PITT'S INDIA ACT PART 2
Updated: Dec 17, 2022
Main provisions of PITT'S India Act: 1. Creation of Board of Control: • PITT'S India Act endowed the Crown to establish a Board of Control of 6 members to deal with the affairs of India. • Those 6 members were as follows: a) Secretary of State b) Chancellor of Exchequers c) And 4 members of Privy Council. • Flow of Power: Board of Control | Court of Directors | Proprietors 2. Powers of the Board of Control: • It superintended, directed and controlled everything of British possession in East India. • It had access to all information of Directors. • The Board of Directors ordinarily handed out rules and instructions through the court of Directors but it was their prerogative to transmit direct secret orders to India. • A point came when the Secretary of State, Chancellor of Exchequers and 3 others lost their interest in attending the meetings and the President of the Board ( senior-most member out of those 4 members) discharged all the functions of Board of Control singlehandedly. 3. Dual government of England: • Indian affairs were handled by 2 independent authorities ie. Board of Control and Court of Directors. • The Directors were given a secondary position but they had direct control over commercial activities and hiring of the Company's servants. • The Board of Control amended and exercised control over the actions of the Directors. 4. Appointment of the Committee of Secrecy: • 3 out of 24 Directors were part of the Committee of Secrecy. • If the Board of Control wanted to discharge any orders to India they usually did it through the Court of Directors. But if the Board of Control wanted to send secret orders to officials in India directly then they did it through the Committee of Secrecy which enabled them to keep the information discrete from the rest of the 21 Directors. 5. Reduction in the power of the council of the Governor-General: • The Council of Governor-general consisted of 4 members whose majority vote was binding on the Governor-general. • Act reduced the number of Council members from 4 to 3 so if the governor has the vote of one member he can use his casting vote to preside over a decision and impose his will. 6. Increased Governor-general's control over Presidencies: • Governor-general's power was being sidelined by the Madras and Bombay Presidencies on the Plea of emergency and those 2 presidencies weren't taking any permissions from the Bengal presidency before entering into any alliance or war with native states before PITT'S India Act came into existence.