12 February, 2016

Glossary of Common Legal Terms (I)

In lieu
In place of.

In limine
Translated from the Latin as ’preliminary’, for example, when a writ petition is dismissed in limine, it is dismissed at the admission stage.

In pari delicto
When both the parties are equally in fault.

A petition or application to the court becomes infructuous when the fundamental premises upon which a petition is based no longer exist or where the relief sought has already been granted to the petitioner.

Inquisitorial Proceedings
Fact-finding proceedings, not necessarily involving disputing parties. The Court investigates and ascertains the facts of a matter, for instance by appointing Commissions, which are given specific terms of reference. Often faced with difficulty in getting all the information necessary to resolve the issues brought in PIL, the Court has found this procedure to be convenient.

Interim Order
Any order by a court before a final order is made.

Interlocutory Application
petition seeking a relief even while the main petition remains in the Court. This may be in the nature of a stay, direction, permission (e.g. to amend the petition), exemption (e.g. from payment of court fees), condonation of delay, modification or clarification of an earlier order, restoration of a petition dismissed for nonappearance of a party.

Interpleader suit
Interpleader suits are governed by Order XXXV of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908. They are brought by a third person to have a court determine the ownership rights of rival claimants to the same money or property that is held by that third person.

A person who is not a party to the proceedings may, with the permission of the court, intervene if it is shown that the outcome of the case will affect such person in some way. An intervenor does not become a party, does not have an automatic right to be heard, but may file an affidavit. The intervenor is bound by the decision in the case, just as is a party. The participation of interest groups as intervenor has changed the character of many cases, giving them a PIL content. For example, women’s groups have intervened in the lower courts in rape or dowry cases. Interventions have been common in PIL cases, as the public importance of an issue has inspired organizations and individuals to participate in the proceedings.

Issue Notice

When a Court decides to consider a case it asks the respondents to explain why the case should not be admitted (show cause). This is done by a notice sent to the respondents which gives the details of the case and the next date of hearing alongwith a copy of the petition. If the respondent does not appear on this date, the court may proceed ex parte.

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