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A Public Wrong is a 'Crime'. It is an injury to the State even though the victim of the crime is an individual. Acts of crime are considered anti-social. Hence the States takes the responsibility of punishing the criminal in the interest of state.

Acts that are not punishable by the State are not treated as crimes even though people violate moral principles.

The term Crime is derived from Latin word crimen meaning offence and also wrong-doer.

There are Four stages of committing a crime. Various Theories and Kinds of punishments are prescribed for crimes.

Definition of Crime

Main Article: Definition of Crime

Many prominent jurists have made attempts to define Crime.

Sir William Blackstone in his 'Commentaries on Law of England', Sir William Blackstone defined Crime as "an act committed or omitted in violation of Public Law forbidding or commanding it".

Elements of Crime

The following elements are to be satisfied to constitute an act as a crime.

  1. Human Being
  2. Mens rea
  3. Actus reus
  4. Injury

1. Human Being
The first essential element of a Crime is that it must be committed by a human being. In case, the crime is committed by an animal, its owner is subject to Civil/Tortious liability.

Example Cases

  1. R vs Prince (1875)
  2. R vs Bishop
  3. R vs Mrs. Talson
  4. R vs Wheat & Stock

2. mens rea
A crime is done with a criminal intent.

3. actus reus
There should be an external act. The Act and the mens rea should be concurrent and related.

4. Injury
There should be some injury or the act should be prohibited under the existing law. The act should carry some kind of punishment.

Related Rules

  • Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Amendment) Rules, 2011
  • Delhi Criminal Courts (Payment of Expenses to Complainant and Witnesses) Rules, 2010
  • Uttar Pradesh Petty Offences (Trial by Special Judicial Magistrates) (Second Amendment) Rules, 2010
  • Energy Conservation (Manner of holding inquiry) Amendment Rules, 2010
  • Determination of Price of the Forfeited Property (Amendment) Rules, 2009
  • Explosives (Amendment) Rules, 2009
  • Prohibition of Smoking in Public Places (Amendment) Rules, 2009
  • Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (National Fund for Control of Drug Abuse) Amendment Rules, 2009 (G.S.R. 581(E) of 2009)
  • Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances National Fund For Control of Drug Abuse (Amendment) Rules, 2009 (G.S.R.232(E) of 2009)
  • Unlawful Activities (Prevention) (Recommendation and Sanction of Prosecution) (Amendment) Rules, 2009

Crime and other related terms

  • Crime is against the State while the Tort is against an individual.
  • A Vice is a personal offense such as drinking alcohol, smoking etc.
  • A Sin is an offense against the God and divinity. Examples including now showing respect to God, not showing sympathy at others

Related Cases / Recent Cases / Case Law

Related Topics