This seminar brief has been written by Prayrana Singh from Navrachana University, Vadodara.
Advocate Kunal Israney, advocate, Delhi High Court.
About the speaker
Advocate Kunal Israney completed his LLB from Faculty of Law, Delhi University and started working as a Legal Trainee in Dubai International Financial Centres Courts. He then worked as an Associate Public Prosecutor for NCT of Delhi in High Court where he assisted on a plethora of criminal cases including Death sentence, NDPS, Murder and Rape cases at Delhi High Court. Currently, he is assisting Hon’ble Justice I.S Mehta, Judge, Delhi High Court as Law Researcher. He has contributed to over 150 judgements. He has done LLM in National Law University in 2019 in Delhi and has specialised in criminology.
Introduction to the various branches of criminal law in India, starting with criminal law we first need to understand what exactly criminal law is?
The criminal law which we are basically talking about is a public law, which the state has legislated and the judiciary has implemented and executed has played an important role in it. The criminal law which now is dealing with 1862 when IPC came into force is popularly known as modern criminal law. It evolves from English law which basically favoured the rich and the greater class and punishes the poor and downward people.
History and evolution of criminal laws
This is what used to be the case in sixteen, seventeen and eighteenth centuries and now it has evolved substantially since then. Now, with the introduction of CRPC 1973 is in streamline, the course to get the guilty person punished and innocent one is left. It all started from Lord Macaulay in 1883. He moves the House of Commons which we have popularly known as Lok Sabha, House of Commons are in England. He moves this proposal that these laws should be codified and must be implemented in India so in 1834 the codes were prepared and drafted and in 1860. It was actually passed and subsequently, it was implemented in 1862. IPC was thereafter passed and it superseded all the rules, regulations and orders of the criminal laws and it prepared a uniform criminal law irrespective of someone’s caste, religion and at that time a was a very big problem for a common person of India.
All the three major Acts, basically they are IPC, CRPC, and Indian Evidence Act
So talking about IPC it came into force in 1862, in Urdu it is known as Taziraat-e-Hind. So it is the official criminal code of India. It is a comprehensive code and exhaustive in nature which covers all the substantial aspects of criminal law.
It is a universally acknowledged as a cogently drafted code. In 2012, the Chief Justice of England Supreme Court said that it is a very cogently prepared drafted law and it has been time tested since then for 150 years it has not been majorly amended by any of the countries and this has been implemented since. So next is CRPC, it has been introduced very late. CRPC held a very big void. What it did was IPC laid down code of conduct so there was a lack of core of conduct. So CRPC built that bridge and tried to achieve the goal. CRPC is the main legislation it deals with the procedural aspect of substantive criminal law. So it provided machinery for the investigation of the crime so it provides all kinds of machinery. It gives public personal and public prosecutors a pathway to how to prosecute someone and how to prove someone guilty without harassing them or taking away their personal rights of the criminal or the accused.
How the suspected criminal will be apprehended and how they then are arrested?
It provides the proper procedure. If that procedure is not followed then the investigation will be a float. The accused will get an edge to actually prove their crime so there is this edge that they are innocent until found guilty. So to prove then guilty you have to build a chronological chain. It also tells us how the evidence must be collected.
Every evidence is not admissible and evidence which is admissible is not relevant so there is a very vast difference between them. It helps in the determination of guilt or innocence of any person and if the person held guilty how to punish them. After amended it also dealt with public nuisance, prevention of offences and maintenance of wife, child and parents. So this is a very vast code. So talking about the Indian Evidence Act, it is a very old Act in 1972 but it comes under the modern criminal law. It is the set of rules and alight issues governing the admissibility of the evidence in the court of law but not the relevancy of the evidence that has to be cared by the judges or the party accordingly. It is a part breaking judicial process and is very rare law.
Tips and tricks to tackle questions from the Indian Penal Code, Criminal Procedure Code, Indian Evidence Act
The bare Act is a very basic and important thing. It plays a very intermediate part. Bare act as the name says it’s an on-point law or rule. It is in your hand how you interpret the law from your point. Firstly before the tips and tricks, we should be clear that we should not mug up the bare act. So having a bare act and referring to a bare act are two different things. Having a bare act doesn’t make you comfortable until and unless you have passion, or building a relationship with that bare act and know how to navigate through that bare act. In the profession like a lawyer, one should always have a bare act with him and should always refer to bare act. It is not necessary to learn all the sections or articles line to line but should have that much knowledge that this section or article would be in this part.
How to navigate through bare Acts efficiently and memorize the index of bare Acts?
Memorise the index of the bare act. One doesn’t have to memorise it with a word to word, know that with stepwise perspective. The universal and professional types of publication bare act are the best. See from chapter wise, how it is interconnected with each other, so we can be familiar with the bare Act. The criminal manual starts with the CRPC and IPC and then Evidence Act. So the chronology of the criminal manual is started with CRPC is because one will see how the criminal case is formed then what all crimes have been committed and then how the evidence would be collected and how it would be proved or unproved admissible in the court of law.
This depends on how familiar the person is with the acts, if not familiar with it one can open the subject index where you can find a little dictionary at the back of the manual where one will find a summary of the rules. CRPC would be learning with section-wise if you can mug up that easily if not then go with concept-wise.
How to get familiar with the aforesaid law in the best possible manner through live example?
Once you developed a legal question. Start reading newspaper, now a day’s newspaper cover with lots of crimes like white-collar crimes, rape cases, murder cases. For an example in the RIA Chakraborty and Sushant Singh Rajput Case, so starting reading the newspaper gets the criminal manual with it, one can automatically develop a legal mind according to that. Starting searching that crime in IPC so like this Sushant’s case is related to abetment of suicide, there is also a different angle of murder. CRPC is not that important while reading a newspaper.
If one wants to familiarize with the Acts start practising it or memorising it. You cannot learn it in one day. It will take time for a year and a half. Try to link each and every case and try to read all the provisions related to the particular crime you are dealing with. Once you start reading or getting all the provisions you will find that all the laws are interrelated with each other. For example culpable homicide and murder under CRPC. When you start reading this one would get to know the difference how different both the laws are so one should read or have a look at the bare Act or books of criminal law.
Bail that police officers can grant
There are two types of bails:
1) Bailable offences; and
2) Non- bailable offences.
The police officers can grant bailable offences only. But in some non-bailable offences, police officers can grant if the punishment of the offence is 3 years or less. For up to 7 years of punishment, the Metropolitan Magistrate can grant bail and for up to 10 years of punishment, Chief Metropolitan Magistrate can grant you bail. This is the difference which is based on the years of punishment. The amount of bail bond is decided according to the damage which has been done.
The amount of the bail bond can be 50,000 Rs, where one can also give properties or jewellery or any immovable property can be put as a bond or bail amount so to assure that he will be present any time whenever police call him to the police station. Or they will pressure that person so that whenever they ask him to present again there one should be present over there. If the person wouldn’t come the property would be sealed. So it is like a security deposit.
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