The law, Defence of India (Criminal Law Amendment) Act, 1915 (No.4) was analogous to the British Defence of the Realm Acts and was passed though all its stages in the Legislative council on 18 March 1915. It was enacted as a temporary legislation in effect for the duration of WW I and for six months afterwards. The act gave the Governor General in Council the power to make rules
...for the purpose of securing the public safety and the defence of British India and as to the powers and duties of public servants and other persons in furtherance of that purpose...
Contraventions of the rules were punishable by a fine, or imprisonment of up to seven years, or both, or, if the intention of the contravener was to assist the "King's enemies" or wage war against the King, punishments could be heavier, including death.
Sections of the law could be applied in particular provinces by notification of the Governor General in council and were included in the act for Punjab and Bengal. These sections allowed empowered the local administration to set up special courts consisting of three commissioners with power to try for certain offences and with no right to appeal.