INDIAN CONSTITUTION AND ADMINISTRATION2
a Law Member, who could attend theCouncil meetings, as a matter of right,only when it was to perform legislativefunctions. The Council’s functionswere, thus, divided into two categories.When it performed executive functions,it consisted of the Governor-Generaland three members only. But, when itperformed legislative functions, itconsisted of the Governor-Generaland the four members. In this way, theAct laid the foundation of the futureCentral Legislature, also called ImperialLegislative Council.
The Charter Act of 1853
In order to strengthen the legislativemachinery the Charter Act of 1853 wasenacted. The Act further extended themachinery of legislation. Under the newAct, the Governor-General’s Council,when acting in its legislative capacity,was enlarged by the addition of six newmembers. Among these six members,one was to be an official representativefrom each of the four Provincesviz., Madras, Bombay, Bengal andNorth Western Provinces, and theChief Justice and a puisne judge of the Supreme Court. Besides, theCommander-in-Chief was also given anextraordinary membership. Thus, thestrength of the Legislative Councilbecame twelve.
The Act of 1858
The First War of Independence of 1857brought the era of the East IndiaCompany to an end. In 1858 theBritish Crown took over the rightsof the Company’s Government inIndia in its own hands. The Actbrought substantial changes in theconstitutional set-up. Some of theimportant changes were: (i) it abolishedthe Board of Directors and the Boardof Control and vested their powers inone of Her Majesty’s Secretary (aMinister in the British Cabinet), (ii) hewas designated as the Secretary of Statefor India and was empowered tosuperintend, direct and control all thegovernmental affairs in India, (iii) theSecretary of State was to be assisted bya Council of India, (iv) the Governor-General and Governors of thePresidencies were to be appointed bythe Crown and the members of theirCouncils by the Secretary of State-in-Council, (v) Lieutenant Governors wereto be appointed by the Governor-General, subject to the approval of HerMajesty and appointments to thecovenanted civil service were to be madethrough open competition with theassistance of the Civil ServiceCommission.
Indian Councils Act of 1861
In 1861 the British Governmentdecided to expand the legislativeCouncils. This was done through theIndian Councils Act of 1861. The mainprovisions of the Act were as follows –(i) the Governor-General’s Council wasexpanded for legislative purposes byadding 6-12 new members, to benominated for two years, (ii) priorsanction of the Governor-General wasessential for introducing somemeasures, (iii) every Act passed by theLegislature in India was subject toapproval of Her Majesty acting throughthe Secretary of State-in-Council, (iv) theGovernor-General was authorised toexercise a veto and issue ordinances in