Soon after the Mountbatten Plan was accepted by both the Congress and the Muslim League, the British Government prepared a bill for the Independence of India. The Bill was passed by the British Parliament on 18th July 1947 which was famous as the Indian Independence Act 1947.

According to this Act (1) two independent states such as Indian union and Pakistan were to be created in the Indian sub-continent on 15 August, 1947. (2) These newly independent states were to be at liberty to choose whether they would like to be the members of British Commonwealth of Nations or not. (3) The existing Legislative Assemblies were empowered to frame laws concerning their respective states until new constituent assemblies were formed these states. (4) The offices of the Secretary of state for India and his adviserss were to be abolished. The Commonwealth Secretary was to be assigned responsibility of maintaining relations with Pakistan and the Indian Union. (5) The title of the British king as ‘Emperor of India’ was to be abolished.

The Indian Independence Act of 1947, thus, marked the close of the constitutional development of India under the British rule.

In the night of 14th August 1947 a special session of the constituent Assembly was held at Delhi. As the clock struck twelve Dr. Rajendra prasad, the President of the constituent Assembly, triumphantly announced that the Constituent Assembly of India had assuemd power for the governance of India.


A wave of thrill and sensation passed over the great sub-contienent. The midnight of 14th August 1947 was indeed a memorable day in the history of India. Speaking the Constituent Assembly Nehru said; “Long years ago, we had made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but substantially.

When the world sleeps, India will awake to life of freedom. A moment comes, which comes but rarely in the history, when we step out from the old to new, when an age ends and when the soul of a nation long supressed finds utterance.”

Lord Mountbatten was sworn in as the governor general and Pandit Nehru as the first Prime Minister of free India. Mountbatten remained as a mere constitutional figure head where as Jawaharlal Nehru became the real administrative head of the Government with his council of ministers. On the otherside of the Radecliff Line Mahammed Ali Jinnah was sworn in as the first Governor General of Pakistan on 14 August 1947.

The British army left India immediately after the Indian people took over the Government of the country. The partition of the country, followed by the withdrawl of the British, created new problems.


There were Hindu-Muslim riots in many places on the eve of independence. Hindus in Pakistan were massacred in large numbers. The Hindus and Sikhs began to migrate from the West-Punjab to the East and Muslims from the East-Punjab to the West.

Gandhiji was deeply shocked on the day when country got freedom. He observed a 24 hours’ fasting. He undertook a walking tour in the riot-stricken areas of Noakhali.

Soon after Independence Act of 1947 was passed in the British Parliament, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the iron man of India, advised the Indian Princes to join the Indian Union, immediately. There was wide response to the call of Sardar Patel. The Princely States joined India partly on their own intiative and partly after military intervention.

The Constituent Assembly became the Parliament of Indian Dominion immediately after the transfer of power. A Drafting Committee was formed under B.R. Ambedkar on 29 August 1947 to prepare the constitution of India. India was declared a Sovereign Democratic Republic on 26th January 1950 after the completeion of constitution.