Criminal Law in India
The Criminal Law in India is majorly governed by Three Acts- the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC), Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (CrPC) and the Indian Evidence Act, 1872. Apart from these three Major Acts, the Indian Criminal Jurisprudence is governed by numerous other Special Laws formulated to address specific criminal offences. For instance, Prevention of Corruption Act, Food Adulteration Act, Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO), POSH Laws etc.
Though the aforesaid major Acts were formulated in the 18th and 19th century, they have undergone sweeping changes to adapt to the paradigm shift in the offences committed in the society.
Whatever may be the times or dynamic nature of crimes, the essential tenet of criminal liability remains unaltered – actus non facit reum nisi mens sit rea i.e. there must be a wrongful act combined with a wrongful intention.
The advent of technology and ease in dissemination of information has led to a spurt in the instances of cyber crimes and by virtue of this cyber law has emerged as a separate branch of study under the criminal law regime in India. The Information Technology Act, 2000 is the primary legislation which defines such offences and enlists the offences and punishment for cyber crimes. Cyber cells have also been established in Districts to combat the impact of cyber crime in the society.