Law Dictionary

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Ab initio

From the very beginning


To put something off to another time eg: if a court case cannot proceed when in comes before the court, it may be adjourned to a later date.

Adversarial Procedure

A way of adjudicating a dispute in which one party asserts a claim or a right, and the other denies it. The dispute is usually resolved by the acceptance of one claim and the rejection of the other, making the proceedings adversarial. This is recognized in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 and the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908

Advocate-on-record (AOR)

An advocate who has passed a qualifying examination conducted by the Supreme Court. The examination is taken by an advocate who has been enrolled with a Bar Council for at least five years and has completed one year''s training with an AOR of not less than five years standing. Only an AOR can file a vakalath, a petition, an affidavit or any other application on behalf of a party in the Supreme Court. All the procedural aspects of a case are dealt with by the AOR, with the assistance of a registered clerk. It is the AOR''s name that appears on the cause list. The AOR is held accountable, by the Court, for the conduct of the case. Any notices and correspondence from the Court are sent to the AOR, and not to the party


The reduction of a debt incurred, for example, in the purchase of stocks or bonds, by regular payments consisting of interest and part of the principal made over a specified time period upon the expiration of which the entire debt is repaid. A mortgage is amortized when it is repaid with periodic payments over a particular term. After a certain portion of each payment is applied to the interest on the debt, any balance reduces the principal.

The allocation of the cost of an intangible asset, for example, a patent or Copyright, over its estimated useful life that is considered an expense of doing business and is used to offset the earnings of the asset by its declining value. If an intangible asset has an indefinite life, such as good will, it cannot be amortized.

Amortization is not the same as depreciation, which is the allocation of the original cost of a tangible asset computed over its anticipated useful life, based on its physical wear and tear and the passage of time. Amortization of intangible assets and depreciation of tangible assets are used for tax purposes to reduce the yearly income generated by the assets by their decreasing values so that the tax imposed upon the earnings of assets is less. Amortization differs from depletion, which is a reduction in the book value of a natural resource, such as a mineral, resulting from its conversion into a marketable product. Depletion is used for a similar tax purpose as amortization and depreciation—to reduce the yearly income generated by the asset by the expenses involved in its sale so that less tax will be due.


Dasti is a persian word, which means ‘by hand’.


Where the act consists of a tortious seizure or detention of property from the person entitled to it, and requires some act as
a condition for its surrender, the act is "duress of goods".


Written law; law deriving its force, not from usage, but from express legislative enactment; statute law.


This occurs when a person gives false evidence or false affidavit in a case


A written document filed in a court asserting a claim or a right and seeking relief on legal grounds.

Prima facie

At first sight; on the face of it.

Pro bono

Pro bono publico (English: for the public good; usually shortened to pro bono) is a Latin phrase for professional work undertaken voluntarily and without payment or at a reduced fee as a public service.

Process Fees

These are fees payable for the costs of informing the opposite party through the registry that a case is listed on a particular day.

Puisne Judge

A judge other than the Chief Justice.

Senior Advocate

An advocate who has been designated as such by either the Supreme Court or the High Court. A Senior Advocate cannot file a vakalathnama, appear in the Court without another advocate or advocate-on-record, cannot directly accept an engagement to appear in a case or draft pleadings. A senior advocate argues cases in Court upon instructions from another advocate. Senior advocates wear gowns that have flaps on the shoulders

Special Leave Petition

The correctness of any order made by any court or tribunal can be questioned by filing a petition in the Supreme Court under Article 136 of the Constitution. If the Supreme Court grants permission, i.e. "leave", the petition is registered as an appeal.

Stare decisis

The principle that decisions of Courts in previous cases must be followed in subsequent cases of similar nature.

Sub judice

A matter pending decision by a Court. Parties to such a matter are required not to do anything that would affect the outcome of the case.

Suo Motu

The Court may take action on its own when facts requiring legal intervention reach its notice. The Court is then said to be acting suo moto.

Supreme Court

The highest court in the country constituted under Article 124 of the Constitution. Its decisions are law under Article 141 and are binding on all lower courts. It has unlimited powers to do complete justice. It exercises original as well as appellate jurisdiction. Under Article 143 the President of India can ask the Supreme Court for an opinion on questions of law or fact. States can file suits against each other or against the Union of India under Article 131. The Supreme Court can transfer cases to itself from the High Courts or from one High Court to another under Article 139A of the Constitution. It can also transfer civil cases from one Court to another under S 25 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, and likewise criminal cases under S 406 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973. Apart from special leave petitions, in certain instances, appeals can be filed directly against the judgments of lower courts and tribunals. Petitions challenging the election of the President or Vice-President of India are also filed directly in the Supreme Court. The chairperson of a public service commission may be removed only after an inquiry by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court has a sanctioned strength of 31 judges, headed by the Chief Justice of India. The seat of the Supreme Court is New Delhi and its language is English

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