all types of litigation

Litigation is the practice of settling disputes in the Courts of Law. In India, due to the complex judicial structure, litigation as such can be a complicated and time-consuming process. The judiciary, further, follows a hierarchical system in India. The Supreme Court is the apex court for the entire nation and the high courts oversee the judicial proceedings at the state level. The next in order are the subordinate courts like the civil courts, criminal courts, and district and family courts. In essence, the judiciary adopts a pyramidal structure with the Supreme Court at the highest level, carrying out the appellate jurisdiction.

Jurisprudence in India and its Implications on Litigation

Indian Jurisprudence has largely evolved from British jurisprudence, and the same can be witnessed in a number of legal statutes and proceedings to this day. For instance, the practice of alluding to judicial precedents was adopted from British Law. The precedents, by higher courts, have been regarded to have a binding value when considered in cases that have similar facts and have relevant questions of law to be decided upon by the lower courts.

These courts adhere to an adversarial system of dispute resolution, wherein the legal system encompasses the elements of civil law, equitable law, customary law, and religious law.

Therefore, the impact of jurisprudence on litigation in India can be summarised as:

  • Using the precedents rendered by a higher court steers the litigation in a proper and predictable way

  • Both the sides, the defendant and the plaintiff deserve to be represented legally, while the court acts neutrally to the litigation

  • In litigation, the court has the option to choose an equitable or a strict legal stance while giving the judgment. For instance, the Supreme Court has the power to render judgment that does not stem from any legal statute and is merely based on a perceived sense of justice that deems fit in the eyes of the court

  • In scenarios, wherein there are conflicts between personal or customary laws with the provisions of the Constitution of India, the court has given preference to the former. On the contrary, the court has also dissected the provisions laid out by the personal or customary law and has subjected them to the test of constitutionality. Thus, in such scenarios, the outcome of the litigation is totally at the discretion of the court.