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Charter Act of 1793

Background-

The Charter Act 1793 or the East India Company Act 1793 was passed by the British Parliament to renew the charter of East India Company. This act authorized the company to carry on trade with India for the next 20 years.

Features-

  1. It extended the overriding power given to Lord Cornwallis over his council, to all future Governors-General and Governors of Presidencies.
  2. It gave the Governor-General more powers and control over the governments of the subordinate Presidencies of Bombay and Madras.
  3. It extended the trade monopoly of the Company in India for another period of twenty years.
  4. It provided that the Commander-in-Chief was not to be a member of the Governor-General’s council, unless he was so appointed.
  5. It laid down that the members of the Board of Control and their staff were, henceforth, to be paid out of the Indian revenues.
  6. The company was allowed to increase its dividend to 10%. A provision in the Charter act of 1793 was made that the company, after paying the necessary expenses, interest, dividends, salaries, etc from the Indian Revenues will pay 5 Lakh British pounds annually out of the surplus revenue to the British Government. However, the act also had a provision, that Crown could order the application of the whole of the revenue for the purpose of defense if the circumstances posed such demands. Expenses, interest, dividends, salaries, etc were to be borne by the Indian Exchequer. If a high official departed from India without permission, it was to be treated as a resignation.
  7. This act reorganized the courts and redefined their jurisdictions. The revenue administration was divorced from the judiciary functions and this led to the disappearing of the Maal Adalats.
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