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Presumption of Innocence: Exploring the Legal Rights of an Accused Person

A fair justice system must respect the rights of the accused. They are the legal protections that prevent people from being detained arbitrarily and guarantee that they are treated fairly throughout the course of the investigation, the trial, and the sentence process. The Indian Constitution states in Article 21 that "no person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except in accordance with the procedure established by law, nor shall any person be denied equality before the law or equal protection of the laws within the territory of India."

A reasonable and fair trial without arbitrary procedures is also included, suggesting that an arrest should be both lawful and warranted. This article addresses the procedural and constitutional rights of the accused in India both before and after their arrest in this context. The accused person is deemed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, unless and until exceptions are made, unless and until otherwise stated.

The idea of a free and fair trial is a constitutional obligation since the Indian constitution is devoted to democracy and the rule of law, and the core idea of criminal law focuses around Natural Justice, in which even the accused or guilty person is treated with humanity. The prosecution must establish the accused's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt in order to succeed in court. The Indian Constitution guarantees the most fundamental rights for the accused, which are also given to them.

During any investigation, inquiry, or trial for the offence with which he is charged, an accused person has certain rights and should be shielded from arbitrary or unlawful arrest.

A defendant has the following important rights:
  • A person suspected of a crime has the right to stay silent while being questioned by police authorities. The Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution protects people against self-incrimination and guarantees this privilege.
  • An accused person has the right to legal representation at all levels of the criminal court system. An attorney will be supplied for the accused if they are unable to pay for one.
  • An accused person has the right to legal representation at all levels of the criminal court system. An attorney will be supplied for the accused if they are unable to pay for one.
  • The right to a fair trial guarantees that the accused will receive an impartial and fair trial. This covers the right to an impartial jury, the right to question witnesses directly, and the right to make a defence argument.
According to Section 50 (2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Cr.P.C.), if a police officer makes an unwarranted arrest, he is required to let the individual know that he is eligible for release on bail and that he is free to get sureties on his behalf.

The Code of Criminal Procedure (Cr.P.C.) Section 54 states that when a person who has been arrested, whether on a charge or otherwise, claims that the examination of his body will produce evidence that will negate the commission by him of any offence or that will prove that another person committed an offence against his body, the Magistrate shall order the examination of the person's body.

How To Rights Of The Accused Differ In Civil Cases Versus Criminal Cases

There are numerous differences between the rights of the accused in civil and criminal cases. In criminal cases, the accused is entitled to a speedy trial, information about the nature and basis of the accusation, the opportunity to cross-examine witnesses, a process that makes it mandatory to find witnesses who will testify in their favour, and the assistance of counsel for their defence.

The accused is not entitled to a speedy trial in civil cases, nor is the right to counsel guaranteed.The Crime Victims' Rights Act, which gives victims in criminal proceedings various rights, including the right to be reasonably safeguarded from the accused and the court system, also safeguards their rights.

Common Violation Of The Rights Of The Accused

The right to counsel, the right to a speedy trial, the ability to cross-examine witnesses, and the right to know the substance and basis of the charge are among the rights of the accused that are frequently violated in criminal proceedings. Cruel and unusual punishment, double jeopardy, and arbitrary searches and seizures are examples of other infractions.

It's crucial to remember that the Fourteenth Amendment's right to due process of law for suspects and defendants is violated if any criminal procedural protections from the Bill of Rights are not present. Although victims of crimes have rights as well, such rights do not take precedence over those of the guilty.

Modern constitutional law has gone a long way when it comes to defending and preserving the rights of criminal defendants. India has a serious issue with unlawful detentions, which frequently lead to unlawful detention-related deaths. The legal system in India, which upholds the notion of "Innocent until proven guilty," provides that when a police officer knocks on a suspect's door to make an arrest, the suspect's rights as an arrested person remain unchanged.

In D.K. Basu v. State of West Bengal (1997), the Supreme Court established some rules that must be adhered to in all instances of arrest or detention. These rules included that the arresting official must display clear, legible identification and name tags with their official titles.


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