Civil and Criminal Courts


Civil and Criminal Courts

Broadly speaking justice may be of two kinds namely, civil and criminal.

KIND OF WRONG

CIVIL :

  • The violation of civil or legal rights of individuals called civil injuries. (Private Wrongs)
  • Civil wrong is infringement of the legal right of individual which does not affect the society in general and is repressible by monetary compensation.

CRIMINAL :

  • Nature of violation of public rights and duties which affect community as a whole and are called crime or misdemeanors. (Public Wrongs)
  • Crime is a wrong against the community as a whole and is punishable by the state.
 

PARTY

CIVIL :

  • Remedies are sought by the aggrieved parties.
  • The person who files a case/ commences a legal action against someone in a court is called a plaintiff. Such action is commenced against a defendant.
 

CRIMINAL :

  • Remedies are sought by the aggrieved parties. Criminal proceedings are instituted by the state.
  • The person alleged to have committed the offence is called accused and the person against whom the offence is committed is called victim / Survivor. The victim or any other eligible person who files a complaint is called complainant.
 

COURT

CIVIL :

  • A person who has a civil dispute with another person, has a right to institute a civil suit in a competent civil court. The proceedings are instituted in a criminal court.
 

CRIMINAL :

  • A person who has a civil dispute with another person, has a right to institute a civil suit in a competent civil court. The proceedings are instituted in a criminal court.
 

PROCEDURE

CIVIL :

  • The procedural law to be followed by civil court is Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (C.P.C.)
 

CRIMINAL :

  • The procedural law to be followed by civil court is Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (C.P.C.) The procedural law to be followed by Criminal court is the court is Code of Criminal Procedural, 1973 or (Cr. P.C.)
 

ARREST

CIVIL :

  • In civil cases, a person cannot be arrested at the time of enquiry.
 

CRIMINAL :

  • In criminal cases, an accused can be arrested during or before trial / prosecution.
 

OUTCOMES

CIVIL :

  • A civil case may result into award / decree for compensation or order for any other relief or dismissal of the case. A decree is final adjudication of dispute between the parties in a suit and includes rejection of plaint. A judgment is the statement given by the judge on the grounds of decree or order.
  • A civil proceeding if succeeds, results in a decree of a court for the enforcement of the claim of payment of a debt, award of damages, injunction, restitution, specific performance etc.
 

CRIMINAL :

  • A criminal case may result in discharge or conviction or acquittal of the accused.
  • A criminal proceeding, on the other hand, results in infliction of punishment ranging from sentence of death to a mere fine or imprisonment.
 

OBJECT

CIVIL :

  • The object of civil proceedings is to enforce rights.
 

CRIMINAL :

  • Object of criminal proceedings to punish the offender and reform the offender (reformation is preferred specially in case of juveniles and first offender).
 

SERIOUSNESS

CIVIL :

  • Civil wrongs are comparatively less serious.
  • Civil wrongs injure only private individual.
 

CRIMINAL :

  • Crimes are more serious and harmful in their consequence as compared with civil wrongs.
  • Crimes affect the public at large.
 

EVIDENCE

CIVIL :

  • The party who seeks the Court to believe the facts require to prove them as per standards of preponderance of probabilities.
  • Burden of proof that defendant is wrong is generally on the plaintiff but in some cases burden shifts of defendant such as res ipsa loquitor.
 

CRIMINAL :

  • Prosecution has to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt.
  • Accused is considered innocent unless proven guilty except in some cases where Court shall presume that accused is guilty such as Dowry deaths subject to fulfillment of certain conditions.
 

Apart from the civil and criminal proceedings, there are a variety of adjudicative procedures (such as principles of natural justice ) are followed in Tribunals, Quasi Judicial Administrative Agencies, Arbitration Councils, Nyaya Panchayats etc.



 

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