Historical Back Ground

  • British came to India in 1600 as traders, as East India Company
  • They had exclusive right of trading in India according to charter granted by Queen Elizabeth I.
  • In 1765, the Company, which till now had purely trading functions obtained the ‘diwani’ (irights over revenue and civil justice) of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa
Regulating Act – 1773
  • In 1772, East India Company was in financial crisis and asked a loan of 1 million pounds from British government
  • Allegations of corruption and nepotism were rampant against company officials.
  • Because of famine in Bengal, huge population perished.
  • Dual form of administration was drawing a lot of complaints.
  • Defeat of company by Mysore’s Hyder Ali in 1769.
  • The Governors of Madras and Bombay were brought under the control of Bengal
  • Governor- General of Bengal
  • Executive Council of Four member
  • A Supreme Court of Judicature was established (Sir Elijah Impey as Chief Justice & 3 other judge).
  • Supreme Court had civil and criminal jurisdiction over only British subjects, not Indian natives
  • Prohibited from Private trade and ‘native’ Bribes
  • Court of Directors (Civil, Revenue, Military)
Pitts India Act 1784
  • Separation in Commercial and political functions, system of double government
  • Court of Directors – Commercial
  • Board of Control – Political (civil & military)
  • ‘British Possession in India’ & British Government get control over company
Charter Act 1833
Background –
  • Napoleon Bonaparte’s started Continental System in Europe (it prohibited import of British goods into French allies in Europe) and British traders and merchants suffered for it
  • They demanded a share in British trade in Asia and dissolve the monopoly of the East India Company..
  • But in tea trade with China, company retained its monopoly.
Features –
  • The company’s dividend was fixed at 10.5%
  • Grant permission to the missionaries to India
  • 1 lakh financial grant for Indian literature and the promotion of science
  • Power of Board of Control further enlarged
  • Regulations made by the councils of Madras, Bombay and Calcutta required to be laid before British Parliament
Charter Act 1833
  • Governor General of India
  • East India company became purely Administrative body
  • Try to start open competition of Civil Service
  • Restriction on European immigration and acquisition of property in India were lifted
  • Law member was added to governor’s general council.
  • Abolition of Slavery (1843)
Charter Act 1853
  • Separation of Legislature & Executive function
  • New Legislative Council
  • Open Competition of selection of Civil Servant, Open for Indian (Macaulay Committee)
  • Local representation in Central Legislature Council
  • Provincial government in Madras, Bombay, Bengal and Agra
Government of India Act 1858
  • Viceroy of India
  • Board of Control and Court of Directors was abolished
  • Secretary of State, a member of British cabinet
  • 15 member Council of India, an advisory body
Councils Act of 1861
  • Indians nominated in legislative council, Raja of Benaras, Maharaja of Patiala and Sir Dinkar Rao
  • Decentralization of Power to Mumbai and Madras
  • New Legislative Council in Bengal, North-West Frontier and Punjub
  • Portfolio system
  • Viceroy can issue ordinances without legislative council during Emergency
Councils Act of 1892
  • Power to discussing the Budget and question to executive
  • Principle of representation was introduced
Councils Act of 1909   (Morley-Minto)
  • Central Legislative Council member increased 16 to 60. (Provincial council member also increased )
  • Provincial Council now get Non-official majority
  • Members can ask Supplementary Questions, Move resolutions on budget
  • Indian in Viceroy Executive council, Satyendra Prasad Sinha as a Law member
  • Separate Electorate (Minto known as father of Communal Electorate)
  • Separate representation of presidency corporations, chamber of commerce, universities
Government of India Act 1919
  • Central & Provincial Subject
  • Under provincial subject, Transferred Subject & Reserved Subject  (Dyarchy)
  • Bicameralism and Direct Election in Country
  • Council of State & Legislative Assembly, legislative council was replaced
  • 3 Indian member in Viceroy’s Executive council
  • Extended the communal representation (Sikhs, Christians, AngloIndian, European)
  • High Commissioner for India in London
  • Central Public Service Commission 1926
  • Separate Budget for Provinces
  • Appointment of statutory body to inquire after 10 years
Government of India Act 1935
  • 321 sections 10 schedules
  • Council of State, the Upper house was permanent body and Federal legislature was lower house
  • Abolished Dyarchy (simon commission rejected the diarchy)
  • Provincial Autonomy
  • Instrument of Instructions
  • Bicameralism in 11 provinces
  • Extended the franchise about 10% of total people
  • Reserve Bank of India
  • Federal, Provincial & Joint Public Service Commission
  • Federal Court in 1937
Indian Independence Act 1947
  • In May 1947, Mountbatten proposed a plan under which provinces to be declared as independent successor states and they allowed to choose to join constituent assembly or not. This was called the ‘Dickie Bird Plan’.
  • Jawaharlal Nehru, opposed it saying that it would lead to balkanization of the country. So, the plan also called Plan Balkan.
  • Viceroy came up with another plan, June 3 Plan. It was last plan for Indian independence. It is also called the Mountbatten Plan.
  • Plan was accepted by Congress and Muslim League
  • It was received royal assent on 18 July 1947.
Constituent assembly could enact, repeal, and amend any law. Thus it was made a legislative body too. When it worked a legislative body it was chaired by GV Malwankar till 1949.
Interim Government – 2nd Sept, 1946
  • Vice President, Also in charge of External Affairs and Commonwealth Relations: Jawaharlal Nehru 
  • Home Affairs, Information and Broadcasting: Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel (INC)
  • Agriculture and Food: Rajendra Prasad (INC)
  • Commerce: Ibrahim Ismail Chundrigar (ML)
  • Defence: Baldev Singh (INC)
  • Finance: Liaquat Ali Khan (ML)
  • Education and Arts: C Rajagopalachari (INC)
  • Health: Ghazanfar Ali Khan (ML)
  • Labour: Jagjivan Ram (INC)
  • Law: Jogendra Nath Mandal (ML)
  • Railways and Communications, Post and Air: Abdur Rab Nishtar (ML)
  • Works, Mines and Power: C H Bhabha (INC)