Important Acts in India: List of Important Acts in India PDF

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

Some of the important acts in India are the Charter Act of 1813, the Rowlatt Act, the Indian Independence Act before independence, the States reorganization act, the environment protection act, etc., after independence. Getting complete knowledge about the Important Acts in India is crucial for the aspirants aiming to appear for the UPSC and other competitive exams. According to the Indian Constitution, there are three types of acts in the Indian legislative system: Legislative Acts, Judicial Acts, and Notarial Acts.

Below you will find the list of important acts in India PDF before and after independence, along with a detailed explanation of some of the acts passed by the British and Indian Governments that transformed India over the years.

What are the Important Acts in India?

India has a system of laws and acts that maintain the legal framework of the country. Several acts have been passed by the Indian government. It covers various aspects like economy, governance, disaster management, women, environment and ecology, commerce, children and other marginalized sections.

Important Acts in India PDF

The first act, the Costing-Vessels Act, was passed by the British government in 1838. After independence, the acts are passed according to the Indian legislature.

List of Important Acts in India PDF

The Important Acts in India have positively impacted the country’s economy and status. Here is the list of the important acts in India before and after independence:

Regulating Act, 1773

Indian Independence Act, 1947

Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019

Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act of 1981

Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), 2016

Indecent Representation of Women Act (IRW), 1986

Pitt’s India Act, 1784

Representation of People Act, 1951

Information Technology Act, 2000

Forest Conservation Act, 1980

Prevention of Money Laundering Act

Scheduled Castes & Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act, 2018

Charter Act, 1793

Right to Education Act (RTE)

Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 (NDPS Act)

Wildlife Protection Act, 1972

Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA)

Sexual Harassment of Women Laws

Charter Act, 1813

Right to Information Act (RTI)

73rd Constitutional Amendment Act, 1992 – Panchayati Raj

Indian Forest Act of 1927

Code on Wages Bill, 2019

Surrogacy Regulation Bill

Charter Act, 1833

Roshni Act [Jammu & Kashmir]

Government of NCT of Delhi (Amendment) Act, 2021

Taxation Laws (Amendment) Act, 2021

Indian Patents Act

Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act (ITPA)

Charter Act, 1853

Official Secrets Act, 1923

Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991

Major Port Authorities Act, 2021

Labour Codes

Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill, 2021

Government of India Act, 1858

Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897

102nd Amendment Act

Inland Vessels Bill, 2021

Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code 2020


Thuggee and Dacoity Suppression Acts

44th Amendment Act

Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988

Consumer Protection Act, 2019

Energy Conservation Act, 2001

Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016

Indian Councils Act, 1861

42nd Amendment Act

Tribunals Reforms Act, 2021

Code on Social Security, 2020

Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018

National Security Act, 1980

Indian Councils Act, 1892

Disaster Management Act, 2005

Wildlife Protection Act, 1972

Competition Act, 2002



Indian Councils Act, 1909 (Morley-Minto reforms)

Road Safety and Motor Vehicles Amendment Bill, 2019


Indian Companies Act

Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act

National Food Security Act, 2013

Criminal Tribes Act, 1871

Drug Price Control Order, 2013

National Water Framework Bill, 2016


Hindu Widow Remarriage Act, 1856

DNA Technology Bill

Government of India Act, 1919

National Medical Commission Bill, 2019

Forest Rights Act

Fiscal Responsibility & Budget Management (FRBM) Act

Juvenile Justice Act

Farm Laws, 2020

Government of India Act, 1935

Mines and Minerals Development and Regulation Amendment Bill, 2015

Biological Diversity Act, 2002


Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act, 2019 [Triple Talaq Act]

Ilbert Bill


Environment (Protection) Act, 1986

Industrial Disputes Act, 1947

Child Marriage Restraint Act, 1929

Important Acts in India Before Independence

During British Rule in India, the Legislatures were established in India in accordance with the Acts of Parliament of the UK. These Legislatures have the power to pass several acts, and some of these acts are still used in independent India. Among all the acts passed during the british rule in India, the important acts in India are as follows:

  • Regulating Act of 1773
  • Pitt’s India Act of 1784
  • Charter Act of 1813
  • Bengal Sati Regulation Act of 1829
  • Hindu Widows Remarriage Act of 1856
  • Government of India Act of 1858
  • Indian Councils Act of 1892
  • Government of India Act of 1919
  • Rowlatt Act, 1919
  • Government of India Act of 1935
  • Industrial Disputes Act, 1947
  • Indian Independence Act, 1947

Charter Act of 1813

The British Parliament passed the Charter Act of 1813 to define the constitutional position of the British Indian territories. The Charter Act of 1813, also called the East India Company Act of 1813, abolished the East India Company’s trade monopoly with India. After the introduction of the act, all the countries of the world were able to maintain trade relations with India. However, the Charter Act of 1813 was repealed by the Government of India Act of 1915.

Hindu Widows Remarriage Act of 1856

During British rule, the women were forced to do the Sati custom. This custom was abolished by Lord William Bentick. But, the status of widows was worse. They did not have the right to marry again, but the introduction of the Hindu Widows Remarriage Act of 1856 changed the status of widows in Indian society. Hindu Widows Remarriage Act of 1856 was passed by the British India legislature as a result of the constant efforts by Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar. The act became an important step towards women’s empowerment, and that is why it is included in one of the most important acts in India.

Rowlatt Act, 1919

Rowlatt Act of 1919 replaced the Defence of India Act of 1915. It allowed the practice of trying certain political cases without juries. Also, it permitted the internment of the suspect without a fair trial. However, all the non-official Indian council members voted against the act. Several peaceful protests by Gandhi against the Rowlatt Act. In Punjab, the protest led to the Jallianwalla Bagh Massacre, which became one of the serious events in the Indian Freedom Struggle.

Indian Independence Act, 1947

On 3 June 1947, a plan was proposed by the British government. The plan was based on these principles-

  • Division of British India.
  • Autonomy and sovereignty to both countries.
  • Dominion status to Successor government.
  • Both countries can make their own constitution.

The Act was adopted on 15 August 1947, resulting in the formation of two independent countries: India and Pakistan.

Important Acts in India After Independence

After independence, the government of India passed several new acts to change the acts passed during British Rule. As of 2022, there are 1305 laws in India. Some of these acts are State laws, while others are Central laws. Here are the important acts passed in India after Independence

  • The Special Marriage Act, 1954
  • The Citizenship Act, 1955
  • The States Reorganisation Act, 1956
  • The Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958
  • The Northeastern Areas (Reorganisation) Act, 1971
  • The Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989
  • The Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961
  • The Information Technology Act, 2000
  • The Biological Diversity Act, 2002
  • The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013
  • The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005
  • The National Food Security Act, 2013
  • The National Judicial Appointments Commission Act, 2014
  • The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015
  • The Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018
  • The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019
  • The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act, 2019
  • The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019
  • The Code on Wages, 2019
  • The Consumer Protection Act, 2019

The States Reorganisation Act, 1956

With the introduction of the States Reorganisation Act of 1956, the territories and boundaries of the different states of India were formed on the basis of the regional language. After the introduction of the act, the Indian states were differentiated into the following four types of states-

  • Part A states
  • Part B states
  • Part C states
  • Part D states

The Environment Protection Act, 1986

The Environment Protection Act was implemented by the Indian government in 1986 to protect and improve the environmental condition. After the introduction of the act, the Central government of India got the power to establish Authorities for controlling environmental problems along with dealing with the environmental pollution in different parts of India. An amendment was made to the Environment Protection Act of 1986 in 1991.

The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019

Mr Amit Shah, Minister of Home Affairs, introduced the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act in Rajya Sabha on August 5, 2019. After the act’s introduction, the state of Jammu and Kashmir was split into two union territories: Ladakh and Jammu & Kashmir. The Governor of the State became the Lieutenant Governor of J&K Union Territory.

The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act, 2019

One of the major problems with Muslim women’s rights was triple talaq. After the introduction of the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act, 2019, the government of India protected the rights of Muslim Women. It declared that the pronouncement of talaq three times for an instant divorce is void and is considered illegal. A guilty person shall be sentenced to imprisonment for upto 3 years, along with a fine.

How many Acts are in Indian Constitution?

Before the formation of the Indian Consitution, the laws and acts were passed by the British government. These acts have formed to maintain their rule, but after independence, the acts were passed by the Indian legislatures. Firstly, a bill is drafted in the legislature, and then it has to pass through several stages to become a Parliament Act. Since 1838, a total of 993 acts have been passed in India.

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