General Studies IIConstitutionHistorical Background

Charter Act of 1853

Charter Act of 1853 extended the Company’s rule and allowed it to retain the possession of Indian territories on trust for the British Crown. But, it did not specify any particular period, unlike the previous Charters. This was a clear indication that the Company’s rule could be terminated at any time the Parliament liked.

Provisions of Charter Act of 1853

  • This was the last of the series of Charter Acts

  • Made important changes in the machinery for Indian Legislation

  • Established a separate Governor-General’s legislative council which came to be known as the Indian (Central) Legislative Council

  • Addition of Six new members called legislative councilors to the council

  • It means created a distinct Governor General’s Legislative Council, which became the Indian (Central) Legislative Council.

  • It introduced, for the first time, local representation in the Indian (Central) Legislative Council. Of the six new legislative members of the governor-general’s council, four members were appointed by the local (provincial) governments of Madras, Bombay, Bengal and Agra

  • It separated, for the first time, the legislative and executive functions of the Governor-General’s council.

  • Introduced an open competition system of selection and recruitment of civil servants

  • Accordingly, the Macaulay Committee (the Committee on the Indian Civil Service) was appointed in 1854.

Source: M. Laxmikant

THE COMPANY RULE (1773–1858)THE CROWN RULE (1858–1947)
1. Regulating Act of 17731. Government of India Act of 1858
2. Pitt’s India Act of 17842. Indian Councils Act of 1861
3. Charter Act of 18333. Indian Councils Act of 1892
4. Charter Act of 18534. Indian Councils Act of 1909
 5. Government of India Act of 1919
 6. Government of India Act of 1935
 7. Indian Independence Act of 1947

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