Charter Act of 1853


The Charter Act of 1853 renewed the authority of the Company and allowed it to retain possession of its Indian territories to be “held in trust for Her Majesty (Queen Victoria) and her heirs and successors”, until the Parliament should otherwise decide.

Thus no specific time was allotted to the Company to retain its powers and authority as was done in earlier Charters.

The Act provided that the salary of the members of Board of Control, its Secretary and other officers would be fixed by the Bri­tish Government but the payments would be made out of the Com­pany’s funds.

The number of the Directors of the Court of Directors was re­duced from 24 to 18 of whom 6 were to be nominated by the Crown.

The Court of Directors was divested of its right to patronage and Company’s services were thrown open to competition and no dis­crimination of any kind was to be made.

The Court of Directors was, however, permitted to constitute new Presidencies or to alter the boundaries of the existing Presidencies in order to incorporate the newly acquired territories of the Com­pany.

Pursuant to this provision a Lieutenant Governor’s Province was created for the Punjab after a few years.

The Act empowered the British Crown to appoint Law Com­mission in England to examine the drafts and reports of the Indian Law Commission which had ceased to exist by then.

Law member was now made a full member of the Governor-General’s Executive Council.

The Governor-General was empowered to appoint two civil servants to the Council.

The Executive Council was, however, given right to veto a bill passed by the Council in its legislative capa­city.