Introduction to the Indian Legal System
India’s legal system inherited the legal framework of the colonial era and formed a mixed legal system of civil law, common law, customary law, and religious law. Since the Indian Constitution came into effect, Indian laws have also complied with the United Nations human rights law and environmental law norms. Certain international trade laws, such as intellectual property laws, are also enforced in India.
India’s laws involving individuals are quite complicated, and followers of each religion abide by their own specific laws. In most states, marriage and divorce registration is not mandatory.
Sikhs, Hindus, Muslims, Christians and followers of other religions all abide by the relevant regulations of their religion. However, the judicial system of Goa is different from the mainstream of India. Goa inherited the unified civil code of Portugal derived from the Napoleonic Code.
The Indian Federal Parliament consists of the President and two houses. The president is the head of state and the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. He is elected by an electoral college composed of elected members of the two houses of parliament and state assemblies for a term of five years.
The two houses include the Federal House (Upper House) and the People’s House (Lower House). The Federal Council has a total of 250 seats. It is composed of 12 members with specialized knowledge or practical experience appointed by the President, and no more than 238 representatives from various states and the Central Territory.
The term of office is six years, and one third is elected every two years. The Federal Council meets 4 times a year. The Constitution stipulates that the Vice President shall be the statutory Speaker of the Federal Chamber.
The Council of Ministers headed by the Prime Minister is the highest administrative body. The general reason is that the president appoints the leader of the parliamentary group of the majority party of the People’s House. The Council of Ministers also includes cabinet ministers and state ministers.
The Supreme Court is the highest judicial authority and has the power to interpret the constitution and hear disputes between the central government and various states. Each state has a high court, and a county has a county court. The judges of the Supreme Court are appointed by the President
Constitution of India (English, text date: December 1, 2007)
The Constitution of India, which came into effect on January 26, 1950, is the longest written constitution in the world. The Indian Constitution stipulates that India is a federal state, a sovereign, socialist, and secular democratic republic, adopting a British-style parliamentary democracy.
Citizens are equal before the law, regardless of race, gender, origin, religious belief, or place of birth. Although its administrative regulations are largely based on the “Indian Government Act of 1935”. It also contains other regulations when the constitutions of other countries were created. It specifies in detail the administrative management system of the federal government and the states, as well as the relationship between the federal government and state governments.
Catalogue of the Constitution of India:
＞Part 1: Alliance and its territories
＞Part 2: Citizen
＞Part 3: Fundamental Rights
＞Part 4: The guiding principles of national policies
＞Part V: Federal regulations
»Chapter 1: Federal Government
»Chapter 2: Congress
»Chapter 3: Legislation
»Chapter 4: Federal Judiciary
»Chapter 5: Auditor General of India
＞Part VI: Relevant regulations of various states
»Chapter 1: General Provisions
»Chapter 2: State Governments
»Chapter 3: State Legislation
»Chapter 4: Legislative Power of the Chief Executive
»Chapter 5: High Courts of the States
»Chapter VI: Lower Court
> Part VII: Part of the states in Schedule 1. (This part was abolished by the Seventh Amendment in 1956.)
＞Part VIII: Federal Territories
＞Part IX: Village Committee
＞Part 10: Reservations and Tribal Areas
＞Part 11: The relationship between the Federation and the states
＞Part Twelve: Finance, Property, Contract and Litigation
＞Part Thirteen: Trade, Commerce and Communication in Indian Territory
＞Part 14: Services of the Federation and the States
＞Part 15: Election
＞Part 16: Special provisions on certain categories
＞Part 17: Official Language
＞Part 18: Emergency Clause
＞Part 19: Miscellaneous Provisions
＞Part 20: Amendments to the Constitution
＞Part 21: Temporary, Transitional and Special Provisions
＞Part 22: Abbreviation, effective date, authoritative Hindi version and invalid content
The Legal Library of India
1. Indian Law Database
The Indian Law Database is provided by the Indian Ministry of Justice and is the Indian Federal Legislation Database.
The database is in English, which can be searched by abbreviation, bill number, bill year, implementation date, promulgation department, etc.
However, the legal text is in PDF version and cannot be converted into Chinese for reading using Google’s web translation tool.
2. Indian law library provided by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization
The overview of India provided by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations includes India’s development in agriculture and rural development, planting, environment, fisheries, food and nutrition, forestry, land and soil, livestock, oceans, water resources, wild species and ecosystems.
National policies, domestic legislation and international agreements, and provide regulations to download.
3. Indian law library provided by the International Labor Organization
The International Labor Organization provides the status of Indian legislation in a classified manner, including labor law, general labor and employment law, civil law, business and family law, criminal law, human rights law, economic and social policy, etc., and provides online and download versions of the regulations.
4. Indian law library provided by the World Intellectual Property Organization
The Indian legislation provided by the World Intellectual Property Organization includes Indian legislation on intellectual property protection (such as trademark law, copyright law, etc.), and laws and regulations related to intellectual property protection (such as civil procedure code, biodiversity law, etc.), and international treaties related to intellectual property that India has joined.
Ancient Indian Legal System
The Indian legal system is the collective name of ancient Indian law and the laws of various countries that imitated this law. Ancient Indian law was formed and developed on the basis of Brahmanism and Buddhism, represented by the Code of Manu. The Code of Manu is a compilation of ancient Indian religions, philosophies and laws, with the purpose of safeguarding theocracy and hierarchical privileges, and has strong religious and caste characteristics.
The long-term integration of post-Brahmanism and Buddhism led to Hinduism.
The Indian law represented by the “Code of Manu” has spread in parts of Central Asia and Southeast Asia, such as Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), Siam (now Thailand), Myanmar, and the Philippines.
Later scholars collectively referred to the laws of the above-mentioned countries imitating ancient Indian laws as the Indian legal system.
Now these countries, including India, are no longer adopted. This legal system has basically become history, but some customs still retain the remains of the “Manu Code”. See “Ancient Indian Law”, “Manu Code”.
The Chinese name of the Indian law system, the foreign name of the Hindu law system, is collectively referred to as the legal role of the Philippines and other countries. The “Law Sutra” plays a role as a code.
The main characteristics of religion and law are closely integrated. Ancient Indian law is often called Hindu law.
Introduction to Indian Ancient Law System
Ancient India was inhabited by people of different races, customs, and religious beliefs. The common point of their respective laws was that they were closely related to religion, ethics and philosophy. The ancient law of India can be roughly divided into the Buddhist branch and the Brahman branch, which are mutually rising.
It originated from Brahman teachings, and after Buddhism rose, the Maurya King Ashoka designated Buddhism as the state religion, and the influence of Brahman teachings gradually diminished.
It was replaced by the Tripitaka scriptures compiled by Ashoka’s monks.
Tripitaka is “Luzang”, “Jing Zang” and “Lun Zang”. “Lug Zang” records the precepts of Buddhist monks and the general rules of Buddhist temples. “Jing Zang” is the collection of Shakyamuni’s preaching. “Lun Zang” contains Buddhism. Explanation of philosophical principles.
Tripitaka Buddhism, especially the Law Zang, has a legal nature. Later, the influence of Buddhism weakened, and Brahmanism prospered.
From the 8th to 9th centuries, Brahmanism absorbed some teachings of Buddhism and Jainism and changed its name to Hinduism. Therefore, ancient Indian law is often referred to as Hindu law.
Brahmanism law regards the ancient document “Vedas” as the classics. Among them, the “Dharma Sutra” plays the role of a code.
Later edited by various schools into various compilations. Among them, the most popular, the most researched and the most representative of later generations. It is the Code of Manu. Later generations assumed that this was formulated by Manu, the son of the gods. It was actually compiled between the 2nd century BC and the 2nd century AD.
There are 12 chapters in total, using poetry genres, including religion, morality and legal norms, and philosophy. The content was translated from Sanskrit into English by British jurist W. Jones (1746-1794) at the end of the 18th century.
The above compilations were not published by the king, like the ancient laws such as the Babylonian Code of Hammurabi. They are effective because they contain the customs and religious precepts that prevail in real life.
The ancient laws of India affirmed the monarchy with unlimited royal power and declared that the king is a great humanoid god whose brilliance is above all living things.
Also affirmed the caste system of ancient Indian slavery society.
The four castes are:
i. Brahmins, namely monks and nobles, hold religious power, monopolize knowledge, enjoy various privileges, and are the highest caste.
Ii. Kshatriya, the warrior aristocracy, holds political and military power and is a secular ruler.
iii. Bish houses, including farmers and herdsmen, handicraftsmen and merchants, are the basic producers of society.
iv. Sudra is the lowest caste, without any power, it serves the higher caste. The caste is hereditary and has strict boundaries, which has a profound impact on society. The “Manu Code” also stipulates that there are seven sources of slaves: captured, for provision, birth, purchase, gift, inheritance, and punishment. The property acquired by the slave belongs to the owner. In addition, there are regulations on land, creditor’s rights, marriage, family, inheritance, criminal law, and litigation.
Now the above-mentioned countries, including India, no longer adopt the ancient Indian law. The Indian legal system has become a historical term, but there are still some relics in custom.
Main feature of ancient caste and religion system of India
1. There are many religions in India, which affect the complex structure and system of Indian law. Brahmanism takes the Vedas as its highest sutra. Buddhism takes the Tripitaka as the basic scripture. There are also Jainism and so on.
2. Integration with law, ethics and philosophy.
3. The code was not promulgated by the king or the legislature, but was compiled by famous people in the religious world or by the monks and nobles of Brahmanism in accordance with social needs and class interests.
4. Publicly publicize social inequality, and determine the status and rights and obligations of all residents in legal forms to form a complete caste system.
Name: Ajay Rastogi
Educational Qualification: LLB
Profession: Advocate / Lawyer
Work Experience: 20 Years of Legal Practice