Victimization Of Victim Under Criminal Justice System


Just as medicine treats all patients and all diseases, just as criminology concern itself with all the criminals and all forms of crime, so victimology must concern itself with all the victims and all aspect of victim city in which society takes an interest.”[1]Nelson Mandela

The criminal justice system throughout the world is in the hands of State and State being at the centre stage. Law and order is the foremost duty of the State. With this primary duty the state fosters peace, prosperity, maintains rule and order and provides access to Justice for all. Every citizen in the modern welfare state is expected to have the basic human rights. Whenever these rights are violated the judicial system provides mechanism for redressal of such violations. Whenever a citizen is harmed, injured, killed as a result of crime, he or she is referred as “victim”. Though there has been inbuilt mechanism to initiate criminal proceedings against the offender of such crime, however such victim may himself seeks justice by setting the criminal justice system in motion either by informing the police about the same or by complaint. Crime affects the individual victims, their families and causes financial losses to the victims. These crimes cause serious and psychological injuries to the families of victim of crime.[2]  Such an act needs to be well and properly redressed by the courts by providing the victims easy access to justice. It is only in the past few decades that the impacts of victimization on crime have affected the person and drew their attention towards the present system of criminal justice and asked to be treated with compassion and dignity so that their fundamental rights must be protected and preserved.

The criminal law in India is not victim oriented and the suffering of the victim, often immeasurable is entirely overlooked in misplaced sympathy for the criminal. Though our modern criminal law is designed to punish as well as reform the criminals, yet it overlooks the by-product of crime i.e. the victims[3] Justice Krishna Iyer

Crime analysis all around this beautiful earth made by God reflects the fact that there cannot be a society without crime and criminals, violence and tragedy. Crime has been referred as one of the social phenomena which have always been faced by the modern society. No society whether it is primitive or modern, no country whether it is developed or in the developing stage is free from the clutches of Crime. Crime destroys and damages the social fabric.

“The history of the crime and punishment in the whole civilized world reveals a steadily increasing concern with the treatment of criminals and the virtual blackout of victim’s attention towards crime. For more than thousand years, prior to the mid-twentieth century the victim of crime in our society and the administration of Justice has been, ignored.”[4] The victim of crime has been considered has the ‘forgotten man’ of the criminal justice. This lack of knowledge about the victims is shocking; given that the criminal justice system which is prevailing today would collapse if their cooperation was not forthcoming.

Tears shed for the accused are traditional and ‘trendy’ but has the law none for the victims of crime, the unknown martyr?[5]

The question and revealing marks by Honourable Justice Krishna Iyer on plight of victims in the criminal Justice system clearly indicates and depicts the lacuna and ignorance of the criminal Justice system towards ‘Victims’. The agencies that are concerned with the administration of Criminal Justice System are the Legislature, Police, Courts and the correctional services. The legislature provides the framework of legislation within which all other agencies operate. The police are concerned with the enforcement of law, the courts with the administration of justice through various procedures and correctional service with the treatment of criminal through several institutional and non institutional programmes. The most important object of the criminal law is the protection of primary personal right to life, personal liberty and the property. In the wider connotations, the protection is ought to be against the unlawful invasion by other- the lawlessness, the violent, the disorderly, predatory and fraudulent practices. But where the guilty man, lodged, fed, clothed, warmed, lighted, entertained at the expenses of the state model cell, issued from it with sum of money lawfully earned, has paid debt to the society. He can set the victim at his defiance but the victim has his consolation. He can think that by taxes he pays to the state treasury, he has contributed towards parental care, which has guarded the criminal during his stay in the prison.[6]


“Much about the moral fibre of a society can be learned from the way it deals with crime. It is not enough to treat criminals with as much compassion as we can, especially when this liberal spirit is carried to the excess of interfering with crime prevention as the courts have done. It is about time society showed a little moral strength by acknowledging that victims, real people, are hurt by crime and that it is to them that criminals owe their debt.”


The world is full of crime and criminals, tragedy and violence. Crime is a social phenomenon. No society primitive or modern, no country whether developed or underdeveloped is free from the clutches of crime. The existence of crime and violence in every society is inevitable and is old as humanity itself. The by product of the crime i.e. victim is equally bound to emerge. The focus has mainly and always been on criminal and crime, none on the victims of crime. “So the forgotten man in the legal world and society happens to the victims for those who plight remedy we have the whole system.”

[1 Mendelson, “Victimology and Contemporary Society’s Trends” Victimology 1 (1976), pp. 8-28

[2] Measures for Crime Victims in the Indian Criminal Justice System by Kumaravelu Chockalingam.

[3] V. R. Krishna Iyer: Access to Justice- A case of Basic change (1991) p.14

[4] Michael Fooner, an eminent criminologist in his article, “Victim Induced Criminality” published in “Science” Vol. 153 (1966).

[5]  Justice Krishna lyer, Hon’ble Judge, Supreme Court of India in his writing “The Criminal Process and Legal Aid”, Published in Indian Journal of Criminality. P.10

[6] Adolphe Prins: Belgian Criminologist wrote about the inequitable treatment accorded to the offender and victim.

Pranav Kaushal

Pranav Kumar Kaushal, Content Writter, Law Corner, Student B.A., LLB 7th Semester, School of Law, Bahra University, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh.

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