Constitutional developments from 1750 to 1800

actIndia Regulating Act 1773

  • The company partially under Parliament’s control & the Presidencies under Calcutta’s control.
  • Ended Dual government.
  • Governor of Bengal to be the Governor – General of Fort William of India.
  • Establishment of Supreme Court in Calcutta.
  • Servants of the Company including Governor-General, Council members & Supreme Judge were prohibited to engage in Corruption, private trade, accept presents or bribes, etc.
  • Made it compulsory to renew the Company’s Charter after 20 years. (i.e Charter act 1793,1813,1833 &1853.)

Merits

  • Company came under the control of the Parliament.
  • Parliament of England was concerned about the welfare of Indians.
  • Greatest merit of this Act: Ended the arbitrary rule of the Company & provided a framework to the governing of India.

Demerits

  • Governor-General was made powerless & the council given supreme power frequently created deadlocks by over-ruling his decision.

 

Pitts Act of 1784

  • In 1784, Pitt the Younger, PM of England introduced the India Bill in the British Parliament. After 7 months debate in both the Houses, the bill received t’s royal assent. This act is Known as Pitts Act of 1784.

Provisions:

  • A Board of Control consisting of 6 members (including 2 cabinet ministers) were appointed by the Crown.
  • Board of Control will guide & supervise the affairs of the Company in India.
  • Reduced the Governor-General’s Council from 4 to 3 including the Commander-in-Chief.
  • Board of Control – look after political & military affairs under the Crown.
  • Court of Directors – look after Commercial company & Represents the company.

Charter Act of 1793

  • After 20 years of Regulating Act of 1773, the Charter Act of 1793 was passed by the Parliament & extended the life of Company
  • Company given monopoly of trade for 20 more years.
  • Expenses & salaries of the Board of Control to be charged on Indian revenue.
  • The Governor General & the Governors could now override the decisions of their respective Councils.
  • All Laws were to be translated in Indian languages.
  • Laid the foundation of government, by written laws, interpreted by courts.

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