• Legis Scriptor

Victimological Research in India

Authored By- Sejal

Keywords: Victimological research, Victim, Crime, Offender, Committees, Theories of victimology.


Victimological research basically deals with the relationship between the offender and the victims. There is a change from the ancient to the modern day research conducted in victimology. There are various criminologists who used to study the nature and scope of victimology. For their convenience they made various theories in the field of criminology to study this relationship in detail. They basically deal with the compensation and other benefits measures to be taken for the benefits of the victims. The Judiciary and the various committees also play a significant role in providing justice to victims.


Victimology is the study of the relationship between the accused and the victim. According to the Justice J.N.Bhatt. “Victimology is a science of suffering and resultant compensation”. The three words victim, victimology and victimization are sometimes used anonymously but having the different meanings as victim means a person or group of persons who suffered any type of injury like emotional, economic, and physical injury. Whereas victimization is the whole process of becoming a victim. So, particularly, we can say that the field which studies the process, rate and effect of the victimization is the victims.

Historical evolution in victimology:

In ancient times, that period is known as the golden age for the victims because the criminal justice system was oriented and dominated by the victims. Even the cutting of trees and animals was considered as the heinous crime.

But in the 16th and 17th century when the French revolution took place, this changed the earlier system of criminal justice and now more favorable to the offender. Sympathy and many exceptions were provided to the offender.

In the 20th century, after World War 2, many criminologists started studying about the victim and offender relationship along with the origin of the crime and their implications. Therefore the U.N. passed a charter for the victim’s right and for their compensation. And now much legislation made to protect the interest of both the victim and the offender. [1]

Theories of victimology:

These theories are made from the victim’s perspective. And they are made by victimologists to understand the cause of the victimization.

1.) The Routine Activities Theory:

This theory says that crime occur whenever three condition come together-

Suitable targets

Offenders are motivated

There is no guardian

2.) Psycho- social Coping Theory:

It is a model in which any form of victimological phenomena can be explained. This model uses the behavioral and the legal concepts. Most of the part is copied from the psychology and the various forms of stress.[2]

Modern theories of victimology:

1.) Victim precipitation theory: it suggests that the characteristics of the victim precipitate the crime. It means criminals point out a victim is of a certain ethnicity, race, sexual orientation, gender and gender identity.

2.) Lifestyle Theory: it suggests that certain people may become the victims of crime because of their lifestyle and choices. Eg. Walking alone, wearing expensive jewellery, and other habits etc.

3.) Deviant Place Theory: In this theory, the victim is more likely to become victim when exposed to dangerous areas. This is some overlap between the lifestyle theory and the deviant place theory. [3]

Scope of victimology:

1.) Victimology is study of crime from victims point of view:

This branch was developed by B.Mendelson and grows the concerns for the victims. This was done to highlight the problems of the victims in the criminal proceedings.

2.) Analysis the relation between victim and offender: here the analysis is done on the 2 aspects one is the individual and the second is the societal.

3.) Degree of the compensation: here the study is done to determine the cost of compensation given at the particular form of crime. It is to determine the loss of the victims and the legal representatives.

4.) Also the study of victimological clinics: It is the treatment of the victims in the hospitals. They also have to treat the mental health problems. Regarding the criminal justice system.

Action taken by the Judiciary:

Baldev Singh vs. State of Punjab (AIR 1996 SC 372)

Here the Supreme Court provides the restitution to the victims. Court accepted the concept of restorative justice and awarded compensation to the victims. This judgment is pronounced when no special legislation is framed to render justice. [4]

Bhodhisattwa Gautam vs. Subra Chakraborty (AIR 1996 SC 922)

Here the SC provides the guidelines for the rape victims. It provides the compensation at the final stage of case and the interim compensation as well. In this case the SC helps the indigenous rape victims who afford legal, medical and the psychological services.[5]

Women resource centre through Mrs. Nalini Bhannot vs. Commissioner of Police, Delhi Police(AIR 1996 SC 922))

Here the victims died due to beating by the police and awarded the sum of rupees 75,000/- . The Supreme Court also recognizes the need to provide the compensation. [6]

Recommendations of the committees on the victimological research in India:

1.) Law Commission of India, 1996:

Here it states that the state should provide the compensation to the victims from its own funds. It should be done in the cases where the offender is traceable; offender is acquittals, or where the offence is proved.

2.) The Justice Malimath Committee on Reforms of Criminal Justice System (GOI 2003):

They gave the recommendation by giving the rights to the victim to indulge in every criminal proceeding. The victim can have the right to be represented by the advocate and the cost to be provided by the state. Legal services also include the psychiatric and the medical help.

3.) The National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution (GOI 2003):

The advocated to make the victim oriented criminal justice system, more choices are given to the victim in the conduct of trial and the disposition of the accused. And to introduce a scheme of providing compensation to victims.


Victimological research is the emerging new field where criminologists study it by using the different theories provided. It is for providing the benefits to the victim at each stage of the trail. So, along with the judicial pronouncements and the committee’s recommendations, the more stringent laws to be legislated to provide the utmost benefit to the victims.

[1]Gurrantan Wander, victimology and emerging trends of compensation,(30 March 2015),approach%20to%20its%20subject%20matter.&text=Therefore%2C%20the%20study%20of%20victimization,the%20victim%20and%20his%20offender.

[2]Kumaravelu Chockalingam, measures for crime victims in the Indian criminal justice system,

[3]Three modern theories of victimology, (2 September 2019)

[4]AIR 1996 SC 372

[5]AIR 1996 SC 922

[6]AIR 1996 SC 922