Charter Act of 1833

The great reform Act was passed in 1832 which recognised the dignity of man and doctrine of laissez- faire. This law great impact on the Charter Act of 1833.

Important Provisions

  • Made Governor General of Bengal as Governor General of India (William Bentinck was the first Governor General of India) and vested all civic and military powers in him. It further deprived Bombay and Madras of legislative powers.
  • Led to an end of commercial activities of EIC which now became a purely administrative body. EIC’s trade with China and tea also ended.
  • Territories in India were now to be governed in the name of the crown.
  • A distinction was made between the executive and legislative duties of the Governor-General in Council. A fourth member was added as the law member of the Governor-General’s Council, who would only participate when legislation was being decided.


  • As a result of this act, slavery was abolished in 1843 by Ellenborough.
  • Completed the unfinished agenda started in the Charter Act of 1813. By ending the monopoly of EIC over trade in tea and trade with China, EIC could concentrate purely on administration.
  • Enabled Governor-General to appoint Indian Law Commissioner to study, collate and codify various rules and regulations prevalent in India. Which resulted in the enactment of Indian Penal Code of 1860 & Criminal Procedure Code of 1861.


  • Recognised the doctrine of laissez-faire but it was unidirectional as Indian traders were not given similar freedom to trade with Britain or any other country.
  • Although provided equal opportunity for Indians to enter the civil services, it could not be implemented on the ground.
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