When India became part of the British Empire, Hindu and Islamic law were supplanted by the common law. As a result, the present judicial system of the country derives largely from the British system and has little correlation to the institutions of the pre-British era. It is largely based on English common law because of the long period of British colonial influence during the period of the British Raj. Much of contemporary Indian law shows substantial European and American influence. Various legislations first introduced by the British are still in effect in their modified forms today.
During the drafting of the Indian Constitution, laws from Ireland,
the United States, Britain, and France were all synthesized to get a
refined set of Indian laws, as it currently stands. Indian laws also
adhere to the United Nations guidelines on human rights law and the
environmental law. Certain international trade laws, such as those
on intellectual property, are also enforced in India. Indian Penal
Code formulated by the British during the British Raj in 1860, forms
the backbone of criminal law in India. Jury trials were abolished by
the government in 1960 on the grounds they would be susceptible to
media and public influence. This decision was based on an 8-1
acquittal of Kawas Nanavati in K. M. Nanavati vs. State of
Maharashtra, which was overturned by higher courts.