Frequently Asked Questions

Civil

What is the C.P.C.?


The C.P.C. stands Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, which regulates and codifies the procedure to be followed by the Judiciary in dealing with cases of a civil nature.




What is "executed" or "execution"?


When these terms "executed" or "execution" are used with respect to any document or instrument, it means "signed" or "signature".




What is a "Power of Attorney"?


A "Power of Attorney", as per the Maharashtra Stamp Act, includes any instruments (not chargeable with a fee under the law relating to court-fees for the time being in force) empowering a specified person to act for and in the name of the person executing it and includes an instrument by which a person, not being a person who is a legal practitioner, is authorised to appear on behalf of any party in any proceedings before any Court, Tribunal or Authority. As per Halsbury, Vol. III P. 322 (3rd Ed.), a "Power of Attorney" is a delegation of authority in writing one person is empowered to do an act in the name of another. A "Power of Attorney" may be general or special. A general power of attorney covers more than one subject matter while a special power of attorney relates to a specific subject matter, though it may contain several incidental powers relating to the same subject matter. The test to decide whether a power is general or special is as to what is the subject matter in respect of which the power is given and if it is restricted to one specific matter it is a special power of attorney, otherwise, it is general. Western India Theatres v. Ishwarbai, 60 Bom.L.R. 1288 : AIR 1959 Bom. 386.





Criminal

What is a First Information Report (FIR)?


A First Information Report (FIR) as the name suggests, is the information given to a police officer about any offence. Particularly, any information under sub-section(1) of Section 154 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 is commonly known as FIR, viz., First Information Report. Though this term is not defined/used in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, but, being the first information about the cognizable offence, it is called the First Information report. On receipt of this information, the police registers the report in a FIR Register and begins the investigation of the crime.




Are any fees or charges to be paid to police for registration of FIR? Is the Complainant entitled to a free copy of the FIR?


There are absolutely no fees or charges to be paid to the police for registering the FIR and the subsequent investigation. In case of the Complainant - Yes. In case of the Accused – As per Section 207 of the Criminal Procedure Code (Cr.PC) 207 - Supply to the accused of copy of police report and other documents. In any case where the proceeding has been instituted on a police report, the Magistrate shall without delay furnish to the accused, free of cost, a copy of each of the following:- (i) the police report; (ii) the first information report recorded under section 154; (iii) the statements recorded under sub- section (3) of section 161 of all persons whom the prosecution proposes to examine as its witnesses, excluding therefrom any part in regard to which a request for such exclusion has been made by the police officer under sub- section (6) of section 173; (iv) the confessions and statements, if any, recorded under section 164; (v) any other document or relevant extract thereof forwarded to the Magistrate with the police report under sub- section (5) of section 173: Provided that the Magistrate may, after perusing any such part of a statement as is referred to in clause (iii) and considering the reasons given by the police officer for the request, direct that a copy of that part of the statement or of such portion thereof as the Magistrate thinks proper, shall be furnished to the accused: Provided further that if the Magistrate is satisfied that any document referred to in clause (v) is voluminous, he shall, instead of furnishing the accused with a copy thereof, direct that he will only be allowed to inspect it either personally or through pleader in Court.




What is the Cr.P.C. ? What are the different categories of offences under Cr.P.C.?


The Cr.P.C. stands Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, which regulates and codifies the procedure to be followed by the Judiciary in dealing with cases of a criminal nature. The six categories of offences under the Cr.P.C. are as below:

  1. Cognizable Offence
  2. Non-Cognizable Offence
  3. Bailable Offence
  4. Non-Bailable
  5. Compoundable Offences
  6. Non-Compounable Offences




What can one do if a cheque is dishonoured?


If a cheque issued to any person is dishonoured for any reason, the aggrieved has the option in law to take action under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act and approach the Court for recovering whatever was legally due to him. As with any legal remedy, certain conditions need to be met and only a trained legal professional can guide whether the conditions as required by the law are met or not.




What are the rules for arrest/detention of women by the Police ?


As per Section 46 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Cr.PC), a woman can be arrested by a woman police officer only and also, no woman can be arrested after sunset or before sunrise, unless in exceptional circumstances, and with the prior permission of the concerned Judicial magistrate First Class.





Constitutional

What is a PIL? In which court can a PIL be filed?


A PIL is a Public Interest Litigation, which can be filed by any person, either in the State High Court or in the Supreme Court of India. Generally, in a PIL, there cannot be any personal interest and if there is any personal interest, however minimal it may be, it has to be disclosed. Subjects on which a PIL can be filed cannot be confined to any particular list. They can be as varied as possible. However, recently, there have been instances where the Courts have imposed heavy costs on the Petitioners for filing frivolous PIL's.





General

What is the difference between a 'Lawyer' and an 'Advocate'?


The dictionary meaning of both is the same. However, in India, under the Advocates Act, 1961, an Advocate has been defined as "advocate means an advocate entered in any roll under the provisions of this Act". A person can be enrolled in any roll under the provisions of the Advocates Act, 1961 only if that person has completed his or her LL.B. degree. And so, as a result, all Lawyers in India, if enrolled in any Bar Coucil, are technically called 'Advocates'.




What is an 'Advocate, High Court? Is it better or different from any other Advocate?


In India, as per the law, all who have completed their LL.B. degree and wish to practice in any Court or Tribunal, need to enroll themselves with the concerned State Bar Council. Each State Bar Council comes under the purview of the Bar Council of India. Any Advocate thus enrolled with the State Bar Council, shall have the right to practice in any Court or Tribunal, subject to certain exceptions. There is no official title as 'Advocate High Court' and essentially, any Advocate enrolled with the State Bar Council shall have the right to practice in the High Court of that State. It is not necessary, however, that the Advocate shall primarily practice at the High Court.




Can I directly approach the High Court of a State or the Supreme Court of India?


There is no right or wrong answer to this, because in certain circumstances, one can directly approach the High Court and in certain very specific circumstances, one can also directly approach the Supreme Court of India. It is therefore, advisable to seek the opinion of a qualified Advocate on the best route to adopt.




Can I represent myself in the Court? Is it advisable?


Yes, any citizen of India can represent himself or herself in the Court. In certain Courts or Tribunals, the permission of the concerned Authority may be required before appearing yourself before the Court or Tribunal. However, in some Courts/Tribunals, Advocates need the permission of the Presiding Officer before appearing for any party. Whether appearing in person is advisable or not, cannot be said. Generally, the layman does not understand the nitty-gritties of law and there is a lack of study of the different aspects of law, which the Advocates do have after years of experience and study. Litigants are very much aware and ready with the facts, but the knowledge of law is lacking in most cases.




What is an Affidavit?


An Affidavit is any statement made on oath. As per Section 139 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, it is stated that in case of any Affidavit under the Code, the following are authorized to administer an oath: (a) any Court of Magistrate, or (aa) any notary appointed under the Notaries Act, 1952 (53 of 1952), or (b) any officer or other person whom a High Court may appoint in this behalf, or (c) any officer appointed by any other Court which the State Government has generally or specially empoowered in this behalf. Under Article 4 of Schedule I of the Maharashtra Stamp Act, an Affidavit requires a Stamp Duty of Rs.100/-, with certain exceptions.




What is Stamp Duty? Why is it important?


The 'Stamp Duty' is basically a kind of a tax that the State imposes on the citizens whenever any documents are being executed and are meant to be relied upon in the Courts as legally valid documents and admissible in evidence under the Indian Evidence Act. Stamp Duty, like any other tax, is a form of revenue for the Government. An extract from the 'Statement of Objects and Reasons' of The Maharashtra Stamp (Second Amendment) Act, 2017, is given below: The Maharashtra State being a welfare State is alwasys ahead in the implementation of various development schemes for the citizens. As per the Directive Principles of State Policy in the Constitution of India, for securing the welfare of the society at large, the Government has to implement various projects and development schemes for the citizens, for which the Government needs substantial resources. To generate resources for implementing various development schemes, projects and programmes by increasing the revenuw of the Government, it is considered




What is a Solicitor? Is he any different from an Advocate?


The system of a Solicitor and a Barrister, originated from the United Kingdom, where the Solicitor is the one who a Client approached and briefed him about his case. The Solicitor then prepared the case, drafted the documents as required and then briefed the Barrister, who would then argue the case before the Court. This system is not in place in India. Although one can become a Solicitor in India by appearing for certain exams, there is no technical advantage to becoming a Solicitor. Everything that an Advocate is able to do in India, so can a Solicitor and vice versa. Of course, the benefit of having studied for longer, after acquiring the LL.B. degree cannot be overlooked.





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