Rights of an Arrested Person
All human beings are born with the Right to Life, Right to Personal Liberty, etc. Human rights are enshrined under the Constitution of India and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. A person cannot be denied of his rights on the grounds that he/she has been detained. The various rights of an arrested person can be inferred from the Code of Criminal Procedure, the Constitution of India and various landmark judgements.
The Indian legal system is based on the concept of, “innocent till proven guilty”. The arrest of a person can be a violation of article 21 of the Indian constitution that states, “no person shall be deprived of his right to life and personal liberty except a procedure established by law”. It means that the procedure must be fair, clear and not arbitrarily or oppressive.
Rights of an Arrested Person
1)Right to know the grounds of Arrest
• Section 50 of CrPC says that every police officer or any other person who is authorised to arrest a person without a warrant should inform the arrested person about the offence for which he is arrested and other grounds for such an arrest. It is the duty of the police officer and he cannot refuse it.
• Section 50A of CrPC obligates a person making an arrest to inform of the arrest to any of his friends or relative or any other person in his interest. The police officer should inform the arrested person that he has a right to information about his arrest to the nominated person as soon as he is put under custody.
• Section 55 of CrPC states that whenever a police officer has authorised his subordinate to arrest any person without a warrant, the subordinate officer needs to notify the person arrested of the substance of written order that is given, specifying the offence and other grounds of arrest.
• Section 75 of CrPC says that the police officer(or any other officer) executing the warrant should notify the substance to the person arrested and show him a warrant if it required.
• Article 22(1)of the Constitution of India also states that no police officer should arrest any person without informing the ground of arrest.
2) Right to be produced before the Magistrate without unnecessary delay
• Section 55 of CrPC states that a police officer making an arrest without a warrant should produce the arrested person without unnecessary delay before the Magistrate having jurisdiction or a police officer in charge of the police station, subject to the conditions of the arrest.
• Section 76 CrPC states that the police officer executing a warrant of arrest should produce the arrested person before the court before which he is required by law to produce the person. It states that the person should be produced within 24 hours of arrest. While calculating the time period of 24 hours, it must exclude the time which is required for the journey from the place of detaining to the Magistrate Court.
• Article 22(2) the Constitution states that the police officer making an arrest should be produced before the Magistrate within 24 hours of arrest. If the police officer fails to produce before Magistrate within 24 hours, he will be liable for wrongful detention.
3) Rights to be released on Bail
Subsection (2) of section 50 of CrPC states that when a police officer arrests any person without a warrant for an offence other than non-cognizable offence; he shall inform him that he has a right to release on bail and to make an arrangement for the sureties on his behalf.
4) Rights to a fair trial
Any provision related to the right to a fair trial is not given in CrPC, but such rights can be derived from the Constitution and the various judgements.
• Article 14 of the Constitution of states that ”all persons are equal before the law”. It means that all the parties to the dispute should be given equal treatment. The principle of natural justice should be considered in respect of both the parties.
5) Right to consult a lawyer
• Section 41(D) of CrPC states the right of the prisoners to consult his lawyer during interrogation.
• Article 22(1) of the constitution states that the arrested person has a right to appoint a lawyer and be defended by the pleader of his choice.
• Section 303 of CrPC states that when a person is alleged to have committed an offence before the criminal court or against whom proceedings have been initiated, has a right to be defended by a legal practitioner of his choice.
6) Right to free Legal Aid
• Section 304 of CrPC states that when a trial is conducted before the Court of Session, and the accused is not represented by the legal practitioner, or when it appears that the accused has no sufficient means to appoint a pleader then, the court may appoint a pleader for his defence at the expense of the State.
• Article 39A a state to provide free legal aid for the purpose of securing justice. This right has also been explicitly given in the case of Khatri v. State of bihar.
7) Right to keep silence
Right to keep silence is not recognized in any law but it can derive its authority from CrPC and the Indian Evidence Act. This right is mainly related to the statement and confession made in the court. Whenever a confession or a statement is made in the court, it is the duty of the Magistrate to find, that such a statement or the confession was made voluntarily or not. No arrested person can be compelled to speak anything in the court.
Article 20(2) states that no person can be compelled to be a witness against himself. This is the principle of self- incrimination.
8) Right to be Examined by the medical practitioner
Section 54 of CrPC states that when the arrested person alleges that examination of his body will lead to a fact which will disapprove the fact of commission of an offence by him, or which will lead to commission of an offence by any other person against his body, the court may order for medical examination of such accused person at the request of him (accused) unless the court is satisfied that such a request is made for the purpose of defeating the justice.