The Regulating Act of 1773 was one of the first major administrative and legislative reforms implemented in India before 1857. It was also the first step forward to the Evolution of the Indian constitution. This act was based on the report of a committee headed by the British Prime Minister Lord North, and aimed to bring the governance of the East India Company under British parliamentary control.
1. Governance of the East India Company
The Regulating Act of 1773 put the governance of the East India Company under British parliamentary control.
This meant that the company’s actions and decisions were now subject to oversight and approval by the British government. This was a significant change from the previous system where the company had operated with relative autonomy.
2. Governor General for all three Presidencies
One of the major changes brought about by the act was the nomination of the Governor of Bengal as Governor General for all three Presidencies of Calcutta, Bombay, and Madras.
Warren Hastings was the first such Governor General. This was a significant move as it brought about a centralization of power and allowed for better coordination and control of the company’s operations in India.
3. Supreme Court established in Calcutta
Another important change brought about by the act was the establishment of a Supreme Court in Calcutta (now Kolkata).
This court was responsible for hearing and determining civil and criminal cases involving the company and its employees. It also had the power to hear appeals from lower courts. The establishment of a Supreme Court in India was a significant step towards the development of a formal legal system in the country.
4. Power to make rules, regulations, and ordinances
The act also empowered the Governor General to make rules, regulations, and ordinances with the consent of the Supreme Court.
This was an important change as it allowed the Governor General to take quick and decisive action in case of emergencies or other pressing matters. However, the need for the consent of the Supreme Court ensured that the Governor General’s actions were subject to review and oversight.