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Wednesday, June 16, 2021

The Crown Rule (1858- 1947) - Part I : Government of India Act (1858)

The Crown Rule (1858- 1947) - Part-I

Government of India Act of 1858: 

This significant Act was enacted in the wake of the Revolt of 1857- also known as the First War of the Independence or the 'Sepoy mutiny'. The act is known as the 'Act for the Good Government of India' abolished the East India Company (EIC), and transferred the powers of government, territories, and revenues to the British Crown.

The Crown Rule (1858- 1947) - Part I : Government of India Act (1858)

Features of the Act:

  • It provided that India henceforth was to be governed by and in the name of Her majesty. It changed the designation of the Governor-General of India to that of Viceroy of India. He (Viceroy) was the direct representative of the British Crown in India. Lord Canning thus became the first Viceroy of India.

  • It ended the system of double government by abolishing the Board of Control and Court of Directors.


  • It established a fifteen (15) number Council of India to assist the secretary of state for India. The council was an advisory body. The secretary of state was made the chairman of the council.

  • It constituted the secretary of state-in-council as the body corporate, capable of suing and being sued in India and in England.

The Act of 1858 was, however, largely confined to the improvement of the administrative machinery by which the Indian Government was to be supervised and controlled in England. It did not alter in any substantial way the system of government that prevailed in India.

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