CRIME AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM IN INDIA
The author of this blog is Sunanda Lamba, student of 3rd year BA LLB (Hons), SGT UNIVERSITY, GURUGRAM
India is one of the largest emerging countries in the world. India got its freedom from the British crown on 15 august 1947. Before the independence, the Indian’s were governed according to the British constitution completely. The main objective of our freedom fighters was to get freedom and to make their own constitution according to their need and requirement. They complete their objective on 26 January 1950 and declare India a sovereign, Democratic and Republic. The work doesn’t stop here most of our constitution-makers were from law backgrounds that are the main reason that we have the longest constitution in the world. In the begging, it has 395 articles which were divided into 22 parts and 8 schedules. It is not easy to govern a big country and for the smooth functioning of the country rules and regulations are required or you can say there are laws.
The Constitution of India clearly limits the legislative power of the Union and the governments of the states in the so-called Union List, State List and Simultaneous List in schedule VII. Issues relevant to the criminal justice system include the Constitution; Organization, jurisdiction and powers of the Supreme Court of India; and the extent of the powers and responsibilities of police officers, public order, police, agents and employees of the higher courts and prisons of the state fall within the legislative competence of the states. In short, India's criminal justice system is a legacy of the UK system. There are four subsystems: legislation (parliament), execution (police), jurisdiction (courts) and corrections (prisons, community) (Investments).
The criminal justice system of India includes all those things which are established by the government in order to control the crime happening in the country. The main component of this is police and courts respectively. The main objective of this system is to protect the rights of the Indian citizen and to provide them with safety, also the protection of society against the intervention by others.
The Criminal law in India is contained in a number of sources –
The Indian Penal Code of 1860,
The Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955,
Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 and
The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.
The Indian criminal justice system is an old system root of which was the penal legal system which was established by the British crown in an earlier time. Even after 73 years of independence, this system doesn’t undergo adverse changes.
The appointment of the Vohra Committee was the terrible first attempt to reform the criminal justice system in the Asian nation. The Vohra Committee Report (1993) created the Associate in Nursing's observation on policymaking and the relationship between criminals, politicians and bureaucrats in the Asian nation. In 2000, the government formed a panel, led by Judge V. Malimath, the ex-judge of Kerala and the province, to deliberate reforms within the centuries-old criminal justice system. The Malimath Committee presented its 2003 report with 158 recommendations. However, the Committee found that the prevailing system “was in favour of the suspect and did not properly specialize injustice for victims of crime.
CRIME AND CRIMINAL LAW
The most important thing which we should know before getting into the criminal justice system is what is a crime? In simple language, crime is an action that is prohibited by the law and for which the punishment is there. Crime includes also those offences which are punishable and are harmful to our society. The law which deals with the crime is called criminal law. Criminal law has been made in order to control the crime happening in the society and also to prevent and prohibit the citizen from doing any illegal act which will put him in the danger and for which he can be convicted. The fear of conviction and punishment has prohibited the people from doing the crime which as a result give rise to a happy and peaceful environment around the country.
According to Blackstone, Crime is defined as an act or omission of an act that is prohibited and punishable by the state. Blackstone 1968 has defined crime as an act committed or omitted in violation of a public law either forbidding or commanding it. Thus, according to Blackstone crime is an act in violation of public law.
COMPONENT OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM
Criminal justice is the delivery of justice to those who have committed crimes. The criminal justice system is a structure which consists of different type of organization having different element who are working together or as an individual for the same purpose that is to provide safeguard to an individual and to the society. These organizations make different kinds of law and all also thy establish the guidelines for the individual, which tell what is prohibitory and what kind of liability can be enforced when someone engages or try to engage in any unlawful activity. Different components of this system are as follow:-
Legislative Action: it is the first thing or first step of the system. In this process the work like drafting, editing, introducing any bill in the parliament, report, amendment etc. take place.
Law Enforcement: once a law is made next step will be to enforce it on the people. Without the enforcement the law is useless and for this duty, police officers are there. Maintaining peace and order in society is the main function of the police and also to arrest those who try to violate these laws.
Adjudication: This process is divided into two parts which are: -
Prosecution: The institution and conducting of legal proceedings against someone in respect of a criminal charge. Here the prosecutor has the right to decide that how the judicial should prosecute a violator.
Court: the court has the most important and crucial role in the judicial system. The primary motive of the court should be to provide justice and the justice must be based on “natural justice” which mean that the justice is fair, equal, and fast. in our country, there is a “rule of law” in which the law is supreme and no one is above law and also everyone is equal in front of the law irrespective of their caste, religion, gender etc. The judges of the court must deliver their judgment with due care and by applying every possible logic.
Correctional agency: It is the last and most critical part of the judicial system. in this they try to give justice and also to stop violators to do the same again. Also, try to give a reasonable punishment. In the correctional system, there are two main options: probation and imprisonment, each with certain limits on one’s rights. Including corrections, facilities and other rehabilitative programs such as courts, juvenile court, and correctional homes, rehabilitation facilities should be regarded not simply as correctional agencies or correctional agents, but as a measure of their success in the criminal justice system.
There is no doubt that the Indian judicial system has undergone change and try its best to go with the change of time and also it succeeded in many ways. But at present, if as an Indian citizen I look to the system there are many points by which the system is lacking behind and which should be improved or changed. Those points are mentioned below: -
INEFFECTIVE SYSTEM: Firstly, as the system is very old, in the present time it has become ineffective there are many cases which are kept pending in the courts because there are not enough judges to look into the matter also it creates lots of pressure on the judges and other officials.
NO SCOPE OF EXPERIMENT: The procedure which has to be followed is mentioned in the statutes and courts are bound to follow them. With the change in time, the complexity of a crime is increasing and there is no chance that the court can go beyond the written law and orders and because of this, the judges cannot experiment with a new idea to provide justice.
DELAY INJUSTICE: India is a huge country with around 135 crore population. With the increase in crime rate, the cases are increasing which leads to pressure on the courts. And the number of courts and judges are limited it results in the pendency of cases. Many times, we have seen that delivering justice take more time than the actual punishment of the crime.
INEQUALITY: In our country, there is a rule of law and not a rule of any person it means the law is supreme but if we see it practically, it is not applicable the rich people hardly get convicted even if they have done a serious crime. Their money and power influence the judges and affect their justice delivery.
LACK OF AWARENESS: People are not well aware of their rights. These people get easily influenced by others. Their lack of knowledge of law results in their exploitation by others. And many other things.
If we conclude it, we must say that our Indian criminal justice system is a great system and is working its best. It includes many agencies that work together for the same purpose which is to grant justice and a crime-free environment. Every system has its merits and demerits. The important thing is that it is working its best to accomplish its motive. In trying to stop crime to provide a safe environment this system is doing so much work. In my view this system is good but for being it needs to do some changes in it which can be,
LEGAL AID DRIVE: This drive will help people to know their rights as well as their duty. This will aware people of their rights which will help to stop the exploitation of these people.
FLEXIBILITY TO JUDGES: the judges should give some type of flexibility in order to get justice. With the change in time, the crimes are also becoming complex and old law and order are failing in order to convict the wrongdoer.
CHECK ON CORRUPTION: Corruption is the biggest problem in our country. People have become lazy and didn’t want to choose a right all they want is to get power and money and by having that they misuse it. A committee should be appointed in order to check the corruption.
With these suggestions and motives to provide justice, our Indian criminal justice system will succeed in every aspect and will be able to provide true justice.