the Indian States. An Instrument of Accession
States in the federation.
Central Executive The Governor General, appointed by the Crown usually
for a period of 5 years, had a dual role. He was Governor General with regard
to British India as well as Crown Representative in dealings with the Indian
• In the former capacity, he was Head of the federal executive, but in
his latter role, he held charge of royal prerogative, being the
paramount authority in relation to the States. In matters relating to
defense, foreign affairs, ecclesiastical affairs, governance of excluded
and partially excluded areas, he acted in his discretion.
• There were three Counsellors to assist him in this work. Responsible
only to him, their functions were purely advisory in character.
• While acting in his discretion, the Governor General was responsible
to the Secretary of State and, through him, to the British Parliament.
• Insofar as the executive at the Center was of a diarchic character, in
such areas as were ‘transferred’ to popular control, the Governor
General was aided by a Council of Ministers responsible to the federal
legislature. Technically, the Governor General acted as a
constitutional head in the ‘transferred’ field.
• But the authority exercised by the ministers had certain limitations,
which included the following:
(i) the erosion of authority consequent upon the creation of the
Reserve Bank of India and the Federal Railway Authority with
autonomous powers and statutory privileges;
(ii) the special responsibilities of the Governor General in respect of
the protection of minorities; and
(iii)provisions in respect of commercial discrimination.
Bicameral Federal Legislature
Representation of Princely India In the Council of States (the upper
house), Indian States were allocated two-fifths of the seats, while in the
House of Assembly (the lower house), the proportion was one-third.
• Allocation of seats in the Council was based on the relative rank and
importance of the individual State; in the Assembly, on the basis of