The history of law in India has layers of complexity and many influences. Courts did not exist in the early societies of India and the mode of justice was in the form of revenge, which was a private matter. During the Vedic and pre-Mauryan periods (more than 2,000 years ago), kings presided over the law courts and decided cases by relying on law codes or smritis (codes of Hindu customary law). The laws of Manu and the writings of Indian jurists refer to the existence of peoples’ courts at the village level. At that time codes of conduct for Judges, and procedures for dispensing justice, existed in order to allow of the legal system to function. Justice was dispensed on the basis of norms laid down in the scriptures in the Vedas, Dharma sutras, Vedangas, Purans as well as the customs and usage of communities. (Khanna, 2008).The Mughal period brought with it the domination of Islamic jurisprudence which was laid down by the Quran and the Muslim law of Shariat. There were mainly three kinds of court in that period: (i) Court of religious law (ii) Court of secular cases (iii) Court for political cases (Khanna, 2008). During the British period, the power to dispense justice rested with East India Company and later the English common law system was introduced. Under the earlier period, the East India Company had sole responsibility for the judicial system. The company was granted a charter by King George I in 1726 to establish ‘Mayor’s Courts’ in three metropolitan cities – Madras, Bombay and Calcutta–and the functions of the company increased considerably after the victory in the Battle of Plassey in 1757. After that, the courts expanded to other parts of the country. After 1857, the power of the company’s territories in India passed to the British Crown. Subsequently the Supreme Courts were established and these courts were transformed to the first High Courts by the Indian High Courts Act passed by the British Parliament in 1862. In the same year the Law Commission, under the chairmanship of Thomas Babington Macaulay, prepared the Indian Penal Code (the main criminal code of India) which was subsequently enacted into force. Today, in independent India, the Constitution of India is the guiding light in all matters including with the legislature and concerning the judicial system in the country. In India, the union and the states have their own executive and legislative branches. The union territories are governed by the National Government. The law generated by the Union is binding to all the States. India has a bicameral Parliamentary system, whose upper house is the Council of States (Rajya Sabha) and lower house is the House of People (Lok Sabha). (Thanuskodi, 2010). The judiciary remains independent within the country. The E-Committee, which is mentioned later in this article, and was constituted by Supreme Court of India, has indicated that at present 2,066 towns have District Courts but in all probability, in some of the towns, the court complexes may be more than one. The number of court complexes is 2,500.1 India has One Supreme Court and twenty one High Courts. The Union Government has approved an increase in the number of judges over the next five years to reach 37,000 judges to deliver speedy disposal of pending cases in the lower and higher judiciary2. The present strength in terms of numbers of judges is: 25 in the Supreme Court, 626 High Court Judges, 14,275 Judges in the Lower Judiciary.

SignUp For News Letter

Get news and updates from OLIS group, to your email :
Contact Information
Raj Kumar (Ph.D Research Scholar)
Dr. M. Madhusudhan (Supervisor)
II Floor, Tutorial Building, University of Delhi , Delhi-110 007
Mobile : +91-011-27666656
Email : info@olisindia.in
All Rights Reserved@ University of Delhi, Website Designed and Developed by Raj Kumar(Ph.D Research Scholar)