Understanding Our Criminal Justice System – Class VIII

Q1. 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 ofthe accused person, then they file a charge sheet in the court.As stated at the beginning of this chapter, it is not the job of the police to decide whether a person is guilty or innocent, that is for the judge to decide.

Q2. What the rules are followed for arresting criminals?
Ans: Police investigations always have to be conducted in accordance with law and with full respect for human rights. 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.
Q3. Why article 22 is important? (Understanding Our Criminal Justice System)
Ans: Article 22 of the Constitution and criminal law guarantee to every arrested person the following Fundamental Rights:
•The Right to be informed at the time of arrest of the offence for which the person is being arrested.
•Right to be presented before a magistrate within 24 hours of arrest.
•The Right not to be ill treated or tortured during arrest or in custody.
•Confessions made in police custody cannot be used as evidence against the accused.
•A boy under 15 years of age and women cannot be called to the police station only for questioning.
Q4. What is the Role of the Public Prosecutor?
Ans: A criminal offence is regarded as a public wrong. It is considered to have been committed not only against the affected victims but against society as a whole.
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.
Q5. What is the Role of the Judge? (Understanding Our 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.

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