Regulating Act 1773

Regulating Act 1773
Posted on 08-06-2022

Regulating Act 1773: The Regulating Act 1773 was brought by the British Parliament to control the circumstances arising out of the maladministration of Bengal due to the actions of the East India Company and to snatch political power from the hands of the Company. The need to control the activities of the East India Company in India was felt by the British Parliament, and the Regulating Act was passed by the British Parliament in 1773 AD. This was the first step taken directly by the British Parliament in relation to India.

  • The Regulating Act 1773 was the first step taken by the British Government, under which the company's affairs were regulated and controlled.
    • Earlier, in 1767, the British government had fixed its share of 10% in the annual income of 40 lakhs, only interfering in the affairs of the company.
  • It recognized the administrative and political functions of the Company for the first time and laid the foundation of central administration in India.
  • By the Regulating Act 1773, the Governor of Bengal came to be called the Governor-General of Bengal, and a four-member Executive Council was constituted to assist him. Lord Warren Hastings became the first Governor-General of Bengal.
  • By this act, the governors of Madras and Bombay were placed under the Governor-General of Bengal. Earlier the governors of Bengal, Madras, and Bombay were not accountable to each other and were free to make their own decisions directly.
  • Now instead of 500-pound shareholders, 1000-pound shareholders were given the right to choose the Court of Directors (the governing body of 24 members).
  • The directors of the company (the governing body of 24 members) were told that from now on they would apprise the British government of all the works done in relation to revenue, civil and military administration.
  • The term of the directors of the company was increased to 4 years and the method of electing new members every year in place of one-fourth of them was adopted.
  • A Board of Administrators was constituted in Bengal. In which the Governor-General and 4 councilors were appointed.
    • The councilors were related to civil and military administration.
    • Decisions were taken on the basis of the majority.
    • The British Emperor and the Court of Directors had the right to appoint and remove them.
    • Lord Warren Hastings became the first chairman of this board of administrators.
    • The 4 councilors were Clavering, Mansal, Barwell, and Philip Francis respectively.
  • Under this act, a Supreme Court was established in Bengal in 1774. In addition to the Chief Justice, three other judges were appointed. Its first Chief Justice became "Sir Eliza Ampey". All the employees of the company were made under it. The judicial methods were the same as that of England.
  • The right to make laws was given to the Governor-General and his council, but before implementing it, it was necessary to take the permission of the Secretary of India.
  • By this time corruption had reached its peak in the company. Therefore, by this act the private business of the employees of the company was banned, their salary was increased and any kind of gift or bribe was banned.
  • In this Regulating Act, some amendments were made in the year 1781 which are as follows –
    • This amended Act was named "Act of Settlement".
    • The jurisdiction of the Supreme Court at Calcutta was defined.
    • Under no circumstances should there be any obstruction in the system of collecting revenue.
    • Indian society and religious customs should be respected while making and implementing new laws.

Even after the Regulating Act 1773, the administration of the Company could not come into the hands of the British Government, due to which the Pitts India Act 1784 was passed by the British Parliament.


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