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Polity NCERT

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Lesson 4, Topic 6
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Chapter- 6 Understanding Our Criminal Justice System

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  • There are four key players in the criminal justice system: The Police, The Public Prosecutor, The Defence Lawyer and The Judge.

  • The main role of the police is to investigate a crime, when FIR, i.e. First Information Report is registered at a police station. An investigation includes recording statement of witness and collecting different kinds of evidence.

  • The role of the Public Prosecutor begins when the police have filed the charge sheet in the court.

The Public Prosecutor conducts the prosecution on the behalf of the State.

  • The Judge conducts the trial impartially in an open court and on the basis of the evidence presented, he pronounces the sentence. According to Indian Constitution, every citizen, irrespective of the class, caste, gender, religion and background must get a fair trial when accused.

  • A boy under 15 years of age and women cannot be called to the Police Station only for questioning. The Indian Constitution guaranteed that every arrested person must be presented before a magistrate within 24 hours of arrest.

  • There are four people who play a key role in our criminal justice system. These are: the police, the Public Prosecutor, the defence lawyer and the judge.

  • The role of the police begins with the lodging of an FIR in the police station. After the registration of the FIR, the police start the investigation. On the basis of the investigation, they 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. Police investigations always have to be conducted in accordance with the law and with full respect for human rights. The police are not allowed to torture or beat or shoot anyone during an investigation.

  • In court, the Public Prosecutor represents the interests of the State. His role begins once the police has conducted the investigation and filed the charge-sheet in the court.

  • The Public Prosecutor is expected to act impartially and present the full and material facts, witnesses and evidence before the court. The defence lawyer acts on behalf of the accused. He also produces witnesses and evidence before the court in favour of his client.

  • The judge hears all the witnesses and any other evidence presented by the prosecution and the defence. Afterwards, he decides whether the accused person is guilty or innocent.

  • It the accused is guilty, then the judge pronounces the sentence. Witness: It refers to the person who is called upon in court to give a first-hand account of what he/she has seen, heard or knows.

Detention: It refers to the situation when the police forcibly keeps someone in custody.

Offence: Any act that is defined by the law as a crime. Investigation: It refers to an official examination of the facts about a crime.

Memo: It refers to an official note.

Cognizable: It refers to an offence for which the police may arrest a person without the court’s permission.

Cross-examine: To question the witness carefully who has already been examined by the opposite side to determine the truth of his/her testimony.

Evidence: It refers to the facts or signs that make you believe that something is true.

Confession: Acceptance of an offence.

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