spoly over trade was abolished in India, but its monopoly over trade with China and trade-in tea was retained.
  • The constitutional position of British territories in India was explicitly defined for the first time.
  • The act asked CompaCompanypend one lakh rupees every year on the education of Indians.
  • Christain missionaries were permitted to preach their religion in India.

Charter Act. 1833:

  • The Company its a monopoly over trade with china also and it was asked to close the commercial business. The Company became a purely administrative body. It made the Governor-General of Bengal the Governor-General of India.
  • This act asked the government to abolish slavery in India.

Charter Act, 1853:

  • Separation of executive and legislative functions of the Governor General's Council.
  • It provided for the addition of six new members called Legislative Councillors to the council. It was known as the Indian (Central) Legislative Council.
  • An open competition system of selection and recruitment of civil servants was introduced.
  • For the first time, local representation in the Indian (Central) Legislative Council was allowed.

Government of India Act, 1858:

  • It brought an end to the Company's and transferred power to the British crown.
  • It changed the designation of Governor-General of India to that of Viceroy of India and he was appointed as the direct representative of the British Crown in India.
  • The dual government introduced by Pitt's Act was abolished by this act.
  • This act proposed highly centralized administration.
  • A new office of Secretary of State for India was created and he was vested with complete authority and control over Indian administration. The Secretary of State was a member of the British Cabinet and ultimately responsible for the British Parliament.

Indian Councils Act, 1861:

  • Governor-General was empowered to issue ordinances in case of emergency.
  • Participation of some non-official members in the Viceroy's executive council permitted.

Indian Councils Act, 1892:

  • The Universities, District broads, Municipalities, Zamindars, and Chambers of Commerce were empowered to recommend members to the provincial Legislative Council, which were nominated by governors.
  • The members of the Legislature were now entitled to take part in the debate over the Annual Statement of Revenue and Expenditure i.e., Budget. They could also put questions with certain limitations.

Indian Councils Act, 1909 (Morley-Minto Reforms):

  • Morley was the then Secretary of State for India, and Lord Minto was then the Viceroy of India.
  • It was the first-ever attempt to bring in a representative and popular element in the country's governance.
  • The principle of election was introduced, but only in some cases.
  • A provision was made for the association of Indians with the executive council of the Viceroy and Governors. Satyendra Prasad Sinha became the first Indian to join the Viceroy's Executive Council. he was appointed as Law Member.
  • Muslims were given separate representation, and hence Lord Minto came to be known as the father of the Communal Electorate.

Government of India Act, 1919 (Montague-Chelmsford Reforms):

  • Montague was then Secretary of State for India, and Chelmsford was then Viceroy of India.
  • The idea of Responsible Government was emphasized upon.
  • All administrative subjects were divided into two groups, viz. central and provincial.
  • Provincial subjects were further divided into two parts - transferred and reserved.
  • The transferred subjects were to be administered by the Governor with ministers responsible to the Legislative Council. While Governor was not responsible for Legislative Council in the discharge of reserved subjects.
  • Separate representation was given to Sikhs, Christians, Anglo-Indians, Europeans, etc.
  • A high commissioner for India was appointed whose duty was to look after Indian trade in Europe.
  • For the first time, direct elections in the country were introduced. It granted a franchise to a limited number of people based on property, taxes or education.
  • It also provided for the establishment of the Public Service Commission, which was established in 1926.

Government of India Act, 1935:

  • Establishment of an All India Federation inclusive of Governor's Provinces, chief Commissioners Provinces and States.
  • Council of States has 260 members (156 from British India & 104 from Indian states) was to be permanent House with 1/3 members to retire every three years.
  • Federal Assembly has 5 years duration consisting of 375 members ( 250 from British India and 125 from Indian states).
  • It abolished the Council of India, established by the Government of India Act, 1858.
  • The Act provided for a Federal Court and a Federal Bank.

Indian Independence Act, 1947:

  • This act called for the two dominions, namely India and Pakistan.
  • It asked for the power to be transferred to the Indians on August 15, 1947.


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