Indian Councils Act,1892


This act was passed by the British parliament to increase the size of the legislative councils and this marked a systematic establishment of government in India.

Indians were gradually becoming aware of their rights with the growth in the feeling of nationalism.

Following are the demands that they listed out

  • They wanted reformation of legislative councils
  • They wanted principle of election instead of nomination
  • They also demanded the right to hold discussion on financial matters which was not allowed to them initially
  • At the time of lord Dufferin a committee was set up to look into the matter but the secretary of state did not allow direct elections, however agreed on representation by way of indirect elections.
  • Reduction of military expenses was also demanded

Salient Features of Indian Councils Act,1892

  • The act increased the number of additional or non-official members in the legislative council as follows :-
  • Central legislative council : 10-16 members
  • Bengal :20 members
  • Madras : 20 members
  • Bombay: 8 members
  • Oudh : 15 members

North-western : 15

In 1892

  • Central Legislative Council: 10 – 16 members
  • Bengal: 20 members
  • Madras: 20 members
  • Bombay: 8 members
  • Oudh: 15 members
  • North Western Province: 15

In 1892, out of 24 members, only 5 were Indians.

The members were given the right to ask questions on the budget which was barred according to Indian councils act 1861 and they also got the right to ask questions on the matters of public interest but had to give a prior notice of 6 days . However they were not given the right to ask supplementary questions.

The principle of representation came into light because of this act ,the districts boards ,universities ,municipalities ,chambers of commerce and zamindars were now authorized to recommend members to the provincial councils .

The legislative councils were now free enough to make new laws and repeal the old laws with the prior permission of the governor general.

The governor general in council was empowered to make rules for nomination of the members subject to approval of secretary of state for India.


This act laid down the foundation of parliamentary system in India and was also a landmark in the constitutional development of India .It was the first time election principles was accepted and introduced by the act of 1872 . Apart from this the act fell far short to fulfil National demands and did not give anything substantial.

Author: Mauli Dogra,
Student ,MIT WPU

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