Government of India Act 1858


Government of India Act 1858:

Indian Rebellion of 1857 urged British Government to pass the Act.

Provisions of the bill

The Company’s territories in India were to be vested in the Queen, the Company ceasing to exercise its power and control over these territories.

India was to be governed in the Queen’s name.

The Queen’s Principal Secretary of State received the powers and duties of the Company’s Court of Directors.

A council of fifteen members was appointed to assist the Secretary of State for India.

Of the 15 members of the Council of the Secretary of State 8 were to be appointed by the Crown and 7 to be elected by the Court of Directors.

The council became an advisory body in India affairs.

For all the communications between Britain and India, the Secretary of State became the real channel.

The Secretary of State for India was empowered to send some secret dispatches to India directly without consulting the Council.

He was also authorised to constitute special committees of his Council.

The Crown was empowered to appoint a Governor-General and the Governors of the Presidencies.

Provision for the creation of an Indian Civil Service under the control of the Secretary of State.

All the property of the East India Company was transferred to the Crown.

The Crown also assumed the responsibilities of the Company as they related to treaties, contracts, and so forth.

Another provision of the Act was to invest the Governor-General with the title Viceroy and he became direct representative of the Crown in India.