How To Read Bare Act for Judicial Services

Written by Khyati Relan

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How To Read Bare Act for Judicial Services to understand the enactment


Perseverance, Consistency, Conscientious are the most important qualities that a successful lawyer should have. The bare act is the foundation stone for a successful lawyer or law professional. It is the exact text of the law passed by legislature released in the official gazette and is subject to interpretation. It is very important to read bare act to have command over the law and to improve analytical skills. It is difficult for the students to understand the language of bare act easily. Here are a few important points to be kept in mind to have command over the bare act.

Choosing the Edition of Bare Act

First of all, one should decide whether they prefer the diglot edition of the Bare Act or English version.  According to me, Diglot Bare Act should be preferred where on one side sections or articles are written in English and on other side sections or articles are written in Hindi. So that if a person could not understand some particular phrase in English he could refer it in Hindi.

The language in bare acts is obscure, so one should read it multiple times to understand the authenticity of the subject matter. They can also break sentences as per their convenience.

There is always a conflict in the mind of freshers/ Judicial Aspirant if they should read commentary books first or Bare Act. Reading commentary from books would be easier than reading bare act. But law student should read Bare Act first and then he should interpret that section according to his understanding and after that, they should read commentary books or textbooks to check if they interpreted the given section correctly or not.

Break sentences into parts and read

A long is scary to read or remember important point, many enactment contents are lengthy and complicated sentence which are very difficult to understand or remember. So you have to break the sentences into the parts, read slowly with patience, and take pauses when you see the use of comma and any special character. You cannot read Bare Act content too fast, like reading novels. You need to read Bare Act slowly and have a clear understanding of law.

Understanding the Purpose of the Enactment.

For understanding the law deeply, one must understand the purpose of the law that has been enacted. It is very important to read the preamble and interpretation clause of the Act (bare act). This would help to know the basic objective of that act, which would help in understanding the act more clearly.

Basic terms or definitions of the act are generally provided in section 2 of the bare act, so one must go through that initially for more clarity. While reading particular section if a new word comes than firstly one should refer definition clause of that particular act and if the word is not defined there then law dictionary should be referred which is easily available on web sites.


Give special attention to special character or words

There are so many words like “shall”, thereto, “may” notwithstanding etc. these words if understood wrongly, the whole meaning of the section is changed, so one should focus on all these words and if they could not memories them then they could write it in the first page of Bare Act through sticky notes.

 Refurbish Bare Act

Law is a dynamic subject and for every change, new  Bare Act or new commentary book cannot be purchased, so to remain updated one should remain in touch with the latest judgments or amendments and should add them in their books. The newspaper or any electronic media should be referred to check the latest landmark judgments, like in 2020 ambit of article 21 is widened as the right to the internet has become the part of Right to life[1]. Also, consumer protection act 2019 has repealed the consumer protection act 1986 where new provisions for the separate regulator, e-commerce transactions, enhancement of pecuniary jurisdiction and mediation cell have introduced[2].

So all these changes can be updated in our Bare Act, it would help in comparing old provisions with the new one. Also relate the section with other acts, like in Code of Criminal Procedure 1973, Indian Penal Code,1860 and Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 many sections are interrelated to each other so for better understanding relate the sections.

These steps will help us to read Bare Act correctly and will improve our interpreting skills. It seems difficult to read Bare Act and to understand it as language is difficult.

Procedural laws are there like Code of Criminal Procedure 1973, which is very exhaustive so it consumes lots of time to read a single section, so side by side one notebook should be maintained in which law students can make a flow chart of every procedure which would help them to memorize the steps for a longer time. Sometimes there are some sections which are called by their famous names like section 95 of Indian Penal Code,1860, talks about slight harm and question come in the exam is like which section of Indian Penal Code 1860 talks about the trifling act, likewise Section 56 of  

The Indian Contract Act, 1872 talks about the “Doctrine of  Frustration”, so we can write these words in the index of Bare Act so that we can remember this in the exam. Many acts are introduced through some report like the concept of  “Anticipatory bail” mentioned in Section 438 of Criminal Procedure Code, 1973, was introduced by 41st report of law commission. some sections seem similar but are different like section 24 and 25 of Hindu Marriage Act 1955 talks about maintenance but Section 24 talks about “Interim Maintenance” whereas Section  25 talks about “Permanent Alimony”.

All the important words which are related to a specific section of the Bare Act should be highlighted so it could become easier for last moment revision. I would also refer to highlight the important ingredients of the particular section. It can become cerotic as less space is present in the Bare Act to mention important words, so it would be better if diglot of Bare Act is purchased so that all the sticky notes can be attached on either the Hindi or English side as per the preference of the law students. Maximum law students prepare for competitive exams, these steps would help them to read Bare Act accurately.


There is an example to read Bare Act


45 OF 1860 means that this was the 45th act passed by parliament in 1860

Section 146 Rioting-  “Whenever force or violence is used by an unlawful assembly, or by any member thereof, in the prosecution of the common object of such assembly, every member of such assembly is guilty of the offence of rioting”[3]

In this particular section, we can highlight some important keywords like 1.force, 2. Unlawful assembly, 3. Common object (it means that we need to read this section with section 34 of IPC that is common intension) that means that joint liability is created.

Sudden quarrels without any previous intention- no rioting

If we will highlight all these important ingredients in short it would help during the time of revision.

Studying bare act regularly will boost up the confidence level of law student also it will elucidate the concepts. It would help a law student to think out of the box.


[1] Faheema Shirin R.K v. State of Kerala WP(C)No.19716 OF 2019(L)


[3] Indian Penal Code, 1860 No. 146 Rioting, 1860 (India).

Written by: Khyati Relan (Intern)
Approved & Edited by: Adv. Ashish Panday


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