Pre-context of making the Indian Constitution
Historical Background of Making of Indian Constitution:> India was under the rule of the East India Company from 1773 to 1858. In the period from 1858 to 1947, India was under the Raj of the British. The laws that were enacted in British India can be considered as the background of the Indian Constitution. Some of those are discussed briefly here.
- Pre-context of making the Indian Constitution
- Regulating Act, 1773:
- Pitt’s India Act, 1784
- Charter Act, 1833:
- Charter Act, 1853:
- Government of India Act, 1858:
- Indian Council Act, 1861:
- Indian Council Act, 1892
- Indian Council Act, 1909 (Male-Minto Reform):
- Government of India Act, 1919 (Montague Chelmsford Reform):
- Government of India Act, 1935
Regulating Act, 1773:
- The political and administrative power of the first East India Company was exercised.
- The Governor of Bengal was promoted to the post of Governor-General of Bengal. The first Governor-General of Bengal was Lord Warren Hastings.
- In 1774, the Supreme Court was established in Calcutta.
- The Governor of the Calcutta Presidency gains control over the Madras and Bombay Presidencies.
- The issues of eligibility and right to vote of the Board of Directors were brought under the control of the British Government.
Pitt’s India Act, 1784
- The East India Company Act (1784) is also known as Pitt’s India Act.
- Under this law, the British government established all control over the company.
- The number of members of the Governor General’s Council was reduced from 4 to 3.
- The Board of Control was established with 6 members. The Board of Control control supervised the Government of India. These 6 members were called commissioners. Henry Dundas was the first president of this board.
- The Board of Directors is empowered to appoint and summon all employees.
Charter Act, 1793:
- According to this Act, the commercial advantage of the company is extended by 20 years.
- It is ensured that the future salaries of all the members of the Board of Control will be paid from the Revenue of India.
- The membership of the Commander-in-Chief in the Governor General’s Council is revoked.
Charter Act, 1813:
- According to this act, it was decided to give an annual grant of Rs 1 lakh for the expansion of education in India.
- The monopoly of the trade of companies in India came to an end.
- Indian trade was open to all British.
- In England before the company’s employees were hired, mandatory training is arranged.
- The sovereignty of the British Raj was claimed over all the territories and revenues of India.
Charter Act, 1833:
- According to this act, the Governor-General of Bengal had become the Governor-General of India. The first Governor-General of India was Lord William Bentinck.
- The Governor General’s Council has the power to make laws for the whole of British India.
- Constitutional decentralization was abolished.
- Indian Civil Service was established.
- The Central Legislative Assembly was formed.
- The Fifth Amendment abolished the slavery system in India.
- A legislator is added to the Governor-General’s Council. Lord McLean was the first member of the legislature.
- The tea trade in India and the company’s monopoly trade in China were banned.
Charter Act, 1853:
- Arrangements of Civil service in India through competitive examination were made. Employees of the company of the Board of Directors were deprived of the right to appoint and call.
- The post of Lieutenant Governor was created for Bengal.
- The commercial rights of the company were extended indefinitely. Additional members are appointed to the Governor General’s Council to oversee the work of the Legislative Assembly.
Government of India Act, 1858:
- British rule had begun with the abolition of the Company rule.
- The post of Governor-General of India became Viceroy. The word viceroy means royal representative.
- The Board of Control and the Court of Directors were abolished.
- A secretary was appointed to govern India. He will be a member of the British Cabinet, and his title was ‘Secretary of State for India’.
- The Secretary of State Council will have 15 members. 4 members will be nominated by the British Raj and 7 members will be elected from among the Board of Directors.
Indian Council Act, 1861:
- Legislative assemblies or legislatures are established in different provinces.
- The name of the Council of Viceroys became the ‘Imperial Legislative Council‘.
- Legislative Council was formed for Bengal, North-West Frontier Provinces and Punjab. The power to issue ordinances in case of emergency is given to Viceroy.
- The portfolio system is introduced. Each member of the Viceroy’s Executive Council is assigned a department.
Indian Council Act, 1892
- Both levels of the Legislative Council are given the power to discuss the budgets.
- The process of indirect selection of non-official members and members of the Provincial Assembly began.
- Council members are allowed to ask questions.
Indian Council Act, 1909 (Male-Minto Reform):
- The power of the Legislative Council is increased at both the central and provincial levels.
- Indians have the opportunity to participate in the Executive Council of the Viceroy and the Governor. Satyendra Prasad Sinha became the first Indian to join the Viceroy’s Executive Council.
- The process of direct election of members of the Legislative Assembly begins.
- Separate elections for Muslims began. The number of members of the provincial legislature was increased from 6 to 60. Of these, 28 are government-designated officials and 32 are non-official.
Government of India Act, 1919 (Montague Chelmsford Reform):
- Central and provincial issues are included. Councils at both levels will be able to make laws on their respective issues. Provincial matters are divided into two parts, transfer and reserve.
- A bicameral legislature or bicameral system is established at the center, such as the Council of States or the upper house and the legislative assembly.
- Central control over the provinces is reduced.
- A High Commissioner was appointed in London for India.
- Provincial budgets are separated from the central budget.
Government of India Act, 1935
- Arrangements were made to form the All India Federation or the All India United States. Power was divided into 3 parts. (1) Federal List (Central), (2) Provincial List, (3) Joint List.
- The dual rule came to an end. Provincial autonomy was arranged.
- Bengal, Bombay, Madras, Bihar, Assam, Uttar Pradesh: The legislature is bicameral in these 6 major states.
- Separate elections are arranged for Scheduled Tribes, women and workers.
- Autonomous powers were given to the Governor-General and the Governors.
- The Reserve Bank of India was established.
- The state of Orissa was formed in 1937.
- The Federal Court was established in Delhi in the tear 1937 with six judges, including a Chief Justice.
- The Government of India Act had 321 chapters and 10 lists.
- On 7 August 1940, the British government first acknowledged the time to create a public scholar to read the Constitution of India.
- The first session of the Constituent Assembly was held on 9 December 1946. 207 members have participated.
- The permanent president of the Constituent Assembly was Dr. Rajendra Prasad. Dr. Sachchidananda Singh was the interim president of the Constituent Assembly.
- Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru proposed in the Constituent Assembly to declare India as an independent sovereign republic.
- The first session of the Constituent Assembly ended on 23 December 1946.
- The second session of the Constituent Assembly began on January 20, 1947.
- The third session of the Constituent Assembly began on the 28th of April 1947. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru became the chairman of the Union Constitutional Committee formed in the third session of the Constituent Assembly.
- Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel became the chairman of the ‘Provincial Constitutional Committee’ formed in the third session of the Constituent Assembly.
- The British Parliament passed the law of Independence of India on July 4, 1947.
- On August 14, 1947, the fifth session of the Constituent Assembly began. From the time of this session, the Constituent Assembly of India gains a sovereign power.
- On 15 August 1947, Lord Mountbatten announced the transfer of power to India.
- Dr. BR Ambedkar became the Chairman of the Drafting Committee.
- In the first phase, the Drafting Committee added 315 articles and 13 schedules to the constitution.
- In the final phase, the draft committee has 395 articles and 12 schedules in the constitution.
The Constitution of India was adopted by the Constituent Assembly on 26 November 1949.
- It took 2 years 11 months 18 days to make the Indian Constitution.
- The last session of the Constituent Assembly was organized on January 24, 1950.
- The Constitution of India came into force on 26 January 1950 by the Constituent Assembly. On this day, India became a sovereign democratic republic.
Session of the Constituent Assembly held on the eve of making the constitution
|Session||Started On||Ended on|
|First Session||9th December, 1946||23rd December, 1946|
|Second Session||20 January, 1947||25th January, 1947|
|Third Session||28 April, 1947||2nd May, 1947|
|Fourth Session||14th July, 1947||31st July, 1947|
|Fifth Session||14th August, 1947||30th August, 1947|
|Sixth Session||27th January, 1948||27th January, 1948|
|Seventh Session||4th November, 1948||8th January, 1949|
|Eighth Session||16th May, 1949||16th June, 1949|
|Ninth Session||30th July, 1949||18th September, 1949|
|Tenth Session||6th October, 1949||17th October, 1949|
|Eleventh Session||14th November, 1949||26th November, 1949|
|Twelfth Session||24th January, 1950||24th January, 1950|
Read + Download: Borrowed Features of Indian Constitution – List PDF
Read + Download: 12 Schedules of Indian Constitution – List PDF
Important Days to Remember
|The first session of the Constituent Assembly||9th December 1946|
|The goal of the constitution was proposed on||13th December 1946|
|The constitution was adopted on||26th November 1949|
|Signed by members||24th January 1950|
|The constitution came into force||26th January 1950|
That is the prehistory of the making of the Indian constitution. The whole concept is summarized with important points here so that one could understand and picturized the whole fact. If you are happy with the note “historical background of Indian constitution” you may download it in PDF format from the link provided below.