Introduction to Criminal Law in India

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Criminal acts in India are considered offenses against society, so the State prosecutes them in court. India has a federal system where powers are divided among central, state, and local governments. The powers are categorized into three lists:

  1. Union List: The Union Parliament exclusively makes laws on these matters.
  2. State List: State Legislatures exclusively make laws on these matters.
  3. Concurrent List: Parliament and State Legislatures can make laws on these matters.

If there is a conflict between Central and State laws, the Central law prevails. Criminal law and procedure are on the Concurrent List, while Police and Prisons are on the State List. The main laws for criminal law in India are the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC) and the Criminal Procedure Code, 1974 (CrPC). The IPC defines crimes and punishments, while the CrPC outlines procedures for investigations and trials. Get in touch with criminal advocates in bangalore

Criminal Courts and Legal Procedures

Criminal trials in India are conducted in Sessions Courts at the district level. India uses an adversarial legal system, where a neutral judge oversees the case argued by the prosecution and defense attorneys. Unlike some other common law countries, India does not use a jury system.

Indian Penal Code (1860)

The IPC is the primary document for defining criminal acts and their punishments. It aims to provide a comprehensive penal code for India. To be convicted under the IPC, an accused must have both a guilty mind (mens rea) and a guilty act (actus reus). The IPC applies to all of India and can extend to offenses committed by Indian citizens abroad and on Indian-registered ships or aircraft.

Criminal Procedure Code (1974)

The CrPC is a procedural law detailing how police should investigate crimes and how courts should conduct trials. It classifies criminal offenses as bailable, non-bailable, cognizable, and non-cognizable offenses. Procedures differ for each category. For instance, filing a First Information Report (FIR), gathering evidence, and starting an inquiry are governed by the CrPC. It also outlines the classes of criminal courts.

Animal Protection under Indian Criminal Law

Crimes under the IPC are divided into:

  1. Cognizable Offense: Police can arrest without a warrant and start an investigation without court orders. Example: Murder and rape.
  2. Non-Cognizable Offense: Police need a warrant to arrest and require court permission to investigate. Examples: Cheating and forgery.

Hurting or killing an animal is a cognizable offense under the IPC and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, of 1960. This act prohibits beating, injuring, killing, or causing discomfort to animals.

– Section 428 IPC: Punishment for killing or injuring an animal valued at ten rupees or more includes imprisonment up to two years, a fine, or both.

– Section 429 IPC: Punishment for harming valuable animals like elephants or horses includes imprisonment up to five years, a fine, or both.

– Section 378 IPC: Stealing an animal is considered theft.

– Section 508 IPC: Penalizes the intimidation of animal caretakers, obstructing them from keeping pets or feeding stray animals.

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