NCERT Our Criminal Justice System

Question 1.
Define the term “Criminal Justice System’.
Criminal justice system is the ‘body of law’ or ‘Court’ regulating the inquiry into whether a person has violated criminal law or not.

Question 2.
Write a brief note on the criminal procedure in the Criminal Justice System in India.
A crime is first reported by the victim to the Police and the police file a FIR or First Information Report. Then the police begin the investigation and arrest the suspected person or persons. The police then file a charge sheet in the Magistrate’s Court. The trial begins in court. The Public Prosecutor represents the victim and the accused can defend themselves with the help of a lawyer. Once the trial is over the accused is either convicted or acquitted. If convicted, the accused can appeal to the higher court.

Question 3.
What is the role of the police in the Criminal Justice System?
In the Criminal Justice System the police play the role of investigating the case and arresting the accused.

Question 4.
What are the guidelines that the police have to follow during investigation?
Police investigations have to be conducted in accordance with law and with full respect for human rights.

The police are not allowed to torture or beat or shoot anyone during investigation. They cannot inflict any form of punishment on a person even for petty offences.

Question 5.
What are D.K. Basu Guidelines?
D.K. Basu Guidelines are as follows

  1. The police officials who carry out the arrest or interrogation should wear clear, accurate and visible identification and name tags with their designations.
  2. A memo of arrest should be prepared at the time of arrest and should include the time and date of arrest. It should also be attested by at least one witness who could include a family member of the person arrested. The arrest memo should be counter-signed by the person arrested.
  3. The person arrested, detained or being interrogated has a right to inform a relative, friend or well wisher.
  4. When a friend or relative lives outside the district, the time, place of arrest and venue of custody must be notified by police within 8 to 12 hours after arrest.

Question 6.
What is a FIR?
FIR stands for First Information Report. The police have to file a FIR whenever a person gives information about a known offence.

This information can be given to the police either orally or in writing. A FIR is necessary for the police to begin their investigations into a crime.

The FIR should mention the date, time and place of the offence, details about the offence, including a description of the events. The FIR should also state the name and address of the complainant.

There is a prescribed form in which the police register an FIR and it is signed by the complainant. The complainant also has a legal right to get a free copy of the FIR from the police.

Question 7.
Who is a Prosecutor?
‘The Prosecutor’ is a lawyer representing the state or the people of the state in a criminal trial.

Question 8.
Why is the Prosecutor called a Public Prosecutor?
The Prosecutor who represents the State is called a Public Prosecutor as a criminal offence is regarded as a public wrong, which has been committed not only against the victim, but also against the society as a whole.

Question 9.
What is the role of the judge in the Criminal Justice System?
The judge conducts the trial impartially and in an open court,the judge hears all the witnesses and any other evidence presented by the prosecution and the defence. and the judge decides whether the accused person is guilty or innocent on the basis of the evidence presented and in accordance with the law. If the accused is convicted, then the judge pronounces the sentence. He may send the person to jail or impose a fine or both, depending on what the law prescribes.

Question 10.
What are the procedures that have to be followed if the criminal trial has to be a Fair Trial?
A copy of the charge sheet and all other evidence has to be given to the accused.

The trial has to be held in an open court, in public view, and should be in the presence of the accused. The accused has to be given a lawyer to defend himself in case he cannot afford to employ a lawyer.

The Prosecution has to prove beyond doubt the guilt of the accused and the Judge has to pass the judgment only on the basis of the evidence before the court.

1. Police, 2. Public Prosecutor, 3. Defense lawyer, 4. Judge.

On the right side, there’s a list of functions. Match these with the roles listed on the left. Let each group select the functions it needs to carry out to deliver justice to those affected by the violence caused by the Fiesta fans. In what sequence will these functions be executed?

Judge Functions
Defense LawyerMeet the accused persons 
Public ProsecutorRecord the statements of the witnesses
PoliceCross examine the witnesses
RolesTake photographs of burnt homes
Pass the judgment
Conduct a fair trial 
Writes the judgment
Argue the case for the victims
Decides for how many years the accused will be put in jail
Examine the witnesses in court
Record the evidence
Get the assaulted women medically examined
Arrest the Fiesta fans 
hear the witnesses


  • Police: Gather witness statements, collect evidence, photograph damaged homes, arrest Fiesta fans, and arrange medical examinations for assaulted women.
  • Public Prosecutor: Question witnesses, cross-examine them in court, and present the case for the victims.
  • Defense Lawyer: Question witnesses, meet the accused, and cross-examine witnesses in court.
  • Judge: Listen to witnesses, write the judgment, determine the accused’s sentence, and conduct a fair trial.

The police are the first responders, collecting evidence at the crime scene. Public Prosecutors and Defense Lawyers then play their roles, with the Judge making the final decision and passing the judgment. The mentioned steps are part of the post-crime legal process.

2. Consider the same scenario but assign all the responsibilities to a single student supporting the Fiesta Club. Do you believe the victims would receive justice if one person handled all aspects of the criminal justice system? Explain two reasons why different individuals must fulfill distinct roles in the criminal justice system. 

Ans: If a single individual manages all aspects of the criminal justice system, they might be influenced by various internal and external biases. Thus, a separation of powers is essential to prevent unfairness, as absolute power is seldom just.

Since various tasks in an investigation and trial, like arrests, witness statements, defense, fair trial proceedings, and just judgment, cannot be carried out by one person alone, different individuals must assume distinct roles in the criminal justice system. Assigning specific roles ensures wise decision-making, situational understanding, and lawful judgments. Distributing these responsibilities among various individuals prevents potential abuse of power, upholding the rule of law and ensuring equal and just choices.

Understand Indian Criminal Justice System

In this class 8 civics chapter 6 notes, students will get to learn complete ideas about the Indian criminal justice system. Article 22 of the constitution, every person is eligible and has a fundamental right to get a fair trial and a lawyer. Article 39A of the constitution places the duty upon the state to provide a lawyer for the charged citizen.

When you learn what is fair trial class 8, you will learn about four key players in the criminal justice system- police, Public Prosecutor, defense lawyer, and the judge.

Role of the Police in investigating the crime

The primary role of the police in the judiciary system is to investigate the crime. The process includes recording statements of suspects and collecting evidence to send it to the forensic. This investigation will help the police to find out the real culprit rather than investigating the wrong one. Police should investigate according to the rule of law respecting human rights. There are specific guidelines set by the constitution for police, which they need to follow. The police need to register the FIR before the investigation begins. This is the standard procedure.

The FIR should contain all the details, including the date; time, and place the crime took place. These details are very crucial in the case and help the prosecutor to fight the case accordingly.

While filing the FIR, it is vital to note that there should not be any force on the victim or suspect. Moreover, police officials, while interrogating the suspect or the victim, should carry the identification.

It is the standard rule, which should be followed by police officials to ensure everything is followed rightly.

Role of the Public Prosecutor

In the class 8 civics chapter 6 notes, students get to learn about the public prosecutor. He/she is the person who represents the interests of the state. The role of the prosecutor begins right after the police investigation is done and the charge sheet is filed in the court.

The prosecutor has to conduct on behalf of the state and need to be highly experienced to handle criminal cases and do the homework well before presenting the case.

Role of the Judge

Judge is like an umpire, who after seeing all the evidence and how the prosecutor defends the charged person. He/she will also hear and consider the witness and proof before giving the judgment. Based on the evidence, the judge provides the hearing and final verdict. It is the job of the judge to follow the constitution rule to give a fair trial to the victim.

What is a Fair Trial?

In the civic note of chapter 6, what is a fair trial class 8 section gives a complete understanding about it. A fair trial is providing justice to the victim under Article 21 of the constitution. There are certain features of a fair trial.

The fair trial is held in open court in front of the public, accused, victim, and defense lawyers. The judge cross-examines every aspect put forward by lawyers.

Defense lawyers do their best to ensure that the accused or the victim is set free. Every citizen, irrespective of caste, gender, ideology, and religion is eligible to get a fair trial. A judge has to be impartial and give judgment according to Article 21 of the Indian Constitution.

Some of the rules set in Article 22 of the Constitution towards the arrested person are-

  • The arrested person has a complete right to get informed at the time of arrest and offense for which arrest is being made.
  • Right not to be ill-treated during the arrest.
  • Confessions made in police custody are not viable as evidence against the accused.

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