Scope and objective of section 357A, 357B, 357C of CrPC.

January 30, 2023

In a latest judgement, District Collector Alappuzha v. District Legal Service Authority, Alappuzha and others in WP (C) No. 7250 of 2014 (E), the Kerala High Court has held that the provisions in Section 357A(1)(4)&(5) CrPC are substantive in character and the victims under Section 357A(4) of the CrPC are entitled to claim compensation for incidents that occurred even prior to the coming into force of the said provision.

The statutory provision is not given retrospective effect and instead a prospective benefit is given based on an antecedent fact.

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Victim compensation and its roots under Indian Constitution

“The principles of victimology have their foundations in Indian constitutional jurisprudence. The fundamental rights under Part III and the directive principles of state policy in Part IV of the Constitution of India form the bulwark for a new social order. The social and economic justice provided in Article 38 and Article 41, which mandates the State to secure the right to public assistance in case of disablement and undeserved want, Article 51A which makes it a fundamental duty to have compassion for living creatures and to develop humanism. According to the Law Commission of India, if the above Constitutional provisions are expanded and interpreted imaginatively, they could form the constitutional underpinnings for victimology in India.”

Further, Court reproduced the language of Section 357A, 357B, 357C Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 as introduced by the Code of Criminal Procedure Amendment Act, 2008.

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