Rights of Arrested Person Every indian citizen and foreigner in India is guaranteed several Fundamental Rights under the Indian Constitu...
Rights of Arrested Person
Every indian citizen and foreigner in India is guaranteed several Fundamental Rights under the Indian Constitution. Right to life and liberty is one of them. Arrest of a person on apprehension of a crime seriously undermines one’s right to life and liberty. Therefore, the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India has extensively elaborated Rights of the Arrested Persons on several occasions. Even an arrested person has certain human-rights and the same can be found in Constitution as well as the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973.
Rights of an arrested person come into play from the very moment any Police Officer questions him, searches him, seizes any evidence for further investigation, and makes the arrest. As mentioned earlier, arrest of a person can be violative of his fundamental right to life and liberty stated under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. Such arrest can be made only according to the procedure established by law and such procedure must be just, fair and reasonable in all spheres and not constitute arbitrariness and oppression.
Arrest becomes necessary when there is an apprehension of commission of any crime by an individual. His arrest is a form of preventive action which precludes him from doing any harm. However, the powers given to the Police are not absolute and are subject to various restraints in favour of the Arrested Person. It is important to note here that arrest can be made on basis of an Arrest Warrant, and in some cases, without an arrest warrant as well. Serious offences, such as those involving a punishment of more than three years are usually categorized as cognizable offences. The Police authorities are allowed to make arrests without a warrant in case of such offences. The Police can also make an arrest where a person is trying to obstruct the investigation process, for example, a person refusing to share his personal details to aid investigation, or the probable offender flees the Police, or tampers with evidence etc.
First and foremost, Article 22(1) of the Constitution of India provides that a person shall not be arrested without informing him the grounds of his arrest. Under section 50 of Cr.PC it is provided that every person who is arrested shall be informed about the grounds of his arrest by the officer arresting him and section 50A imposes a duty upon the officer arresting to give information about the arrest to the friends and relatives of the arrested person as soon as the person is put under custody.
Section 55 and 75 of CrPC specifies that whenever any subordinate has been authorised by the police officer to arrest a person without warrant, the subordinate officer must notify the substance of arrest and show him the warrant of arrest, if required.
Separate rights are available with female offenders. The general rule suggests that under no circumstance, a woman shall be arrested by any male police officer, subject to certain exceptions. Also, separate custodial rooms are provided to them. Section 46 of CrPC mandates that a police officer shall not arrest a woman after sunset and before sunrise; but in case it is important to arrest her, then a female police officer must obtain prior permission of the magistrate.
Section 22(2) of the Constitution of India provides that the police officer arresting a person is duty bound to produce the person arrested within twenty four hours of his arrest, failing which, the arrest will amount to wrongful detention and the police officer can be held liable for doing so. Section 76 of CrPC provides for the procedure as to the production of arrested person without any undue delay and the time required to take the person from police station to the magistrate is excluded from this twenty four hours time period. Section 50(2) CrPC provides that if a person is arrested for any non cognizable offence, the police officer shall give information as to his right to get released on bail and make appropriate arrangements as to his surety. Article 22 (1) of the constitution and section 303 of CrPC also provides for the right of an arrested person of the appointment of a legal practitioner of his choice, who will defend him in the court of law. Also, during interrogation an arrested person has a right to be consulted by a lawyer of his choice which is enunciated under section 41D of CrPC.
In Nandini Sathpathy vs P.L.Dani, the Supreme Court observed that every arrested person has a right to get Remain Silent, as guaranteed under Article 20(3) of the Constitution. This also means that the Police cannot forcefully extract any confession from the accused or arrested person during interrogation. Article 14 of the Constitution provides for equality before law and states that the principles of natural justice are to be kept in mind when a person is produced before the court of law. Also the right to speedy trial is an intrinsic right of an arrested person.
Thus, it is expedient to say that an arrested person has numerous rights available with him and Indian law keeps a healthy eye on their implementation through relevant authorities. Protection from self-incriminating statements, equality before law and other legal rights available with the arrested person depicts the flexible nature of India’s justice delivery system.