Rights of Arrested Person
The benefit of the presumption of innocence of the accused till the time he is actually found guilty at the ending of a trial substantiated with evidence, is one of the basic tenets of our legal system. It is a characteristic of our democratic society that even the rights of the accused are deemed to be sacrosanct, and even though he is charged with an offence however that does not render him as a non-person. Our statute is quite careful towards anyone’s personal liberty and hence does not permit the detention of any person without proper legal sanction.
Rights at the time of arrest
Right to remain silent
The right of silence has its origin from common law principles. So in general sense the courts or tribunals should not conclude that the person is guilty of any conduct merely because he was not responding to questions which were raised by the police or by the court.
Article 20(3) of Constitution of India guarantees every person the right against self-incrimination, and it has been stated under this article that no person, who has been accused of an offence, shall be compelled to act as a witness against himself.
It was held by the Supreme Court again in the year 2010 that narco-analysis, brain mapping and lie detector test are in violation of Article 20(3) of the Constitution of India and that by administration of these tests, forcible intrusion into a personâ€™s mind is being conducted which further nullifies the validity and legitimacy of this right.
Right to Know the Grounds of Arrest
The rules regarding this were upheld in the cases of Joginder Singh vs. State of U.P. and D.K. Basu vs. State of West Bengal.
Rights at the time of trial
Right to Be Released On Bail
Section 50(2) Cr.P.C. provides that where a police officer arrests without warrant any person other than a person accused of a non- bailable offence, he shall inform the person arrested that he is entitled to be released in bail that he may arrange for sureties on his.
Right to Be Taken Before A Magistrate Without Delay
Whether the arrest is made without warrant by a police officer, or whether the arrest is made under a warrant by any person, the person making the arrest must bring the arrested person before a judicial officer without unnecessary delay. It is also provided that the arrested person should not be confined in any place other than a police station before he is taken to the magistrate. These matters have been provided in Cr.P.C. under section 56 and 76.
Sec. 56 CrPC - Person arrested to be taken before Magistrate or officer in charge of police station- A police officer making an arrest without warrant shall, without unnecessary delay and subject to the provisions herein contained as to bail, take or send the person arrested before a Magistrate having jurisdiction in the case, or before the officer in charge of a police station.
Sec. 76 CrPC- Person arrested to be brought before Court without delay- The police officer or other person executing a warrant of arrest shall (subject to the provisions of section 71 as to security) without unnecessary delay bring the person arrested before the Court before which he is required by law to produce such person. Provided that such delay shall not, in any case, exceed 24 hours exclusive of the time necessary for the journey from the place of arrest to the Magistrates Court.
Right of not being detained without Judicial Scrutiny
Whether the arrest is without warrant or under a warrant, the arrested person must be brought before the magistrate or court within 24 hours. Section 57 provides as follows: Sec. 57 CrPC - Person arrested not to be detained more than twenty-four hours- No police officer shall detain in custody a person arrested without warrant for a longer period than under all the circumstances of the case is reasonable, and such period shall not, in the absence of a special order of a Magistrate under section 167, exceed twenty-four hours exclusive of the time necessary for the journey from the place of arrest to the Magistrate’s Court.
Right for a fair trial
Right to equality has been granted under article 14 of the constitution. It has been provided under the Code of Criminal Procedure that for a trial to be fair, it must be an open court trial. The trial can be held in camera as well in certain exceptional conditions.
Right to a speedy trial
Regardless of this right not being mentioned in the constitution, the SC in the Hussainara Khatoon case has made it mandatory that the investigation in the trial must be conducted as expeditiously as possible.
Right to consult a Legal Practitioner
It is the right of every arrested person to consult a legal practitioner of his own choice. This has also been enshrined as a fundamental right in Article 22(1) of the Constitution of India, which is undeniable in all cases. Section 50(3) of the Code also states that the person against whom proceedings are initiated has a right to be defended by a pleader of his choice. This right begins as soon as the person is arrested.
Rights of Free Legal Aid
The Supreme Court in the case of in Khatri(II) v. the State of Bihar held that the state is under a constitutional obligation as is implicit in article 21 of the constitution as well to provide free legal aid to an indigent accused person.
Right to be examined medically
Section 54 of Cr.P.C. enumerates this right and it states that examination of arrested person by medical practitioner at the request of the arrested person. When an arrested person, whether on a charge or otherwise alleges at the time when he is produced before a Magistrate or at any time for which he is detained in custody that the examination of his body will afford evidence which will lead to disproving the commission of offence by him or which will establish the committing of offence by any other person against his body, the Magistrate shall, direct the examination of the body of such person by a registered medical practitioner.
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