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Tuesday, December 26, 2017

The Indian Independence Act, 1947

Indian Independence Act was passed in June 1947, which specified the following:
  • The British rule of India should be over on the midnight of August 15, 1947.
  • An independent dominion of India shall be created out of the United Provinces, Central Provinces, Bombay Presidency, Madras Presidency, the Carnatic, East Punjab, West Bengal, Assam and the Northeast Frontier Agency. The territories of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and the Lakshadweep Islands are also turned over to the Indian Dominion.
  • An independent dominion of Pakistan shall be created out of the provinces of West Punjab, North West Frontier Province, Sindh and East Bengal.
  • The all Princely states that were officially related to British Empire were made free from all the treaties and relationships and they could decide which dominion to join. Lord Mountbatten thought that if the princely state remained independent within the dominion that may lead to chaos and thus made their accession a necessity of the Indian Independence Act.
  • Both the Indian and Pakistan Dominions would be members of the British Commonwealth and was allowed to leave whenever they pleased.
  • Both Dominions of India and Pakistan were completely self-governing in their internal affairs, foreign affairs and national security but the British monarch will continue to be their head of state, represented by the Governor-General of India and a new Governor-General of Pakistan. Both Dominions shall convene their Constituent Assemblies and write their respective constitutions.
  • The British monarch shall be permitted to remove the title of Emperor of India from the Royal Style and Titles. King George VI subsequently removed the title by Order in council on June 22, 1948.
Lord Mountbatten was the last Viceroy of India under British rules and became the Governor General of Independent India.