Friday, March 2, 2012

Importance of Legal Document

Importance of Legal Document:
Drafting is very important component of legal practice and advocacy,one must understand that perfection of drafting is not possible,unless we understand law,facts and language.

Many young professional suffer due to poor drafting &documentation skills,may be because of lack of training and practice during college education.

The trained scribes or document writers used to draft document in muffasil towns during British period,this job was taken over  all advocates,drafting legal document is skill , art as well as  legal acumen ship.No drafter can do justice to his job with out  proper understanding of  substantive law as well as procedural laws. 

Many Senior Professionals give oral dictation to their juniors,so that they can learn nuances of drafting&pleading.

But this trend has declined over the years due to advent of newer information technologies gadgets like  Personal computers[P.C],Laptops/Note books,Dictaphone etc.

What is an Document?

The legal document plays very important role in all court cases as well as transactions viz Lease Deed,Rental Agreement ,Hire-Purchase agreement ,Partnership agreement ,vendor Agreement ,Sale Agreement ,Agreement to sale ,Family Property Settlement deeds etc.
The term document is not defined in any act,even Registration act does not defined the word document ,it only speaks about registration of documents,there is  reference about document in Indian Evidence Act,General Clauses Act and Information Technology act.

The definition of document has broader and wider meaning ,including 'Deeds' and 'Agreements'. It is important piece of evidence in all case before judicial as well as quasi-judicial authorities,while deciding the issues brought before it for adjudication.   

Indian Evidence Act :1872;Section 3 says "" Document"." Document" 1[ means any matter expressed or described upon any substance by means of letters, figures or marks, or by more than one of those means, intended to be used, or which may be used, for the purpose of recording that matter. 
  • A writing is a document
  • Words printed lithographed or photographed are documents
  • A map or plan is a document
  • An inscription on a metal plate or stone is a document
  • A caricature is a document." 

Evidence."" Evidence" means and includes-

(1) all statements which the Court permits or requires to be made before it by witnesses, in relation to matters of fact under inquiry; such statements are called oral evidence; 

(2) all documents produced for the inspection of the Court; such documents are called documentary evidence."

General Clauses Act 1897 :Section 3(18)says ;" document" shall include any matter written, expressed or described upon any substance by means of letters, figures or marks, or by more than one of those means which is intended to be used, or which may be used, for the purpose of recording that matter:

Information Technology act 2000 
The computers and Communication Technology like Internet changed Scenario of communications [official well as personal] ,trade,communication and litigation.After enactment of Information Technology document includes electronic records.Even Indian Evidence Act amen ended to include electronic communications ,recently CBI Court in '2G Scam case 'uphelded  the practice of sending notices / summons by CBI in the form of E-mails or SMS [short message service through mobile phones]. It is acceptable means of communication.

Section 2(1)(r) of I.T says  " electronic form" with reference to information means any information generated, sent, received or stored in media, magnetic, optical, computer memory, micro film, computer generated micro fiche or similar device;

The legal document,which is known as documentary evidence in legal parlance,no doubt  playing crucial role in legal cases,but due care and caution should be exercised ,while  drafting said legal documents,any loose ends or pitfalls in the documentation, may weaken your case in the court of law or other quasi judicial -authorities.

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