What is difference between substantive law and procedural law?

Amongst various disciplines there is Noble Prize for "Peace" also, which substantiates the importance of peace in the society, without which we cannot enjoy our life to its fullest extent. This fact is further strengthened in terrorist-stricken world of today when in the agenda of every world leader 'peace' finds top priority. In fact peace means and exists when there is no dispute. The dispute arises only when a person claims his right over a particular thing and same is disputed by the other, which creates tension and ultimately leads to non-existence of peace. Here law plays a very vital and significant role in the society, because through judicial system it adjudicates these kinds of disputes.

The law can be substantive law or procedural law. The substantive law is the one which actually decides the rights, liabilities and duties of the respective persons. On the other hand, the procedural law is the one which lays down guidelines as to how to decide those rights, liabilities and duties. In other words, the procedural law lubricates substantive law. It helps in determining the rights, liabilities and duties of the litigants. It is procedural law, which puts life into substantive law by providing remedy for enforcement of those rights and liabilities. In this way, both the branches of law are complementary to each other and at the same time independent. Indian Penal Code, 1860, Customs Act, 1962, Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954, Sale of Goods Act, 1930, Transfer of Property Act, 1882 and Rent Control Legislations, etc. are the substantive laws, whereas Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, Indian Evidence Act, 1872, etc. are procedural laws. However, it would be pertinent to mention here that there are certain laws, regarding which, due to the nature of their provisions and object of their legislation, it is difficult to find out as to whether they are substantive laws or procedural laws. In such cases on one hand such a law provides procedure and at the same time violation of that procedure takes away the right of a particular person. For example under the Registration Act, 1908 if a particular document is not registered then the rights accruing to a particular person due to contents of that document could not be established, since that document could not be read into evidence due to section 49, which explains the effect of non-registration of documents required to be compulsorily registered.

In this particular subject of "Minor Acts and Supreme Court Rules", we have decided to divide our study into four different parts namely: (1) The Indian Registration Act, 1908, (2) The Indian Stamp Act, 1899, (3) The Court-Fees

Act, 1870, and The Suit Valuation Act, 1887, which substantially form part of procedural laws. Besides this, fourthly we would be studying Supreme Court Rules framed by the Supreme Court under Article 145 of the Constitution of India enabling it to regulate its practice and procedure.

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