Law and Justice
MINISTRY of Law and Justice is the oldest limb of the Government of India dating back to
1833 when the Charter Act,1833 was enacted by the British Parliament. The said Act vested for
the first time legislative power in a single authority, namely the Governor General of Council.
By virtue of this authority and the authority vested under him under section 22 of the Indian
Councils Act, 1861 the Governor General in Council enacted laws for the country from 1834 to
1920. After the commencement of the Government of India Act, 1919 the legislative power was
exercised by the Indian Legislature constituted there under. The Government of India Act, 1919
was followed by the Government of India Act, 1935. With the passing of the Indian
Independence Act, 1947 India became a Dominion and the Dominion Legislature made laws
from 1947 to 1949 under the provisions of section 100 of the Government of India Act, 1935 as
adapted by the India (Provisional Constitution) Order, 1947. Under the Constitution of India
which came into force on the January 26, 1950 the legislative power is vested in Parliament.
Relevant Website: www.lawmin.gov.in
Ministry of Law and Justice comprises the three Departments namely the Department of
Legal Affairs, the Legislative Department and the Department of Justice. The Department of
Legal affairs is assigned legal functions including the interpretation of the Constitution and
Laws, litigation, legal profession, law reforms, treaties and agreements with foreign countries in
the matters of the civil law, legal services including Indian Legal Service, etc. The legislative
Department is concerned with the drafting of the principal legislation for the central government.
The Department of Justice is concerned with the appointment, resignation and the removal of the
Chief Justice of India, the judges of the Supreme Court/High Courts etc.
Relevant Websites: www.legal affairs.gov.in www.doj.gov.in
Indian Legal System
The Indian Legal System comprises four components namely the basic values and principles
enshrined in the Constitution; rights and obligations conferred by ordinary statues;
Organizational set up to enforce these rights and obligations within the Constitutional norms and
lastly legal and the judicial personnel. India being a democratic country and there being a
representative democracy there is a chain of accountability towards sovereign which lies
amongst the people.
Sources of Law
The main sources of law in India are the Constitution, statutes (legislation), customary law
and case law. Statutes are enacted by Parliament, state legislatures and union territory
legislatures. Besides, there is a vast body of laws known as subordinate legislation in the form of
rules, regulations as well as bye-laws made by central/state governments and local authorities
like municipal corporations, municipalities, gram panchayats and other local bodies. This
subordinate legislation is made under the authority conferred or delegated either by Parliament or