RIGHTS OF AN ARRESTED PERSON
This article is written by Anshika Agrawal @LEXCLIQ on the Rights of an Arrested Person.
Our legal system is based on one most important concept INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY which means any accused till he is not proven guilty and only trial is proceeding against him he should not be considered as criminal rather called as UNDERTRIAL. As per this system not only any person but also an arrested person has been given certain rights from which they can’t be deprieved in any circumstances. So the Constitution of India and Code of Criminal Procedure grants ceertain rights to an arrested person.
Say, there is an indigent person who has committed a crime is arrested by a police officer without any arrest warrant. So, he has right to know the grounds of his arrest which is given in Section 50(1) of CrPC. Now, if this arrest is done by any subordinate police officer under Section 55 of CrPC so before arresting the accused that officer has to show a order to the accused in which it is written that his senior officer has designated him to arrest such accused and if the subordinate officer doesn’t show that order, arrest is considered as illegal, which is stated in Section 55 of CrPC as PROCEDURE WHEN POLICE OFFICER DEPUTES SUBORDINATE TO ARREST WITHOUT WARRENT. If the arrest warrant is issued then under Section 75 of CrPC it is compulsory to convey the grounds of arrest to the accused and if needed arrest warrant to be showed to him.(NOTIFFICATION OF SUBSTANCE OF WARRANT). Now after the arrest, police officers or court will definetly interrogate him but it depends upon that accused whether to answer all the questions or not as their is no compulsion on him, he has full right to stay silent, also the silence of accused can’t be used against him by the police or prosecution, his silence wouldn’t be consider as he is guilty.( RIGHT TO SILENCE/ AGAINST SELF- INCRIMINATION) stated under Article 20(3) of Indian Constitution. Further if that accused is arrested for any Bailable offence, it is the duty of the police officer to convey him that he can apply for bail because it is not compulsory that the accused has the knowledge that the crime committed by him is bailable offence for which he can be granted bail. This is mentioned in Section 50(2) of CrPC as RIGHT TO BE RELEASED ON BAIL.
Now, when the accused is taken to the court from police lockup whether arrested with warrant or without warrant, it is the duty of the police officer to present the accused in front of Judicial Officer without any unneccessary delay which is given under Section 56 and 76 as RIGHT TO BE TAKEN BEFORE A MAGISTRATE WITHOUT DELAY. This means that any police officer is not entitled to keep the accused in lockup for more than 24 hours without judicial scrutiny which is stated under Section 70 of CrPC as FORM OF ARREST AND DURATION. Also every accused arrested to be presented before completion of 24 hours in front of the magistrate which is provided under Section 57 of CrPC as RIGHT NOT TO BE DETAINED FOR MORE THAN 24 HOURS. This time period of 24 hours is given to prevent unlawful arrest and detention of accused by police officer as most of the time police officers try to extract the truth from the accused and force them for confession and try to keep the accused behind police lockup for as much time as they can. Also if the accused is guilty so he can apply for bail in the court as soon as possible and can be out of the lockup i.e. proper judicial scrutiny.
After presenting in front of the magistrate, Trial to be conducted, for that accused need a lawyer for handling his case, for that the Constitution of India under Article 22(1) and CrPC under Section 50 clause(3) gives right to an accused to choose a legal practitioner of his choice. As in this example the accused in an indigent person who cannot afford a lawyer so for this Article 39 A of Indian Constitution and Section 304 of CrPC provides for RIGHT TO FREE LEGAL AID. Free legal aid is provided by Legal Services Authority which can only be provided before commencement of the trial.
As per Article 21 of Indian Constitution the accused has got a very important right known as Right to Fair and Speedy Trial. This provision came so that the conviction order of the accused could not be removed secretly. Ofcourse there are few cases where incamera proceedings are conducted like proceeding of rape cases and speedy trial means if accused has done such a crime whose punishment is maximum 2 years, so police investigation to be completed within the period of 6 months.
Also, if the accused made a request to get himself medically examined, then, as per RIGHT TO BE EXAMINED MEDICALLY mentioned under Section 54(1) of CrPC, he will be examined medically. Accused has right to call any witness in his defence after examination and cross examination by the prosecution is finished.
All these are the rights of an arrested person.
Have you ever noticed, why, the Police officers generally arrest the person accused on Fridays?
This is for the reason that generally on Saturdays and Sundays, Courts are closed, so if accused is arrested on Fridays, he has to remain in police lockup for atleast 2 days!!