GOI act 1858

  • It was also known as ‘Act for the Good government of India’
  • It ended the Dual government scheme initiated due to Pitt’s India act
  • The powers of the Company’s Court of Directors were transferred to the Secretary of State for India. He was going to be the member of British Parliament. He was provided with an advisory body consisting of 15 members
  • Secretary of state-in-council was setup as a body corporate, capable of suing and being sued in India and in England
  • A viceroy would be appointed who would serve as the representative of British crown. Lord Canning was first such viceroy
  • India became a direct British colony through the passage of this act
  • The act ended the controversial ‘Doctrine of Lapse’
  • The Indian Civil Services was to be constituted for the administration of the country. There was also a provision for Indians to be admitted to the service.
  • Indian princes were allowed to retain their principalities so long as they accepted the suzerainty of the British

Criticism of the act: It did not in any way alter the system of government in India. Most of the provisions were enacted to safeguard the jewel of British empire against any future threats or rebellions