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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Important Acts :The Charter Act of 1853, Indian Councils Act 1861 & 1909

The Charter Act of 1853

• Laid foundation of Parliamentary system of Government, the executive and legislative separated. Legislative Assembly functioned in the model of British Parliament.
• Renewed the term of East India Company for an indefinite period;
• Reduced the number of Board of Directors from 24 to 18 and 6 out of them were nominated;
• The 4th member became at par with other members as right to vote was conferred; and further added, 6 members known as 'Legislative Councillors'. Six Members were the Chief Justice and a puisne judge of Calcutta Supreme Court, and four representatives, one each from Bengal, Madras, Bombay and NWFP. Therefore, the total number of members became 10.
• Now it became: Governor-General, 6 members (Legislative Councillors), 4 members (Governor-General-in-Council), Commander-in-Chief.
• Indian Civil Service became an open competition. Macaulay made Chairman of the Committee.
• The Act for the first time introduced local representation in the Indian (Central) Legislative Council. The Governor-General's Council had six new legislative members were appointed by the local (provincial) governments of Madras, Bombay, Bengal and Agra.
• The Act separated, for the first time, the legislative and executive functions of the Governor-General's Council.

Indian Council Act of 1861

• The three separate presidencies (Madras, Bombay and Bengal) were brought into a common system
• System of legislative devolution in India was inaugurated.
• The Act added to the Viceroy's Executive Council a fifth member - a jurist.
• For purposes of legislation, the Viceroy's Executive Council was expanded by the addition of not less than six and not more than 12 additional members, who would be nominated by the Governor-General and would hold office for two years. Therefore, the total membership increased to 17.
• Not less than half of these members were to be non-officials.
• The legislative power was to be restored to the Council of Bombay and Madras, while Councils were allowed to be established in other Provinces in Bengal in 1862 and North West Frontier Province (NWFP) in 1886, Burma and Punjab in 1897.
• In 1859, Canning had already introduced the Portfolio system. Under this portfolio system, the work of the Government, divided into several branches, was entrusted to different members of the Governor General's council. The act of 1861 envisaged that the member in-charge of his department could issue final orders with regard to matters which concerned his department. In 1861, the portfolio system led to creation of some kind of cabinet system.
• In 1862, Lord Canning nominated three Indians to his legislative council-the Raja of Benaras, the Maharaja of Patiala and Sir Dinkar Rao.
• The Act added to the Viceroy's executive council a fifth member who was a jurist. For the purpose of legislation, the Viceroy's Executive Council was expanded by the addition of not less than 6 and not more than 12 additional members who would be nominated by the Governor-General and would hold office for two years. Not less than half of these members were to be non-officials.


Indian Council Act of 1909
• Councils were enlarged and direct elections were introduced. 
• An Indian was to be appointed member of Governor General's executive council. 5 nominated by Governor General
• 27 elected which consisted of: (2 by special electorates, 13 by general electorates, 12 by class electorates consisting of (a) 6 elected by land holders and (b) 6 elected by Muslim constituencies.
• Satyendra Prasad Sinha became the first Indian to join the Viceroy's Executive Council')
• The separate electorate was introduced. Lord Minto has been known as 'Father of Communal Electorate'

1 comment:

  1. Perfectly described and very up to the point . Thank you

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