Charter Act 1858

Charter Act 1858
Posted on 10-06-2022

Charter Act 1858: The Revolt of 1857 made clear the limits of administration in the complex circumstances of the Company. After this, the demand to withdraw the responsibility of administration from the Company and direct the administration of India by the Taj intensified. In fact, the main objective of passing the Charter Act 1858 was to improve the control and supervision over the British Government established in India by reforming the administrative machinery.

The main points of this Charter Act 1858 are as follows-

  • The rule of India was given to the British Parliament.
  • Now the government of India was to be run by the "Secretary of State for India" on behalf of Britain.
    • The assembly of directors and the control board were dissolved and all their powers were given to the Secretary of India. In this way, this act ended the diarchy system in India.
    • For its assistance, a 15-member Bharat Parishad (India Council) was formed.
    • Out of the 15 members of the Council of India, 7 members were selected by the emperor and the remaining members were selected by the directors of the company.
      The approval of the Secretary of India was mandatory on all laws and steps related to the governance of India, whereas the Council of India (India Council) was only advisory in nature.
    • India was bound to accept the opinion of the Secretary, Council of India (India Council) on matters relating to All India Services and the economy.
    • The Secretary of State for India was declared a corporate body. On whom a claim could be filed in England and India and who himself was also capable of filing a claim.
    • Sir Charles Wood became the last Chairman of the Board of Control and India's first Secretary of State.
  • The Governor-General of India now came to be called the Viceroy of India.
    • Lord Canning became the first Viceroy of India.
    • Who will act as the representative of the Taj (British Parliament) in India.
    • The Viceroy of India was bound to act according to the orders of the Secretary of India.
  • The "India Minister" of the British Parliament was given the right to do secret correspondence with the Viceroy and to keep the budget for the Indian British government in the Parliament every year.
  • In the course of this act, Queen Victoria made some announcements, which the then Viceroy Lord Canning read in the court of Allahabad on November 1, 1858-
    • The ancient beliefs and traditions of all the religions of India will be respected.
    • With respect to the positions of all the kings of India, the expansion of the British Raj's territory would be stopped with immediate effect.
    • All Indians will be given equal status in the Civil Services Examination.
    • New opportunities for education and advancement will be made available to the middle-class people of India.

After this came the Council of India Act 1861.


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