Historical Back ground of Indian Constitution Design

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1.       Historical Back ground of Indian Constitution Design
  • In 1600 British (El co.,) came to India as traders with exclusive right of trading in India. Under a charter granted by Queen Elizabeth I.
  • In 1765 obtained Diwani (Rights over revenue & Civil Justice) of Bengal, Bihar & Orissa. Till then traders only.

The company Rule:- (1773-1858)
Regulating Act of 1773:-

  1. Great Constitution importance.
  2. First step by British to control & regulate the affairs of ElCo.,
  3. First time administrative & Pol. FC’s of ElCo., is recognized.
  4. Laid the foundations of central admin. In India.
  5. Designated Governor of Bengal as the “Governor General of Begnal”

                                                                                + Executive Council (4 Members)
Warren Hastings I Government General.

6.       Bombay & Madras presidencies made subordinate to G.G. of Bengal (Earler indpt).
7.       Established SC at Calcutta (1774)

                     1 CJ
                      3 other Judges.

8.       Prohibiting servants of the Co., from an private trade or accepting bribes or presents from “Natives”.
9.       Strengthened the control of the British government over company by requiring court of directors (governing body of the co) to report an revenue, civil & military affairs of it in India.
10.    Bid to rectifying the defects in Regulating Act of 1773

                  Amending Act of 1781 (Act of Settlement) was enacted.

    • Pitts India Act of 1784:

  1. Distinguished b/t commercial & political FC’s of the government by the way of
  2. Court of Directors to manage commercial affairs

       Board of Control (newly created) to manage political affairs.
                           Thus a system of Double government.

3.                   Board of control, to supervise & direct all operations of civil, military & revenue of British Possessions in India.
4.       First time, company territories are called “British Possessions in India”.
5.       British government given the supreme control over companys affairs & its admin. In India.

    • Charter Act of 1833:-

  • Final step towards centralization.
  • “Government General of India” – Government General of (B) Vested all civil & military this.
  • Created GOI having authority over territorial possessions of India.
  • Bombay & Madras Governor’s deprived of their legislative powers & given to Government General of India.
  • “Regulations” Now awards “Acts”.
  • E lco., ended commercial activities & became purely administrative body.
  • Unsuccessfully introduced a system of open competition in civil services exam.

(8) Indians not debarred from holding any place, office & employment under the Government (Co Dir. Apposed).

    • Charter Act of 1853:-

  • Last of the series of Charter Act’s.
  • Significant Constitution landmark.
  • Seperated legislative & executive FC’s of the G. G’s Council.
  • 6 new member called legislative councilors to the council i.e. separate G. G. Exec. Council called – “Indian Central legislative Council”.
  • Functioning as a “Mini Parliament”
  • Introduction an open competitive system of selection & recruitment of civil servants.
  • “Convenanted civil Service” opened to Indians also.
  • (1854) Manaulay Committee on Indian Civil Service appointed.
  • Did not specified any particular period for extension of the company’s rule.

(10), Introduced, local rep. In Indian (Central) Legislative Council.
Of (6) new leg. Members.
(4) members of local (Prov.) governments of Madras, Bombay, Bengal & Agra.
The Crown Rule (1858-1947).

    • GOI Act of 1858

  • “Act for the Good Government of India” also called.
  • Abolished Elco.,
  • And transferred powers to British grown.
  • Hence forth governing in the name of “Her Majesty”.
  • “Government General of India” to “Vice Roy of India”.
  • Lord Canning first viceroy of India.
  • Ended Double government – abolished B-of control & Court of dir.
  • Created secy of state for India.
  • – a member of British cabinet.
  • Ultimately responsible to British Parliament
  • Established a 15 member council of India to assist secy. Of state for India. On advisory body.
  • Consistuted the secy. Of state in council
  • A body corporate
  • Can sue & be sued.

11.                Improved adminv. Machinery of Indian government.

Indian Councils Act of 1861, 1892 & 1909.

    • Indian Councils Act of 1861.

  • Made a beginning of representative institutions by associating Indians with the law making process.
  • Viceroy should nominate some Indians as non official members.

– Three Indian non official member nominated by Lord councilng in 1862

I.                        Raja of Beneras
                                                      II.            Maharaja of Patiala &
                                                   III.            Sir Dinakar Rao

  • Initiated the process of decentralization restored legislative powers of Bombay & Madras presidencies.
  • Establishment of new legislative councils for
  • Bengal
  • NWFP &
  • Punjab
  • Empowered the viceroy to make rules & Orders for the more convenient transaction of business in the council.
  • “Portfolio Sys” introduced in 1859 by lord canning & recognized under this Act.
  • Viceroy can issue ordinance, without the concurrence of the legislative council, during an emergency.

    • Act of 1892:-

  • Increased no of non-official member in central & legislative councils, but maintained the official majority in them.
  • Powers of legislative councils
  • Can discuss budget,
  • Address qu’s to the budget.
  • Provided for nomination of some non-official members to central legislative council.
  • A limited & i/d provision for the use of election in filling up some u/official seats both in the central & provincial legislative councils.
  • Word “Election” not used.

    • Minto-Morley Reforms Act of 1909:-

1. Size of Leg. Council Considerably. Central legislative Council – 16 to 60.
       Provincial legislative Council – members not uniform.
2. Central legislative council – official majority retaned.
       Prov. Leg. Council – Non-official majority.
3. Leg. Councils – deliberative FC’s enlarged at both the levels.
       FC’s like supplementary QC’s,
       Moving resolv’s on budget etc.
4. Indians associated with Free Councils of V’eceroy & Government
(for the first time).

  • In exec. Council of viceroy, Satyendra Prasad Sinha, First Indian (Law Member)

5. Introduction a system of communal rep. For Muslims. By the concept of “Separate electorate” “Father of communal Electorate – Lord Minto”.

    • i.e. only Muslim voters to elect muslims member.

6. Seperae rep. Of presidency corpn.’s,
                           Chambers of commerce,
                           Universities & Zamindars.

    • GOI Act of 1919:-

  • Also known as Mantagn – Chelms ford Ref. (S4) (V)
  • Came into force in 1921.
  • Separate Central & Provincial subjects.
  • Relaxed central control over provinces.
  • Structure of government continued to be centralized & unitary.
  • Introd. System of Dyarehy in provinces. [ Greek word “Di-arache” means double rule]
  • I.e. provincial subjects are divided in to transferred & Reserved subject
  • Transferred Subjects are those which are administered by Governor with the aid of ministers who are responsible to the legislative council. Whereas Reserved subjects are those which are administered by government & his executive council without responsible to the legislative council.

This system of Dyarely failed.
3. Introduced, Bicameralism & Direct Elections in the country.
Bicameralism implying Indian legislative council is replaced by an upper house & Lower House.First Time

  • Majority of the members of the both the houses are directly elected.

4. Viceroy’s Executive council consisted of six members.
Among them three are regarding to be Indian (except commander-in-chief)
5. Extended the system of communal representation i.e. separate electorate to
                Indian Christians,
                Angho Indians &
6. Franchise is granted only to a limited member of people on the basis of property, tax or edn.,
7. Central Public service commission was estd. In 1926 under this Act.
8. High commissioner for India in London, a new office was created. Some of the FC’s of secy. Of state for India are transferred to HC of I.
9. Seperated Central Budget & Provincial Budget.

  • This Act had a provision to appoint a statcitory commission after 10 years. To enquire into and report an its working.

    • Simon Commission.

Appointed on November 1927 (i.e. 2 years before the schedule) by the British Government Headed by simon It is a seven members, all Britishers commission, a reason for why all parties have boycotted this commission.

  • The commission submitted its report on 1930. It recommended
  • The abolition of dyarehy.
  • Extn. Of resp. government in the provinces,
  • Est. of a federation of British India & Princely States.
  • Continuation of Communal Electorate.
  • To consider these proposals of the commission British government has a convened Three RTC’s consisting of the representatives of British Government,
  • British India & Indian Princely States.
  • And  a “White paper on Constitution reforms” was prepared and submitted for the consideration of the “It select committee of the British Parliament”
  • The recommendations of this committee were incorporated in GOI Act 1935.
  • Communal Award:-

In August 1932, Ramsay MacDonald, the P.M. of British has announced separate electorate system for the minorities. [not just to Sikhs, Angle Indians, Muslims, Indian Christians etc.,] which means separate electorate to the depressed classes also (i.e. SC’s).

  • Gandhiji who was upset over this has took fast into death in the yeravada jail of Poona to make the award modified.
  • At last, the leaders of congress and depressed classes have made an agreement known as Poona Pact.
  • According to which, there is on
  • Hindu joint electorate and some seats are reserved for depressed classes

    • GOI Act, 1935:-

  • lengthy & detailed document
  • All India Federation casiting of provinces & princely states as units was established.
  • Power was divided b/f center & provinces in terms of three lists
  • Federal List
  • Provincial List &
  • Concurrent list

Viceroy had residuary power but Federation did not came into being at all because princely states did not join it.

  • “Dyarehy” was abolished in the provinces. And “Provincial autonomy” was introduced under which provinces can function autonomously in their defined spheres.
  • Moreover “Responsible Government” was introduced in provinces which means governor will act on the aid of the ministers who are responsible to the provincial legislature.

                Came into operation in 1937 & discontinued in 1939.
3. Dayarehy at Centre.
4. “B Cameralism” was introduced in the 6 out of 11 provinces. However many restrictions were placed on them.
5. Extended the principle of “Communal representation” to the depressed classes, (SC’s) women & Labour.
6. Abolished council of India, which was established under the GOJ, 1858 Act. & Secy of state for India was provided with a team of advisors.
7. Extended franchise.
8. RBI’s establishment was provided to control the currency & credit of the country.
9. Provided for the establishment of
           Federal PSC,
           Provincial PSC &
           Joint PSC for two or more provinces.
10. Federal Court established in 1937.

    • Indian Independence Act 1947:-

  • Mountibatten plan, a partition plan was given effect by enacting IT Act, 1947.
  • Ended the British rule in India.
  • Provided for the partition of India into Dominions of India & Dominion of Pakistan
  • British with the right to secede from the commonwealth.

III Office of viceroy was abolished & G. G. in independent dominions for each of these two provinces (doubt also) was established.
4. Empowered the consituent assemblies to frame & adopt any Constitution. & legislate till the new Constitution was drafted & enforced.
5. Office of secy of state for India was and abolished and his fC’s are transferred to secy of state for common wealth affairs.
6. British paramounty over Indian princely states was lapsed and moreover treaty relations with these princely states are also lapsed.
7. Indian princely states had freedom to join either dominion of India or
Dominion of Pakistan or remain & Independent.
8. Governance of these each of the provinces was done according to GOI act 1935.
9. British Monarch is deprived of right to veto bills or ask for reservation of certain bills. But G. General of I had this power.
10. Government General of India & Provincial government were designated as Constitution (nominal) heads of the government & would act on the advice of the respective council of ministers.
11. The title of “Emperor of India” among the royal titles of King of England was dropped.
12. Appointment to civil services & reservation of posts by the secy. Of state for India was discontinued.

  • Midnight of Aug 14-15, India got independence.
  • 1st government General of New Dominion India – Lord Mount Batten
  • 1st P.M. of new dominion of India – J. Nehru
  • Constituent Assembly which was formed in 1946 became the Parliament Of Dominion of India.