Constitution: Regulating Act, Pitts Act, Charter Act Government Of India Act

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Here in this blog, I would like to discuss about the very base on which our present constitution is based. It was created step by step. We have adopted very selectively from it While making a new constitution which our forefathers had aspired for there are some stages attached to it. So here we have discussed its background.

(1773- 1858)

Regulating Act of 1773

With this act East India Company comes under the regulation of government.

For the first time political and administrative function is acknowledged.

Provisions of the act

Governor of Bengal was now Governor General of Bengal. Executive council of four members would assist him.

Governor of Madras and Bombay was under Governor General of Bengal.

Supreme Court at Calcutta was established in 1774.

Prohibited the servants of the company to engage in the private deals in order to curb the corruption.

With this provision it was easier for government to have a monitor over the works done by the Company. Director’s f the East India Company has to present its report on its revenue civil and military affairs in India.

Pitt’s Act of 1784

Distinguishes between the commercial and the political functioning of the party.

Allowed the court of directors to manage the commercial affairs but created a new body called Board of Control to manage the political affairs.

Board of Control supervised and directs all operations of civil and military government   or revenues of British possession in India.

Company’s territory was first time called as British Possessions.

Charter Act of 1833

Governor General of Bengal was now the Governor General of India. All the civil and military powers are vested in him. Lord William Bentinck is the first governor general of India.

Governor General of India was given exclusive legislative powers for the entire British India. Bombay and Madras are deprived of their legislative powers. The laws made under previous act were called as regulations and laws made under this act were act as Acts.

With this East India Company had become a purely administrative body. It ended the commercial activities in the company.

This act attempted to introduce system of competitive exams for the selection of civil servants. It debarred Indian from holding any place in the office. But later this was struck down after the opposition from the court of directors.

Charter Act of 1853

Legislative and Executive were separated from the first time.

It introduced an open system of competition for selection and recruitment of civil servants. This was opened for Indians also.

It allowed keeping all the possessions of Indian territories under the British Crown.

For the first time local representation on the Indian (Central) Legislative council was introduced.

The Crown Rule

(1858 – 1947)

Government of India Act 1858

This was after the outbreak of revolt in 1857 known as Sepoy Mutiny and First War of Independence.

The Act is known as Act for the good governance .


It proposed that India would now be governed under the name of Her Majesty. Governor General of India was now Viceroy of India.

Ended the system of double government by abolishing Borad of Control and Board of Directors

New office of Secretary of State for  India was created . It was an advisory body . Secretary of State was the chairman of the council.

It created a fifteen member council to assist the secretary of state for India.


Indian Councils Act 1861

It gave Indian a place in the law making process. It was suggested that viceroy would nomimate three Indians into the council.

Decentralisation of Madras and Bombay took place.

New legislative councils of Bengal , North West Frontier Province and Punjab was established.

Indian Council Act 1909

This act is known as Morley Minto Reform .

Lord Morley was the secretary of state and Lord Minto was Viceroy of India.


 The size of legislative council in both Central and and provincial was raised upto 60 from 16.

Official majority was retained in the Central legislative Council but allowed provincial legislative to have non-official majority.

It was for the first time that for the associations of Indians with executive Councils of Viceroy and Governors.

It introduced the system, of separate electorate on the basis of communal representation.

It also provided for the separate representation of presidency corporation chambers of commerce universities and zamindars.

Government of India Act 1919

Also known as Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms

It separates the provincial subjects and central subjects. They were both authorize to make laws on their respective list of subjects.

Provincial subject is further divided into two parts: transferred and reserved subjects.

Bicameralism and Direct election was introduced . With this idea of Upper House and Lower house comes into place.

Government Of India Act 1935

This act divided the power between Centre units in terms of three lists- Federal list 59 items , Provincial list 54 items and concurrent list 36 items.

Abolished diarchy in the provinces and introduced provincial autonomy.

Adoption of diarchy was introduced in Centre.

Bengal, Bombay, Madras Bihar Assam and United Province had introduced bicameralism . It had two houses in their legislative assembly.

Communal representation was further stretched to Schedule Castes and Schedule Tribes ,women and labour(workers).

It abolished the Council of India established by the Government of India Act 1858.

Reserve Bank Of India was established to control currency.

Government of India 1947

Ended the long British rule and India declared India as an independent and sovereign state from August 15 1947.

Partition of India was proposed and provided for each dominion.

Abolished the office of secretary to the common wealth games.


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