The Indian Independence Act 1947
was the statute
(10 and 11 Geo VI, c. 30) enacted by the Parliament of
the United Kingdom promulgating the partition of India and the independence
of the dominions of Pakistan
The Act received
royal assent on July 18, 1947.
The legislation was formulated by the government of Prime Minister
, after representatives
of the Indian National
, the Muslim League
community came to an agreement with
the Viceroy of India
Mountbatten of Burma
, on what has come to be known as the 3
or Mountbatten Plan
Passed on 15 June 1947, the Act stipulated that:
PRETEXT OF INDIAN INDEPENDENCE ACT
Atlee’s Announcement: February 20, 1947
- Two independent dominions, India and Pakistan shall be set up
in India .
- The dominions would be set up on a fixed date: the fifteenth of
responsibility as well as suzerainty of
the government of the United Kingdom shall cease on fifteenth of August
- That all Indian princely states shall be released from their
official commitments and treaty relationships with the British Empire, and will be free to join
- Both Dominions will be completely self-governing in their
internal affairs, foreign affairs and national security, but the
British monarch will continue to be
their head of state, represented by the Governor-General of India and a
new Governor-General of
Pakistan. Both Dominions shall convene their Constituent
Assemblies and write their respective constitutions.
Government would grant full self government to British India by
June 1948 at the latest
ii. The future of Princely States will be decided after the date of
final transfer will be decided
iii. New Governor General for India: Lord Mountbatten of Burma
replaced Lord Wavell as new Governor General of India.
3 June Plan: June 3, 1947
i. Principle of Partition of India was accepted by the British
ii. Successor governments would be given dominion status
iii. Implicit right to secede from the British Commonwealth
Indian Independence Act 1947 was implementation of June 3
Structure of the Act
i. 20 Sections
ii. 3 Schedules
Salient features of the act
1)Two New Dominions
Two new dominions were to emerge from the Indian Union, i.e.
Pakistan & India.
August 15, 1947, was declared as the appointed date for the
a)Pakistan: East Bengal, West Punjab, Sind, and Chief
Commissioner’s Province of Baluchistan.
b)The fate of North West Frontier Province was subject to the
result of referendum.
4)Bengal & Assam:
a) The province of Bengal as constituted under the Government of
India Act 1935 ceased to exist;
b) In lieu thereof two new provinces were to be constituted, to be
known respectively as East Bengal and West Bengal.
c) The fate of District Sylhet, in the province of Assam, was to be
decided in a referendum.
a) The province as constituted under as constituted under the
Government of India Act 1935 ceased to exist;
b) Two new provinces were to be constituted, to be known
respectively as West Punjab & East Punjab
6) The Boundaries of New Provinces:
were to be determined by, whether before or after the appointed
date, by the award of a boundary commission to be appointed by the
7) Constitution for the New Dominions:
Until the time of framing of new constitution, the new dominions
and the provinces thereof were to be governed by the Government of
India Act 1935. (Temporary Provisions as To the Government of Each
8)The Governor General of the New Dominions:
a) For each of the new dominion a new Governor General was to be
appointed by the Crown-subject to the law of the legislature of
either of the new dominions.
b) Same person as Governor General of both dominions: If unless and
until provision to the contrary was made by a law of the
legislature of either of the new Dominions, the same person could
be the Governor General of both.
9) The Powers of Governor General:
a) Gov-Gen was empowered to bring this Act in force.
b) Division of territories, powers, duties, rights, assets,
liabilities, etc. was the responsibility of Gov-Gen.
c) To adopt, amend, Government of India Act 1935, as the Gov-Gen
may consider it necessary.
d) The power to introduce any change was until March 31, 1948,
after that it was open to the constituent assembly to modify or
adopt the same Act. (Temporary Provisions as To the Government of
Each New Dominion.)
e) Gov-Gen had full powers to give assent to any law.
10) Legislation For New Dominions:
a) The existing legislative setup was allowed to continue as
Constitution making body as well as a legislature. (Temporary
Provisions as To the Government of Each New Dominion.)
b) The legislature of each Dominion was given full powers to make
laws for that dominion, including laws having extraterritorial
c) No Act of Parliament of UK passed after the appointed date would
be extended to the territories of new Dominions.
d) No law and provision of any law made by the legislature of the
new Dominions shall be void or inoperative on the ground that it is
repugnant to the law of England.
e) Gov-Gen of each Dominion had full powers to give assent in His
Majesty’s name to any law of the legislature.
[Configuration of Pakistan’s Constitution Assembly (CAP I): 69
members of the central legislature + 10 immigrant members=
11) Consequences Of Setting up of the New
a) His/Her Majesty’s Government lost all the responsibility to the
b) The suzerainty of His Majesty’s Government over the Indian
c) All the treaties or agreements in force at the passing of the
d) The title of “Emperor of India” was dropped from the titles of
e) The office of Secretary of State for India was abolished and the
provisions of GOI Act 1935 relating to the appointments to the
civil service or civil posts under the crown by the secretary of
the state ceased to operate
12) Civil Servants:
Section 10 provided for the continuance of service of the
government servants appointed on or before August 15, 1947 under
the Governments of new Dominions with full benefits.
13) Armed Forces:
Sections 11, 12, & 13 dealt with the future of Indian Armed
Forces. A Partition Committee was formed on June07, 1947, with 2
representatives from each side and the viceroy in the chair, to
decide about the division thereof. As soon as the process of
partition was to start it was to be replaced by a Partition Council
with a similar structure.
14) FIRST & SECOND SCHEDULES:
a) First Schedule listed the districts provisionally included in
the new province of East Bengal:
i. Chittagong Division: Chittagong, Noakhali & Tippera.
ii. Dacca Division: Bakarganj, Dacca, Faridpur, &
iii. Presidency Division: Jessor, Murshidabad & Nadia
iv. Rajshahi Division: Bogra, Dinajpur, Malda, Rajshahi &
b) Second Schedule listed the districts provisionally included in
the new province of West Punjab:
i. Lahore Division: Gujranwala, Gurdaspur, Lahore, Sheikhupura
ii. Rawalpindi Division: Attock, Gujrat, Jehlum, Rawalpindi &
iii. Multan Division: Dera Ghazi Khan, Jhang, Lyallpur, Montgomery,
Multan & Muzaffargarh
15) Princely States of India
There were a total of 562 princely states in India. Mountbatten in
his press conference on June 4 1947 gave the framework on their
- Indian States were independent in treaty relations with
- On August 15, 1947 the paramountancy of British crown was to
- Consequently the princely states would assume independent
- The states would be free to choose one or other constituent
The following 10 states signed instrument of accession with
Amb, Bahawalpur, Chitral, Dir, Kalat, Khairpur, Kharan,
Lasbela, Makran, Swat
Mountbatten of Burma
, the last Viceroy, was retained as the
Governor-General of India
Prime Minister of India
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel
became the Deputy Prime
Minister of India
. Over 560 princely states acceded to India,
with the states of Junagadh and Hyderabad annexed after military
Muhammad Ali Jinnah
, and Liaquat Ali Khan
became the Prime Minister of
Three princely states geographically inalienable to Pakistan joined
the Dominion.Kashmir was disputed.
1947 Kashmir War
India and Pakistan were engaged
a military conflict over the Himalayan kingdom of Kashmir.
nations control significant territories of the disputed state, and
the issue remains unresolved.
- represented by Jawaharlal Nehru, Vallabhbhai
Patel, and Acharya Kripalani
- represented by Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Liaqat Ali Khan, and
Sardar Abdul Rab Nishtar
- representated by Sardar Baldev Singh