MOUNTBATTEN PLAN – 1947 (Indian Independence Act 1947)


Attlee’s announcement

The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom announced on 20 February 1947 that:

—British Government would grant full self-government to British India by June 1948.

—The future of Princely States would be decided after the date of final transfer is decided.

3 June Plan –

This was also known as the Mountbatten Plan.

The British government proposed a plan announced on 3 June 1947 that included these principles:

—Principle of Partition of India was accepted by the British Government

—Successor governments would be given dominion status

—Implicit right to secede from the British Commonwealth

The Indian Independence Act 1947 was the implementation of June 3 Plan.

 

The Act’s provisions

The Act’s most important provisions were:

division of British India into the two new and fully sovereign dominions of India and Pakistan, with effect from 15 August 1947;

partition of the provinces of Bengal and Punjab between the two new countries;

establishment of the office of Governor-General in each of the two new countries, as representatives of the Crown;

conferral of complete legislative authority upon the respective Constituent Assemblies of the two new countries;

termination of British suzerainty over the princely states, with effect from 15 August 1947, and recognised the right of states to accede to either dominion

abolition of the use of the title “Emperor of India” by the British monarch (this was subsequently executed by King George VI by royal proclamation on 22 June 1948).

the Dominion of India may be regarded as an expression of the desire for self-government of the Hindus in India, and the Dominion of Pakistan as the expression of the demand for self-government by the Muslims.

The Act also made provision for the division of joint property, etc. between the two new countries, including in particular the division of the armed forces.

 

India

Lord Mountbatten of Burma, the last Viceroy, was asked by the Indian leaders to continue as the Governor-General of India.

Jawaharlal Nehru became the Prime Minister of India and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel became the Home Minister.

Over 560 princely states acceded to India.

The state of Jammu and Kashmir, which was expected to accede to Pakistan on account of its 77% Muslim majority and its cultural and commercial links to West Punjab (Pakistan), whose Hindu ruler chose to accede to India, became a disputed territory.

The states of Junagadh and Hyderabad, with majority Hindu populations but with Muslim rulers, were merged into India soon after Lord Mountbatten left India in 1948.

 

Pakistan

Muhammad Ali Jinnah became the Governor-General of Pakistan, and Liaquat Ali Khan became the Prime Minister of Pakistan.

Three princely states geographically inalienable to Pakistan joined the Dominion.