British came to India in 1600 as a trader in the form of East India Company.
1765 – Diwani right(revenue and civil justice)- Bengal, Bihar and Orissa.
This started its career as a territorial power.
1858,- ‘Sepoy mutiny’, the British Crown assumed direct responsibility for the governance of India.
Continued until India was granted independence on August 15, 1947
With Independence came the need of a Constitution.
Suggested by M N Roy (a pioneer of communist movement in India) in 1934.
Constituent Assembly was formed for this purpose in 1946 and on
January 26, 1950 the Constitution came into being.
Various features of the Constitution and polity have their roots in the British rule.
THE COMPANY RULE (1773–1858)
1)-Regulating Act of 1773
Great constitutional importance
1)-First step taken by British Govt to control and regulate the affairs of EIC in India.
2)-Recognised- first time- political and administrative functions of the Company.
3)-Laid the foundations of central administration in India.
1)- Governor of Bengal- ‘Governor-General of Bengal’
2)-Bombay and Madras presidencies subordinate to the governor general of Bengal
3)-Created an Executive Council of four members to assist him.
4)-Governor-General- Lord Warren Hastings.
5)- 1774 -Supreme Court Calcutta comprising one chief justice and three judges
6)-Prohibited- servants of Company from engaging in any private trade or accepting gift or bribes
7)-Control of British Govt over Company by Court of Directors (governing body of the Company) to report on its revenue, civil, and military affairs in India
2)-Pitt’s India Act of 1784
a)-Rectify the defects of the Regulating Act of 1773.
b)-British Parliament passed the Amending Act of 1781,
c)-Also known as the Act of Settlement.
1)-Distinguished between- commercial and political functions of the Company.
2)-Court of Directors to manage the commercial affairs.
3)-New body- Board of Control to manage the political affairs.
4)-Established a system of double government.
5)-Board of Control to supervise all operations of the civil and military government or revenues
Company’s territories – first time called the ‘British possessions(संपत्त in India’.
British Government- Supreme control over Company’s affairs and its administration.
3)-Charter Act of 1833
Final step towards centralisation in British India.
1)- Governor-General of Bengal as the Governor-General of India.
2)- Power- Civil and Military powers
3)- Lord William Bentick was the first governor-general of India.
4)-Deprived- Governor of Bombay and Madras of their legislative powers
5)-Governor General of India was given exclusive legislative powers for the entire British India
6)-Regulations while laws made under this act were called as Acts
7)- End- East India Company as a commercial body- Purely administrative body.
8)- Open competition for selection of civil servants- Indians should not be debarred
Provision was negated after opposition from the Court of Directors.
4)-Charter Act of 1853
Last of the series of Charter Acts passed by the British Parliament between 1793 and 1853.
Significant constitutional landmark.
1)-Separated first time- Legislative and Executive functions of the Governor General’s council
2)-This legislative wing of the council functioned as a mini-Parliament,
3)-Adopting the same procedures as the British Parliament.
4)-Introduced open competition system of selection of civil servants- Open to the Indian.
5)-Macaulay Committee (the Committee on the Indian Civil Service) was appointed in 1854.
6)-Local representation in the Indian (Central) Legislative Council.
7)-Extended the Company’s rule- retain Possession of Indian territories- Not specify any particular period, unlike the previous Charters- Clear indication that the Company’s rule could be terminated at any time the Parliament liked.
PDF for Lecture 2 –
Video of Lecture 2 by VeeR Talyan –