Prior to its formation as a separate district in November, 1989, the area pertaining to Panipat district was a part of Karnal district. During the British period, the system of legislation was very defective and general public was not associated with the function of law making. As a consequence, the Indian Councils Act of 1861 was passed which had a great significance in the legislative history of India, since it provided the association of Indians with the making of the law of land. The Act empowered the Governor-General to nominate not less than six and not more than twelve additional members of whom at least one-half should be non-officials. In order to provide for share of Indians in the administration of public affairs, the Indian Councils Act, 1892 was passed which widened the function of the legislatures in India and converted them into mini-parliaments. But, it was only the Indian Council Act of 1909 which sought to associate Indians, in a real and effective manner, not only with the work of legislation but also with the day-to-day administration of the country.