The Commanders-in-Chief (Change in Designation) Act, 1955 was passed on 3rd May, 1955. The purpose of this Act is to modify certain enactments and change the designation of Commanders-in-Chief of the Armed Officers. It is a Central Legislation. The Act has only 4 Sections.
By Section 3 of the Act, any reference to the Commander-in-Chief of the regular army, the Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Navy, and the Commander-in-Chief of the Air Force should from the enactment of this Act be done using the terms the Chief of the Army Staff, the Chief of the Naval Staff, and the Chief of the Air Staff respectively.
Section 4 provides a Schedule containing the amendments to be made to 6 Acts. They are:-
a)The Fort William Act of 1881,
b)The Indian Navy (Discipline) Act of 1934,
c)The National Cadet Corps Act of 1948,
d)The Air Force Act of 1950,
e)The Army Act of 1950 and
f)The Indian Military Nursing Service Ordinance, 1943.
The Chief of the Army staff or the Naval Staff or the Air staff is usually the highest ranking officer of that particular unit and hence is the commander of the unit. The President of India makes appointments to this office. During British Raj, the Commander-in-Chief was the supreme commander of the Indian Military Forces and was based at the general Headquarters. However, with the formation of the Republic of India in 1950, this post was fused with that of the President of the Republic, and thus ceased to be a separate post.