long, tiring years have passed, fighting for justice, screaming out slogans for
women empowerment and giving consolation and comfort to the tattered position
of females in India.
 The above discussion is about nothing but the
incident which shook the roots of Indian morality and forced the Indian
judiciary to change the existing rules-The Delhi Gang Rape Case. The above
mentioned change in the law refers ultimately to the much hyped Criminal Law
(Amendment) Act, 2013. It has had its impact on all the criminal laws-namely –
Indian Penal Code[1],
Indian Evidence Act[2],
and The Code of Criminal Procedure[3],
but what we are here to discuss is its impact on CrPC.
CrPC, 1973 is an act to consolidate and amend the law relating to criminal
is the main legislation on procedure for administration of substantive criminal
law in India.[5]
It was enacted in 1973 and came into force on 1st April, 1974.[6]
there are 484 sections[7]
which provide the machinery for investigation of crime, apprehension of
suspected criminals,and procedure for collection of evidence i.e. search
seizure, determination of guilt or innocence of accused person, procedure of
trial etc. It also deals with maintenance of wife, child and parents (S.125
Historical Approach: A
Brief of All the Amendments
first Law Commission presented its Report on the Reform of Judicial
Administration in 1958[9]
but it was not concerned with detailed scrutiny of provisions of CrPC. It,
however, did make some recommendations as to the law of criminal procedure. The
convention of amendments on finding any discrepancy or any variation in the
code started soon thereafter the result is a long list of amendments. Out of
this never ending list the importance of Amendment Act of 1990[10]
is worth mentioning as it inserted a new section[11]
which enables investigating authorities and criminal courts to issue letter of
request to foreign countries in order to collect evidence and transmit the same.Many
other amendments have been felt to be essential like the Criminal Procedure
(Amendment) Act, 2005 which introduces a new section[12]and
also gives the definition of indigent. These provisions enable a speedier bail
to be granted to a person who is not capable of arranging a bond and has right
of bail. It inserted a section[13]
which provides procedure for medical examination of rape victims. The much
wanted definition of “victim” was inserted by an Amendment in 2009[14]while;
it was the same Amendment which introduced in Chapter III of the Code that if
any offence relating to women has been committed, then court shall be presided
over by a woman.[15]
List of amendments[16]
Code of Criminal Procedure
(Amendment) Act, 1978 (45 of 1978)
Code of Criminal Procedure
(Amendment) Act, 1980 (63 of 1980)
Criminal Law (Amendment) Act,
1983 (43 of 1983)
Code of Criminal Procedure
(Amendment) Act, 1988 (32 of 1988)
Code of Criminal Procedure
(Amendment) Act, 1990 (10 of 1990)
Code of Criminal Procedure
(Amendment) Act, 1991 (43 of 1991)
Code of Criminal Procedure
(Amendment) Act, 1993 (40 of 101,3)
Criminal Law (Amendment) Act,
1993 (42 of 1993)
10. Code of
Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Act, 2001 (50 of 2001)
11. Code of
Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Act, 2005 (25 of 2005)
12. Criminal
Law (Amendment) Act, 2005 (2 of 2006)
13. Code of
Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Amending Act, 2006 (25 of 2006)
14. Code of
Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Act, 2008 (5 of 2009)
15. Code of
Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Act, 2010 (41 of 2010)
16. Code of Criminal
Law (Amendment) Act, 2013
Criminal Law
(Amendment) Act, 2013[17]
– What the Law Says
opening lines of the Act states that its purpose is to amend the IPC, CrPC,
Indian Evidence Act and protection of children from sexual offences act.[18]
Amongst all these acts and codes, we pick CrPC as our point of focus for study.
The Act
was introduced as a bill in the LokSabha on 4thDecember 2012[19]
to provide for a stringent and draconian punishment for crimes and misdemeanor
against women. The increasing monstrosity and abuse against women was creating
a disgrace to the society. After the horrendous incident of gang rape which
occurred on 16thDecember 2012 ,a committee , headed by Justice
was set up to make recommendations on amending the various laws to provide for
speedy justice and enhanced punishment for such offenders in cases of sexual
assault of extreme nature. The report was submitted on 23rd January
immediate need was felt to bring revised laws into effect as the rate of
growing incidents which the country to ignominy and ill – repute and tarnished
and tainted the morality of India was picking up speed.In view of this urgency
the act was promulgated on 3rd February 2013.[22]

introduction of this amendment brought many changes in the CrPC which are as
enlisted herein under:
  1. As
    the amendment had it effect in IPC and made out new offences of voyeurism
    and stalking from Ss.367A to 367E, so for the clarity of the same the
    related provisions in CrPC[23]
    were made to include separately the sections, as it did not previously
    have S.376E IPC. It says “section 376A, 376B, 376C, 376D and 376E” and
    also 376 as it previously stated i.e. along with S.376, it now includes
    other new sections.
provisions for identification of person arrested when the person who is
identifying the same is mentally or physically disabled has been amended. The
provision inserted says that such process of identification shall take place
under the supervision of Judicial Magistrate and also that the comfort of such
person shall be kept in mind. It is also inserted by the amendment that such
identification shall be video graphed.[24]
  1.  Amendments were introduced in case of
    providing information in cognizable case. If any such information is given
    by a woman against whom crime of the nature of sexual offence is committed
    then the information will be recorded by a woman police officer or a woman
    officer and that if such person is temporarily or permanently, mentally or
    physically disabled then information will be recorded by police officer in
    residence of such person or at convenient place with the help of
    interpreter or educator.[25]
    Such information shall be video graphed and statement shall be recorded by
    Judicial Magistrate under clause (a) of sub-section 5-A of S. 164 CrPC.
  2. Another
    effect of amendment is the substitution of words “under fifteen years of
    age or above age of sixty-five years or woman or mentally or physically
    disabled” for the words” under age of fifteen years or woman”.[26]
    The amendment incorporates senior citizens and mentally or physically
    disabled person to be given the privilege that they do not have to attend
    the police station if they are witness. Police may examine them at their
  3. The
    examination of victim of any sexual offence after the amendment can be
    recorded only by a woman police officer or woman officer.[27]
  4. Amendment
    provides that the statement by any victim of sexual offence shall be
    recorded by Judicial Magistrate and if such person is physically or
    mentally disabled, help of educator or interpreter shall be taken. Such
    statement shall also be video graphed.[28]
    In the above mentioned case of disabled person, the statement recorded shall
    be considered to be a statement in lieu of examination in chief and there
    is no need to record the same at time of trial.
  5. The
    amendment says that no sanction shall be required in case of offences of
    disobedience of public servant i.e. Ss.166A and 166B or any sexual offence.[29]
  6. A
    new section was inserted by the amendment[30]
    and it says that the cognizance shall not be taken of the offence
    punishable under S.376-B IPC i.e. in marital rape unless the satisfaction
    should be that the complaint is made by wife against the husband.
  7. Provision
    has been added that if any woman below the age of 18 years is alleged to
    be subjected to rape or sexual offence then court may take appropriate
    measures to ensure that she is not confronted by accused and that the
    right of cross examination of accused is also safeguarded.[31]
    This solves a two-fold purpose; one in the interest of victim and other in
    the interest of accused i.e. it is based on the principles of natural
    justice, audi alteram partem.
  8. The
    words “held as expeditiously as possible and in particular when the
    examination of witness has once begun” have been removed and in its place
    the words “continued from day to day” have been put.[32]
    This makes the provision state that the notion of trial must be rather to
    bring more accurate result than just finishing off the whole thing to
    merely get an expeditious result. Yet the basic essence of speedy trial
    has not been lost as the proviso added talks about the minimum time of two
    months from the date of filing charge sheet which is given to complete
    inquiry or trial in cases of sexual offences.
  9. A
    new Section was inserted[33]which
    says that the compensation payable by State Government under S.357-A CrPC
    shall be in addition to payment of fine to victim under S.326-A or S.
    376-D of IPC.
12.  Amendment provides that all hospitals
whether Public or Private run by Central or State Government or Local Bodies
shall provide first aid to victims of S.326A or Ss.376 , 376 -A to376- E, IPC ,
free of cost and inform to the police of such incident.[34]
Amendment of First
first schedule of CrPC has classified all the acts punishable under IPC, 1860
into cognizable and non-cognizable offences as well as bailable and non
bailable offences. It also mentions by what court the offence is triable. The
Code itself does not give any reasoning as to such classification.
was seen that the existing classification of offences was becoming a major
cause for the high incidents of arbitrary and unnecessary arrest in the country
and in yet other cases the accused used to roam free due to loose laws in the
country. The scheme of classification was found out to be out-dated and
redundant. These loopholes called out for a serious change insuch
classification which saw many amendments in First Schedule, major portion of
which was in women related offences.The amendments are worth noting and are
listed below:
  1. Section
    166-A and 166-B of IPC have been inserted by Criminal Law (Amendment) Act.
    The former has been made cognizable, bailable and latter is non-cognizable
    and bailable. Both are triable by magistrate of first class. These refer
    to offences by public servant and their disobedience.
  2. After
    Section 326, IPC , two new sections, Section 326A and 326 B have been
    added, they both have been made cognizable and non bailable and can be tried by
    Court Of Session. These sections refer to acid attack.
  3. Section
    354 IPC has been made non-bailable, but no notification has been made of
    it becoming non-bailable, thus, as for now it is bailable. Rest of the
    are bailable, however S.354-B IPC is non bailable and second conviction in
    Ss. 354-C and 354-B IPC is non bailable.
  4. The
    offences under a bulk of Sections[37]are
    made non billable while only S.376- B IPC is left bailable.
is the most important part of any amendment. As for S.354, any notification has
not yet been passed, so, it is still bailable. Let us examine other section; S.
324.This was made bailable[38],
but a subsequent notification dated 21st June 2006, in gazette
declared that this Section of IPC is not non bailable offence[39],
hence for now, it is still bailable.
Reforms suggested by
Malimath Committee
is not that the idea of amendment has never come up before, but given by
present legal scenario and condition of our judicial system, it becomes all the
more relevant to ask the question: is there anything more that has to be done
to make it a perfect code? There still are many minor offences against property
which are bailable like theft and related offences;while offences like causing
simple hurt are bailable. The major portion of the backlog of cases in courts
consists of regulatory offences such as dishonor of cheques, traffic violation
Malimath Committee suggested that the offences to be classified into the
following categories:
  • Social
    Welfare Code
  • Correctional
  • Criminal
  • Economic
    and Other Offences Code[41]
would, as per the committee maintain the proportion of fines and punishment.

Concluding Remarks and
main question is that how far is it possible to abide by the above suggestions
by Malimath Committee? Whenever a new amendment is introduced there is a great
hullaballoo in the country. From street marches to making a documentary like
“India’s Daughter” and enduring the subsequent remarks of critics, Indian law
has gone through, is still going through and maybe will continue to go through
a series of changes in law related to crimes. This is because, what we need to
really do is not only to make amendment in pen and paper but amend the minds
and mentality of people which is the seat of crime as on one hand there are
protectors of laws suited in black and white with a list of amendments and yet
newer ones in line but on the other hand there are hard-core criminals like
Mukesh Singh who will never be guilty of their offences and say till the end, “Taali
Ek Haath Se Nahin Bajti”
 I strongly feel that the seat of crime should
be negated and this can be done by good education, inculcating moral and value
education and curbing the immoral seeds which is now-a-days increasingly
growing at a fast pace in the younger generation. All this can be done by
giving moral values and all the more at the judicial level, I think that ,
keeping in mind the increasing monstrosity of present generation, it would be
better  rather not to follow the age old
rule of “acquit hundreds of guilty than to convict one innocent”. I strongly
feel that when even one guilty person is acquitted by the court, on the
presumption of lack of evidence or say, on plea on grounds of being juvenile, he thinks
himself to be free to commit more and more crime and he goes on polluting the
whole of the society. So, the court must be cautious in giving judgement in serious offences.

About the Author:

Sanya Darakhshan Kishwar is a third year BSc.LLB. student from Central University of South Bihar, Gaya. She is currently interning at For the Sake of Argument.She is passionate about books and loves to read case laws in her free time.

[1] 45 of 1860
[2] 1 of 1872
[3] 2 of 1974
Code of Criminal Procedure,1973
, available at , last seen on
[5]DiptiKhatri,Criminal Procedure In India ,Academike
:Lawctopus’ Law Journal ,2015(ISSN: 2349-9796) available at ,
last seen on 31/03/2015
Code of Criminal Procedure,1973
,available at , last seen on
Code of Criminal Procedure,1973,
available at , last seen on 30/03/2015
Code of Criminal Procedure,1973
,available at,_1973 , last seen on
Law Commission
available at , last seen on

[10]The Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1990,available at, last seen on

[11] S.166A,The Code of
Criminal Procedure,1973
[12] S.436A,The Code of
Criminal Procedure,1973
[13] 164A,The Code of
Criminal Procedure,1973
Criminal Procedure Code(Amendment)Act,2009
, available at, last seen on
[15] S.26,The Code of
Criminal Procedure,1973
of Criminal Procedure-Amendments,
available at ,last seen on
Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013 No, 13 of 2013
,available at,%202013 , last seen on
[19]All about the
Criminal Law Bill,
available at , last seen on 31/03/2015
[20] ibid
[21] ibid
[23]Ss. 26 ,173
&327,The Code of Criminal Procedure,1973
[24] S. 54-A, The Code of
Criminal Procedure,1973
[25] S.154, The Code of
Criminal Procedure,1973
[26] S.160, The Code of
Criminal Procedure,1973
[27] S. 161, The Code of
Criminal Procedure,1973
[28]S. 164, The Code of
Criminal Procedure,1973
[29] S. 197, The Code of
Criminal Procedure,1973
[30] Section 198-B, The
Code of Criminal Procedure,1973
[31] Section 273, The Code
of Criminal Procedure,1973
[32]S. 309, The Code of
Criminal Procedure,1973
[33] S. 357-B, The Code of
Criminal Procedure,1973
[34] S.357-C, The Code of
Criminal Procedure,1973
[35] See S.24, Criminal
Law (Amendment)Act,2013
[36]Ss. 354-A, 354-C ,
354-D, The Indian Penal Code,1860
[37] Ss.370 and 370-A,
376, 376, 376-A, 376-C, 376-D, 376-E, The Indian Penal Code,1860
[38] See Section 42 (f)
(iii) of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Act 2005 (25 of 2005)
,Whether Section 324 Of IPC Is Bailable
Or Non-Bailable
,available at
, last seen on 28/03/2015.
[41] ibid
[42]AnahitaMukherji,Activists critical of Nirbhaya
documentary’s approach to rape
, available at ,last seen on 28/03/2015

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