Accused: A person who is tried in court for a crime.
Bail: Bail is money or property, an accused puts forth as security to make sure he/she will appear in the court for trial.
Cross-examine: In context of this chapter, this refers to the questioning of a witness who has already been examined by the opposing side in order to determine the veracity of his statement.
Cognizable : In context of this chapter, this refers to an for which the police may arrest an individual without the permission of the court.
Civil cases : Cases connected with private rights are called Civil Cases. Breach of contract, matrimonial cases, etc. are examples of civil cases.
Criminal cases : Cases against community are called criminal cases. Murder, robbery, conspiracy, etc. are examples or criminal cases.
Detention: This refers to a situation when the police forcibly retains someone in custody.
Evidence : This refers to the facts/signs that make one believe that something is true.
Impartial: The act of being fair and judicial and not favouring someone in a biased way.
Memo: This refers to an official note.
Offence: Such act which the law defines as a crime.
Witness : This refers to an individual who is called upon in the court to give a first-hand account of what he has seen, heard or knows.
First Information Report is the information which a police officer receives about the commission of the crime. It is the information recorded by the police officer on duty, given either by the aggrieved person or by any other person about the commission of an alleged offence. On the basis of F.I.R., the police starts its investigation.
Anyone who knows about the commission of a cognizable offence can file the FIR. It is not essential that only the victim of the crime should file the FIR. A police officer who comes to know about a cognizable offence can file FIR himself/herself.
Main features of F.I.R. are:
(i) F.I.R. must be written, duly signed and a copy must be given to the informant.(ii) F.I.R. is normally a complaint booked by the victim of the cognizable offence with the police.
(iii) It is not necessary that only a victim fills an F.I.R., even a person knowing about the commission of a cognizable offence can file an F.I.R.
(iv) Any police officer who comes to know about a cognizable offence can fill an F.I.R himself.
(v) F.I.R. must have date, place and time of an incident.
(vi) F.I.R. can be filed at any place in the country and is not necessary to file where the crime took place.
(vii) Every complainant can ask for a copy of F.I.R. at free of cost.
(viii) Though no time limit exists for filing an F.I.R., it is best to file it as soon as a cognizable offence has been committed.
D.K. Basu Guidelines
The Supreme Court of India has laid down specific requirements and procedures that the police and the other agencies have to follow for the arrest, detention and interrogation of any person. These are known as the D.K. Basu Guidelines.
The following are the guidelines given by D.K. Basu:
(i) The police officials who carry out the arrest or interrogation should wear clear, accurate and visible identification and name tags along with their designations.
(ii) A memo of arrest should be prepared at the time of arrest and should include the time and date of arrest. It should also be attested by at least one witness who could include a family member of the person arrested. The arrest memo should be Countersigned by the person arrested.
(iii) The person arrested, detained or being interrogated has a right to inform a relative, friend or well- wisher.
(iv) If friend or relative lives outside the district, the time, place of arrest and venue of custody must be notified by police within 8 to 12 hours after arrest.
(i) A fair trial is a trial which is held in an open court, in public view.
(ii) Any relative can attend the court. The trial is held in the presence of the accused.
(iii) The accused is defended by a lawyer. The advocate of the accused is given an opportunity to present witnesses in the accused defence.
(iv) Although the police files the case, the judge should assume the accused to be innocent.
(v) The judge should decide the matter only on the basis of evidence before the court.
(vi) The judge should be impartial. It should be ensured that all the citizens irrespective of their class, caste, gender, religious and ideological background get a fair trial when being accused.
The trial of Shanti was a fair one because:
The term criminal justice is used in several contexts, but chiefly to encompass the chain of events, activities, tasks or functions that constitute the official response to perceive problems of law and order, such as crime prevention, hearing of criminal cases by the court, enforcement of court orders, etc. Hence, it is the system of legislation, practices, and organizations, used by government or the state, which are all directed to maintain social control, deter and control crime, and sanctioning those who violate laws.
The main objectives of the criminal justice system can be categorised as follows:
(i) Prevention of the occurrence of crime.
(ii) Punishment to the criminals.
(ii) Rehabilitation to the criminals.
(iv) Compensation to the victims as far as possible.
(v) Maintenance of law and order in the society.
(vi) Preventing the offenders from committing any criminal act in the future.
Role of Courts
Courts play a vital role in the administration justice. Courts verify the facts and arguments from both the parties: appellants and respondents through their lawyers before taking a decision. Over a dispute, if a party is not satisfied with the judgment of District Court, it can go to the High Court and further to the Supreme Court.
The role of the judge in the Indian Judicial Criminal System
(i) The judge is like an umpire in a game and conducts the trial impartially and in an open court.
(ii) The judge hears all the witnesses and any other evidence presented by the prosecution and the defence.
(iii) The judge decides whether the accused person is guilty or innocent on the basis of the evidence presented and in accordance with the law.
(iv) If the accused is convicted, then the judge pronounces the sentence.
(v) He may send the person to jail or impose a fine or both, depending on what the law prescribes.
The role of the police in investigating a crime are :
(i) One important function of the police is to investigate any complaint about the crime.(ii) An investigation includes recording statements of witnesses and collecting different kinds of evidences.(iii) On the basis of investigation, the police is required to form an opinion.
(iv) If the police thinks that the evidence points to the guilt of the accused person, then it can file a charge sheet in the court.
(v) Ultimately, the judge takes the decision whether a person is guilty or innocent.
Guidelines that have been laid by Supreme Court for police during investigation are :
(i) The Supreme Court has laid down guidelines that the police must follow at the time of arrest, detention and interrogation. These are also known as D.K. Basu Guidelines.(ii) Police investigation always has to be conducted in accordance with law and with full respect for human rights.(iii) The police are not allowed to torture or beat or shoot anyone during investigation.
(iv) They cannot inflict any form of punishment on a person even for petty offences.
(v) Police officials carrying out investigation should wear, clear and visible name tags with their designations.
Role of Public Prosecutor
Non-cognizable offences are those cases which are relatively less serious in nature as compared to cognizable offences. Examples of non-cognizable offences include public nuisance, assault, mischief, etc. The police cannot register such cases and cannot arrest any person with regard to non-cognizabie offences.
Criminal law: The body of law that defines criminal offenses, regulates the apprehension, charging, and trial of suspected persons, and fixes penalties and modes of treatment applicable to convicted offenders. It usually begins with the lodging of a First Information Report (FIR) with the police who investigates the crime, after which a case is filed in the court. If found guilty, the accused can be sent to jail and may also be fined. The crimes that fall under this law are:- murder, assault, dowry, etc. Article 22 of the Constitution and criminal law guarantee from arbitrary arrest because of the following reasons : (i) Every person has a Fundamental Right to be at the time of arrest of the offence for which the person is being arrested. (ii) Every person has a right to be presented before the magistrate within 24 hours of arrest. (iii) Every person has a right not to be treated or tortured during arrest or in custody. (iv) Confessions made in police custody cannot be called as evidence against the accused. (v) A boy under 15 years of age and women cannot be no called to the police station only for questioning.