The Indian Adversarial System of Criminal Justice

  • Gracy Singh
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  • Gracy Singh

    Student at Lady Shri Ram College For Women, India

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For the process of criminal justice, the Criminal Procedure Code prescribes to the adversarial system based on accusatorial method. The responsibility for the production of evidence is placed on the party that seeks to establish guilt with the judge acting as a neutral referee between the opposing parties, both of which are allowed to introduce evidence and cross examine witnesses. However, there is a greater lacuna in this system of criminal justice as under the said model, there is no duty of the court to ascertain the truth. The judge acts like an umpire to see whether the prosecution has been able to prove the case beyond reasonable doubt and gives the benefit of doubt to the accused unlike the inquisitorial system which focuses on discovering the truth, this system largely focuses on the truth being discovered through respective versions of the facts presented by the prosecution and the defence before a neutral judge. Since the judge is merely an umpire and is bounded by rules, he/she is unable to be an active participant of the trial he/she is only concerned with the proof that each side presents to substantiate its argument and not the truth itself as it is believed that the truth emerges from this contest between the two parties. This undermines the efficacy of the Criminal Justice System as the trial merely comes a contest between the prosecution and the defence whereas the ultimate motive of discovering the truth tends to get lost somewhere in the numerous facts being presented to prove one’s own side as right. Also, since the adversarial system in India is based on the ‘innocence of the accused’ the burden of proof falls on the prosecution. This further undermines the efficacy of the Criminal Justice System as the lawyers on both sides can manipulate their versions of the truth and the neutral judge at the end will give the judgement based on the evidences presented and in such a scenario if the accused was actually the offender but was not proved guilty on the bases of facts and evidences then this paves a way for a loss of faith in the system itself This is further explained in terms of how this system does not allow for direct participation of the victim in the trial process and how the interests of the offender are given a priority.


Research Paper


International Journal of Law Management and Humanities, Volume 4, Issue 4, Page 2763 - 2774


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