Facing the strong nationalist movement, they had to reinforce the system. However, the Provinces enjoyed many powers that were not a subordinate authority. Following this Jinnah publicly proclaimed that the Congress had done nothing for the Muslims in India. The upper house of the legislature was made to be a permanent body with one-third of the members retiring every three years but the federal assembly was to have a term of five years. The Princely States represented about a quarter of the population of India and produced well under a quarter of its wealth. One or two vacancies on the Board shall not impair the right of the remaining commissioners to exercise all the powers of the Board. Linlithgow asked Sapru whether he thought there was a satisfactory alternative to the scheme of the 1935 Act.
Those elections initiated the penultimate phase of , but any chance that the act might evolve into a working plan for a united India was interrupted by the advent of. This was seen in India as yet more mixed messages from the British, suggesting at best a lukewarm attitude towards satisfying Indian desires. Federal Assembly The Federal Assembly was the lower house with a tenure of five years. The representatives of the princely states would be nominated by rulers. In spite of such wide range of provisions the Princes of the Native States however refuse to join the Federation. It hears appeals from all the High Courts and Subordinate Courts. The States were absolutely free to join or not to join the proposed Federation.
However, imperialist sentiment, and a lack of realism, in British political circles made this impossible. One was federal , 2 nd was provincial and the 3 rd was concurrent list. At the federal level, the governor was the pivot of the entire constitutional structure. The Governor General had the jurisdiction to give the unity and to direct to different conflicting elements. His conception, familiar in dominion constitutions, was absent in earlier Acts passed for India. The term on which a state joined the Federation were to be laid down in the Instrument of Accession.
This reflects a deep contradiction on British views of India and its future. The Governor General acted in three different ways or capacities. The court could interpret the constitution and if Governor-General needed any help regarding the constitution matters the court was bound to give advise but it was totally depended upon him to accept or reject the advice. In the execution of this function the Board shall have the following powers: a To undertake market research to determine the best opportunity for the sale of various products; b to engage in technical research and give technical advice and assistance; c to engage in experimentation directly or through selected agencies; d to correlate and encourage the activities of the various governmental and private agencies in the field; e to offer assistance in the management of operating groups for the furtherance of specific projects; f to make recommendations to appropriate agencies for loans in furtherance of the production and sale of Indian products; g to create Government trade marks of genuineness and quality for Indian products and the products of particular Indian tribes or groups; to establish standards and regulations for the use of such trade marks; to license corporations, associations, or individuals to use them; and to charge a fee for their use; to register them in the United States Patent Office without charge; h to employ executive officers, including a general manager, and such other permanent and temporary personnel as may be found necessary, and prescribe the authorities, duties, responsibilities, and tenure and fix the compensation of such officers and other employees: Provided, That the Classification Act of 1923, as amended, shall be applicable to all permanent employees except executive officers, and that all employees other than executive officers shall be appointed in accordance with the civil-service laws from lists of eligibles to be supplied by the Civil Service Commission; i as a Government agency to negotiate and execute in its own name contracts with operating groups to supply management, personnel, and supervision at cost, and to negotiate and execute in its own name such other contracts and to carry on such other business as may be necessary for the accomplishment of the duties of the Board: Provided, That nothing in the foregoing enumeration of powers shall be construed to authorize the Board to borrow or lend money or to deal in Indian goods. The provision approximated the conditions of the Colonial Laws Validity Act of 1865 applied by Britain to its dominions. Among the principal sources from which the Act drew its materials were the Simon Commission Report, the report of the All-Parties Conference the Nehru Report , the theme of the discussions of three Round Table Conferences, the White Papers, the Joint Select Committee Report and the Lothian Report. They would then have a large number of representatives in the two houses of the central legislature.
The degree of autonomy introduced at the provincial level was subject to important limitations: the provincial Governors retained important reserve powers, and the British authorities also retained a right to suspend responsible government. The upsurge of nationalist movement during these years convinced, those in the Home and Indian governments who had been reluctant to give any concessions to the Indians that such a constitution was necessary. The Governor-General could act in his individual judgment in discharging his special responsibilities. The Parliament debated the report and passed a bill in February 1935, which got royal assent on July 24th 1935, and it was enforced on April 1, 1937 with the name of Government of India Act 1935. In all likelihood, these representatives would be largely Congressmen. Residuary powers were given to the Viceroy. Even this legislature, in which the Princes were once again to be used to check and counter the nationalist elements, was denied the real power.
The laws passed by the Assembly could be Veto by Governor-General. Burma was proposed to be separated in pursuance of the recommendation of the Indian Statutory Simon Commission whose proposal was accepted in principle by the Government. A major contributing factor was the continuing distrust of British intentions for which there was considerable basis in fact. Normally he was to act on the advice of his ministers. They were alarmed by the changing situation in the country caused by the rapid spread of the national movement. Reserve Bank Bill just passed has a further reservation in the Constitution that no legislation may be undertaken with a view to substantially alter the provisions of that Act except with the consent of the Governor-General…. The provision was made for filing of appeals from High Courts to the Federal Court and from Federal Court to the Privy Council.
However the non-Congress Ministries continued. The reserved subjects were to be administered by the Governor-General on the advice of executive councilors, while transferred subjects were to be administered on the advice of the ministers. It was also a way to keep the people divided. The Governor General by his special powers and responsibilities could dominate the ministers. Birla wanted the Viceroy to help Gandhi by persuading a number of Princes to move towards democratic election of representatives.
In the case of states accession to the Federation was voluntary and the Federation could not be established until: a A number of states, the rulers where off were entitled to choose not less than half of the 104 seats of the Council of state, and b The aggregate population whereof amounted to at least one half of the total population of all the Indian States had acceded to the Federation. In both Houses of the Federal Legislature the states were given their quota of representation. Establishment of Federal Court The Government of India Act, 1935 provided for the establishment of Federal Court to interpret the Act and adjudicate disputes relating to the federal matters. The first Chief Justice of the Federal Court of India, Sir Maurice Gwyer, was its principal draftsman. The Federal Legislature: The Federal Legislature was constituted of two Houses, the Council of State and the Federal Assembly. The Council of State was the upper house that was a permanent body i. What happened to Dominion status? The Act was expected to divide and weaken the nationalist movement into pro- and anti- constitutional sections.
Under this seats in the Legislatures were divided among various communities and groups besides there were separate constituencies for General Muslims, Europeans. The Governor did not only act as the constitutional head of the province merely acting on the advice of the Council of Ministers, he had some special responsibilities regarding the maintenance of peace or tranquility of the province or any part thereof. The Indian contribution to the British war effort during the First World War meant that even the more conservative elements in the British political establishment felt the necessity of constitutional change, resulting in the Government of India Act 1919. About 10 per cent of the total population got the voting right. No distinction was made between community and community, high caste and low caste in the Congress administration. The first elections under the Act were also held in 1937.
Thus, the legislatures of Bengal, Bombay, Madras, Bihar, Assam and the United Provinces were made bicameral consisting of a legislative council upper house and a legislative assembly lower house. Finally the Congress decided to contest the coming elections to be held under the new Act. But this part of the act was never effected. The first secretary of state for India and Burma was Lord Dundas. Rajendra Prasad criticized the absence of any provision for automatic growth of development of self Government. But in the election held in 1937 the Congress swept the polls so far as general or predominantly Hindu seats were concerned.