Indian Criminal Law

The Indian Criminal Law is the body of law that deals with crime and offences under the Indian Constitution.  It relates to conduct perceived as harmful, endangering or threatening to the health, property, safety and/or moral welfare of the people.  Criminal Laws are created by the legislature and differ from country to country.

The aim of constructing Criminal Law is equal treatment of all the people and welfare of the society. If any person happens to disregard another person’s rights then he abides to get the deserved punishment according to the Criminal Law of India.

Major Acts of Indian Criminal Law

Indian Criminal Laws are divided into three major Acts they are

1)   Indian Penal Code, 1860

2)   Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973

3)   Indian Evidence Act, 1872

Apart from these three major acts, Indian parliament has passed thousands of other special criminal laws too; they are NDPS, Prevention of Corruption Act, Defence of India Act, Dowry Prevention Act, Food Adulteration Act, etc.

Indian Penal Code (IPC)

The Indian Penal Code (IPC) is the main criminal code of India. It is an extensive law covering all the substantive aspects of criminal law.

Based on the Charter Act of 1833  under the Chairmanship of  Thomas Babington Macaulay, The code was drafted in 1860 on the recommendations of first law commission of India that was established in 1834. But the code proved its existence and came into force in 1862, during the time of British India under the early British Raj period.  However, the Princely states had their own courts and legal systems at that time and the code applied to them only after 1940.  Since then the code has been amended several times and now it is accepted by other criminal provisions as well.

After the Partition of the British Indian Empire (into India and Pakistan), The Indian Penal Code was adopted by both its successors and got split into two individual codes i.e.  The Indian Penal Code and The Pakistan Penal Code.  Also, Jammu and Kashmir’s The Ranbir Penal Code is also based on this code. After Bangladesh got separated from Pakistan, the code continued to stay in force there too.

The Indian Penal Code works on the basic format and it lists all the cases and punishments that are liable to be charged on a person committing a crime.  It covers any and every person of Indian Origin. The Indian Penal Code of 1860 is subdivided into twenty-three chapters comprising of five hundred and eleven sections.  Although every Indian individual comprises under Indian Penal Code, the military, air and other armed forces are exceptions to IPC and contain their own tribunals for the punishment against a crime or an offence.

Importance of IPC

The Indian Penal Code holds a very important place when it comes to setting the rules and regulations and thus proves to be of a great importance for the system to be operated in an appropriate way.  IPC is considered as one of the main criminal codes of India. Several offences are covered under this law. It includes all the relevant offences like

Ø  Offences against the state

Ø  Offences against any particular person

Ø  Offences related to religion

Ø  Offences against property

Ø  Offences under marriage

Ø  Kidnappings

Ø  Rapes

Ø  Murders

Ø  And many more

Though IPC consolidates the whole of the law, yet many more penal statutes governing various offences have been created in addition to the code.

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