Victimology Essay

1491 words - 6 pages

VICTIMS IN INDIAN CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM

The victims had many rights in ancient period whether in India or in Europe and they used to play a crucial role in legal system. During the Muslim period, victims also enjoyed significant rights and most of the Mugal Emperors tried their level best to impart the justice to victims but in counterpart, victims lost their power with the emergence of the state in Europe. The plight of victims in ‘Adversarial System’ became worse and they became forgotten people except their minor role in criminal justice system. Thus, reparation aspect became subordinate, and punitive role of the State became a dominate factor in the administration of criminal ...view middle of the document...

However, criminal law, which reflects the social ambitions and norms of society and punishes perpetrators thereof, hardly takes any notice of the byproduct of crime, its victim. The guilty man lodged, fed, clothed, and entertained in a model cell at the expense of the state. And the victim, instead of being looked after, is contributing towards the care of prisoners during their stay in prison. Perhaps the criminal judicial system is arbitrary and operates to the disadvantage of victim[4]. Former Honorable Justice Krishna Iyer aptly highlighted the apathy of law to a victim of crime, and observed,
“It is a weakness of our jurisprudence that victims of crime and the distress of dependents of the victim do not attract the attention of law. In fact, the victim reparation is still the vanishing point of our criminal law. This is the deficiency in the system, which must be rectified by the legislature[5].”
Under the penal laws of India, in the process of trial for an offence, the focus always remains on the accused with insistence on all concerned to give him fullest opportunity to defend himself against the charge. In the existing procedure of the court, hardly any attention is paid towards the plight and right of the victim and witnesses on whose evidence the efficacy of trial and the verdict of court depends. The apathy towards the rights of victim and very little or no participation given to him in the course of trial, coupled with frequent occurrence of witnesses turning hostile under compulsions e.g. intimidation, coercion or allurement deflects the course of justice, invariably resulting in acquittals. The victims are thus left to suffer physically, mentally and financially under the crime committed against them. But in recent times, among the many reforms canvassed for improving the criminal justice is one that advocates a victim –orientation to criminal justice administration. Victim oriented includes greater respect and consideration towards victims and their rights in investigation and prosecution process, provisions for greater choices to victims in trial and disposition of the accused, and a scheme of reparation/compensation particularly for victims of violent crimes[6]. Though there are some provisions under the Indian Constitution[7] and some sections[8] in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 to protect the rights of the victims and for providing compensation, the criminal courts at the lower level in India have ignored those provisions for a long time and not utilized them during their sentencing processes. But it is heartening to observe that several judgments in both the High Courts and the Supreme Court in the last two decades or so have come to the rescue of victims of not only traditional crimes where the offender is another citizen but also in cases where the victimization has been caused by the instrumentalities of the state itself.[9] In addition to the existing provisions under the Indian criminal laws, a...

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