- It is an act of British parliament
- It was passed to control the British territories in Bengal
- The main reason for this act to be passed was the misgovernment which was happening by east India company .
- A situation of bankruptcy was introduced and the government had to interfere with the affairs of the company .
Provisions of the act
- This act allowed the company to retain its territorial possessions in India.
- The main aim was to regulate the functioning and the activities of the company .
- The act allowed for the appointment of the governor general along with four councillors, warren hasting was appointed as the governor general .
- The council governors of the madras and the Bombay were brought under the control of Bengal ,especially in the matters of the foreign policy .
- The company directors were appointed for a period of 5 years and the retirement of the 1/4th of the members retired every year and also the re-election could not take place.
- The first supreme court was established in Calcutta ,Sir Elijah Impey was the first chief justice .
- It had civil and criminal jurisdiction over the british subjects .
Reasons for the passing of the act
- The battle of plasey and the battle of buxar led to the establishment of the territorial dominance of East India company in India .
- The bihar and the Bengal came under the dual system of the administration of clive The company also got diwani right and fiscal while nizamat jurisdiction was with the nawabs.
- The system created a lot of problems thus the regulation of the company was a necessity
- The allegations of corruption and nepotism were rampant against the company officials
- The law was not that much followed in Bengal
- The famine in Bengal where a huge population perished
Main aim of the act –
- Intended to overhaul the management of the East India company’s rule in India
- First step to bring about parliamentary control over the company
- To also bring centralised administration in India.
Defects of the Act
- The governor general had no veto power
- The concerns of the Indian population was not addressed who were paying revenue to the company
- The corruption among the company’s officials didn’t stop
- The powers of the supreme court were not well defined
- The parliamentary control in the activities of the company proved to be ineffective
- Their was no mechanism to study the reports sent by the governor general in council .
Author: Mauli Dogra,
MIT WPU SCHOOL OF LAW ,LAW STUDENT