Their main emphasis was on the mental aspect of the individual’s personality because they regarded human mind as the centre from where all thoughts whether good or bad, emanate. This ethical approach led them to believe that offenders indulge in criminal behaviour because of their mental depravity and physiogamy had nothing to do with it.
It is for this reason that they treated delinquents in a medico-legal perspective and considered them as patients suffering from some mental disorder. Their stress was on the need for criminologists to understand the spiritual aspect of human existence and recognise the role of meditation and yoga in mitigating criminality.
It is the egoistic urge of human being which prompts him to commit anti-social acts with a view to deriving pleasure. Criminologists must, therefore, strive to inculcate brotherhood and sense of equality among the members of society so that they learn to respect the law of their land.
The central theme of the ancient Indian criminal jurisprudence was ‘Dharma’ which was conceived to embody the rules of social order and was believed to be of divine origin. It was a broad concept comprising law, religion and morality, and was equally binding on all including the King.
It was the primary duty of the King to punish the law-breakers and maintain order in society. The rules of criminal justice were contained in royal edicts or ordinances issued by the King within the broad parameters laid down by the Dharma. The King was expected to administer criminal justice with great care and caution and with utmost impartiality.
No offender could be allowed to escape punishment and the victims of crime were even awarded compensation in certain cases. It is thus evident that the criminal and penal law of India imbibed finer principles of modern criminology and the concept of compensatory jurisprudence in dispensation of criminal justice which constitutes a part of victimology in modem time was in vogue even in the ancient past.