Law and Compliance in India

Overview by

Business Contract

General Observation
A contract may be oral or in writing. However, certain contracts are required to be in writing and may even require registration.
Law Applicable to the Contract
Contained in the Indian Contract Act, 1872.

India is not a signatory to the Vienna Convention on International Contracts. Click here to visualize the list of signatory countries.

Advisable Incoterms
Choose FOB or CIF, or more. Avoid EXW if you do not want to be involved in organizing domestic transport in India.
Language of Domestic Contract
English or Hindi (other local official languages are also sometimes used)

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Legal Framework of Business

Equity of Judgments

Independence of Justice
Judiciary is largely independent in India. But, the courts are severely backlogged and understaffed which results in the detention of a large number of persons who are awaiting trial. India accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations.
Equal Treatment of Nationals and Foreigners
Though India is ruled by law and in the texts justice ensures non-discriminatory treatment of all cases. However in practice, fair trial to foreign nationals from the country's judicial system cannot be always guaranteed.
The Language of Justice
Recourse to an Interpreter
Interpreters in other foreign languages are easily available.
Legal Similarities
The Constitution of India – 1950


The country also has separate personal law codes for Muslims, Christians, and Hindus.


The Different Legal Codes


For details, visit the site India Code. However, the Indian legal codes could be categorized as follows :

  1. Constitutional Law
  2. Criminal Law
  3. Civil Law
  4. Human Rights Law
  5. Commercial Law
  6. Company Law
  7. Labour Law
  8. Health Law
  9. Mining Law
  10. Tax Law
  11. Banking Law
  12. Communication and Media Law
  13. Transport and Maritime Law
  14. Environmental Law
  15. Intellectual Property Law
  16. Arbitration Law
  17. Energy Law
  18. Agriculture Law
  19. e-commerce Law
Checking National Laws Online
Legislation India
Laws for India
India Laws
Country Guides
Lexmundi, Legal information about India

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The Jurisdictions

The Supreme Court It is the guardian of the Constitution and the highest court of appeal.


Its exclusive original jurisdiction extends to any dispute between the Government of India and one or more States.

For details, visit the web site: Supreme Court of India

21 High courts There are 18 High Courts in the country, three having jurisdiction over more than one State, taking the total number to 21. Only Delhi alone has a High Court of its own. Other six Union Territories come under the jurisdiction of different State High Courts.


Works of High Courts mostly consist of appeals from lowers courts.

For details, visit the web site: Indian Courts

District courts District Courts administer justice at a district level.


The highest court in each district is that of the District and Sessions Judge.

For details, visit the web site: Indian Courts

Sub-ordinate courts

Low level: the court of Civil Judge (Junior Division) and the court of Judicial Magistrate.


Middle level: the Court of Civil Judge (Senior Division) and the Court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate.

Top level: At the top level there may be one or more courts of additional district and sessions judge with the same judicial power as that of the District and Sessions judge.


It is a generic term for any body acting judicially, whether or not it is called a tribunal in its title. For example, an advocate appearing before a Court on which a single Judge was sitting could describe that judge as 'their tribunal'.

 For details, visit the web site: Indian Courts


Court Officials

Attorney General of India
It's the Indian government's chief legal advisor, and its primary lawyer in the Supreme Court of India. The person to occupy this position must be eligible for becoming a judge in the Supreme Court of India.
Practicing advocates
A student after completing bachelors' degree in law in India needs to enroll with the State Bar Council to register himself as a Member of the Bar, in order to practice in the District Court and High Court.



However, the Supreme Court of India insists upon passing of a separate examination conducted by it after having a minimum of 5 years experience at the Bar enrolment.

Public prosecutors
It's the equivalent of the US District Attorney. The Public Prosecutor represents the state in court.
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