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Indian Constitution: Historical Under Pinning’s , Evolution

Indian Constitution: Historical Under pinnings : Evolution

Indian Constitution: Historical Under Pinning’s , Evolution

Indian Constitution Historical development

The British came to India in 1600 as traders in the form of East India Company, which had the exclusive right of trading in India under a charter granted by Queen Elizabeth I. In 1765, Clive the them Governor of Bengal secured from Shah Alam II, the powerless and effete Mughal emperor the Diwani (rights over revenue and civil justice) of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa, stipulating in return to pay the emperor an annual subsidy of 26 lakhs of rupees. Also, the Nawab of Bengal became a mere pensioner; the company was to pay him a fixed annual sum of Rs. 53 lakhs for the support of the Nizamat. Clive thus established a Double Government with the Company as Diwan, and the Nawab as Nazim.

The acquisition of the Diwani of Bengal and the introduction of the Double Government system by Clive in 1765 provide the Key to the development of the British Indian Constitution which has been explained further in the subsequent paragraphs.

In England, the aspect of this dual governance which attracted chief attention was the immense wealth which the company was expected to derive from the revenues of Bengal, estimated at £4, 000,000 per annum. Some, Including Pitt, held even that the crown should now take over the governmental authority which the company has now assumed, but this view was held by few and the first intervention of parliament in the company affairs came in 1767 in the form of a demand for a share of the plunder to the extent of £400, 000 per annum.

However, under the dual system, The Nawab was limited to the position of a figurehead and the administration was in the hands of the Deputy Nawab, whose was the nominee of the company and an English resident posted at the Durbar and the used to decide every matter of significance in the arrangement (Dual Govt.) a fatal divorce of power from responsibility was inherent which lead to most of the scandals and abuses speedily to their appearances. In the first place, the abuses of private trade reached its peak because the Indian administrators in this arrangement were open to illegitimate pressure, and unable to restrict the misconduct of the company’s servants. And secondly, the ongoing demands of the company for increasing the revenue eventually resulted in gross oppression of the peasantry. The collection of the revenue from land that though theoretically removable had in most cases became hereditary. They often paid very little especially when the government was weak.

When the company was in debt of about £ 6 millions, a dividend of 12.5% was declared, though the Directors had to conceal facts and falsify accounts. And when the News of the famine and Haider Ali’s successful onslaught into the carnatic war reached England, the company’s stock showed a spectacular decline and before long rumours got abroad of the company’s true financial position. In sheer desperation, the Directors of the company applied to the Bank of England for a loan of £ 1,000,000 and while doing so they signed the death warrant of the company’s independence. As this resulted in the appointment of a select committee to enquire into the company’s affairs which was presided over by general Burgoyne who while proposing a resolution for the appointment of the committee declared: “The most atrocious abuses that even stained the name of civil government called for redress… if by some means sovereignty and law are not separated from trade, India and great Britain will be suck & overwhelmed never to rise again”.

They declared another dividend of 120.5% and in August they asked the Government for a loan of £ 1 million the Discrepancy was so glaring that it caused the House of Commons to appoint a second (secret) committee to investigate the reasons for it. It became a very debatable and interesting question that why should a company go bankrupt, when its servants were returning with their pockets bulging with gold.

Consequently in the spring of the following year the committee issued their reports. As expected these were highly condemnatory in nature. Subsequently two Acts of Parliament were passed. The first granted the company a loan of £ 1, 400, 00 at 4% interest on certain terms and conditions. While the second was the Regulation Act of 1773. This act is of great constitutional significance as it was the first move by the British Government towards the centralization of administration n India and to control and regulated the affairs of the East India Company.


  1. Introduction of Indian Constitution-