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 community.
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 society. 
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 Character:
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 and etc.
The Above Mentioned Crimes Can Be Specifically Categorized In Three Main Heads:
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:
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 maintained.
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 justice system:
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.
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:
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 change.
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 to convicted.
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:
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 liable.
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.
Written By Sonia Kakran
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