“Crime is an act which is unlawful or against the legal rules and regulations, punishable by the jurisdiction.”
“It is said to be an intentional act violating the law, committed by a person without any justification.”
Many jurists have defined crime in their own understanding of the word. Some of the definitions by famous jurists are given below –
- William Blackstone, in his book, Commentaries on the Laws of England, has defined Crime as “an act committed or omitted in violation of public law forbidding or commanding it.”
- Sergeant Stephen, defines “A crime is a violation of a right, considered in reference to the evil tendency of such violation as regards the community at large.”
The word Crime is neither used nor defined in the Indian Penal Code, 1860 and the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973. The word “offence‟ is used in the place of the “crime‟. Section 40 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 the word it is defined as “offense is an act punishable by the Code”.
Elements Of Crime
There are four elements which go to constitute a crime, these are:-
· Human being
· Mens rea or guilty intention
· Actus reus or illegal act or omission
· Injury to another human being
Stages Of A Crime
In every crime, there is first an intention to commit it, then comes the preparation to commit it, thirdly, attempt to commit it and at the last, the accomplishment of the intention. The stages are as follows –
1. Intention- Intention is the first stage in the commission of an offence. Law, however, does not take notice of an intention, mere intention to commit an offence not followed by any act, cannot constitute an offence. The reason for not prosecuting the “suspect” at this stage is that it is very difficult to prove the guilty mind of a person.
2. Preparation- The second stage in the commission of a crime is preparation. It means to arrange the necessary things required for the commission of the intended act. Intention alone or the intention followed by a preparation is also not enough to constitute the crime. Preparation has not been made punishable by court of law.
Exceptional Cases Where Preparation Amounts to Punishment
Preparation is as such not Punishable but in some exceptional cases preparation is punishable, following are some examples-
· Preparation to wage war against the Government – Section 122, IPC 1860;
· Preparation to commit depredation on territories of a power at peace with Government of India- Section 126, IPC 1860;
· Preparation to commit dacoity- Section 399, IPC 1860;
· Preparation for counterfeiting of coins or Government stamps- Sections 233-235, Section 255 and Section 257;
· Possessing counterfeit coins, false weight or measurement and forged documents. Mere possession of these is a crime and no possessor can plead that he is still at the stage of preparation- Sections 242, 243, 259, 266 and 474.
3. Attempt- Attempt is the direct movement towards the commission of a crime after the preparation is made. There are three essentials of an attempt:-
- Guilty intention to commit an offence;
- Some act done towards the commission of the offence;
- The act must fall short of the completed offence.
Attempt Under The Indian Penal Code, 1860- The Indian Penal Code has dealt with attempt in the following four different ways-
- Completed offences and attempts have been covered in the same section and same punishment is prescribed for both. Such provisions are written in Sections 121, 124, 124-A, 125, 130, 131, 152, 153-A, 161, 162, 163, 165, 196, 198, 200, 213, 240, 241, 251, 385, 387, 389, 391, 394, 395, 397, 459 and 460.
- Attempts to commit offences and commission of specific offences have been covered separately and separate punishments have been provided for attempt to commit such offences from those of the offences committed. Examples are- murder is punished under section 302 and attempt to murder is under section 307. Another example is- Robbery is punished under section 392 and attempt to commit robbery under section 393.
- Attempt to commit suicide is punished under section 309.
- All other cases are covered under section 511 which provides that the accused shall be punished with one-half of the longest term of imprisonment provided for the offence or with prescribed fine or with both.
4. Accomplishment Or Completion- The last stage in the commission of an offence is its accomplishment or completion. If the accused successfully commits the crime, he will be guilty of the complete offence and if his attempt is unsuccessful he will be guilty of an attempt only.
The body of law which defines all the criminal offenses, regulates the apprehension, fix penalties, punishment or modes of treatment for the person who commits crime is referred to as criminal law.
Criminal law is governed by :
- IPC ( Indian Penal Code 1860),
- IEC(Indian Evidence Act 1872)
- Cr. PC (Code Of Criminal Procedure 1973)
The person who commits crime, violates the laws, responsible for the unlawful act is known as CRIMINAL.
- The place at which the crime happens. Any place which provides the physical evidence, which is definitely the heartbeat of crime scene.
- It is the starting point of the investigation from where majority of information is gathered.
- The scene off occurrence also called crime scene is not limited in terms of area. It is not restricted and may be extended to more than one place.
- The area of the crime scene depends upon the nature of the crime committed.
- No two crime scenes are ever the same.
- Each crime scene encompasses not only thegeographic area but also person and things.
- The crime scene should be well protected. Protecting the area is pointless if what is contained within it is not also protected.
- The geographic areaand the material objects within it usually can be secured easily. More difficult is preserving the people on the crime scene.
- Yet, the crime scene must be preserved as meticulously as any otherevidence.
- The crime scene includes all areas throughwhich the participants moved while entering tocommit the crime, while committing the crime,and while exiting the crime scene.
TYPES OF CRIME SCENE
There are three classifications on different basis:
Crime Scene Investigation
- Crime scene investigation is basically the meeting point of three principles – science, logic and law.
- The purpose of crime scene investigation helps to establish the information of what actually happened at the crime scene, which is definitely not visualized by us. But the evidences or the remains (such as any biotic or abiotic factor) encountered at the crime scene, says it all.
- It helps to link a definite relation among Physical evidences, suspect and victim.
COMPONENTS OF CRIME SCENE
The crime scene can be divided into many components (mainly compacted scene of crime such as burglary)
- LINE OF APPROACH: The path which is used by the offender to commit crime to come to the scene of crime.For example – A specific road to come to point A(Crime Scene)
- POINT OF ENTRY: The point from which offender would have entered the scene of crime for committing crime. For example – Front Door, Back door, balcony or may be roof of the house( which is a scene of crime here )
- ACTUAL SCENE: The specific point where crime actually happened or the place where victim was found or we find majority of our physical evidences. For example – Table in the Dining hall where dead body is lying, Bed in the bedroom where body is lying.
- POINT OF EXIT: The point from where the offender must have escaped/ ran away or made his exit after committing the crime.
- LINE OF RETREAT: The path (road) followed by the offender to run ‘far’ away from the scene of crime. For example- the path followed by the offender to reach his house.
All these places/spots are invaluable for collecting evidences and later for Crime Scene Reconstruction. All these five places when found should be protected, observed and processed carefully. Footprints should be seen before raiding these line of entry , exit and retreat.
We will be covering the procedures that take place once a crime scene investigator reaches the crime scene in our next post.
Keep Glued till then . If there is any question, let us know, we will get back with an answer asap.:)