Types of Law in India: Everything to Know

An institution or country may enact law through its social or political institutions to govern its people’s conduct. Each person in India has been given rights, and as these rights are provided, there would also be a violation. Our legislature has issued several legislative recommendations to execute and protect such rights to civilise society and maintain peace and harmony among the various people.

According to a report, there were 1.4 million lawyers in 2011, with an average growth rate of 4% from 2013, and the numbers keep increasing over the years. Haryana has the most advocates in the country as of March 2020. Considering the expansive field driven towards delivering justice to its citizens, it is important to understand the various branches of this justice system and explore the different kinds of laws extended beneath it. 

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Before we delve into the details of the different types of law, let us understand what Indian law is. 

The Indian Law

Modern India has a system of different kinds of law. India has a hybrid legal system that includes laws (common, criminal, civil and statutory) inside a legal framework inherited from the colonial era and many legislations initially adopted by the British. India’s constitution is the longest-written constitution in a century, with 450 articles, 12 schedules, 101 amendments, and 117,369 words. As a result, the Indian Law system is rather vast.

Indian law is relatively complicated, with religion underpinning specific laws. Other religious adherents, such as Hindus, Muslims, and Christians, are governed by different laws. This regulation is in effect in the state of Goa; marriage, divorce, and adoption are addressed by common law in states with a Uniform Civil Code.

The Indian judiciary consistently faces alterations in its framework to keep up with the changing times. One such instance was the highly disputed decision on Triple Talaq. In the previous decade, India’s Supreme Court prohibited the Islamic practice of Triple Talaq. Women activists across India applauded the groundbreaking decision by the Supreme Court of India, reflecting the Indian legal system’s reliance on its people and for its people. 

Types of Law

For simplified comprehension, different types of law have been categorised into four major categories – 

1. Common Law

It is sometimes referred to as judicial precedent, judge-made, or case law. It is a law from judicial decisions rendered by courts and comparable authorities. It is, as the name suggests, universal. One-third of the world’s population now lives in common law jurisdictions or systems. The legislation governing civil and criminal justice, such as the Indian Penal Code of 1860, the Indian Evidence Act of 1872, the Code of Criminal Procedure 1973, and the Code of Civil Procedure 1908 that we have today were essentially drawn from Common Law.

It is described as a set of legal norms established by judges after the conclusion of cases, as opposed to rules and laws established by the legislature or in official statutes. A regulation that a court made the people obligated to read contracts is an example of common law.

2. Criminal Law

The name implies that the police department is entirely responsible for enforcing this rule. This law is designed to minimise crime in society. Certain crimes, including robbery, murder, kidnapping, rape, and so on, shall be prosecuted and punished in accordance with criminal law. The Indian Penal Code, the Indian Evidence Act, and the Code of Criminal Procedure declare it. Criminal law is primarily concerned with public service rather than private investigations. 

For instance, if a thief takes a car, the remaining vehicle owners will get concerned and file a complaint. As a result, this complaint will be seen as representing the majority of the public’s viewpoint.

3. Civil Law

Civil law is best described as looking at conduct that is not a crime. The Civil Procedure Code (CPC) governs how civil courts operate. It is a branch of law that deals with disagreements between individuals and organisations. Individuals must solve their own problems by going to court on their own or with the assistance of a lawyer. It could be issues related to property, religion, family feuds, or any such disagreement. 

For example, a vehicle accident victim may sue the driver for loss or harm received in the accident, or one firm may sue another for a business disagreement.

Civil law is further broadly divided into the following – 

4. Family Law

There are many aspects of family law, including marriage and divorce, child care, and economic considerations related to family relationships.

5. Contract Law

Contract law is the body of legislation that governs the formation, enforcement, and final execution of all legal contracts or agreements. Contract law affects everyone who conducts commercial operations at some time. All types of corporations and firms mostly utilise different types of contracts in business and consumer law to smoothly align their operation and collaborate with individual entities. 

6. Administrative Law

Administrative law is an essential aspect of Indian administration. It assures that, in accordance with the Indian Constitution, government personnel do not infringe on the rights of their citizenry. The administration of particular laws is governed by Indian government administrative law.

7. Statutory Law

Legislative law is the more common term for statutory law. Statutory law is the kind of law framed by multiple legislative entities formally in writing. Following the amendments and changes in societal mindset, these laws are subject to amendment after in-depth assessment under supreme and subordinate legislation. The legislative assemblies have the authority to create, amend, seek approval and pass these laws following their alignment with the modern legal framework. 

 State-established legal drinking age or imposed penalties for exceeding the given speed limits by riders in traffic framed as a traffic law are a few examples of statutory law. 

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The law is an action plan to be followed when an offence occurs by breaching the rights granted to Indian citizens. In India, the people gained clarity on four sorts of laws and instances. Aside from these four kinds of laws, there are various amendments and changes that keep occurring under the umbrella of Indian law. These statutes are constantly updated in response to new offences. The best way to keep up with them is to consistently upskill. 

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How is a Legislative law passed?

A bill is introduced and voted on in the legislature. If it is authorised, it is forwarded to the executive authorities - a governor (state level) or the president (federal level). If the president signs the measure, it becomes law. If the executive fails to sign the measure or refuses to sign it, the bill might be vetoed and sent back to the legislature. If the parliament passes the measure by the requisite margin, it becomes law.

What are the advantages of law?

The first and most important advantage of a law is a stable society with all of its benefits. Along with equality and consistency, the law always works to keep society safe from criminals. The law contributes to the homogeneity of all Indian people. People can comprehend that regardless of caste, status, or other factors, every individual can be treated equally under the law of the court.

How many types of law are there in total?

Since 1789, Congress has adopted between 200-600 pieces of legislation for its 115 biennial sessions, totalling more than 30,000 statutes.

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