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Historical Background

In the year 1600, the East India Company, a small trading company of England, acquired a charter from the English ruler, Queen Elizabeth 1; which granted it the sole right to trade with the East.

The Company first set up its factories in 1651, gained several rights and benefits from the local rulers and eventually had several confrontations with them. This culminated in the famous Battle of Plassey in 1757, after which it started making territorial inroads in India.

When the British Crown finally took over the administration of India from the Company in 1857, virtually the entire Indian Subcontinent was under its control.

Their rule continued till India officially became an independent country of the 15th of August, 1947.

After the Independence of India, the Constituent Assembly set up a Drafting Committee under the Chairmanship of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar to prepare a draft Constitution for the country.

The 389 member Constituent Assembly took almost three years (two years, eleven months and eighteen days to be precise) to complete its historic task of drafting the Constitution.

The Indian Constitution was adopted by the Constituent Assembly on 26 November 1949, and came into effect on 26 January 1950.

Keeping in mind the needs and conditions of India, the Assembly borrowed different features freely from previous legislation viz. Government of India Act 1858, Indian Councils Act 1861, Indian Councils Act 1892, Indian Councils Act 1909, Government of India Act 1919, Government of India Act 1935 and the Indian Independence Act 1947.

The various Laws and Acts which greatly influenced the making of the Indian Constitution have been described in the following pages.

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