This article is written by Aanya Gupta, a 1st-year law student at Vivekananda Institute Professional Studies, GGSIPU, New Delhi. The article gives an overview of the compensations being provided in criminal cases.


Crimes committed by individuals and companies are classified in various laws according to the nature of the crime. For example, the crime of infringement of private rights is governed by civil law, and the crime of endangering the country is governed by criminal law. When the appropriate court proves the crime, the victim or victim can obtain relief from the court through compensation, court orders, and actions, or the punishment of the offender. Generally speaking, if damage to private rights is caused by tort or any civil law, compensation and court order shall be given, and the offender shall be fined or not fined by the law and criminal law. However, there is no clear distinction as to why compensation should not be granted in criminal cases. With the introduction of new research such as “victimology”, it is important to analyze the importance of compensation in criminal law. The golden sentence in the preamble highlights “social justice”, but it hardly retains its meaning in the criminal case, because the law only provides for criminal clauses and does not pass a clause on victim compensation. However, it is hopeless that compensation for the victims is considered an “oasis in the desert.”

Ancient History of Victim Compensation

The history of ancient India proves the fact that victims of crime have sufficient compensation clauses to compensate for their injuries. Since ancient times, India has recognized compensation or compensation as a form of punishment. In ancient Hindu laws, compensation was considered a royal right during the Buddhist scripture period. MANU law requires the offender to pay compensation. This shows that compensation to victims has never been an unknown concept in the country’s judicial system.

Compensation to the Victim

The criminal Justice System now recognizes that the country’s legal system does not treat the issue of compensation to crime victims in a uniform manner, so it is advantageous to discuss the legal position of compensation to victims of crime. After independence, the trials of criminals are governed by the Criminal Procedure Codes of 1898 and 1973. Until 2008, article 545 of the Old Code and article 357 of the New Code had increasingly similar provisions on compensation for women. crime victims.

In Hari Singh v. Sukhbir Singh,  the supreme court said “It should be pointed out that the court’s power to award compensation is not subordinate to other judgments, but is attached to other judgments. This power of attorney aims to do something. To ensure that victims are not forgotten in the criminal justice system. This is a measure to respond appropriately to crimes and to reconcile victims and perpetrators. The legislator stipulated section 357(3) of the Criminal Procedure Code of 1973 Provisions were made to allow the court to award any amount of compensation to victims of crime. This is described in the landmark Hari Kisan case, where the Supreme Court awarded Rs 50,000 in damages as punishment. Not only that but lower courts are also required and recommended to “exercise the power to compensate crime victims free of charge so that victims do not have to rush to file a claim in civil court.”

Malimath Committee Report

To re-examine the criminal justice system in India in 2003, the Criminal Justice System Reform Committee was established under the auspices of Judge V. Malimath. The main assumption of the function of the criminal justice system is that protecting the life and property of all citizens from harm is the prerogative and dominant function of the state. The principle of compensating victims is seen as more symbolic relief than punishment for the offender or a substantial remedy provided by law for the victim. In 2008, the CRPC was significantly revised, focusing on the rights of victims in criminal trials, especially those related to sexual crimes. Although the amendments did not affect section 357, they did introduce section 357-A. Authorizes the court to instruct the state to pay compensation to the victim.

Section 357 and Section 357A of the Criminal Procedure Code

Former Compensation Clauses for the Victim Compensation Program. Previously, Article 357 of the Criminal Procedure Law provided for compensation for crime victims. The article was to order the convicted person to pay compensation to the crime victim, provided that the defendant’s sentencing court ordered so. However, in many cases, we have seen that the convicted were of poor origin, or were unwilling to pay compensation due to long-term imprisonment, and the victims seemed hopeless. seems to be to overcome this situation. In 2009, an amendment was passed to add a new section 357 A to the Criminal Procedure Code. According to Article 357A of the Criminal Procedure Law of this article, the state is also obliged to compensate victims of crimes other than the defendants specified in Article 357 of the Criminal Procedure.

Victim Compensation Scheme

  • The state governments shall coordinate with the central government to formulate A plan to provide compensation funds to victims or their families who have suffered loss or injury or need rehabilitation due to crimes.
  • Whenever the court makes a recommendation for compensation, the regional or state legal service agency will determine the award based on the above plan as appropriate the amount of compensation.
  • If after the first instance the court finds that the compensation awarded under section 357 is not sufficient for such rehabilitation.


We concluded that compensation is not only required but is a very important aspect of even criminal law and the courts should not use this sparingly but a little liberally. Of course, they should be careful of not awarding too high compensation and hence should be careful.

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