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Criminal Law is a branch of law that defines criminal offenses, regulates the apprehension, pertains to charging for offenses, and initiates trial for offenses by granting penalties to convicted offenders. It ensures the administration of justice and deters crimes in society to ensure the safety and security of each and every individual.

The penalties opined through criminal liability upon the wrongdoers bring the victim to the original position before the injury. Criminal Law asserts many categories of crimes within the subject of law to ensure such wrongful acts are forbidden by law.

The customary process to constitute a crime is inclusive of four stages that give rise to Criminal Liability. Firstly, the ‘Intention’ is curated which presents the necessary ‘mental element’ construing a ‘guilty mind’ for the occurrence ofa crime. Secondly, the ‘Preparation’ stage is extremely important to prepare for the crime with the essentials required where the wrongful act is committed. Thirdly, the ‘Attempt’ in the process of crime is designated as the commission of the wrongful act whether or not the act is successful or unsuccessful in its attempt. The last stage of crime is the ‘Commission’ which is beyond the domain of attempt for the occurrence of the aggressive event. Thus, the four stages of a crime constitute the process of unlawful conduct and obtrude to criminal liability for practicing the forbidden act against society.

The Latin maxim “actus non facitreum, nisi mens sit rea” construes that a wrongful act must be committed with an intention of committing the said act to be claimed as a ‘crime’. Thus, ‘actus reus’; commission of the wrongful act, and ‘mens rea’; the guilty mind must be accompanied together in a circumstance to make the offender legally blameworthy for the offense committed.

For example, there are two individuals A and B who are rivals. A is aware that B has a tumour in the abdomen. Due to a conflict, A decides to kill B and simultaneously, hits B in the stomach which leads to the death of B. In this scenario, it can be adjudged that A intended to kill B and was aware of B’s injury so, a commission of an offense has taken place with the intention of committing such an offense. Thus, the offense committed can be construed as a crime as the essential elements are present in the given situation.


The objective of criminal law in India is to define crimes such as theft, murder, cheating, etc; prescribe punishment for offenses committed, and instigateregulatory investigation with trial procedures. There are several legislations recognized in India that law subjectivity to Criminal Law as a branch of Law:

  • ‘Indian Penal Code 1860’ is the expedient Penal Code containing 23 chapters and 511 sections in total defining crimes of theft, dacoity, murder, etc, and laying down terms of imprisonment for the respective offense committed.
  • ‘Code of Criminal Procedure 1973’ lays down the procedure for the administration of offenses committed under Criminal Law containing 565 sections, 5 Schedules, and 56 forms initiating the course of action for criminal liability.
  • Indian Evidence Act 1872 describes the evidence admissible in court and its importance in the crime.
  • Subsequently, other legislations such as Dowry Prevention Act, and Hindu Marriage Act, etc are constituted under different branches of law to prescribe imprisonment for the occurrence of the crime under this domain.
  • Indian Penal Code 1860 is often recognized as the ‘substantive law’ and the Code of Criminal Procedure 1973 is regarded as the ‘procedural law’ under Criminal Law.


The branch of Law is contended as ‘procedural law’ that is recognized as the core legislation over the administration and regulation of ‘substantive law’ in India. Any criminal offense induces a trial inquiry to adjudge the investigation of the offense and relief the victim by providing necessary imprisonment or fine or both. However, the individual must be detained for the wrongful act committed by arrest to be abducted for the offense.

The arrest of the individual can be with or without a warrant of the magistrate depending upon the degree of crime committed as prescribed under Section 46 of the act. Generally, in Cognizable Offences, like murder the wrongdoer is arrested without a warrant due to the grave offense committed. Non-cognizable Offences are inclusive of theft where the warrant must be brought to arrest the offender over the crime committed.


Inquiry, Investigation and Trial are three stages to be conducted for processing arrest against an individual as instructed under CrPc.

Section 46 of CrPc explains the formation of arrest where Section 46(1) prescribes the touch and confinement of the person arrested by the police officer. Unless the individual is female, the procedure should e followed as pertained as the female must not be touched or harassed by the officer without a female police officer being present in the situation.

Under Section 46(2), it is proclaimed that the police officer must use reasonable amount of force needed if the individual evades arrest or resists it. Section 46(3) abridges the authority granted to police officers to prevent the death of an individual who is not an accused unless subjected to death or imprisonment.

The actual trial starts only after the charge is framed against the accused and the stage preceding this is known as ‘Inquiry’. The offender faces a trial for the wrongful act committed which leads to the start of a trial. After the charge is framed, the prosecution evidence is examined in the court to prove that the charge framed against the accused is true and it has to be proved by the prosecution beyond reasonable doubt.

The prosecution evidence is examined and the statement of accused is taken. Further, there are cross examination of evidence cited in the court by prosecution or defence and the Judgement is given by the judge analysing the final arguments and evidence provided in the court.

The Code of Criminal Procedure 1973 is an effective mechanism to specify procedures over trial of offences in an accurate manner to counter crimes and administer justice amongst the victims.

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