(Last Updated on : 14/04/2012)
After twenty years of the Acts of 1833, the time approached for the renewal of the Company's Charter. With the passage of time there was a growing demand that the double Governments of the company in England should be ended. It has also been declared that the Court of Directors and the Board of control only resulted in the unnecessary delay in the business transactions and led to undue expenditure. An application was sent to the presidencies of India to appoint a secretary of state with a Council. The Secretary of state would be entrusted to handle all business relating to India.
It had been ideated that the existing legislative system under the Charter Act of 1833 was completely inadequate. Moreover after the Acts of 1833 there were territorial and the political changes in India. Sind and Punjab had been annexed to the company's territory. A number of Indian States except Pegu in Burma became victim of Dalhousie's policy of annexation. Gradually there were the demands of the decentralization of power and for giving the Indian people the shares in the administration. It was under these circumstances that the British parliament decided to renew the charter of the company in the year 1853. The company in the preceding year appointed two Committees to look into the affairs of the company. On the basis of their reports the charters Act of 1853 was framed and passed.
The charter Acts of 1853 renewed the powers of the company and allowed it to retain possessions of Indian territories. However this Charter Act did not grant commercial privileges for the specific period of time. Rather it did not mention any time period. The charter Act of 1853 provided that the salaries of the members of the Boards of controls, its Secretary and other officers would be fixed by the British government but would be paid by the company. The number of the members of the court of directors was reduced from 24 to 18 out of which 6 were to be nominated by the Crown. By the Act of 1853, the Court of directors was disposes of their power of patronage and the high posts were made subjects to the competitive examination, s where no discriminations would be made on the basis of caste, creed and religion. A committee with Maccualay as its president was appointed in the year 1854 to enforce his scheme. The Court of directors was empowered to constitute a new Presidency. The court of Directors, by the Act also could alter the boundaries of the existing states and incorporate the newly acquired state. This provision was made uses to create a separate Lieutenant Governorship for Punjab in the years 1859. The Act also empowered the crown to appoint a Law commission in England to examine the reports and the drafts of the Indian law commission.
In India the separation of the executive and the legislative functions was carried a step further by the provision of the additional members for the purpose of legislation. The Law Member was made the full member of the governor General's Executive council. This council while sitting in its legislative capacity was enlarged by the addition of the six members, namely the chief Justice and others judge of Calcutta supreme Court and four representative one each from Bengal, madras, Bombay and the north western provinces. The provincial representatives were to be the civil servants of the company. The governor General was empowered to appoint two more civil servants to the Council. It had been declared by the Act that discussion sins the Council became oral instead of writing. Bills were referred to the Select Committees instead to a single s member ands legislative business was conducted in public instead of the secret.
The charter Act of 1853 was a compromise between the two conflicting views. Those who favored the retentions of the Company's territorial authority were satisfied bys the provisions of the charter Act of 1853. The newly formed Legislative council threatened to alter the whole structures of the Indian government. Thus the Legislative Council denied the provisions made by the Charter Acts of 1853. The glaring defect of the Charters Act of 1853 was the continued exclusion of the people of the land with the work of legislation. However the charter act of 1853, strengthen the oppressive policy of the British Government in India.