Charter Act of 1833


The Government of India Act 1833: (Charter Act of 1833)

As this Act was also meant for an extension of the royal charter granted to the company it is also called the Charter Act of 1833.

This extended the charter by 20 years.

The Charter Act of 1833 centralised the Indian administration.

It re-designated the Governor-General of Bengal as the Governor-General of India.

Under this provision Lord William Bentinck became the first Governor-General of India.

It deprived the Governors of Bombay and Madras of their legislative powers.

For the first time the Governor-General’s Government was known as the ‘Government of India‘ and his council as the ‘India Council‘.

The Governor-General and his executive council were given exclusive legislative powers for the whole of British India.

The laws passed by the Governor-General in Council were to be enforced by all law courts in British Indian territories.

Under the Charter Act of 1833, the President of the Board of Control became Minister for Indian affairs.

It ended the activities of the British East India Company as a commercial body and became a purely administrative body.

In particular, the Company lost its monopoly on trade with China and other parts of the Far East.

It attempted to introduce a system of open competitions for the selection of civil servants. However this provision was negated after opposition from the Court of Directors who continued to hold the privilege of appointing Company officials.