Administrative And Legislative Reforms in India Before 1857

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Before 1857 there was an East India Company rule over India mainly over Bengal, Calcutta, Bombay and Madras presidencies. To control this company governance over India, the British  Parliament issued administrative and legislative reforms through various regulating acts from 1773 to 1853.
But finally after the Revolt of 1857 the company governance was transferred to the British Parliament. But in this article we will learn about various regulating Acts passed by British Parliament. 
Also Read: Administrative and Legislative Reforms after 1857

Regulating Act of 1773

  • By this act the Governance of the East India Company was put under the control of British Parliament.
  • Actually this act was the result of the report of a committee headed by the British Prime Minister Lord North.
  • The main provisions of this act were nomination of the Governor Generalized​ of the Bengal as the Governor General of all other presidencies such as Calcutta, Bombay and Madras. And the Governor General was empowered to make rules-regulations and the ordinances with the consent of the Supreme Court, which was established by this Act in Calcutta (Kolkata).

Pitts India Act 1784

  • This Act was an improvement of the previous Act and to enhance the control over companies rule over India. According to this Act, Provinces had to follow the instructions of the central government, and Governor General was empowered to dismiss the failing provincial government.
  • A 6-member board of Controllers was set up to exercise all Political responsibilities. This board was headed by a minister of the British Government.
  • In this act all trade and commerce related issues were under the control of the Court of Directors of the East India Company.

Charter Act 1793

  • The provisions of the previous Acts were consolidated in this Act also and provided the payment of salaries of the members of the Board of Controllers from Indian revenue earlier which was paid by British revenue.
  • In this Act courts were given power to act and interpret the rules and regulations made by the government.

Charter Act 1813

  • From this Act one can say that the company's rule over India started to decline and the involvement of British Parliament was started to increase.
  • By this Act the monopoly of the East India Company over the Trade and Commerce was came to an end.
  • By this Act Local Bodies were empowered to levy taxes. 
  • Powers of the three councils of Madras, Bombay and Calcutta were enlarged, and they were also brought under the control of British Parliament.
  • By this Act The Christian Missionaries were allowed  for the first time to spread their religion in India.

Charter Act 1833

  • This Act gave vast powers to the Governor General and his Council. This Council could legislate for whole India after a prior approval of the Board of Controllers sitting in England.
  • The East India Company got a massive reduction in their powers such that the Company reduced to only an administrative and Political entity.
  • On the other hand the Council were given full​ powers over the issues regarding revenue. A single budget for the whole India was prepared by the Governor General.
  • This whole new Governor Generals government was known as the "Government of India" and his Council was called as the"Indian Council".

Charter Act 1853

  • This was the last Charter Act issued by the British Government. This Act made various important changes in the system of legislation in India.
  • This Act was followed by a report of the then Governor General Dalhousie for improving the administration of the company.
  • With this Act the British Parliament was empowered to put East India Company's rule over India to an end at any suitable time.
  • The recruitment of the employees was started to be done through Competitive Exams.
  • A most important fact about this Act was  that it provided a separate Governor for the Bengal Province.