“Literature always anticipates life. It doesn’t copy it but molds it to its purpose.”
– Oscar Wilde.
Law professors have from time immemorial been using literature to narrate the stories of law. Novels, memoirs, short stories, essays, articles, etc. are used by students and professors together to dissect situations that are generally not discussed in the traditional legal scenario.
But do you know how and where to start with?
Numbers will never be enough to say how many books one should read. But it does provide a base for you to begin with. One can always add as many numbers of books as one likes to the list or can choose not to read all of these books mentioned either. Everyone has a different taste, but what we can do is guide everyone who has not gone through these. If you have already read a few books and are searching for others, here is a list for you to figure out some of the books. But if you have not started reading any book other than your law subject books, maybe with the help of these books, you can begin your quest for knowledge. With these books, I would like to give you a bit of insight, and then you can choose accordingly and not judge anything based on the cover, but on the summary of the book. Thus, here are the top ten books I have picked for someone who is a law enthusiast:
1) Civil Procedure with Limitation Act, 1963 with New Chapter On Commercial Courts -by C.K. Takwani
Civil Procedure Code by C.K. Takwani provides an interesting and lucid study of the fundamental principles of civil procedure in a logical sequence. The topic-wise treatment of the subject along with references to academic writings and judicial decisions makes the study of civil procedure more meaningful and comprehensible. This book explains complex legal concepts with clarity and coherence as well as covers all aspects and dimensions of law relating to Civil Procedure and Limitation in India.
2) Administrative Law -by I.P. Massey
The book contains a detailed examination and an elaborate discussion of the principles of administrative law. It includes recent major developments in the field of administrative law and covers exhaustively all major judicial pronouncements which seek to strengthen procedural and substantive safeguards vis-à-vis the administration. The author takes a critical look at the principles of administrative law, showing how they operate in relation to the executive and the citizen.
3) B.M. Gandhi’s Indian Penal Code (IPC) -by Kumar Askand Pandey
The current fourth edition of B.M. Gandhi’s Indian Penal Code revised by Dr. K.A. Pandey is an authoritative commentary on the subject. The author has thoroughly revised and updated this work incorporating the latest statutory and case law developments.
4) Public Interest Litigation- Legal Aid and Lok Adalats -by Mamta Rao
Public Interest Litigation by Dr. Mamta Rao is greatly admired and read by practitioners and students. The book reflects the concern of the judiciary in protecting and preserving the right of an individual to file a PIL, while at the same time addressing the increasing problem of rampant misuse of PIL. The book also discusses the Legal Services Authorities Act which was enacted with an avowed object of settling the disputes between the parties in an amicable manner. This new edition has been extensively revised and updated by Dr. Mamta Rao. The book incorporates all new developments and judicial decisions in the field of public interest litigation, legal aid and Lok Adalats. The author has taken great pains to explain the dynamics of public interest litigation clearly and succinctly.
5) Avtar Singh’s Law of Contract & Specific Relief -by Rajesh Kapoor
Avtar Singh’s Law of Contract and Specific Relief is an authoritative and most sought-after book on the subject. The book deals with the intricacies of contract law in a straightforward and lucid style. It covers many new developing areas in contract law which are of practical and academic importance.
The current thirteenth edition of the book has been thoroughly revised and updated by Prof. Rajesh Kapoor with recent case laws and statutory amendments including the Specific Relief (Amendment) Act, 2018.
6) R.V. Kelkar’s Criminal Procedure -revised by K.N. Chandrasekharan Pillai
This classic work provides an interesting study of the fundamental principles of criminal procedure in a logical sequence. The topic-wise treatment of the subject along with references to academic writings and judicial decisions makes the study of criminal procedure meaningful and comprehensible.
The author has incorporated all recent developments in the field of criminal procedure since the publication of the last edition in 2014.
7) Company Law -by Avtar Singh
Now updated with Supplement containing Companies (Amendment) Acts, 2017, 2019 and 2020 and Highlights of the Companies (Amendment) Act, 2020
The book provides a thorough study of all the new concepts and changes made in Company Law since 2013, including topics such as the requirement of minimum share capital, related party transactions, audit committees, clause 49 of the listing agreement, etc. This book has been updated with the latest provisions regarding special resolutions, use of the common seal, class action suits, shareholder’s rights, provisions for corporate social responsibility, etc.
8) Cyber Crimes -by Talat Fatima
Dr. Talat Fatima’s Cyber Crimes has been thoroughly revised with updated statutes, case laws, and analysis of a new league of cyber crimes that have come into existence in the past few years. Three new chapters addressing Net Neutrality, Dark Web, and Deep-fakes have been added to the third edition.
The book contains detailed chapters on Pure Cyber Crimes, Intellectual Property Crimes, Cloud Computing, Internet Banking, Electronic Signatures, etc. which have been thoroughly updated with the latest developments. The author has also touched on the latest innovations like the Internet of Things, Blockchain Technology, Cryptocurrency, etc. in this edition. New concepts like 5G technology and artificial intelligence have been explained in a lucid manner for her readers to understand easily.
9) V.N. Shukla’s Constitution of India -revised by Prof (Dr.) Mahendra Pal Singh
V.N. Shukla’s Constitution of India has proved itself, over twelve editions, to be the most authoritative and respected academic book on the Indian Constitution. Its outstanding reputation has established it in the foremost rank of classic legal textbooks.
This book has been an ideal study and reference companion for students and practitioners alike and is frequently cited in the courts. The Indian Supreme Court cited the 11th Edition in Indian Medical Association v. Union of India [(2011) 7 SCC 179], the 10thEdition in Rameshwar Prasad (VI) v. Union of India [(2006) 2 SCC 1] and the 7th Edition in Umaji Keshao Meshram v. Radhikabai [1986 Supp SCC 401] while the Constitutional Court of South Africa cited the 9th Edition in Nalandazeli Fose v. The Minister of Safety and Security [Case CCT 44/96].
10) Swamy’s Handbook For CGS (English) -by Muthuswamy, Brinda, Sanjeev
Swamy‘s Handbook is an annual feature covering the entire rules and regulations governing Central Government staff. Each section of the book embraces an individual subject, for which separate compilations are available. Updates for the book are published in our monthly magazine, which is not available in any other book.
All the rules, regulations, codes, and manuals spread over dozens of books running to thousands of pages are presented in the Handbook in the most precise and compendious manner. The presentation is reviewed every year for improvement.
It is therefore important to understand that as every law student or a lawyer or even any law enthusiast, one must never stop reading, for reading only improves you and your thoughts. One must never stop learning new things, for it not only strengthens your vocabulary but also makes you wiser. One can always use skills like these to understand the people who have written their books and learn from them. A wise man had once stated that “a good man learns from his mistakes but an intelligent man learns from the experiences and mistakes of others”. By going through the experiences of the authors, we can understand not just their way of life, but also the way they experienced their situations and handled them. As law enthusiasts, we have to consistently keep reading, only then can we improve upon ourselves. Nevertheless, it is always wise to learn and adapt to something new.
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