The Criminal Justice System

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In this project, I shall talk about how a victim could be more empowered in the existing criminal justice system. I shall divide my project into 4 sections and a conclusion. In the first section, I shall talk about all the powers that have been given to the victim of a crime under the Criminal Procedure Code [1] . A victim can participate in both pre trial and post trial stages, the relevant sections of CRPC would be mentioned and explained. In the second section, I shall discuss how the judiciary has tried to protect the rights of the victims by mentioning a few judicial decisions. In the third section, I shall mention all the suggestions that have been made by 152nd Law commission report 154th Law commission report Malimath Committee 2008 CRPC Amendment to rectify the lacuna of the law. In the fourth section, I shall present my own views on the topic and end by an apt conclusion. SECTION 1 The Black Law Dictionary defines the victim as -“The person who is the object of a crime or tort, as the victim of a robbery is the person robbed” Any citizen [2] can set the criminal law in motion by launching a First Information Report [3] under Section 154 of the CRPC. A victim is included within the ambit of informant under Section 154. Thus we can conclude that the victim has been given the power to set the criminal law in motion. The basis on which an FIR can be filed is if the informant has definite information about a cognizable offence [4] that can be investigated by the police. Whether the information is one under Section 154 is a matter of law and is not open to the police officer to use his discretion in this matter [5] . The information can be in written or oral. If it is in oral then it has to be reduced in writing by the requisite authorities. What has been recorded has to be read over to the informant, it has to be signed by him and a copy of the FIR has to be handed to him free of cost [6] . If the police officer in charge refuses to file an FIR, then the informant can send the same information to the Superintend of Police in writing who, may, if satisfied that a cognizable offence has been committed, investigate the matter on his own or order someone to do so [7] . The power of the victim as an informant also extends to non-cognizable [8] cases. The informant is referred to the Magistrate under section 155(1). If the informant is not heard by the police in either a cognizable case or a non-cognizable case, and even the Superintendent of the Police fails to act on the complaint of the informant, then the informant can complain to the Magistrate who may take cognizance of the case under Section 190 of the CRPC. The Magistrate is required to take the informant on oath under section 200 of CRPC.

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