By Y.SRINIVASA RAO, PRINCIPAL SENIOR CIVIL JUDGE, TIRUPATI, ANDHRA PRADESH.
Introduction:— Any Act or rules dealing with crime is criminal law. “The criminal justice system is a firmly societal defensive reaction to intolerable behaviour. From the beginning it was considered as a tool designed to protect an established order of values attuned to the political organisation of the community. Transgression of some important norms reflecting these values was seen as a crime and, as such, demanded punishment.” What is a crime in a given society at a particular time has a wide connotation as the concept of crime keeps on changing with change in political, economic and social set-up of the country, Kartar Singh v. State of Punjab, 1994 SCC (Cri) 899.
Accusation means the formal charging of any person with a crime. The word “ Convict” means a person found guilty of a crime or offence alleged against him, either by a verdict of a jury or other legal decision.
Crime means violation of a right, when considered in reference to the evil tendency of such violation, as regards the community at large. A crime, is an act deemed by law to be harmful to society in general, even though its immediate victim is an individual. Murder injures primarily the particular victim, but its blatant disregard of human life puts it beyond a matter of mere compensation between the murderer and the victim’s family. Those who commit such acts are proceeded against by the State in order that, if convicted, they may be punished. The notion of crime as a threat to the whole community is the material counterpart of the formal rule that the State alone is master of a criminal prosecution, P.S.R. Sadhanantham v. Arunachalam, 1980 SCC (Cri) 649. Crime can be defined as an act that subjects the doer to legal punishment. It may also be defined as the commission of an act specifically forbidden by law; it may be an offence against morality or social order, T.K. Gopal v. State of Karnataka, 2000 SCC (Cri) 1037.
Accused:— The term “Accused” denotes different meanings, sometimes the said word is employed to denote a person arrested, sometimes a person against whom there is an accusation, but who is yet not put on trial and sometimes to denote a person on trial and so on, Directorate of Enforcement v. Deepak Mahajan, 1994 SCC (Cri) 785. 2. The expression “accused person” describe the person against whom evidence is sought to be led in a criminal proceeding, State of U.P. v. Deoman Upadhyaya, AIR 1960 SC 1125: (1961) 1 SCR 14: 1960 Cri LJ 1504.
Accused of an offence means only a person against whom a formal accusation relating to the commission of an offence has been leveled which in the normal course may result in his prosecution, would fall within its ambit, Veera Imbrahim v. State of Maharashtra, (1976) 2SCC 302. See also. The Constitution of India — Article 20(3).
Criminal proceedings” means a criminal enquiry or a trial before a court and the “accused” means a person actually arraigned, that is, put on a trial, Laxmipat Choraria v. State of Maharashtra, AIR 1968 SC 938: (1968) 2 SCR 624: 1968 Cri LJ 1124.
Accused of an offence, who has been put on trial, whether or not at the time when he made the confessional statement, he was under arrest or in custody as an accused in that case or not, Bheru Singh v. State of Rajasthan, (1994) 2 SCC 467. See also. Evidence Act, 1872 — S. 25.