Topic outline

    • Understanding Our Criminal Justice System

      Q1. Who is a public prosecutor?

      Ans. A public prosecutor is an official who puts people on trial on behalf of the government and people of a particular country.


      Q2. What do you understand by the term “Criminal Justice System”?

      Ans. Criminal Justice System is the system of law enforcement that is directly involved in apprehending, prosecuting, defending, sentencing, and punishing those who are suspected or convicted of criminal offenses.


      Q3. What are the guidelines that the police have to follow during investigation?

      Ans. The Supreme Court has laid down guidelines that the police must follow at the time of arrest, detention and interrogation. 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.

      Q4. What is the role of the police in investigating a crime?

      Ans. 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. On the basis of the investigation, the police are required to form an opinion. If the police think that the evidence points to the guilt of the accused person, then they file a charge sheet in the court.


      Q5. State two reasons why you believe that different persons need to play different roles as part of the criminal justice system.

      Ans. Different persons need to play different roles as part of the criminal justice system because:

                              i.        A single person cannot have all the qualification required to perform different functions such as arresting, defending, collecting evidences, and giving final judgment.

                             ii.        To avoid the misuse of power and unfairness in the results.


      Q6. What is the role of the Public Prosecutor?
      Write a note on Public Prosecutor.

      Ans. In court, it is the Public Prosecutor who represents the interests of the State. The role of the Prosecutor begins once the police has conducted the investigation and filed the chargesheet in the court. He/she has no role to play in the investigation. The Prosecutor must conduct the prosecution on behalf 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.

      Q7. What is the role of judge in Criminal Justice System?

      Ans. The judge is like an umpire in a game and 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. 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.


      Q8. Write a brief note on the criminal procedure in the Criminal Justice System in India.

      Ans. 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 lawyer. Once the trial is over the accused is either convicted or acquitted. If convicted, the accused can appeal to the higher court.

      Q9. What are the procedures that have to be followed if the criminal trial has to be a fair trial?

      Ans. Procedures to be followed are:

                                i.        A copy of the chargesheet and all other evidence that the prosecution presented has to be given to the accused.

                              ii.        The trial has to be held in an open court, in public view and in the presence of the accused.

                             iii.        The accused has to be given a lawyer to defend himself in case he cannot afford to employ a lawyer.

                             iv.        The prosecution has to prove beyond reasonable doubt of guilty of the accused.

                             v.        The judge decides the matter only on the basis of the evidence before the court.


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