Everyone is equal in the eye of the constitution while serving justice. Even the arrested person has his/her own rights to demand if not given. Logically, these privileges are as imperative as the protection of any of the human right against the violation. Similarly, an accused should be protected against any of the illegal practices and anti-democratic acts during the beginning of time when he got arrested. There are various rights of the arrested person in India guaranteed by the Constitution and the Code of Criminal Procedure.
Here are the top 10 rights of an arrested person
1. Right to Silence
The foremost one is the right to silence which states that it’s the choice of accused to stay quiet or not to say anything in his own favor or against until or unless his lawyer is consulted, or he is being presented in front of the magistrate. In India, one of the rights of an arrested person under the constitution is mentioned in clause (3) of Article 20(1) states that “No person accused of any offense shall be compelled to be a witness against himself.” Apparently, this theory is the follow-up of maxim believing “NO MAN IS BOUND TO ACCUSE HIMSELF.”
This law is basically a protection against incrimination before any of the convictions being imposed. It is mainly concerned about confession. It’s totally up to the accused that whom he finds to speak about the charges imposed on him. Moreover, he/she can also witness himself during the court trial and none of the authority can deny his open confessions.
The Justice Malimath Committee wrote that “it was essentially the right to refuse to answer and incriminate oneself in the absence of a proper charge.”
2. The right of not being detained for more than 24 hours without judicial scrutiny
Another right is the right to not being detained for more than 24 hours without judicial scrutiny is clearly stated under section 57 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 in the Indian constitution.
The section further elaborates that the police authorities cannot detain an arrested person, without any warrant, in custody for more than 24 hours under all the circumstances of the case is reasonable, without the official order from the magistrate. Section 167 provides information about the time period which should not exceed 24 hours excluding the time of the journey from the place of arrest to the courtroom. Violation of right will be considered the fault of police authorities and they will be held guilty for wrongful detention.
3. Right to know the grounds of arrest
Right to be informed is a fundamental right; similarly, the right to get informed about the grounds and charges of arrest for which a person is being accused is the derivation from the RTI act.
As per Section 50(1) of Cr.P.C., any person who has been arrested without any warrant then the police officer is liable to state all the propaganda of that arrest taking place to the accused person. Moreover, no police authority has the right to deny this kind of RTI for the arrested person.
4. Right to get bailed
There are two types of offenses, Bailable, and non-bailable offense. A person who is arrested in the absence of a warrant and has his been accused of a bailable offense then he enjoys the right to ask all the relevant requirements of the bail including the information about surety amount.
This helps persons who are arrested for bailable offenses who are not aware of their right to be released on bail.
- Rights at Trial
Rights at trial for the arrested person involve two trial rights. They are-
- Right to a Fair Trial
Article 14 of the Indian constitution guarantees the right to equality before the law. The Code of Criminal Procedure also states that a fair trial is to be done in an open courtroom. This logically promotes the prevention of hindrances during the conviction is made.
- Right to a Speedy Trial by the Constitution of India
Like the earlier ones, this right has nothing to do with any article mentioned in the constitution.
However, the SC in the Hussainara Khatoon case stated the speedy procedure of courtroom trials, along with the investigation required in the trial. This right ensures enough time for investigation over the accused person’s charges so that the justified verdict can take place without any wastage of time.
For example, the law defines that if the case has maximum imprisonment of 2years then the investigation period should not exceed 6 months
Right at trials for the accused one ensures the fair court proceedings and also the prevention of pendency, which I really feel is the only evil of the Indian judiciary.
6. Right to Consult a Legal Practitioner
Anybody who has been arrested legally has the right to consult a legal practitioner of his own choice. This being a fundamental right in Article 22(1) of the Constitution of India, is a right which cannot be denied in any case. Section 50(3) of the Code also lies down that the person against whom proceedings are initiated has a right to be defended by a pleader of his choice since the arrest has taken place. The consultation with a lawyer can take place within or without the presence of police but surely not during a court hearing.
7. The Right to be examined by a doctor
Being healthy is not a right in the Constitution of India but a requirement to encourage the livelihood of humans so that he/she can be rewarded for good deeds and paid off for the sins he has made.
Section 54 of Cr.P.C grants the right to the arrested person to get medically examined to enable him to effectively defend and protect himself. A medical examination of a female should only be done by a lady doctor or only under her supervision. It’s the duty of the person having custody of the accused to take care of the health and safety of him.
8. Right to inform a relative or a friend
Whenever any difficulty strikes us down, family and friends are the people who come into our heads as they are the people for the blessing in disguise. Similarly, rights of the arrested person include the right to have his relative or friend informed about the fact, time and place of the arrest. Section 50-A, as amended by the Code of Criminal
Procedure (Amendment) Act 2005, now statutorily consider this right to be necessary for an accused person.
9. Freedom to communicate magistrate
An arrested person is free inside the jail to communicate the magistrate to talk about the issues he/she is dealing inside the jail whenever he wants to. The arrested person has got the freedom to communicate to the Magistrate in any case of torture done by the police officer when produced before the Magistrate. The Magistrate can remand him to judicial custody if he is satisfied with the accused after a detailed inquiry.
Read Also: Rights of Arrested Person
This right is to ensure the safety of the prisoners inside the jail. Even then crimes inside the prisons is also a sensitive issue as often prisoners don’t consider themselves safe behind the bars and consider fellow prisoners and policemen as a threat to themselves.
10. The right of the Accused to Produce Evidence
Last but not least, an accused even has the right to produce witnesses in his defense in case of the police report. After the Examination and cross-examination of all prosecution witnesses, the whole proceeding is recorded simultaneously. He may even call further for cross-examination. Moreover, section 138 of the Indian evidence act states that the judge records the evidence of the witness to the prosecution is done with his evidence.
The rights of the arrested person under Cr.P.C. and Constitution are to grant the accused person some basic rights for safety and living. In the end, we all are social animals and citizens of Indian society whose protection is the responsibility of the police authorities even if a person is held against some of the most serious charges. And all these rights ensure the protections of accused or arrested ones as well who may have or have not done an evil deed is the later matter of concern but their safety is the initial one.
Hence like any other rights, the rights of arrested person needs to be protected. Any rule that violates these rights would likely be considered ultra vires in the terminology of the constitution.