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Criminal Law for CLAT - Notes, Preparation Tips, Important Cases

Criminal Law for CLAT - Notes, Preparation Tips, Important Cases

Edited By Team Careers360 | Updated on Jun 06, 2024 01:50 PM IST | #CLAT

India's criminal law is a legal framework that establishes and governs the nation's offences, crimes, and punishments. It covers a broad spectrum of illegal activity and offers a structure for the investigation, trial, and sentencing of lawbreakers. The main piece of legislation dictating criminal law in India is the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Crimes against the state, public order, property, person, and morals are only a few of the many categories it uses to group criminal offences. The IPC lists particular behaviours as crimes and specifies the penalties for each infraction.
Download PDF - Criminal Law Concepts and Practice Questions for CLAT

Other laws and rules about criminal law exist in India as well. For example, the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) lays out the legal processes that must be adhered to during criminal investigations, trials, and appeals. To guarantee a fair trial and safeguard the rights of both the accused and the victims, the Indian Evidence Act establishes the standards of evidence in criminal trials.

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India's criminal justice system involves several parties, including the judiciary, police, investigative agencies, and legal experts. The judiciary is essential to the decision-making process in criminal cases and the administration of justice, whereas the police are in charge of detecting, investigating, and preventing crime. The seriousness of the offence determines the spectrum of punishments available under Indian criminal law, which might include imprisonment or fines. There may be provisions for life in prison or, in certain cases, the death sentence for more heinous crimes like murder or rape.

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It is crucial to remember that India's criminal code is susceptible to change as new laws are passed and old ones are modified to better serve changing social requirements or improve the administration of justice. Since Criminal Law is one of the cricual topics of the CLAT UG syllabus.

Also check - Important Amendments for CLAT

Two Parts of Law of Crime

Substantive law and procedural law are two fundamental divisions of legal systems. Let's explore the differences between these two categories with examples:

1. Substantive Law:

Substantive law encompasses the rights, duties, and obligations of individuals and organisations in society. It sets forth the standards of behaviour and governs interactions between people. It defines crimes, establishes legal rights, and outlines penalties for violations. Examples of substantive law include:

- Criminal Law: Statutes that outline specific offences, such as murder, theft, or assault, and prescribe punishments for those offences.

- Contract Law: The legal rules governing the formation, interpretation, and enforcement of contracts between parties.

- Tort Law: Principles that define and provide remedies for civil wrongs committed against individuals or their property, such as negligence or defamation.

- Property Law: Rules governing the ownership, transfer, and use of real and personal property.

- Family Law: Regulations related to marriage, divorce, child custody, adoption, and other aspects of family relationships.

2. Procedural Law:

Procedural law governs the process by which substantive law is enforced and applied. It sets out the rules and procedures to be followed in legal proceedings, ensuring fairness and efficiency in the administration of justice. Examples of procedural law include:

- Criminal Procedure: The rules that determine how criminal cases are conducted, including the rights of the accused, arrest, bail, search and seizure, trial procedures, and sentencing.

- Civil Procedure: The rules governing the process for filing and conducting civil lawsuits, including pleading requirements, discovery, pre-trial procedures, trial process, and appeals.

- Evidence Law: Principles that determine what evidence is admissible in court, how it should be presented, and the standards for proving facts.

- Administrative Law: Regulations that govern the procedures followed by administrative agencies in making and implementing decisions, such as licensing, permit granting, or compliance.

In summary, substantive law defines the legal rights and obligations of individuals, whereas procedural law focuses on the methods and processes used to enforce those rights. Substantive law defines what is legal or illegal, while procedural law outlines how legal actions are to be conducted.

Also check - Idioms and Phrases For CLAT

Here are a few tips to develop Criminal Law for CLAT

Methodical preparation and focused study are necessary when preparing for the criminal law for CLAT(Common Law Admission Test)The following actions can help you prepare efficiently:

1. Recognise the Curriculum: Become acquainted with the criminal law-related curriculum for the legal aptitude portion of the CLAT. This will enable you to pinpoint the precise subjects you should concentrate on.

2. Study Materials: Gather the pertinent criminal law study materials. Seek out study materials, reference books, textbooks, and internet sites that address the fundamental ideas and ideas of criminal law. You can also refer to criminal law notes for CLAT pdf which comprises all the topics of the chapter Criminal Law. Students can also refer to books such as P.S.A. Pillai's Criminal Law, K.D. Gaur's Criminal Law, and Ratanlal and Dhirajlal's The Indian Penal Code are a few recommended publications.

3. Case Law: Research significant precedent-setting cases about Indian criminal law. Recognise the facts of each case, the established legal principles, and the court rulings. This will assist you in gaining a deeper comprehension of how criminal law is used in practical situations.

4. Recognise the IPC: The primary piece of legislation guiding criminal law in India is the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Examine the Indian Penal Code thoroughly, taking note of the many types of offences, their definitions, and the associated penalties stipulated. Pay close attention to the portions that deal with crimes against people, property, and the state.

5. Read the Evidence Act and the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC): Become acquainted with the Indian Evidence Act and the Code of Criminal Procedure. These laws control the rules of evidence as well as the processes that are followed in criminal proceedings. Recognise the many phases of a criminal trial, the methods used in investigations, and the fundamentals of gathering and presenting evidence.

6. Practise Mock exams: To gain a sense of the exam format and to hone your time management and problem-solving abilities, routinely practise mock exams and previous years' question papers. Examine how you performed and determine what needs to be improved.

7. Put an emphasis on legal aptitude: By resolving legal reasoning and aptitude issues that are particularly linked to criminal law, you can improve your legal aptitude. Gain proficiency in analysing legal situations, recognising pertinent legal ideas.

8. Keep Up to Date: The subject of criminal law is ever-evolving, with new laws and rulings being passed and issued on a regular basis. To be informed about the most recent advancements, peruse legal news, subscribe to legal blogs, and consult up-to-date criminal law textbooks.

9. Seek help: Take into account enrolling in online courses or coaching programmes that provide materials and organised help for preparing for the CLAT. Have conversations with colleagues, superiors, or criminal law experts to get more knowledge.

10. Time Management and Revision: Create a study schedule that gives each topic enough time. Review criminal law topics and principles on a regular basis to help you remember the material and strengthen your comprehension of it.

Also check - 20 Most Important Concepts for CLAT Legal Aptitude

Important Case Laws for CLAT of Criminal Law

When preparing for Criminal Law for CLAT, it becomes important to know important case laws related to criminal law. Hence few of the important cases are given below and explained a brief detail.

  • R. v. Dudley and Stephens (1884): This case dealt with the issue of necessity as a defence to murder. The defendants were shipwrecked and resorted to cannibalism to survive. They were acquitted of murder, but the case established that necessity is a valid defence only in the most extreme circumstances.

  • State of Punjab v. Gian Singh (2012): This case dealt with the power of the High Court to quash criminal proceedings under Section 482 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC). The High Court held that it has the power to quash proceedings even if the case is not covered by any of the grounds mentioned in Section 482.

  • K.M. Nanavati v. State of Maharashtra (1962): This case dealt with the issue of provocation as a defence to murder. The defendant was acquitted of murder because he was provoked by his wife's infidelity. This case established that provocation can be a valid defence to murder, but it must be reasonable and proportionate to the provocation.

  • Maneka Gandhi v. Union of India (1978): This case dealt with the right to personal liberty under Article 21 of the Constitution. The Supreme Court held that the right to personal liberty is a fundamental right and that it cannot be violated except in accordance with the law.

  • ADM Jabalpur v. Shivakant Shukla (1976): This case dealt with the issue of preventive detention. The Supreme Court held that preventive detention is a valid measure, but it can only be imposed in accordance with the law and the procedure established by law.

  • State of Bombay v. Kathi Kalu Oghad (1961): This case dealt with the issue of self-defence. The Supreme Court held that self-defence is a valid defence to murder, but it must be reasonable and necessary.

  • Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy v. State of Andhra Pradesh (1997): This case dealt with the issue of dowry death. The Supreme Court held that dowry death is a crime and that the punishment for it should be severe.

  • Vishal Mehrotra v. State of Uttar Pradesh (2008): This case dealt with the issue of cybercrime. The Supreme Court held that cybercrime is a serious crime and that the punishment for it should be commensurate with the severity of the offence.

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Also check - Criminal Law Questions for CLAT with Answers

Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)

1. What's the Best Way to Understand and Remember Different Criminal Offences?

Creating mnemonic devices, visual aids, or flashcards for each type of crime can help you remember the elements and classifications more effectively. Associating examples with each offence can also make the concepts clearer.

2. How Can I Stay Updated with Recent Legal Developments for CLAT?

Follow legal news websites, blogs, and social media accounts of legal experts. Many online platforms offer newsletters or summaries of recent legal cases and changes in legislation that you can easily access.

3. What's the Key to Differentiating Between Similar-sounding Legal Terms?

Practice and repetition are crucial. Make side-by-side comparisons of terms like "murder" and "manslaughter" or "theft" and "robbery" with clear explanations for each. Regular revision will help solidify the differences.

4. How Can I Prepare for the 'Legal Reasoning' Section of CLAT Effectively?

Engage in regular practice with mock tests and CLAT previous years' question papers. Focus on analysing legal principles, facts, and applying them to different scenarios. This will improve your analytical and deductive skills.

5. How Can I Enhance My Comprehension of Complex Legal Language and Terminology?

Read legal texts and judgments regularly. Start with simplified explanations and gradually move on to more complex sources. Keeping a legal dictionary handy and referring to it when you encounter unfamiliar terms can also be helpful.


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Questions related to CLAT

Have a question related to CLAT ?

Hello aspirant,

Yes, you can definitely give clat exam in 2026 as according to the guidelines a student passed or appearing in class 12 th can give clat exam. So you are definitely eligible for clat in 2026.

I wish you all the best for your future journey.

Work hard!

Thank you

Hope this information helps you.


Yes, you are eligible for CLAT exam if you have cleared your class 12 examination from a recognized board with minimum of 45% marks. For SC/ST category students, only 40% aggregate score is required to be eligible for this exam. In addition, students who are currently in their class 12 and are due to pass out in 2025 are also eligible to apply.

For more information, please visit the website by clicking on the link given below:

Hope this information will help you. Best wishes ahead!


To prepare for the CLAT exam:

1. Focus on Legal Aptitude, English Language, Logical Reasoning, General Knowledge, Quantitative Techniques, and Legal Reasoning.

2. Practice solving mock tests and previous papers.

3. Stay updated with current affairs and legal developments.

Hope this helps,

Thank you

Hii There,

Yes, after completing a B.Sc. degree from any recognized university, you are eligible to apply for the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) for admission to various National Law Universities (NLUs) in India for their integrated LLB programs. You can also pursue a traditional LLB program (3-year) from any university that offers it, provided you meet their specific eligibility criteria. It's important to check the individual university's or college's eligibility requirements for their LLB program.

I hope this answers your question.


Hello aspirant,

Hope you are doing great.

As per your question, NO you are not eligible to give CLAT exam this year. Because the eligibility criteria for the CLAT exam provides that, you need to complete your 12th grade and during the filling of application form for the CLAT, you need to put your marks, and without completing 12th you cannot get your marks.

Hope this helps!

View All


Option: 1


Option: 2


Option: 3


Option: 4


125 toffees cost Rs. 75, Find the cost of one million toffees if there is a discount of 40% on the selling price for this quantity.


Option: 1


Option: 2

Rs. 3,20,000

Option: 3


Option: 4


14. Find the present value (in Rs.) of Rs.3000 due after 5 years at 10% p.a. simple interest.

Option: 1


Option: 2


Option: 3


Option: 4


24. Raju took a loan at 8% per annum simple interest for a period of 5 years. At the end of five years he paid Rs.10640 to clear his loan. How much loan did he take?

Option: 1


Option: 2


Option: 3


Option: 4


'A' carelessly left an iron pole across a public road 300 m from that spot was a traffic signal indicating speed limit to be 20 kmph. B, riding a scooter at 80 kmph, noticed the protrusion from a distance, but still could not avoid it, collided with the pole and was injured. In an action by B against A.

Option: 1

B will lose as he was driving very fast

Option: 2

B will lose for some other reasons

Option: 3

B will succeed, because A was careless

Option: 4

B will succeed, because A could have avoided the mishap by putting up a warning

'A' was having a get together with his old friends and on his friend's suggestions, he consumed some alcohol. On his way back to home at night, 'A' heard some footsteps and turning back, he imagined he saw a figure moving towards him with a spear. In fact, it was only a man, 'B' with an umbrella, who was telling 'A' to walk carefully since 'A' appeared to be unsteady. However, 'A' proceeded to attack 'B' with an iron rod leading to grave injuries to 'B'. Is 'A' guilty of causing grievous hurt to 'B'?

Option: 1

No, 'A' is not guilty because in his intoxicated state, the umbrella appeared a spear to him and he exercised his right of private defence.

Option: 2

No, 'A' is not guilty because 'B' could have attacked 'A' with his umbrella

Option: 3

No, 'A' is not guilty because he was intoxicated on the suggestions of his friends and was incapable of knowing that he was savagely attacking a man, who was carrying only an umbrella

Option: 4

Yes, 'A' is guilty because he got intoxicated voluntarily and under the effect of this voluntary intoxication, he attacked and caused grievous injuries to 'B' who posed no threat to him in fart

'A"s cattle was being regularly stolen and 'A' was unable to apprehend the thief. One night, 'A' finally manages to catch 'B' untying his cow from the cowshed under the cover of darkness. 'A' slowly crept up to 'B' and slashed his neck with a sickle leading to the death of 'B' Is 'A' guilty of the offence of culpable homicide?

Option: 1

No, 'A' was only exercising his right of private defence of property

Option: 2

No, 'B' continued stealing of his cattle would have rendered his business inoperable

Option: 3

Yes, 'A' had no reasonable apprehension that 'A' could suffer any grievous hurt if he did not kill 'B'

Option: 4

Yes, 'A' should have first challenged 'B' to surrender before taking any steps to cause 'B's death

A, a 15 year old girl, having been rebuked by her mother leaves her house. At railway station she met the accused who takes her to his house. He provides her clothes, money and ornaments at his house and has sexual intercourse with the girl with her consent. What offence has been committed?

Option: 1

The mother is accused of maltreatment.

Option: 2

The accused is guilty of rape.  

Option: 3

The accused is not guilty.

Option: 4

None of the above.

A, a 15 year old girl, left her mother’s house and joined the accused because her mother has turned down the proposal of her marriage with the accused on the ground that she was too young. While she was with the accused he had sexual intercourse with her against her will. What offence has been committed?

Option: 1 None

Option: 2 None

Option: 3 None

Option: 4 None

A, a chain snatcher, forcibly pulled the ear rings from the ears of an old lady. Both the ear lobes were torn and the old lady suffered pain and suffering for over three weeks. For what offence can A be prosecuted? What offence have been committed?

Option: 1

He is guilty of theft.

Option: 2

A is guilty of voluntarily causing ‘grievous hurt’.

Option: 3

He is guilty of rash and negligent.

Option: 4

None of the above.

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