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What is Crime and Who is a Criminal?

What is Crime?

Crime, in sociological parlance, is deviant behaviour of a person with respect to the established or accepted standards of conduct of a society. The deviance is determined by social, religious, educational and political norms.

It is time-variant, region variant, and affected by the group’s religious beliefs and social practices in which the incident has happened.

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Crime has a legal concept for orderly, normal, and proper societal functioning. It is an act of an individual or individuals that involves a breach of the established rules or laws, usually enacted law: national or international laws, or the rules and norms of a functional group, society, or community.

Crime as a legal concept varies from country to country, society to society and even from locality to locality. For example, possession of firearms requires a license in some countries, not in others.

Who is a Criminal?

Who is a Criminal? Is a simple question in common parlance. Any person who commits a crime is a criminal. In legal terms, it becomes complicated.

In law, a person committing a crime is not a criminal until the court finds that the evidence proves that he has committed the crime beyond a reasonable doubt, and the judge declares him a criminal. Till such pronouncement, the person is just a ‘suspect’ or an ‘accused’.

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The police ‘suspect’ an individual for committing a crime; investigate the crime to identify the criminal (and the victim sometimes), find evidence against the suspect; and dub him as an ‘accused’.

If it finds sufficient evidence against the suspect, it goes to the court with the evidence. The court decides whether the evidence produced by the prosecution is enough to identify him as a criminal beyond any reasonable doubt and whether the accused is the culprit.

If the evidence is insufficient, the accused or the suspect is innocent. Thus, most of the criminals continue to be non-criminals. Only legal convictions of the accused of his criminal act bring him the epithet of ‘criminal’ in legal terms.

The Faculty of Science, SGT University, is one of the best colleges in Delhi NCR for science courses. The faculty has five departments: Department of Physics, Department of Chemistry, Department of Mathematics, Department of Forensic Science, and Department of Environmental Science. The Faculty of Science offers 12 courses – 2 Undergraduate, 5 Post Graduate, and 5 PhDs.

Written By:
Ms. Mandeep Kaur Purba
Assistant Professor and HoD
Department of Forensic Science
Faculty of Science
SGT University

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