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This article is written by Kishita Gupta and Saloni Neema. The article features the advancement of the Criminal Justice framework, particularly in Ancient India.


Like in each edified society, in India as well, a criminal equity framework developed. Financial and political conditions winning during various periods of the historical backdrop of India impacted its advancement. In like manner, the targets of the criminal equity and techniques for its organization changed every once in a while and starting with one time of history then onto the next. To suit the changing conditions the rulers acquainted new strategies and procedures with implement law and control equity. 

The Indian Criminal Justice System as we know today isn’t a modern development. It finds its origin from ancient times. There exited unique methods to deal with the criminals, with each state having its own different and unique mode of punishment and justice. The Judicial framework manages the organization of the laws through the organization of the courts. The framework gives the apparatus to the settling of the questions because of which the wronged Party moves toward the courts. Nothing annoys in the human heart more than an agonizing feeling of bad form. No general public can permit a circumstance to develop where the impression prevails of there being no change for complaints. 

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The Criminal Justice System alludes to the organizations of the government accused of implementing the law, mediating wrongdoing, and rectifying criminal lead. The criminal equity framework is an instrument of social control which includes that the society considers a few practices so risky and damaging that it either carefully controls their event or bandits them by and large. It is the activity of the organizations of equity to forestall these practices by securing and rebuffing offenders or deflecting their future events.

The criminal equity framework is lumbering, costly, and aggregately lamentable. The poor can never arrive at the sanctuary of equity due to substantial costs engaged with obtaining entrance and the persona of lawful ethos. The order of courts, with a great many interests, puts lawful equity past the range of poor people. Making the legitimate cycle costlier is an aberrant disavowal of equity to the individuals and this hits hard on the refuse of the world in the public arena. The lawful framework has lost its believability for the more fragile segment of the network.

The judicial system in ancient India

Justice S. S. Dhavan said “India has the world’s oldest judiciary. No other judicial structure has a more ancient and exalted pedigree”.

The administration of justice was not a part of the state’s responsibilities in the early days. In Vedic literature, we do not see references to any judicial organization. The aggrieved party used to sit before the accused house in order to get its false relief and not travel until his (aggrieved party) arguments were resolved. The tribe and clan assemblies performed subsequent justice and the legal process was thus very clear. But the king eventually came to be called the root of justice with the expansion of the duties of the state and also the development of the royal powers, and a more or less complex system of judicial administration came into being. Knowledge regarding the well-developed judiciary is given to us by the Dharma Shastra’s, Niti Shastras and even the Arthashastra. The King is the head of the fountain of justice, according to this literature, and he was expected to spend a few hours per day in adjudication.

The primary responsibility of the king is the protection of his subjects, which entails the prosecution of the wrongdoer. In several ruling dynasties of ancient India, judicial structures for civil and criminal cases were essential features. The definition of sin was the norm by which crime was to be established, while civil wrongs applied largely to conflicts occurring over money. The Manusmrti or “Laws of Manu,” Sanskrit Manusm-ti, also known as Mānava-dharmaśāstra, is the most significant and earliest metrical work written by the ancient sage Manu of Hinduism’s Dharmaśāstra textual tradition, which prescribes ten essential rules for Dharma observance: patience (dhriti), forgiveness (kshama), piety or self-control (dama), integrity (asteya), sanctity (asteya) (krodha). (krodha). (krodha). (krodha). “Nonviolence, truth, non-coveting, purity of body and mind, control of senses are the essence of Dharma,” Manu further writes. Consequently, not only the person but all in society are regulated by dharmic rules.

Grounds of Litigation and different kinds of Law

Grounds for lawsuits and various forms of law:

These eighteen ‘Titles of Law’ or ‘Grounds for Lawsuits’ given by Manu refer to the reasons on which litigation may also be brought “(1) Non-payment of debts; (2) deposits; (3) selling without ownership; (4) partnership; (5) non-payment of gifts; (6) non-payment of salaries; (7) violation of contract; (8) termination of purchase or purchase; (9) disputes between herdsmen and owners; (10) non-payment of salaries; boundary dispute law; (11) verbal assault; (12) physical assault; (13) theft; (14) violence; (15) sexual crimes against herdsmen; (10) non-payment of salaries”.

  • Different kinds of laws: In compliance with rules which fall under one or another of the following four heads, justice was administered, namely:
  • Sacred law (Dharma)
  • Secular Law (Vyavahara)
  • Custom and (Chaitra)
  • Royal 

Types of Court in Ancient India

Ancient India has the highest quality of any ancient nation in terms of the jurisdiction of the judiciary, learning, honesty, impartiality, and equality, and these expectations have not been surpassed until today; that the Indian judiciary consisted of a hierarchy of judges with the Court of the Chief Justice (Praadvivaka) at the top, granting each higher court the right to review it, That the accused could not be punished in criminal trials unless his guilt was proven consistent with law; that the trial consisted of 4 stages in civil cases such as several modern trials, complaint, reply, hearing and decree; that Indian jurisprudence was familiar with doctrines such as res adjudicata (prangn yaya); that each one trials, civil jurisprudence That the decrees of all courts except the King be open to challenge or revision consistent with fixed principles; that the central obligation of the Court was to strive to do justice “without favor or fear,” was heard by a bench of several judges and barely by a judge sitting alone.

The courts, as given by Kat’yayana Smrithi, are divided into six according to their hierarchy.

  1. Kula (Family council) – The Mitakshara has described the Kula as consisting of a group of relations, relative or distant. In ancient India, the Kula, or joint families, were often very large. The elders used to try to resolve it whenever there was a disagreement between two members. This informal body of family elders was called Kula.
  2. Shreni (Council of trade or profession) – The matter was brought to Shreni court when the attempt at family arbitration failed. The word Shreni, was used to describe the guild courts that were a prominent feature of ancient India’s commercial life from 500 B.C. Sreni had four or five members of their own executive committees and it is possible that they may also have served as the Sreni court to resolve the disputes between their members. This was an assembly of people including betel sellers, weavers, shoe makers, etc. who followed a specific occupation.
  3. Gana (Assembly of village) – This was a large assembly of elders in the village or grama who are accepted by the people of the area as learned, impartial and having integrity.
  4. Adhikrita (Court appointed by the King) – These are the courts authorized by the King for delivering the justice in which persons who are well versed in the Sutras and Smrithis are appointed as judges. These kinds of courts were of varied types as consistent with their jurisdiction. they’re (I) Pratishtitha which was established at a specific village or town. (ii) Apratishtitha was a mobile court which would assemble during a particular place to undertake a selected case as called upon by the King. (iii) Mudrita was the next level court which was authorized to use the royal seal.
  5. Sasita (Kings Court) – It was the highest court of law in the Kingdom. It was presided over by the King himself. There was a chief Justice called Pradvivaka and a group of Judges called Sabhyas to aid and assist the King.
  6.  Nripa (King himself) – The King was the Supreme authority in the adjudication legal process and he was guided by the principles of Dharma, which he could not override.

Courts and their Jurisdiction

Kula, Shreni and Gana could trial all the civil and criminal disputes except for an offence of violence (Sahasa). The cases involving violence are to be tried by the Adhikrita a court appointed by the King. Corporal punishments are to be decided by the Sasita (Kings Court) but to be finalized by the King himself. A decision rendered by the Kula can be reviewed by the Shreni and a decision by Shreni can be reviewed by the Gana. Likewise, the decision of a Gana can be reviewed by the Adhikrita courts. The Law Commission in its Fourteenth Report had said: Ancient authors have defined the hierarchy of courts as having existed in the distant past, but later works by writers such as Narada, Brihaspathi and others seem to suggest that normal courts may have existed on a sizable scale. Thus the hierarchy of courts was considered to have existed in ancient India with certain elements of authoritative ladder of review power over the courts below.

Judicial Procedure

In ancient times, the courts operated on a well-laid procedural framework. If anyone has been harmed by others, he may file a Pratijna (plaint) with the court. Plaintiff was the vadin, and the defendant was prati vadin. Dharma kosa gives the evidence of the plaintiff that it should be un- ambiguous. The parties can produce the witness and in the absence summons to the witness was ordered by the Judge. The presumption of evidence was cast on the person alleging the crime. Jayapatra contains all the documents of victory, it usually contains brief statements about the plaintiff and they are in written form and judges should not be biased regarding their statements. In criminal justice system, kings and his officers usually take cognizance on their own. 

The Mahabharata states that ‘punishment preserves Dharma, Artha and Kama,’ and is well acknowledged in Sastras Dhanda Neeti. The judgment should be delivered in a way that guarantees confidence and trust in the judiciary. To correct the wrong doer, a deterrent is always needed. The penalties were categorized as (1) Vagdanda-admonition; (2) Dhigdanda-censorship; (3) Dhanadanda-fine; (4) Angaccheda – mutilation; (5) Vadhadanda – Death penalty.

Importance of Jury

If they are not followed by a jury of three, five or seven jurors called sabhyas, then the king and chief justice could not begin a court’s trial. It was expected that they were unbiased and fearless. A juror who remained quiet was condemned. And if it was in contrast to that of the king, they should voice their view. A variety of prominent jurists contend that the king or judge ought to be directed by the jury’s judgment, and the king exercised his right to settle the case according to his own opinion only when the jurors did not come to a definitive decision.

As they were well versed in Dharmashastras, these sabhyas were usually Brahmins. There’s no need, however, regarding knowledge of sacred law when the case (the party to the dispute) involved conflicts between farmers, merchants and forest dwellers. The authors of Dharmashastra themselves proposed that the cases be tried with the aid of the jurors chosen from the castes or the occupations of the parties themselves. Sukra refers to the practice of appointing recognized agents in the law courts to defend a case when a party was himself unable to do so owing to his preoccupation or ignorance of the law. Such agents were known as Niyogins and they were expected to guard the interests of their parties very carefully. Their fee varied from six to half percent, according to the value of the property. If they colluded with the other party, they were punished by the state.

The sentences in vogue were fines, incarceration, banishment, mutilation and death penalty. Fines were the most widespread and punishment also varied with the accused’s race. The prison service was under the charge of an official named Sannidhata, and Bandhanagaradhyaksha was the name of the jailor. In separate wards, male and female inmates were held.

Administration of Justice during Vedic and Early Vedic Period

Naman was believed to be the fountain of justice in ancient India as the lord of Dharma and was entrusted with the sole authority of the administration of justice and his primary responsibility was to protect his subject’s rights. The King’s Court was the highest court, and the Chief Justice’s court was next to it (Pradvivaka). There was, thus, a hierarchy of judges. Village councils (Kulani) deal with basic civil and criminal disputes in villages. The courts were watched over at a higher level in cities and districts by government officials under the King’s jurisdiction to execute justice. Trade guilds were permitted to exert effective authority over their members in order to deal with problems between members of the craft community, merchants, etc. There were also existing family courts. Civil disputes among family members were resolved by Puga assemblies organized by groups of families in the same village. Minor criminal offences were dealt with in villages by judicial councils, while serious

Administration of Justice during Mauryan Times

The king was the head of justice, the fountainhead of the laws, and he ruled on all matters of significant consequence. Mostly in towns and villages presided over by pradesika, mahamatras, and rajukas, there were separate courts. Two types of courts have been established: dharmastheya dealing with civil matters and kantakasodhana dealing with criminal cases. At least one court and one police head office have been developed in all major towns and headquarters. Petty cases in the villages were decided in their panchayats by the village elders. The Hindu Code of Law, as envisaged in the shastras, has been administered in civil proceedings. There was reliance on the facts of credible people. Punishment was very severe, even for small offences like evasion of government’s taxes, giving false evidence, causing injury to artisans, ordinary theft, etc. In all of these cases, the body has been mutilated. Eighteen kinds of torture have happened, including seven whippings. The penal code was really relevant.

The criminal code was very harsh and enforced strictly. The idea was to set a precedent for others and prevent them from wrongdoing. Megasthenes is all praise “for the Mauryan law and order”. He reports that “There were few crimes; murders and thefts were almost unknown, people rarely locked their doors and the state guaranteed the safety of life and property.”

Guptas Times

The Gupta Empire was not only imposing because of the vastness of its structure but also benevolent. It had constitutional checks in the form of Council of Ministers and higher officials of the states. The whole administration was often guided by judiciously interpreted freedom of constitutional uses. Under the Guptas, the judicial administration was much more developed than in the initial periods. During this period, a number of law books were compiled for the first time. And there were well defined civil and criminal rules. Chief judicial officer was called ‘Mahadandnayak’. but the chief judge was KING/ SAMRAT. The King was the state’s highest legal body and therefore determined the conflicts. His decisions were absolute, but the king alone could not continue the judicial governance of such a large empire. He was also aided in the discharge of his judicial duties by a number of judges.

The court was divided into four classes: kings court, poog, shreni, kulik. We have already discussed types of courts. The penalty was very mild during the Gupta period. Punishments such as capital punishment and traumatic amputation have seldom been awarded. During the Gupta reign, the criminal laws were not as extreme as in the Maurya period. criminal cases were taken before the central court, typically kept under the King or Royal Authority. The method of appeal was exercised and the highest body of appeal was the Monarch. The lack of lawyers was one critical trait of the ancient Indian legal system. Another noteworthy characteristic was that it was often chosen for a bench of two or three judges to conduct justice rather than for a single person to be the sole justice administrator.

Relevance of Old Justice System in Present Times

Ancient India kept the highest standard of any antiquity. The capacity, learning, honesty, impartiality and freedom of the judiciary have not been overcome and these expectations have not been surpassed till now, the Indian judiciary consisted of a hierarchy of judges at the top of the Court of the Chief Justice (Praadvivaka), Each higher court is given the right to review the decision of the lower Courts; the cases is basically decided in line with same principle of natural justice concepts, that in criminal trials the accused could not be punished unless his guilt was proved according to law; that in civil cases the trial consisted of four stages like any modern trial – plaint, reply, hearing and decree; that such doctrines as res judicata (prang nyaya) were familiar to Indian jurisprudence; cases were resolved by the panel of several judges unlike today, and no case was resolved singly by any judge.

The judicial system in modern India

The legal framework gave by the Constitution of India is involved in the three kinds of courts. At the top, it is Supreme Court, at the centre the High Courts and at the base the subordinate Courts notwithstanding the Constitution, there are different laws and rules which direct the structure, force, and locale of these courts. Here conversation is given of the apparent multitude of three kinds of courts.

The role of the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court in India was established through an enactment passed in pre-independent India, with the introduction of the Regulating Act, 1773. the first Supreme Court started its function as a court of record at Calcutta, and therefore the 1st judge Sir Elijah Impey was appointed. The court was established to resolve the disputes in Bengal, Orissa, and Patna. Consequently, in 1800 and 1834, the King Gorge-III established the opposite two Supreme Courts in Bombay and Madras.

However, soon after the enactment of the Indian supreme court Act, 1861, the Supreme Courts in Calcutta, Bombay, and Madras were consequently abolished and therefore the courts in Calcutta, Bombay, and Madras resumed its functioning as the supreme court. In 1935, the British Parliament enacted the govt of India Act, 1935, after a resolution was gone by the Joint committee, which was headed by Lord Linlithgow.

The Government of India Act, 1935, led to the establishment of the court in India, which has vested more judicial power than the supreme court with original, appellate, and advisory jurisdiction. After independence, the Constitution of India was adopted on 26th January 1950, and therefore the court of India resumed functioning because of the Supreme Court of India on 28th January 1950, which was presided by Hon’ble Justice Harilal Jekisundas Kania.

As per article 124(1) of the Constitution, there should be a Supreme Court in India that will be presided by the judge of India with additional seven Judges until the parliament passes precedent for increasing the number of Judges. However, currently, there are 34 judges within the Supreme Court, and therefore the current judge of India is Justice Sharad Arvind Bodbe.

The role of the High Court 

As per the Indian Constitution, Articles 214-231 deals with the provisions of High Courts in India. It provides for separate supreme court s for separate states but consistent with the 7th constitutional amendment act an equivalent high court is often the court for quite one state resent, we’ve 21 high courts within the country, which incorporates 3 common high courts.

Constitution and composition of High courts

All the high courts comprise of a Chief Justice and several other judges, who are determined by the President of India from occasionally. Article 217 deals with the appointment of judges and state that every judge of the high court shall be appointed by the President of India by a warrant under his hand & seal after primary consultation with the Chief Justice of India, the Governor of the state.

The powers and jurisdiction of the high court are often classified under the following heads:

1. Original Jurisdiction- it means an applicant can directly attend high court and not through appeals. This power is employed within the following matters:

a. Disputes arising out of concerning members of Parliament and state legislature.

b. concerning marriage, law, admiralty divorce, contempt of court, etc.

c. Enforcement of fundamental rights (Supreme Court also has this power).

d. Cases transferred from another court to itself which involves an issue of law.

2. Writ Jurisdiction- Article 226 states that the High Court shall have power throughout the territories about which it exercises jurisdiction to issue to a person or authority including in appropriate cases, any government, within those territories directions, orders, or writs.

3. Appellate Jurisdiction- It is said that the high court is that the primary court of appeal i.e. it’s the power to listen to the appeals against the judgment of the subordinate courts within its territories. This power is often classified into 2 categories-Civil jurisdiction and Criminal jurisdiction In civil cases its jurisdiction includes the orders and judgments of the district courts, additional district courts, and other subordinate courts.

In criminal cases, its jurisdiction includes judgments concerning sessions courts and extra sessions court. These cases should be involving imprisonment for quite 7 years, confirmation of any death sentence awarded by session court before execution

4. Power of Superintendence – The high court has this power over all courts and tribunals except those handling the soldiers functioning within the state. Hence within the exercise of this power, it’s going to:

e. involve return from such courts.

f. May issue general rules and prescribe forms for regulating the practice and proceedings of such courts.

g. Prescribe the shape during which books and accounts are being kept by the officers of any court.

h. Settle fees payable to the sheriff clerks, officers and legal practitioners.

The constitution doesn’t place any restriction on this power of superintendence over the subordinate courts, it’s not only using appeal by the person, it is often suo motto. it’s of the character of revision because it verifies the sooner judgments. In this regard, it is considered as a special function because the Supreme Court has no similar power vis a vis the High Court.

5. Control over Subordinate Courts – This point is simply an extension of the above-mentioned supervisory and appellate jurisdiction. It states that the high court can withdraw a case pending before any subordinate court if it involves the substantial question of law. The case is often disposed of itself or solve the question of law and return to an equivalent court. within the second case, the opinion rendered by the supreme court would be binding on the subordinate court. It also deals with matters concerning posting promotion, the grant of leave, transfer, and discipline of the members therein. during this regard, it appoints officers and servants to be made by the chief justice or such other judge of high court as the chief justice may direct.

6. Court of Record – It involves the recording of judgments, proceedings, and acts of high courts to be recorded for the perpetual memory. These records can’t be further questioned in any court. supported this record it’s the power to punish for the contempt of court either with simple imprisonment or with fine or both.

7. Review – This power of the high court includes the facility to look at the constitutionality of legislative and executive orders of both central and state governments. it’s to be noted that the word review is not anywhere mentioned in our constitution but Article 13 and 226 explicitly provide the high court with this power.

8. Extension of jurisdiction of the high court to Union Territories – Parliament by law may extend the jurisdiction of a high court to or exclude the jurisdiction of a high court from any union territory.

The role of district courts 

Chapter VI under Part 4 of the Constitution of India consists of the provisions regarding the creation of the subordinate courts in the country. Below the supreme court, there’s the Court of District Judge which is the top court among subordinate courts. The appointment, posting, and promotion of District Judge are made by the Governor of the concerned State in consultation with the concerned supreme court. As regards eligibility for the post of the District Judge, a person not already within the service of the Union or the State shall only be eligible to be appointed as District Judge if he has been for not less than seven years an Advocate or a Pleader and is usually recommended by the concerned High Court.

Appointments of a person apart from District Judges to the judicial service of the State shall be made by the Governor of the State following rules made by him therein behalf after consultation with concerned State Public Service Commission and with the concerned supreme court. As regards control over subordinate courts, including the matters of posting, promotion, leave, etc., the concerned supreme court is vested with the power to possess control over subordinate courts but the supreme court is to exercise the control following the conditions of service under the law applicable regarding subordinate courts. 

The Governor may by public notification direct the appliance of the provisions of Chapter VI of the Constitution and thus the principles made thereunder on any class or classes of magistrates within the concerned State subject to any exception or modification.

Codification of laws

The first plan to modify the Muslim law of crime was initiated by Cornwallis in 1790.  Lord Cornwallis divested the Nizam of any authority over the Nizamat. He abrogated crucial Muslim laws formulated by Abu Hanifa that illogically maintained that a murdered wasn’t responsible for punishment if the crime was committed by strangling, drowning, poisoning, or with a weapon which wasn’t made from iron. it had been also declared that the kin of the deceased didn’t have any right to remit the sentences of the offender.

The government in 1791 also abolished the punishment of mutilation and imprisonment and hard labour were substituted in its place. Cornwallis desired the abolition of the rule under which a murderer wasn’t held susceptible to execution if he committed by drowning poisoning etc. The Muslim law didn’t permit a Hindu to testify against Muslims accused this law was now abolished.

As some confusion existed on certain points within the law of homicide the law was restated in 1797 through regulation for the aim of regulation was to try to away finally with all operations of the desire of the heirs. just in case of murder it had been laid down that a prisoner convicted of willful murder was to be punished with none regard to the heirs of the person killed. Another innovation made at that point was to substitute imprisonment for blood money, In cases where under the Muslim law, an individual convicted of homicide was susceptible to pay blood money the court of the circuit was to commute the fine to imprisonment for such period as it is considered adequate for the offence.

Regulation XIV of 1791 was a crucial measure which was inspired by humanitarian and benevolent sprit as it granted relief to the person already in prison on account of their inability to pay blood money. Regulation 17 of 1797 severe punishment was prescribed with a view to the offence.

Several changes were made to the legal code 1799-1802 by the govt of Lord Wellesley. consistent with Regulation of 1799 not was any murder to be justifiable and altogether cases of murder the offenders were to be punished by death. The regulation 18 of 1801 laid that a private convicted of getting deliberately and maliciously intended to murder an individual and accidentally killed another individual was to be susceptible to suffer death. Regulation 16 of 1802 had abolished the criminal and disgusting and inhuman practice of sacrificing young and innocent children and declared infanticide punishable as willful murder susceptible to a sentence of death.

The process of altering and adapting the Muslim law of crimes continued the process of giving punishments for perjury and forgery were enhanced through the introduction of Regulation II of 1807. Exemplary punishments were prescribed for Dacoity through Regulations VIII of 1808 because the crime has increased enormously. By Regulations XVII of 1817, the law relating to Adultery was revised. The necessity for four competent male witnesses was rigorously insisted upon and the presumptive proof wasn’t regarded sufficient to warrant a conviction for the offence. The regulation laid down that conviction for the offence of adultery might be supported confessions, creditable testimony or circumstantial evidence. the utmost punishment to be inflicted for the offence was fixed at thirty-nine stripes and imprisonment with the hard labour of up to seven years. Married women weren’t to be prosecuted on such charges.

After 1833, an All India Legislature was created and thru subsequent reforms through the years led to the enactment of the Indian legal code in 1860. During the amount from 1833-1860, changes were made within the legal code and therefore the important ones included that thugs came to be punished with imprisonment for all times with the hard labour, the status of slavery was declared to be non-recognizable in any court of the corporate, dacoits came to be punished with transportation for all times, or with imprisonment for any shorter term with hard labour. it’s going to even be mentioned punishments prescribed for offences by British Administrators were very severe initially, intending to suppress crime. But as society stabilized, and law and order situation improved, and incidence of crime lessened, liberalizing tendencies set in and therefore the rigours of punishment were somewhat mitigated

The Indian Penal Code, 1860

The government in Britain in 1833 appointed a commission referred to as the “Indian Law Commission” to discuss the jurisdiction, powers and rules of existing courts and to form reports setting forth the results of the inquiries and suggesting reforms. The law commission works on the Anglo-Indian Codes from 1834 to 1879 and one among the foremost important contributions of the primary Law Commission was the Indian penal code, submitted by Macaulay in 1837 and passed into law in 1860. Another important law that was codified was the code of criminal procedure.

When it had been first passed in 1861, the Code of Criminal Procedure fiercely guarded “privileges” or “rights” as they were alternatively described as and made the law both a symbolic and an actual marker of imperial power The code secured the legal superiority of “European-born British subjects “by reserving to them special privileges like the proper to a jury trial with a majority of European jurors, amenability only to British judges and magistrates, and limited punishments, all this while maintaining and displaying European power and prestige. 

As legislative council Member Thomas said:

“Whether the planter gets justice or not at the hand of the Native Magistrate is quite a secondary consideration; the mere fact of his having, on some trifling charge, had to seem before and be tried by a Native Magistrate, of an equivalent caste and family, the codification of the criminal motion created a structure within the Indian system and this structure continued to dominate through the years of British decree India.”


The essential object of codification is to protect society against criminals and law-breakers. For this purpose the law holds out threats of punishments to prospective lawbreakers also as attempts to make the actual offenders suffer the prescribed punishments for his or her crimes. Therefore, code, in its wider sense, consists of both the substantive code and thus the procedural (or adjective) code. Substantive criminal law defines offences and prescribes punishments for the same, while the procedural law administers the substantive law.

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