Published on August 31, 2020

The History Behind Making Indian Constitution


A constitution is a supreme law of the country defines the power of State and its organs, as well as the rights and duties of the citizen. The Indian constitution is a single piece of legislation containing the fundamental principles for the workings of the Indian state. This contrasts with the unwritten constitution of the United Kingdom, for instance, where the laws for the functioning of the state are scattered across several legal acts.

The constitution assembly was set up on 6 December 1946 and the Indian constitution was came into force on January 26, 1950. The Constitution of Indian is a written partially rigid and partially flexible in nature. Indian constitution is the world’s largest written condition framed by Indian constituent assembly.


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Making of Indian Constitution

English East India Company came to India in 1600 AD basically for trading. In 1765 they got the “Diwani” or legal revenue collection permission of Bihar, Bengal and Odisha by Shah Alam II for Twenty-six lakh rupees per annum. It was the very first step to gain territorial power by the English East Indian Company. After Sepoy mutiny in 1858, the company the British state took over the governing of the Indian state directly for the next 89 years until India’s Independence in 15th August 1947.

During colonial rule of the English East Indian Company (1773 – 1858) and the English government (1858 – 1947), many rules and policies were imposed which later on laid the foundation of the Indian constitution.

Regulating Act of 1773

  • The regulating act created the post of governor-general who looked after the administrative functions on behalf of the English East India Company. The first governor-general of Bengal was Warren Hastings.
  • This Act separates the judiciary system to the executive.
  • Imperial Court or Supreme Court of Calcutta was set up in 1774. One chief justice and three judges were appointed to the court.
  • The company’s employees were no longer permitted to do a private trade or get a bribe from the natives in India.

Pitt’s India Act of 1784

  • Pits India act was the first trial for the British government to control the company rule on Indian territory.
  • The Act separates the commercial activity to the political system of the company.
  • It established a board of control over the board of directors of the company.

Charter Act of 1793

  • It increased the power of Governor-General of Bengal Presidency which can also control the government of subordinate Presidencies of Bombay and Madras.
  • It also extended the Company’s monopoly for the next twenty years.

Charter Act of 1813

  • The act restrained the monopoly of the company i.e. other English people rather than East India Company were also allowed to trade with the Indians.
  • The company first time proposed to invest one lakh Rupees to the spread of education in India.

Charter Act of 1833

  • The Act made the Governor-General of Bengal the Governor-General of India. The first Governor-General of India was Lord William Bentinck.
  • The Government-General of India got the exclusive legislative powers of the Indian British Colony.
  • It successfully ended the commercial activity of the Company.
  • It first time attempted introduced the civil service examination for the English people to select the civil servant to hold the employment under the Company.

Charter Act of 1853

  • It introduced the recruitment of civil servants on the basis of civil service examination. Moreover, Indians can also participate in the examination and the Macaulay Committee(1854) was appointed to deal with this matter.
  • For the first time, Indian representatives were appointed in the Indian Legislative Council.

Interesting Points

  • The first Governor-General of Bengal was Lord Warren Hastings.
  • Indian Civil service was introduced by Lord Cornwallis in 1793 if the option was not given in the examination then the answer will Lord Dalhousie.
  • After Independence, All India Civil Service was introduced by Sardar Vallav Bhai Patel.
  • Beginning of India Civil Service by Charter Act of 1853.
  • Satyendranath Tagore was the first India who joined the Indian Civil Service.

Government of India Act of 1858

  • English East India Company was abolished.
  • The administration of India was transferred to the British Crown.
  • The Governor-General of India known to be Viceroy of India.
  • Secretary of State for India was appointed who was the head of the 15-member council of India.

Indian Councils Act of 1861

  • The foundation of the Indian legislature was laid down and Indians were nominated in the legislative council.
  • The legislative power of subordinate Presidencies was restored.
  • Cabinet system of government was introduced by Lord Canning.
  • The Civil Service become the Indian Civil Service.

Indian Councils Act of 1909

  • It was also known as the Morley Minto reforms act.
  • The council could discuss the budget and question the executive.
  • The separate election was grated for the Muslim community through “Communal Electorate”.

Government of India Act of 1919

  • It is also known as The Montagu–Chelmsford Reforms or Montfort Act.
  • Dyarchy or double government was initiated in the provinces.
  • There was relaxation in the centre’s control over the provinces.
  • There was more Indian representative in the Indian legislature.
  • This act introduced bicameralism i.e two houses of parliament in the centre.
  • This act introduced two subjects – a central subject(47) and provincial subject(50).
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Simon Commission (1927)

  • It was a seven members commission proposed in November 1927 by the British parliament under the chairmanship of Sir John Simon.
  • The main purpose of this commission was to make a report regarding the constitutional progress of India.
  • The first report was submitted in 1930.
  • The commission was boycotted by the Indians as they were no Indian representative.
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Government of India Act of 1935

  • The greatest impact on the constitution of India was left behind by this Act.
  • It provided for the establishment of an All-India federation consisted of the provinces and the Princely States as the units.
  • It divided the powers between the Centre and provinces in terms of three lists the Federal list, the provincial list and the concurrent list.
  • Residuary powers were vested with the Governor-General.
  • It abolished the diarchy in the provinces and started provincial autonomy. The provinces were allowed to act as autonomous unit administration in their defined spheres. In addition, The Act introduced responsible provincial government i.e. the governor was required to act with the advice of ministers responsible to the provincial legislature. This came into action in 1937.
  • It provided for the establishment of a Federal Court.
  • This act introduced the Reserve Bank of India.
  • It also provided for the establishment of Federal Public Service Commission and Provincial Service Commission.

Indian Independence Act of 1947

  • On February 20, 1947, the British Prime Minister Clement Atlee declared that the British rule in India would end by June 30, 1948, after which the power would be transferred to responsible Indian hands. Following this announcement Indian Independence Bill was passed by the British Parliament on 18th July 1947 and came into force on 15th August 1947.

Interesting Points

  • The first Viceroy of India was Lord Canning.
  • Cabinet system or portfolio system was first time proposed by Lord Canning in India.
  • In 1920, The Akali Party was set up by master Tara Singh in Punjab. It was the first regional party in India.
  • The election and movement of the Akali Party was started in 1921.
  • In 1925, the RSS(Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) was set up by K. B. Hedgewar a and M.S. Gol Walker
  • The federal structure was first introduced in India by Peel Committee in 1961.
  • Lord Minto is known as the Father of Communal Electorate in India.
  • The Federal Court of India was set up in 1937. First Chief Justice was Sir Maurice Gwyer.
  • During the independence of India, the Britain Prime Minister was Clement Attlee.

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