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Ensuring Justice: The Evolution and Importance of Accused Rights in India's Legal System

In India rights of Accused are mentioned and are enshrined in the Indian Constitution and various other legal statutes .these rights are given to the accused to provide them fair chance or fairness, justice and in India rule of law is practice that means no one is above the law and law is supreme above all .

If we see in history like before the independence or during British rule no such rights were given to the accused so when in 1947 when India got independence in 1947 the principal of justice and the protection of individual rights, included the rights of the accused were incorporated in the Indian constitution. So that there is faire trial they also got legal remedy and fair chance to represent them.

These rights are present in Indian constitution and these rights evolved with time through legal landmark judgments .These rights are important in India constitution and legal system by because it helps to serve justice in real scenes and help to prevent misuse of power and it's a great example that India constitution is providing fair chance and justice to everyone which is very important for democratic country.

Rights of Accused

Right to Fair trial (Article 21 )- Article 21 of the constitution states that there is right to life and personal liberty which can be taken according to procedure established by the Law and in this right it also include right to fair trial and various other rights such as:
  • Right to speedy trial: the accused have right to speedy trial and no unnecessary delay in delivering justice to the people.
  • Right to legal Representation- the Article 22(1) of Indian Constitution lays down that accused have right to have legal practitioner who will legally represent him in the court of law and if he cannot afford one then the legal Representational will be given to them by the state.
  • Right to know the charges- The Accused has the right to know the legal charges and it comes under the basic rights of the accused.
  • Right Against Double Jeopardy:Article 20(3) prevent the accused from punishing twice for single offence. Double jeopardy means that no one can be punished twice for single offence so this right protects the accused from such misuse of power.
  • Protection from Torture and in human treatment: Article 21 of the Indian constitution stays that that everyone have right to life and personal liberty and it include prohibition of the use of torture. This is very important to protect the dignity of accused person.
  • Protection Against Self- Incrimination during Custodial Interrogation:Section 161(2) of Crpc states that a person's statement made to a police officer cannot be used against them as evidence in court.
  • Right to Appeal: the accused have right to file an appeal against his conviction in a higher court.
  • Right to consider Innocent till proved guilty- the accused have the right to considered innocent until his guilt's is proves in the court of Law.

All these rights are given to the Accused so that there is no miss use of power by the authorities and there is delivery of justice to the people of India. And if any one committed any crime then that person how, when will be punished all this procedure is established by the law and has to follow that way to provide justice or punishment to the person. Under constitution of India Article 20 lays down that the protection in respect of conviction for offences.

No one can be convicted for an Act that was not an offense at the time of its commission, and no one will be punished more than it is mention in law present at the time of commission. And Article 22 is applicable to both citizens and non- citizens, 22(1) says that any person who is in custody has to be informed that why he/she is arrested and no one can denies the right to consult an advocate. Article 22(2) stays that an arrested person should be produced before the Magistrate within 24 hours of his arrest. Accused rights are not only mentioned in the constitution but the right have evolved by the judicial through various judgments.

Case Laws:
  • Prem shanker v. Delhi Administration: in this case it was held that handcuffing can only be done when there is immediate danger of escape.
  • Kishor Singh v. State of Rajasthan: It was held that third degree torture is a violation of article 21 that is right to life.
  • D.K Bassu v. State of West Bengal: in this case the court laid down certain basic requirements to be followed in all the cases of arrest or detention to prevent custodial violence.
  • Bhagwan Swarup v. State of Maharashtra: in this case it was held that no one can be punished twice for the same offence.
  • Maru Ram Etc. v Union of India & Anr- the court observed that there will be no retrospective infliction of penalties heavier than those existing ones at the time of commencement of the offence.
  • A.A. Mulla v. State of Maharashtra: in this case it was observed Article 20 (2) would not be attracted in those cases where the facts are district in subsequent offence or the punishment.

The rights of the accused were not given during British rule over India. However, after independence, the constitution specified certain articles related to the rights of the accused. These rights include basic entitlements such as the right to know the grounds of arrest, the right to free legal aid, and protection from double jeopardy. These rights serve to monitor other authorities, ensuring they operate within their jurisdiction and do not abuse their powers.

The rights granted under the constitution or other laws are intended to ensure a fair chance for all and the delivery of justice in true essence. If anyone is arrested without just cause, they should have a fair opportunity to represent themselves in a court of law.

To safeguard these rights, the judiciary has issued numerous judgments affirming that basic rights must be granted to the accused. If certain liberties or rights must be curtailed, it should be done according to established legal procedures.


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