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Constitutional Development in India – From Regulating Act 1773 to Govt. of India Act 1935


Regulating Act, 1773

  • End of Dual Government.
  • Governor of Bengal to be the Governor- General of British territories of India.
  • Established of Supreme Court in Calcutta

Pitts Act of 1784

  • This Act gave the British Government a measure of control over the company’s affairs. In fact, the company became a subordinate department of the State.

Act of 1786

  • Governor General given the power to over-ride the Council and was made the Commander-in-chief also.

Also Read: The Constitution of India – Drafting and Composition

Charter Act of 1793

  • Company given monopoly of trade for 20 more years. It laid the foundation of Government by written laws, interpreted by courts.

Charter Act 1813

  • Company deprived of its trade monopoly in India except in tea and trade with China.

Charter Act of 1833

  • End of company’s monopoly even in tea and trade with China. Company was asked to close its business at the earliest.
  • Governor General of Bengal to be Governor General of India. (1st Governor General of India was Lord William Bentinck).

Charter Act 1853

  • The Act renewed the powers of the company and allowed it to retain the possession of Indian territoris in trust of the British crown.
  • Recruitment to Civil Service was based on open annual competition examination (excluding Indian ).

Government of India Act, 1858

  • Rule of Company in India ended that of the crown began.
  • A post of Secretary of State (a member of the British Cabinet) for India . He was assisted bya 15-member council (called India Council). He was to exercise the powers of the Crown.
  • Secretory of state Governed India through the Governor General.
  • Governor General received the title of Viceroy. He represented Secretory of State and was assisted by an executives Council, which consisted of high officials of the Government.

Also Read: Constitution of India – Brief Introduction

Indian Council Act, 1861

  • The executive Council was now to be called Central Legislative Council.

Indian Council Act, 1892

  • Indians found their way in the provincial Legislative Council.

Indian Council Act, 1909 or Morley-Minto Reform

  • It envisaged a separate electorate for Muslims.

Government of India Act, 1919 or Montague-Chelmsford Reforms

  • Dyarchy system introduced in the provinces.
  • The Provincial subjects of administration were to be divided into two categories : Transferred and Reserved .
  • The Transferred subjects were to be administered by the Governor with the aid of ministers responsible to the Legislative Council.
  • The Governor and the Executive Council were to administer the reserved subjects without any responsibility to the legislature.
  • Indian legislature became bicameral for the first time. It actually happened after 1935 Act.

Government of India Act, 1935

  • Provided for the establishment of all-India Federation consisting of the British Provincially and the Princely States.
  • The joining of Princely States was voluntary and as a result the Federation did not come into existence.
  • Dyarchy was introduce at the Centre (e.g., Department of Foreign Affairs and Defence were reserved for the Governor General).
  • Provincial autonomy replaced Dyarchy in provinces. They were grants separate legal identity. Burma (now Myanmar) separated from India.

Also Read: 20 Features of Indian Constitution

Articles are written and edited by the Syskool Staffs.


  1. Why it is silent on historic Poona Pact, 1930, between Dr. B.R. Ambedkar,MMK Gandhi,representing the Congres & Muslim League represented by MA Jinnah. This pact remains out of most syllabi. This is more relevant in today’s perspective.

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