Descriptive Test - SPLessons

Criminal Justice System in India

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Criminal Justice System in India

shape Introduction

What is the Criminal Justice System?
Crime is an act that is detrimental not only to some person but also to a community, state or society (a public wrong). Such acts are legally prohibited and punishable. And criminal justice is the delivery of justice to the offenders (who have committed crimes). PSA Pillai’s Criminal Law – Must Read Books For Indian Law Students


The criminal justice system is a series of government agencies and institutions that are aimed at identifying and catching unlawful persons to punish them. Those who breach the established law can be penalized.


shape Objectives

Criminal Justice System Objectives are:

    • Rehabilitation of offenders

    • Preventing other crimes

    • Providing moral assistance to victims

    • To maintain law and order in society

    • To punish the criminals


shape Institutions

The main institutions of the Criminal Justice System are:

    1. Police

    2. Prosecution and Defense Lawyers

    3. Courts and Prisons


There are two ways to proceed with a criminal trial.

    1. State Criminal Justice – looks after a specific state and crime committed in that state.

    2. Federal Criminal Justice – deals with India’s federal parts and the matters of one or more states.

shape Background

Criminal Justice System in India – Background
The modern criminal justice system has developed from ancient times, with new types of punishment, reforms of the police and rights added for offenders and victims. These developments reflect changes in customs, economic conditions, and political ideals.

    • Exile was a prevalent punishment in ancient times throughout the middle ages.

    • In the middle ages, payment to the victim was another prevalent punishment for violent crimes, including wergild (payment to the victim’s family).


Harsh penalties were also given which include various forms of corporal punishment (punishment aimed at causing physical pain to a person). Its common methods include –

    I. Mutilation means causing injury which leads to permanent disfigurement of a person.

    II. Branding means making a permanent mark on one’s body using a hot or very cold iron rod.

    III. Flogging means an act of beating the human body using special instruments such as rod, whip, etc.

    IV. Execution means the act of giving death sentence.


Let’s talk about the background of the Criminal Justice System in India, particularly.

  • The Indian Criminal Justice System is an age-old system, centered mainly on the criminal justice system established in India by the British rule.

  • Even after 70 years of independence, the system has not experienced any significant modification. Example – Section 124A of IPC i.e. Sedition and its punishment.

  • In 1973, the entire Cr.P.C. was amended.

  • The first attempt to reform the criminal justice system in India was the appointment of the Vohra Committee.

  • In the year of 2000, a panel led by former Chief Justice of Kerala and Karnataka, Justice V.S. Mali math, was formed to propose reform in the century-old criminal justice system.

  • In 2003, the Mali-math Committee presented its report with 158 suggestions, but they have never been enforced.

  • The Committee considered that the current system weighed in favor of the accused and did not focus properly on justice to the victim.

shape Reforms

Criminal Justice System in India – Is there a need for reform?
Changes in the judiciary are continuous but the Indian Criminal Justice System needs to be improved. This is all due to the ineffective implementation of the law, accountability, and delay in disposal of cases, poor prison condition and lack of trained police.

The causes of the problems in the criminal justice system are discussed below –


1) Police accountability – Police accountability is discussed in the four areas as follows:

    a. The first part describes the British police system.

    b. The second part describes how the work is carried out and the lack of public accountability remains unchanged.

    c. The third part describes the need for police accountability. Indian Police Act lacks in accountability of police.

    d. The fourth and last part describes the need for police reforms.


2) Judiciary – The court is mainly responsible for safeguarding human rights and to provide relief to the victim. The protection of individual rights is given more attention. The court should focus on both the victim and the witness.


3) Pendency of cases – There is a delay in the disposal of cases which leads to huge pendency of cases in courts. It is the court’s responsibility to guarantee that the cases are disposed of early.

4) Inefficient justice delivery – In many cases, several criminals remain unpunished. On the contrary, many innocent individuals stay in prison.

5) Judicial officer sensitivity – The judges need to be more proactive in the administrative role of the justice system. They believe in justice by the rigorous interpretation of the law.

6) The complicated structure of the crime – Crime has risen quickly and due to the technological development, the nature of offenses is becoming increasingly complicated.

7) Unfairness in the justice system – Even in grave crimes, the wealthy and the powerful are hardly condemned.

8) Complicated and expensive proceedings – The legal proceedings have become complex and costly. There is an increase in mob violence cases.

shape Government

What are the reforms undertaken by the government?
There are several reforms taken by the government of India. These are as follows –

    A. Lok Adalats – The Legal Services Authority Act, 1987 has provided the statutory status to the Lok Adalats. This forum was established to reduce the pendency of cases in courts. The Lok Adalat movement was strengthened on 31 December 2007 and more than 6,98,000 Lok Adalats have been held in various parts of the country.

    B. National Judicial Academy – It was established by the government to provide judicial officers with training, in service.

    C. Legal Service Authority Act– It was implemented by Parliament to provide the weaker segment of society, with free and skilled legal service.

    D. Mediation – The objective of mediation is to make it easier for the parties to work out a consensual solution.

    E. Removal of obsolete laws – More than 1,000 outdated laws, in the manner of smooth administration have been abolished by the government.


GK India – Related Articles
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Author: Vanshika
Published On: 26 August, 2019