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Government of India Act, 1858


It was first statute passed by British Parliament for governance of India under direct rule of the British Government. It was dominated by principle of absolute imperial control without any popular participation. Subsequent sequence of statutes till writing of our constitution is one of gradual relaxation of imperial control and evolution of responsible government. According to this act, there would be a Secretary of State(SoS) on India, assisted by 15 member Council of India, who would exercise power of crown over India. SoS was responsible to British Parliament and governed India through Governor General(GG) assisted by executive council. Essential features of system introduced by this act were centralized administration, No separation of function ie. civil, military, executive and legislative all powers in GG, absolute control on Indian administration by SoS and totally bureaucratic system unconcerned of public opinion in India.