Indian Polity and Constitution
Indian Polity and Constitution – Constitution is the foundational law of a country which ordains the fundamental principles on which the government of that country is based.It lays down the framework and principal functions of various organs of the government as well as the modalities of interaction between the government and its citizens. With the exception of the United Kingdom, almost all democratic countries possess a written constitution. India also possesses an elaborate written constitution which was enacted by a constituent assembly specifically set up for the purpose.
Regulating Act of 1773
- This Act was based on the report of a committee headed by the British Prime Minister Lord North.
- Governance of the East India Company was put under British parliamentary control.
- The Governor of Bengal was nominated as Governor General for all the three presidencies of Calcutta, Bombay and Madras. Warren Hastings was the first such Governor General.
- A Supreme Court was established in Calcutta (now Kolkata).
- Governor General was empowered to make rules, regulations and ordinances with the consent of the Supreme Court.
Pitts India Act of 1784
- It was enacted to improve upon the provisions of Regulating Act of 1773 to bring about better discipline in the company’ s system of administration.
- A 6-member Board of Controllers was set up which was headed by a Minister of the British government. All political responsibilities were given to this board.
- Trade and commerce related issues were under the purview of the court of Directors of the company.
- Provinces had to follow the instructions of the Central Government,and Governor General was empowered to dismiss the failing provincial government.
Charter Act of 1793
- Main provision of the previous Acts were consolidated in this Act.
- Provided for the payment of salaries of the members of the Board of Controllers from Indian revenue.
- Courts were given the power to interpret rules and regulations.
Charter Act of 1813
- Trade monopoly of the East India Company came to an end.
- Powers of the three councils of Madras, Bombay and Calcutta were enlarged, they were also subjected to greater control of the British Parliament.
- The Christian Missionaries were allowed to spread their religion in India.
- Local autonomous bodies were empowered to levy taxes.
Charter Act of 1833
- The Governor General and his Council were given vast powers. This Council could legislate for the whole of India subject to the approval of the Board of Controllers.
- The Council got full powers regarding revenue, and a single budget for the country was prepared by the Governor General.
- The East India Company was reduced to an administrative and political entity and several Lords and Ministers were nominated as ex-officio members of the Board of Controllers.
- For the first time the Governor -General’ s Government was known as the ‘ Government of India’ and his Council as the ‘ Indian Council’.
Charter Act of 1853
- This was the last of the Charter Acts and it made important changes in the system of Indian legislation.
- This Act followed a report of the Governor General Dalhousie for improving the administration of the company.
- A separate Governor fir Bengal was to be appointed.
- Legislative and administrative functions of the Council were separately identified.
- Recruitment of the Company’ s employees was to be done through competitive exams.
- British Parliament was empowered to put Company’ s governance of India to an end at any suitable time.