Council of State
Imperial Legislative Council
Star of India

Star of India
FoundedDecember 23, 1919 (1919-12-23)
Single transferable vote
Last election
1945 Indian general election
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Meeting place
Metcalfe House, Civil Lines, Delhi

The Council of State was the upper house of the legislature for British India (the Imperial Legislative Council) created by the Government of India Act 1919 from the old Imperial Legislative Council, implementing the Montagu–Chelmsford Reforms. The Central Legislative Assembly was the lower house.

As a result of Indian independence, the Council of State was dissolved on 14 August 1947 and its place taken by the Constituent Assembly of India and the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan.

The Council of State used to meet at the Metcalfe House.[1] The Viceroy or Governor-General was its ex officio President.[2]


1919 to 1937

The Council of States was created by the Government of India Act 1919. As per this Act, the Council was to have 60 members. The composition was as follows:[3]

The province-wise composition was as follows:

The Muslim seats of Punjab together with one General seat of Bihar and Orissa alternated to elect 2 seats for every Council of State.[3]

The members had a tenure of 5 years. There were no women members.

The elected members were voted from an electorate consisting of persons who fulfilled either condition

This electorate consisted of not more than 17,000 of entire population of 24 crores (240,000,000) in 1920.

Like the Legislative Assembly, the Council of State had no members elected to represent the princely states, as they were not part of British India. On 23 December 1919, when King-Emperor George V gave royal assent to the Government of India Act 1919, he also made a proclamation which created the Chamber of Princes, to provide a forum for the states to use to debate national questions and make their collective views known to the Government of India.[4]

1937 to 1947

The Government of India Act 1935 introduced further reforms. The size of the Council of State was to be increased to 260 members, 156 from the provinces and 104 from the princely states. However, the first election to the federal legislature after that of 1934 was the 1945 Indian general election, in which the princely states continued to take no part.

Members of First Council of State (1921)




Members of Second Council of State (1926)



Elected Members

Members of Third Council of State (1930–1936)



Elected Members

Fourth Council of State



Elected Members


See also


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-09-22. Retrieved 2013-08-03.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ "Rajya Sabha". Archived from the original on 2009-08-04.
  3. ^ a b Mitra, H. N. (October 4, 1921). "The Govt Of India Act 1919 Rules Thereunder And Govt Reports 1920". N. N. Mitter Annual Register Office. – via Internet Archive.
  4. ^ V. D. Mahajan, Modern Indian History (New Delhi: Chand Publishing, 2020), p. 584
  5. ^ India's Parliament Selections from the proceedings of the second session of the Legislative Assembly and the Council of State. Director, Central Bureau of Information, Gov't of India. 1921. OL 24188384M.
  6. ^ "The Council Of State Debates Official Report Vol VII". Government Of India Press. October 4, 1926 – via Internet Archive.
  7. ^ a b c "The_Indian_Quarterly_Register". Indian Quarterly Register. 1926.
  8. ^ The India Office and Burma Office List. Harrison and sons, Limited. 1922.
  9. ^ The Times of India Directory and Year Book Including Who's who. Bennett, Coleman & Company. 1934.
  10. ^ The Indian Year Book. Bennett, Coleman & Company. 1942.
  11. ^ Indian Annual Register. 1943.
  12. ^ Eminent Indians Who Was Who. Durga Das Pvt. Ltd. 1985.