Wednesday, 28 August 2019

Evolution Of the Constitution of india | KAS | UPSC | SSC



EVOLUTION OF THE CONSTITUTION OF INDIA

A constitution is a document of people’s faith and aspirations possessing a special legal sanctity.
It is the fundamental law of the country and all other laws and customs of the country in order to be valid must conform to it.
A constitution sets out the framework and the Principal function of various organs of the Government as well as relations between the Government and its citizens. Various stages which lead to the development of Indian constitution are :

HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENTS THE REGULATING ACT, 1773

This act provided for the centralisation of administration of company’s territories in India.
Governor of Bengal became Governor- General of Bengal .
Supreme Court to be set up at Calcutta (1774) .

THE PITT’S INDIA ACT, 1784

Subordinated the Bombay and Madras Presidency to the Bengal Presidency in all questions of war, diplomacy and revenues.
Strength of Governor-General in council reduced to 3.
It distinguished between the commercial and political functions of the company. It established a system of double government.
British Government was given the supreme control over company’s affair and its administration in India.

THE CHARTER ACT, 1793

This Act gave the power to the Governor-General to override his council.

THE CHARTER ACT, 1833

Governor-General of Bengal to be Governor-General of India .
William Bentick was the first Governor-General of India .
Government of Madras and Bombay deprived of legislative powers.
Law member added to the council of Governor-General.

THE CHARTER ACT, 1853

The Act for the first time created a separate legislative machinery consisting of 12 members legislative council which came to be known as the Indian (central) legislative council .
It introduced an open competition system of selection and recruitment of civil servants .
Law member was made a full member of the Executive Council of the Governor-General.

THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA ACT, 1858

It created a new office of Secretary of state for India.
The Secretary of state was assisted by a 15-member council .
Governor-General was to be called as the Viceroy .
A highly centralised administrative structure created.
It ended the system of double government by abolishing the Board of Control and Court of Directors.
The act known as the Act for the Good Government of India , abolished the East India Company, and transferred the powers of government, territories and revenues to the British Crown .

THE INDIAN COUNCIL ACT, 1861

Government started associating Indians in legislation.
A fifth member added to the Viceroy’s executive council.
For legislative purposes, executive council of Viceroy was enlarged by 6 to 12 members .

THE INDIAN COUNCIL ACT, 1892

Introduction of indirect elections for the non-official members of the Imperial and Provincial Legislative Councils .
The councils at both levels were to have the power of discussing the Budget but not of voting.

THE MORLEY-MINTO REFORMS (THE INDIAN COUNCIL ACT, 1909)

Provision of indirect elections to the legislative councils introduced.
Additional members in Central Legislative increased to 60 .
The membership of the Legislative Councils of the different provinces enlarged.
The members were given the right of discussion and asking supplementary questions .
It introduced a system of communal representation for muslims by accepting concept of “Separate electorate” . Thus Lord Minto came to be known as the “Father of Communal Electorate” .

 THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA ACT, 1919 
(MONTAGUECHELMSFORD REFORMS)

Dyarchy system introduced in the provinces.
The Provincial subjects of administration were to be divided into ‘Transferred’ and ‘Reserved’ Subjects.
Indian legislature became ‘bicameral’ .
Communal representation extended to Sikhs, Indian Christians, Anglo-Indians and Europeans.
It provided for the establishment of a Public Service Commission.
It separated, for the first time provincial budgets from the Central budget.

THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA ACT, 1935

Dyarchy introduced at the centre.
Provincial dyarchy replaced by provincial autonomy in provinces.
Provision for the establishment of an All India Federation consisting of the British Provinces and Princely States as units.
Three fold division of powers–Federal, Provincial and Concurrent Lists.
It provided for the establishment of a Reserve Bank of India to control the currency and credit of the country.

INDIAN INDEPENDENCE ACT, 1947

The British P.M. was Clement Atlee and then Viceroy of India Lord Mountbatten , who had put forth the partition plan. Also became the first Governor General of free India.
The executive council provided by the 1919 act continued to advice the Governor General till1947.
It abolished the office of Viceroy . Also it abolished the office of secretary of state for India.
It declares India as an Independent and sovereign state.
Established responsible Governments at both the centre and the province.
Designated the Governor General of India and the Provincial governors as the constitutional heads.
It assigned dual functions to the constituent assembly and declared this dominion legislature as a sovereign body.

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