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Thursday, June 17, 2021

The Crown Rule (1858- 1947) - Part II : Indian Council Act (1861)

The Crown Rule (1858- 1947) - Part II

Indian Council Act: 

After the great revolt of 1857, the British Government felt the necessity of seeking the cooperation of the Indians in the administration of their country. In pursuance of this policy of association, three acts were enacted by the British Parliament in 1861, 1892, and 1909.

The Indian Councils Act of 1861 is an important landmark in the constitutional and political history of India.

The Crown Rule (1858- 1947) - Part II : Indian Council Act (1861)

Features of the Act of 1861:

  • It made a beginning of representative institutions by associating Indians with the law-making process. It thus provided that the viceroy should nominate some Indians as non-official members of his expanded council. In 1862, Lord Canning, the then viceroy, nominated three (3) Indians to his legislative council- the Raja of Benaras, the Maharaj of Patiala, and Sir Dinkar Rao.

  • It also provided for the establishment of new legislative councils for Bengal (established in 1862), North-Western Frontier Province, NWFP (established in 1866), and Punjab(established in 1897).

  • It empowered the Viceroy to make rules and orders for the more convenient transactions of the business in the council. It also gave recognition to the 'portfolio' system, introduced by Lord Canning in 1859. Under this, a member of the council of Viceroy was made in charge of one or more departments of the government and was authorized to issue final orders on behalf of the council on matters of his department(s).

  • It empowered the Viceroy to issue ordinances, without the concurrence of the legislative council, during an emergency. The life of such an ordinance was six (6) months.



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