customs-principle sources of indian law


Customs are the set of rules or ideas that defines a regular pattern of behaviour and in a social system it is considered as a characteristic of life. It is considered as those set of rules which are followed consistently and willingly by people. Customs are one of the earliest sources of law and are significant for maintaining balance and peace in a society. Customs helps in balancing human behaviour. Customs is the most important source for the development of law. In India since ancient times, custom also known as achara has been regarded as the highest of all Dharma. From place to place and family to family custom differs. Evolution of custom happens from time to time.

Section 3 of the Hindu Marriage Act defines custom as a set of rules which are followed for a long period and it has obtained the force of law among the people. Customs should always be ancient and reasonable and they should not contradict the laws of the nation.

Types of Custom

There are six types of customs which are local custom, general custom, family custom, class or caste system, legal custom and conventional custom.

● Local Custom– These are the customs or practices that are followed by members of particular community who resides in certain geographical area. It is usually part of that place’s culture. Local custom is divided into two major parts i.e., geographical local customs and personal local customs.

● General Custom– General custom are those customs which is there throughout the country and are not specific to certain region. These customs are the major source of attraction for the tourists. It is followed by the whole nation and are also part of the law.

● Family Custom– These are those culture that have been followed for a long time in a family. These customs are passed down from their ancestors.

● Class or Caste Custom– These are the customs followed by specific caste, industry, or group of people. Each and every caste Every caste or class have their own traditions and practices that has been observed for a long time.

● Legal Custom– Legal customs are those customs which are meant to be followed by each and every individual and if not followed strict actions will be taken against the person.

● Conventional Custom– A conventional custom is a practice that arises from a contract between the parties. It is considered as legally binding. It is legally enforceable because it has been expressly or impliedly incorporated in a contract between the parties concerned.

Essentials of a Valid Custom

● Antiquity– The custom must be ancient or immemorial. It must have been established earlier and should be followed consistently for a long time. The time period since the custom has been followed is the most important factor in determining whether the particular custom is valid or not.

● Invariable or Continuous– The validity of a custom is considered when there is a continuation in its practice. When a practice is not continuous for a period it eventually comes to an end and is no longer considered as a custom.

● Reasonable– To be considered a valid custom it must be reasonable. It must be within bounds of reasons. It should not be based on incorrect assumptions.

● Unambiguous evidence– there should be no ambiguity while presenting evidence of a custom.  The existence of a particular custom must be shown by the group of people who follows it through their acts.

● Conformity with Law and public morality – Customs should not violate or go against the public policies and law. If a custom violates any law or public policy then it will not be considered as a valid custom.

Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.

If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.

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The copyright of this Article belongs exclusively to Ms. Aishwarya Sandeep. Reproduction of the same, without permission will amount to Copyright Infringement. Appropriate Legal Action under the Indian Laws will be taken.

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We also have a Facebook Group Restarter Moms for Mothers or Women who would like to rejoin their careers post a career break or women who are enterpreneurs.

We are also running a series Inspirational Women from January 2021 to March 31,2021, featuring around 1000 stories about Indian Women, who changed the world. #choosetochallenge

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