Monday, 31 January 2022



The Government of India Act was an Act of British Parliament that was passed by them in 1935 when it got Royal assent but came into force in 1937. It was the result of a report that was put together by the British Government. This report basically contained constitutional proposals.

Need to Bring this Act: 

This Act was introduced by the Britishers as there was a great demand of bringing reforms in India, especially after their contribution in the First World War. This was mainly introduced because The Indians wanted greater recognition in the government of their country. In an attempt to involve more and more Indians in the working of the constitution, many Round Table Conferences were held to listen to their voices around the 1930s. These conferences were attended by major political party leaders and heads of

princely states. Although the divide that was between the congress and Muslims restricted certain developments like establishment of federal India. Indian} demanded complete autonomy within the British commonwealth. A significant element among the Britishers doubted that Indians were capable of running their country on this basis, and saw Dominion status which may be directed for after a long period of gradual constitutional development along with sufficient safeguards.

Different Point of Views: 

This clash between the views of Indians and Britishers resulted in the compromise of the 1935 Act having no preamble of its own, but keeping in place the 1919 Act's preamble even while repealing the remainder of that Act. It was noticed by the Indians that this act is a mere effort of Britishers to incorporate the Indian demands and they want as few demands as possible to get incorporated. The Act was not only extremely detailed, but also contained many safeguards designed to enable the British.   Government to intervene in matters whenever it saw the need in order and peace to maintain British

responsibilities and interests. To achieve this, in the face of a gradually increasing Indianisation of the institutions of the Government of India, the Act gave the actual administrative power in the hands of the British-appointed Viceroy and provincial governors who were subject to the control of the Secretary of State for India. But this Act was disliked by various political leaders like the Indian National Congress and the Muslim League. Although the congress disliked this act, it still encouraged its members to fight elections

under it for provincial legislation. Same was with the Muslim League, although it was unsatisfied with the act, but was ready to stand up for the provincial elections.

Federal Government: This Act included 'Federation of India' in which central executive was at the first level and parliament constituted its first level and the provinces and princely states constituted its first level. This Act played a major role in abolishing 'Dyarchy' system (which was introduced by Government of India Act 1919) from the provincial level and introduced it at central level, but the experiment with dyarchy proved unsatisfactory. This gave birth to the concept of popularly elected provincial legislatures. But a few important subjects like defence and foreign affairs were still under the direct control of the Governor General. Under

this Act Britishers provided for separate electorates to different communities, like that of Sikhs, Hindus,Muslims etc, but this provision was not extended to the backward classes. Governor under this act was also given certain emergency powers, provincial Governors got certain reserve powers and British authorities also got a right to suspend responsible government. The Britishers introduced direct elections under this act.

Under this Act the membership of provincial assemblies was altered to include a large number of representatives for the formation of government. This act came up with such a system of federalism that was most complex. Under this the whole India was divided into two parts, first was the Governor's Province who was compulsorily a member of the federation and the second one was Indian state which was given the liberty to become a part of the federation. Under this act the province of the Governor had uniform The constitutional system and the princely states were governed by the Instrument of Accession. All these were a type of constitutional documents. No responsible government was there at the centre and Governor General were given certain powers that were above the advice of its ministers. But the Governor usually had to act on advice of its Council of Ministers. The Central Government was given more power ac compared to the Indian State. The precondition of the federation. The act proposed a new form of the federal court.  The executive was to consist of the Governor General and Council of Ministers. The Governor was given certain

powers in which it can decide subject of greater importance without taking the advice of the Council of Minister. He also enjoyed various executive and financial powers. The legislature was different according to different provinces.The house was called legislative council and the lower house was called legislative assembly. While the member of the assembly was directly elected by the people, the members of the council were elected by general

constituencies and a few were appointed by the were nominated by the Governor. The tenure of legislative assembly was five years, whereas the legislative council was a fixed body whose one-third members used to retire after every third year.

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