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Historical Background of Indian Constitution


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Historical Background of Indian Constitution Evolution and Historical underpinnings

Historical Background of Indian Constitution Evolution and Historical underpinnings

The origins and development of Historical Background of Indian Constitution can be traced back to a multitude of laws and decrees enacted prior to India's independence. These can be categorized into two main streams:

  • THE COMPANY RULE (1773-1858) : •Started British gaining 'Diwani Rights’ after Battle of Buxar (1764). •Marked the onset of British governance in India

  • CROWN RULE (1858-1947) : •Started after the Revolt of 1857

Timeline of Historical Background of Indian Constitution



Development under Company Rule:


Regulating Act of 1773

Pitts India Act 1784

Charter Act of 1813

Charter Act of 1833

Charter Act of 1853

Governor of

Bengal was

designated as

GG of Bengal.

Warren Hasting (1st GG of Bengal).


Dual system of Government COD for commercial functions, BOC for political functions.


Ended EIC 's monopoly over trade with India, except in Tea and Opium.

Final step towards Centralization

For the first time, the legislative and executive powers of the Governor General's council were separated. Thus, it marked the beginning of Parliamentary System in India.


Governors of

Madras and

Bombay were

made subordinate

to GG of Bengal

Company's territories were called “British Possession in India”.


Financial Provision for promotion of science & literature.


GG of Bengal was made GG of India.

Lord William Bentinck: 1st GG of India.


Indians were allowed in "C covenanted" Civil Services.


Beginning of

Central

Administration.

BOC was empowered thus giving British government supreme control over, company’s affairs.

Allocation of an annual sum of Rs. 1 lakh for the promotion of education among the natives.

Other name: Saint Helena Act.


Introduced, for the first time, local representation in the Indian central legislative council.

COD was required to report on its revenue, civil & military affairs in India.




The legislative powers of Bombay & Madras Presidencies were removed.

Failed attempt to introduce a system of open competition for Civil Services.



1774: First Supreme court of India at Fort Williams (Minimal Powers).



Failed attempt to introduce a system of open competition for Civil Services.





Law commission (under Lord Macaulay) to codify Indian Laws.






Ended the company's monopoly of trade in tea and trade with China.





Development under Crown Rule:

Government of India Act 1858

Indian Council Act of 1861

Indian Council Act of 1892

Indian Council Act of 1909

Govt. of India Act 1919

Govt. of India Act 1935


Indian independence

Act 1947

Transferred GOI from the Company to the British Crown.


Beginning of Representative Institutions.

Increased the number of non official members in the central & provincial LC.

Morley-Minto reforms.

Montague-Chelmsford reforms

Establishment of All India Federation (Comprising of Provinces and Princely states).

End of British Rule.

GG of India was designated as Viceroy of India.


Initiated decentralisation as legislative powers of Bombay and Madras presidencies were restored.

Increased functions of LCs e.g.-power to discuss Budget

Increased size of Central and Provincial LCs


Introduction of responsible government.

3 Lists: Federal, Provincial and Concurrent

Abolished the office of Viceroy & SOS.

SOS was established.


Recognised portfolio systems and ordinance power of Viceroy.


Separate electorate for Muslims.

Dyarchy was introduced at provincial level (Division into transferred and reserved subjects).

Abolished Dyarchy at provincial level and introduced it at centre

Empowered Constituent Assemblies to frame and adopt Constitutions.

GG of India was designated as Viceroy of India. Lord Canning: 1st Viceroy of India.


Initiated decentralization as legislative powers of Bombay and Madras presidencies were restored.


Enlarged deliberative functions of LC, eg-supplement ary questions & resolutions on Budget.

Bicameralism  at centre was introduced introduced

Bicameralism at Provincial level.

Freedom to princely states to join the dominion of India or Pakistan or to remain Independent.

Abolished BOC and COD, thus ending the dual system


Recognised portfolio systems and ordinance power of Viceroy.


Indians in executive councile.g. Satyendra Prasad Sinha

For first time, direct elections (Limited franchise).

Extended communal representation to depressed class, women, labour



New LC's established at Bengal, Punjab, and NWFP.


Enlarged deliberative functions of LC, eg-supplement ary questions & resolutions on Budget.

Extended communal representation to Sikhs, Christians, Anglo-Indians, Europeans

Establishment of RBI & Federal Court.



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