Constitutional Developments between 1800 to 1900

Constitutional Developments UPTO 1900Charter Act of 1813

  • Company deprived of its trade monopoly in India except in tea & trade with China. This made the Company more of an administrative body.
  • All Englishmen could trade in India subject to few restrictions.
  • 1 lakh of rupees annually for the promotion of Indian education.
  • Christian missionaries were also permitted to come to India & preach their religion.

Charter Act of 1833

  • Company stopped to be a commercial agency in India & hereafter as the political agent for the Crown.
  • The Governor-General of Fort William was hereafter called ‘the Governor- General of India’ & Bentinck was the first Governor-General of India.
  • Administrative & financial powers were centralized in the hands of the Governor-General-in-Council.
  • President of Board of Control became the minister for Indian affairs.
  • A Law Member was appointed to the Governor-General’s Council & T. B. Macaulay was the first Law Member of the Governor- General-in-Council
  • All vacancies in India were to be filled by competitive examinations. Thus throwing open to all the services irrespective of religion, place of birth, descent and colour.
  • Slavery was abolished by the Act of 1833.

Charter Act of 1853

  • Renewed the powers of the company & allowed it to retain the possession of Indian territories under British crown.
  • Court of Directors was reduced from 24 to 18 of which were to be nominated by the Crown.
  • law member was made full member of the Governor General’s Executive Council.
  • Legislative functions were for the first time treated separate from Executive functions.
  • Appointed a Law commission in England to examine reports & draft of Indian Law.
  • Recruitment to the Civil Services was based on open annual competition examination (Not for Indians).

Government of India Act of 1858

  • Passed by the Parliament of England & received royal assent on 2ndAugust 1858.
  • East India Company’s rule ended & the Indian administration came under the direct control of the Crown.
  • In England, the Court of Directors and Board of Control were abolished & In their place came the Secretary of State for India & India Council were established.
  • The Secretary of State would be a member of the British cabinet & Sir Charles Wood was made the first Secretary of State for India.
  • India Council consisting of 15 members would assist him.
  • System of Dual government ended.
  • The Governor General of India now called as the Viceroy of India & first Viceroy of India was Lord Canning.
  • All the previous treaties were accepted and honored by the Act.

Indian Council Act of 1861

  • Increased the Viceroy’s Executive Council members 4 to 5.
  • 6 to 12 members added to the Executive Council for legislation & nominated by viceroy
  • Viceroy’s Executive Council, which was so long composed of officials, would now include 6 or more than 6 non official members.
  • Legislative Councils were also established in the provinces & additional members in the provinces was fixed between 4 to 8.
  • From now onwards Indians involved in the law making process.

Indian Council Act of 1892

  • It was the first achievement of the Indian National Congress.
  • Increased the “additional members” in the Central Legislative Council not < 10 & not > 16 & also increased the non-officials to 6 & officials to 10.
  • Members were allowed to discuss the budget & criticize the financial policy of the government.
  • In the provinces also the no. of additional members was increased with additional powers.

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