Role of Victims in Criminal Justice System: A Critical Analysis from Indian Perspective
12 Pages Posted: 29 Jul 2016
Date Written: August 1, 2014
The Indian Criminal Justice System seems not to be victim oriented but more as accused oriented. Under the Procedural Criminal Law the accused has been given privilege with various rights and safeguards like, the presumption of innocence, the right against self-incrimination, the right to legal assistance and the other dimensions of the ‘right to fair trial’ such as the standard of ‘proof beyond reasonable doubt’, right of the accused to be informed of charges before trial and the right to present a defense etc. Even the accused has been largely benefited under Article 20, 21 and 22 of the Constitution. Whereas the role of victim becomes very minimal and the victim’s needs are not adequately addressed as actually be required.
Few efforts being done to strengthen the victims’ rights in India, in 1980s Justice Krishna Iyer had always given importance of the compulsory recoupment by the wrong doer of the damaged. The 154 Law Commission of India made radical recommendations on the aspects of compulsory justice through a victim compensation scheme. Justice Malimath Committee 2003 made a series of recommendations with respect to victim of crime, particularly recommended to be enacted as a separate legislation to deal with all the issues pertaining to Victims of crime. But Indian Criminal Law fails to enact victim oriented legislation for victims’ rights, safeguards and justice point of view, however recently in 2008 made some amendments in Procedural Code like Sec 2(wa), Sec 24(8), S. 156(3), Sec 157(1), Sec 357 A, Sec 357 A (3) and Sec 357 A (4). Apart from that Sec 372, 377 and 378 are available under Cr.P.C, which actually also be needed certain changes from the victims absolute right point of view but so far as it does not takes place. Now, the biggest challenge before the justice system is that how far the latest amendments have been understood thoroughly by police, prosecutors, defense lawyers, Judges and at large by the general public is need to measure.
U.N Declaration of Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime and Abuse of Power, Adopted by General Assembly resolution 40/34 of 29 November 1985. Where particularly importance was given to, the Access to justice and fair treatment, Restitution, Compensation, Victims assistance. If the person becomes the victim of abuse of the power, the immediate remedies should be given as it has been ensure in USA, UK and Australia etc. like in the case of Dr.Mohammed Hanif been given substantial compensation from Australia in 2007 case.
In view of this, the present paper is based on the critical analyses to explore in the light of Indian Criminal Justice System with a few sections, Supreme Court and High Court Judgments available in India.
Keywords: Victim of Crime, Victims Role, Indian Justice System and Judgments
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