Indian Legal System is sustained by the grundnorm'
constitution, which collaborated with Democracy and Rule of Law to provide
justice without any discrimination. The accused have a right for fair hearing
and justice without biasness, which are the primary principles of natural
justice viz. the rule against bias (nemo iudex in causa sua) and the right to a
fair hearing (audi alteram partem). It is a duty of legal system to act fairly,
with proper human treatment even with the accused.
As our society develops with the evolution our laws, customs, legislation and
whole legal system advanced, where the concept of rights of accused came over as
a basic part of human rights. every human being, in every society, is
entitled to have basic autonomy and freedoms respected basic needs satisfied
because accused are also a human. Correspondingly, they have a certain right
during the course of investigation, any enquiry or trial of offence with which
he is charged and he ought to be ensured against discretionary or illicit
Our criminal system follows the well-established ethics or often-quoted adage
which says, let the thousand of criminals be let out, but a single innocent
should not be punished. For this our courts need to settle down the all cases to
be proved beyond the shadow of doubt. The constitution of India grants equal
rights and opportunities for every person. Article 21 i.e. right to life and
personal liberty have been interpreted by our Apex court in broad manner in the
light of rights that further reinforced our criminal system.
For better instance there are 25 different rights which are interpreted by the
Hon'ble Supreme Court of India under different subheads of article 21. A broad
range of rights are given under constitution like the right to compensation in
case of violation of Article 21, the right of under trials against unreasonable
and arbitrary handcuffing, right against custodial violence, right of fair and
speedy trial, right to free legal aid, the right to consult counsel of his
choice, the right against any form of cruelty or violence or any form of
degrading treatment etc. have been interpreted and secured by the help of
article 21 by our Apex court.
Article wise Rights given under Constitution of India:
- Article 20 (1)- Rights against conviction or enhanced punishment under
ex-post facto law. It also covers the Retrospective criminal legislation,
which grants protection against arbitrary and excessive punishment to an
accused person.  Every law that takes away or impairs a vested right is
retrospective. Every ex post facto law is necessarily retrospective.
- Article 20 (2)- Right of protection against double jeopardy or Nemo
debet bis vexari which means No one should be tried twice in respect to the
same matter.  
- Article 20 (3)- Right against self -incrimination or nemo tenetur
seipsum prodere which means No one is bound to accuse himself. This article
grants protection against testimonial compulsion.
- Article 20 (3) and Article 21- Right of Privacy & protection unlawful
search and seizure. Even now the Narco analysis test, Brain Mapping test and
Lie Detector test are violative of the Article 20(3) and 21. Personal
autonomy`s importance should be recognized in the decision of individual.
- Article 21: - Right of speedy trial is a fundamental right implicit in
the guarantee of life and personal liberty enshrined in Article 21 of the
- Article22(1) and (2)- Right to be informed of the grounds of arrest and
right to bail
- Article22(1) and (2)- Right to consult and be defended by a lawyer of
his own Choice 
- Article22(1) and (2)- Right against illicit or unlawful arrest.
Also, the victim of unlawful arrest or detention shall have enforceable
right to compensation.
- Article22(1) and (2)- Right to production before a Magistrate within 24
hours. Violation of the right which guaranteed under article 22(2)
invalidate the prosecution of accused.
Criminal Procedural Provisions Which Relates The Rights Of The Accused
Rule of law established the set of principles or ideals, which reduces the
friction and ensure an order in the society. Presumption of innocence is the
essence of the rule of law, where no person should be convicted until his crime
is proved by the court of law, adopted in our constitution under article 20 (1).
Generally, the rights of accused are provided only where the warrant is issued
against the accused. Going further with the rights enshrined in criminal law or
Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), 1973 and secured by our Apex court.
Pre-Trial Rights of Accused:
- Right to know about the charges and accusations- Sections 50, 55 and 76
of CrPC gives right to accused or arrested person to know the details of the
offence and grounds on which he is detained.
- Right against arbitrary or unlawful arrest- Sections 41, 55 and 151 of
CrPC gives right against any illicit arrest.
- Right to be examined by Medical Practitioner- Section 54 of CrPC
provides the most important right after arrest which is right to be examined
by a medical Practitioner, which further reduce the chances of cruelty or
misbehavior under the custody of police.
- Protection against arbitrary or illegal detention in custody- Sections
56, 57 and 76 of CrPC reduces the chance to detain the accused illegally or
- Right against unnecessary restraint- Section 49 of CrPC gives right of
the arrested persons not to be subjected to unnecessary restraint.
- Right to be produced before Magistrate- Sections 57 and 76 give right to
accused to be presented in front of Judicial Magistrate within 24 hours of
- Protection against unlawful or arbitrary searches- Sections 93, 94, 97,
100 and 165 of CrPC give right to accused that the police cannot search or
violate the privacy of accused on a mere presumption of innocence. As per
our law his property cannot be searched without warrant.
- Right to get Bail- Sections 436, 437 and 439 also Sections 50 (2) and
176 of CrPC, these sections give right to be released on bail if arrested.
Our criminal system follows a very neat or cardinal rule which says, bail is
the rule and jail the exception. This helps in a smaller number of
imprisonment and overcrowded jails.
- Right to legal aid, free and expeditious trial: Sections 303 and 304
provide that an accused has a right to consultation of lawyer of his own
choice as well as right to get legal aid at the expense of the State in
Rights of the Accused during Trial:
- Right to get copies of Documents- Section 307 of CrPC provides that it
is right of accused to receive copy of police report and copies of other
documents filed by the prosecutor in relation to the case.
- Right to be present at the trial- Section 273 of CrPC gives right to
accused to be present at the trial or all evidence taken in the presence of
accused. Whenever his personal attendance is not possible then in the
presence of his counsel.
- Right to Cross-Examination- It's the privilege of the accused in
criminal cases to be cross-examined by the examiner to demonstrate their
Post-Trial Rights of Accused:These rights are totally dependent on the outcome of the trial, in the case
if declared innocent then:
- Accused have a right to get copy of judgement.
- Accused may ask for police protection if there is a danger or threat to
In the case if declared guilty then:
- Right to file appeal- Accused have a right to file an appeal against his
conviction in a higher court. CrPC contains elaborate provisions on appeals
starting from Section 372 to Section 394.
- Right to file revision- When the right to appeal is exhausted then the
concept of review procedure called revision is applied. Section 397 to
Section 405 of CrPC incorporate the powers of revision allowed to the higher
courts, and the procedure to practice these powers. The revisional
jurisdiction can be summoned where the decisions under court of law are
Human Rights As Per International Covenant and United Nations:
Human rights are those minimal rights that every individual must have against
the state or administrative authority. India being a member of United Nations
Human Rights Council (UNHRC) and also of International Covenant on Civil and
Political Rights (ICCPR) serve the sacred aim of humanity that All persons
deprived of their liberty shall be treated with humanity and with respect for
the inherent dignity of the human person, which is also stated in the article 10
of ICCPR. UNHRC provides minimum Rules for Protection of Prisoners and in
chapter 4 it provides basic rights of the suspect and the accused viz. from
article 54 to 71. In 1948, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, has perceived
certain essential human privileges of an individual, including an accused.
Our apex court has already settled down by the way of judgment that speedy trial
is in wide sweep and come under article 21 of the constitution. The
reasoning behind the concept of speedy trial is to check the inordinate or
unnecessary delay in trial of criminal cases, which further responsible for
gross denial of justice and long incarceration of under trial prisoners or
accused. The court has also made provision for legal aid at State cost
obligatory in instances of poor and poverty stricken denounced under preliminary
in criminal cases, for looking for bail and furthermore for defense at the time
Custodial Death Due To Physical Torture And Third Degree Is A Violation Of Law:
The Supreme Court held that use of physical torture
and third degree
method is a straight violation of Article 21 of constitution and directed
the state to take strict actions and necessary steps to prevent it further.
Where human servitude and individual torment are included, to hold up is to
vanquish. Where equity is in peril or opportunity is in chains the court isn't
neutral and acts with delicate speed. Also in another landmark decision Hon'ble
Supreme court held that cruelty, physical torture and assaults by a person who
is supposed to protect it from is not acceptable. There can be no room for
leniency for such inhumane behaviour.
The courts of law and judiciary system is to provide justice to the society. A
person accused of any offence should not be punished until his crime is proved
or justified by court of law. The primary and fundamental object of criminal
system is to provide fair and speedy trial to accused without infringing any
rights which are so secured by the constitution. An accused should give a chance
to defend himself. But our sociological finding shows us that the actual
scenario of justice is pretty different what we have in our norms and ideals of
the legal system.
Justice delayed justice denied
is the legal maxim which express that is
totally unfair for the accused to suffer injury with less hope of resolution.
Having said that, when we acknowledge the recommendation that in a law-based
society the court framework assumes a vital job in observing that neither permit
nor absolutism gets predominant, the troublesome undertakings of the court
clearly gaze us in the face.
The apex court also established in may decision that the doctrine of personal
liberty given under constitution would essentially expect that no arrest ought
to be made only in light of the fact that is legal for the police to do as
such. Except in the cases of heinous offences, an arrest must be avoided.
Having said that, organization of criminal equity is concerned about a
wrongdoing, which implies a demonstration considered by law to be hurtful to
society as a rule despite the fact that its quick casualty happens to be a
- Rao Shiv Bahadur Singh And Another v. The State of Vindhya Pradesh, 1953
- Kedar Nath Bajoria v. The state of West Bengal, 1954 AIR (SC) 660
- Rattan Lal vs State of Punjab, 1965 AIR 444
- Maqbool Hussain v. The State of Bombay, AIR 1953 SC 325
- Manu Sharma v. (NCT of Delhi), AIR 2010 SC 2352: (2010) 6 SCC 1.
- M.P Sharma v. Satish Chandra [AIR 1954 S.C 300]
- Yogendra Kumar Jaiswal v. State of Bihar, (2016) 3 SCC 183
- Selvi and Ors. v. State of Karnataka, A.I.R 2010 S.C. 1974.
- K. Vijaya Lakshmi vs Govt. Of A.P. Represented by its Secretary Home &
Anr, (2013) 5 SCC 489
- Rudul Sah v. State of Bihar 1983 4 SCC 141; Sebastian M. Hongray v.
Union of India 1984 1 SCC 339; Bhim Singh v. State of J&K 1984 Supp SCC 504;
Saheli, A Women's Resources Centre v. Commr. of Police 1990 1 SCC 422
- Chaganti Satyanarayana v. State of A.P, 1986 3 SCC 141
- Onkar Lal v. State of Rajasthan, reported in RLW 2004(2) Raj. 934
- Sunil Batra vs Delhi Administration, 1980 AIR 1579
- Kharak Singh v. State of UP 164 1 SCR 332
- State of Rajasthan, Jaipur vs Balchand @ Baliay, 1977 AIR 2447
- State of Maharashtra v. Praful B. Desai (Dr.) (2003) 4 SCC 601
- Kartar Singh v. State Of Punjab., (1994) 3 SCC 569 and Mohd. Hussain v.
State (Government of NCT of Delhi), (2012) 2 SCC 584
- Amit Kapoor vs Ramesh Chander & Anr (2012) 9 SCC 460
- Babu Singh v. State of UP, 1978 AIR 527, 1978 SCC (1) 579
- Hussainara Khaton V. Home Secretary, State of Bihar AIR, 1979, 1369.
- Gauri Shankar Sharma V. State of U.P AIR 1990, 709.
- Sunil batra v. Delhi administration A.I.R, 1976-1978
- Joginder Kuman V. State A.I.R 1994 SC 461
- Nandini Satpathy V. P. L. Dani A.I.R 1978 SC1025