Monday, March 22, 2010

Government of India Act,1935

After the 3rd Round Table Conference was unsuccessful, the British Government established a Joint Select Committee with the task of formulating new act of India. The committee consisted of 16 members from the House of Commons and House of Lords, 20 representatives from British India and 7 members from the small princely states of India,. The President of the committee was Lord Linlithgow. The committee worked for after a year and a half and finally came out with a draft bill on Feb 5, 1935. The bill was discussed for a period of forty three days in the House of Commons and for thirteen days in the House of Lord. The bill was finally signed by King of England in July 1935 and was enacted as Government of India Act of 1935.
The salient features of Government of India Act, 1935, are :
  1.British rulers promised a Federation of India, comprising both provinces and states had signed "Instruments of Accession " . Since, this did not take place , the Central Govt continued to function according to the act of 1919 and only the part of 1935Act went into operation.
  2.The Head of the Central Administration was the Governor  General  and he had immense powers of concerning administration, finance and legislation.
  3. Without the permission of the Governor General, no finance bill could be placed in the Central Legislature.  
  4. The Federal Legislature consisted of two houses ; the upper house or Council of State and Lower House or Federal Assembly.
  5. The Council of State consisted of two hundred and sixty members. Out of these members hundred and twenty five were to be nominated by the rulers of princely States.
  6. The federal Assembly included three hundred and seventy five members. The Central Legislature possessed the right of pass any bill out but the bill needed the approval of the Governor general before it could be applied as a law. The Governor General had the power to build ordinances.
  7. Few advisors were nominated to help the Secretary of State for India in the place of the Indian Council, which was  abolished.
  8. The Secretary of State was  hindered from interfering in matters that the Governor dealt with, with the help of Indian ministers.
  9. The provinces were given autonomy with respect to subjects delegated to them.
  10. Diarchy, which had been established in the provinces by the Act of 1919, was to be established at the center. However it came to an end to the provinces.
  11. Two new provinces Sindh and Orissa were created .
  12. Reforms were introduced in NWFP as were in other provinces.
  13. Separate electorates were continued as before.
  14. One-third Muslim representation in the central legislature was generated.
  15. Autonomous provincial governments in 11 provinces , under ministries responsible to legislatures would be set up.
  16. Burma and Aden were separated from India.
  17. The federal Court was established at the center.
  18.  The reserve bank of India was established.