Government of India Act 1935

1 2 3

After the failure of the Third Round Table Conference, the British government gave the Joint Select Committee the task of formulating the new Act for India. The Committee comprised of 16 members each from the House of Commons and House of Lords, 20 representatives from British India and seven from the princely states. Lord Linlithgow was appointed as the president of the Committee. After a year and a half of deliberations, the Committee finally came out with a draft Bill on February 5, 1935. The Bill was discussed in the House of Commons for 43 days and in the House of Lords for 13 days and finally, after being signed by the King, was enforced as the Government of India Act, 1935, in July 1935.

The main features of the Act of 1935 were:

  • A Federation of India was promised for, comprising both provinces and states. The provisions of the Act establishing the federal central government were not to go into operation until a specified number of rulers of states had signed Instruments of Accession. Since, this did not happen, the central government continued to function in accordance with the 1919 Act and only the part of the 1935 Act dealing with the provincial governments went into operation.
  • The Governor General remained the head of the central administration and enjoyed wide powers concerning administration, legislation and finance.
  • No finance bill could be placed in the Central Legislature without the consent of the Governor General.
  • The Federal Legislature was to consist of two houses, the Council of State (Upper House) and the Federal Assembly (Lower House).
  • 1 2 3