The law of criminal procedure is intended to provide a mechanism for the enforcement of criminal law. Without proper procedural law, the substantive criminal law which defines offences and provides punishments for them would be almost worthless. Because, in the absence of an enforcement machinery , the threat of punishment held out to the law breakers by the substantive criminal law would remain empty in practice. Therefore, the law of criminal procedure is meant to be complementary to criminal law and has been designed to ensure the process of its administration
The following are steps in criminal procedure:
- Pre- trial procedures: information regarding commission of offences; Arrests; Examination of persons; search and seizure ; and similar other aspects of investigative process
- Jurisdiction of the police and courts in respect of investigation and trial of offences. Every offence shall ordinarily be inquired into and tried by a court within whose jurisdiction it was committed. The criminal procedure code has formulated certain rules for the determination of the jurisdiction of the police and the courts in respect of any offence under investigation or trial.
- Bail: One important purpose of arrest is to secure the presence of the accused person at the time of his enquiry or trial and to ensure that he is available to receive sentence or conviction. If this purpose can be achieved without forcing detention on the accused during inquiry or trial, it would be an ideal blending of two apparently conflicting claims, namely, freedom of the individual and the interests of justice. Bail aims at such blending, the restoration of liberty of the arrested person without jeopardizing the objectives of the arrest.
- Trial procedure: cognizance of offences; Initiation of proceedings ; Attributes of fair trial and other general provisions regarding trials; Charge; Types of trials ; Judgment.
- Review Procedures: Reference; Appeal; Revision; Exercise of Inherent powers of the higher courts.
- Execution of the final decision of the court