History of Asia

Charter Act of 1833

By the Charter Act of 1813 the Company was entrusted with the Indian territories and their revenue management for twenty years. Therefore, in 1833, the directors of the company requested the Parliament to renew the charter. In those days England was dominated by liberal economists, utilitarians and humanists. Slavery was abolished and the press was given complete freedom. A year ago, the Reform Act was passed, through which revolutionary changes were made in the parliamentary system. The public was pleased with the policy of free trade. British politics in those days was dominated by reformists such as Prime Minister Grey, Macaulay Member of Parliament and James Mill, Secretary of the Board of Control. Bentham's disciple James Mill was an important officer in the board of directors' office at India House. It was natural for these reformists to have an impact on the design of the Act. It was in this atmosphere of reform and enthusiasm that Parliament got an opportunity to renew the charter of the East India Company.

After the Act of 1813 the Company's empire in India increased significantly and the British rule was established over Maharashtra, Central India, Punjab, Sindh, Gwalior, Indore etc. When this Charter Act was introduced in the Parliament, the company was strongly criticized for keeping the company together as a commercial and government institution. Buckingham categorically stated that 'It is absolutely unfair to entrust the management of a country like India, which is greater in population, military-power and financial resources than England, in the hands of one company'. Lord Macaulay rejected Buckingham's arguments. Said that representative institutions could not be established in India and only the company could rule in India as a part of the British government, because Parliament neither has the knowledge of Indian affairs nor has the time for it. Lord Macaulay made another argument in favor of the Company that 'East India Company is free from the political and religious influences of the country, hence it cannot have any other alternative. The Company works not keeping the politics of England in view, but keeping the politics of India in view, it is proper and appropriate to keep the Indian administration in the hands of the Company. Passing the Charter on August 23, 1833, renewed the authority of the Company for twenty years.

1833 Key provisions of the Charter Act of (Major Provisions of Charter Act of 1833)

The Company's trading monopoly with China was also ended by the Charter Act of 1833, leaving the Company a mere political entity. The Company was given the right to administer India as a trust of the Crown and its successors for the next twenty years. Centralization of administration The Governor-General of Bengal was made the Governor-General of India , Some restrictions were imposed on adopting discrimination on the basis of caste, varna, sex and occupation for selection in government services and arrangements were made to abolish slavery.

The Charter Act of 1833, passed by the British Parliament during the reign of Lord William Bentinck, brought about a multifaceted and important change in the status of the Company, its constitution and its Indian administration. Following were the major provisions of this Charter Act-

Trade Monopoly End : By this Charter Act, the period of the Company's rule and political power in India was extended for another twenty years and it was allowed to control and administer India in the form of trusts on behalf of His Majesty the Emperor and his successors. been given. The company's trading monopolies were abolished and it was asked to quickly wrap up its business. The debts of the company were to be paid to India and its partners were promised a dividend of 10.5 per cent of their capital from Indian revenues for the next forty years.

Centralization of Administration : The administration was centralized by increasing the powers of the central government by this act. Now Governor General of Bengal has been made Governor General of all India was given, because apart from Punjab, the rest of India had come under the British. The Governor General was entrusted with the control, direction and superintendence of all the military and civil administration, management of the Company's Indian territories. Bombay, Madras and Bengal and other territories were given under the control of the Governor-General. All taxes were to be levied and spent on the orders of the Governor-General in Council. Thus the administrative and financial powers were handed over to the Governor General in the Council.

Law-making power was also centralised. Now the Governor General in Council was given the power to make laws for India and the Councils of Bombay and Madras were deprived of the right to make laws. The Governor-General in Council could make laws on all subjects, for all places and people, and his laws were enforced by all courts. There were also restrictions on his law-making power in some special cases, such as neither he could make changes in the constitution or charter act of the company, nor could he make any changes in the privileges of the emperor or the laws made in parliament and his rights. was. Similarly he could not change the Rebellion Act either.

In order to assist the Governor General in legislation, a law member was raised to the fourth member in his council. He was to be appointed by the emperor and was not an employee of the company. In theory he could attend only those meetings of the Council which were called for making laws and acts etc. But at the instance of the directors the first law member Lord Macaulay was included in all the meetings.

Establishment of Law Commission   : In order to codify the various types of laws and rules prevalent in India, the Governor-General in Council was empowered to appoint Law Commissions. The function of this commission was to investigate the jurisdiction and powers of the courts and police personnel, as well as to investigate all kinds of jurisprudence and laws. Among the many reports of this commission, Report of the Indian Penal Code prepared by Macaulay Most famous.

The earlier system of governor and council for the administration of provincial governments continued. Every provincial government was given the power to submit to the Governor-General the drafts of the laws or regulations it considered necessary to make. The Governor General in Council discussed it and gave its information to the concerned Presidency.

It was made mandatory for the provincial governments to follow the orders and instructions of the Governor General. It was mandatory for the provincial governments to send copies of all orders and acts to the Governor-General in Council. Provincial governments could communicate directly with the board of directors, but they were required to send a copy of the letters to the governor general. The jurisdiction of the Governor-General in the Council was extended to the residents, courts, places and objects of the occupied Indian territories and every part.

Provincial governments were subordinated to the central government in financial matters. Now, without the permission of the Governor General, any provincial governor could neither arrange for any post nor could he approve any new salary or allowances.

The Governor General also had to act as the Governor General of Bengal, so he arranged for a member of his council to be appointed as the Deputy Governor of Bengal. Arrangements were made to divide the Bengal province into two provinces- Bengal and Agra, but this plan was never implemented.

Prior to this act, British merchants and missionaries had to get a license to come to India, but by the Act of 1833, the restriction of license was removed and the British were allowed to enter any part of India. The right to settle in the part, buy land and build a place of residence was given. For Christians in India, bishops (elder clergy) were appointed in Bengal, Bombay and Madras and the Bishop of Calcutta was made their head.

The most important of the ordinary sections of the Act was Section 87, which said that 'any Indian and the indigenous subjects of the Emperor shall be entitled to his religion, place of birth, inheritance, class or any of these'. shall not be deemed to be unfit for any place, post or service under the Company for any reason whatsoever.” In other words, an assurance of no discrimination is given for admission to Government service. Undoubtedly, this declaration was a symbol of the generosity of the British government and on the basis of this provision, Lord Marley described the Act of 1833 as the most important Indian Act passed by the Parliament till 1909.

Provisions were made at Herbury College for the training of the Company's civil servants and rules regarding admission were made. Now 'The United Company of England Trading to the East India The name of the company was changed to 'East India Company'.

This act outlawed slavery in India and ordered the Governor General to, with the help of his council members, regulate the condition of slaves in India. Try to reform and eventually end slavery. Slavery in India in 1843 The termination has been announced.

1833 Evaluation of the Charter Act of (Evaluation of Charter Act of 1833)

The Act of 1833 was undoubtedly the most important act of the nineteenth century. In fact, this act not only made a significant change in the administration of India, but also followed the broader humanistic principles by making many kind declarations. This act completely ended the company's commercial monopoly, so now it remained a mere government institution. Since the Company was now the only governing body, the British Government's control over it increased and the Company's rule came to an end in 1858.

The Act allowed the Company to hold the territory of India in the form of a trust on behalf of the British Government for as long as the British Parliament so desired. It established the supremacy of the monarch and Parliament in relation to Indian affairs by limiting the powers of the Board of Directors. It was provided in the Act that the British Government would fix the salaries of the Board of Control, Secretaries and other officers, but the money would be provided by the company.

Constitutionally, the Act of 1833 established administrative and legislative uniformity by concentrating all powers in the hands of the Governor General. This new system brought uniformity in Indian administration, which was a great step towards the unity of the country.

An important contribution of the Act was the establishment of Vidhi-Commission. On the basis of the report of this commission document of the Indian Penal Code in 1837 It was prepared, which was amended and given the form of law in 1860. Macaulay, the chairman of the Law Commission, was instrumental in preparing the Indian Penal Code. The Law Commission compiled the Penal Code and the Civil and Criminal Procedure for the whole of India, which brought uniformity in laws and strengthened the central government's policy of centralization. With this act, the Government of India got the right to make rules to improve the condition of slaves and to end slavery.

The gracious declaration of Section 87 of the Act was a symbol of the liberal policy of the British Government towards Indians. Although this declaration was laudable and legally made Indians eligible for every position, in practice it did not bring any special benefit to the Indians. Despite this announcement, Indians were not appointed to higher posts until 1858.

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