General Studies IIConstitutionHistorical Background

Indian Councils Act of 1892

The Indian Councils Act 1892 was an Act of British Parliament that introduced various amendments to the composition and function of legislative councils in British India. Most notably, the act expanded the number of members in the central and provincial councils. For example, the number of additional members elected to the Governor-General’s council.

Historical Background:

  1. Ilbert Bill, in the history of India, a controversial measure proposed in 1883 that sought to allow senior Indian magistrates to preside over cases involving British subjects in India. The bitter controversy surrounding the measure deepened antagonism between British and Indians and was a prelude to the formation of the Indian National Congress the following year.
  2. Formation of Indian National Congress
  3. Demand of Indian leaders for the reform of the legislative councils.
  4. Demand of right to hold discussions on financial matters
  5. Demand of the principle of the election instead of nomination.

Provisions of the Indian Councils Act of 1892

  • It increased the number of additional (non-official) members in the CLC(16) and PLC
  • Central Legislative Council: 10 – 16 members
  • Bengal: 20 members
  • Madras: 20 members
  • Bombay: 8 members
  • Oudh: 15 members
  • North Western Province: 15

  • The power of discussing the budget with certain conditions and restriction

  • Permitted to ask questions on matters of public interest

  • Entry of elected members. The word “election” was, however, not used in the act.

  • It provided for the nomination of some non-official members of the (a) Central Legislative Council by the viceroy on the recommendation of the provincial legislative councils and the Bengal Chamber of Commerce, and (b) that of the Provincial legislative councils by the Governors on the recommendation of the district boards, municipalities, universities, trade associations, zamindars and chambers.

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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