Criminal law in India encompasses its definition and various types.

In ancient times, society lacked criminal law, leading to insecurity of life and property, governed by “a life for a life.” Religious laws emerged later from sacred texts and cultural norms. Get in touch with high court criminal lawyers in bangalore

Under ancient Hindu law, rulers punished offenders without clear civil-criminal distinctions. Following the Muslim conquest, Mohammedan criminal law was applied in Indian courts.

When the East India Company assumed control, Mohammedan law persisted until the establishment of the first law commission in 1834. Chaired by Lord Macaulay, with members Macleod, Anderson, and Millet, they drafted the Indian Penal Code. Presented in 1837, revised, and finalized in 1850, it was legislated in 1860, effective from January 1, 1862.

Types of Law

  1. Substantive Law: Defines and creates rights.

Indian Penal Code: The Indian Penal Code, established in 1860, defines right and wrong and prescribes penalties for offenses. The key to determining liability is the “will” to commit a crime. The stages of crime under the code include motive, intention, preparation, attempt, and commission. It covers offenses ranging from murder and theft to actions done in good faith. Applicable across India except Jammu and Kashmir, it extends to all persons on Indian soil, including foreigners, with exceptions for certain officials and foreign dignitaries. It also applies extraterritorially to Indian nationals on Indian-registered ships or aircraft.

  1. Procedural Law: Provides the methods for conducting judicial proceedings.

Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC): The CrPC of 1973 replaced the 1898 Code, aiming to separate the judiciary from the executive. It comprises 37 chapters, 484 sections, and two schedules. The CrPC applies to the whole of India from April 1, 1974.

Hierarchy of Criminal Courts in India

  • Supreme Court of India: The highest court, established by Article 124 of the Indian Constitution.
  • High Courts of India: Governed by Article 141 of the Constitution, bound by the Supreme Court’s judgments.
  • Lower Courts:
  • Metropolitan Courts
  • Sessions Court
  • Chief Metropolitan Magistrate
  • First Class Metropolitan Magistrate
  • District Courts
  • Sessions Court
  • First Class Judicial Magistrate
  • Second Class Judicial Magistrate
  • Executive Magistrate

Evidence Law

Evidence law governs the rules and methods for admitting and using evidence in legal trials. It determines what types of evidence can be considered by judges or juries and addresses objections such as hearsay, illegally obtained evidence, or privileged information.

Courses Offered

  1. M. in Criminology: For law graduates.
  2. D. in Criminal Law: For postgraduates in law.

Career Options

  1. Lawyer: Independent practice as a criminal lawyer.
  2. Law Firm: Part of an advocate’s panel dealing with corporate and bank cases.
  3. Judge: Candidates with good knowledge of IPC & CrPC can qualify for the judiciary.
  4. Academician: Pursue a Ph.D. in criminal law and become an expert academician.

Criminal law in India covers state crimes, including felonies and misdemeanors, with the burden of proof being beyond reasonable doubt. The Indian Penal Code, CrPC, and evidence law are central to criminal law regulation.

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