|Citation||55 & 56 Vict. c. 14|
|Introduced by||R. A. Cross, 1st Viscount Cross on 9 February 1892|
|Royal assent||20 June 1892|
|Commencement||3 February 1893|
|Repealed by||Government of India Act 1915|
The Indian Councils Act 1892 was an Act of British Parliament that introduced various amendments to the composition and function of legislative councils in British India. Most notably, the act entailed provisions on the amount of additional members to be represented in the central and provincial councils. For example, the number of Additional Members elected to the Central Legislative Council was increased to a range of ten to sixteen members of whom, as per the Act of 1861, not less than half were to be non-officials, i.e. persons not in the Civil or military service of the Crown. The Governor-General was empowered to invite different bodies in India to elect, select or delegate their representatives and to make regulations for their nomination. After being presented to the House of Lords in 1890, the Act was passed in 1892 in response to nationalist movements beginning to surface across British India.
An act of parliament, also called primary legislation, are statutes passed by a parliament (legislature). Act of the Oireachtas is an equivalent term used in the Republic of Ireland where the legislature is commonly known by its Irish name, Oireachtas. It is also comparable to an Act of Congress in the United States.
A legislative council is the legislature, or one of the legislative chambers, of a nation, colony, or subnational division such as a province or state; or, in the United States, a council within a legislature which supervises nonpartisan legislative support staff. A member of a legislative council is commonly referred to as an MLC.
Under the Regulations adopted, the Central Legislative Council was to consist of nine ex-officio members (the Governor-General, six members of the Executive Council, the Commander-in-Chief and the head of the province in which the Council met), six official Additional Members and ten non-official members of the Legislative Councils of Bengal, Bombay, Madras and the North Western province. When Legislative Councils were established in Punjab and Burma, one member each was returned from these also. In conjunction with the ex-officio members, the official members constituted a majority.
Similar changes were introduced in the composition of provincial Legislative Councils. In all the provinces an official majority was maintained.
Whilst the Central Legislative Council was expanded to include between 10 and 16 Additional Members, specifics in provinces varied: Bombay came to have 8 Additional Members; Madras 20; Bengal 20; North Western Province & Oudh 15. The universities, district board, municipalities, zamindars and chambers of commerce were empowered to recommend members to provincial councils. Thus, whilst failing to answer calls for direct elections, the principle of representation was introduced.
In addition to these changes, the Act relaxed restrictions imposed by the Indian Councils Act 1861 in allowing councils to discuss (not vote on) each year's annual financial statement. They could also put questions within certain limits to the government on the matter of public interest after giving six days' notice, but none of them was given right to ask supplementary questions.
The Indian Councils Act 1861 was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that transformed India's executive council to function as a cabinet run on the portfolio system. This cabinet had six "ordinary members", who each took charge of a separate department in Calcutta's government: home, revenue, military, law, finance, and public works. The military Commander-in-Chief sat in with the council as an extraordinary member. The Executive Council was enlarged by addition of fifth member. The Viceroy was allowed, under the provisions of the Act, to overrule the council on affairs if he deemed it necessary, as was the case in 1879, during the tenure of Lord Lyton.
In 1892, the council consisted of 24 members, only five members were Indians.
The Indian National Congress(
The British Committee of the Indian National Congress was established in Britain by the Indian National Congress in 1889. Its purpose was to raise awareness of Indian issues to the public in Britain, to whom the Government of India was responsible. It followed the work of W.C. Bonnerjee and Dadabhoi Naoroji, who raised India related issues in the British parliament through the support of radical MPs like Charles Bradlaugh. William Wedderburn served as the first chairmanship and William Digby as secretary.
Sir William Wedderburn, 4th Baronet, JP DL was a Scottish civil servant in India and a politician. He attempted to bring about reforms in banking to solve the problems of peasants during his working career. Failing to find support in reforms, he retired to help found the Indian National Congress and support local self-government.
The Governor-General of India was originally the head of the British administration in India and, later, after Indian independence in 1947, the representative of the Indian head of state. The office was created in 1773, with the title of Governor-General of the Presidency of Fort William. The officer had direct control only over Fort William, but supervised other East India Company officials in India. Complete authority over all of British India was granted in 1833, and the official came to be known as the "Governor-General of India".
The Bengal Presidency (1757–1912), later reorganized as the Bengal Province (1912–1947), was once the largest subdivision (presidency) of British India, with its seat in Calcutta. It was primarily centred in the Bengal region. At its territorial peak in the 19th century, the presidency extended from the present-day Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan in the west to Burma, Singapore and Penang in the east. The Governor of Bengal was concurrently the Viceroy of India for many years. Most of the presidency's territories were eventually incorporated into other British Indian provinces and crown colonies. In 1905, Bengal proper was partitioned, with Eastern Bengal and Assam headquartered in Dacca and Shillong. British India was reorganised in 1912 and the presidency was reunited into a single Bengali-speaking province.
The Government of India Act 1919 was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It was passed to expand participation of Indians in the government of India. The Act embodied the reforms recommended in the report of the Secretary of State for India, Edwin Montagu, and the Viceroy, Lord Chemlsford. The Act covered ten years, from 1919 to 1929. This Act represented the end of benevolent despotism and began genesis of responsible government in India. It was set to be reviewed by the Simon Commission in 10 years.
The Provinces of India, earlier Presidencies of British India and still earlier, Presidency towns, were the administrative divisions of British governance in India. Collectively, they were called British India. In one form or another, they existed between 1612 and 1947, conventionally divided into three historical periods:
The Central Provinces was a province of British India. It comprised British conquests from the Mughals and Marathas in central India, and covered parts of present-day Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra states. Its capital was Nagpur. It became the Central Provinces and Berar in 1936.
Tamil Nadu Legislative Council was the upper house of the former bicameral legislature of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It began its existence as Madras Legislative Council, the first provincial legislature for Madras Presidency. It was initially created as an advisory body in 1861, by the British colonial government. It was established by the first Indian Council Act of 1861, enacted in the British parliament in the aftermath of the Indian Rebellion of 1857. Its role and strength were later expanded by the second Council Act of 1892. Limited election was introduced in 1909. The Council became a unicameral legislative body in 1921 and eventually the upper chamber of a bicameral legislature in 1937. After India became independent in 1947, it continued to be the upper chamber of the legislature of Madras State, one of the successor states to the Madras Presidency. It was renamed as the Tamil Nadu Legislative Council when the state was renamed as Tamil Nadu in 1969. The Council was abolished by the M. G. Ramachandran administration on 1 November 1986. In 2010 the DMK regime headed by M. Karunanidhi tried to revive the Council. The current AIADMK regime has expressed its intention not to revive the council and has passed a resolution in the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly in this regard.
The Imperial Legislative Council was a legislature for British India from 1861 to 1947. It succeeded the Council of the Governor-General of India, and was succeeded by the Constituent Assembly of India and after 1950, was succeeded by Parliament of India.
Bombay Legislative Council was the legislature of the Bombay Province and later the upper house of the bicameral legislature of Bombay Province in British India and the Indian state of Bombay.
The Council of State was the upper house of the legislature for British India created by the Government of India Act 1919 from the old Imperial Legislative Council, implementing the Montagu–Chelmsford Reforms. The Central Legislative Assembly was the lower house.
The first legislative council election to Madras Presidency after the establishment of dyarchical system of government by the Government of India Act, 1935, was held in November 1920. Indian National Congress boycotted the election due to its participation in the Non-cooperation movement. The election occurred during the early stages of non-Brahmin movement and the major issue of the election was anti-Brahminism. Justice party won the election with no significant opposition and A. Subbarayalu Reddiar became the first Chief Minister of the presidency.
The first Indian Councils Act of 1861 set up the Madras Legislative Council as an advisory body through which the colonial administration obtained advice and assistance. The Act empowered the provincial Governor to nominate four non-English Indian members to the council for the first time. Under the Act, the nominated members were allowed to move their own bills and vote on bills introduced in the council. However, they were not allowed to question the executive, move resolutions or examine the budget and not interfere with the laws passed by the Central Legislature. The Governor was also the president of the Council and he had complete authority over when, where and how long to convene the Council and what to discuss. Two members of his Executive Council and the Advocate-General of Madras were also allowed to participate and vote in the Council. The Indians nominated under this Act were mostly zamindars and ryotwari landowners, who often benefited from their association with the colonial government. Supportive members were often re-nominated for several terms. G. N. Gajapathi Rao was nominated eight times, Mir Humayun Jah Bahadur was a member for 23 years, T. Rama Rao and P. Chentsal Rao were members for six years each. Other prominent members during the period included V. Bhashyam Aiyangar, S. Subramania Iyer and C. Sankaran Nair. The Council met infrequently and in some years was not convened even once. The maximum of number of times it met in a year was eighteen. The Governor preferred to convene the Council at his summer retreat Udagamandalam, much to the displeasure of the Indian members. The few times when the Council met, it was for only a few hours with bills and resolutions being rushed through.
Diarchy was established in Madras Presidency based on the recommendations of the Montague-Chelmsford report. Five elections were held during the period diarchy was in effect and Justice Party occupied power most of the time. It ended with the election in 1937 when the Government of India Act 1935 came into effect.
Provincial elections were held in British India in the winter of 1936-37 as mandated by the Government of India Act 1935. Elections were held in eleven provinces - Madras, Central Provinces, Bihar, Orissa, United Provinces, Bombay Presidency, Assam, NWFP, Bengal, Punjab and Sindh.
General elections were held in British India in 1920 to elect members to the Imperial Legislative Council and the Provincial Councils. They were the first elections in the country's modern history.
Diarchy was established in Bombay Presidency based on the recommendations of the Montague-Chelmsford report. It ended with the election in 1937 when the Government of India Act 1935 came into effect.
The 1911 Delhi Durbar was held in December 1911 following the coronation in London in June of that year of King George V and Queen Mary. The King and Queen travelled to Delhi for the Durbar. For the occasion, the statutory limits of the membership of the Order of the Star of India and the Order of the Indian Empire were increased and many appointments were made to these and other orders. These honours were published in a supplement to the London Gazette dated 8 December 1911.
The Legislatures of British India included legislative bodies in the presidencies and provinces of British India, the Imperial Legislative Council, the Chamber of Princes and the Central Legislative Assembly. The legislatures were created under Acts of Parliament of the United Kingdom. Initially serving as small advisory councils, the legislatures evolved into partially elected bodies, but were never elected through suffrage. Provincial legislatures saw boycotts during the period of dyarchy between 1919 and 1935. After reforms and elections in 1937, the largest parties in provincial legislatures formed governments headed by a Prime Minister. A few British Indian subjects were elected to the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which had superior powers than colonial legislatures. British Indian legislatures did not include Burma's legislative assembly after 1937, the State Council of Ceylon nor the legislative bodies of princely states.
The Bengal Legislative Council was the legislative council of British Bengal . It was the legislature of the Bengal Presidency during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. After reforms were adopted in 1937, it served as the upper chamber of the Bengali legislature until the partition of British India.
The Legislative Council of Eastern-Bengal and Assam was the legislative council of Eastern Bengal and Assam, a province of the British Indian Empire covering Bangladesh and Northeast India. It would meet in the Government House of Dacca, the provincial capital. Its ex-officio head was the Lieutenant Governor of Eastern Bengal and Assam.
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