Ordinary citizens, litigants, students of law and lawyers in a civil society have a right to know about the prevailing law of that country. The traditional way of disseminating legal information – on paper – has given way to the electronic format in most of the developed countries. Gradually, this change is also beginning in the developing countries. In India, no one has a copyright to the text of judgments delivered by the courts; however, in the headnotes of judgments, copyright issues are involved. The bigger Internet players have started fee-based legal websites where one can become a member and/or registered user by paying periodical subscriptions. These can run into thousand of rupees every year. Only after paying the access fees can the visitor gain access to the complete headnote or the plain text of the judgment.

Under these circumstances, a need was identified in India for an institute with the sole motive of providing “Free Legal Information to All.” Deliberations took place among the prominent jurists of the country, including retired Chief Justices of India, prominent lawyers, serving members of the judiciary, academicians and technical experts. They sought to provide a platform where concrete efforts would be made to fulfill the objective of providing Free Legal Information to All, and hence, the India Legal Information Institute was born on November 25, 2006.