The Indian Independence Act 1947, was repealed by the respective constitutions of India and Pakistan in 1950 & 1956. The Parliament of the United Kingdom, never repealed it but according to the Wikipedia page, it's mentioned, certain sections were repealed, as stated below.

Although under British law, the new constitutions did not have the legal authority to repeal the Act, the repeal was intended to establish them as independent legal systems based only on home-grown legislation.[17] The Act has not been repealed in the United Kingdom, where it still has an effect, although some sections of it have been repealed

Which sections of the act were repealed under British law and why?

1 Answer 1


See https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/Geo6/10-11/30/contents

Of the bill orginially passed,

  • Sections 2-5,
  • sections 6(1)-6(3)
  • Sections 8-12
  • Section 16,
  • sections 18(3)-18(5),
  • Section 19, and
  • Schedules. 1 and 2

were repealed by the Statute Law (Repeals) Act 1976. Section 13 was repealed by the Naval Discipline Act of 1957. Section 14, was amended in '76 and then repealed by the 1993 Repeals act. Clause 18.2 was repealed by the 1998 Repeals Act. And there were further textual amendments made by the '76 Repeals act.

The full act, as currently in British law can be read:


For example, section 2 of the act defined the territories of India and Pakistan This clause, post-independence, had no legal effect, since the borders of the territories became a matter for the two new Dominions, and not the British. Repeal acts, like that of 1976, "tidy up" lots of laws like this that have become irrelevant, such as the large amounts of legislation that referred to "British India" that still existed.

  • 3
    In the list of bullet points, all the "clauses" should be "sections". "Clause" is the term used in a bill before Parliament; when the bill becomes an Act, all clauses become sections. To nitpick further, subsections are numbered as e.g. 6(1), rather than 6.1. Also the main repealing Act was called the Statute Law (Repeals) Act 1976. Dec 22, 2023 at 22:14
  • Why only certain provisions of the act were repealed, I see on legislation.gov.uk, there are many acts which were repealed completely. Is it because repealing of the whole act would mean, that the powers which were given to respective constituent assemblies from UK's parliament those powers will be taken back? Jan 4 at 12:53
  • 1
    The parts not repealed have continuing effects: Now mostly those effects are mere confirmations of the new status quo, so removing them would not have much practical effect, but the law that remains says little more than "The UK recognises India and Pakistan. UK acts of Parliament have no effect in India or Pakistan. Therefore the UK has no responsibility for India or Pakistan. And any old laws referring to India don't apply to it."
    – James K
    Jan 4 at 13:06
  • 2
    Now you could say that the same could be said of (eg) Bolivia, but whereas there is no doubt that the UK has no claim on Bolivia and isn't responsible for it, there may be doubt about whether a law that refers to India is still in force, or if the UK has some lingering responsibility for the government of India or Pakistan. The parts of the bill remaining in force just say "For the removal of all doubt, These countries are completely Independent".
    – James K
    Jan 4 at 13:08

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