RIGHTS OF ACCUSED IN CRIMINAL LAW

The basis of criminal law is that an accused is presumed to be innocent unless he is proved guilty in the court of law. Every accused has not necessarily contributed to the crime, hence, every accused is presumed to be innocent.

Rights to know the grounds of arrest- As stated in section 50(1) of CrPC, a person who is arrested without a warrant is entitled to know the details of the offence and charges under which he has been arrested, even if a warrant is issued, he must be told the details and also should be shown the warrant if needed.

Right to bail- A person arrested without a warrant and who is accused of an offence which is bailable is to be informed by the police authorities that he is entitled to be released on bail.

Right to be taken before a magistrate- The person must be brought before a judicial magistrate without any unnecessary delay. As specified under section 56 and 76 of the Code, he should be brought before the magistrate within 24 hours.

Right to free, fair and speedy trial- An accused person shall be given impartial justice which should be quick and fair. In  Katar Singh v. State of Punjab it was declared that right to speedy trial is an essential part of fundamental right to life and liberty.

Right to consult a legal practitioner- This is specified under section 50(3) of the code which states that a person against whom any proceedings are initiated has the right to be defended by a lawyer. In Nandini Satpathi case, the court also laid down some guidelines for the due observance of Article 20(3) by police authorities one of which was that the police must inform the accused that he has a right to call a lawyer before answering to any of their questions.

Right to free legal aid- An indigent person who is not capable of paying the expenses must be given free legal aid.

Right to be examined by a medical practitioner- Section 54 of CrPC states that if an arrested person asks for a medical examination of the body, such should be done by a registered medical practitioner if the magistrate feels that the request is not for the purpose of delay of the trials.

Right to privacy against unlawful searched- The privacy of the accused should not e violated, the property cannot be searched in absence of a search warrant

Right to be present during trial– Section 273 of the code states that all evidence must be recorded in presence of the accused or in front of his criminal lawyer. He should be present during his trial and the judgement.

Right to cross examination- An accused person hold the right to be cross examined to prove his innocence before the court.

Right to appeal- if the accused is not satisfied by the decision of the lower court he holds the right to appeal in front of a higher court.

Right to be discharged- As per section 227 of CrPC, if the judge feels that there is no sufficient ground against the accused, after proper analysis of the case, it is the right of the accused that he shall be discharged.

In D.K. Basu v. State of W.B,the Supreme Court issued some guidelines which were required to be followed in all cases of arrest or detention which include, the arresting authority should bear accurate, visible, and clear identification along with their name tags with their designation, the memo be signed by the arrestee and family member, the family or the friend must be told about the arrest of the accused, The arrestee may be permitted to meet his lawyer during interrogation, though not throughout the interrogation and many other.

The Indian Constitution follows the rule of law, and the concept of free and fair trial is a principle based on natural justice, that is even an accused person is treated properly till his innocence is proved. The accused person holds various rights during investigation, or trials of criminal offences. Such person shall be protected against any arbitrary action, and shall be given a chance to explain himself. Another element of Natural justice is the right of both sides to be heard, that is audi alteram partem, and a decision must be made by hearing both sides of the case.

The accused person holds the rights and privileges as an ordinary citizen because he is not proven guilty yet, hence, a free and fair trial must be organised for him. The legal system guarantees certain fundamental rights to the accused. Such rights include the right to a fair legal process, the right to representation by a lawyer, and the right to testimony and prove evidence on the court of law in order to prove his innocence, the right against double jeopardy, etc. It is said that “let hundreds go unpunished, but never punish an innocent person”. Hence, it is the fundamental right of an accused to get a right to fair representation in a criminal procedure.

Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.

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