Preamble of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973


The Preamble of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 reads as :

An Act to consolidate and amend the law relating to Criminal Procedure.


The importance of a Code of Criminal Procedure is based on two considerations :–First, expense, delay or uncertainty in applying the best laws for the prevention and punishment of offences would render those laws useless or oppressive; secondly, the law relating to Criminal Procedure is more constantly used and affects a greater number of persons than any other law.

Very briefly stated, the object of Criminal Procedure is the ascertainment of the guilt or innocence of the accused. Therefore, the matters dealt with in a Code of Criminal Procedure would mainly pertain to the various stages incidental to the process of ascertainment of the guilt.

From the legal point of view, the law of Criminal Procedure is the law dealing with the process of applying the instrument of Criminal Law–punishment—-to the facts of a particular case.

The object of the Code of Criminal Procedure is, (to state it in a different form), to provide a machinery for the punishment of offences against the substantive law.

Thus, a Code of Criminal Procedure would mainly deal with the judicial process in so far as it pertains to the institution, conduct and disposal of criminal prosecutions.

If the law of Criminal Procedure had only to deal with the chronological stages of a criminal trial, it would have been very simple and short. That is not so, how-ever, because human values are involved.

Because a criminal trial involves human issues, the right to a fair trial figures prominently. The requirements of a fair trial, speaking broadly, relate to the character of the court, the venue, the mode of conducting the trial (particularly trial in public), rights of the accused in relation to defence, and other rights.

Moreover, before the actual trial, there are stages of some importance, namely,–(i) investigation, which is the gathering of facts; (ii) the magisterial inquiry in important cases—which is the unfolding and testing of the prosecution case, and (iii) the charge which is the final instrument giving a precise shape to the accusation. The law has to deal with them also.

These matters increase the field and volume of the inquiry to be embarked upon, when revising a Code of Criminal Procedure.

See Also : Law Commission Report on The Code Of Criminal Procedure, 1889