Friday, January 4, 2008

Starting indiankanoon.org

India prides herself as the largest democracy in the world. There are three broad pillars of Indian democracy: the legislatures who make laws, the executives who enforce laws and the judiciary that interprets laws. The laws regulate a number of activities like criminal offense, civil cases, taxation, trade, social welfare, education and labor rights.

Even when laws empower citizens in a large number of ways, a significant fraction of the population is completely ignorant of their rights and privileges. As a result, common people are afraid of going to police and rarely go to court to seek justice. People continue to live under fear of unknown laws.

A number of attempts have been made to bring the knowledge of law to the common people. The Government of India took active efforts to present all laws along with their amendments at indiacode.nic.in and all court judgments at judis.nic.in.

While it is commendable to make law documents available to common people, it is still quite difficult for common people to easily find the required information. The first problem is that acts are very large and in most scenarios just a few section of laws are applicable. Finding most applicable sections from hundreds of pages of law documents is too daunting for common people. Secondly, laws are often vague and one needs to see how they have been interpreted by the judicial courts. Currently, the laws and judgments are separately maintained and to find judgments that interpret certain law clauses is difficult.

In order to remove the above two structural problems, Indian Kanoon is started. It achieves them by breaking law documents into smallest possible clause and by integrating law/statutes with court judgments. A tight integration of court judgments with laws allows automatic determination of the most relevant clauses and court judgments. Hope Indian Kanoon helps you in your search for Indian laws and their interpretations.

The Indian Kanoon main search page is here
The Indian Kanoon forum is here .

7 comments:

Dilip said...

Dear Sushant,

Excellent work! This is a very useful and major step forward for research in Indian law.
Here are a few points for the future that may help to improve it further:
- the possibility of search results being arranged in chronological order
- the possibility of getting the principal opinion(s) (i.e. where the keyword is a party to the case) at the top
- also, there are some important opinions missing on Judis (Indira Sawhney v. Union of India, for example that pronounced on the Mandal judgment). If there is some way to include them separately, that would also help.
In any case, the work is commendable. Keep it up!

Sushant said...

Hi Dilip,

Thanks for your suggestions. I am going to add the chronological search.
http://www.indiankanoon.com/cms/forums/viewtopic/6/

I actually added a title search and you can see a small discussion here
http://www.indiankanoon.com/cms/forums/viewtopic/5/

I think Indira Sahwney judgments are already there

http://www.indiankanoon.com/queries/search.py/get_doc?num=151374
http://www.indiankanoon.com/queries/search.py/get_doc?num=320809

Judis may be missing a few judgments and let me know which ones. Sometime back I requested Kesavananda judgment and they made it available. I am wary of other sources because of copyright issues.

mekhala said...

Sushant, India Kanoon is very impressive and will greatly benefit ordinary citizens who cannot easily grasp the legal parlance. Well done! It will be interesting to know what made you develop this search tool.

Sushant said...

Posting on behalf of an Anonymous that blogger treated as spam:

Hello Sushant,

Being frank, your site is breaking many hearts. Why are you keeping a search criteria by Name. Dont you have a heart or family? Dont be this rude to others who are really broken with cases. Some people are really innocent and you are trying to hurt them so badly. Take this comment seriously.. Dont use your brain.. use your heart to understand other's feelings. You also have sister/brother or daughter/son..atleast you have a wife. dont be so creative by hurting others. Do you really think, what you are doing is right? Educating/transferrring knowledge about laws shouldnt be this cheap & rude way by keeping other's privacy open to publick in a click. Hope you understand what i am trying to say about. Remove the selection criteria by Name. If you are adament to have the information, get ur mother/wife/daughter be raped by somebody and file a case and post it in the site with all details. you can even try giving their address.. and try to experience how will you feel when your near and dearest ones details are available to public by a click with their Name..

Hope you understand my anger. My friend is badly affected with your site. All her friends came to know about her case and she is in hospital now committing suicide. do you really want to give punishment again to the people who have cases? Dude, people are already struggling under the fully corrupted Indian Judiciary system.Why do you want to pour more oil to the fire? I hope,you give a second thought and do the necessary action. Thanks in advance.

Anonymous said...

You are god. Thanks for this...

Anonymous said...

who the fuck are you revealing peoples identity and discuss their cases ?
you fucking stupid..i dont have words for you..if you want to do samaj seva then there are so many other ways to do it insted of discussing peoples private cases on the website..!!!!

Anonymous said...

i wish fucking you get sued by someone...in the court !!!

 
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 India License.