We all are born with numerous rights, such as the Right to speak, the Right to religion, etc. Human rights are enacted under the Constitution of India and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. A person cannot repulse their rights just because they have been arrested. The various rights of a Detained or arrested person can be inferred from the CrPC, the constitution of India, and various landmark judgments.
Need for Rights of Arrested Person
The Indian legal system depends on the concept of “innocent till proven guilty.” The arrest of a person can violate Article 21 of the Constitution, which states, “no person shall need his right to life and personal liberty except a procedure established by law.” The procedure must be fair, transparent, and not casually or repressive.
The imperative for the rights of arrested persons is rooted in the principles of justice, dignity, and accountability within a legal system. these rights ensure that individuals facing criminal allegations are treated with respect and fairness.
Rights of an Arrested/ Accused Person
Here are the rights of an arrested person outlined in the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) that everyone should be aware of to ensure proper protection and understanding.
- Right to know the grounds (reason) of Arrest
- Right to be presented before the Magistrate without unessential delay
- Rights to be released on Bail
- Rights to a fair trial
- Right to consult a lawyer
- Right to free Legal Aid
- Right to keep silence
- Right needs to be examined by the medical practitioner
Right to know the grounds (reason) of Arrest
- Section 50 of CrPC states that every officer or any other person authorized to arrest a person without a warrant should notify the arrested person about the reason for which he is being arrested and other grounds for such an arrest.
- Section 50A of CrPC obligates a person arrested to inform his friends, relatives, or any other person of his family. The police officer must tell the arrested person about his arrest of the nominated person as soon as he is under custody.
- Section 75 of CrPC states that the police officer or any other officer who is accomplishing the warrant should notify the substance of the person arrested and show him a warranty if needed.
- As per article 22(1) of the Constitution of India, the police officer shouldn't arrest anyone without informing the reason for the arrest.
- If the right to be informed of the grounds of arrest under Section 50 of the Code of Criminal Procedure is violated, the aggrieved person can approach the concerned High Court or the Sessions Court by filing a writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, seeking appropriate legal remedies for the violation.
- In the case of "D.K. Basu v. State of West Bengal (1997)" , the Supreme Court of India laid down guidelines to be followed by the police during arrest, emphasizing the importance of informing the arrested person of the grounds for arrest to prevent abuse of power.
Right to be presented before the Magistrate without unessential delay
- Section 55 of Cr.P.C. says that a police officer arresting without a warrant should produce the arrested person without irrelevant delay before the Magistrate having jurisdiction or a police officer in control of the police station, reliant on the circumstances of the arrest.
- Section 76 of Cr.P.C. says the person should be brought out within 24 hours of arrest before the Court. While calculating 24 hours, it must eliminate the time needed for the journey from the place of detention to the Magistrate's Court.
- Article 22(2) of the Constitution claims that the police officer making an arrest should be brought out to Magistrate within 24 hours of arrest. If the police officer fails to present before the Magistrate within 24 hours, he will be liable for wrongful detention.
- In case the right to be presented before the magistrate without unnecessary delay is violated, the person arrested can approach the concerned High Court or the Sessions Court through a writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, seeking immediate presentation before the magistrate. Legal assistance should be sought for appropriate legal remedies.
- A landmark case in this context is "D.K. Basu v. State of West Bengal (1997)," where the Supreme Court of India laid down guidelines for the arrest and detention procedures. The judgment emphasized the right of the arrested person to be produced before the nearest magistrate within 24 hours of arrest to prevent custodial abuse and ensure a fair and just legal process.
Rights to be released on Bail
- Section 50(2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) specifies that when a police officer arrests an individual without a warrant, except for non-appreciable offenses, they are obligated to inform the arrested person about their right to seek release on bail. Additionally, the arrested person should be apprised of their entitlement to arrange for guarantors on their behalf. Sections 436 to 450 generally deal with the provisions related to bail.
- If the right to bail under Sections 436 to 450 of the Code of Criminal Procedure is violated, the aggrieved person can approach the High Court or the Sessions Court through a bail application, highlighting the reasons for seeking bail. The court will consider factors such as the nature of the offense.
- A notable case related to the right to bail is "Gurbaksh Singh Sibbia v. State of Punjab (1980)," where the Supreme Court of India clarified that bail is the rule, and jail is the exception. Understand various types of Bail and procedure to get Bail.
Rights to a fair trial
- Any provision relating to the right to a fair trial is not there in CrPC; such requests can be derived from the Constitution and the various judgments.
- Article 14 of the Constitution states that" all persons are equal before the law." It means that the dispute of all the parties must be treated equally. The principle of natural justice must be done in respect of both parties.
Right to consult a lawyer
- Section 41D of CrPC claims the right of the arrested person to consult with a legal practitioner of their choice during police interrogation to seek legal advice while being questioned.
- Article 22(1) of CrPC claims that the the right of a person who is arrested to have the assistance of a legal practitioner of their choice to ensure a fair and just legal process.
- Section 303 of CrPC claims that when a person is arrested for doing an offense before the criminal court, he has a right to be get defended by a legal practitioner lawyer of their choice.
Right to free Legal Aid
- right to free legal aid, ensure that individuals who cannot afford legal representation are provided with assistance at the expense of the State to safeguard their right to a fair trial and access to justice
- Section 304 of CrPC claims that when a trial is completed before the Session of court, and the legal practitioner doesn't represent the accused person, or when it appears that the accused has no adequate means to appoint a lawyer, then the court will appoint a lawyer for his defense on the expense of the State.
- Article 39A claims a state to dispense free legal help to protect justice. The court held "to provide free legal aid to the respected accused person." It is also stated that when the accused is presented before the Magistrate for the first time, it accompanies by the time commences. The accused person's rights cannot be refused even when they fail to apply for them. If the state fails to give legal aid to the needy accused person by providing them a lawyer, it will vitiate the whole trial as void.
Right to keep silence
- The right to keep silent is not acknowledged in any law. However, it can obtain its rights from CrPC and the Indian Evidence Act. This right is mainly connected with the statement and confession made in court. At the times when a confession or an announcement is made in court, the Magistrate should find whether such admission was made optional or not.
- No arrested person can be pressured or forced to speak anything in court.
- Article 20 (2) says that no person can be forced to be a witness against themself. It is the principle of self-incrimination.
Right needs to be examined by the medical practitioner
- The right of an accused person to be medically examined is a crucial aspect of ensuring fair treatment, especially in cases where there are allegations of physical torture or ill-treatment.
- Section 54 of the Code of Criminal Procedure provides that when the arrested person claims examination of his body can lead to a fact which will take exception to the truth of doing of an offense by him, or which will end up to a claim by any other person against his body. In this case, the court may order for medical examination of such accused person at the request of charge, except the court is content that such a request is made to conquer justice.
- The Magistrate use their discretion to see that the request is not made for delay or defeating the ends of justice.
- Section 55A of CrPC says that the responsibility of the officer under whose custody the arrested person lies is to take reasonable care of the safety and health of the detained.
- The arrested person is to be secured from brutal treatment.
- Section 358 of CrPC states the right to compensation to the arrested person detained is unjustified.
- Section 41A of CrPC claims that the police officer may give notice to a person suspected of committing a knowable offense to appear before them at a particular place and time.
- Section 46 of CrPC says the arrest mode: touching the body physically, submission to custody, or a body. The police officer should not shoot the person to death while arresting unless the arrestee is involved in a punishable offense related to death or life imprisonment.
- Section 49 of CrPC prescribes that the police officer should not make more restrained than necessary for the escape. Detention or restraint without an arrest is illegal.
You Might be Intrested in: What to do When you are arrested?
Under the Constitution, the arrested person's rights are to grant the accused person some fundamental rights for safety and living. Ultimately, we all are citizens of Indian society, and our protection is the responsibility of the police authorities, no matter if a person is held against the bar. All these rights will protect the accused, or arrested ones who may have or have not done an evil deed is a matter of concern, but their safety is the initial one.
Hence, like any other right, the arrested person's rights should be protected. Any rule that infringes these rights would likely be considered ultra vires by the Constitution. Consulting with a lawyer is crucial to ensure the protection of an arrested person's rights.