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Critical Analysis of Criminal Investigating System in India


Maintenance of peace and order is essential in any society for human beings to live peacefully and without fear of injury to their lives, limbs, and property.

An unlawful and intentional act or omission in violation of criminal law

which affects the conscience of the public at large is known as crime.

To criminalize a certain kind of conduct is to declare that it should not be done, to institute a threat of punishment in order to supply a pragmatic reason for not doing it, and to censure those who Nevertheless do it.

Criminal investigation means an investigation of any criminal conduct including an investigation of alleged or suspected criminal conduct or an investigation of whether criminal conduct has taken place. Criminal investigation system is a procedure to investigate the crime according to the law and rules in place under the government directives to discourage and extenuating crime. The criminal investigation system is about to detecting those who violate the laws and to put them in the procedure of criminal justice

Constituent elements of crime

The fundamental principle of criminal liability is that there must be a wrongful act -- actus

reus , combined with a wrongful intention-- mens rea . This principle is embodied in the maxim, actus non facit reum nisi mens sit rea

, meaning 'an act does not make one guilty unless the mind is also legally

blameworthy'. A mere criminal intention not followed by a prohibited act cannot constitute a crime.

Role of Forensic Science in Investigation

The concept of forensic science is not new in the criminal investigation system. It dates back thousands of years. Forensic science, also known as criminalistics, is the application of science to those civil and criminal laws. It is the key element in a criminal investigation and has made remarkable contribution in solving criminal investigation and other heinous violence.

First Information Report

First Information Report is a written document prepared by the Police Officer on receiving information about the commission of cognizable offence. F.I.R. should be lodged at the earliest point of time. The procedure of filing an FIR is prescribed in Section 154 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973. The FIR is made to the police with the object of putting the police in motion in order to investigate a crime. The intention of F.I.R. is to receive information and to record the circumstances before the person forgets to

establish the information.

Police Misconduct

The term police misconduct also referred to as ‘Police corruption’ is the illegal or inappropriate action engaged in by police officers. Police misconduct can include instances of such things as discrimination or even hindrance to fair investigation and a barrier to access justice.


Crime statistics in any case are not very reliable. The sorrowful fact is poor functioning of not only with the police force but with the functioning of other agencies of the criminal justice system. A common grievance against the police is that they do not register crime fully. Crime has registered an increase. For example, the total cognizable crime registered under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) increased from only 6.25 lakhs in 1951 to17.2 lakhs in 2003. The total cognizable crime in 2003 was about 55 lakhs, including 37.8 Lakh offences registered under the local and special laws.

The police revert again to the old evil of concealing crime by not registering it. This results in denying access to justice to a large number of people, particularly those belonging to poor and marginalized sections of society. When a large number of persons, after committing crimes, are allowed to get away and justice is not meted out to victims or cases drag on in courts for many numbers of years, it results in eroding the faith and confidence of the public in the effectiveness of the system. More than an increase in crime, it is the failure of the system to deal promptly, justly and effectively with those who commit it

that has been responsible for the loss of faith and confidence of the public in the effectiveness of the system. There has been a steep decline in the conviction rate. While in 1971, the conviction rate of IPC offences that is, the total number of cases convicted to total number of cases tried was 62%, by the year 2003, it had declined to about 40%. Justice is being denied as well as delayed. The courts are clogged with huge arrears of cases under trial.

The Path So Far – Poor Mechanism

The lack of unification among criminologists, psychologists, psychiatrists, civil society organizations and experts in victimology with the police force causes delay in the investigation procedure. The crimes these days are extremely complicated and to add to it we could say, new means and modes have emerged that facilitate the criminal. Also, criminals, today can no more be categorized in the same fashion as we used to earlier. Socio-economic inequalities, years of oppression, systemic violence and gradual marginalization are the prime reasons for the increase in crimes. The ones having committed the crimes have no fear for the law, and neither are they afraid of any kind of deterrence. In such times, integration

of psychologists and other such experts, who help in psychological mapping and other such techniques to extract a confession, will further the cause of investigation.

Third degree treatment for extracting confession and carrying its investigation properly is a method our police force still relies on. This does not just lead to a violation of the most basic human rights of the accused but is also highly unsustainable. Such a mechanism cannot be carried for long behind closed doors. Inclusion of such experts as mentioned above wouldn’t just solve these problems but in fact, with more expertise and reliability ensure that our systems are sustainable and do not face popular backlash

in the coming years.

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