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RIGHTS OF AN ARRESTED PERSON IN INDIA

Updated: Aug 9, 2021

By- Sumiara Begum


It is a well known fact that every person has been bestowed upon with some natural rights after his/her birth. In the eye of law, these natural rights are termed as human rights and these basic human rights are available to all people irrespective of any differences. A person so arrested for the purpose of detainment by the police also has some rights provided by the Constitution of India and the Code of Criminal Procedure. In the Indian legal system there is a tenet that provides the presumption of innocence until a person is proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt in a court of law. The accused is provided with certain rights in the Indian Legal System since a person cannot be denied of his rights only in the ground that he has been detained or arrested.

The rights of the arrested person are discussed below: 1. The right to know the grounds of arrest: The person who is about to be arrested has the right to know about the grounds of his arrest. Any police officer or other authority or any subordinate is authorized to make the arrest, shall, before making the arrest with or without a warrant should inform the person about the offence for which is arrested and the same shall be informed to the friends or relatives or any person of interest of the person so arrested, the grounds of such arrest. Section 50, 50A, 55 and 75 of Cr.P.C provides the right of the arrested where the arrested person is given the right to know about the grounds of his offence and this right cannot be denied to arrested person. Article 22(1) of the Constitution of India also states that no police should make any arrest without informing the grounds of the arrest. 2. The right to be produced before a Magistrate: The arrested person should be produced before a the magistrate having jurisdiction or any police officer in charge of the police station subject to the condition of arrest, without unnecessary delay if the arrest has been made without a warrant. But if the warrant has been issued and the arrest made following the warrant, the arrested person should be produced before the nearest magistrate within 24 hours of the arrest. While calculating the time period of 24 hours, the time included in the journey for travelling from the place of detaining to the magistrate shall be excluded. Section 55 and 76 of Cr.P.C provides this right to the accused in order to avoid illegal detaining of the arrested person by the police officers. Article 22(2) of the Constitution also states that the police officer making the arrest should produce the arrested person before the Magistrate within 24 hours of such arrest. If the police officer fails to do so, he will be liable for wrongful detention.

3. Right to be released on bail: The arrested person should be informed that he has a right to be released on bail. If a police officer arrests a person without warrant for an offence other than non- cognizable offence, he shall inform about the bail rights and arrangements that can be made for sureties on such bail for the arrested person. Section 50(2) particularly lays down this right of bail provided to the arrested person. 4. Right to fair trail: Article 14 of the Constitution provides the right to fair trial. It states that all people are equal before the law and all the parties to the dispute should be given equal treatment. This provision follows the principle rule of natural justice in respect of both the parties. 5. Right to consult a lawyer: Section 41D and 303 of Cr.P.C states about the right of an arrested person to consul this lawyer during interrogation and the right of an arrested person to be defended by a legal practitioner of his choice upon whom a trial has been initiated before the court. Article 22(1) of the Constitution states that the arrested person has a right to appoint any lawyer and be defended by the lawyer of his choice. 6. Right to free legal aid: Section 304 of Cr.P.C states that when a party to the dispute is not represented by the legal practitioner or the party has no sufficient means to appoint any legal practitioner then the court may appoint a pleader for his defense at the expense of the State. Article 39A of the Constitution obligates a state to provide free legal aid to all people for the purpose of securing justice.


7. Right against self incrimination:

Article 20 (2) states that no person can be compelled to be a witness against himself and has a right to remain silent since any statement made can be used against in the court.


8. Right to examined by a medical practitioner:

Under Section 54 of Cr.P.C. that a court may order for medical examination of such arrested accused person at the request of him unless the court is satisfied that such request is made for the purpose of defeating the justice.

Apart from the abovementioned rights available to the arrested person Section 55A of Cr.P.C also provides the right be treated with reasonable care of the health and safety of the arrested person and that the person so arrested shall be protected from any form cruelty and inhuman treatment. Section 358 of Cr.P.C provides the right to compensation to the arrested person who was arrested groundlessly.


Below are few landmark cases related to the rights of an arrested person in India:


· D.K. Basu v. State of West Bengal and others (1997) 1 SCC 416, is opined to be one of the landmark cases which focuses on the rights of the arrested person and it obligates the police officers to do certain activities and failure to perform such duties shall make the police officer liable for contempt of court as well.


· Hussainara Khatoon v. Home Secretary, State of Bihar 1981 2 SCR (408), is another landmark case where the court recognized the right to a speedy fair trial.


· In Yoginder Singh v. State of Punjab 1980 SCR (3) 855, the Court held that for the enforcement of Article 21 and 22(1) it is necessary that the arrestee has the right to be informed about his arrest to his relatives, friends or any person of his interest; that the police officer should make the arrestee aware of his rights immediately when he is brought under the custody; the entry must be made in a diary regarding the name of the person who has been informed about the arrest.


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