Criminal proceedings are of crucial importance in maintaining the status quo of any nation and also to maintain the prosperous growth of the society where every individual has private rights and the statutory body must maintain a peaceful environment such that there is no infringement of rights. The statement under criminal proceeding where any infringement of private rights will ultimately affect the rights of the society as it no longer will remain a discrepancy between parties. It is pertinent to note that since any criminal act is deemed to be an offence against the society, therefore under any criminal proceeding the state will be the first party against whom the matter has been conducted.

Under Criminal Proceedings there are a plethora of questions such as;

Q) How the Justice system is set into motion?

Q) Number of agencies involved?

Q) How the trial process is conducted?

The Criminal Procedures are conducted according to The Code of Civil Procedure, 1973 which comprises of;

  • a) Substantive Laws
  • b) Procedural Laws

There are a number of agencies that are involved in the process of Criminal Proceedings, wherein a process has been followed as mentioned below

Police Prosecution & Defence Council Judiciary (All these agencies form and integral part of our Judicial System)

1. Police

This is said to be the first authority which comes into action. An F.I.R (First Information Report) is lodged by the police in furtherance to which an investigation is conducted in order to acquire all the relevant evidences which can be substantiated at the time of criminal proceedings. It is pertinent to note that any person can register the complaint whether aggrieved or not, hence it certainly is true that locus standi is not applicable in criminal proceedings. All the necessary reportable findings are submitted to the magistrate.

2. Prosecutors and Defence Council

The purpose of prosecutor is to establish the charge against the accused person and prove the burden on Prosecution. Defence Council argues for and defends the case of the accused person.

3. Judiciary

The Judiciary adjudicates the matter and provides its judgement based on the evidences and hearings that have been initiated.

There are two types of Justice System;

  • a) Inquisitorial Justice system
  • b) Adversarial Justice system

On the above categories the Indian Justice system is modelled on the basis of Adversarial Justice system which has its following attributes;

  • a) The first attribute is the accused is assumed to be innocent unless proven guilty;
  • b) One of the most important aspect of adversarial justice system is that the burden of proof lies on the prosecution, which never shifts;
  • c) The Adjudicating Hon’ble Judge must be a neutral empire, he does not take any active interest or any active involvement in the criminal trial and he participates only when it becomes imminent for the proceedings to be in the interest of the justice system.


Organisations and Administrations have been divided into classes of Criminal Courts which has been defined under Section 6 of Criminal Procedure Code, 1973; which categorises the Criminal courts,

At the top of the Hierarchy is HIGH COURT
Followed by
Court of Sessions (defined under Section 9 & 10)
Metropolitan Magistrates/ Judicial Magistrate First Class (defined under Section 11-14)
Judicial Magistrate Second Class (defined under Section 15)
Executive Magistrates (defined under Section 20 – 23)


1. High Court – It exercises criminal jurisdiction in a state. Court of sessions, Chief Judicial Magistrate/ Chief Metropolitan Magistrate and Executive Magistrates are subordinate to the High Court. It exercises administrative control over the District Court.

2. Court of Sessions – It is established by the State Government in every sessions division. CrPC categorises every state division in a state into one sessions division, and for each of the sessions division there is a Sessions Judge, one who presides over the Court of Session. It is subordinate to the High Court and can pass any sentence authorized by law, but a sentence of death has to be confirmed by the High Court, according to Section 28(2).

3. Metropolitan Magistrates/ Judicial Magistrate First Class – They are appointed in every district by the High Court and the senior most Judicial magistrate first class is designated as the Chief Judicial Magistrate who heads the Magistrate in the District. The High Court also has power to appoint Additional Magistrate in any district to assist and support the Chief Judicial Magistrate. Chief Judicial Magistrate can pass any sentence authorized by law, except a sentence of death or life imprisonment or imprisonment exceeding 7 years in accordance with Section 29(1) and the Additional Magistrate can pass any sentence of imprisonment not exceeding 3 years, or fine not exceeding Rs. 5000, or both, defined under Section 29(2).

4. Judicial Magistrate Second Class – They are also appointed by the High Court and can pass any sentence of imprisonment not exceeding 1 year or of fine not exceeding Rs. 1000, or both defined under Section 29(3).

5. Executive Magistrate – In every district and every metropolitan area, the State Government may appoint as many executive magistrates as it thinks fit and shall appoint one of them as district magistrate according to Section 20(1).

Trial Process

Before every trial process there is a pre-trial process which involves the following;

  • 1. Registration of F.I.R (sec. 154)
  • 2. Investigation (sec 156 – 159)
  • 3. Arrest/ Search – Seizure (sec. 41/165 & 166)
  • 4. Remand (sec. 167)

The post-trial process involves the following;

  • 1. Cognizance by Magistrate
  • 2. Framing of charges
  • 3. Trial
  • 4. Bail
  • 5. Sentencing
  • 6. Compensation to Victims
  • 7. Appeals

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