• Six of the provinces, viz. Assam, Bengal, Bihar, Bombay, Madras and
the United Provinces, had bi-cameral legislatures—a Legislative
Assembly and a Legislative Council, the Lower and the Upper houses
• The other five provinces (viz. Punjab, NWFP, Sind, Orissa, Central
Provinces & Berar) had a unicameral legislature—a Legislative
• Members of the legislature were elected on the basis of constituencies
demarcated on religious, racial or interest affiliations. Communal or
separate electorates were provided for Muslims, Sikhs, Anglo-
Indians, Indian Christians and Europeans.
• Besides the ‘general’ constituencies, special interests recognised for
representation were industry, commerce, landholders, the universities
and labour. A small number of seats were reserved for women who
were, however, not debarred from contesting other seats.
• Election was to be direct. Though franchise varied from province to
province, it generally rested on the basis of minimum land revenue a
person paid or the house rent he derived.
• Either a certain minimum educational qualification or military service
was also considered adequate. Around 14% of the population, as
against only 3% under the 1919 Act, got the right to vote.
• The term of the Assembly was 5 years. The Council, however, was a
permanent body, with a third of its members retiring every 3 years.
• The majority of the members of the Council were to be elected
directly, others indirectly and the rest nominated by the Governor in
Legislative Powers and Procedure
• Except in financial matters, both Houses had equal powers. But all
money bills had to be initiated in the Assembly, with the Council
having no voice in the matter of grants. In case a conflict between the
two houses persisted for over 12 consecutive months, the Governor
could summon a joint session to resolve the deadlock.
• The provincial legislature could make laws on all subjects embodied