Rights Of An Accused Person In India

Published on 22 Mar 2020 by Shivi

The Indian laws recognise the rights of any person who has been arrested, has been under a trial, or in jail after their conviction. A person does not lose his/her basic human and fundamental rights since one of the tenets of our criminal justice system states that a person is presumed to be innocent until found guilty, and even after their conviction, they are allowed to have certain rights. This article talks about the rights of an accused in India at the time of arrest, at the time of search and seizure, during the process of trial and after conviction. 

Rights of an Accused in India Under Constitution And CrPC

  1. Protection after conviction for an offence:

    1. No person shall be convicted of any offence except for violation of the law in force at the time of the commission of the act charged as an offence, nor be subjected to a penalty greater than that which might have been inflicted under the law in force at the time of the commission of the offence,

    2. Double jeopardy: No person shall be prosecuted and punished for the same offence more than once.

    3. No person accused of any offence shall be compelled to be a witness against himself.

  2. Presumption of Innocence: The accused is to be presumed innocent until a charge is proved against them without any reasonable doubt.

  3. Right to know the reason for arrest: Section 50(1) of CrPC states that when a person is arrested without a warrant, they are entitled to know the full particulars of offence for which they are being arrested and where a person is arrested with a warrant, they must be notified the particulars of such warrant. Article 22(1) of the Constitution also provides that a person arrested for an offence under ordinary law be informed as soon as may be the grounds of arrest.

  4. Right to apply for a Bail: Any person who is arrested without a warrant and is accused of a bailable offence has to be informed by the police officer that he is entitled to be released on bail on payment of the surety amount. Bail can be filed by an accused with the help of the best criminal lawyers in India.

  5. Right to be presented before the Magistrate: Article 22(2) of the Constitution provides that an arrested person must be taken to the Magistrate within 24 hours of arrest. A writ petition can be filed by the accused or his/her family members for habeas corpus if the accused is not presented within this period.

  6. Right to a free, fair and speedy trial: The accused person must be given fair and impartial justice and should be given a chance to get speedy justice for the matter.

  7. Right to Hire a Criminal Lawyer: Article 22(1) of the Constitution of India states that every person has the right to hire a legal representative. Section 50(3) of the CrPC also lays down that the person against whom proceedings are initiated has a right to be defended by a criminal law advocate in India of his choice.

  8. Right to get free Legal Aid: The Magistrate and Courts have the duty to inform the indigent accused of his right to get free legal aid. 

  9. Right to be examined by a Medical Practitioner: Section 54 of CrPC lays down that the examination of the arrested person must be done by a registered medical practitioner unless the Magistrate considers that the request is made for the purpose of vexation or delay or for defeating the ends of justice.

  10. Right to privacy against unlawful searches: The police cannot violate the privacy of the accused on a mere presumption of an offence. The property of an accused cannot be searched by the police without a search warrant.

  11. Right to be present during the trial: Section 273 of the Code provides that all evidence and statements must be recorded in the presence of the accused or his criminal lawyer.

  12. Right to get copies of Documents: The accused has the right to receive copies of all the documents filed by the prosecutor in relation to the case.

  13. Right to cross-examination: The accused has the right to be cross-examined by the prosecutor to prove his innocence.

  14. Right to appeal: The rights of arrested persons include the right to file an appeal against his conviction in a higher court.

  15. Right to humane treatment in Prison: The accused has a right to have all his human rights when in prison and be subjected to humane treatment by the prison authorities.

  16. Information of arrest to a nominated person: Section 50A of Criminal Procedure Code provides every police officer arresting an accused shall forthwith give the information regarding such arrest and place where the arrested person is being held to any of his friends, relatives or such other persons as may be disclosed or nominated by the arrested person for the purpose of giving such information.

  17. Accused person as a competent witness: According to provisions of Section 315 of Criminal Procedure Code, the accused can be a competent witness for the defence and can give evidence in disproof of the charges made against him or against his co-accused.

ALSO READ: Meaning, Concept And Types Of Bail In India

In case any of these rights are violated by any authority, the accused or his family members can hire a criminal law attorney in India to file a complaint with the Magistrate or a higher court. 

Legistify can connect you with top criminal lawyers in India. Call us at 8468833013 or send us an email at [email protected]

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