10 Common Legal Myths In India: Numerous misconceptions exist among law students as well as the general public. Such misconstrued beliefs becomes the ground for ignorance of law. Thus, below listed are 10 common legal myths that exist in India.
- Original documents to be submitted in the court:
One of the most common legal myths in India is that the court requires submission of original documents. When a petition is filed in the court, the certified copy of the original documents have to be submitted which has to be presented as evidence. However, they should be attested by a gazetted officer to ensure the stamp of authenticity. It is advisable not to submit any original documents while filing a petition, as there is usually a risk of losing them.
- For delegation, letter of authority is sufficient:
In various financial matters it is generally required to delegate authority to someone else. It can be delegated by way of letter of authority and power of attorney. A letter of authority is a document that is usually required for everyday tasks like collection of check book, etc. However, in cases of complex financial transactions such as the sale of an asset or property, the document will not be accepted and thus power of attorney is required to delegate the authority because the transaction is bigger.
- Settlement made outside the court cannot be challenged:
In cases where matters settle outside the court, they aren’t considered to be the end road of procuring justice. When two parties agree to settle a matter outside the court, there is usually a mutual acceptance between them. But, after the mutual acceptance, the court can still review the matter between the parties under circumstances where the agreement has been proved to berevoked on the grounds of fraud or coercion. In cases of arbitration specifically, an appeal can be made for awards on the ground that no sufficient chance of representation has been given by the arbitrators or that the arbitration agreement was invalid.
- After law, litigation is the only good career option:
The most common legal myth that exists in India is that the whole idea of pursuing law is just to practice in court. This is a general observation made by many. However, litigation is not the only good career option after one pursues law. There are indeed numerous options such as that of an arbitrator, corporate lawyer, legal process outsourcer, etc, that one can take up after completing law.
- Being a successful corporate lawyer is all about thoroughly digesting all sections of law:
A corporate lawyer surely must be aware of the sections of corporate law. A common myth that exists among law students is that to become a successful corporate lawyer all that is required is learning all corporate-related laws. It is the skills rather than theoretical knowledge that turns a corporate lawyer into a successful one. All the other responsibilities and skills that are required include well drafting of agreements and contracts, being able to recognize the commercial goals of the client, being able to deal with all government and third-party regulations, etc.
- For passing on property to heirs, online will is sufficient:
People usually believe that an online will is just enough to pass on property to their heirs. This is because there are several portals today that permits the making of an online will. But this is not the case. To pass the property, the will must be duly attested as well as signed by a competent authority such as the gazetted officer. The will is required to be signed in the presence of two witnesses. Without this, the document would be considered to be invalid
- One can file a civil case anytime they want:
The most common myth among people is that they can file a civil suit anytime they want. Thus people who file cases years after damage has been caused to them tend to lose it. This is because, as per the Limitation Act, 1963, civil cases are required to be filed within a specific period. Once it crosses the deadline, it becomes time-barred, and the person will be left with no other alternative to file the case. However, if the person filing the suit, provides a justification for the delay, which the court believes to be true, this can act an exception to the limitations act, the court might allow the filing of the suit. But it is clearly upon the discretion of the court whether or not it has a reason to believe that the reason given is satisfactory at the same time, justifiable for the delay in filing.
- One cannot file a case in consumer court without a lawyer:
A consumer court is a quasi-judicial body, wherein even non-advocates can fight a case. Money becomes a constraint for many consumers while hiring a lawyer. The supreme court of India decided that being an advocate is not a requirement to file a petition in the consumer court. Thus, to provide easy and better access to the common people, this has been decided by the Supreme court. There is hence no compulsion to engage advocates when moving to a consumer court.
- Becoming a great lawyer is only about arguing:
One of the most common legal myth is that one becomes a good lawyer only if he/she argues well. Litigation is an adversarial process, but advocacy isn’t solely about arguing. Winning a case not only involves persuading the judge or being fluent in a verbal battle but also necessitates other skills like good researching and efficient legal writing. Being well versed with the facts of the case and deducting good logics also play an important role in shaping a lawyer into a great one.
- To obtain a patent job, one must pass a patent bar:
An absolute myth among students that aspire to get a patent job is that it requires them to pass the patent bar. Patent bar is only considered to be an option in the way to procure a job at good firms but is not the whole and sole factor. It does act as a plus point, but isn’t an only requirement. A lot of students acquire good summer jobs as well as permanent jobs even without obtaining the patent bar.
– Niharika Khanna