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India

A Legal Research Guide


I. About this Guide   II. Government and Political Structure   III. Primary Sources of Law  
IV. Secondary Sources of Law   V. Directories and Research Guides    
  VIII. Miscellaneous Web Sites  

I. About this Guide

This is a guide to sources for research in Indian law, spanning the period from India's independence from Britain in 1947 to the present. The guide covers print materials owned by the University of Wisconsin Madison libraries as well sources available over the Internet.

Unless otherwise noted, all call numbers refer to locations at the UW Law Library.

II. Government and Political Structure

Prior to its conquest by Great Britain, the Indian subcontinent was composed of a myriad of princely kingdoms. Contemporary India is rich mixture of cultures, ethnicities and religions, but it retains the influences of British colonial rule in terms of its geographical boundaries, its form of government, and its legal system.
    
India achieved its independence from Great Britain on August 15th, 1947. At that time, the subcontinent was divided into the secular state of India and the smaller Muslim state of Pakistan. (In 1971, East Pakistan became the separate nation of Bangladesh). India became a dominion within the British Commonwealth, and subsequently, a republic within the Commonwealth upon the adoption of its constitution on January 26, 1950.

India is a federal republic. Its central government, modeled after the British parliamentary system, is composed of three branches: executive, legislative and judicial.

The Executive branch is headed by the President, who is a ceremonial head of state. The President is elected every five years by an electoral college, and is not subject to any term limit. The governing power lies with the Council of Ministers, led by the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister is selected by the political party or coalition that holds a parliamentary majority. The President then officially appoints the Prime Minister. The Council of Ministers is appointed by the President, with the advice and consent of the Prime Minister.

At the federal level, the legislative branch is composed of a bicameral parliament. The Rajya Sabha (Council of States) is the upper house, consisting of not more than 250 members who are elected to six year terms by the state legislatures and union territories. Twelve members are appointed by the President. The Lok Sabha (House of the People) is the lower house. Of its 545 members, 543 are directly elected to five year terms; the other two are appointed.

India is composed of twenty-five states and seven union territories. A governor, appointed by the President, heads the executive branch of each state. Many of the state legislatures are bicameral in the fashion of the central parliament. Each state has a chief minister, who functions much like the Prime Minister at the national level.

The central government has greater power in relation to the states than is the case in the United States. The individual states have more autonomy than do the Union territories.

India has an integrated judicial system; the federal and state courts together form a uniform system of law courts. The Supreme Court of India is the highest court in the nation, presided over by the Chief Justice of India. It is the final court of appeal, and retains original jurisdiction with respect to any dispute between the central government of India and one or more States or between two or more states. It also has original jurisdiction with respect to the enforcement of civil and human rights.
                            
The High Courts in each state have appellate jurisdiction over the subordinate state courts, as well as original jurisdiction in certain civil maters. The lower state courts are divided intocivil, criminal, administrative and specialized courts.
    
III. Primary Sources of Law

A. The Constitution   B. Legislation from the Central Parliament  
C. State and Union Territory Legislative Materials   D. Case Law  

A. The Constitution
                    
Print

Bharat's Constitution of India with Short Notes Including Statement of Objects & Reasons of Constitution (First Amendment) to (Eighty Third Amendment) Act, 2000. 1st ed. New Delhi: Bharat Pub. House, 2000
Location: KNS 1744.5195 V37 2000

The Constitution of India. New Delhi: Taxmann, 2000.
Location: KNS 1744.5195 J35 2000
Includes historic speeches made in the assembly, amendments to the Constitution of India, reference to cases, etc.
The Constitution of India (as amended by the Constitution (Ninetieth Amendment) Act, 2003) ... 3rd ed. Allahabad : Dwivedi Law Agency, 2004.
Location: KNS1744.5195 I543 2004
Text of the constitution with amendments and annotations.

The Constitution of India: As Amended up to Seventy Ninth Amendment Act, 1999
. . . 1st ed.
New Delhi: Orient Law House, 2000.
Location: KNS 1744.5195 B43 2000
Includes text of the Constitution and amendments; pending constitutional amendment bills in Parliament; exhaustive case law of the Supreme Court & High Courts; and a subject index and table of cases.

Kagzi's the Constitution of India As amended upto 83rd amendment ... 6th ed. Publisher: New Delhi : India Law House, 2001. 2v.
Location: KNS1744.5195 K34 2001
Includes text, amenments and commentary.

Electronic

Constitution Finder - India.
Location: http://confinder.richmond.edu/index.php
Searchable database from the University of Richmond T.C. Williams School of Law. Select “India” from the drop-down menu.

The Constitution of India
Location: http://indiacode.nic.in/coiweb/welcome.html
Searchable database from the Government of India, Legislative Department. Includes
Amendments.


B. Legislation from the Central Parliament

Legislative Enactments   Codes and Compilations  


Legislative Enactments
Print

All India Law Reporter Nagpur: D.V. Chitaley, 1914 -
Location: 1st Floor, East Stacks 32-33
Contains text of session laws from the central parliament. Published annually from 1914-1949, and monthly from 1950 onwards. The library has volumes from 1949 to date.

Current Indian Statutes. Chandigarh: Usha Printers.
Location: 1st Floor East Stack 32
Monthly periodical contains acts, rules and notifications of the central government and several of the states. The library has 1994 to date.

Electronic

India Code Information System (INCODIS)
Location: http://indiacode.nic.in/
From the National Informatics Centre (NIC) and Legislative Department, Govt. of India. A database of all the Central Acts of Parliament from 1834 onward . Permits searching on full text and of a number other fields, including Statement of Objects and Reasons and Act Status.
                            
Maha Library
Location: http://www.mahalibrary.com/
This database of laws from the central parliament is published and promoted by M/s. Network Publishing P. Ltd, an Indian company. Search by name of the statute, category, keyword, or browse the index. The information on the site is free, but registration is required.


Codes and Compilations

The A.I.R. Manual: Unrepealed Central Acts, Civil and Criminal. 5th ed. Nagpur: All India Reporter, 1989 - 45 v.
Location: KNS 14 1989
This set prints all federal statutes along with annotations to case law and secondary sources of law. Volumes 37 and 38 are not available due to a gap in publication.

Bills and Parliamentary Debates and Proceedings

Print

Lok Sabha Debates. New Delhi: Lok Sabha Secretariat, 1952-
Location: Memorial Library J500 K25
Debates from the lower house of parliament. Library has Ser. 9, v.1 (1989) - .

Electronic    

Indian Parliament
Location: http://www.parliamentofindia.nic.in/ An excellent source for bills, parliamentary debates and more. The site provides links to the full text of Bills in the Lok Sabha dating back to 1991 and lists of Rajya Sabha bills dating from 1989 to the present. Also available are the texts of debates of the Lok Sabha dating back to 1999; the Rajya Sabha proceedings dating back to 2000; synopses of debates for both houses of parliament dating back to 2000; Journals of the Rajya Sabha dating back to 1995; and other information on parliamentary business.

C. State and Union Territory Legislative Materials


All states publish weekly gazettes in which state laws are published. For the most part, these weekly gazettes are not available for borrowing.
    
Current Indian Statutes has acts, rules and notifications for several of the states.

In addition, Memorial Library has an extensive collection of compilations of local acts, rules, regulations and notifications for the states and union territories. Most of these have eithernot been kept up-to-date or ceased publication, and are therefore useful for historical research only. If you would like a list of these resources, please contact Sunil Rao, Reference Librarian, at strao@facstaff.wisc.edu.

D. Case Law                
    


Supreme Court   High Courts  

Supreme Court

Print        

All India Reporter.
Nagpur: D.V. Chitaley, 1914-
Location: 1st Floor, East Stacks 32-33
The ibrary has 1949 to date.

The Supreme Court Journal. Madras: Madras Law Journal Press,
vol. 13 (1950)-
Location: 1st Floor, East Stack 34
    
Electronic (Case law and court web sites)

Indian Courts

Location: http://indiancourts.nic.in Links to web sites for High Courts and Tribunals, District Courts, and Causelists for the Supreme Court of India and the High Courts. (Causelists are schedules of cases to be heard by the courts on the following day.)

Indian Courts-Case Status
Location: http://courtnic.nic.in/ordersmore.htm
Provides the status of cases of the Supreme Court and the High Courts.

Indlaw
Location: http://www.indlaw.com/. Ask a law library reference desk for access.
Searchable database of laws from India, including judgments from the Supreme Court.

Supreme Court of India: National Informatics Centre
Location: http://supremecourtofindia.nic.in/index.html
Site from the National Informatics Centre serves as the official site of the Supreme Court. Includes a discussion of the Indian legal system and jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, the court's calender, a link to the Supreme Court Rules and more.
Judis: Judgment Information System
Location: http://www.judis.nic.in/
Access to judgments of the Supreme Court of India from 1950 onwards and selected high court decisions.

Supreme Court Caselaw
Location: http://www.supremecourtcaselaw.com/
Case citations and summaries dating back to 1950.

                
High Courts

Print    

All India Reporter. Nagpur: D.V. Chitaley, 1914-
Location: 1st Floor, East Stacks 32-33
Library has 1949 to date. Reports cases from all High Courts.

The Federal Law Journal of India
: A Journal of the Law of the Indian Constitution with Reports of the Proceedings of the Federal Court of India . New Delhi: Federal Law Journal Office, 1937-1949.     
Location:1st Floor East, Stack 34

Includes separately paged Editorial notes, Reports of the proceedings of the Federal Court, Reports of the decisions of the Privy Council and the High Courts of India on the Indian Constitution, Statutes, and Federal court rules.

Electronic

Indian Courts

Location: http://indiancourts.nic.in
Links to web sites for High Courts and Tribunals, District Courts, and Causelists for the Supreme Court of India and the High Courts. (Causelists are schedules of cases to be heard by the courts on the following day.)

Indlaw
Location: http://www.indlaw.com/. Ask a law library reference desk for access. Searchable database of laws from India, including judgments from the Supreme Court.

Judis: Judgment Information System
Location: http://www.judis.nic.in/
Full text access to decisions from several High Courts.

Jurisdiction and Seats of Indian High Courts    
Location: http://ebc-india.com/lawyer/hcourts.htm


IV. Secondary Sources of Law        
    
A. Legislative Digests   B. Case Law Digests, Indexes and Commentary  
C. Indexes to Articles and Books      

A. Legislative Digests

Digest of Central Acts. New Delhi: Lok Sabha Secretariat, v.13, no.1 (Jan-Mar. 1976) -
Location: Memorial Library K0.1 I39273 DICMay 24, 2002
Contains synopses of all bills passed by Parliament and assented to by the President.    

Martindale-Hubbell Intnernational Law Digest, Summit, N.J.: Martindale-Hubbell, 1990-3v.
Location: Reference Collection KF 190 M 372/3
See the India Law Digest section . Contains references to and summaries of major legislation, organized by topic.
    
B. Case Law Digests, Indexes and Commentary

General Digests
All India Fifteen Years Digest 1985-1999. Vinod Publications: Delhi, 2000. 4v.
Location: KNS19 A65 1999
A digest of decisions of the Supreme Court, various High Courts, and commissions. The library currently has volumes three and four, and is in the process of acquiring the first two volumes.

Bharat's Digest of Supreme Court Cases, 1950 to Date
. 1st ed. New Delhi: Bharat Law House, 2000. 3 v.
Location: KNS 18 I53 2000

Digest of Legislative and Constitutional Cases. New Delhi, v.13 (1976) -
Location: Memorial Library K0.1 I39273 DIL
A digest of Supreme Court and High Court decisions. Supercedes Digest of Central Acts and Constitutional Cases, ( v.1, 1963- v.12, 1975) (Memorial Library K0.1 I39273 DI).

Index to Case Law: A Detailed Guide . . . Chandigarh: Arvind Publications, [1972]. 2v.
Location: Memorial Library K0.1 G68
A guide to the rulings of the Supreme Court, High Courts and other Indian courts reported in the All India Reporter from 1948 through 1972. Decisions that have been reported in the All India Reporter since 1914 are also covered if they have been referred to in some manner by any court since 1948. The guide is organized first by jurisdiction, then chronologically by date of decision.

Index to Caselaw ...
: An Encyclopaedia to Bring Your Knowledge Latest Position of Case Law Referred, Followed, Over-ruled, Relied Distinguished, Dissented, Explained, Not Followed, etc.
Chandigarh: Punjab Law Agency, 2000.
Location: KNS 19 Z8 I53
Index to Supreme Court and High Court Decisions. The library has v. 1-3 (1996/1999 - 2000).

The Fifty Years Digest:1901-1950 (Civil, Criminal & Revenue). Madras: T.B. Ghushey for Digest Publications, [1952?]. 14 v.
Location: 1st Floor East, Stack 33
Digest of Supreme Court and High Court decisions.

Quinquennial Digest: Civil, Criminal & Revenue. Bombay: All India Reporter. 21v. 1966/70 - 1981/85
Location: 1st Floor East, Stack 33
Digest of Supreme Court and High Court decisions.Organized by topic and statute section.Continues The Fifteen Years' Digest, 1951-1965, Civil, Criminal & Revenue, Including the Cases of 1950. 14 v. (Also on first floor east, stack 33).
    
Supreme Court Index to Case Law, 1950-1991: With Statutory Subject Index & Comparative Tables. Delhi: Allied Book Co., 1992.
Location: KNS 17.8 A3 R36 1992
    
Supreme Court on Civil Practice : 1975 to June 1989. Rohtak: Bright Law House, 1989?
Location: Memorial Library KNS 18 A3 I53 1989
A digest of civil law cases decided by the Supreme Court.

Criminal Digests

All-India criminal digest, 1961-1970. Allahabad: Law Book Co. 1970-. 4 v.
Location: Memorial Library K0.1 A2772 A
A digest of High Court and Supreme Court decisions.
    
Criminal Digest, 1954 to 1962, in Continuation of our 50 years' Criminal Digest, 1904-1953.
Bombay: All India Reporter [1963]. 2v.
Location: 1st Floor East, Stack 34
A digest of Supreme Court and High Court decisions.
        
Digest on Indian Penal Code
. New Delhi : Kamal Publishers, 2004
Location: KNS3796.7 M33 2004

Digest on the Indian Penal Code, 1860. Allahabad : Law Vision Publications, 2002.
Location:KNS3796.7 A95 2002

Prem's Criminal Law & Practice, 1864-2004.
8th ed. Publisher: New Delhi : Ashoka Law House, 2004- 7 v.
A digest of Supreme Court and High Court decisions.

The Supreme Court on Criminal Law
, 1950-1996. 5th Ed. New Delhi: Professional Publishers, 1996-
Location: KNS 3796 I53
A digest of Supreme Court Cases, organized alphabetically by topic. Contains detailed case annotations.
The Supreme Court on Criminal Major Acts. 1st ed. Allahabad: Dwivedi Law Agency, 2000.
Location: Memorial Library KNS 3796 I535 2000
A digest of Supreme Court decisions organized according to sections of the Indian Penal Code, Indian Evidence Act and the Code of Criminal Procedure. Contains a table of cases. Coverage is from 1950 through February 2000.

Supreme Court Ready Referencer on Crimes: Criminal Law, 1950-1991. Allahabad: Sodhi Publications, 1992.
Location: KNS 3796 A95 1992
A digest of Supreme Court Cases, organized alphabetically by topic.



                            

C. Indexes to Articles And Books

Abstracts of Books, Reports and Articles. New Delhi: Parliament Library. Jan/ Mar. 1975 -.
Location: Memorial Library AS472 I44 A27, regular and oversized shelving.
Abstracts of books received in the Parliament Library; articles appearing in journals and leading newspapers; and synopses of important official Indian and foreign reports, including those from the UN. Supersedes Abstracts and Index of Reports and Articles (infra), which was formed by the union of Abstracts of Reports (infra) and Abstracts and Index of Articles (infra).
    
Abstracts and Index of Reports and Articles. New Delhi: Lok Sabha Secretariat.
Location: Memorial Library J500 K94.
The library has v. 1-12. (Jan./Mar.1963-1974).    

Abstracts and Index of Articles. New Delhi: Lok Sabha Secretariat. v. 1-5; Jan. 1958-Dec. 1962.
Location: Memorial Library J500 K93
The library has v. 5, no. 2-12 (1962) .

Abstracts of Reports. New Delhi: Lok Sabha Secretariat. July 1955-Dec. 1962.
Location: Memorial Library J500 K9
The library has v. 7, no. 1 (Jan. 1961); v. 7, no. 12 (Dec. 1962) and v. 8, no. 1-11 (Jan - Nov. 1962).

Index to Indian Legal Periodicals
. New Delhi: Indian Law Institute, 1963-
Location: 3rd Floor, Periodicals
                                            
Index to Legal Articles Published in All India Reporter, from 1914 to 1967.
Chandigarh, 1968.
Location: 1st Floor East, Stack 34
    
                    

V. Directories and Research Guides

Print    

India. Foreign Law: Current Sources of Codes and Legislation in Jurisdictions of the World . Littleton, Colo.: F.B. Rothman, 1989- 3v.
Location: Reference Collection K38 R49 1989/3A

“India.” International Encyclopedia of Comparative Law. New York: Oceana[etc.], 1973- . 17 v.
Location: Reserve Collection K 530 I57 1973 /v.1/I

Legal Research and Methodology. 2nd ed. New Delhi: Indian Law Institute, 2001.
Location: Reference Collection
KN S47 L43 2001
    
“The Legal System of the Republic of India.” Modern Legal Systems Cyclopedia. Buffalo, N.Y., U.S.A.: W.S. Hein, 1984-1985. 10 v.
Location: Reference Collection K 530 M62/v.9
Kept up-to-date with supplements.

Indian Legal Materials: A Bibliographical Guide. Bombay: N.M. Tripathi Private LTD., 1970.
Location: KNS 47 J35 1970

Martindale-Hubbell International Law Digest, Summit, N.J.: Martindale-Hubbell, 1990-. 3v.
Location: Reference Collection KF 190 M 372/3
See the India Law Digest Section.
        
Electronic
    

Findlaw: India

Location: http://www.findlaw.com/12international/countries/in.html
Annotated list of sites related to Indian law and government.

Foreign Law Guide: Current Sources of Codes and Basic Legislation in Jurisdictions of the World
http://www.foreighlawguide.com.libproxy.law.wisc.edu/
This fee-based service from the University of California, Berkeley is the web version of Foreign Law: Current Sources of Codes and Legislation in Jurisdictions of the World. The substantive content of the two versions is for the most part identical, though the web version is updated weekly. The service provides subscribers with guides to primary and secondary sources of law from nearly 200 jurisdictions, including India.

Government of India: Directory of Official Web Sites
Location: http://goidirectory.nic.in/
Links to web sites of Government of India ministries and departments, national organizations, states, union territories and more.
Governments on the WWW: India
Location: http://www.gksoft.com/govt/en/in.html
Directory of national and state government institutions, political parties and other general information. Compiled and maintained by Gunnar Anzinger.
    
Guide to Indian Laws

Location: http://www.llrx.com/features/indian.htm
From LLRX.com. An explanation of the Indian legal system, as well links to sources of Indian law and important governmental agencies and organizations.

Guide to Law Online, Nations of the World, India.
Location: http://www.loc.gov/law/guide/india.html
From the Law Library of Congress, Global Legal Information Network. Guide to primary and secondary resources of law, government information, and information on social and legal issues pertaining to India.

A Lawyer's Guide to India                        
Location: http://www.hg.org/guide-india.html#incorporation
An outline and summary of important aspects of Indian law and the Indian Legal system. Prepared by Singhania & Co., a large law firm centered in New Delhi with expertise in corporate and business laws.
                                                                                            
World Directory of Parliamentary Libraries
Location: http://www.bundestag.de/datbk/library/india.html
From the German Bundestag, Germany's lower house of parliament. Database contains the parliamentary library for the central government of India and a directory of parliamentary libraries for the states and Union Territories.

Vakilbabu
Location: http://www.vakilbabu.com/
Site from S.G. Maheshwari and Co., a law firm operating primarily out of Mumbai(Bombay), offers legal advice, a list of central acts, an explanation of the Indian Legal System and more. Some services are available only by paid subscription.

VIII. Miscellaneous Web Sites

World Leaders: India
Location: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/world-leaders-1/world-leaders-i/india.html
From the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency.

Country Commercial Guides for FY 2000: India
Location: http://www.state.gov/www/about_state/business/com_guides/2000/sa/india00_07.html
This July 1999 report prepared by the USEmbassy, New Delhi, is an analysis of India's economic climate.
            
Elections India
Location: http://www.eci.gov.in/
From the Election Commission of India. Site offers an explanation of the electoral system, election statistics, press releases, a Manual of Election Law, directories and more.

India: Human Rights Violations
Location: http://www.derechos.org/saran/india
Sponsored by Derechos Human Rights, a non-governmental organization. Links to US State Department and United Nations reports and documents, news articles, organizational web sites and more.
    
India Network
Location: http://www.indianetwork.org/
Links to facts, data, publications and discussion forums on India.
    
Law Commission of India
Location: http://lawcommissionofindia.nic.in/
A non-statutory body constituted by the government for maximizing justice in society and promoting good governance under the rule of law. Site contains the full text of the most recent Law Commission Reports, as well as a listing of all reports dating from 1955.                        

Law School Addresses, India

Location: http://www.hg.org/law-schools-india.asp
From Hieros Gamos, an all encompassing guide to legal information on the Internet.

Reserve Bank of India                                
Location: http://www.rbi.org.in/
Publications, reports, press releases, weekly statistics, and more.

The World Fact Book 2001
Location: http://www.odci.gov/cia/publications/factbook/index.html
From the CIA. Click on “India” for political, economic, demographic and other factual information about the country.                     
World Law: India    
Location: http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/world/india.htm
From Jurist, the Legal Education Network. Site contains links to legal and governmental information, as well as information about law schools and the study of law in India.
                                    
        



Compiled by Sunil Rao
University of Wisconsin-Madison Law Library
Revised: April 2008 (indialaw.wpd)

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