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GOVERNMENT OF INDIA ACT, 1858 [REPEALED]

Ministry of Law and Justice


  • Act nº 16 & 17 of 1858

Preamble

THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA ACT, 1858

[16 & 17 Vict. C. 95]

[2nd August, 1858]

PREAMBLE

An Act for the better Government of India

Whereas by an Act of the Session holden in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Years of Her Majesty, Chapter Ninety-five, "to provide for the Government of India", the Territories in the Possession and under the Government of the East India Company were continued under such Government, in trust for Her Majesty, until Parliament should otherwise provide, subject to the Provisions of that Act and of other Acts of Parliament, and the Property and Rights in the said Act referred to are held by the said Company in trust for Her Majesty for the purposes of the said Government : And whereas it is expedient that the said Territories should be governed by and in the Name of Her Majesty: Be it therefore enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons in this present Parliament assembled, and by the Authority of the same, as follows ; that is to say,

Section 1. Territories under the Government of the East India Company to be vested in Her Majesty and Powers to be exercised in Her name

The Government of the Territories now in the Possession or under the Government of the East India Company, and all Powers in relation to Government vested in or exercised by the said Company in trust for Her Majesty, shall cease to be vested in or exercised by the said Company, and all Territories in the Possession or under the Government of the said Company, and all Rights vested in or which if this Act had not been passed might have been exercised by the said Company in relation to any Territories, shall become vested in Her Majesty, and be exercised in Her, Name; and for the purposes of this Act India shall mean the Territories vested in Her Majesty as aforesaid, and all Territories which may become vested in Her Majesty by virtue of any such Rights as aforesaid.

Section 2. India to be governed by and in the Name of Her Majesty

India shall be governed by and in the Name of Her Majesty, and all Rights in relation to any Territories which might have been exercised by the said Company if this Act had not been passed shall and may he exercised by any in the name of Her Majesty as Rights incidental to the Government of India; and all the Territorial and other Revenues of or arising in India, and all Tributes and other Payments in respect of any Territories which would have been receivable by or in the Name of the said Company if this Act had not been passed, shall be received for and in the Name of Her Majesty, and shall be applied and disposed of for the purposes of the Government of India alone, subject to the Provisions of this Act.

Section 3. Secretary of State to exercise powers now exercised by Company or Board of Control

Save as herein otherwise provided, One of Her Majesty's Principal Secretaries of State shall have and perform all such or the like Powers and Duties in anywise relating to the Government or Revenues of India, arid all such or the like Powers over all Officers appointed or continued under this Act, as might or should have been exercised or performed by the East India Company, or by the Court of Directors or Court of Proprietors of the said Company, either alone or by the Direction or with the Sanction or Approbation of the Commissioners for the Affairs of India in relation to such Government or Revenues, and the Officers and Servants of the said Company respectively, and also all such Powers as might have been exercise by the said Commissioners alone; and any Warrant or Writing under Her Majesty's Royal Sign Manual, which by the Act of the Session holden in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Years of Her Majesty, Chapter Seventy-seven, or otherwise, is required to be countersigned by the President of the Commissioners for the Affairs of India, shall in lieu of being so countersigned be countersigned by One of Her Majesty's Principal Secretaries of State.

Section 4. Four Principal and Four Under Secretaries of State may sit as Members in the House of Commons

After the Commencement of this Act any Four of Her Majesty's Principal Secretaries of State for the time being, and any Four of the Under Secretaries for the time being to Her Majesty's Principal Secretaries of State, may sit and vote as Members of the House of Commons, but not more than. Four such Principal Secretaries and not more than Four such Under Secretaries shall sit as Members of the House of Commons at the same Time.

Section 5. If President of Board of Control is appointed Secretary of State, his Seat in the House of Commons not to be vacated

In case the Person who immediately before the Commencement of this Act is the President of the Commissioners for the Affairs of India be appointed, upon or within One Month after the Commencement of this Act, One of Her Majesty's Principal Secretaries of State, and be at the Time of such Appointment a Member of the House of Commons, he shall not by reason of such Appointment vacate his Seat in Parliament.

Section 6. Salaries of One Secretary of State and his Under Secretaries to be paid out of the Revenue of India

In case Her Majesty be pleased to appoint a Fifth Principal Secretary of State, there shall be paid out of the Revenues of India to such Principal Secretary of State and to his Under Secretaries respectively the like yearly Salaries as may for the Time being be paid to any other of such Secretaries of State and his Under Secretaries respectively.

Section 7. Council of India established

For the Purposes of this Act a Council shall be established to consist of Fifteen Members, and to be styled the Council of India; and henceforth the Council of India now bearing the Name shall be styled the Council of the Governor General of India.

Section 8. First Members of the Council

Within Fourteen Days after the passing of this Act the Court of Directors of the East India Company shall, from among the Persons then being Directors of the said Company or haying been theretofore such Directors, elect Seven Persons to be with the Persons to be appointed by Her Majesty as hereinafter mentioned the First Members of the Council under this Act, and the Names of the Persons so elected by the Court of Directors shall be forthwith, after such Election, certified to the Board of Commissioners for the Affairs of India, under the Seal of the said Company, and it shall be lawful for Her Majesty, by Warrant under Her Royal Sign Manual, within Thirty Days after the passing of this Act, to appoint to be Members of such Council Eight Persons : Provided always, that if the Court of Directors of the Hast India Company shall refuse or shall for such Fourteen Days neglect to make such Election of such Seven Persons, and to certify the Names of such Persons as aforesaid, it shall he lawful for Her Majesty, by Warrant under Her Royal Sign Manual, within Thirty Days after the Expiration of such Fourteen days, to appoint from among the said Directors Seven Persons to make up the full Number of the said Council: Provided also, that if any Person being or having been such Director, and elected or appointed as aforesaid, shall refuse to accept the Office, it shall be lawful for Her Majesty, by Warrant under Her Royal Sign Manual, to appoint in the Place of every Person so refusing some other Persons to be a Member of the Council, but so that Nine Members of the Council at the least shall be Persons qualified as hereinafter mentioned.

Section 9. Vacancies in the Council to be filled up

Every vacancy happening from Time to time among the Members of the Council appointed by Her Majesty, not being Members so appointed by reason of the Refusal or Neglect of the Court of Directors or the Refusal to accept Office hereinbefore mentioned, shall be filled up by Her Majesty, by Warrant under Her Royal Sign Manual, and every other Vacancy shall be filled up by the Council by Election made at a Meeting to be held for that Purpose.

Section 10. The major Part of the Council, with certain Exceptions, to be Persons who shall have served or resided Ten Years in India

The major Part of the Persons to be elected by the Court of Directors, and the major Part of the Persons to to be first appointed by Her Majesty after the passing of this Act to be Members of the Council, shall be Persons who shall have served or resided in India for Ten Years at the least, and (excepting in the Case of late and present Directors and Officers on the Home Establishment of the East India Company who shall have so served or resided) shall not have last left India more than Ten Years next preceding the Date of their Appointment ; and no Person other than a Person so qualified shall be appointed or elected to fill any Vacancy in the Council unless at the Time of the Appointment or Election Nine at the least of the continuing Members of the Council be Persons qualified as aforesaid.

Section 11. Tenure of Office of Members of the Council

Every Member of the Council appointed or elected under this Act shall hold his Office during the good Behaviour; provided that it shall be lawful for Her Majesty to remove any such Member from his Office upon an Address of both Houses of Parliament.

Section 12. Members of Council not to sit in Parliament

No Member of the Council appointed or elected under this Act shall be capable of sitting or voting in Parliament,

Section 13. Salaries of Members of Council

There shall be paid to each Member of the Council the yearly Salary of One thousand two hundred Pounds, out of the Revenues of India.

Section 14. As to Retiring Pensions etc.

Any Member of the Council may, by Writing under his Hand, which shall be recorded in the Minutes of the Council, resign his Office, and it shall be lawful for Her Majesty, by Warrant under Her Royal Sign Manual, countersigned by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, to grant to any Person who, having held the Office of Member of the Council for the Period of Ten Years or upwards, shall so resign by reason of Infirmity disabling him from a due Execution of the Duties of the Office, a Retiring Pension during Life of Five hundred Pounds : Provided, that if at any time hereafter it should appear to Parliament expedient to reduce the Number or otherwise deal with the Constitution of the said Council, no Member of Council who has not served in his Office for a Period of Ten Years shall be entitled to claim any Compensation for the Loss of his Office, or for any Alteration in the Terms and Conditions under which the same is held.