As the latest entry in the extraordinary list of legal research resources of the World Legal Information Institute (WorldLII), the soft launch of the Legal Information Institute of India (LIIofIndia) is worth a look. The official launch will take place in March, 2011. Primary legal material from the federal level as well as 28 states and 7 union territories are made available for free. The Indian Supreme Court case law and the federal statutory Indian Code are notable, but the Indian Treaty Series is available from the beginning of the independent Indian state (1947) through 2009, as well as selected journals.
According to founder and Professor of Law Graham Greenleaf, "LII of India at present has 50 databases, including over 300,000 decisions from 37 Courts and Tribunals, Indian national legislation from 1836, over 800 bilateral treaties, law reform reports and about 500 law journal articles. The LawCite citator tracks case and journal article citations. Further case law, and State and Territory legislation, will be added by the time of the formal launch."
Unfortunately, like the WorldLII itself, the entire site runs and loads very slowly (as do most of these links and thanks for your patience); it is hoped that this problem can be resolved. However, the Legal Information Institutes and Free Access to Law Movement is mostly a partnership between non-governmental academic institutions and government support in varying proportions, and so while free to use, these sites are obviously not free to build. As winter brings festivals of light (like the Indian Diwali of the western autumn season), we might reflect on the light that the rule of law shines on our globe while the LIIs ponder combining free with some local subscription support in its many regions.