What is Criminal Law?

Law is one of the most important things in a country. No Country can function if it doesn’t have laws. Law is a set of legitimate rules, statutes, and precedents, which are applicable within a given jurisdiction. Whenever one hears law all that comes in mind is Justice for one. And punishment of the same is decided by the magnitude of offence.

Law is generally divided into two parts: Civil law and Criminal law.

Criminal law is the body of law that relates to crime. It mainly concerns those accused of, or convicted for, committing a crime Criminal law, as distinguished from civil law, is a set of laws concerned with punishment of individuals who commit crimes. Therefore, where in a civil case two parties argue their rights, a criminal prosecution involves the government deciding whether to punish an individual for either an act or an omission. A “crime” is any act or omission in violation of a law prohibiting the action or omission.

Criminal law is a complex system of laws and procedures that define criminal acts, set punishments, and outline the rules guiding the criminal process from investigation and arrest to sentencing. Criminal acts are considered offences in rem, i.e., against society as whole, the State acts as the prosecuting party in court. Criminal law in India means offenses against the state, it includes felonies and misdemeanors. The standard of proof for crimes is beyond a reasonable doubt. Criminal law is governed by Indian penal Code, Crpc, evicence Act etc. A body of rules and statutes that defines act prohibited by the government because it threatens and harms public safety and welfare and that determines punishment to be imposed for the commission of such acts.

There was no criminal law in ancient time. The society was uncivilized. Neither the life nor the property was safe in that society. At that time people believed only on one thing a life for a life. The first civilizations generally did not distinguish between civil law and criminal law. The first written codes of law were designed by the Sumerians. Around 2100–2050 BC Ur-Nammu, the Neo-Sumerian king of Ur, enacted written legal code whose text has been discovered: the Code of Ur-Nammu although an earlier code of Urukagina of Lagash ( 2380–2360 BC ) is also known to have existed. Time changed and the people made law based upon theirreligion. They segregated law according to their Holy book and their culture.

The Indian Penal Code, formulated by the British during the British Raj in 1860, forms the backbone of criminal law in India. Jury trials were ended by the government in 1960 on the bases that they would be susceptible to media and public influence. This decision was based on an 8-1 acquittal of Kawas Nanavati in K. M. Nanavati vs. State of Maharashtra, which was overturned by higher courts.

The Indian Penal Code was passed under the chairmanship of Lord Macaulay and was enforced in 1862, Lord Macaulay issued explanation for the people of India for implementation of this Code, because people were of the view that rule of Capital Punishment will be misused against them. People were also against foreign rule on Indian people.

One thing to determine criminal wrong is  

Actus Non Facit Reum Nisi Mens Sit Rea – An act does not make anyone guilty unless there is a criminal intent or a guilty mind.

Actus reus is Latin for “guilty act” and is the physical element of committing a crime. It may be accomplished by an action, by threat of action, or unusually, by an omission to act, which is a legal duty to act. For example, the act of N hitting K might suffice, and provide the actus reus for a crime.

Mens rea is another Latin phrase, meaning “guilty mind”. This is the mental element of the crime. A guilty mind means an intention to commit some wrongful act. Intention under criminal law is separate from a person’s motive

This is basics of Criminal Law in India.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criminal_law#History

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_criminal_law#History

https://www.animallaw.info/article/introduction-criminal-law-india

https://www.legalserviceindia.com/Criminallaws/criminal_law.htm

https://www.lloydlawcollege.edu.in/blog/criminal-law.html

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