UPDATE: Guide to Indian Laws
By Ramakrishnan Viraraghavan
Ramakrishnan Viraraghavan is a dual qualified lawyer, Senior Advocate in India and Barrister in England and Wales, with a standing of 35 years at the Bar. He practices in Chennai (formerly Madras), New Delhi and in London with 33 Bedford Row. He holds a BCom (University of Madras), LLB (University of Bangalore), LLM (International Commercial Law and Practice, University of Edinburgh), Diploma in ADR (NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad), Diploma in International Arbitration (CIArb, London), and is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. He has authored ‘Madras High Court Letters Patent, Appellate & Original Side Rules’ (LexisNexis, 2015) and ‘Guide to Memorandum, Articles and Incorporation of Companies’ (LexisNexis, 2015). He has contributed articles in many law journals.
The author gratefully acknowledges the assistance of Mr Anirudh Ramakrishnan, B.A, L.L.B (Hons.) (NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad) Advocate, Madras High Court for his assistance in updating and proof-reading this article.
Published September/October 2020
(Previously updated in November/December 2016)
Table of Contents
- 1. Introduction
- 2. Law and Judicial System in Ancient India
- 3. Law and the Judicial System in Medieval India
- 4. The British Period
- 5. The Constitution of India
- 6. The Union Executive: President, Vice President, Prime Minister
- 7. The Union Legislature
- 8. The Union Judiciary: Supreme Court
- 9. The State Executive: Governor, Chief Minister
- 10. The State Legislature
- 11. State Judiciary
- 12. Independence of the Judiciary from the Executive
- 13. Fundamental Rights
- 14. Fundamental Duties
- 15. Review of the Functioning of the Constitution
- 16. The Law Commission of India
- 17. The Election Commission of India
- 18. The Reserve Bank of India
- 19. Securities and Exchange Board of India
- 20. Legal Practitioners
- 21. Sources of Law
- 21.1. Primary Sources
- 21.2. Secondary Sources
- 22. Books and Commentaries
- 23. Legal Education
- 24. Other Legal Sites
India is situated in South Asia. It is a democratic republic. The striking features of India are, of course, its large population (in excess of 1 billion), its diversity in religion and culture (almost all the major world religions are found here), and its consistent commitment to democracy.
Historically, India was a collection of kingdoms and empires constantly at war with each other. The ancient empire of King Ashoka (a Buddhist) and later the Mughal Empire united a substantial portion of Northern India. South India was ruled independently by a number of kings. Modern India took shape with the British conquest of the nation which started in the late 17th century. The British ruled India until 1947 when India became an independent nation.
As a consequence of over a century of British rule, a substantial portion of Indian law and Indian legal institutions is based on English law and legal system and use the English language.
2. Law and Judicial System in Ancient India
During ancient times, the Indian subcontinent was inhabited predominantly by Hindus. Their legal system took its colour from Hindu religious and social practices. Hindu society was characterized by the caste system and the joint family system.
The four castes were, in order of importance, (1) Brahmins, or the priests (2) Kshatriyas, or the warriors (3) Vaisyas, or the merchants, and (4) Sudras, or the workers. Castes apparently originated from an individual’s occupation and mobility between the castes was not unknown. In the later years, castes became rigid and inter-caste mobility was not permitted.
The Hindu joint family is a family of Hindus related by blood living together sharing common food, shelter and property. The family rather than the individual was the social unit in ancient India. The family (not the individual) owned properties. The Hindu family was patriarchal in nature. The eldest male was the head of the family and enjoyed considerable powers over the rest of the family. His position was akin to paterfamilias under Roman law.
The law applied was based on ancient religious texts, authoritative commentaries on these texts and customs. The king himself administered the law with the help of his ministers. The king also appointed judges to administer the law. Law at the village level was administered by village councils (panchayat) consisting of five or more members. The system of professional lawyers appearing for the litigants appears to be unknown.
3. Law and the Judicial System in Medieval India
Muslim rule began moving into India around the 11th century AD. Gradually vast portions of India came under Muslim rule. Muslim law and Muslim judicial institutions were established in India. The fountainhead of justice was the Sultan or the Mughal emperor. He established a hierarchy of courts in the provinces, districts, parganas and villages. Courts for revenue cases were separate from courts for civil and criminal cases. Appeals lay from one court to the other and ultimately to the emperor in Delhi. Village councils (panchayats) continued in the villages and dealt with small civil and criminal cases. As courts were presided over by Muslim judges, the law administered was the Sharia or Muslim Law. Professional legal representatives (called vakils or vakeels) appeared in courts on behalf of litigants.
4. The British Period
The British came into India as traders in the 17th century AD and gradually conquered the sub-continent. They established their own set of courts and judges. They administered English law as extended to India. However, in matters of personal law, the British applied Hindu law or Muslim law depending on the religion of the litigant. Assessors initially assisted the judges in matters of personal law. Later on, British judges became knowledgeable in personal laws and assessors were dispensed.
5. The Constitution of India
The Indian Constitution (‘Constitution’) was adopted by the Constituent Assembly on November 26, 1949 and came into effect on January 26, 1950. The Constitution was in large part modeled on the Government of India Act 1935. Constitutions of other nations were also considered. The Indian Constitution in turn served as a model for many nations, which became independent subsequently. A current text of the Constitution can be found online.
The Constitution is divided into Parts, Chapters and Articles. The Constitution provides for a quasi-federal nation consisting of a Union of States. It provides for separate executives, legislatures and judiciaries for the Union and for each of the States and demarcates the powers of each. However, the residual legislative power is with the Union. Under certain circumstances, the Union can (and has) dissolved the executive and legislatives of the States.
The Constitution can be amended by a special majority of Parliament. Amendments to the provisions of the Constitution dealing with the States require the consent of the legislatures of at least half of the States. The Constitution can be amended fairly extensively but the amendments cannot violate the basic features of the Constitution such as the independence of the judiciary, the sovereign democratic and republican structure of the nation, the rule of law and free and fair elections.
6. The Union Executive: President, Vice President, Prime Minister
India follows the Westminster form of Government with an elected President in the place of the hereditary monarch. The President of India heads the Union Executive. He is the nominal head of the State and the Supreme Commander of the defence forces of the Union. The real power lies with the Union Council of Ministers headed by the Prime Minister. The President is normally bound to act on the advice of the Council of Ministers.
The President is elected by an electoral college consisting of members of the Parliament and the State legislatures. The President holds office for five years. He can be reelected any number of terms. The President can be impeached for violation of the Constitution. The charge for impeachment can be proffered by either House of the Parliament by a two-thirds majority of the total membership of that House. The charge will be investigated by the other House of Parliament. A resolution by a two-thirds majority of the total membership of the investigating House is required for sustaining the charge.
The Vice-President is elected by members of the two Houses of Parliament. He holds office for five years. The Vice President is the ex officio Chairman of the Council of States (the upper house of the Parliament). The Vice-President can be removed by a resolution passed by the Council of States by a simple majority of its members and agreed to by the House of the People.
The Prime Minister is the de facto head of the Union Executive. The Prime Minister is the head of the Council of Ministers. The President appoints the Prime Minister. The other ministers are appointed by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister is usually the leader of the political party commanding a majority in the House of the People. The Prime Minister can be the leader of a coalition of political parties which together command a majority in the House of the People.
The Union Government is divided into several ministries each headed by a minister and further into departments each with a large number of Indian Administrative Service officers and subordinate employees. For more information, consult the directory of the government websites.
7. The Union Legislature
The Union Legislature (Parliament) is a bicameral legislature based on the Westminster model. It comprises an Upper House called the Council of States or the Rajya Sabha and a Lower House called the House of People or Lok Sabha. The Council of States, as its name indicates, is largely comprised of representative of the States elected by the members of the legislatures of the States. It is a permanent House with one third of its members retiring every second year. The Vice-President is the Chairman of the Council of States.
The House of the People consists of members directly elected by Indian citizens from territorial constituencies in the States. The House of the People, unless sooner dissolved, continues for a term of five years from the date appointed for its first meeting. Parliament may make laws for the whole or any part of the territory of India. Parliamentary laws cannot be invalidated on the grounds of extraterritorial operation. Parliament has exclusive legislative power on certain matters and legislative power concurrent with the State Legislature on certain other matters. Parliament has residual powers of legislation.
8. The Union Judiciary: Supreme Court
The Union Judiciary consists of the Supreme Court of India. The Supreme Court sits in New Delhi. The Supreme Court exercises original jurisdiction in disputes between (1) the Union Government and one or more States or (2) one or more States. The Supreme Court is empowered to issue writs in the nature of habeas corpus, mandamus, prohibition, and certiorari and quo warranto for the enforcement of fundamental rights. The Supreme Court hears civil and criminal appeals from the High Courts. The Supreme Court hears statutory appeals from tribunals constituted under various statutes such as Securities Appellate Tribunal and National Company Law Appellate Tribunal. The language of the Supreme Court is English.
The Supreme Court comprises the Chief Justice of India and 33 puisne judges. The Constitution provides for the appointment of every judge of the Supreme Court by the President after consultation with such of the Judges of the Supreme Court and of the High Courts in the States as the President may deem necessary for the purpose. In practice, Supreme Court judges are appointed in accordance with the memorandum of procedure agreed to between the Union Government and the Supreme Court of India.
The Chief Justice of India is invariably the most senior puisne judge of the Supreme Court. The Union Law Minister seeks the recommendation of the outgoing Chief Justice of India for the appointment of his successor. The recommendation is placed before the Prime Minister for advising the President on the appointment.
The appointment of puisne judges of the Supreme Court is on the recommendation of the Chief Justice of India in consultation with a collegium of the four most senior puisne judges of the Supreme Court. The recommendation is sent to the Union Law Minister, who places it before the Prime Minister for advising the President on the appointment. Supreme Court judges hold office up to 65 years of age. They can be impeached on the ground of proved misbehavior or incapacity, by an order of the President passed after an address by each House of Parliament supported by a majority of the total membership and not less than two thirds of the members of the House present and voting.
9. State Executive: Governor, Chief Minister
The constitutional structure of a State is similar to that of the Union. The executive power of each State is vested in the Governor of the State. The Governor of each State is appointed by the President on the advice of the Union Council of Ministers. The Governor is appointed for a term of five years but holds office during the pleasure of the President and can be removed any time.
The Chief Minister is the de facto head of the State Executive. The Governor is normally bound to act on the advice of the Council of Ministers. The Chief Minister is the head of the Council of Ministers of the State. The Governor appoints the Chief Minister. Other ministers are appointed by the President on the advice of the Chief Minister. The Chief Minister is usually the leader of the political party commanding a majority in the Legislative Assembly of the State. The Chief Minister can be the leader of a coalition of political parties which together command a majority in the Legislative Assembly of the State.
10. State Legislature
The legislature of most States consists of only one House (the Legislative Assembly) whose members are directly elected by Indian citizens from territorial constituencies in that State. The Legislative Assembly, unless sooner dissolved, continues for five years from the date appointed for its first meeting. A few States have a Legislative Council in addition to the Legislative Assembly. The Legislative Council is a permanent body elected by specified electorates comprising members of the Legislative Assembly, University graduates, members of Municipalities and other local bodies. The Constitution empowers the Legislative Assembly of a State to abolish or create the Legislative Council of that State. State Legislatures may make laws for the whole or any part of that State. The State Legislature has exclusive legislative power on certain matters and legislative power concurrent with Parliament on certain other matters. Parliament has residual powers of legislation.
11. State Judiciary
The State judiciary consists of a High Court for each State and courts subordinate to the High Court. Parliament may establish a common High Court for two or more States. The High Court hears appeals from subordinate courts and tribunals. It acts as a court of revision and exercises superintendence over subordinate courts and tribunals within its territorial jurisdiction. The High Court has powers to issue writs of habeas corpus, certiorari and other prerogative writs. Some High Courts exercise original jurisdiction in civil matters and admiralty jurisdiction. The language of the High Courts is English, although Hindi, the official language of the Union is gaining ground.
Each High Court consists of a Chief Justice and a number of puisne judges. The Chief Justice of a High Court is generally a judge from another High Court. The appointment of a Chief Justice is on the recommendation of the Chief Justice of India in consultation with a collegium of the two most senior puisne judges of the Supreme Court. The recommendation is sent to the Union Law Minister, who obtains the concerned State Government’s views and then places the recommendation before the Prime Minister for advising the President on the appointment.
The President appoints a High Court judge after consultation with the Chief Justice of India, the Governor of the State and the Chief Justice of that State. In practice, High Court judges are appointed in accordance with the memorandum of procedure agreed between the Union Government and the Supreme Court of India. The appointment of puisne judges of a High Court is on the recommendation of the Chief Justice of that High Court in consultation with a collegium of the two most senior puisne judges of the Supreme Court. The recommendation is sent to the Chief Minister of that State. The Governor of the State on the advice of the Chief Minister forwards the recommendation to the Union Law Minister. The Union Law Minister forwards the recommendation to the Chief Justice of India for his advice. The Chief Justice of India in consultation with the collegium of the two most senior puisne judges of the Supreme Court sends his recommendation to the Union Law Minister. The recommendation is then placed before the Prime Minister for advising the President on the appointment.
A High Court judge holds office till he attains the age of 62 years. A High Court judge can be impeached in the same manner as a Supreme Court judge i.e. on the grounds of proved misbehavior or incapacity, by an order of the President passed after an address by each House of Parliament supported by a majority of the total membership and not less than two thirds of the members of the House present and voting. A High Court judge can be transferred from one High Court to another High Court.
Subordinate Courts:The subordinate judiciary comprises of three tiers of civil and criminal courts. The District Court having jurisdiction over a district of State is the highest of the subordinate courts. The District Court while exercising criminal jurisdiction is also the sessions court of that district.
Civil courts subordinate to the district court are the courts of the Civil Judge (Senior division) and the Civil Judge (Junior Division). In some States, these courts are called the Court of the Subordinate Judge and the District Munsif‘s court respectively. Munsif courts and courts of Subordinate Judges exercise civil jurisdiction. Appeals from these courts normally lie to the District Court and then to the High Court. A litigant is normally entitled to two appeals-a first appeal on facts and law and a second appeal only on law.
Criminal courts subordinate to the District (and Sessions) Court consist of Judicial Magistrates of first or second class and the Chief Judicial Magistrate. Appeals from the Magistrates’ courts lie to the Sessions Court and then to the High Court.
District Judges are appointed by the Governor of that State in consultation with the High Court of that State. Recommendations made by the High Court in the consultative process are binding on the Governor. Other judges are appointed to the State judicial service by the Governor of that State in accordance with the rules made after consultation with the State Public Service Commission and the High Court of that State.
Tribunals: Specialised tribunals have been established under various statutes. Examples of these are the Income tax Appellate Tribunal, National Company Law Tribunal, National Company Law Appellate Tribunal, Goods and Services Tax Appellate Tribunal, Customs, Excise & Service Tax Tribunal, District, State and National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commissions, the Central and State Administrative Tribunals, the Debts Recovery Tribunal, Debts Recovery Appellate Tribunal, National Green Tribunal, Lok Adalats (Peoples’ Courts), Mahila Courts (Women’s Courts), Fast Track Courts, Special Courts/Designated Courts under various of Parliament or State Legislatures. Many of these tribunals are under the superintendence of the High Court within whose territorial jurisdiction they function. Appeals from some of the Appellate Tribunals lie to the Supreme Court.
12. Independence of the Judiciary from the Executive
Although Parliament can impeach a judge of the Supreme Court or a High Court, this is very difficult in practice. Parliament has not removed any judge in the nearly 70 years since the implementation of the Constitution. Judges of the Supreme Court and the High Court have enormous freedom from political and other interference during their tenures.
Independence of the judiciary is a basic feature of the Constitution and cannot be diluted by Parliament. This includes independence in the appointment of judges. The Constitution (Ninety-Ninth Amendment) Act, 2014 which sought to establish a National Judicial Appointments Commission for the appointment of judges of the Supreme Court and the High Courts  was declared unconstitutional as it eroded the judiciary’s primacy in the appointment of judges. 
13. Fundamental Rights
The Constitution prescribes fundamental rights such as equality before law (which includes protection from arbitrary action of the State), freedom from discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth, equality of opportunity in matters of public employment, freedom of speech and expression, right to assemble peacefully without arms, to form associations or unions, to move freely through India, to reside and settle in any part of India, protection against deprivation of life and personal liberty, freedom of conscience and the profession, practice and propagation of religion. Right to property is no longer a fundamental right but the Constitution provides that no person shall be deprived of his property save by authority of law.
14. Fundamental Duties
Fundamental duties were added to the Constitution in 1977. Among these are duties to abide by the Constitution and respect its ideals and institutions, to respect the National Flag and the National Anthem, to value and preserve the rich heritage of India’s composite culture, to protect and improve the national environment including forests lakes, rivers and wild life, to have compassion for living creations and to strive towards excellence in all spheres of individual and collective activity.
15. Review of the Functioning of the Constitution
The Constitution has served the nation well for nearly seven decades and has survived many onslaughts. In 2000, Government of India (the Union Government) constituted a committed headed by a retired Chief Justice of India to examine the working of the Constitution and suggest amendments. The final report of the committee can be found online.
The standard textbooks on Constitutional law are:
- Basu-Shorter Constitution of India, LexisNexis. This book gives an article-wise commentary on the Constitution.
- H.M. Seervai -Constitutional law of India, Universal Law Publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd. This is closely reasoned and a detailed study into the Constitution. It makes a very good reading, but the last edition was in 1991 (4th Edition)
- Granville Austin –The Indian Constitution, Oxford University Press, 1966
- Granville Austin -Working a Democratic Constitution, Oxford University Press, 1999
16. The Law Commission of India
The Law Commission of India is constituted by the Government of India to suggest legal reforms. The Law Commission periodically submits reports to the Union executive suggesting legal reforms. The Union Executive or the Legislative is not bound to act on the suggestions.
17. The Election Commission of India
The Election Commission of India is headed by the Chief Election Commissioner and two Election Commissioners. The sole responsibility of the Election Commissioner is to periodically conduct elections to the State and Union legislatures as well as the Presidential elections. It must ensure a free and fair polling in all these elections. The Election Commission is given financial and operation autonomy to ensure the conduct of free and fair elections.
18. The Reserve Bank of India
The Reserve Bank of India is the nation’s apex bank. It manages monetary operations control over foreign exchange and control over commercial banks and financial institutions.
19. Securities and Exchange Board of India
The Securities and Exchange Board of India is the apex body dealing with the listing and trading of securities. It regulates public issue of securities, stock exchanges and other intermediaries in the securities market.
20. Legal Practitioners
India has a fused legal profession. All practicing lawyers are called advocates. Advocates are the basic legal practitioners and the only persons allowed audience in civil and criminal courts as a matter of right.  Advocates are governed by the Advocates Act 1961. Advocates are required to pass a degree in law from a recognized university and are enrolled on the rolls of the Bar Council of the State within whose jurisdiction they regularly practice. An advocate cannot practice unless he has passed the All India Bar Examinations leading to a certificate of practice. Advocates are governed by the ‘cab rank rule’.
There are two categories of advocates: advocates and senior advocates. Senior advocates are the equivalent of Queen’s Counsel, Senior Counsel or ‘silks’ of other jurisdictions. Senior advocates are subject to restrictions in their practice. They cannot act, i.e. file appearance or pleadings for a client. They cannot advise clients or appear in a court without an advocate.
Senior advocates are so designated by a High Court or the Supreme Court. The system of designating senior advocates was challenged in the Supreme Court as arbitrary and lacking transparency, and guidelines were laid down by the Supreme Court. Supreme Court and the High Courts have now framed rules regulating the designation of advocates as senior advocates in accordance with these guidelines.
The legal profession is regulated by the Bar Council of India and the State Bar Councils. Advocates are subject to disciplinary control by the State Bar Councils and the Bar Council of India. An appeal against the order of the disciplinary committee of the State Bar Council lies to the Bar Council of India and a further appeal to the Supreme Court. Bar Councils consists of ex-officio and elected members from the Bar.
Almost all the judges are appointed from practicing advocates. Judges of the Superior Judiciary (the Supreme Court and the High Courts) and the higher tiers of the subordinate judiciary are either promoted or directly appointed from the Bar. Chartered Accountants, Company Secretaries and other persons with prescribed qualification have rights of audience before many of the Tribunals. Some Courts/Tribunals like the Family Courts expressly bar lawyers from appearing except with the permission of the tribunal.
Personal laws: A substantial portion of the Hindu law has been codified by Parliament after independence. The Muslim law is as yet uncodified. Courts apply Muslim law based on authoritative commentaries and judicial precedents.
21. Sources of Law
21.1. Primary Sources
The primary source of law is the statutes of Parliament and State Legislatures. In addition to these, the President and the Governor have limited powers to issue ordinances when Parliament or the State Legislature is not in session. These ordinances lapse six weeks from the re-assembly of Parliament or the State Legislature. These statutes are published in the Official Gazette (The Gazette of India or the State Gazettes). Most enactments delegate powers to the executive to make rules and regulations for the purposes of the Acts. These rules and regulations (called subordinate legislation) are periodically laid before the legislature (Parliament or State Legislature). Subordinate legislation is another source of law.
Statutes passed by Parliament are accessible at India Code which is a free site. The All India Reporter’s Manual of Central Laws is an exhaustive collection of laws enacted by Parliament together with decisions of the Supreme Court and the High Court on these statutes. However, this is not available online. Statutes passed by State Legislatures are more difficult to access. Some of the important Statutes passed by State Legislatures are found on the official portals of the corresponding State Government. For more information visit the directory of majority of the State Governments websites.
21.2. Secondary Sources
An important secondary source of law is the judgments of the Supreme Court, the High Courts and some of the specialized Tribunals. The judgments of these institutions not only decide legal and factual issues in dispute between the parties but in the process interpret or declare the law. This interpretation or declaration law – the ratio decidendi is a binding precedent.
The Constitution provides that the law declared by the Supreme Court shall be binding on all courts within India. The ratio decidendi as well as the orbiter dicta of the Supreme Court constitute binding precedents to be followed by all the other courts and tribunals. The Supreme Court is not bound by its own decisions. However, decisions of a larger bench of the Supreme Court are binding on benches of equal or lesser strength. The Supreme Court has used its powers to venture into judicial activism going far beyond the traditional view that courts should only interpret the law and not make new law. Judgments of the Supreme Court on public interest litigation, protection of the environment and protection against arbitrary State action can be viewed more as judicial legislation and not as mere interpretation of the law.
The judgments of a High Court are binding on itself and on all subordinate courts and tribunals in that State. However, a numerically larger bench of the High Court can overrule a decision of a numerically smaller bench. Judgments of a High Court are not binding on another High Court or on courts subordinate to another High Court but are of great persuasive value. Judgments of tribunals are binding on itself but not on the courts or other tribunals. Occasionally larger benches of a tribunal are constituted to reconsider the correctness of the decisions of smaller benches.
The Privy Council in London was the highest appellate body for India until October 1949. Previously rendered judgments of the Privy Council are binding precedents unless overruled by the Supreme Court. Decisions of all other foreign courts are only of persuasive value. In view of the prodigious output of the Supreme Court during the past fifty years, the role of judgments of foreign courts in shaping Indian law has declined considerably. Foreign judgments are cited in the Supreme Courts and in the High Courts only in the absence of Indian judgments on the point involved. Foreign judgments are seldom cited before the subordinate courts.
Judgments of the Supreme Court are available online and judgements reported in the Supreme Court Reports are found also online. Judgments of the High Courts are found on the official website of each High Court. Electronic copies of judgments reported in the Indian Law Reports are available in the websites of some of the High Courts. Judgments of High Courts can be accessed online and most of these judgments do not have headnotes.
22. Books and Commentaries
Books and commentaries on Indian law are only of persuasive value but are frequently cited by the courts. Considering the underlying foundation of English Law and English legal principles, standard books on English law are frequently used and cited by courts. Commentaries from other jurisdictions are rarely used. The following is a list of standard books and commentaries on selected topics.
- Law of Arbitration and Conciliation by R.S. Bachawat - LexisNexis
- Civil Procedure Code - The All India Reporter Commentaries.
- Guide to the Companies Act by A. Ramaiya - LexisNexis.
- C R Datta on Company Law (7th edition- 2017) LexisNexis
- Shorter Constitution of India – Basu LexisNexis. This book gives a commentary on the Constitution article by article.
- Constitutional law of India-H.M. Seervai. Universal Book Traders. This is closely reasoned and a detailed study into the Constitution. It makes very good reading, but the last edition was in 1991 (4th Ed.)
- Indian Conveyancer – G.C Mogha and M.C Agarwal-Eastern Law House
- Conveyancing - De Souza’s - Eastern Law House Private Limited
- Indian Contract and Specific Relief Acts by Pollock and Mulla - LexisNexis.
- Indian Penal Code - Ratanlal-LexisNexis.
- Hindu law - Mulla - LexisNexis.
- Hindu law and usage - Maine -Bharat Law House.
- Kanga and Palkhivala's - The Law and Practice of Income Tax - LexisNexis
- Income tax - Chaturvedi and Prithisara - LexisNexis.
- Principles of Mohammedan Law – Mulla - LexisNexis
- Outlines of Mohammedan Law – Faizi - Oxford University Press
- Transfer of Property Act - Mulla - LexisNexis.
- Ratanlal and Dhirajlal’s, The Law of Torts - Lexis Nexis.
The following is a list of some of the publishers and books sellers:
- LexisNexis India
- Eastern Law House
- Eastern Book Company
- C. Sitaraman & Co.
- All India Reporter
- Nabhi Publications
- Company Law Institute of India
- Delhi Law House
23. Legal Education
A list of national law universities participating in the Common Law Aptitude Test is found online. A law degree is normally a five-year course taken after 12 years of school or a three-year course taken after a bachelor’s degree.
24. Other Legal Sites
Parliament, State Legislatures
Statutes of Parliament
Indian Courts -links to Supreme Court, High Courts and a few tribunals
Authority for Advance Ruling (central excise, customs and service tax)
Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology Cyber Appellate Tribunal
Legal Services, Blogs & Legal News/Research Websites
Case Law Sites
Judgments, Ordersof the High Courts of Andhra Pradesh, Telengana, Bombay, Calcutta, Delhi, Manipur,
Indian Law Reports Series Allahabad (1878-1940); Calcutta (1876-1940); Lucknow (1926-1940) Madras 1876-1940); Patna (1922-1940)
Handwritten judgments of the Bombay High Court (1864) National Digital Library of India (study at home: law and management)
Legal News/Research Websites
 "Sovereign, Socialist Secular Democratic Republic" preamble to the Constitution of India ('Constitution').
 1,210,193,422-provisional population totals Census of India 2011; 1.37 billion in 2019.
 Consistent but not absolute commitment because of the brief period of totalitarian rule during the Emergency (1975-1977).
 Election Commission of India-general elections 2019.
 Meghnad Desai-The Rediscovery of India, Penguin Allen Lane,2009, page 7.
 Jawarharlal Nehru -The Discovery of India, page 132.
 Meghnad Desai-The Rediscovery of India, Penguin Allen Lane 2009, pages 7, 9.
 Jawarharlal Nehru -The Discovery of India, pages 139-140, 239-240.
 ‘India is no more a political personality than Europe. India is a geographical term. It is no more a united nation than the Equator.’ Sir Winston Churchill in a speech to the Constitutional Club 26th March 1931 India: Speeches by the Rt. Hon. Winston S. Churchill (London: Thornton Butterworth, 1931), pp. 163-70 cited by John David Olsen.
 Jawarharlal Nehru -The Discovery of India,pages 295-296.
 Indian Independence Act 1947, section 1.
 Granville Austin -Working a Democratic Constitution, Oxford University Press, 1999, page 1.
 Jawarharlal Nehru-The Discovery of India, page 85.
 Jawarharlal Nehru -The Discovery of India, pages 255.
 Mayne’s Treaties on Hindu Law & Usage Bharat Law House, 2014, pages 99, 100.
 The rigidity may have happened in the 2nd century AD, 1900 years ago.
 Mayne’s Treaties on Hindu Law & Usage Bharat Law House,2014, page 820; Jawarharlal Nehru-The Discovery of India, pages 255.
 Mayne’s Treaties on Hindu Law & Usage, Bharat Law House 2014, page 808; Jawarharlal Nehru -The Discovery of India, page 255
 Mayne’s Treaties on Hindu Law & Usage, Bharat Law House 2014, page 15; Mulla Hindu Law LexisNexis ButterworthsWadhwa, 2010, page 99.
 Mayne’s Treaties on Hindu Law & Usage Bharat Law House 2014, page 10; V.D.Kulshreshtha’s Landmarks in Indian Legal and Constitutional History Eastern Book Company, 2012, page 11.
 V.D. Kulshreshtha’s Landmarks in Indian Legal and Constitutional History Rastern Book Company, 2012, page 11.
 V.D. Kulshreshtha’s Landmarks in Indian Legal and Constitutional History Eastern Book Company, 2012, page 14.
 The Delhi Sultanate (1206- 1526) followed by the Mughal Empire (1526-1761).
 Group of villages; subdivision of district
 V.D. Kulshreshtha’s Landmarks in Indian Legal and Constitutional History Rastern Book Company, 2012, pages 27, 28.
 V.D. Kulshreshtha’s Landmarks in Indian Legal and Constitutional History Rastern Book Company, 2012, page 29.
 Advocates today are also called vakils in Hindi
 V.D. Kulshreshtha’s Landmarks in Indian Legal and Constitutional History Eastern Book Company, 2012, page 31.
 Jawaharlal Nehru -The Discovery of India, pages 295-296;
 Preamble to the Constitution.
 An Act passed by the British Parliament; Granville Austin –The Indian Constitution, Oxford University Press, 1966 page 409 ‘The debt to the 1935 Act in particular is very great'.
 The Constitutional Adviser Mr B.N. Rau visited United States, Canada and Ireland for this purpose. An interesting anecdote is the advice of Justice Felix Frankfurter (United States Supreme Court) to Mr B.N. Rau not to use the ‘due process’ clause in the Constitution. Granville Austin –The Indian Constitution, Oxford University Press, 1966 pages129,130. The advice was taken. Article 21 of the Constitution uses the words "according to procedure established by law"
 Article 1, Constitution
 Article 248; schedule 7, list I, entry 97 Constitution.
 Article 356; this is justiciable and can be reviewed by the High Courts or the Supreme Court (vide the Supreme Court judgment in S. R. Bommai v. Union of India( 2 SCR 644 : AIR 1994 SC 1918 : (1994)3 SCC1).
 Article 368, Constitution
 The Constitution has been amended 103 times during the 72 years of its existence. See the preface.
 Kesavananda Bharati vs.State of Kerala AIR 1973 SC 1461: (1973) 4 SCC 225
 Articles 52 & 53, Constitution
 Article 53 (2), Constitution.
 Article 74, Constitution.
 Article 74 (1), Constitution.
 Article 54, Constitution.
 Article 56, Constitution.
 Article 57, Constitution.
 Article 61, Constitution.
 The Vice President of India
 Article 66, Constitution.
 Article 67, Constitution.
 Article 64, Constitution.
 Article 67, Constitution.
 The Prime Minister of India
 Article 74, Constitution.
 Article 75 (1), Constitution.
 Article 75 (1), Constitution.
 Parliament of India – Rajya Sabha – Council of States; article 79, Constitution.
 Parliament of India – Lok Sabha – House of the People; articles 79, Constitution.
 Article 80, Constitution.
 Article 83 (1), Constitution.
 Article 81, Constitution.
 Article 83 (2), Constitution.
 Article 245 (1), Constitution.
 Article 245 (2), Constitution.
 Article 246 (1), Seventh Schedule, list I.
 Article 246 (1), Seventh Schedule, list II.
 Article 248 (1), Seventh Schedule, list I, entry 97.
 The Supreme Court of India; Article 124, Constitution.
 Article 130, Constitution.
 Article 131, Constitution.
 Article 32, Constitution.
 Articles 132, 133, 134, 136, Constitution.
 Constituted under the Securities and Exchange Board of India Act, 1992. Securities Appellate Tribunal in Mumbai.
 Constituted under the Companies Act, 2013.
 The Supreme Court of India – History; article 348, Constitution.
 The Supreme Court of India – History; Supreme Court (Number of Judges) Act 1956, as amended by the Supreme Court (Number of Judges) Amendment Act, 2019 (37 of 2019).
 Article 124 (2), Constitution.
 Memorandum Showing the Procedure for Appointment of the Chief Justice of India and Judges of the Supreme Court of India. Lists of Supreme Court judges are found online.
 Memorandum of Procedure, Supreme Court, paragraph 2
 Memorandum of Procedure, Supreme Court, paragraph 3
 Article 124 (2), Constitution.
 Article 124 (4), Constitution.
 Article 153, Constitution.
 Article 155, Constitution.
 Article 156, Constitution.
 Article 163 (1), Constitution.
 Articles 163, 164 (1) Constitution.
 Article 164 (1), Constitution.
 Article 164 (1), Constitution.
 Article 168, Constitution; The Legislative Bodies of India
 Article 170 (1), Constitution.
 Article 172 (1), Constitution.
 Article 168 (2).
 Article 172 (2), Constitution.
 Article 171, Constitution.
 Article 169, Constitution.
 Article 245 (1), Constitution.
 Article 246 (1), Seventh Schedule, list III.
 Article 246 (1), Seventh Schedule, list II.
 Article 246 (1), Seventh Schedule, list I, entry 97.
 Article 214, Constitution; 24 High Courts so far; Web Directory – Judiciary.
 Article 233, Constitution; District Courts of India.
 Article 231, Constitution.
 Article 227, Constitution.
 Article 226, Constitution.
 These are the High Courts of Bombay, Calcutta, Delhi and Madras. Their original jurisdiction is conferred by their Letters Patent.
 Article 348 (1), Constitution.
 Articles 343, 344, 351, Constitution.
 Article 216, Constitution.
 Memorandum of Procedure, High Court, paragraphs 1-5
 Article 217, Constitution.
 Memorandum Showing the Procedure for Appointment of the Chief Justice of India and Judges of the Supreme Court of India; lists of judges of all the High Courts are found online.
 Memorandum of Procedure, High Court, paragraph 14, 15
 Article 217 (1), Constitution.
 Article 217 (1) (b), Constitution.
 Article 217 (1) (c), Constitution.
 District Courts of India; District Courts of India – E-Courts Mission Mode Project.
 Article 233, Constitution.
 District Courts of India.
 E.g., The State of Tamil Nadu.
 Sections 96, 100 Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (Act No. 5 of 1908).
 Chapters 29, 30 Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973
 Article 233, Constitution of India
 Supreme Court Advocates-on-Record Association Vs Union of India, paragraph 100
 Article 234, Constitution of India
 Income Tax Appellate Tribunal
 National Company Law Tribunal
 National Company Law Appellate Tribunal
 Press Information Bureau
 Customs Excise & Service Tax Appellate Tribunal
 National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission
 The Debts Recovery Tribunal
 Debts Recovery Tribunals – Debts Recovery Appellate Tribunals
 National Green Tribunal.
 Impeachment proceedings were (at different times) initiated against V. Ramasami J., S. Sen J. and P.D. Dinakaran CJ. The motion against V. Ramasami was defeated. S. Sen and P.D. Dinakaran JJ resigned before the impeachment proceedings could be completed.
 Supreme Court Advocates-on-Record Association Vs Union of India
 Article 19, Constitution.
 This was repealed by the Constitution (44th Amendment) Act, 1978 with effect from 20 June 1979; The Constitution (44th Amendment).
 Article 300A, Constitution.
 Article 51A, added by the Constitution (42nd Amendment) Act 1976 with Effect from 3 January 1977; The Constitution (42d Amendment) Act, 1976.
 Election Commission of India
 Section 30, Advocates Act, 1961
 Section 24, Advocates Act, 1961.
 The Bar Council of India.
 Rule 11, section 2, chapter 2 part 6, Bar Council of India Rules
 Chapter 1 part 6, Bar Council of India Rules
 Section 16, Advocates Act, 1961.
 Indira Jaising vs Supreme Court of India
 Supreme Court Rules; the High Court rules are available on the websites of the High Courts:
 Section 4, Advocates Act, 1961.
 Section 3, Advocates Act, 1961.
 Section 37, Advocates Act, 1961.
 Section 38, Advocates Act, 1961.
 The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, The Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956, The Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act, 1956 and The Hindu Succession Act, 1956.
 The occasional legislation includes The Wakf Act, 1995, The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on the Divorce) Act, 1986.
 The Supreme Court of India – Constitution
 Article 123, Constitution.
 Article 213, Constitution.
 Directorate of Printing Department of Publication Ministry of Urban Development Government of India – The Gazette of India.
 Directorate of Printing Department of Publication Ministry of Urban Development Government of India – The Gazette of India
 Supreme Court of India – Constitution
 Article 141, Constitution of India.
 The Abolition of Privy Council Jurisdiction Act, 1949 (Constituent Assembly Act 5 of 1949).
 High Court of Judicature at Allahabad (Indian Law Report – Allahabad Series); High Court of Delhi (Indian Law Reports from 2011 onwards).