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.

Governance and Coercion in India

Governance and Coercion in India

Governance and coercion in India


At the dawn of independence, Jawaharlal Nehru, India's first Prime Minister, in his “tryst with destiny” speech beckoned national leaders to

… serve the millions who suffer, end the poverty and ignorance and disease and inequality of opportunity; to build up a prosperous, democratic and progressive nation, and to create social, economic and political institutions which will ensure justice and fullness of life to every man and woman. (Nehru, 1992)

Unfortunately, successive governments have followed policies that cause fissures and conflicts within India. This chapter examines the application of coercive power in the country since independence in dealing with political dissent and opposition to economic policies of the government. I make two arguments: first, the police have continued ...

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