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Constitutional Development of India under British Crown
Constitutional Development of India under British Crown ,The beginning and development of the Indian Constitution have its underlying foundations in Indian history during the British time frame. From 1773 onwards, different Acts were passed by the British Government for the administration of India. None of them, in any case, satisfied Indians as they were forced by the outsider rulers.
After the revolt of 1857, British Government took all the administrative rights from East India Company and transferred all the powers to British Crown.
Government of India Act of 1858
- Government of India Act of 1858 passed by British Parliament, stopped the dictatorship of East India Company. The powers were moved to the British Crown. The Secretary of State for India was given the powers and obligations of the previous Court of Directors. He Controlled the Indian Administration through the Viceroy of India.
- Governer-General of India was made the Viceroy of India. Lord Canning was the first Viceroy of India.
Indian Council Act of 1861
- Indians were designated as non-official individuals for the first time in the Legislative Council of Viceroy.
- Legislative Councils were set up in Provinces and Center.
- Legislative powers of the Provinces of Bombay and Madras were reestablished.
- Legislative Councils were begun in the Provinces of Punjab, North-Western Frontier Province (NWFP), Bengal.
Indian Council Act of 1892
- The size of the Legislative Council was expanded.
- Indirect Elections were presented for the first time.
- The Principal of Representation was presented according to arrangements given in the Indian Council Act of 1892.
Indian Councils Act, 1909 – Morley Minto Reforms
- Indian Councils Act of 1909 is generally known as Morley Minto Reforms.
- The Central Legislative Council was renamed as the Imperial Legislative Council.
- For the first time, Direct elections were presented for the Legislative Councils. The Communal representation system was presented by giving separate electorate. It was a framework where seats were held uniquely for Muslims and just Muslims would be polled.
- Interestingly, Indians were named to the Executive Council of Viceroy. Satyendra Sinha was the law part.
Government of India Act, 1919 – Montagu Chelmsford Reforms
- Government of India Act, 1919 was otherwise called the Montagu Chelmsford reforms.
- Bicameralism was presented for the first time and Provincial and Central Subjects were separated.
- Collective Representation reached out to Christians, Anglo-Indians, Sikhs.
Government of India Act 1935
- This was the longest and last constitutional measure presented by British India.
- Bicameralism was presented in Bengal, Bombay, Madras, Assam, Bihar, United Province.
- According to the Act, the powers were partitioned into Federal List, Provincial List and Concurrent List.
- Given arrangements to building up Federal Court, Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
Why do we need a Constitution
Constitution is a book of rules to maintain the administration of a country. After 1857 revolt, British Government itself took control over India and made the rules for Indian Colony. East India Company didn’t had any constitution or any rules, so their officers rules in their respective provinces as they wished. They suppressed the people of India, that’s why revolt of 1857 happened.
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