Criminal Justice System in India

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Jun 3, 2022, 7:41

The Criminal Justice System in India exists for a sole purpose, i.e., to safeguard the interests of innocents by punishing and reforming the guilty. A Criminal Justice System is the cornerstone of any democratic and civilised society.

Functioning of Criminal Justice System in India

The Criminal Justice System provides a maximum sense of security to the people at large in a democratic, civilised society. This can be done by dealing with crimes and criminals effectively, quickly, and legally. India's Criminal Justice System is based on intricate legal acts, the judicial system, and the law enforcement system.

The System is comprised of the various institutions/agencies and processes that have been put into operation under the powers of the Constitution to regulate and reduce crime. Components like police and courts form an integral part of the Criminal Justice System. Collectively, the system works in tandem to control crime in the country.

A Gist of the Criminal Justice System - History

The Criminal Justice System exists solely to protect individual's rights and personal liberty. It also aims at protecting society against its invasion by others.

The sources of Criminal law in India can derive from several sources. These include various statutes such as the Indian Penal Code of 1860, the Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955, Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961, the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, etc.

Through the instruments of criminal laws, the Criminal Justice System enforces the law and imposes penalties on those who violate the established rules.

The concurrent list of the seventh Schedule of the Constitution deals with India's criminal law and criminal procedure.

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Key Facts About the Criminal Justice System in India

The Criminal Justice System in India has its roots in the legal procedures established by the British during the pre-independence era.

The Indian Penal Code 1860 was one of the first limbs of the Criminal Justice System in India. It deals with various aspects, such as defining crime and prescribing appropriate punishments for those crimes. The first Law Commission of India prepared it. The Indian Penal Code 1860 was based on the English criminal law system.

The first Code of Criminal Procedure was enacted in 1861. It established the procedural norms that need to be followed in all stages of the judicial process associated with the criminal justice system. The current justice model of the Code of Criminal Procedure was enacted in 1973.

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As per data maintained by National Crime Record Bureau, the conviction rate of States/UTs relating to cognisable crime under Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Special & Local Laws (SLL) crimes during 2018, 2019, and 2020 is 66.6, 66.4 and 73.4

There are about 73,000 cases pending before the Supreme Court and about 44 million in all the courts of India. Cases that have been in the courts for more than 30 years, as of January 2021: 1,05,560. Undertrial prisoners account for 62% of India's total prison population.

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FAQs on Criminal Justice System in India

Q.1 What is a Criminal Justice System in India?

The Criminal Justice System in India is comprised of the various institutions/agencies and processes that have been put into operation under the powers of the Constitution to regulate and reduce crime.

Q.2 What are the two critical components of a Criminal Justice System in India?

Police and courts form an integral part of the Criminal Justice System in India.

Q.3 When was the Indian Penal Code enacted in the Criminal Justice System in India?

The Indian Penal Code was enacted in 1860 in the Criminal Justice System in India.

Q.4 Which Schedule in the Constitution deals with India's criminal law and criminal procedure under the Criminal Justice System in India?

Under the Criminal Justice System in India. The 7th schedule of the constitution deals with India's criminal law and criminal procedure.