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Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Pitts India Act 1784

It was introduced by the British Parliament to bring the administration of East India Company under the direct control. The salient features of Pitt`s India Act are:
  • A Board of Control was established that contained maximum six parliamentarians. The Board was headed by the senior Cabinet member who was the Director and Superintendent to control the affairs of the company related to territorial possessions in the East Indies.
  • There should be a Secret Committee established by the Court of Directors, which would act as a link between the Board and the Court.
  • There should be three members in the Council for Governor General. One of the members should be Commander-in-chief of the King`s Army in India. If in any case the members of the council present in a meeting equally divided into there opinion the Governor General had the authority to decide by two votes, one his own and the other was the casting vote
  • The Government should stop experimenting with revenue matters and should set up `Permanent settlement` with Zamindars at moderate rate of revenue demand. The Government should establish permanent administrative and judicial system for governing the new kingdom.
  • All civilians and military officials must provide a full inventory of their property in India and Britain to the Court of Directors within two months of their joining.
  • If the civilian or military officials are caught guilty of corruption they would be inflicted with severe punishment including seize of property, dismissal and jail.
  • Military or civilian officers receiving gifts in kinds or cash from kings, zamindars or other Indian subjects would be alleged with charge of corruption.
Lord Charles Cornwallis was appointed by Parliament to implement the Pitt`s Act. He joined at 1786 and he was given the responsibility of reformatory work. Lord Cornwallis introduced Permanent Settlement, announced a judicial code and established an administrative and police system. His mission was completed in 1793 and he left India for home.