RIGHTS OF AN ARRESTED PERSON:
Being charged with an offence or being an accused does not render a human being as a non-person in our Indian Legal system. The society we live in is democratic and therefore each one’s personal liberty is protected here not permitting the detention of any person without proper legal sanction. The person here is presumed to be innocent until he is actually found guilty at the end of the trial and therefore though the Police has been given various powers for facilitating the marking of arrests , but no such power is absolute. They are subject to certain restraints which are primarily provided for the protection of the interests of the person to be arrested , and also the society at large. Such an imposition of restraints is nothing but the recognition of the rights of the arrested person. There are some provisions which have directly created important rights in favor of the arrested person.
Section 50 (1) – Right to know the grounds of arrest.
Section 50(1) of the Code of Criminal Procedure provides that every police officer or other person arresting any person without warrant shall forthwith communicate to him full particulars of the offence for which he is arrested or other grounds for such arrest.
Article 22 of the Constitution guarantees the fundamental right of protection against arrest and detention. The provisions of Section 50 of the Code are in conformity of Article 22(1) of the Constitution. A citizen’s arrest and detention will be illegal if he has not been communicated particulars of the offence.Timely information of the grounds of arrest serves the arrested person in many ways. It gives him an opportunity to remove the mistake, misapprehension or misunderstanding, if any, in the mind of the arresting authority. The object of this provision is to enable him to move for habeas corpus to obtain his release or to apply for bail or to make other expeditious arrangements for his defence. In Ajit Kumar v. State of Assam, the person arrested without warrant alleged by affidavit that he was not communicated with full particulars of the offence leading to his arrest. But the police officers claimed that they communicated the particulars orally but no counter affidavit denying the petitioner’s allegation was filed.
The right to be informed of the grounds of arrest is recognised by sections 50 , 55, and 75 in cases where the arrest is made in execution of a warrant of arrest or where the arrest is made by a Police officer without warrant.
Section 50 (2) – Information regarding the right to be released on bail. Where the police officer arrests without warrant any person other than a person accused of a non-bailable offence, he shall inform the person arrested that he is entitled to be released on bail and that he may arrange for sureties on his behalf.. This will certainly help the people who may not know about their rights to be released on bail in case of bailable offences.
Section 56: Right to be taken before a Magistrate without any delay of the code says that a police officer making an arrest without warrant , shall , without unnecessary delay, and subject to the provisions herein contained as to bail, take or send the person arrested before a magistrate having jurisdiction in the case , or before the officer in charge of a police station.
Section 76: Person arrested to be brought before the court without any unnecessary delay. Section 57: Right of the arrested person of not being detained for more than 24 hours without judicial scrutiny. No police officer shall detain in custody a person without warrant for a longer period than under all the circumstances of the case is reasonable , and such period shall not , in the absence of a special order of the magistrate under article 167 , exceed 24 hours exclusive of the time necessary for the journey from the place of arrest to the Magistrate’s court. This is a very healthy provision and enables the magistrate to keep check over the police investigation.
ARTICLE 22 (1) of the Indian Constitution provides that no person who is arrested shall be denied the right to consult a legal practitioner of his choice.
Section 303: of the code provides that any person against whom the proceedings are instituted under the code may of right be defended by a pleader of his choice. The right of an arrested person to consult a lawyer of his choice begins from the moment of his arrest. Also, right of an arrested indigent person to free legal aid and to be informed about it. In KHATRI V BIHAR , the Supreme Court held that the state is under a constitutional mandate to provide free legal aid.(implicit under article 21)
Section 54: Right to be examined by a medical practitioner . This section gives the accused the right to have himself medically examined to enable him to defend and protect himself properly. Also, the medical examination of a female should be made by a female medical practitioner has been embodied in section 53(2).
In JOGINDER KUMAR v STATE OF UP , the Supreme Court has formulated the following rules:
1. An arrested person being held in custody is entitled, if he so requests to have one friend, relative or other person who is known to him or likely to take an interest in his welfare told as far as is practicable that he has been arrested and where he is being detained.
2. The police officer shall inform the arrested person when he is brought to the police station of this right.
3. An entry shall be required to be made in the diary as to who was informed of the arrest. These protections from power must be held to flow from Articles 21 and 22(1) and enforced strictly.
Consequently, it can be said that our Indian Judiciary , by giving the above rights to the arrested person and taking departmental actions in case of failure of compliance is humble enough to accept its loopholes and sensitive enough to correct them within a good time period.
RIGHTS OF AN ARRESTED PERSON: