Important Legislations passed in India during British rule

Here is a list of important legislation passed in British India under the rule of the East India Company (1765-1858) or in the period of the British Raj (1858-1947).

Name of Legislation Purpose of Legislation Date of Enactment
Regulating Act of 1773 To overhaul management of East India Company’s rule in India 1773
Pitt's India Act of 1784 This act was passed to address the shortcomings of the Regulating Act of 1773.
It provided for the joint rule of the crown and company with the crown being the supreme authority.
Charter Act of 1813 It renewed the charter issued to East India Company by the British Crown but also ended the
company’s monopoly in certain areas of trade.
Bengal Sati Regulation Act of 1829 This act made the practice of Sati illegal in all areas under company rule and its practitioners liable
to prosecution.
Religious Disabilities Actt of 1850 abolished all laws affecting the rights of persons converting to another religion or caste. 1850
Hindu Widows Remarriage Act of 1856 a result of "Ishwar Chandra" campaigns 1856
Government of India Act of 1858 Following the 1857 mutiny, the British Parliament passed this act to liquidate the East India Company.
The colonial rule of India came directly under the control of the British Government.
This act marks the beginning of the British Raj.
The Indian Penal Code (IPC) 1860 23 chapters that comprise of 511 sections. 1860
Indian High Courts Act, 1861 Erect and establish high court of Judicature at Calcutta, Madras and Bombay. 1861
Indian Divorce Act 1869 It amends the law relating to the divorce of people professing Christianity. 1869
Native marriage Act 1872 "Keshav Chandra Sen" played an important role, girl age - 14 years 1872
Royal Titles Act 1876 Recognized Queen Victoria as Empress of India. 1876
The Indian Arms Act of 1878 The act included the mandatory licensing to carry a weapon, but contained exclusions for some groups
and persons, for instance "all persons of Kodava (Coorg) race".
Ilbert Bill of 1883 Viceroy Ripon: The act stipulated that Indian judges could try Europeans. 1883
Age of Consent Act, 1891 Raised the age of consent for sexual intercourse for all girls, married or unmarried, from ten to twelve years. 1891
Indian Councils Act of 1892 This act bought various amendments to the composition and function of legislative councils of British India 1893
The Indian Universities Act, 1904 On the recommendations of Indian Universities Commission. 1904
Government of India Act of 1919 This act expanded the participation of Indians in the government of India when earlier only
British members were allowed to take part.
Rowlatt Act, 1919 This act indefinitely extended the emergency measures of preventive indefinite detention, incarceration
without trial and judicial review enacted in the Defence of India Act 1915
Child Marriage Restraint Act, 1929 (Sharda Act) prevention of child marriage, age - 14 (Girls) & 18 (Boys) 1929
Government of India Act of 1935 The act allowed for a greater degree of autonomy to the provinces of British India ending the diarchy
introduced by the Government of India Act, 1919
Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 This act regulates the Indian Labour Law with regards to trade unions as well as individual workmen 1947
Indian Independence Act, 1947 It is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that partitioned British India into the two new
independent dominions of India and Pakistan.

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