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Indian Legal System

NCJ Number
J Minattur
Date Published
696 pages
This discussion of India's legal system provides an overview of the system and describes the judicial system, criminal and civil procedure, the law of evidence, and criminal law, as well as other categories of law such as administrative law and labor law.
India's legal system is drawn from three primary sources: the common law, religious law, and civil ('romanist') law. Departures from English law have been made according to what India's legislators deem the unique conditions of India and considerations of equity. Although India has a Federal Constitution, it does not have a dual court system. While there are State courts, they decide both Federal and State issues. The structure of India's court system is described, along with the jurisdiction and composition of each type of court, administrative justice, and village lay courts (nyaya panchayats). Consideration of India's criminal law covers the mental element in crimes, strict or vicarious liability, group liability, attempts and conspiracy, exceptions to criminal liability, and the classification of offenses and punishment. A chapter on criminal procedure considers processes designed to prevent offenses and those bearing upon investigation, charges, and trials. Specific aspects of the law of evidence are detailed, including the opinion of third parties, admissions of fact, confessions, attestation, proof of contents of documents, and privileged communications. Chapters are devoted to constitutional law and the history of India's courts and legislatures. The legal profession and legal education are also discussed. In addition to criminal law, sections are devoted to administrative law, labor law, tax law, economic law, commercial law, company law, property law, tort law, and family law. Suggested readings accompany each chapter, and a subject index is provided. For individual entries, see NCJ 87312-15.