East India Company Act 1773

By

East India Company Act 1773

Welcome to SSC Guru. Today we are going to study the first intervention of British Government in the working of East India Company or indirectly we can say the first intervention in the Administration of India. This intervention was come in the form of East India Company Act of 1773 which is commonly known as Regulating Act of 1773.

Why East India Company Act was passed ?

This is one of the question which everyone wants to know. As East India Company was formed on the last date of the 16th Century and arrived Surat in 1608 for the first time in India but until 1773 British Government never interfere in the working of the Company directly. So what were the reasons that British Government took this step. Lets talk about them.
First and the most influential reason was the riches of the servants of the Company. The employees of the Company came back to their Country with a lot of money from India. They started living royal life in England. Some of them even bought seats in British Parliament and many of them started their own company in England.
From 1767 there was a rule that the Company had to pay 4 lacs Pound to British Government for keeping monopoly over the trade in South East Asia. Instead of paying money the the Company approached the British Government for the loan of nearly 1 Million Pound. This made the British Parliament to think about the working of the Company. As British Government didn't want to have loss so they decided to set a committee to probe into the matter of the Company. The committee reported in the British Parliament that the Company was not working properly and the employees of the Company were exploiting the resources of the Company for their own benefits. Hence the Company should work under the guidelines of British Parliament. Thus the East India Company Act was passed in 1773.

What were the Provisions of East India Company Act ? 

The first provision of the Regulating act of 1773 was extension of term of the Directors of East India Company from one year to 4 years and every year one-fourth directors will be elected in rotation. This step was taken to improve the efficiency of the Company moreover the Company directors were required to lay before the Treasury all correspondence from India relating to revenue and before a Secretary of state, everything dealing with the civil and military affairs of the Government in India. 
As per this act Governor of Bengal was appointed as Governor General of Bengal and a Council of 4 members was also formed to help the Governor General in his Administration. The Governor General and his council got all the powers, civil and military regarding all the company acquisitions as well as revenues in the kingdoms of Bihar, Bengal and Orissa.
Warren Hastings was appointed as the first Governor General and John Clavering, George Monson, Richard Barwell and Philip Francis were the first counselors. All were to hold office for 5 years but king could remove them if Court of directors recommended the removal. 
The Governor General with the help of his council can make any policy for the benefits of the Company or in its working but the policies were made on the basis of  majority of vote. Each counselor and the Governor General got one vote but the Governor General has one casting vote in case of tie. Governor General did not get the power to overrule the majority vote. Only in the year 1786, did the governor general get the right of veto to override the decision of council.
The East India Company Act of 1773 put the Presidencies of Bombay, Madras and Bencoolen under the supervision of Presidency of Calcutta  in all important matters related to war and peace. Bencoolen was the older name of Bengkulu City in Sumatra. Now they were called as the subordinate presidencies of Calcutta Presidency and were ordered to send regularly all details of revenue and other important matters to the Governor General of Bengal.

Creation of Supreme Court at Calcutta

As per section 13 of the East India Company Act of 1773 there was provision for the establishment of The Supreme Court of Judicature at Fort William and King George III on 26 March 1774 issued the charter establishing the Supreme Court at Calcutta.

This is all from us on Regulating Act 1773. Thanks for reading.
Click here to subscribe SSC GURU

 Official Channel of SSC Guru


Search This Blog