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India Legal Research Guide: Part II : Introduction

This guide is designed to be used in conjunction with the AAL Program: Research the Law in India

Introductory Note

This guide to India Legal Resources is designed to be used in conjunction with the AALL Annual Meeting Program: Researching the Law of India. A note on the resources, particularly with respect to the Primary Sources of Law. The resources listed under the categories (caselaw, legislation, etc)
are either available freely or via databases (i.e. HeinOnline) that most academic libraries would have access too. Subscription based database (ie.e. SCC Online, Manupatra, etc) are listed separately, and have all or most of the resources that are categorized in various places in the guide.



Legal System and Political Structure

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 governing power lies with the council of ministers, led by the prime minister.

At the federal level, the legislative branch is composed of a bicameral parliament: The Rajya Sabha (Council of States)  and the Lok Sabha (House of the People).

Power is distributed between the central and state governments. 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's judicial system is based on English Common Law.