top of page

Analysing the Three R's of the Indian Criminal Justice System

Author: Yagyanseni Acharya

Vellore Institute of Technology, Chennai

The idea of ​​"Dharma" was predominantly dominated by Hindu "Dharma" or moral principles, as described in many manuals explaining Vedic texts such as "Prana" and "Smritis". It influenced the law of ancient India. " The King received his authority from Dharma, and did not receive it from a separate source. This is evident in how a civil wrong differs from a criminal violation. Civil wrongs are disagreements about money, whereas sin is judged on the basis of whether it is a sin. Indian criminal law is a relic of the colonial era. The underprivileged and weaker segments of society are generally hostile to the concept of social welfare. There is a bias in the legal system that favours wealthy people over underprivileged people. As a result, wealthy people have been able to avoid prosecution, while poorer people are more likely to be in jail. The goals of India's criminal justice system include punishment, correction and rehabilitation of criminals. Retaliation is probably the oldest justification of punishment found in Kant and Hegel's theory. It is the fact that an individual has committed a tort that justifies the punishment, and the punishment should be proportional to the wrong act done. The concept of rehabilitation is based on the assumption that criminal activity is caused by factors. This view does not deny that people make choices that violate the law, but argues that those choices are not a matter of pure "free will." Instead, the decision to commit a crime is heavily influenced by a person's social environment, psychological development, or biological composition. Compensation simply means compensating for, or compensating for, the crime and the harm done.

Criminal Justice System

The Criminal Justice System refers to the formal entities that deal with crime investigation, prosecution, punishment, and correction. These entities include law enforcement, the courts, and correctional facilities. CJS is a tool used for controlling social behaviour. Every culture establishes a norm for acceptable behaviour, which is set by law. For example, violence is not legally acceptable behaviour.

What are the pros and cons of various methods for providing criminal justice? The system's strategy is based on the idea of justice. Criminal justice is based on deterrence, which is the theory that if criminals know that they will be punished for their actions, they will be less likely to commit crimes.

Retaliation: Retaliation is revenge. Instead of relying on government support, some victims put the law in their hands. For some, retaliation is morally justified. But for others, retaliation is wrong, and its restrictions are the main justification for the formation of government and the obligation to legislate, investigate and punish deviations. For example, Section 171E of the IPC mandates the recovery of stolen property. Both fines and bribes in addition to a one-year sentence.

Rehabilitation: The fundamental principle of this approach is that by changing the behaviour of a particular offender, punishment can deter future crime. It believes that criminal behaviour is not a logical choice, but is influenced by social pressures, psychological challenges or various situational problems. Rehabilitation may include counselling, intervention programs, educational and career programs, or skill development.

Reparation: The argument for reparation in criminal justice is based on the idea that criminals can be made to right the wrongs they have done by providing restitution to the victims. Restitution and compensation to victims, their families or communities should be the main goal of criminal justice because, contrary to the ideas mentioned above, they are criminally oriented. For example, Section 357 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) provides for the payment of compensation to victims who suffer loss or damage.

Fault Lines in Criminal Justice System CJS

According to the reports of the Extradition Treaties, India has seen a relatively low siccess rate in extraditing fugitives. Only one in three refugees has been successfully handed over to India, which is a surprisingly low success rate. The following variables may be part of the cause:

Economic irregularities are classified as civil crimes, not criminal crimes. They do not pose an imminent security threat to other countries, so there is no urgency to speed up the delivery process and send tax offenders to the requesting country. For example, the main reason India failed to hand over David Headley from the United States, an American terrorist involved in the attack on Mumbai on November 26,2011 is a double crisis prohibiting the same crime from being punished twice. There are concerns that human rights (or the UN Convention Against Torture) have been violated because India has not ratified the UN Convention against Torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment in 1984 Regulation (Police): The following are some of the key issues that cause police defaults:

Police objectives are often changed according to political executive intentions, which are the result of political administrative oversight and control that have prevented police from acting democratically. Lack of accountability: There is no system for reporting corrupt police officers. The Supreme Court and the Second Administrative Reform Commission agree that a separate appealing body is needed to investigate police allegations of illegal activity.

Missing resources

Staff shortage: The United Nations recommends 222 police officers, but currently there are only 192 per 1,000 inhabitants.

Weapons: Police equipment continues to use outdated and ineffective weapons.

Mobility: A shortage of police cars slows police response time and impairs their ability to respond quickly.

Communication networks in the ICT era: Many police stations across the country do not have both wireless and telephone equipment. In some states, the police communications network (POLNET) used to send crime-related data and conduct criminal investigations is not functioning. Underspending of funds: As shown in BPR & D data and CAG (Accounting Auditorium), the funds allocated under the Police Modernization Program (MPF) are underspending. The state used only Rs 1,330 of the total grant of Rs 9,203 available for modernization in 2015-16. (14%). Public Prosecutor's Office: Many courts have been set up to properly rule criminal cases, and judicial officers and police officers have been hired, but the number of prosecutors has not increased proportionately.

Adjudication of courts

Permanent unprocessed portion in the judicial system: Due to the following issues, there are approximately 38 million unprocessed proceedings in the entire national court. Currently, there are 17 judges per million people in India. This is abominable.

The Lower Court has about 5,000 vacancies, and the Supreme Court has more than 419 vacancies out of 1,080 reasonable steps. This is primarily due to the long and complex appointment process and the "procedural" delays of the state government. Women's fraud in the judiciary: Only 27.6% of all lower court judges are women, while only 10% of all Supreme Court judges in the country are women. Problems with the structural structure of lower courts: It is unlikely that a judge will be promoted from the lower court to the higher court and appointed to the Supreme Court. The High Court has a disproportionate number of judges appointed directly by Bar, in contrast to promotion from lower judiciary. As a result, many qualified law graduates prefer to practice as lawyers in the High Court rather than being appointed as judges in the Lower Court. Other issues include inadequate infrastructure, delayed adoption of new technologies, and slow legal proceedings. Prison Judgment: Overcrowding In 2019, the number of prisoners was reported to be 118.5% of prison capacity, the highest level since 2010 according to the Prison Statistics of India. In addition, 69 percent of these prisoners were in court. The main reason for this has been shown to be the lengthy investigation and the accompanying delay in proceedings. Other issues such as inadequate medical care and facilities, lack of psychiatric counselling and training for criminals, and lack of staff and finances have hampered prisons' ability to reform prisoners. Witnesses who refuse to testify in court are essential to the judiciary because they can do so without fear of retaliation, favour, intimidation, or coercion.

In the Indian system, rehabilitation is limited to providing vocational training and education that enables criminals to acquire employable skills. In recent years, in collaboration with prisons and external organizations, we have provided diplomas or diplomas and training programs on computers, screen painting, jewellery and jewellery design, salon operations, and car driving. However, these measures are being implemented on a limited scale in selected prisons. The needs of most prisoners remain unmet.


Retribution is welcomed because it recognizes that willful misconduct is the basis of punishment and emphasizes the principle of proportionality, which requires proportionality with the seriousness of the crime. Retribution, however, is problematic in that it fails to give concrete meaning to what the principle of proportionality actually entails. Nor does it take into account that social factors influence criminal behavior and cannot effectively fight crime, and that penalties can be used to achieve specific ends in the public interest.

Despite these weaknesses, retribution theory remains a relevant theory, among other things, because it embodies an important apportionment principle of punishment that should guide the delivery of punishment. That is, punishment must reflect the seriousness of the crime. But for the prison system to be a meaningful prison policy, it must also be guided by utilitarian punishment theories such as deterrence, incapacity and rehabilitation.


Rehabilitation of a criminal means empowering and reintegrating into society after being released from prison. Therefore, rehabilitation measures must go beyond pure vocational training.

Rehabilitation must include: (i) Provide counselling services to meet the psychological needs of prisoners during and after prison, taking into account the social, economic and personal challenges of prisoners. (ii) Post-release follow-up to ensure that former prisoners do not engage in illegal activities.

Budget constraints, lack of dialogue on rehabilitation, and lack of politics mean that the structural integration of these measures is a long way off. The differences between the

classes share the life experience of prisoners during and after imprisonment.

The majority of prison inmates belong to the economically vulnerable class. Economic incapacity means lack of access to decent education and employment. Time spent in prison further exacerbates economic and social crises and adds stigma and distrust to prisoners' problems. For example, consider a young man who was imprisoned at the age of 20 and released at the age of 45. After his release, he has no guaranteed source of employment, his social ties may be weakened, and he is also dealing with the psychological sacrifice of imprisonment. We cannot ignore the link between rehabilitation failure and recurrence.


All victims of human rights abuses have the right to remedy. Each victim has different needs, which can change over time. The type of compensation required also depends on the victim's economic class, gender, age, and social identity. For example, women experience violence in a very different way than men, and women's experience should not be limited to sexual or gender-based violence and its consequences. Countries that have committed or failed to violate, as well as non-governmental organizations, including individuals, institutions, businesses and armed groups that have committed or participated in these violations, have a legal obligation to correct them. It is important to remember that compensation, or payment of money, is just one of many different types of material compensation. Other types include restoration of civil and political rights. physical rehabilitation; granting access to land, housing, health care, and education; Remediation also includes clarifying the truth of the violation itself and ensuring that the violation is not repeated. Reparations may be enforced through administrative programs or enforced as a result of litigation. In many countries, transitional judicial processes provide compensation to groups, communities and even regions. The design and implementation of collective reparations may overlap with development programs, and individual emergency reparations may overlap with humanitarian aid programs. These overlaps are inevitable, as those most vulnerable to human rights violations also suffer the most from social and economic inequalities. Compensation should be designed and implemented to change these unequal and unjust situations. Most victims see reparations as the most direct and meaningful way to seek justice. But reparations are “rarely prioritized” and are often the least-funded measure of transitional justice.


The criminal justice system works with iron hands designed to maintain discipline. We need to move to a reform-oriented policy, driven by empathy. Police, court and prison stress points need to be surgically addressed to reduce the pain of all involved. It inevitably involves increased budget allocation and improved education based on an interdisciplinary curriculum. When explaining the reason for a criminal who committed a crime and using it to reform and rehabilitate the crime, it needs to be extended to abusive police officers, prejudiced judges, and noble prisons. The strict demands of work are the reason for deviating from the ideal, even if it is not desirable. You should understand the reasons for these discrepancies and strive to hold stakeholders accountable while making changes to correct the situation.



Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page