B - C Legal terms and its meaning.

What is Bankruptcy?
A person who is unable to pay his debts can be declared bankrupt by the Court. All his assets are then taken over by the court for distribution to his creditors. Bar A collective noun indicating a body of lawyers.

What is Bench?
The composition of judges sitting to hear a matter in court. In the High Court, judges can sit singly, in division benches of two judges or in full benches of three or more judges. In the Supreme Court, the vacation judge or judge in chambers may sit singly; division benches comprise two or three judges; constitution benches five or more judges. The largest bench constituted in the Supreme Court has been of thirteen judges for the Kesavananda Bharati case in 1973. One or more judges in a case may give judgment, but it is the majority opinion that is the judgment of the Court. A smaller bench is bound by the judgment of a larger bench; the judgment of a bench can only be overruled by the judgment of a larger bench. See judgment.

What is the meaning of Bequeath?
To dispose of personal property by Will.

What is the meaning of Bona vacantia?
Goods that do not have an owner. Generally they go to the finder.

What is Brief?
A bunch of papers, in the form of a paperbook, relating to a case. A brief is compiled by an advocate, filed in the Court and used during hearings.

What is Cause List?
List issued by the Registry of the matters to be heard by the court on any day. The bench, courtroom number and the position of the matter are indicated.
The cause list may take myriad forms: weekly list, advance list, supplementary list and the daily list.

What is Cause Title?
Title of the case giving the number of the case and the names of the parties.

What is Caveat?
Where it is apprehended that an opposite party may file a case, a party may file a document requesting the court that no order be made in the case without hearing the caveator.

Who is Caveator?
A party who files a caveat.

What is Challan?
It is the police report filed under Section 173(2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 after making investigation into the commission of an offence.

What is Civil?
Describes the nature of all proceedings which are not criminal.

What is Class Action?
In a class action, a member of an identifiable group of persons files a petition. These persons form a class if they have a common grievance.

What is Cognizable offence?
An offence in which arrest can be made without a warrant.

What is Commission?
A commission is appointed by a court to ascertain or investigate facts needed to decide a case. A commission is usually given specific terms of reference. Members of a commission have been chosen from amongst experts, academics, social activists/workers, advocates, judges and others. Costs of the commission are usually borne by the State. Such commissions have often been appointed in PILs.

What is the meaning of Contempt of Court?
A party wilfully disobeying an order of a court can be held in contempt of that court. Under the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971 this is defined as ’civil contempt’. Any act that lowers the authority of the Court or interferes with the course of justice is defined as ’criminal contempt’. Each court has the power to punish anyone committing contempt of a court and in some cases the Court can issue suo motu notice of contempt. Under Article 129 of the Constitution, the Supreme Court is given the power to punish for contempt; under Article 215 of the Constitution the High Court is given similar powers.

What is Costs in Legal terms?
When giving the final decision in a case, the Court can award costs to either party. Generally the losing party in a litigation is directed to pay the successful party. If the Court does not specify the amount of costs, they are determined by the Registry, taking advocates’ fees, court fees and expenses into account. A party is sometimes required to pay costs during the course of the litigation, for failing to comply with the Court’s directions.

What is Court Fees?
These are mandatory charges payable by affixing judicial stamps on petitions, applications and various kinds of documents before they are filed in a court. It is only in legal aid matters that the petitioners are exempt from paying these fees.

Who is Court Master?
An officer of the court who occupies a seat just below the judges’ dias and assists in the conduct of proceedings.

What is Criminal?
Describes the nature of all proceedings involving a crime.

 

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