Trending: Call for Papers Volume 4 | Issue 4: International Journal of Advanced Legal Research [ISSN: 2582-7340]



It is generally said that, the life of the law has not been logic it has been experience. The law reflects the story of a nation’s development through many centuries and evolves out of the felt necessities of the time, along with the prevalent moral and political theories. The origin and development of the criminal justice in India has an antiquarian past in the history of penal thought. We have had a glorious history of Manu and an ancient wisdom of Shrutis and Smritis. The history of crime in India clearly indicates that the concept of crime and Criminal Justice System of today owes its origin to the authoritative sources such as Manusmriti, Nyaya Mimamsa and Kautilya’s Arthashastra. These sources clearly exhibit that a well-defined criminal policy existed in the early days of Hindu Society. The concept of crime is transforming and has mutated along with the socio-economic fabric of the society. The concept of crime is essentially concerned with the conduct of the individuals in society. Moreover, it has always been determined by the zest and movements of public opinions and social sanctions in the realm from time to time.

Although, Thomas Hobbes is usually remembered for his principle that, life is ‘solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short’, he actually said in his famous work, Leviathan, that this was the condition of the man before the social contract, i.e. in his natural state. Natural law, he contends, teaches us the necessity of self- preservation: law and government are required if we are to protect order and security. Everyone as a member of the society owes certain duties towards his fellowmen and at the same time have certain rights and privileges which the other has to ensure for him.

In ancient times there was no comprehensive definition of crime. Crime was simply perceived as disobedience of the king’s command or non-performance of the moral duties. Manusmriti prescribes for crimes, various punishments to be applied to different Varna’s Crime was dealt with harshly in the ancient world. Early human settlements had no legal codes, courts, prisons or other systems for dealing with crime, so most often crime was punished by family retribution. If someone committed a crime against another person, that person’s clan would hunt down the perpetrator and mete out punishment. Crime was always a personal matter.