Substantive Criminal Law & Procedural Criminal Law

Law may be divided into substantive law and procedural law.

The Procedural law is a fraction of law, which deals with the procedure to be followed by a Court.

For instance, the Indian Contract Act is a substantive law and Civil Procedure is a procedural law.

The essential object of the criminal law are to protect the society against criminals and law breakers.

The Indian Penal Code 1860 is the major penal law of India.

Criminal Law in its wider sense consists of both the ‘substantive criminal law’ and ‘procedural criminal law’.

The substantive criminal law defines offences and prescribes punishment for the same whereas the procedural criminal law facilitates to administer the substantive law and to protect the Society against the criminals and law breakers.

The procedural criminal law has been designed to look after the process of administration and enforcement of substantive criminal law.

In the absence of procedural law, the substantive criminal law would be of not much importance because without the enforcement mechanism, the threat of punishment held out to the law breakers by the substantive criminal law would remain a mere formality and empty practice.

Empty threats do not prevent crime and without deterrent effect, the law of crimes would be of hardly any meaning or justification.

The law of criminal procedure is complimentary to the substantive criminal law and failure of the procedure in criminal laws would seriously affect the substantive criminal law.

The law of Criminal Procedure is complimentary to the substantive criminal law.

The Indian Penal Code together with other penal laws constitutes the substantive criminal law.

The substantive criminal law by its very nature cannot be self-operative.

A person committing an offence under IPC or any other law is not automatically stigmatized and punished.

Any offender cannot receive sentence by mere fact that he has committed the offence under IPC or any other law.

It is for this reason the procedural criminal law has been designed to see that the process of administration and enforcement of the substantive criminal law is followed.

See Also : Deeksha Puri v. State of Haryana {Punjab-Haryana High Court, 16 Oct 2012}