The Regulating Act was passed in the British Parliament in June 1773. It was the first parliamentary ratification and authorization defining the powers and authority of the East India Company with respect to its Indian possessions.
- This act permitted the company to retain its territorial possessions in India but sought to regulate the activities and functioning of the company. It did not take over power completely, hence called ‘regulating’.
- The act provided for appointment of a Governor-General along with four Councillors in the Presidency of Fort William (Calcutta), jointly called the Governor-General in Council.
- As per this, Warren Hastings was appointed as the Governor-General of the Presidency of Fort William.
- The Governors in Councils at Madras and Bombay were brought under the control of Bengal, especially in matters of foreign policy. Now, they could not wage war against Indian states without Bengal’s approval.
- The company directors were elected for a period of five years and one-fourth of them were to retire every year. Also, they could not be re-elected.
- The company directors were directed to make public all correspondence on revenue, civil and military matters with Indian authorities before the British authorities.
- A Supreme Court of Judicature was established at Calcutta with Sir Elijah Impey as the first Chief Justice. Judges were to come from England. It had civil and criminal jurisdiction over the British subjects and not Indian natives.