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    Sunday, 9 October 2016

    Salient features of Indian Independence Act 1947

    In order to give effect to the Plan of June 3, the British Parliament on July 18, 1947, passed an Act known as the Indian Independence Act, 1947.

    Lord Mountbatten reached India on March 24, 1947. As soon as he reached, he declared that he will complete the work of transfer of power into the Indian hands within the next few months and he held consultations with the Indian leaders for this purpose in the meanwhile the Indian Independence Bill was presented before British Parliament on July 4, 1947 and was passed by Parliament on July 18, 1947. The Act provided as under:-

    1. The partition of India and the establishment of two dominions of India and Pakistan from August 15, 1947. The dominion of Pakistan would include Provinces of Sindh, N.W.F.P the British Baluchistan, east Bengal, West Punjab and the states which would accede to Pakistan. The act also provided for the Legislature of the two dominions.

    2. It conceded c9omplete cessation of British control over Indian affairs from August 14, 1947. Thereafter the powers of the British Government and Parliament over the India and Pakistan would cease altogether.

    3. It provided for the creation of two constituent assemblies for two dominions. All powers were to be vested in the constituent assembly of each dominion. Each constituent assembly thus became the sovereign law-making body in each dominion with full powers to frame her constitution in any way it might decide.

    4. Both the dominions were given full right to decide whether to remain with the British Commonwealth of Nations or to come out of it.

    5. Until a new constitution was framed for each dominion, the Act made the existing constituent assemblies the domination legislature for the time being. The assemblies were to exercise all the powers which were formerly exercised by the central legislature. This was in addition to its powers regarding the framing of new constitution.

    6. Till the framing of the new constitution each of the dominions and all the provinces were to the overfed in accordance with the government of India Act, 1935. Each dominion was authorized to emend the government of Indian Act, 1935 under the Independence Act 1947.

    7. The right of the King to veto laws or to reserve laws for his pleasure was given up. Under the Independence Act of 1947, this right was given to the Governor-General. He was also given the full right to assent in the name of his majesty to any law of the dominion legislature made in its ordinary legislative capacity.

    8. The act provide for the termination of the suzerainty of the crown over the Indian States. All treaties, agreements, exercisable by his Majesty with regard to States and their rulers were to lapse for 15 august, 1947. It was also provided that the existing arrangements between the Government of Indian states were to continue pending the detailed negotiations between the Indian states and the new dominions. The rulers of the dominion keeping in view the majority of their population.

    9. Agreement with the tribes of the North-Western frontier of India was to be negotiated by successor dominion.

    10. The office of the Secretary of state’s fro India was to be abolished and his work was to be taken over by the secretary of the state for commonwealth affairs.

    11. The title of “Emperor of India” was to be dropped from the royal style and titles of the King of England.

    12. All the Civil and Army servants were given full option to join either of the Dominion.


    13. It was provided that for each of the new dominions there shall be a Governor-General who shall be appointed by his majesty and shall represent his majesty for the purpose of the Government of the dominions. 
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    Item Reviewed: Salient features of Indian Independence Act 1947 Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Usman Ali
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