CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT 

Regulating Act,, 1773

  • Presidency of Bengal got supremacy over Madras and Bombay.
  • The number of directors was fixed at 24.
  • In Bengal, a collegiate government was created consisting of a governor general and four members of the council.
  • The four members were Francis, Burwell, Monson and Clavering. Monson was later replaced by Wheeler.
  • A Supreme Court was set up at Calcutta. Sir Elijah Impey was the Chief Justice and Chambers, Lemaister and Hyde as judges. The Supreme Court was constituted in 1774.

Amending Act of 1781

  • This act exempted the action of the public servants of the Company, done by them in their official capacity, from the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.
  • It further provided the appeals could be taken from the Provincial Court to the governor general in council that was to be the final court of appeal.
  • It was also laid down that the rules and regulations made by the governor general in council were not to be registered with the Supreme Court.

Pitts India Act 1784

  • This Act gave the British government the supreme control over Company's affairs and its administration in India.
  • It established the dual system of governance. The court of directors was to look after commercial functions. It consisted of 24 members.
  • The Board of Control consisting of parliamentary commissioners was ap-pointed to control civil, military and revenue affairs of India.
  • The strength of general in council was reduced to three.
  • It subordinated the Bombay and Madras Presidency to Bengal in all questions of war, diplomacy and revenues.

Act of 1786

  • The governor general was given the power to override his council in extra ordinary cases on his own responsibility.

Charter Act of 1793

  • The company's commercial privileges were extended for another 20 years.
  • The control of governor general over the Presidency's of Bombay and Madras was emphasised.
  • The commander-in-chief was not to be a member of the governor general council ipso facto.
  • All the members of the Board of Control in future to be paid salaries out of the Indian revenues.

Charter Act of 1813

  • The company was deprived of its monopoly of trade with India but it still enjoyed its monopoly of trade with China and the trade in tea.
  • Subjected to these restrictions, the Indian trade was thrown open to all Englishmen.
  • A sum of Re. 1 lakh was earmarked annually for education.
  • The constitutional position of the British territories in India was explicitly defined for the first time.

Charter Act of  1833

  • There was end of company's trade monopoly even in tea and with China.
  • All restrictions on European immigration into India were removed.
  • Governor General of Bengal was to be governor general of India. William Bentinck became the first governor general of India.
  • A fourth member, law member was added to the council of governor general.
  • By Act V of 1843 slavery was abolished in India.

Government of India Act, 1858

  • India shall be governed by secretary of state for India assisted by a council of 15 members.
  • The governor general received the title of viceroy.
  • Appointments to the covenanted civil services were to be made by open competition under the rules laid down by the secretary of the state with the help of civil service commissions.

Indian Councils Act, 1861

  • A fifth member added to the Viceroy's executive council.
  • The three separate Presidencies were brought in a common system.
  • The foundation of Indian Legislature was laid down. For legislation executive council of viceroy was enlarged 6 to 12 members composed of half non-official members.
  • Lord Canning introduced the portfolio system in the government of India.
  • The legislative powers of Bombay and Madras Presidencies were restored. They had been taken away in 1833. 
  • The viceroy could issue ordinance during emergency which were not to remain in force for more than 6 months.

Indian Council Act, 1892

  • It deals with the powers, functions and composition of the Legislative Council in India. The principle of election was conceded to a limited extent.
  • Power to ask question in the councils was allowed.

Indian Council Act, 1909

  • It is also known as Morley-Minto reforms.
  • The number of additional members rose at the maximum to 60. It provided for non-official majorities in the provinces.
  • The members were given right to discussion and asking supplementary questions.
  • Indians were to be appointed members to governor general's executive council.
  • Elections for the first time were officially introduced.
  • Provision of separate electorates was introduced.

Government of India Act, 1919

  • It is known as Montagu-Chelmsford reforms.
  • The salary of secretary of state was to be paid from British revenue.
  • The number of Indians in the governor general's executive council was raised to three.
  • There was division of subjects into the central list and provincial list. The subjects of national importance which related to more than one province was included in central list while others which were of only provincial importance were included in the provincial lists.
  • The act set up a bicameral legislature at the centre in the place of impe-rial council consisting of one house. The life of the assembly was three years.
  • The vetoing power of the governor general was real and was actually exercised.
  • The act introduced dyarchy in the provinces. The reserved subjects were administrated by the governor acting with the help of members of the executive council appointed by him. The transferred subjects were administered by the governor acting with minister appointed by him from among the elected members of the legislature.
  • The system of election introduced for the provincial council was direct.
  • Communal representation was extended to Sikhs.

Government of India Act, 1935

  • Jawaharlal Nehru described this Act as 'we are provided by a car, all brakes and no engine'.
  • The three main features of the Act were provisions of (a) an All India Federation (b) responsible government with a safeguard and (c) separate representation of commercial or other groups.
  • In the case of states, accession to the Federation was voluntary.
  • The Federal Legislature was to have two chambers, the council of state and the federal assembly.
  • The most important feature of this act was provincial autonomy.
  • The act also provided for a Federal Court with original and appellate powers to interpret the constitution.
  • The secretary of state maintained his control over various all India services.
  • Principle of separate electorates was extended to include Anglo-Indians, Indian Christians and Europeans.
  • The Federal Court was set up in 1937.
  • Sind and Orissa were created.
  • Diarchy was introduced at the centre.