Model Question and Answers for APSC | Did the Government of India Act, of 1935 lay down a federal constitution? Discuss.
Did the Government of India Act, of 1935 lay down a federal constitution? Discuss.
Ans: The Government of India Act 1935 was an important act in the history of India. It changed the Federation of India in the aspects of the structure of government, legislation, and so on. The Government of India Act, of 1935, which acted as a framework, laid some federal features.
Federal features under the Government of India Act 1935:
- Allowed for the creation of an All India Federation made up of the British India Provinces and other Indian states. There was complete freedom for the states to join or not to join the proposed Federation.
- Provincial Autonomy: The Act allocated legislative authority to the provincial and federal legislatures, and within their respective spheres, the provinces were independent administrative entities.
- A federal legislature was established with the introduction of There were supposed to be two houses in the Federal Legislature. A council of states and a federal assembly were to be established, with seats reserved for women, minorities, and economically disadvantaged groups in the council of states.
- Distribution of Legislative Power: The federal list, provincial list, and concurrent list were used to divide the Act's legislative authority between the federal government and the provinces.
- Establishment of a federal court: This act also contemplated the creation of a federal court to interpret its provisions in the event of disagreements.
A false federal system:
- Discretionary authority: The new act gave the governors and governor-general a great deal of latitude in their decisions, which theoretically reduced provincial autonomy.
- Legislation pertaining to the provincial list: In the event that the governor-general declared an emergency, the Federal Legislature had the authority to pass laws pertaining to the issues listed in the Provincial List.
- Federation with fundamental flaws: The proposed constitution of the Federation also had serious For the provinces, joining the federation was required; for the princely states, it was optional. Between the provinces and the states, there were significant differences in terms of population, territory, political importance, and status. The States were still governed by the Princes in an autocratic manner, in contrast to the British Provinces, which had some degree of autonomy.
- Residuary authority: The distribution of residual authority was It was not vested in either the central or provincial legislatures. However, the Governor-General had the authority to permit any residuary matter to be the subject of legislation from either the Federal or Provincial Legislature.
The 1935 Act was intended to maintain British rule and placate nationalists. The law also contained regressive provisions, such as a separate electorate and a divide and rule governing principle. According to an analysis of the features, the Government of India Act fell short of a truly federal constitution, despite the provision to draught one.