Monday 24 June 2024

What is difference between code and Act as per indian law?

 In the context of Indian law, the terms "Code" and "Act" have specific meanings and implications, though both are legislative instruments enacted by the Parliament or State Legislature. Here are the key differences:

1. Definition and Scope

  • Act: An Act is a specific piece of legislation passed by the Parliament or a State Legislature. It addresses a particular issue or set of issues. For example, the Right to Information Act, 2005, addresses the right to information for citizens.
  • Code: A Code is a comprehensive and systematic collection of laws, rules, or regulations that cover a particular area of law. Codes are intended to be exhaustive in nature, encompassing all aspects of the subject they govern. For instance, the Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860, is a complete code that consolidates and defines the criminal law of India.

2. Complexity and Coverage

  • Act: An Act can be relatively narrow in scope, dealing with a specific aspect or area of law. It may be less detailed compared to a Code.
  • Code: A Code is broader and more detailed, often codifying common law principles and covering all procedural and substantive aspects of a particular area. For example, the Civil Procedure Code (CPC), 1908, details the procedure for civil litigation in India.

3. Structure and Detail

  • Act: An Act may consist of a series of sections that lay out the law in a straightforward manner. It may be more concise and focused.
  • Code: A Code is typically organized into parts, chapters, and sections, providing a detailed and structured approach to the law. It aims to cover every possible scenario and provide a complete framework for legal proceedings.

4. Example

  • Act: The Information Technology Act, 2000, deals specifically with issues related to cyber law and digital transactions.
  • Code: The Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860, provides a comprehensive set of criminal laws and definitions of offenses in India.

5. Historical Context

  • Act: Acts are usually passed to address contemporary issues and may amend existing laws or introduce new regulations.
  • Code: Codes are often a result of extensive codification efforts and may be based on pre-existing statutes, judicial precedents, and customary laws. They aim to consolidate and systematize the law.


In summary, while both Codes and Acts are legislative instruments, Codes are more comprehensive, detailed, and systematic collections of laws governing a broad area of law, whereas Acts are specific pieces of legislation addressing particular issues or areas. The difference lies primarily in their scope, detail, and purpose within the legal framework of India.

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