Crime and Justice in India


Edited by: N. Prabha Unnithan

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    To M. Z. Khan

    His personal example of commitment and leadership to the development of criminology and criminal justice in India inspires all who have followed.


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    • 1.1 Arrests by Police under IPC and Special Laws 16
    • 1.2 Persons Killed or Injured in Police Firing during 2010 16
    • 1.3 Massacres of Communist Sympathizers 20
    • 2.1 Frequency Distribution of Type of Events 42
    • 2.2 Distribution of Levels of Violence across Public Events 46
    • 2.3 Distribution of Types of Events with Violence Involving Damage to Property 49
    • 2.4 Distribution of Events with Injury to Individuals across Different Types of Public Events 49
    • 2.5 Distribution of Events with Injury to Individuals and Damage to Property across Different Types of Public Events 50
    • 2.6 Cross Tabulation of Type of Incident and Severity of Violence 52
    • 2.7 Chi-square Statistic of Relationship between Type of Event and Levels of Violence 53
    • 4.1 Percentage Results and Differences between Indian and US Respondents on Their Views of Crime, Criminals, Treatment, and Punishment 82
    • 4.2 OLS Regression Results—Standardized Regression Coefficients Reported 86
    • 6.1 A Sociological Profile of Suicide Terrorists 116
    • 6.2 Respondents' Ranking of the Ideal Characteristics of Secularism 118
    • 6.3 Correlation Matrixes in Terms of Spearman's Rank Order Correlation (RHO) Coefficients Indicating Interrelationships among Four Sets of Sample in Ranking Characteristics of Secularism 119
    • 7.1 Distributions and Descriptive Statistics of Respondents 141
    • 7.2 Public Perceptions of Police in India 143
    • 7.3 Ordinary Least Squares (Police Corruption Regressed on Demographic and Contextual Variables) 149
    • 8.1 Total Number of FIR and CSR Cases by Station 163
    • 8.2 Total Number of FIR and CSR Cases Registered Annually 163
    • 8.3 Total Number of FIR Cases by Type 165
    • 8.4 Total Number of CSR Cases by Type 165
    • 8.5 Disposition of FIR Cases 166
    • 8.6 Disposition of CSR Cases 168
    • 9.1 Factor Analysis of Sets of Survey Questions 191
    • 9.2 Regression Analysis Summary for Police Role, Working Values, and Management Indicators 193
    • 11.1 Distributions and Descriptive Statistics of Respondents 232
    • 11.2 Descriptive Statistics for Contextual Variables 234
    • 11.3 Factor Loadings of Select Contextual Variables 236
    • 11.4 Comparison of Mean Differences for Respondent Characteristics 237
    • 12.1 Gender-based Crimes against Women in India 257
    • 14.1 Incidence and Rate of Delinquency under the Indian Penal Code 302
    • 14.2 Juvenile Delinquency (Special and Local Laws) under 302 Different Heads of Crime and Percentage Variation in 2010 over 2009
    • 14.3 Juveniles Apprehended under IPC by Age Groups and 303 Gender during 2010
    • 14.4 Juveniles Apprehended under SLL by Age Groups and 304 Gender during 2010
    • 16.1 Demographic Profile of Street-Based Sex Workers in Chennai 353
    • 16.2 Distribution of PTSD Composite Scores 354
    • 16.3 Difference in Depression and PTSD Means for Groups Who Encounter Violence and Those Who Do Not Encounter Violence at Work 356
    • 16.4 Results of the Simple Regression Analysis 357
    • 17.1 Judicial Executions in India, 1953–2011 369
    • 18.1 Juveniles Apprehended under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Special and Local Laws (SLL) from 1998 to 2008 398
    • 18.2 Juveniles Apprehended for Crimes under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Special and Local Laws (SLL) by Age, Sex, and Type of Crime in 2008 399
    • 19.1 Incarceration Rates (per 100,000 Population) and Recidivism Rates (per 100 Released Prisoners) 406
    • 19.2 Crime in India, Japan, and the US 406
    • 19.3 Types of Jails and Jail Populations in India 407


    • 2.1 A Thematic Representation of Public Protest in India 31
    • 2.2 Distribution of Types of Public Order Events 42
    • 2.3 Distribution of Levels of Violence across Public Events 46
    • 8.1 Total Number of FIR Cases by Year 164
    • 8.2 Total Number of CSR Cases by Year 164
    • 8.3 Convictions in FIR Cases by Year 167
    • 8.4 Trials Pending in FIR Cases by Year 167
    • 8.5 CSR Cases Resulting in Compromise by Year 169
    • 8.6 CSR Cases Referred to Family Court by Year 169
    • 16.1 Social Pathways to Depression and Suicidal Ideation 356


    As the authors of each and every chapter note or imply, their contributions to this volume are but a small drop in the vast, diverse ocean of India's cultures, laws, taboos, family structures and relationships, local governments, state and federal bureaucracies that make up the “improbable democracy” as great writers have called the India that emerged after the end of British rule. Yet many of the chapters, no matter what the topic—rape, death squads, abuse of women and children, punishment and corrections, police abuse of power, political corruption, even the dreadful treatment of the untouchable castes—is traced back to the colonial rule of the British. In many chapters, the police appear to bear the main brunt of criticisms, even though, as the editor points out, authors with a policing background predominate among the contributors. More telling of the contributors is that there are only three whom I would count as actually living and working in India, only two in the once-Great Britain, and the rest expatriates living and working in the US along with a sprinkling of Americans.

    Is British Rule still responsible for “police encounters” (also known as death squads) of today, the retention of the death penalty (the UK abolished its own death penalty several decades ago), the appalling conditions of Indian prisons and jails (though the UK could be responsible for the origin of prison as a mass punishment throughout the world, but that is another story), and the violent abuse of women and children?

    I urge the reader to look behind the cloak of colonialism to see what lies beneath. There we find the most amazing country on this planet, flourishing because of the gift given it by the British: a parliamentary democracy. When the British left, it would have been so easy for the country to devolve into one of the military style “democracies” or dictatorships that followed (and ruined) many of Britain's former colonies. One may argue (as the authors of Chapter 19 imply) that it was the caste system and the Hindu culture based on dharma that saved the democracy because it provided the structure for order during the transition. Whatever the reason, the gifts of colonial rule were not all in and of themselves bad (and I speak as one who grew up in Australia that remains a colony to this day, technically speaking). It is also worth noting that the US was also a colony of the once-Great Britain and that, among other things, its criminal law and procedure owes its structure to the common law of England—deliberately chosen by the Founding Fathers, even going against Jeremy Bentham's campaign to get them to invent their own (well, use his) system of law.

    The British did some terrible things during their 200 years rule of India, no doubt about it. But they left a lot behind that could be developed and fashioned to help India become the country it is today. Well, almost. It is unfortunate that India's democracy was hijacked for too long a time—most of the second half of the 20th century by socialist/Marxist ideology that denied India the opportunity to join and participate in the prosperity that comes with open markets. That veil has been lifted, and India has begun in this century to prosper and to change dramatically as any casual visitor to India cannot help but notice. The contrasts between rich and poor are, of course, now even more stark, even deeply disturbing to the visitor. But change is afoot, and already many, many more people are coalescing into a real Indian middle class which reaches for continuing affluence. As can be seen throughout the developing or emerging countries of the world, it is open markets and capitalism that have raised the standard of living of everyone, including the poor. Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, and South Korea are shining examples.

    I provide this glowing account of India's prosperity as a counterpoint to many of the chapters in this book which tend towards the negative, sometimes close to hysterical criticisms of the inadequacies of many aspects of India's criminal justice institutions. Such criticisms are easy to make. But as we read of them, it is worth keeping in mind that many of the shortcomings are but extreme examples of common problems that befuddle even the most developed countries and democracies. A few of these are:

    • The complicated and ambivalent role of police in any society. They are the pivot between freedom and control. Their job is always easier in a dictatorship, preferably headed by police. Their job is next to impossible: the temptations to adopt the “Dirty Harry” solution to policing are constant.
    • How to train, educate, or select police. A number of contributors address this issue for India. Will having better educated police make better police? They conclude, maybe. But one could make an argument that on balance, the Indian police, especially the upper ranks, are in some ways better educated than their US counterparts.
    • How to punish offenders. Locking offenders up for serious crimes is by far the universal solution to crime in every country of the world, rich or poor, developed or undeveloped. The conditions in Indian prisons may be as terrible as described in this book. But there is also the possibility that the conditions are as good as or better than scrounging a living in a rubbish dump in the Mumbai slums. All the same, being imprisoned is a horrible punishment no matter where and no matter what the conditions.
    • How to protect the vulnerable from violence and exploitation. No country, rich or poor, has solved this problem with any degree of satisfaction. Sex trafficking, for example, remains a growing problem, often exacerbated by developed countries that provide a ready market.
    • How to eradicate political corruption and bribery. Contributors have noted in their chapters that India lies somewhere in the middle in the ranking of countries on the corruption index. Yet reading some of the chapters it seems as if India should be somewhere near the worst when it comes to bribery and corruption.

    This is a welcome book, and hopefully marks the beginning of many more. Criminology and criminal justice is in its infancy in India, and here I depart from my own thesis. Its development in India has been hampered by the education system bequeathed to it by once-Great Britain. This is because criminology and criminal justice began in the UK as a topic of academic study mostly inside or affiliated with law schools. Thus, it did not develop as an empirical science as it has in the US, and still remains a backwater (with a few important exceptions) where the likes of Foucault and post-modernism continue to be worshipped. No doubt this is why most of the contributors to this volume are US educated and affiliated with US universities. I congratulate all the contributors and the editor for bringing these papers together. Let's hope that they are already planning the next volume.

    Graeme R.Newman, School of Criminal Justice, State University of New York at Albany


    India is home to a rich and diverse cultural heritage derived from some of the earliest historical civilizations. It is a vast and populous nation with a 2011 Census population of 1,210,193,422, sharing with China the distinction of having a population of more than a billion people. In addition to being male-dominated (the 2011 sex ratio was 940 females for every 1,000 males) and with relatively high levels of illiteracy (26%), it is also densely populated (382 people per square kilometer). Further, it is a multi-religious (80.5% Hindu; 13.4% Muslim; 2.3% Christian; 1.9% Sikh; 0.8% Buddhist) and polyglot (23 “official” languages) society. India, despite its advances as a major global information technology and service hub, continues to be a relatively poor and agricultural nation.

    In recent times, India has come to be seen as an emerging international superpower with a strong economy whose competitive prowess has moved it to the position of fourth largest in the world and is seen as competing with Japan for the third position. With some exceptions, it has enjoyed a stable and representative democratic government. Major scientific, military, and nuclear capabilities and achievements have been associated with the country. At the same time, India is also wracked by a host of intractable and unyielding social, economic, and political problems ranging from poverty and unemployment to corruption, pollution, and separatism. These problems fester and continue to hobble its progress. These contrasts led the distinguished economist and a former US Ambassador to India, John Kenneth Galbraith, to famously label it as a “functioning anarchy.”

    This contradiction or enduring duality of hope and despair has been noticed and commented on by many observers when contemplating various features of Indian society (French, 2011). In the areas of crime and criminal justice, consider the following news items, all of which were widely reported on between 2010 and 2012 by the media in India.

    • The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the major investigative arm of India's government in New Delhi, issued a report that appeared to implicate a father, Rajesh Talwar, in the murders of Aarushi (his teen-aged daughter), and the family's servant, Hemraj. The CBI had been called in after local police had bungled the preservation of evidence from the crime scene during their early investigation. While naming the suspect, the CBI claimed it could not charge him due to evidentiary gaps. Public and media pressure foreshadowed an eventual Supreme Court decision that the father and the mother, Nupur Talwar, would stand trial for the murders.
    • A now-retired police official, S. P. S Rathore, of the elite national Indian Police Service (IPS), was convicted of molesting another teenager, Ruchika Girhotra, nearly two decades ago. The young woman's family had been threatened and harassed using subordinate members of the police force at Rathore's direction eventually leading to her suicide. His conviction in 2010 came after the unrelenting efforts of friends and the family of the deceased. He was sentenced to six months in jail and ₹1,000 fine. The sentence was suspended pending appeal.
    • A. Raja, the cabinet minister in charge of telecommunications at the national level, resigned after revelations of graft and corruption involving the allocation of telecommunications spectrum to various private companies in 2008. The irregularities deprived the government of an estimated US$40 billion in license fees, according to the Comptroller and Auditor General of India. He was arrested, interrogated, and charged and now awaits trial. In 2011, Time magazine referred to this scandal as second (to US President Richard Nixon's Watergate affair) among its list of Top 10 Abuses of Power.
    • Binayak Sen, a physician who was also a major civil liberties activist, was charged and found guilty of sedition by a court in the state of Chhattisgarh. He was convicted of being associated with a Maoist-inspired terrorist insurrection in the remote rural areas of the state where Sen had settled to treat members of poor tribal groups. After public protests, he was later released on bail by the Supreme Court of India pending appeal of the verdict to a higher court.
    • And in what some have called “the mother of all scams,” large amounts of subsidized fuel and food grains meant to be sold to the poor at below open market rates or distributed as part of public welfare programs (e.g., lunches for underprivileged schoolchildren) were stolen and redirected by government officials in the state of Uttar Pradesh who sold the goods on the open market for higher prices. So many people were involved in this huge theft (consisting of an estimated 50,000 cases) that the CBI wished to withdraw from the investigation due to a lack of personnel to process the resulting investigations. Many of the poor live in rural areas where these subsidized food and fuel may have been their only means of subsistence.

    As the examples above make clear, crime in India is a wide-ranging and multi-faceted phenomenon affecting the elite and the masses, government officials and ordinary citizens, rich and poor, private corporations and public organizations, rural and urban areas alike. How does an age-old civilization that is also a modernizing democracy with a booming economy but also riven with divisions (Unnithan, 1995) of religion, language, region, while stratified by class, caste, gender, and privilege deal with its crime problems? This edited volume was conceived to answer this main question with two inter-related objectives in mind. First, we wish to examine India's crime problem in detail and document if and how its criminal justice system has responded to emerging challenges and opportunities. Related to this is the question of whether these changes have resulted in greater cooperation and collaboration among sectors of the criminal justice system. Second, given that academic criminology and criminal justice in India has not expanded to the same degree or pace experienced elsewhere (Khan and Unnithan, 1984), we wish to move beyond mere observations and thoughtful opinions on the state of crime and criminal justice of India.

    Indeed, our goal is make contributions that are the next steps in the development of an empirical (or evidence-based) criminology and criminal justice on this vast and diverse country. Taken together, these twin objectives direct us to focus on research that is both balanced and precise. This book brings together a diverse set of 32 academics from India, the US, and the UK who have authored 19 chapters on many aspects of crime and justice in India.

    The organizational components or sectors of the criminal justice system are the police, the courts, and corrections. Generally the police enforce criminal law, the courts hear the case against an individual accused of crime and sentence him or her, while corrections holds, punishes, and treats those convicted of a crime. The studies collected and published here provide balanced coverage of the entire criminal justice system and not just one component of it. The first section of this book consists of overviews of several major issues that affect the entire criminal justice system. Section Two considers topics related to the gateway of the criminal justice system, policing. Section Three takes up the operational problems of criminal law and courts and Section Four deals with the difficult question of punishment and correction, the last part of the criminal justice system.

    The contributions deal with substantive research questions that are of constant interest to larger academic disciplines (e.g., the historical and contemporary pervasiveness of public corruption; utilizing religion in anti-terrorism strategies; why some countries persist with the death penalty but only use it sparingly; does more education make for better police officers; rehabilitational efforts targeting sex workers) and others that have not been as extensively studied (e.g., the effects of the introduction of private security agencies on public confidence; the consequences of adopting plea bargaining in a justice system that has resisted it; the recognition of adolescents as needing comprehensive care and protection where, for many, their status as juveniles is barely acknowledged). The empirical methods utilized by the contributors are diverse and creative (as befits a creative and diverse nation) and include surveys, “event catalogs,” content analysis, questionnaire-based interviews, intensive interviews, case studies, Delphi techniques, and secondary analysis of official records.

    Two limitations must also be noted. Most of the chapters in this book deal with urban, mostly metropolitan areas such as Delhi, Mumbai, and Chennai. Thinking of crime as only an urban problem is not specific to any particular country. However, rural India, where more than 70 percent of the population lives, confronts crime problems of its own (e.g., the food and fuel diversion scandal in Uttar Pradesh mentioned above). Unfortunately, their plight has been only minimally touched in this collection. Second, the reader will note the pervasive presence of India's police in the contributions, even in chapters that ostensibly are not about them. Why the police loom so large in Indian criminal justice is an issue that will be examined further in our conclusion.

    All of the contributors have also taken pains to spell out research possibilities and the policy implications that flow from their findings. The work published here should spur both future research efforts and administrative initiatives in these arenas in India. As a group, we hope that the resulting systematic study and evaluation of India's crime and criminal justice issues will help decrease the despair and sustain the hope of responding to those difficult challenges. A book of the kind we have assembled is the result of the toil and efforts of many individuals. As editor, it is my privilege to have worked together with 32 outstanding scholars in conceiving and completing this book. Many of us have met each other, become acquaintances, colleagues, and friends during our lives and careers in India, the US, and elsewhere. All of us were motivated by wanting to contribute something tangible and substantive to India through the learning and discipline that we have picked up along the way, both in India and elsewhere. It is no exaggeration, therefore, to say that this project has been a labor of love.

    My most important personal acknowledgment is to my mentor and guru, M. Z. Khan, whom I first met in the mid-1970s when I was a Master's student and he was a faculty member in the Department of Criminology and Forensic Science at the University of Saugar (now the H. S. Gour University). Then, as now, Dr Khan's devotion to systematic research and empirical analysis in criminology and criminal justice has been exemplary and inspiring. This book is dedicated to him for the countless hours of discussion and debate we have engaged in and for nearly four decades of unstinting personal support. Graeme Newman, eminent scholar and long-time faculty member in the School of Criminal Justice at the State University of New York-Albany, whose work and contributions have been instrumental in the development of a vibrant international and comparative criminology and criminal justice, honored us by agreeing to write the Foreword to this book.

    The origins of this book lie in the enthusiasm of Chris Eskridge of the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Nebraska-Omaha, Editor of the Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice, for devoting a special issue (Volume 25, No. 2, May 2009) of the journal to India. Sesha Kethineni of the Department of Criminal Justice Sciences at Illinois State University, Mahesh Nalla of the School of Criminal Justice at Michigan State University, and Arvind Verma of the Department of Criminal Justice at Indiana University encouraged me to work on compiling this book. They also backed up their words with action by contributing (with their research collaborators) two chapters each. Thomas Mankowshi and Catherine Rossbache helped this project move forward by connecting me with SAGE India. The SAGE team in New Delhi has been a joy to work with even as we struggled to complete this book; so my gratitude goes to Sugata Ghosh, Rudra Narayan Sharma, Aniruddha De, Rekha Natarajan, and Reena Patras for their patience and enthusiasm for this undertaking.

    Finally, I am grateful to my wife, Shashikala, and our daughters, Rachna and Ranjana. Although busy with their own academic and career pursuits, the three of them have given me love, support, and most importantly, respite when needed, from the rigors of undertaking and completing this long project.

    N. PrabhaUnnithan, Center for the Study of Crime and Justice, Department of Sociology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado
    French, P. (2011). India: A portrait. London: Allen Lane.
    Khan, M. Z., & Unnithan, N. P. (1984). Criminal justice research and its utilization for policy making in India. International Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice, 8(1): 1–20.
    Unnithan, N. P. (1995). Explaining collective violence in India: Social cleavages and their consequences. Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, 18(1): 93–109.
  • Conclusions

    Khan and Unnithan (1984, p. 14) after examining the state of criminal justice in India in terms of its capacity for incorporating policy-relevant research, expressed their disappointment in this manner:

    [Various sectors of the system] rarely enter into collaborative interaction, let alone into any coordinated functioning. Nor does there exist any institutional arrangements for this. Apparently, the criminal justice system sectors more or less function in a compartmentalized manner, and are bound together by a highly generalized and abstract objective of “crime prevention.” This apart, the criminal justice system in its working has been clearly precedent-bound. In recent years, it has changed only marginally.

    Nearly three decades later, we cannot report that criminal justice system integration and coordination in India have improved markedly. Reading through the 19 substantive chapters in this book and the empirical realities they describe, the reader will find little that suggests that the three sectors of the criminal justice system meet or cooperate any more than in the past. Nor, for the most part, are other important segments of society such as the local community, families, religious organizations, and educational institutions consulted or involved in the struggle against crime as they should be (Sherman, Farrington, Welsh, & Mackenzie, 2002). For example, would it not be possible for India's vaunted multi-religious tradition and secularist ideals of living together amicably despite differences in beliefs to be pressed into service against violence and terrorism along the lines suggested by Raghu Naath Singh and Dharam Pal Singh in Chapter 6? Indian citizens have expressed a preference, for example, for the police and private security to work together (Mahesh K. Nalla, Kiran Ommi, and V. Sreemannarayana Murthy's Chapter 11). Yet, why do they not do so? Perhaps, the answer lies in the aggrandized perceptions of themselves many system personnel appear to hold regarding their own infallibility coupled with a sense or even certainty that no one will question them.

    Laws are formulated and enacted that legislatures expect to be enforced by the police who often fail to do so. Or they may comply but in partisan or authoritarian ways. Arvind Verma's contribution in Chapter 1 makes this clear. The police deal with ordinary members of the public arbitrarily and coercively and sometimes even stage killings of targeted “high value” offenders and believe that courts have turned a blind eye to these abuses. Correctional agencies fail to meet the needs of vulnerable sections of the population (see Sheetal Ranjan's Chapter 12; Meghna Bhat and Aimee Wodda's Chapter 13; Sesha Kethineni and Jeremy Braithwaite's Chapter 14; Geetha Suresh, L. Allen Furr, and Aylur Kailasom Srikrishnan's Chapter 16; Divya Sharma's Chapter 18), yet continue to function as though societal expectations about the roles of, and responsibilities toward, these citizens, whether they be women, juveniles, or members of subordinate classes, have not changed. While one sector of the criminal justice system may criticize and make negative judgments about the other (e.g., courts about the failings of the police or police about the corruption of those in corrections), the ground-level details described in these pages do not suggest that they coordinate or collaborate with each other or with anybody else to achieve the goals of reducing and preventing crime.

    At the same time, we must note there have been changes that are particularly momentous, and possibly exemplary. Measures that seem especially promising are those that seek to improve the criminal justice system's responsiveness to various groups, particularly those previously marginalized based on caste, class, and gender and to expand the possibilities for it to interact fairly with more stakeholders in society. These include the intent (if not always the implementation) underlying expanding criminological and criminal justice education (N. Prabha Unnithan's Chapter 5; Julia Scott, Douglas Evans, and Arvind Verma's Chapter 9), the possibility of increased private security work (Mahesh K. Nalla, Kiran Ommi, and V. Sreemannarayana Murthy's Chapter 10), legislation against gender violence (Sheetal Ranjan's Chapter 12; Meghna Bhat and Aimee Wodda's Chapter 13), services to women (Sesha Kethineni and Murugesan Srinivasan's Chapter 8), protection and rehabilitation of juveniles (Sesha Kethineni and Jeremy Braithwaite's Chapter 14; Divya Sharma's Chapter 18), and plea bargaining (Mathai Vairamon Mathew's Chapter 15). This optimism could also be extended to the issue of death penalty (David T. Johnson's Chapter 17) where although Indian criminal justice continues to retain the practice, it has been carried out less and less. This is in keeping with historical trends whereby a majority of countries across the world have either ended capital punishment, are in the process of doing away with it (Hood & Hoyle, 2008), or are reducing the number killed. It is these hopeful changes that Graeme Newman perhaps seizes on in his Foreword to this volume when he suggests that many of the shortcomings of Indian criminal justice are but extreme examples of common problems that befuddle even the most developed countries and democracies.”

    One needed element of change that is reflected in several of the chapters is a reduction in the current larger role of the police in Indian society and the criminal justice system. We have learned in these pages that the police are involved in the politics of coercion on behalf of those who are in power. We know that they run the correctional sector in the states while not specifically trained to do so and even though law enforcement and order maintenance are not the same as punishment and corrections. We have also found out they are either feared (e.g., by sex workers, juveniles, female victims of violence) or viewed with disdain by many members of the public for their perceived corruption and brutality. Perhaps it is too much to expect some members of any one organization in society not to overstep its stated boundaries when given so much responsibility and authority without vigilant oversight. The reform and regulation of the police sector should be an important item in any future agenda for criminal justice in India. This is not to say that attempts have not been made or that changes have not been suggested in the past. However, they have just not been taken seriously or were subjected to paralysis by analysis and postponed to another day (see Verma & Subramanian 2009).

    As we survey the larger and swiftly changing political, economic, and social landscape within which the Indian criminal justice system operates, the possibility for it to proceed in a state of inertia, doing business as usual, has certainly been lessened. Serious concerns that ordinary Indian citizens have with events of public disorder (T. K. Vinod Kumar's Chapter 2), instances of public corruption (Gilbert Geis's Chapter 3; Mahesh K. Nalla and Manish Madan's Chapter 7), and the treatment and punishment of criminals (Sudershan Pasupuleti, Eric G. Lambert, Shanhe Jiang, Jagadish V. Bhimarasetty, and K. Jaishankar's Chapter 4; S. George Vincentnathan and Lynn Vincentnathan's Chapter 19) will magnify and increase. We have recently seen large-scale public demonstrations against the seeming prevalence of blatant favoritism and financial kickbacks in high places and government inaction in the face of egregious crimes against women. The time for patience and forbearance (or the infamous “chalta hai” attitude of ordinary Indians) toward such shortcomings in India's system of criminal justice may be coming to an end. Calls for the system to be responsive and inclusive and “to secure to all its citizens: justice; social, economic and political” (in the stirring opening words of its Constitution) are only likely to grow louder and more assertive in the coming decades as India rises.

    Hood, R. B., & Hoyle, C. (2008). The death penalty: A worldwide perspective. New York: Oxford University Press.
    Khan, M. Z., & Unnithan, N. P. (1984). Criminal justice research and its utilization for policy making in India. International Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice8(1), 1–20.
    Sherman, L. W., Farrington, K. P., WelshB. C.., & MacKenzie, D. L (2002). Evidence-based crime prevention. London: Routledge.
    Verma, A. K., & Subramanian, K. S. (2009). Understanding the police in India. New Delhi:

    About the Editor and Contributors


    N. Prabha Unnithan is Professor of Sociology at Colorado State University in Fort Collins where he also directs the Center for the Study of Crime and Justice ( He received his Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Criminology from Karnatak University and the University of Saugar along with a PhD in Sociology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He edited the Journal of Criminal Justice Education between 2000 and 2002 and the Social Science Journal from 2006 to 2011. Unnithan's research focuses on the antecedents and consequences of various forms of violence and on criminal justice policy analysis and program evaluation. His third book, coauthored with Michael Palmiotto, Police & Society: A Global Approach, was published in 2010.


    Jyoti Belur is a Research Associate at the Jill Dando Institute of Crime Science at University College, London. An economist trained at the University of Mumbai, she joined the Indian Police Service and served as a senior police officer in northern India. She completed a Master's in Police Management (Osmania University) during her training period at the National Police Academy, Hyderabad, and a Master's in Human Rights from the University of Essex along with a PhD from the London School of Economics. Belur's book, Permission to Shoot: Police Use of Deadly Force in Democracies, was published in 2010.

    Meghna Bhat is a Doctoral Candidate in Criminology, Law and Justice at the University of Illinois at Chicago and specializes in Gender and Women's Studies. Her research interests include: the representation of crime, violence, and victims in the media; best practices in prevention and intervention programs for violence against women in India; comparative and cross-cultural analysis of victims support and advocacy; and cross-cultural studies of gender-based violence and international human rights against violence.

    Jagadish V. Bhimarasetty is a faculty member in the R. M. College of Social Work in Hyderabad. His research revolves around social issues and social justice.

    Jeremy Braithwaite is a Doctoral Candidate in the Department of Criminology, Law and Society at the University of California, Irvine. He is also employed as an Evaluation Specialist at Social Solutions International, Inc., a research and evaluation firm focused on substance abuse, mental health, international public health, and special populations' health. He has also conducted a number of consulting projects with the University of Illinois, Chicago, the University of California, Los Angeles, and the Lloyd Society. Braithwaite's research focuses on sex crimes, macro-criminological theory, rural violence, and issues related to drugs, addiction, and offending.

    Douglas Evans is a Research Consultant at the Research and Evaluation Center of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York. He is also a PhD candidate in Criminal Justice at Indiana University, Bloomington. His research interests include sex offender laws, juvenile justice policy, and cross-cultural issues in policing, law, and corrections.

    L. Allen Furr is Professor and Chair of the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work at Auburn University. Professor Furr received a PhD in Sociology from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge and in 2005 was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to teach at Punjabi University in Patiala, India. Professor Furr's research focuses on the sociology of health, with a particular interest in mental health.

    The late Gilbert Geis was Professor Emeritus in the Department of Criminology, Law and Society at the University of California in Irvine, and a former President of the American Society of Criminology. He traveled to about 100 countries as a representative of the United Nations. India was his favorite.

    K. Jaishankar is a faculty member in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Manonmaniam Sundaranar University in India. His research interests include cyber-crime, stalking, and international criminal justice issues. He is currently the Editor of the International Journal of Criminal Justice Sciences.

    Shanhe Jiang is Professor of Criminal Justice at the University of Toledo. He received is PhD in Sociology from the State University of New York at Albany. He has recently published China-related papers on death penalty, formal and informal crime control, and issues in cross-cultural survey research. He is writing a book and book chapters about criminological theories in Chinese. Jiang continues to work on comparing views regarding criminal justice between the United States, China, India, Nigeria, Japan, and Canada.

    David T. Johnson is Professor of Sociology at the University of Hawaii and Co-Editor of the journal Law & Society Review. He is the author of many articles in comparative criminology and several books, including The Japanese Way of Justice: Prosecuting Crime in Japan (2002), which received awards from the American Society of Criminology and the American Sociological Association, and The Next Frontier: National Development, Political Change, and the Death Penalty in Asia (2009, with Franklin E. Zimring), which also received recognition from the American Society of Criminology. Johnson's current research is about law and society in Japan and India.

    Sesha Kethineni is Professor of Criminal Justice at Illinois State University in Normal. Her research has largely focused on domestic violence, comparative juvenile justice, international drug polices, juvenile justice, and female offenders in India.

    Eric G. Lambert is Professor and Chair of the Department of Criminal Justice at Wayne State University in Detroit. He received his PhD from the School of Criminal Justice at the State University of New York at Albany. His research interests include criminal justice organizational issues, the evaluation of correctional interventions, death penalty attitudes, attitudes and views of criminal justice employees, and the ethical behavior of criminal justice students and employees.

    Manish Madan is a PhD Candidate in the School of Criminal Justice at Michigan State University. His doctoral work focuses on domestic violence in India. His other research interests include issues relating to police in India. His recent publications include topics such as citizen—police interactions in India and police and security officers in Slovenia. He is Assistant Editor of the International Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice.

    Mathai Vairamon Mathew teaches at Texas Southern University in Houston as an Adjunct Professor and is also a PhD candidate in the Department of Administration of Justice there. He has practiced as an advocate in India and as an attorney at law in the United States.

    V. Sreemannarayana Murthy is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the Centre for South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Studies, Andhra University, in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. He received his PhD in Sociology from the same university. Murthy is currently researching ethnic issues in South Asia.

    Mahesh K. Nalla is Professor and Interim Director of the School of Criminal Justice at Michigan State University in East Lansing. He received his PhD in Criminal Justice from the State University of New York at Albany. His current research explores the relationship between organizational and work culture on police job satisfaction in developed, emerging, and transitional economies (United States, Turkey, Slovenia, South Korea, Guatemala, and El Salvador); citizen confidence and trust in private police and related issues (United States, the Netherlands, India, and Singapore); and, risk and safe communities (India). He is Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice.

    Graeme R. Newman is Distinguished Teaching Professor at the School of Criminal Justice, State University of New York at Albany. He has provided consultation to the Criminal Justice and Crime Prevention Division of the United Nations for many years on the World Crime Surveys, various projects on violence, and the relationship between criminal justice and development. He pioneered the establishment of the United Nations Crime and Justice Information Network, the first criminal justice presence on the Internet. In his capacity as Associate Director of the Center for Problem Oriented Policing, Professor Newman has published in the series of Problem Specific Guides for Police, Check and Card Fraud, and Identity Theft. He also manages and contributes to design of the web site for the Center for Problem Oriented Policing (

    Kiran Ommi is Assistant Professor in the Integral Institute of Advanced Management in Visakhapatnam. He received his law degree from Andhra University and MS in Management Services from Kansas State University. He teaches in the areas of business communications and research methods. Ommi also serves as Admissions Coordinator for the Institute.

    Sudershan Pasupuleti is Associate Professor in the Department of Social Work at the University of Toledo. He earned a PhD from Osmania University. His research interests include the treatment of minorities by the criminal justice system, social justice issues, and the effectiveness of social interventions.

    Sheetal Ranjan is Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at William Paterson University of New Jersey, and has a PhD in Criminal Justice from the Graduate Center, City University of New York. Her research interests are violence against women and children. She is also Project Director for a federally funded initiative to reduce domestic and dating violence, stalking and sexual assault. Dr Ranjan is a member of various county committees such as the Bergen County Human Services Advisory Council, the Children and Families Committee, and the Alternative to Domestic Violence Advisory Board.

    Julia Scott is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Criminal Justice at Indiana University, Bloomington. She also holds degrees in addiction studies, criminal justice, and psychology. Her research interests include criminal stigmatization, offender reentry and rehabilitation, and comparative policing. She is currently employed by the Department of Veterans Affairs in Dallas, Texas.

    Divya Sharma is Associate Professor of Criminal Justice and Homeland Security at Georgian Court University in New Jersey. She has a PhD in Sociology, and two Master's degrees in Sociology and Criminal Justice, respectively. Her research interests include informal money transfer systems and terrorism funding; outsourcing, economic and white collar crimes; comparative criminology; and globalization, radicalization, and exploring behaviors in cross-cultural settings. Sharma is a leading authority on hawala and hundi (informal money transfer systems), and has done extensive field research exploring their legal, illegal, and criminal connotations in India, and challenges that these present for US homeland security.

    Dharam Pal Singh is Professor of Social Work at Punjabi University in Patiala.

    Raghu Naath Singh is Professor of Sociology and Criminal Justice at Texas A&M University-Commerce.

    Aylur Kailasom (A. K.) Srikrishnan is Program Director at YRGCARE, Chennai, India—a nonprofit organization known for its efforts in the field of HIV/AIDS. His work includes community engagement along with networking with non-governmental and community-based organizational partners from all over India.

    Murugesan Srinivasan obtained his MA and PhD degrees in Criminology from the University of Madras where he currently teaches. His fields of specialization are police administration, victimology, and financial crimes. He has 14 years of teaching and research experience and served as a research collaborator at the Tokiwa International Victimology Institute, Japan.

    Geetha Suresh is Assistant Professor in the Department of Justice Administration at the University of Louisville, Kentucky. Professor Suresh was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to teach quantitative analysis at YRG Care Chennai. Her research interests include testing economic rationality in criminology, crime analysis, and women's issues especially violence against women in South Asia.

    Arvind Verma is Associate Professor in the Department of Criminal Justice at Indiana University, Bloomington. He has been a member of the Indian Police Service and served several years in Bihar, holding several senior-level positions. His first degree was in Engineering Mathematics from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur. Verma earned his PhD in Criminology from Simon Fraser University in Canada. He served as Managing Editor of Police Practice and Research: An International Journal and has been an advisor to the Bureau of Police Research and Development in India. Verma's current research interests are in data analysis and visualization; agent-based modeling; criminal justice in India; and comparative policing.

    Lynn Vincentnathan is Associate Professor, with a joint appointment in the Departments of Anthropology and Criminal Justice at the University of Texas-Pan American in Edinburg. She received her MA and PhD in Anthropology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and an MA in Sociology from Northern Illinois University. She teaches anthropology and criminal justice courses, and does research on the Dalits of India, informal justice, cross-cultural criminology, environmental anthropology, and environmental crime and justice.

    S. George Vincentnathan is Professor and Chair of the Department of Criminal Justice at the University of Texas-Pan American in Edinburg. He obtained his MA in Sociology from Annamalai University; an M.A. in Anthropology and a doctoral degree in Criminology from the University of California, Berkeley. His research and writing focuses on India, Japan, and the United States—on subjects relating to crime, cross-cultural criminology, informal controls, and corrections.

    T. K. Vinod Kumar received his PhD from the Department of Criminal Justice at Indiana University, Bloomington, in 2010 and is currently Deputy Director of the National Police Academy in Hyderabad. As a member of the Indian Police Service, he has previously held other senior-level policing positions in southern India. Vinod Kumar served with the International Police Task Force in Bosnia and was a Police Advisor to the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone. His areas of academic interests are policing, ethnic conflicts, public disorder and state response, research methods, and quantitative techniques.

    Aimee Wodda is a PhD Candidate in Criminology, Law and Justice, University of Illinois at Chicago, who specializes in Gender and Women Studies. Her research interests include: cross-cultural examinations of legal frameworks; grassroots community interventions for women and children and the gender constructions of juvenile delinquents, with an emphasis on understanding youth violence and subcultures.

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