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Class 8 > Civics > Understanding Our Criminal Justice System Class 8 Civics Chapter 6 – Explanation, Question and Answers

Understanding Our Criminal Justice System Class 8 Civics Chapter 6 – Explanation, Question and Answers

Understanding Our Criminal Justice System Class 8 Civics Chapter 6

CBSE Class 8 Civics Chapter 6 Understanding Our Criminal Justice System – Detailed explanation of the chapter ‘Understanding Our Criminal Justice System’ along with question answers. Given here is the complete explanation of the lesson, along with all the exercises, Question and Answers given at the back of the lesson.

Class 8 Civics – Chapter 6

Understanding Our Criminal Justice System

understanding our criminal justice system

Introduction

Whenever you come across a person who is violating a law, the first thing that might come to your mind will be to inform the police. You might have observed either in movies or in real life, police officials arrest the accused and file a complaint. As the police tends to arrest the accused, it is mostly assumed that the police decides if a person is guilty or not. However, this is not the case. Once a person gets arrested, the court is responsible for deciding if a person is accused or not. The Indian Constitution states that a person who has been accused for any crime should be granted a fair trial. 

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Article 22 of the Indian Constitution states that if a person has been arrested, it is his fundamental right to get defended by a lawyer. The Article 39A of Indian Constitution states that it is the duty of the state to provide a lawyer to a person in case the person is unable to afford one due to poor status or disability. 

 

The Police, along with the Public Prosecutor, Defence Lawyer and Judge are the people who play a key role in the Criminal Justice system of India and several other democratic countries. 

 

The Role of Police while Investigating Any Crime 

The important function of the police in a case is to investigate any complaint which is related to the commission of a crime. The investigation involves various processes such as collection of evidence of different kinds and recording the witnesses’ statements. On the basis of his investigation, the policeman is needed to give his opinion. If the police finds that the evidence is pointing to an accused person’s guilt, then they file a chargesheet against him in the court. However, it is not his job to decide if a person is guilty or not. This is decided by the judge.

 

In Chapter 2, it has been explained that every person is equal before the law and subject to the law of the land. It also includes the police who has been investigating the case. Hence, the police always conducts investigation of a case according to law and has to give full respect to human rights of the accused. 

 

The country’s Supreme Court has already laid down a few guidelines which the police needs to follow while arresting, interrogating or detaining someone. While the investigation is going on, a police officer can’t shoot, beat or torture anyone. Even for petty offences, the police is not allowed to inflict any type of punishment on the accused. 

 

The Indian Constitution’s Article 22 guarantees following Fundamental rights to every person who has been arrested:

  • A boy who is under the age of 15 and any woman cannot be called for questioning to the police station.
  • The right not to be tortured or ill-treated while in custody or during arrest.
  • When a person is being arrested, she has the right to be informed about the offence
  • An arrested person has to be presented in front of the magistrate by the police within 24 hours of the arrest. 
  • The confession made by the accused in custody cannot be used as evidence in the court.

 

Apart from that, the Indian Supreme Court has also laid down certain procedures as well as specific requirements that the police and other agencies have to follow while arresting a person. They are known as ‘DK Basu’ guidelines. Few of these are:

  • The police officers who are supposed to carry out the interrogation or arrest are required to wear accurate, clear and visible identification as well as name tags apart from their designations.
  • At the time of arrest, a memo of arrest has to be prepared. It should contain date of arrest along with the time. It has to be attested by a minimum of one witness of the accused who could be the accused’s family member. The arrested person is also supposed to countersign the arrest memo.
  • A person who has been detained, arrested or interrogated has the right to inform his relatives, well-wisher or any friend. 
  • If a relative or friend resides outside the district, the police has to notify the time, the district, the place of arrest and custody venue to them within 8 to 12 hours after the accused has been arrested.

police station

First Information Report (FIR)

After the police registers an FIR for a particular crime, then they can begin the investigations regarding that crime. According to the law, a police station’s officer in charge has to register the FIR if a person has to report an offence which is cognizable in nature. The person can give information to the police in writing or orally. The FIR contains details such as the time, date and place where the offence had taken place, details of basic facts regarding this offence that also includes a description of the events. It also contains the name and address of the person who has filed this complaint. 

 

The FIR is registered in a prescribed form and is signed by the person who has filed the complaint. It’s the legal right of the complainant to get a free copy of FIR to be given by the police.

 

The Role of Public Prosecutor

A criminal offence is always regarded as a public wrong. It means that that particular offence is considered to be committed against the whole society apart from the affected person. You might still remember about the ‘Sudha Goel’ case from the previous chapter. The State had presented this case against the accused Laxman and his family. Therefore, the case has been called State (Delhi Administration vs Laxman Kumar and others). 

 

The interests of a state are represented by a Public Prosecutor in a case. Once a team of police has conducted its investigation in a case and filed the chargesheet in the court, then begins the role of public prosecutor. The prosecutor doesn’t play any role in the investigation. Her job is to conduct prosecution on the State’s behalf. She acts as an Officer in the court whose duty is to act in an impartial manner and present all facts and materials related to the case, facts, witnesses so that court is able to take a decision in that case.

law

The Role of the Judge

It is the responsibility of the judge to conduct the trial in an impartial manner and in an open court. He is like the umpire of a game. He hears the statement of all the witnesses. The defence and prosecution present all the witnesses and evidence before him. In accordance with the law and on the basis of evidence presented before him, the judge pronounces the sentence. In case the accused gets convicted, it is the duty of the judge to pronounce the sentence. Depending on the nature of offence, the convict can be sent to jail or be imposed fine – in some cases it could be both jail and fine.
 

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Fair Trial

Every accused deserves a fair trial. According to Article 21 of the Indian Constitution under Right to Life, an individual’s liberty or life can be taken away following a legal and reasonable procedure. The article ensures that a fair trial is upheld. 

 

The accused has to be provided with a copy of the chargesheet and several evidences that are pointing against her. The trial has to be held in an open court and in full public view. The relatives should be allowed to attend the hearings of the court. The court trial has to take place in the accused’s presence. She should get a lawyer who should get an opportunity to examine all the witnesses of the prosecution. The lawyer should be allowed to present witnesses in the defence of the accused.

 

The constitution and law both state that all the persons involved in the criminal justice system need to carry out their roles properly. It is their duty to ensure that every citizen, irrespective of their caste, religion, class, gender or ideological background should get a fair trial if they are an accused in any case. According to the rule of law, every citizen is equal before law. 

 

Question And Answer

  1. In a town called Peace Land, the supporters of the Fiesta football team learn that the supporters of the Jubilee football team in the nearby city about 40 km away have damaged the ground on which the Final between both teams is to be held the following day. A crowd of Fiesta fans armed with deadly weapons attacks the homes of the supporters of the Jubilee football team in the town. In the attack, 10 men are killed, 5 women are gravely hurt, many homes are destroyed and over 50 people injured. Imagine that you and your classmates are now part of the criminal justice system. First divide the

class into the following four groups of persons:

  1. Police 2. Public Prosecutor 3. Defence lawyer 4. Judge

The column on the right provides a list of functions. Match these with the roles that are listed on the left. Have each group pick the functions that it needs to perform to bring justice to those who were affected by the violence of the Fiesta fans. In what order, will these functions be performed?

 

Roles Functions
Police

Public Prosecutor

Defence Lawyer

Judge

hear the witnesses

record the statements of witnesses

cross examine the witnesses

take photographs of burnt homes

record the evidence

arrest the Fiesta fans

writes the judgment

argue the case for the victims

decide for how many years the accused will be put in jail

examine the witnesses in court

pass the judgment

get the assaulted women medically examined

conduct a fair trial

meet the accused persons

 

Now take the same situation but ask one student who is a supporter of the Fiesta Club to perform all the functions listed above. Do you think the victims would get justice if only one person performed all of the functions of the criminal justice system? Why not?

 

State two reasons why you believe that different persons need to play different roles as part of the criminal justice system.

 

Answer. 

 

Roles Functions
Police record the statements of witnesses

take photographs of burnt homes

arrest the Fiesta fans

get the assaulted women medically examined

Public Prosecutor cross examine the witnesses

argue the case for the victims

Defence Lawyer hear the witnesses

examine the witnesses in court

meet the accused persons

Judge record the evidence

writes the judgment

decide for how many years the accused will be put in jail

pass the judgment

conduct a fair trial

 

No, the victim would not get justice if only a single person performed all the functions of a criminal justice system. There are chances that the person would get influenced due to various factors. In this way, absolute power can lead to unfairness. 

 

The reasons why we need different people to play different roles as a part of the criminal justice system are:

  • A single ideology cannot be right in every situation. It can affect the trial process and the result of any case.
  • There is no misuse of power or any sort of unfairness while delivering the case. 

 

Extra Questions and Answers

Q1. Why do you think there is a rule that confessions made during police custody cannot

be used as evidence against the accused?

Answer. There are chances that the confessions made by the accused in the police custody might be made under ill-treatment, torture or pressure of the police officials. That’s the reason why confessions made during police custody cannot be used as evidence against the accused.

 

 

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