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Indian independence Act 1947

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Indian independence Act 1947

The Indian Independence Act was passed by the British parliament on July 5, 1947. It was based on the Mountbatten plan and received royal assent on July 18, 1947.

This act came into effect on August 15 1947 and divided British India into two new sovereign republics India and Pakistan. This is an extremely important topic for the civil service exam since with this act India’s struggle for independence came to an end and India became an independent country, finally.

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Background

  • Clement Atlee’s Labour Government developed the legislation. This bill was entirely based on the Mountbatten plan. it is also known as the third June Plan and was established after the leaders of the Indian National Congress and Muslim League agreed to Viceroy Lord Mountbatten’s recommendations.
  • The British Prime Minister declared that British India would be granted self-government by June 1948 at the latest on February 20, 1947.
  • Also, the British government gave a suggestion that was implemented on June 3, 1947. This act was the implementation of the Mountbatten plan and declared Indian Pakistan independent on August 15, 1947.
  • The supremacy of the British over the princely kingdoms came to an end. The boundary Commission drew the new boundaries of the dominions.
  • The states were asked to decide whether to join both India and Pakistan or remain independent. Over 560 States decided to join India.
  • The head of state will be the respected Governor-General until the new dominions’ constitutions become operative.
  • Governor-General will be able to continue to assent to laws passed in the name of the monarch through the Constituent Assemblies. On July 18, 1947, royal assent was given to this act.

Provisions

  • The British government left India on 15th August 1947.
  • India was divided into two sovereign provinces India and Pakistan on this day and each of these States became sovereign.
  • The power of the British government that they had in India was to be transferred to each of those states.
  • A Border Commission led by Mr Radcliff divided Punjab and Bengal and determined its boundaries.
  • The secretary of state for India’s office will be terminated.
  • The Queen of England would appoint Governor-General at the Dominion government’s request for every territory.
  • He was not to take action on his judgement but rather as the state’s constitutional head of state
  • In each domain, the regulations must be enacted by a sovereign.
  • The British parliament to India will approve no automatic application of any legislation.
  • Both countries will have a constituent assembly that will work as a legislative body. It will function as thoughtfully as practicable with the 1935 Act until a Constituent Assembly in any dominion formulates a Constitution.
  • Further, Provincial Governors will serve as the provinces’ constitutional chiefs.
  • The practise of reserving the Secretary of State positions should be abolished.
  • The Government employees who wish to quit must do so after the handover of authority to both dominions.
  • British rule over India’s states and tribal regions came to an end on August 15, 1947. The power would be passed to States rather than dominions in this arrangement and the states will be free to choose whether to join India or Pakistan.
  • Now, The engagement of the UK Government with India will be managed through the office of commonwealth affairs.
  • The king of England surrendered the title of king and emperor of India.
  • British Balochistan, Sindh, East Bengal and West Pakistan are all Pakistani provinces.

Impact

The introduction of the Indian independence Act of 1947 was a watershed movement in the constitutional history of India. Attlee described it as ‘the climax of a protracted chain of events’ and ‘the accomplishment of the British mission’ in India.

Lord Samuel described the law as ‘a peace treaty without war’ in the House of Lords.

Indian politicians as well as Dr Rajendra Prasad appreciated the Act’s passage and said ‘the time of British dominance over India ends today’ and ‘our relationship with the United Kingdom will continue to be built on equality, kindness and mutual understanding’.

Although this law started off a new period of freedom in India, vast numbers of people and politicians were not satisfied as Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad stated ‘August 14 for Muslims in Pakistan is a day of grief for Hindus and Sikhs.

Despite this fact, it is true that the Indian independence Act of 1947 signified the end of British control in India and the start of a free India.

Repeal of the Indian independence Act

  • Both provinces had the authority to repeal any act of parliament that influenced them including the Indian Independence Act.
  • Later, India and Pakistan abrogated the Indian independence Act of 1947 by adopting their respective constitutions.
  • This act was effectively repealed by section 395 of the Indian constitution and section 221 of the Pakistan constitution of 1956.
  • India became a republic and the position of dominion was dissolved with the passage of the Indian constitution.
  • However, the British parliament failed to contribute to the repeal of the Indian independence Act, of 1947.
  • The new constitution lacks the legal authority to repeal legislation and this was done to break the chain of law and establish the constitution as an independent legal system.

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