Emile Durkheim in his treaties 'crime as a normal phenomenon' says a society
composed of person with angelic qualities would not be free from violations of
the norms of the society. Crime is a concept which changes with social
transformation. He argued that crime is an essential element of society as it is
fundamental condition of social organization.
The concept of crime seems to be changing always with the variations in the
stages social condition of human society, in the historical view. During 12th
and 13th centuries the crime were only those acts which were committed against
the state or the religion.
Frederick Pollock and Maitland commented, that the English society before 10th
century crime was confused with torts because the bond of family was better than
Another characteristic of crime in 1000 to 1200 AD was preponderance of system
of ordeals by fire or water to establish the guilt or innocence of accused. And
the reason behind this was religion dominance and superstitions people believed
in that their relations governed by supernatural powers.
Thus, ordeal was an old institution, which was deep rooted custom, performed by
people in ancient India.
In 18th and 19th centuries, European countries has witnessed a miraculous change
in criminological thinking, the earlier study of crime was abandoned and a fresh
start was done on the scientific basic. Due to that it was seen that the concept
of crime is closely related to social policy, with change in ideologies the
concept of crime also changes.
Almost every society have certain norms, beliefs, customs and traditions which
are accepted by its members for well-being and healthy development, crime is an
anti- social, immoral or sinful behavior of society.
Crime derived from Latin word 'crimen', which meant 'charges' or 'cry of
distress' and according to English the word 'crime mean sinfulness'. However
according to legal definition 'crime is any form of conduct which declared
socially harmful and is forbidden by law.
Crime, means an act of commission or omission which is harmful to the society in
general. But all acts tending to prejudice the community are not crime unless
they are punishable under law. 
According to Indian Penal Code crime is an act prohibited by law of the land.
Therefore, criminologist, defined crime as intentional act or omission in
violation of criminal law done without any justification and penalized by the
law as felony or misdemeanour.
'crimes are wrong whose sanction is punitive, and is in no way remissible by any
private person, but is remissible by the crown alone, if remissible at all.'
But this definition is being criticized that there are number of compoundable
offences that are remissible by the consent of the parties.
Where in Roscoe Pound commented that 'a final definition of crime is
impossible, because it is a concept which keeps on changing according to
Austin, stated that a wrong which is pursued at the discretion of the
injured and his representatives is a civil injury, but when wrong is pursued by
the sovereign is a crime result in punishment. 
Halsbury defined crime as an unlawful act which is an offence against the
public and the perpetrator of that act is liable to legal punishment. 
On The Basis Of Definition Given By Different Writers, Crime Has Three
- It is a harm brought by some anti-social act, which state desire to
- There are preventive measures taken by state.
- There are criminal laws which governs the legal proceeding for
determining the guilt.
There are many criticism of legal definition of crime because of its relativity
and variable content, still the most acceptable definition is given by Halsbury,
because of its elaborative and specific nature.
There are variety of crime such as violent personal crimes, occasional property,
occupational crimes, political crimes, public order crimes, conventional crimes,
white collar crimes, sexual crimes, crime against property, person, public order
The Above Mentioned Crimes Can Be Specifically Categorized In Three Main Heads:
- Offences falling under Code of Criminal Procedure.
- Offences under Indian Penal Code.
- Offences under local or special law or enactments.
Classification of crimes into political, legal, economic, social and
miscellaneous are done by different writers.
These Crime Is Being Divided Into Different Categories Under Indian Penal
Code, On The Base Of Their Gravity Or Atrocity, Such As:
- Offences against person
- Offences against property
- Offences relating to documents
- Offences affecting mental order
- Offences against public tranquility
- Offences against state
- Offences relating to public servant
Crime and Morality
Earlier, crime was considered acts which is morally not appropriate. Moral means
any behaviour which is right or wrong, according to experience. But now with
change in time and advancement in legal science, crime is defined as an act
forbidden and punishable by law irrespective of moral or immorality of the act.
The most recent example of change in legal field can be seen in the verdict
handed by Supreme Court in Navtej Singh Johar & ors. V Union of India
, in this case section 377 of Indian Penal Code was in question, and court
declared as unconstitutional, as now sex between homosexual (or gay sex, GTBTQ)
is no longer an offence under this section.
Changes in laws which is not related to moral because according to people belief
this concept of same gender relation is still not morally correct, so these
changes are according to advancement in the society so that other rights
provided to citizen won't be infringed and the balances between the rights are
Because in case Naz Foundation v Government of NCT Delhi , the court
declared section 377 of Indian Penal Code as unconstitutional, as it violates
the Art 14, 21 and 15 of Indian Constitution . But supreme court in Suresh Kumar
Kaushal v Naz Foundation, over ruled the Delhi High Court judgment and said
section 377 is not ultra vires in nature.
Another case is Josheph Shine v. Union of India , in this section 497
of Indian Penal Code was challenged as indiscriminative because it was
punishable with imprisonment up to 5years for men, but now it is gender neutral
ground for divorce and act as restriction on married couple's sexual freedom.
Development in the field of psychology, sociology, and other behavioral science
have brought changes in criminological trends.
Criminal Justice System
Criminal justice system, is a system of law enforcement that is directly
involved in apprehending, prosecuting, defending, sentencing and punishing those
who are suspected or convicted of criminal offences. The enactment and
implementation of different kinds of institutionalized decisions concerning
crimes and their punishment, is the main motive of criminal justice system.
There is different concept which need to be studied for understanding a criminal
Analyze different aspects of crime and measures for treatment of criminals
to help them to resocialisation and rehabilitation in the society. Thus,
criminology is a branch of study which leads to welfare of community as
The word 'criminology' originated in 1890. This term derived from the
combination of two Latin words 'crime' and Greek word 'logia', which means
scientific study of nature, extent, causes, and control of criminal
Generally, it means scientific study of crime, criminal and penal
Prof. Kenny, analyzed 'criminology is a branch of criminal science which
deals with crime causation, analysis and prevention of crime'. It is branch
of knowledge which is related to conduct of human behavior which is
prohibited by society. 
According to Coleman and Norris, it is the analysis of nature of crime, the
causes of crime, the formulation of criminal laws and law-enforcement, and
the ways that crime can be controlled.
The concept of criminology serves as effective guidelines for formulation of
penal policy, it also involves the use 'scientific method to study the
variation in criminal law, the reason behind crime and the way individual
will react to it. To develop the field of criminology, the most important
role is played by sociologists, and it is also drawn on other aspects like
psychology, economics, anthropology, biology, statistics and etc, for
explaining the causes of criminal behavior and how can be prevented. Study
of criminology also involve penology, the main purpose behind this study to
reform the relationship between criminal law and criminal justice system.
Some significant attributes of criminology are:
- Criminology, concern for crime and criminals, it assumes that no one is
bore criminal, and can be corrigible if offered adequate opportunities.
- It offers background for profession opportunity for police, lawyers,
attorneys and judges etc.
- It also creates conditions to social solidarity as it tries to point out
what behaviours are obnoxious and anti-social.
- It is noted that advancement of scientific knowledge and technology, the
complexities of life have also increased.
Therefore, a socio-legal study which seeks to discover the reason behind
criminality and provide suggestions for remedies to reduce crime. After
considering the concepts under criminology, it provides effective guidelines for
formulations of penal policy.
Penology is the study of punishment in relation with crime. It is science which
deals with the principles and methods of punishments. So it is about theories
and methods of punishment for criminal acts.
Dr P.K. Sen defines it, 'penology lay down the fundamental principles that
should guide the state, or the sovereign authority in framing the schemes of
Crime is an act which is prohibited by the state and if still any individual
does such act that person with be held liable for punishment.
Here in this context, punishment means pain, suffering, loss, confinement or any
kind of penalty inflicted on a person for an offence committed by hi/her.
HLA Hart defined, punishment with other jurist named Mr. Bean and Prof. Flew,
with five elements such as: 
- It must involve pain or other consequences normally considered
- It must be to an actual or supposed offender for his offence.
- It must be intentional, administered by human being other than the
- It must be imposed and administered by an authority constituted by a
legal system against offender.
Different types of punishment which can be awarded by court to a convicted
person on under section 53 on Indian Penal Code are death penalty, imprisonment
of life, imprisonment which is either descriptive, rigorous or simple,
forfeiture of property and fine.
In early time when there was no proper criminal justice system, the punishments
given to the offenders were flogging, mutation, beheading, chopping of limbs,
branding, stoning a person to death, pillory, banishment from the society, house
arrest and amercement(fine). But when proper studies were done, then it was
found that there was no relation between the punishment given to an offender and
the crime he/she has committed. In other word the punishment was not in the
accordance or we can say there was no logic behind the punishment given.
And the main problem was that in early period, the types of crimes or the act
which comes under the ambit of crime were less and the only theory which was
mostly followed for punishing the offender was retributive theory.
The principal aims of penal science:
- To bring to light on the ethical bases of punishment, along with the
motives and purpose.
- To make a comparative study of penal laws and procedures through history
and between nation.
- Penology represent a grouping a studies, some of which, dealing with
aims and the moral or social justification of punishment.
- Penology May Also Be Approached From Various Point Of View
- Administrative penology - study of different institution related
- Scientific penology - study the techniques which are scientific in
nature like rehabilitative
- Analytical penology - in this the existing penal policies are studied
The main function of penology is to look after the criminal's mind when is in
prison to avoid further crimes.
Dr. P.K. Sen, a well-known authority on Indian penology has given a comparative
account of the old and new penal system.
The observation is that penology embodies the fundamental principles upon which
the states formulation its scheme of punishment. He also pointed out that
punishment always lack in exactness because it is concerned with human conduct
which is constantly varying according to the circumstances.
So, he suggested that punishment must dives from case to case, this would not
lead to rigidity and can help in modification with changing in society or social
That is why the study of penology is important so, that punishment and the
circumstance can be analogized properly, while granting and kind of punishment
Changes in Criminal Justice System
After analyzing the concepts of criminology and penology, the need for some
changes in the criminal justice system can be felt when both the studies are
done together, the lacuna in the system comes into limelight, as we have seen in
above study. The main motive of earlier criminal justice system is to give
punishment to the wrong doer that to without logic but with the time passes new
theories were introduced. Due to which, different factors were considered before
granting any punishment to offenders, and the most important growth was that
punishment is given in proposition to the crime.
The only aim of older criminal justice system was to provide justice to the
victim. But now modification in criminal field has been done, and now the
concept of justice doesn't only mean to provide justice to victim but justice to
accused is also taken consideration. There are different kinds of rights given
even to accused because the society we follow is welfare state and that includes
accused also. Further there are defence which provided in certain circumstance
which provides kind of immunity to the accused if he/she falls under Indian
Penal Code, chapter IV General Exceptions from section 76 to 106.
They are also known as excusable acts, means the one which can be excused for
the act committed, for example act done by person who is unsound mind, act
committed in intoxication, insanity, infancy or honest mistake of fact earlier
none of these factors mattered.
As per legal principle, one is considered innocent until proven guilty.
The reason behind providing rights to accused is that every person has basic
human rights. The right given to accused are divided in different stage:
- The right of an arrested person before his/her trail begins
- Right to know about the accusations and charge under Criminal Procedure
Code, 1973 in this the accused is entitled to know the details of the
offences and charges filed against him/her, section 212.
- Right against wrongful arrest- the rights of accused are only applicable
on Indian when warrant is issued. Section 57 of CrPC and Art 22(2) of constitution
provided accused rights that he/she should be produced with 24 hours before
In Joginder Kumar v State of UP and ors, Supreme Court held , the arrest
should not merely on suspicion about the commission of crime, and police officer
should fulfil all required process which is there for bail. Dairy should be
maintained and arrest should be avoided except in cases of heinous crime.
Sangangouda Veeranagovda and ors v State of Karnataka, an accused was
arrested and died in police custody that too beyond 24hours. He was not
presented before magistrate with in prescribed time. So, it was held that it was
there duty to produce the accused before magistrate, petitioners were held
- Right to accused of privacy and protection against unlawful searches,
the police officials cannot search any property belonging to accused without
- Rights against self-incrimination- under Art 20(3) of constitution a
person cannot be compelled to be witness against himself/herself.
The State of Bombay v Kathi Kaku Oghad and ors , in this case it was held
that if accused makes a confession without any inducement it won't come under
Art 20(3) of constitution.
- Right against double jeopardy - under art 20(2) of constitution, the
accused cannot be punished for one offence again.
In SV Venkatarama v Union of India, an enquiry was made on commissioner
Public Service Enquiry act, 1960. He was dismissed later on he was charged under IPC and Corruption Act. So court held, that first process of enquiry was mere an
enquiry so here concept of double jeopardy won't be applicable.
- Bail as the right of accused in India- this right provide accused
person to be released from jail custody as right.
Justice V.R in Gudikanti Narasimhulu case 1977, stated ' the issue of
bail is one of liberty justice, public safety and burden of public treasury,
all of which insist that developed jurisprudence of bail is integral to
socially sensitized judicial process.'
In Aftab Ahmad v State of UP, court held that an indigent person may be
discharged on executing bond with sureties.
- Right to legal aid - the right of an accused person allows him/her
to hire a lawyer to defend themselves and if accused cannot afford the state
Khatri and ors v State of Bihar and ors, when accused who are incapable of
engaging lawyers, held that, state is constitutionally bound to provide such aid
at every stage. Such rights should not be denied just because of financial
constraints or accused did not ask.
- Right to free and expeditious trail- accused have right to fair and
- Rights Of The Accused During Trail
- Right to be present during trail, section 273 of CrPC, that every document
should be recorded in front or presence of accused.
In case State of Maharashtra v. Praful B. Desai, it was held that if by any
reason person is not able to be in court physically then video conferencing can
be used for satisfying the provision of section 273.
- Right to get copies of documents:
Accuse have right to get copies of every necessary related to trail. This
right is even applicable at the stage when trail haven't started.
P. Gopalkrishnan v. State of Kerala , in this case it was held that right to
have copies of documents comes under the right of free and fair trail which an
constitutional right under art 20.
Except the right there are other facilities which are provided to accused or
convicted offenders, such as correctional facility, juvenile facility, military
prison, political prison, medical facility, open jail system, recreational
services, borstal system, prole system, probation, community services and
temporary or work release program.
The main reasons for providing these rights to accused are:
Firstly, the misuse of the facilities provided to people, people filing false
complaint which makes the accused as victim at the end of the trail because they
are the one who has suffered from loss like loss of job, loss of respect and
dignity in society and even some time loss can be related to medical or mental.
In case Rajiv Bajaj vs Malkiat Kaur & Another, in this case a complaint was
filed under section 420 and 406of IPC against the complainant and was arrested
without any inquiry or investigation . But later it was found false in nature,
due to misuse of laws provided to citizen the complainant had to pass a night in
jail, suffered economically and that leads to harm to his reputation as well.
Secondly, after proper interaction with accused it is found that there is reason
behind the act they have committed, for example someone has committed murder in
self-defence or due to provocation by the victim and also prove that it was just
matter of time otherwise that individual is a law abiding person of society who
need another chance which can be provided by criminal justice system in form of
different program as mentioned above.
After such changes, it is evident that criminology, penology and criminal law
are inter-related and cannot function separately. The working of criminal policy
essentially depends on the concept of criminology and penology, because the
object of criminology is to study crime and criminal behaviour whereas object of
penology is study punishment and the treatment of offenders, studying these
concepts simultaneously has leads to improvement in the criminal justice system,
which include police, court, investigation agencies and lawyers etc.
- Prof. N.V. Paranjape - Criminology & Penology 18th edition.
- R.V. Kelkar - Criminal Procedure 6th edition.
- The Constitution of India - Bare Act.
- Criminal Procedure Code- Bare Act.
- Criminology. (2009). Retrieved from https://chilot.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/criminology.pdf
- Criminology Faculty Of Law. (n.d.). Retrieved from -
- SCC online
- Prof. N.V. Paranjape - Criminology & Penology 18th edition
- Paul Tappan, Prof. N.V. Paranjape - Criminology & Penology 18th edition
- Professor Keeny
- Ibid ,1
- Ibid ,1
- Ibid ,1
- Navet singh Johar & ors v Union of India (2018) 10 SCC 1
- Naz Foundation v Government of NCT Delhi 2010 Cri L.j 94 (Del)
- Suresh Kumar Kaushal v Naz Foundation AIR, 2014 SC 563,
- Josheph Shine v. Union of India (2019) 2 SCC 39 (35) online 1676
- Joginder Kumar v State of UP and ors, 1994 AIR 1349
- Sangangouda Veeranagovda and ors v State of Karnataka (2005) 12 SCC 468
- The State of Bombay v Kathi Kaku Oghad and ors 1961 AIR 1808, 1962 SCR
- SV Venkatarama v Union of India 1954 AIR 375
- Section 436, Crpc
- Gudikanti Narasimuhulu and ors v Public Prosecutor HC, 1978 AIR 429
- Aftab Ahmad v State of UP 1990 Cri LJ 1636
- Art 22(1) and 39A, Constitution of India
- Khatri and ors v State of Bihar and ors (1981) 1 SCC 627
- Art 21, Constitution of India and Section 304, CrPc
- State of Maharashtra v. Praful B. Desai, (2003) 4 SCC 601
- 207. Supply to the accused of copy of police report and other documents, CrPC
- P. Gopalkrishnan v. State of Kerala, (2020) 9 SCC 161
- Rajiv Bajaj vs Malkiat Kaur And Another 2013
Written By Sonia Kakran