List of Acts passed by British in India PDF Download | British Acts in India

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

In this article, we have provided the list of acts passed by the British in India during the colonial period. From 1858 until India Pakistan’s independence in 1947, the Indian subcontinent was directly under British rule. The East India Company, which was founded in 1600 as a commercial organization, became the governing entity in 1765. This East India Company used to collect taxes from the people living in the states of Bengal, Bihar, and Orissa in the form of diwanis. They possessed all the authority but no responsibility during the years 1765 to 72, while its Indian agents had complete responsibility but zero authority. As a result, there was widespread corruption among the company employees, subjugation of the pigeon tree and excessive revenue collecting, and insolvency of the company now with the success of the employees. The laws implemented by British in India were passed by the British Parliament to govern the country for their benefit.

British acts in India topic deal with the Modern History part of the UPSC syllabus. Here, you will learn all acts passed by the British in India during their ruling period. You can download this article in PDF form for your reference during exam preparation.

List of Acts passed by the British in India

There have been many bills and laws implemented by the British in India. Following is the rundown of the acts passed by the British in India in chronological order.

Hindu Personal Law 1772 Indian Telegraph Act 1885
Regulating Act of 1773 Age of Consent Act 1891
Pitt’s India Act of 1784 Indian Councils Act 1892
Charter Act of 1793 Punjab Land Alienation Act 1900
Charter Act of 1813 Ancient Monuments Preservation Act 1904
Charter Act of 1833 Prevention of Judicious Meetings Act 1907
Charter Act of 1853 Morley Minto Reforms 1909
Bengal Regulation Act 1818 Indian Press Act 1910
Bengal Sati Regulation Act 1829 Government of India Act 1912
Thagi And Dacoit Act 1836 Ingress Into India Ordinance 1914
Indian Slavery Act 1843 Government of India Act 1915
Caste Disabilities Removal Act 1850 Defence of India Act 1915
Hindu Widow’s Remarriage Act 1856 Rowlatt Act 1919
Government of India Act 1858 Government of India Act 1919
Societies Registration Act 1860 Official Secrets Act 1923
Indian Penal Code 1860 Bengal Criminal Law Amendment 1924
Frontiers Crime Regulation Act 1860 Indian Forest Act 1927
Female Infanticide Prevention Act 1870 Hindu Inheritance Act 1928
Criminal Tribes Act 1871 Child Marriage Restraint Act 1929
Christian Personal Law 1872 Indian Sale of Goods Act 1930
Indian Contract Act 1872 Jain Law 1930
East India Stock Dividend Redemption Act 1873 Indian Partnership Act 1932
Dramatic Performance Act 1876 Government of India Act 1935
Murderous Outrage Regulation 1877 The Foreigners Act 1946
Indian Treasure Trove Act 1878 Industrial Disputes Act 1947
Negotiable Instrument Act 1881 Sindh Land Aviation Bill 1947
Transfer of Property Act 1882 Indian Independence Act 1947
Ilbert Bill 1883

All Acts of British India

Before and after British rule, many legislations were passed. Some were overruled, and some exist to date. All acts of British India are important to learn. However, some of the most important and mostly asked legislation in exams are as follows-

List of Acts passed by the British in India PDF

Regulating Act 1773:

The British Parliament established the regulating act of 1773 to regulate the East India company’s holdings primarily in Bengal. This act was passed as the result of mismanagement created by the government of the British East India Company, which created a condition of insolvency and required government intervention in the company’s businesses.

Pitt’s India Act 1784:

The Regulating act of 1773 was amended by Pitt’s India Act of 1784 which is also known as the East India Company Act of 1784 in the British Parliament. As a result, the British East India Company and the Crown of Great Britain shared Governors of India, with the latter having the final say. The East India company’s political roles were finally separated from its marketing duties with the passage of its statute.

Charter Act 1813:

The East India Company was reinstated for a further 20 years by the British Parliament charter act of 1813, also known as the East India Company Act of 1813. This law implemented by the British in India is significant because it established the constitutional status of British Indian territory for the first time.

Bengal Sati Regulation Act 1829:

The Bengal Sati Regulation, enacted by Lord William Bentick, the then Governor-General of India, made the practice of Sati forbidden across British India.

Hindu Widows Remarriage Act 1856:

On July 16, 1856, the Hindu Widow Remarriage Act became effective, making the practice lawful. The introduction of the widow remarriage act marked a significant shift in the situation of women at that time. The role of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar is significant and commendable for implementing this act. Prayer to the statue Lord William Bentick also outlawed the Sati practice.

Government of India Act 1858:

The Government of India Act was approved by Parliament on the 2nd of August 1858, giving the monarch or responsibility over British rule in India. The secretary of state for India, who was the priest of the British Bureau, was given the remaining authority of the dealer organization. He or she could run the India office in London and receive assistance and encouragement from the Council of India.

Indian Councils Act 1892:

The British Parliament suggested several changes to the makeup and operation of Legislative councils and British India in the Indian council act of 1892. The legislation included regulations for the number of new members to be represented in the national and provincial council, which were its most notable aspect.

Prevention of Seditious Meetings Acts 1907:

An Imperial constituent assembly of the British raj demonstration from 1907 enabling the government body to forward political gatherings was directed to enhance preparation for the CounterForce of public meetings prone to height and insurrections or two generate an unsettling effect of public tranquillity.

Explosive Substances Act 1908:

The term hazardous substance will be interpreted in this app to include any material used to create any unstable substances, as well as any device, machine, or material intended to be modified for causing any explosion in or with any flammable substance, as well as any component of any such mechanical assembly.

The Press Act 1910:

The Press Act 1910 imposed harsh limitations on a variety of news distributors. The primary means of control imposed by the Press Act were financial safeguards, which were subject to confiscation in the event that any of the enactments were breached.

Rowlatt Act 1919:

Rowlatt Act 1919 is also called the Revolutionary crimes act of 1919, and it was approved by the Imperial legislative council in Delhi. This act widened the scope of the first world war era Defense of India Act 1915, authorization of detention without preliminary or judicial investigation.

Government of India Act 1935:

The British parliament enacted the Government of India Act of 1935. At the time, it was the longest legislation passed by the British Parliament. It was split into the Government of India Act of 1935 and the Government of Burma Act of 1935, two different statutes.

Indian Independence Act Act 1947:

The Indian Independence Act of 1947 was an act by the parliament of the United Kingdom and was approved by the British King on 18 July 1947. The legislation was one of the last requirements to be met prior to British India’s inevitable division which would result in Pakistan’s creation on the 14th of August and India’s Dominion on the 15th of August.

Industrial Disputes Acts 1947:

A law to address the investigation and resolution of labour disputes as well as for other reasons. Act No. 14 of 1947, passed by the Central Legislative Assembly, was enacted on March 11, 1947, and went into effect on April 1 of the same year. The Industrial Disputes Act of 1947 governs Indian labour law as it relates to trade unions throughout the whole country of India. On April 1st, 1947, it went into effect.

List of Acts Passed by the British in India UPSC

Legislation of British India UPSC topic is part of modern Indian history. It is important for all the UPSC aspirants to learn the static and dynamic portions both equally for appearing in the IAS exam. You can learn all acts of British India separately for preparation for exams and also by the notes provided on the website. History is really a tricky subject at times. Therefore, aspirants must be ready with the UPSC history syllabus, which prepares ancient, medieval, and modern history.

All Acts of British India UPSC Questions

Modern Indian history topics hold for most of the questions from the history section. The preparation becomes more strong and even more backed if you practice with the questions simultaneously. Following are three important and appeared questions in the UPSC Prelims exam that you can take reference for boosting your preparations for the acts passed by the British in India.

Q1. The distribution of powers between the centre and the states in the Indian constitution is based on the act provided in the (Prelims 2012)

  1. Morley-Minto Reforms, 1909
  2. Montague-Chelmsford Reforms, 1919
  3. Government of India Act, 1935
  4. Indian Independence Act, 1947

Answer – Option 3

Q2. Which of the following is/are the principal feature of the Government of India Act of 1919? (Prelims 2012)

  1. Introduction of dyarchy in the executive government of the provinces
  2. Introduction of separate communal electorates for Muslims
  3. Devolution of legislative authority by the centre to the provinces

Select the correct answer using the codes given below-

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. 2 and 3 both
  4. 1 and 3 both

Answer – Option 4

Q3. In the Government of India Act of 1919, the functions of the provincial government were divided into reserved and transferred subjects. Which of the following were treated as reserved subjects? (Prelims 2022)

  1. Administration of Justice
  2. Local self-government
  3. Land revenue
  4. Police

Select the correct answer using the codes given below-

  1. 1, 2 and 3
  2. 2, 3 and 4
  3. 1, 3 and 4
  4. 1, 2 and 3

Answer – Option 3

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