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Government of India Act, 1858

The first war of Indian Independence in 1857 brought the career of East India Company to an end. In 1858, the Government of India was placed directly under the crown through the Secretary of State for India and all the matters were to be seen by him. This Act had three parts:
The East India Company's control came to an end as:

  • The Board of Directors was abolished.
  • The basis of Court of Proprietors came to an end.
Secretary of State:
  • He will be a member of British Cabinet.
  • He will be drawing salaries and emoluments from Indian revenue.
  • He will be responsible directly to British parliament.
  • He will have his own Council consisting of 15 members - 8 nominated by the Crown and 7 would be elected by the outgoing Board of Directors.
  • All decisions were taken by majority vote by the Secretary of State's council but Secretary of State for India was given the power to override the decision of the Council as he felt necessary.
  • The Secretary of State was required to lay before the parliament an account for the Financial year containing the statement of the revenues and expenditure of India and also a statement showing the moral and material progress made by the Indians.
Governor General of India
  • He was placed under the Secretary of State as the consent of Secretary of State was important / necessary for implementation.
  • The internal position of Governor-General remained unchanged. His power of veto remained undiluted.

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