The British Government made a number of legislations to run the country as per their convenience. The main objectives behind all such legislations were to exploit the resources of India and to stop the rebellions from protesting against such open loot of resources.
This article deals with some of such immoral and unethical legislations. Some of the traditions and rules made by the British Government are still prevalent in India. These traditions are so deeply rooted in our country that we, Indians are unaware of these British made rules. In the present time, these laws have become a part and parcel of our day to day routine.
This article contains those British laws which are still prevalent in our country:-
1. Khakee Dressing: Officially, Sir Harry Bernet is found to be behind the idea of introducing a Khakee colour of dressing which is still prevalent since 1847.
The word ‘Khaak’ means dust, soil an ash whcih means that the one who wears the Khakee uniform stakes his life and brave enough to turn to ashes while performing his duty. It is a well known fact that the colour of Indian Police forces is still found to be Khakee.
2. Left Handed Traffic Arrangement: British started this system in 1800 in India. As per this system of transport, we still drive and walk at the left hand of the road. Though contrary to this, other countries of the world follows the right hand side rule on the road. The left handed transport system is prevalent in only few countries of the world including India.
In America, the vehicles are driven at the right side and the driving steering is at the left side of the vehicle. Though, in India the same system of Left handed transport services is still continuing as it used to be during British rule.
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3. Salt Cess Act, 1953: One must remember the Salt Satyagraha. Though his Satyagraha was against the Salt tax, however you may be surprised to know that even today, the Salt is taxed based on the ‘Salt Cess Tax Act of 1953’. This tax is imposed as a sub-tax for meeting a special administrative expenditure. It is imposed at a rate of 14 paisa/40 Kg. This tax is imposed on the private or State owned salt factories.
In the year 2013-2014, with the help of this law, the Government could obtained about $ 538,000 which was just half of the expenditure incurred on collecting this tax. Due to high expenditure on collecting it, a Committee was established to look into the feasibility of continuing with this tax, however they could not reach a decision on this. In India, salt industry provides employment to about 800 individuals. In India, about 92% salt production is in private hands.
4. Indian Police Act, 1861: This act was framed by British after the revolt of 1857. The main aim of the British Government before passing this law was to establish a Police force which can tackle any revolt against the Government. Under this Act all the powers were concentrated in the hands of the State which used to act as a dictator government. But the irony is that India is a Sovereign republic now but this law is still in practice.
Though Maharashtra, Gujarat, Kerala and Delhi have passed their own legislations in this regard but these laws appear to be derived from the same Indian Police Act of 1861. According to Police Act, 1861, Police has been kept under State Governments where the Head of the Police Department i.g. Inspector General/Director General will act until the pleasure of the Chief Minister. It means they can be removed from their post without any reason being explained to them.
5. Indian Evidence Act, 1872: This Act was passed by the British Government in 1872. It is applicable on all the proceedings of the law including court marshal. Though it is not valid on arbitration. This Act elaborates upon the items that can be used as evidences and to be informed to the court of law in advance. Therefore, this Act is playing an important role in various legislations even after 144 years of its implementation though may be in amended forms.
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6. Income Tax Act, 1961: On the basis of this act, income tax is imposed in India. This act gives directions about levying tax, collection and its basic structure. Though the Government had planned to remove this Act alongwith the Wealth Tax Act, 1957 by bringing in the Direct Tax Code, however after the removal of Wealth Tax it is not reverted back.
The Section 13-A of this Income Tax Act, 1961 is most disputed across the country. This Act talks about levying income tax on the income of political parties Also. Any party which accepts the donation of more than 10,000 from an individual or a society will have to disclose the source of its income.However, all the Political Parties claim that they received all the donations of less than Rs. 10,000/- per person.
7. The Foreigners Act, 1946: This act was passed before independence. According to this Act, any person who is not a citizen of India is a Foreigner. Whether an individual is Foreigner or not will be proved by the individual himself. If anyone has doubt about any foreigner residing in India illegally for more than the permissible time period, he has to inform to the nearest police station within 24 hours of getting the information. Otherwise, that person will also be liable for legal proceedings.
8. The Transfer of Property Act 1882: Property Transfer Act, 1882 is an Indian Legislation which controls the transfer of Property. Implemented on July 1, 1882, the Property Transfer Act contains many special provisions and conditions with regard to transfer of property.
According to this Act, Transfer of Property means giving property to one or more individual or to oneself. Transfer of Property can be done at present or future. Under the Act, any kind of property be transferred which may include immovable property.
9. Indian Penal Code, 1860: Indian Penal Code was prepared based on the recommendations of the first law commission of 1860. The first law commission was established in India under the chairmanship of Sir Thomas Mckaley. Indian Penal Code was implemented in 1862 under British rule.
Indian Penal Code specifies the definition of crimes and the punishments for India except for the State of Jammu & Kashmir. This code does not apply to the Indian Forces. In Jammu & Kashmir there is Ranbeer Danda Samhita i.e. RPC.
In the above explanation, we read that there are so many laws like salt act, Indian penal code, Transfer of Property Act 1882 and Indian Police Act, 1861 are made to serve the motive of the British administration. But some laws are still adopted by the sovereign government of India.