Criminology and criminal justice is in its infancy in India. This book attempts to examine India's crime problem in detail and document if and how its criminal justice system has responded to emerging challenges and opportunities. The objective is to move beyond mere observations and thoughtful opinions, and 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-by focusing 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. The studies collected 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.

Overviews of Crime and Justice in India

Overviews of Crime and Justice in India
Overviews of crime and justice in India


India has a socio-legal tradition that defines proper human behavior and sanctions against violations of these expectations that can be dated to the ancient civilizations that occupied various parts of the subcontinent centuries before the birth of Christ. The Smritis (Hopkins, 1971), Hindu texts believed to have been composed around 500 BC, promulgated customary norms for governing individual and group behavior. The early (from around 300 BC) text, Arthashastra, by Kautilya, prescribes a detailed set of rules for law enforcement and response to crime with appropriate punishments that a sovereign should follow (Shastri, 1967). The Mughal Empire, which ruled much of India from the 16th through the mid-19th centuries, also developed an ...

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