Procedural Limitations of Victim Impact Statement in India: A Critical Analysis

AuthorAmartya Sahastranshu Singh
DOIhttp://doi.org/10.1177/25166069221117186
Published date01 April 2022
Date01 April 2022
Subject MatterReview Essay
Procedural Limitations
of Victim Impact
Statement in India:
A Critical Analysis
Amartya Sahastranshu Singh1
Abstract
To empower victims and ensure the protection of their rights, the lawmakers
and the courts are emphasizing the need to introduce victim impact statements
(VIS) in the Indian criminal justice system. A VIS is a written or oral statement
given by the victim during the trial. It helps judges to assess the real physical,
financial, and psychological damage of that crime on the victim and to determine
the quantum of punishment accordingly. The Supreme Court highlighted the
need of VIS in a recent judgement. Consequently, the Parliament introduced
the Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Bill, 2020, to forward the cause.
Although introducing VIS in India is a major step towards securing the long-
awaited rights of victims, the author believes that introducing VIS in India, in the
way it is being done, will do more harm than good. Thus, this article is dedicated
to presenting the problems that India may face after implementing VIS according
to the bill, and suggesting an alternative model to deal with those issues while
ensuring the efficacy of VIS. The article is divided into three parts—the first part
covers the meaning of victims and victim impact statement, the second part cov-
ers the current status of victims in the system and the way in which the bill will
improve it, and finally, the third part covers why the integration of victims in the
said way can become a problem for the country and what are some variations in
the system that can overcome those shortcomings.
Keywords
Victim impact statement, criminal justice system, victim rights, justice
Review Essay
Journal of Victimology
and Victim Justice
5(1) 100–113, 2022
2022 Rajiv Gandhi National
University of Law
Reprints and permissions:
in.sagepub.com/journals-permissions-india
DOI: 10.1177/25166069221117186
journals.sagepub.com/home/vvj
1 National University of Study and Research in Law, Ranchi, Jharkhand, India.
Corresponding author:
Amartya Sahastranshu Singh, National University of Study and Research in Law, Ranchi, Jharkhand
834006, India.
E-mail: for.amartya.singh@gmail.com

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