Legal terms and its meaning.

What is the meaning of Ab initio?
From the very beginning.

What is Admission?
After a case is registered it is placed before the Court for its hearing, known as the preliminary hearing. The Court considers whether the case should be proceeded with by directing the respondents to show cause why the petition should not be admitted. Sometimes the Court admits a case without hearing the respondents, or dismisses the case in limine. If the case is admitted, it is listed for a more detailed hearing. See issue notice.

What is 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. See inquisitorial proceedings.

Who is Advocate?
A person authorized to appear in a litigation on behalf of a party. An advocate possesses a law degree and is enrolled with a Bar Council, as prescribed by the Advocates Act, 1961. Advocates are the only class of persons legally entitled to practise law. They provide legal advice. After being authorized to appear in a case by a client who has signed a vakalat, advocates prepare cases and argue them in Court. In the Bombay and Calcutta High Courts there is a separate class of legal practitioners, known as solicitors, who prepare the case, but do not argue in Court. When appearing in a courtroom, an advocate usually dresses in black and white, and wears a band and gown. Any complaint against an advocate is made to the Bar Council of India. See junior advocate, advocate-on-record, senior advocate, amicus curiae, vakalath.

Who is 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.

How much is Advocate's fees?
There are no standardized fees charged for the various tasks performed by an advocate. Some advocates charge a lump sum amount for dealing with an entire case, others charge separate fees for each task - e.g., drafting, filing, legal advice, arguing. Senior advocates generally charge a separate fee for every hearing. In the majority of PIL cases, these fees have been waived by the advocates. When appearing on behalf of a legal aid committee, an advocate receives expenses and nominal fees, at no cost to the party. In some PIL cases the Court has awarded costs to the party.

What is Affidavit?
This is a sworn statement made by a party, in writing, made in the presence of an oath commissioner or a notary public which is used either in support of applications to the Court or as evidence in court proceedings. In writ jurisdiction, cases are generally disposed of on the basis of affidavits. An affidavit in reply to a petition, filed by a respondent, is called a counter affidavit. The petitioner’s response to this counter, is called a rejoinder affidavit. All affidavits are verified as to the truth of their contents.

What is Alimony?
The maintenance given by a husband to his divorced wife.

Who is Amicus curiae?
Translated from the Latin as ’friend of the Court’. An advocate appears in this capacity when asked to help with the case by the Court or on volunteering services to the Court.

What is Appeal?
The correctness of the decision of a lower court or tribunal is questioned by way of an appeal in a higher court.

What is Arbitration?
Settling disputes by referring them to independent third parties as an alternative to court proceedings.

What is Attestation?
The authentication of a signature by an authorized person, who could be an oaths commissioner or a notary public.

What is the meaning of Audi alteram partem?
This is a rule of natural justice which translates from the Latin as ‘hear the other side’ or ’hear both sides’. This means that every party against whom a decision is being taken must be given the opportunity to present a defence, either orally or in writing.

 

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