Indian Laws: An Introduction
The system of laws operating in India is known as Indian laws. The provisions of Indian laws are largely influenced by the ancient texts, the Arthashastra (400BC) and the Manusmriti (100AD). Certain provisions are also drawn from the English common code and the laws of western countries.
An important source of Indian laws is the Indian Constitution and rules issued by the legislative bodies. The Indian President and State Governors also posses powers to issue ordinance. Verdicts passed by the Supreme Court, High Courts and Specialized Tribunals also form an important source of Indian legislation. Certain international trade laws, such as the laws on intellectual property, are applicable in India.
Key Branches of Indian Laws
The complex system of Indian laws is aimed at assuring justice and equality to all Indian citizens. They also intend to promote a democratic and liberal society in India. Main branches of Indian legislation include:
Administrative laws form an integral part of the public legislation. It regulates the working of government agencies involved in the decision-making process and administrative activities, such as formulation and enforcement of rules and regulations. These government agencies include commissions, boards and tribunals.
Family laws are a branch of Indian laws that are applicable on a person by virtue of his religion. The three main branches of family laws are Hindu laws, Christian laws and Muslim laws. Family laws govern litigation related to personal matters, such as marriage, divorce, guardianship, adoption and inheritance.
Criminal laws in India define types of criminal offences and punishments for committing those offences. An important legislation governing criminal offences in India is the Indian Penal Code (IPC). It applies to the whole of India, including the State of Jammu and Kashmir.
The primary aim of Civil laws in India is to deal with non-criminal disputes, such as the formation and breach of contracts, ownership of property and issues of child custody. The Indian statute that governs the procedure for registering civil cases, the legal rights of defendants and plaintiffs, Court fees and the working of Civil Courts is called the Civil Procedure Code (CPC).