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GOVERNMENT OF INDIA ACT, 1915-19 [REPEALED]

Ministry of Law and Justice


  • Part I
  • Part II
  • Part III
  • Part IV
  • Part V
  • Part VI
  • Part VIA
  • Part VII
  • Part VIIA
  • Part VIII
  • Part IX
  • Part X
  • Part XI
  • Part XII
  • Schedules
  • Government of India Act, 1915-19 [Repealed]

Preamble

GOVERNMENT OF INDIA ACT, 1915-191

Preamble2

An Act to consolidate enactments relating to the government of India.

whereas it is the declared policy of Parliament to provide for the increasing association of Indians in every branch of Indian administration, and for the gradual development of self-governing institutions, with a view to the progressive realisation of responsible government in British India as an integral part of the empire:

AND WHEREAS progress in giving effect to this policy can only be achieved by successive stages, and it is expedient that substantial steps in this direction should now be taken:

AND WHEREAS the time and manner of each advance can be determined only by Parliament, upon whom responsibility lies for the welfare and advancement of the Indian peoples:

AND WHEREAS the action of Parliament in such matters must be guided by the co-operation received from those on whom new opportunities of service will be conferred, and by the extent to which it is found that confidence con be reposed in their sense of responsibility:

AND WHEREAS concurrently with the gradual development of self-governing institutions in the provinces of India it is expedient to give to those provinces in provincial matters the largest measure of independence of the Government of India, which is compatible with the due discharge by the latter of its own responsibilities:

BE it therefore enacted by the King's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Com mons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:--

1. The principal Act was the Government of India Act, 1915 (5 & 6 Geo. 5. Chapter. 61). It was amended by the Government of India Act, 1916 (6 & 7 Geo. 5, Chapter. 37) and Government of India Act, 1919 (9 & 10 Geo. 5, Chapter. 101). The present text is that of the principal Act as amended in 1916 and 1919.

2. These words were inserted by Part II of Schedule. II of the Government of India Act, 1919 (9&10 Geo. 5, Chapter. 181).


Part I

Section 1. Government of India by the Crown

The Crown

The territories for the time being vested in His Majesty in India are governed by and in the name of His Majesty the King Emperor of India, and all rights which, if the Government of India Act, 1858, had not been passed, might have been exercised by the East India Company in relation, to any territories, may be exercised by and in the name of His Majesty as rights incidental to the government of India.

Section 2. The Secretary of State

The Secretary of State

(1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, the Secretary of State has and performs all such or the like powers and duties relating to the government or revenues of India, and has all such or the like powers over all officers appointed or continued under this Act, as, if the Government of India Act, 1858, had not been passed, might or should have been exercised or performed by the East India Company, or by the Court of Directors of Court of Proprietors of that Company, either alone or by the direction or with the sanction or approbation of the Commissioners for the Affairs of India, in relation to that government or those revenues and the officers and servants of that Company, and also all such powers as might have been exercised by the said Commissioners alone.

(2) In particular, the Secretary of State may, subject to the provisions of this Act [or rules made thereunder], superintend, direct and control all acts, operations and concerns which relate to the government or revenues of India, and all grants of salaries, gratuities and allowances, and all other payments and charges, out of or on the revenues of India.

1 [(3) The salary of the Secretary of State shall be paid out of moneys provided by Parliament, and the salaries of his under-secretaries and any other expenses of his department may be paid out of the revenues of India or out of moneys provided by Parliament.]

1. This sub-section was substituted by Part II of Schedule. of the Government of India Act, 1919 (9&10 Geo. 5, Chapter. 101).


Section 3. The Council of India

(1) The Council of India shall consist of such number of members, not less than1[eight] and not more than1[twelve], as the Secretary of State may determine:

2[Provided that the Council as constituted at the time of the passing of the Government of India Act, 1919, shall not be affected by this provision, but no fresh appointment or re-appointment thereto shall be made in excess of the maximum prescribed by this provision.]

(2) The right of filling any vacancy in the Council shall be vested in the Secretary of State.

(3) Unless at the time of an appointment to fill a vacancy in the Council3[one-half] of the then existing members of the Council are persons who have served or resided in [*]4India for at least ten years, and have not last left [*]5India more than five years before the date of their appointment, the person appointed to fill the vacancy must be so qualified.

(4) Every member of the Council shall hold office, except as by this section provided, for a term of6[five] years:

7[Provided that the tenure of office of any person who is a member of the Council at the time of the passing of the Government of India Act, 1919, shall be the same as though that Act had not been passed.]

(5) The Secretary of State may, for special reasons of public advantage, re-appoint for a further term of five years any member of the Council whose term of office has expired. In any such case the reasons for the re-appointment shall be set forth in a minute signed by the Secretary of State and laid before both Houses of Parliament. Save as aforesaid, a member of the Council shall not be capable of re-appointment.

(6) Any member of the Council may, by writing signed by him, resign his office. The instrument of resignation shall be recorded in the minutes of the Council.

(7) Any member of the Council may be removed by His Majesty from his office on an address of both Houses of Parliament.

8[(8) There shall be paid to each member of the Council of India the annual salary of twelve hundred pounds:

Provided that any member of the Council who was at the time of his appointment domiciled in India shall receive, in addition to the salary hereby provided, an annual subsistence allowance of six hundred pounds.

Such salaries and allowances may be paid out of the revenues of India or out of moneys provided by Parliament.

(9) Notwithstanding anything, in any Act or rule, where any person in the service of the Crown in India is appointed a member of the Council before the completion of the period of such service required to entitle him to a pension or annuity, his service as such member shall, for the purpose of any pension or annuity which would have been payable to him on completion of such period be reckoned as service under the Crown in India whilst reckoned as service under the Crown in India whilst resident in India.]

1. The words "eight" and "twelve" were substituted for the words ' ten" and "fourteen" respectively by Part II of Schedule of the Government of India Act, 1919 (9&10 Geo. 5, Chapter 101).

2. This proviso was added by Part II of Schedule of the Government of India Act, 1919 (9&10 Geo. 5, Chapter 101).

3. The word "one-half" was substituted for the word "nine" by Part II of Sch. of the Government of India Act, 1919 (9&10 Geo. 5, Chapter 101).

4. The word "British" was omitted by Part II of Schedule of the Government of India Act, 1919 (9&10 Geo. 5, Chapter 101).

5. The word "British" was omitted by Schedule I of the Government of India (Amendment) Act, 1916 (6&7 Geo. 5, Chapter 37).

6. The word "five" was substituted for 'seven" by Part II of Schedule II of the Government of India Act, 1919 (9&10 Geo. 5, Chapter. 101.).

7. This proviso was inserted by Part II of Schedule II of the Government of India Act, 1919 (9&10 Geo. 5, Chapter. 101.).

8. Sub-sections (8) & (9) of section 3 were substituted for old sub-section (8) by Part II of Schedule II of the Government of India Act, 1919 (9&10 Geo. 5, Chapter. 101).


Section 4. Seat in Council disqualification for Parliament

No member of the Council of India shall be capable of sitting or voting in Parliament.

Section 5. Duties of Council

The Council of India shall, under the direction of the Secretary of State, and subject to the provisions of this Act, conduct the business transacted in the United Kingdom in relation to the government of India and the correspondence with India.

* * *1

1. The remaining words were omitted by Part II of Sch. II of the Government of India Act, 1919 (9&10 Geo. 5, Ch. 101).


Section 6. Powers of Councel

(1) All powers required to be exercised by the Secretary of State in Council, and all powers of the Council at which1[such number of members are present as may be prescribed by general directions of the Secretary of State].

(2) The Council may act notwithstanding any vacancy in their number.

1. These words were substituted for "not less than five members are present" by Part II of Schedule. II of the Government of India Act, 1919 (9&10 Geo. 5, Chapter. 101).


Section 7. President and vice-president of Councel

(1) The Secretary of State shall be the president of the Council of India, with power to vote. (2) The Secretary of State in Council may appoint any member of the Council to be vice-president thereof, and the Secretary of State may at any time remove any person so appointed. (3) At every meeting of the Council the Secretary of State, or, in his absence, the vice-president, if present, or in the absence of both of them, one of the members of the Council, chosen by the members present at the meeting, shall preside.

Section 8. Meetings of Council

Meetings of the Council of India shall be convened and held as and when the Secretary of State directs, but one such meeting at least shall be held in every1[month].

1. The-word "month" was substituted for the word "week" by Part II of Schedule. II of the Government of India Act, 1919 (9&10 Geo. 5. chapter. 101).


Section 9. Procedure at meetings

(1) At any meeting of the Council of India at which the Secretary of State is present, if there is a difference of opinion on any question, except a question with respect to which a majority of votes at a meeting is by this Act declared to be necessary, the determination of the Secretary of State shall be final.

(2) In case of an equality of votes at any meeting of the Council, the person presiding at the meeting shall have a second or casting vote.

(3) All acts done at a meeting of the Council in the absence of Secretory of State shall require the approval in writing of the Secretary of State.

(4) In case of difference of opinion on any question decided at a meeting of the Council, the Secretary of State may require that his opinion and the reasons for it be entered in the minutes of the proceedings, and any member of the Council, who has been present at the meeting, may require that his opinion, and any reasons for it that he has stated at the meeting be also entered in like manner.

Section 10. Committees of Council and business

The Secretary of State may constitute committees of the Council of India for the more convenient transaction of business, and direct what departments of business are to be under those committees resptctively, and generally direct the manner in which1[the business of the Secretary of State in Council or the Council of India shall be transacted, and any order 'made or act done in accordance with such direction shall, subject to the provisions of this Act, be treated as being an order of the Secretary of State in Council.]

1. These words were substituted for all business of the Council or Committees thereof is to be transacted" by Part II of Schedule. II of the Government of India Act, 1919 (9&10 Geo. 5. Gh. 101).


Section 11. Correspondence between Secretary of State and India

1[11. Correspondence between Secretary of State and India

Subject to the provisions of this Act, the procedure for the sending of orders and communications to India and in general for correspondence between the Secretary of State and the Governor-General in Council or any local government shall be such as maybe prescribed 'by order of the Secretary of State in Council.]

1. Section 11 was substituted for old sections 11 to 14 by Part I of Part II of Schedule II of the Government of India Act, 1919 (9&10 Geo. 5. Gh. 101).


Section 12. [Omitted]

12. 1Omitted

1. Section 11 was substituted for old sections 11 to 14 by Part I of Schedule II of the Government of India Act, 1919 (9&10;Geo. 5, Chapter 101).


Section 13. [Omitted]

13. 1Omitted.

1. Section 11 was substituted for old sections 11 to 14 by Part I of Schedule II of the Government of India Act, 1919 (9&10;Geo. 5, Chapter. 101).