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" India's Legal System - A Labyrinth ? "

An Established (though slow) Legal

System is the Bedrock of the Indian Economy

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Down Arrow Indian Legal System

Many foreigners who are new to India have incorrect perceptions about the regulatory and statutory business environment in India and India's legal system.

India has a well-established court system spanning across civil, criminal, business, IPR (Intellectual Property Rights) matters all across the country.

Just like the US, it works at multiple levels ranging from the lowest level City Courts to the Highest-level Supreme Court.

This in a country where there are more than a dozen state-level official languages besides English and Hindi.

And A Billion Plus Population to serve.

Every legal system in the world has got it's own limitations.

In India, the sheer volume of the pending cases in the Indian legal system is one of the major drawbacks.

Similar to how the US business community complains of excessive litigation as one of the drawbacks of the US legal system.

However, there are several fast-track courts that are being set up in India to speed up the legal system.

Also, many organizations in India are working hard to speed up India's legal system via judicial reforms.

Incidentally, the well established triad of executive, legislature and judiciary along with a free media is often viewed as India's main strengths when compared to China, the other Giant in the Neighbourhood.

Some people believe that the strong foundations of these well established institutions in India probably makes us a stronger bet in the long run from a global business perspective as compared to China.

India's equivalent of SEC - SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India) has got systems and processes in place which are today being used by neighbouring countries in the South East Asian Region as benchmarks for their own operations.

SEBI continues to be a very strong watchdog of Corporate Governance Standards along with the Department of Company Affairs, the Taxation Authorities and our Legal System.

Also, in different states of the country, various legal measures and reforms are underway to speed up the entire legal system. Ranging from Arbitration Laws to setting up Citizen Information Systems.

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In India's Western state of Maharashtra, there is Right To Information (MRTI) Act available to all citizens where on a payment of Rs 20 (less than 50 US cents), you can demand any public information from the government as regards any matter of public interest.

Also, government officials who delay giving out information as per this Act are fined (and the money gets deducted from their salaries.) Incidentally, this Act is being replicated across the country by many other states.

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Updated on 27th January 2010
Created on 26th March 2005

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