The Privy Council was nothing but the judicial body, whichheard appeals from various courts of the British coloniesincluding India. The origin of Privy Council can be traced back to theNormans Period of English. There was a Supreme Federal Council of Normans. It wasknown as ‘Feudal Curia’ and it acted as the agency ofNormans to rule England. gradually with the passage of time, Curia gets divided into‘Curia Regis’ and ‘Magnum Concillium’.
‘Magnum Concillium’ was to deal with executive matterswhereas ‘Curia Regis’ performs judicial functions. The Curia Regis was a small body consisting of highofficials of the State, members of the Royal householdand certain clerks chosen by the Crown itself. Their duty was to advice the King in matters of legislationand to deliver a justice. In fact, the Curia Regis acted as a final Appellate Courtfor England and English Empire.
Gradually, the Curia Regis came to be considered as theadvisory body of the King in the field of judicialadministration. during the regime of Henry II, there was a tremendousincrease in the judicial functions of Curia Regis and itlead to the formation of two different Common LawCourts in England. They are: King-in-Parliament i.e. Court of House of Lords King-in-Council i.e. Court of Privy Council the Privy Council was established during the middle of16th century. It thus acted as the advisory body of theKing with regard to the affairs of the State.
Composition of Privy CouncilEarlier, the Privy Council used to do its work by means of asystem of committees and subcommittees.these committees did not have permanent existence andmembership and mostly members were the persons withlittle judicial experience.officially the Privy Council was created on permanent basisthorough the Act of 1833 Judicial Committee of BritishParliament.
The Act empowered the Privy Council to hear appeals fromthe courts in British Colonies.The quorum of judicial committee of Privy Council was fixedto be four. It composed of Lord President, LordChancellor and other eminent judges working in Englishcourts.Thereafter, the Appellate Jurisdiction Act, 1908 thismembership of the judicial committee was extended two.According to that provision two Indian High Court judgeswere appointed in the Privy Council.
Appeals from Courts in India to the Privy CouncilCharters of 1726 and 1753The Charter of 1726 granted the right to appeal from theCourts in India to Privy Council.The Charter of 1753, which reorganized the Mayor’s Courtsreaffirmed the said provisions of Appeal to Privy Councilfrom Mayor’s Courts.The Regulating Act, 1773Section 30 of 1774 Charter granted a right to appeal fromthe judgments of Supreme Court to Privy Council.
Appeals to Privy Council from High CourtsUnder the Indian High Courts Act, 1861 the high Courtswere established at three Provinces.This Act provided for the right to appeal from High Courtsto Privy Council from all of its judgments except inCriminal matters.Appeals from Federal Court in India to Privy CouncilThe Government of India Act, 1935 provided for theestablishment of Federal Court in India.The provision was made for filing of appeals from HighCourts to the Federal Court and from Federal Court tothe Privy Council.
Finally in 1949, the Abolition of Privy Council JurisdictionAct was passed by the Indian Government.
1892 Indian Councils Act The number of additional members of the CentralLegislative Council was increased to minimum 1O andmaximum 16. Half of these members were supposed to be non-officiali.e. persons not in the Civil or Military Service of theGovernment. In the case of Bombay and Madras it was increased to notless than 8 and not more than 20.