JAC Board Class 8th Social Science Notes Civics Chapter 6 Understanding Our Criminal Justice System
→ After a person is arrested, it is a court of law that decides whether the accused person is guilty or not.
- According to the Constitution, every individual charged of a crime has to be given a fair trial.
- According to Article 22 of the Constitution, ‘ every person has a Fundamental Right to be
defended by a lawyer.
- Article 39A of the Constitution places a duty upon the State to provide a lawyer to any citizen who is unable to engage one due to poverty or other disability.
→ What is the Role of the Police in Investigating a Crime?
- One important function of the police is to investigate any complaint about the commission of a crime.
- An investigation includes recording statements of witnesses and collecting different kinds of evidence.
- Police investigations always have to be conducted in accordance with law and with full respect for human rights.
→ Article 22 of the Constitution and criminal law guarantee to every arrested person the following Fundamental Rights:
- The Right to be informed at the time of arrest of the offence for which the person is being arrested.
- The Right to be presented before a magistrate within 24 hours of arrest.
- The Right not to be ill-treated or tortured during arrest or in custody.
- Confessions made in police custody cannot be used as evidence against the accused.
- A boy under 15 years of age and women cannot be called to the police station only for questioning.
→ What is the Role of the Public Prosecutor?
- A criminal offence is regarded as a public wrong.
- What is meant by this is that it is considered to have been committed not only against the affected victims but against society as a whole.
- In court, it is the Public Prosecutor who represents the interests of the State.
- As an officer of the court, it is his/ her duty to act impartially and present the full and material facts, witnesses and evidence before the court to enable the court to decide the case.
→ What is the Role of the Judge?
- 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.
→ What is a Fair Trial?
- A fair trial ensures that Article 21 of the Constitution is upheld.
- For a trial to be fair, several different procedures have to be observed. Article 21 of the Constitution that guarantees the Right to Life states that a person’s life or liberty can be taken away only by following a reasonable and just legal procedure.
- It is significant that the judge decided the matter only on the basis of the evidence before the court.
- All need to work to ensure that every citizen, irrespective of their class, caste, gender, religious and ideological backgrounds get a fair trial when accused.
- The rule of law which says that everyone is equal before the law would not make much sense if every citizen were not guaranteed a fair trial by the Constitution.