Indian Independent Act of 1947
Clement Attlee, the prime minister of Britain declared on 20 Feb 1947, that the British rule will end in India by 30 June 1948 and the power would be transferred in Indian’s hand. On third June 1947, the British government made clear that the provinces are free to decide whether they want to be part of the constituent assembly of India (that was formed in 1946) or not.
Lord Mountbatten, the viceroy of India proposed a partition plan (this was also on 3rd June) called the Mountbatten plan. This plan accepted by Congress and the Muslim league both. The plan included the partition principles, autonomy, right to making own constitution, and the sovereignty of both countries.
On the 4th of July 1947, based on the Mountbatten plan, the bill of Indian impendence was introduced in the House of Commons.
The bill was enacted by the British parliament on 18th July 1947 and became the Indian Independence Act of 1947.
Features of Indian Independent Act of 1947
- End of the British rule in India, the British officially ended their rule on 15th August 1947.
- India became independent and sovereign
- The office of Viceroys and British governor-general abolished.
- The office of the secretary of state for India was abolished and his functions were transferred to the secretary of state for commonwealth affairs.
- Partition of India into two independent states, i.e. India and Pakistan.
- From August 15, 1947, the British paramountcy over Indian princely states and treaty relations with tribal areas were abolished.
- The Britain government’s His Majesty has no responsibility in respect to the government of India or Pakistan.
- The Indian princely states were free either to join the Dominion of India or Dominion of Pakistan or even to stay independent.
- No Acts of British parliament passed after the 15th of August 1947 was to extend either of new dominions, unless extended by the law of dominion legislature.
- Both India, as well as Pakistan, were free to repeal any Act of the British Parliament.
- Both dominions were free to frame or adopt their own constitution.
- The Act provided that the Act of 1935 would be in function of governance in both dominions until the new constitution was framed. However, the Dominion were authorized to make modifications in the Act.
- Governor-General of India and the provincial governors were designated as constitutional (nominal) heads of the states. They had to act on the advice of the respective council of ministers in all matters.
- By this act, the title of Emperor of India from the royal tiles of King of England was dropped.
- By this Act, the appointment of civil servants and reservation of posts by the secretary of state of India was discontinued, however, it was provided that the members of civil services appointed before 15th august 1947, would continue all the benefits that they entitled to.
Implementation of the Act
According to the provision of the Act, the two dominions were created as India and Pakistan.
- India got Independence on 15th August 1947.
- Pakistan formed on 14th August 1947.
- Lord Mountbatten became the first Governor-General of the new dominion of India.
- Lord Mountbatten swore in Jawaharlal Nehru as the first prime minister of Independent India.
- The Constituent Assembly of India (formed in 1946) became the Parliament of the Indian Dominion.
- Article 395 of the Indian Constitution repealed the Indian Independence Act of 1947
- Muhammad Ali Jinnah became the Governor-general of Pakistan.
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