NOTES

Rights of an Arrested Person

Cr P C gives powers to the police for arresting a person with such power Cr P.C also provides rights to an arrested person. The arrest should not only be legal and justified but it should be effected strictly according to procedure established by law.  Thus no person shall be deprived of his life and personal liberty except according to procedure established by law.  Rights of an arrested person are as follows –

1. Right to know the grounds of arrest – (Section 50(1)) – The foremost requirement of lawful arrest is notification of the reason of arrest with the charges against him. According to this provision, 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 any other grounds for such arrest.

Case law :- Udaybhan Shuki vs State of UP,   High Court held that right to be notified of grounds of arrest is a precious right of the arrested person. This allows arrested person to move to court timely for bail, opportunity to clarify any mistake, to begin to prepare his defence.

Re Madhu Limaye, Court held that detention becomes unlawful if the ground given were not proper and sufficient.

2. Right to be informed of the provision for bail – (Section 50(2)) – This section provides that where a police officer arrests any person other than a person accused of a non-bailable offence without warrant, 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.

3. Information of arrest to a person nominated by accused – (Section 50 A) This section  provides that once the arrested person is brought to the police station, the police officer must inform a relative or a friend, or any other person of the arrested person’s choice, about his arrest. He must also tell the place where the arrested person has been kept. Further he must note down the name and address of the person who was informed about the arrest.  It shall be the duty of the magistrate before whom such person is produced to verify that the provisions of this section were complied with

This section has been added by the decision of Supreme Court in Joginder Singh v. State of Punjab and DK Basu v. State of West Bengal.

 

4. Right to be produced before magistrate within 24 hours – (Section 57) – This section lays down that no police officer shall detain in custody a person arrested 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 a Magistrate under Section 167, exceed twenty four hours exclusive of the time necessary for the journey from the place of arrest to the Magistrate’s court.

In the case of Khatri (II) v. State of Bihar, SC has strongly urged upon the State and its police to ensure that this constitutional and legal requirement of bringing an arrested person before a judicial magistrate within 24 hours should be met.  It is essential that the magistrates should try to enforce this requirement and when they find it disobeyed, they should come heavily upon the police.

5. Right to be examined by a medical practitioner (Section 54) – This section gives the accused a right to get himself examined by a registered medical practitioner. When a person who is arrested, whether on a charge or otherwise, alleges, at the time when he is produced before a Magistrate or at any time during, the period of his detention in custody that the examination of his body will afford evidence which will disprove the commission by him of any offence or which Magistrate shall, if requested by the arrested person so to do direct the examination of’ the body of such person by a registered medical practitioner unless the Magistrate considers that the request is made for the purpose of vexation or delay or for defeating the ends of Justice.

In case of Sheela Barse vs State of Maharashtra, SC held that even in cases were accused does not make any prayer it is duty of the magistrate to inform the arrested person about his right to get himself medically examined in case he has complaints of torture in police custody.

 

6. Right to consult Legal Practitioner – (Section 303)- It is mentioned that any person accused of offence before a Criminal Court or against whom proceedings are instituted under this Code, may have right to be defended by a pleader of his choice.

7. Right to free legal aid – (Section 304) – This section provides that where, in a trial before the Court of Session, the accused is not represented by a pleader, and where appears to the Court that the accused has not sufficient means to engage a pleader, the Court shall assign a pleader for his defence at the expense of the State.