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October 2015

October 17, 2011

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Indian Councils Act 1861

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The Governments of Madras and Bombay were deprived

of their power of legislation by Charter act of 1833. The Indian Councils Act 1861
restored this power to them. This act is known to have made notable changes in the
composition of the Governor Generals council for executive & legislative Purposes.
The council of the Governor General of India performed dual functions of executive and
legislature. For executive functions the notable change was that Council of the Governor
General was expanded and a fifth member was added. For the purpose of Legislation,
the Governor Generals Council was restructured. Now the additional new NOT less than
6 and NOT more than 12 members were now to be nominated by the Governor General
and they were to hold the office for two years. Out of these, not less than half were
required to be Non-Official. This was a beginning towards the establishment of
legislative system by adding legislative non official members to the Council of the
Governor General.
However, the functions were limited to the legislation and it had not to do any other
function except the consideration or enactment of legislative measures.
It was laid down that without the assent of the Governor General a bill relating to the
public revenue or debt, religion, military, naval or foreign relations cannot be passed.
However, any such act might be dissolved by the crown acting through the secretary of
State of India.
The Indian Councils Act 1861 restored the power of legislation to the governor-incouncils of Madras and Bombay in respective matters. The act also laid down the
provision for the formation of legislative councils in other provinces.
With the Indian Councils Act for the first time Portfolio system started. Each member of
the Council of the Governor General was allocated portfolio of a particular department.
Lord Canning was the First to start a Portfolio system.
The Governor General was authorized to exercise a veto and issue ordinances in a
situation of emergency.


Utkarsh Mishra March 25, 2015 Log in to Reply
The word Governor General used above as is correct or they should have

Defence Current Affairs

used Vice Roy?

Persons in News

I am asking because the post of Governor General was completely replaced

by Viceroy after 1858 Act.

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K March 29, 2015

The Governor-General of India was responsible for administration
of the country. The Viceroy acted as a diplomat to parley with
princely states.
With the Act of 1857, the post of the Secretary of State was
generated who was a cabinet minister in British Govt, and his
agent in India was called Governor-General of India. That is to say
that the GGoI was a representative of the British Govt.
Now another post of the Viceroy was created who was the
representative of the Crown (Queen). But to avoid any conflict of
powers, as had earlier been witnessed between the GovernorGeneral and Chief Justice of India (spat between Warren Hastings
and Lord Impey), both the posts were held by the same person,
which is why the terms are used interchangeably.
Following the withdrawal of the British, the title of the Viceroy
automatically became defunct, hence we refer to Mountbatten as
GGoI post-indepence and not as Viceroy (although he was the last
Viceroy too)

Gaurav Gupta August 15, 2015

Yes, Mr. Mishra.
You are Correct. The post of Governor General was replaced by
Viceroy in 1858 Act. Lord Canning was the Last Governor General
as well as The First Viceroy
Gaurav Gupta

Deepak April 18, 2015 Log in to Reply

The act made the beginning of Representative Institutions by associating
Indians in the law making process!
For purpose of legislation not less than 6 and more than 12 members should
be nominated atleast half of whom should be Indians ( non officials)
The 3 nominated members were:1) Raja of Banaras
2) Maharaja of Patiala
3) Sir Dinkar Rao
The legislative powers of Bombay and Madras presidencies was restored. It
was completely de- activated in the Charter Act of 1833 and was reactivated in this act on the recommendation of Charles Wood. And also the
members of the council was increased from 8 to 20 members except North
West Frontier Provinces it was 15 members.
A fifth member was added to the Governor General Executive Council as a
finance member. James Wilson was the 1st finance member.
This act also introduced Port folio system of administration which was made
by Lord Canning in 1859.
This act also established Imperial Legislative Council. Provided for
establishment of new legislative council for Bengal(1862) North West

Frontier Provinces( 1866) and in Punjab(1897).

It empowered the viceroy to make rules and regulations. Also power to issue
ordinances without the concerence of legislative council during emergency..
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