Link between Criminal Victimization and Justice Administration

Vaishnavi Vasanth[1]

 “Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centres of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”-Robert F. Kennedy. Let this be a message to all those who are subject to criminal victimisation.  We all hold on to the hope that through justice administration we will all find a way to reduce crime incidence and thereby reduce criminal victimization but statistics speak otherwise and there has only been an increase in the incidence of crime. Justice administration has not been useful enough as a deterrent to put an end to the commission of crime.

Crime is a challenge to social order which is prevalent in all societies. Criminal victimisation is the ordeal or act which has resulted in the subjection of victims of crimes to live in an oppressed manner. In India, we find that victimisation and justice administration are interlinked in a detrimental manner. While the words ‘justice administration’ imply that justice will be rendered, why do victims of crime still feel helpless or feel like they have been done a disservice in the name of justice administration?

The Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency for the District of Columbia has identified over twenty four types of victimization including many heinous acts[2]. The problem in our society is that not everyone is educated enough to know when they are being victimized. For example, children who are molested do not comprehend that something wrong has happened to them and when there is no effective system in place to ensure that such crimes are deterred, it gives criminals free reign to do as they please without ever being punished for it. In America, there is a system of identifying child offenders, they have to notify their neighbours in their place of residence that they are sex offenders if they are charged guilty and a record of the same is maintained. There is definitely scope for the introduction of such practices in India. The statistics according to the National Crime Record Bureau[3] for child crime against children in the year 2016 is 1, 06, 958 totally with an increase in the crime rate by 2.9% from the year 2015. With such a rise in the statistics, it is imperative that such practices be adopted which will not only inform people of the risks in the society but also deter people from committing such crimes.

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Incidence of crime is on the rise as per the statistics of the National Crime Record Bureau. In the year 2014 total number of crime incidence was recorded at 45, 71, 663 and in the year 2016 it was recorded to be 48, 31, 515. The increase in the crime rate from 2014 to 2016 is by 11.3.

Crime against women as also increased steadily in the year 2016 to a total of 3, 38, 954 at 2.9% rate of variation from the previous recorded year. With such a sharp rise in numbers it is evident that justice administration with respect to deterring people from committing crimes is not effective enough.

Justice administration pertains to the enforcement of enacted laws by agencies, in the interest of doing what is right. Justice administration is a tool for social control which alone has the power to punish transgressors. There are a few objectives in general that we wish to achieve through justice administration. They are:

  1. To prevent incidence of crime
  2. To punish criminals
  3. To rehabilitate criminals
  4. To maintain law and order in the society

The Courts actively work towards achieving the objectives set out above. However, even courts have failed in justice administration. But nevertheless their objective as not wavered as seen in the cases below.

Justice Page of Calcutta High Court observed, “No doubt that the utmost precautions should be taken to ensure that an innocent person is not convicted but to the extent to which the administration of criminal justice suffers when an obviously guilty person succeeds in evading conviction is not so fully appreciated. In truth a miscarriage of justice of either description bewilders the public and tends to shake the faith that is reposed in the stability and good sense of the courts and administration of justice.”[4]

Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer held that, “Even at this stage we may remind ourselves of the necessary social perspective which suffers from insufficient forensic appreciation. The dangers of exaggerated devotion to the rule of benefit of doubt at the expense of social defence and to the soothe sentiments that all acquittals are always good regardless of the justice to the victim and community, demand special emphasis in the contemporary context of escalating crime and escape. The cherished principle of golden thread of proof beyond reasonable doubt, which runs through the web of our law, should not be stretched morbidly to embrace every hunch, hesitancy and degree of doubt. The excessive solitude reflected in the attitude that thousand guilty may go but innocent martyr shall not suffer is a false dilemma. Only reasonable doubts belong to the accused. Otherwise any practical system of justice will break down and lose credibility with the community.”[5]

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Justice administration will need to be prevalent as long as there is criminal victimization and vice versa. We can only strive towards making our justice administration better so that there are fewer crimes. Keeping justice administration as our goal it must be kept in mind that laws must not applied for the sake of application but with careful consideration because as mentioned earlier scope for miscarriage of justice is very wide.

So, when there is lesser crime incidence there will be a lesser need for the administration of justice.


[1] Student.

[2] Victim Services Program: Types of Victims/ Victimisation, Federal Agency in The District of Columbia (February 15, 2019), https://www.csosa.gov/supervision/victimservices/victim-type.aspx.

[3] Crime in India- Statistics 2016, National Crime Records Bureau (February 15, 2019), http://ncrb.gov.in/StatPublications/CII/CII2016/pdfs/Crime%20Statistics%20-%202016.pdf.

[4] AIR 1930 Cal. 212.

[5] H.R. Bharadwaj, Crime Criminal Justice and Human Rights 49 (Konark Publishers Pvt. Ltd., 2001).