Criminal Justice System


A criminal justice system is defined as a set of legal and social establishments for implementing the legal code in motion in accordance with an outlined set of procedural rules and limitations. Criminal justice systems embrace many major subsystems, composed of one or additional public establishments and their staffs: police and alternative enforcement agencies, trial and proceeding courts, prosecution and public

 Other vital public personal| actors within the system include: defendants and petitioner; defense attorneys   and prosecuting attorney ;bail-bondsmen; alternative private-agencies providing help, direction, or treatment to offenders; and victims and teams or officers representing or helping them additionally, there area unit various alternative body agencies whose work includes social control of legal code in motion .

The criminal justice system comprises 3 major establishments that method a case from origination, through trial, to penalization.
Firstly, a case begins with enforcement officers, the World Health Organization investigating against the law and gathering proof to spot and use against the probable culprit.
Secondly, the case continues with the court, that weighs the proof to work out if the litigator is guilty on the far side an affordable doubt.

Lastly, if so, the court can at their disposal, can penalize and proper the behavior of the bad person.

Throughout every stage of the method, constitutional  protections are provided in order to confirm that the rights of the suspect are not violated.

Working of criminal justice system in India

The criminal justice process varies among the states, However, there are some of the basic components which remain the same for all the jurisdictions. Those components are discussed below in details :

1) Investigation:

The procedure of investigation in criminal cases has been incorporated beneath Section 157 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, It needs the intimation of data to the law officer on the commission of offence which is unlawful . Before the commencement of the investigation, the officer must satisfy himself regarding the grounds and If satisfied with the grounds, the investigation shall be begun with.  On performing preliminary investigation the police can prepare the report and can send it to the magistrate as per Section 158 of the code.

The Magistrate has been given the powers to direct the investigation into the case. If on receiving the report, he thinks that it’s necessary to conduct an investigation, he shall direct a subordinate officer to conduct a preliminary inquiry . In case of non-cognizable offences, the police doesn’t have any authority to arrest without a warrant and he must get a warrant underneath Section 155(2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure. Officers also can get search warrants for vehicles, phones, records, blood, urine, and DNA.

2) Arrest :

Generally, a police officer can arrest a suspect for a crime if:

a)  There’s evidence to believe that the person committed against the law

b) ·A crime was committed within the officer’s presence, or

c)  There’s a warrant for person’s arrest (in case of non- cognizable offences)

At all stages, officers should be aware of citizens’ constitutional rights. These rights are the right to remain silent and the right to be free from unreasonable search, the right to apply for bail etc .If these rights are violated, a court might regard the arrest unlawful and dismiss the case.

3) Report to be filed before the Magistrate after completion of investigation :

Section 173 of the code requires the investigating officer of the case to file a report before the magistrate after performing all the necessary steps. This section requires that each and every investigation shall be completed without any delay. The report under Section 173 of the Code is also called the “Completion report” or the “Chargesheet”.

4) Arraignment :

After criminal charges have been filed, the first court appearance is typically the arraignment. Generally, the arraignment must be held within a certain period of time after the defendant has been arrested. This time period should not exceed 24 hours (excluding the time of travel) after the arrest of the person.

5) Advisement of rights:

At the arraignment, the judge normally advises the defendant of the charges, the maximum and minimum penalties, and certain constitutional rights that all criminal defendants are afforded. For example, criminal defendants have the right to be represented by an attorney, and if the defendant can’t afford an attorney, the court will appoint one at no cost.

6) Bail and release conditions:

The judge will also inform the accused of his right to bail (the right to bail will depend upon the nature of offence) .However, the accused who is released on bail must agree to abide by certain conditions otherwise his bail may get cancelled. Release conditions might include the accused agreeing to:

  • appear in court for all scheduled proceedings
  • not leave the state while the proceedings are pending, and
  • not contact a witness or an alleged victim.

When deciding whether to grant release, judges often consider the defendant’s criminal history, ties to the community, and community safety.

7) Preliminary Hearing:

A preliminary hearing is a hearing that takes place before a criminal trial.  A preliminary hearing is best described as a “trial before the trial” at which the magistrate decides, whether or not the accused is “guilty” or “not guilty,” whether or not there’s enough proof to force the accused into trial. Basically at this stage both the sides of the trail file their pleas to initiate further trial procedure.

8) Discovery and pretrial motions:

During this stage, the public prosecutor and also the defendant’s attorney exchange information concerning the case. Discovery usually includes police reports, pictures, videos, and the other info that the parties conceive to use at trial. The prosecution has an obligation to produce any information in its possession that may be helpful to the defendant’s case.
In addition to providing and receiving discovery, the parties may file pretrial motions throughout this early stage of the criminal process. Motions created by the prosecutor may embody a call for participation for the defense to disclose discovery or choose to suppress certain proof at trial. Motions created by the defense may embody a call for participation to dismiss the fees or to suppress certain proof. If the lawyers file any pretrial motions, the judge will generally set a hearing or hearings before trial to make decisions on the relevant issues.

9) Plea hearing: 

The plea hearing is often the next court appearance in jurisdictions that don’t require a defendant to enter a plea at the arraignment.

Entering a plea:

At the plea hearing, a suspect would possibly plead guilty or no contest when reaching a deal with the prosecution. If the suspect pleads innocent , the magistrate would possibly set a date for the potential trial.

Plea bargaining:

Plea bargaining is a pretrial negotiation between the suspect and also the prosecution wherever the suspect agrees to plead guilty in exchange of concessions by the prosecution. it’s a discount wherever a suspect pleads guilty to a lesser charge and also the prosecutors reciprocally drop a lot of serious charges. it’s not offered for all kinds of crime e.g. someone cannot claim bargaining when committing grievous crimes or for the crimes that are punishable with death or incarceration.

10) Trail:

Although most cases are resolved through bargaining, criminal defendants have a constitutional right to a jury trial for most charges. In that procedure both the sides provide their opening statements, that are summary of the proof that every party intends to present . After opening statements, all sides present its further evidence. Trial evidence might include the testimony of witnesses (direct and cross examination), and other alternative evidence collected from the crime spot .

11) Sentencing Hearing : 

The court will make an initial assessment of the seriousness of the offence. If the accused pleaded guilty, the prosecutor will outline the facts of the case to the court. If the accused contested the charge, ie, pleaded not guilty, then the magistrates or decide would have noted the facts throughout the trial. once imposing a community sentence or custodial sentence. The court will also take under consideration all such info regarding their circumstances of the offence(s) as well as any intensifying or mitigating factors as available to it.

12) Appeal :

An appeal is a tool given to the parties of a case to ensure justice is served and all the parties are satisfied by the judgment. After hearing all the parties in a case, a competent court pronounces the judgment and if the parties are not satisfied with the judgment they have a right to appeal to a higher court. Such an appeal would give the aggravated party another opportunity to present their case to a higher authority or the Appellate Court who would judge the case with a fresh perspective and if there are any wrongdoings, they would be corrected. As an appeal is not a vested right, it cannot lie from all judgments, but only when there is a statutory provision under CrPC or any other law in force at that time.

Loopholes in Indian Criminal Justice System

A nation’s system is integral to however its people believe problems that concern the country and their individual lives in. Despite having the world’s longest Constitution that has gone through various amendments and therefore the several judgements by the Supreme Court that have secured the standing of factual law, the Indian law books have struggled to evolve at a pace commensurable with the speedy changes society has undergone

The judiciary is a co-equal branch at the side of the law-makers and also the government. The role of courts in society isn’t just to adjudicate disputes between parties, however conjointly to safeguard the rights and liberty of people. This is often particularly vital in criminal matters, wherever a personal is cavitied against the will of the State.

The rule of law cannot exist without an effective judicial system, which enforce rights and duties  in a timely and proportionate manner that ensures public confidence in the administration of justice. Unfortunately, ineffectiveness of  governance has created barriers in accessing it which led to granting certain sections of society only limited access to the socio-economic and civil-political rights available.

There are three barriers to access the path of justice. First, there are ‘external factors’ like financial, cultural or geographical barriers, that exclude bound sections of society by preventing their access to courts. Geographical barriers or distances from courts will cause  problems to litigants, accused, witnesses, if they only need to undertake day long visits to achieve the courts, just to get their matter adjourned for the future date Distance conjointly determines the likelihood of the choice to appeal to the High Court  or to the Supreme Court.

Second, the ‘internal factors’, like delays or convoluted procedures and technicalities, that have an effect on everybody within the system, however disproportionately impact those with fewer resources.

Third, the ‘quality factors’, which are caused by the uncertain and inconsistent application of law and arbitrary sentencing and affect the substantive judgment of the case on merits.

The execution of Yakub Memon is totally a miscarriage of justice. there’s no different manner to describe the hanging of a person once there have been robust mitigating circumstances to commute his sentence. Yakub Memon was definitely guilty of against the law his involvement in the conspiracy that resulted in the wicked bomb blasts in the urban center that took the lives of 257 persons. However, his role and therefore the nature of the offence failed to warrant executing. The ends of justice would be served if he had been awarded a prison term, even as the 10 others whose death sentences were commuted to life.

Yakub Memon was ready to come from Pakistan and work with the authorities. He provided valuable data and proof on however the agents of ISI aided the conspirators, The Supreme Court laid-off the revision petition regardless these mitigating factors. The three-member bench of the Court additionally rejected his curative petition, overruling the procedural errors raised by Justice Kurian Joseph within the earlier two-member bench. The President of Asian country may have exercised the powers accorded to him under Article seventy two of the Constitution to follow the judicial finding and commute the sentence. it’s unfortunate that this wasn’t done.

The execution of Afzal Guru in March 2013. The secret approach during which he was hanged and also the violation of his rights showed that the execution was politically determined. In 2014 the Supreme Court commuted the death sentences in some necessary terrorist cases. The persons condemned within the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case that was a serious terrorism, got their sentences commuted to captivity. Soon after, Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar United Nations agency was sentenced to death for a terrorist blast, conjointly got his sentence commuted to life. In each these cases, there was robust political backing for travel their sentences

India’s execution of Ajmal kasab and of four men in Nirbhaya case for the assault and murder of a girl on a Delhi bus in 2012 will send a powerful message, however the actual fact that it tooks several long years to deliver justice has exposed the loopholes within the judiciary which has to be self-addressed.

Malimath Committee (2000) report on within the Criminal Justice System of India

Malimath Committee (2000) on reforms within the Criminal Justice System of India submitted its report in 2003. It advised 158 changes however the recommendations weren’t enforced by the then ordered government. The Committee had opined that the prevailing system “weighed in favour of the suspect and didn’t adequately target justice to the victims of crime.”

But currently the Union home ministry tries to hurry proposes to bring changes in IPC, CrPC in order to hurry up the justice The ministry, in consultation with the Bureau of Police analysis and Development, is considering amendments to the Indian Penal Code(IPC), Code of Criminal Procedure(CrPC) and proof Act, and these areas among which the proposals being looked into.

The ministry is of the view that new laws ought to mirror the trendy reality and that they ought to be in accordance with democratic aspirations of the folks and supply speedy justice to girls, women and also the weaker sections of individuals and for this a number of the options of the inquisitorial system may even be adopted to strengthen this adversarial system to create it simple.

Under IPC, classifications like blue collar, black-collar, red collar and green-collar crimes are instructed to equip and empower the police to touch upon complicated dynamics of internal security. Another suggestion is on putting in of procedure bureaus at the national and state levels to review the technique of crime and therefore the mentality of criminals.

Though the Indian judiciary system is predicated on the core values, morale and cultural traditions of Indian society, it’s the variety of loopholes that have a hyperbolic rate. The Indian judicatory is meant to shield the voters from lawbreakers and offenders. However, truly it’s paved thanks to criminals because of its loopholes. The bad person ought to be forthwith penalized underneath the law system. The case mustn’t be extended for a long time otherwise it’ll enable the perpetrators to move with bravery within the society.

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