The Indian Councils Act of 1861 increased the number of members in the Governor-General's executive Council from 4 to 5. Further the Governor-General's Executive Council was enlarged into a Central Legislative Council. Six to tweleve 'additional members' were to be nominated by the Governor-General. Not less than half of these members were to be non-officials. Thus a provision was made for the inclusion of Indians in the Legislative Council. The functions of these members were strictly limited to making legislation and they were forbidden from interfering in the matters of the Executive Council. They did not possess powers of administration and finance.
Legilative Councils were also established in the provinces. The number of additional members in the provinces was fixed between four to eight. So, this Act was an important constitutional development and the people of India came to be involved in the law malking process. The mechanism of Indian legislation developed slowly and reinforced further by the Acts of 1892 and 1909.