The Indian Constitution guarantees many fundamental rights to every Indian citizen and Indian foreigner. One of these rights is the right to life and liberty. The right to liberty and life is seriously compromised by the arrest of someone on suspicion of a crime. The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India elaborated on numerous occasions the Rights of the Arrested Persons. The Constitution and the 1973 Criminal Procedure Code both provide certain rights for an arrested person.
The rights of an arrested person are immediately activated when a Police Officer searches the individual, questions them and seizes evidence to further investigate. As stated earlier, an arrest of a person could be a violation of his fundamental rights to life and liberty as outlined in Article 21 of the Constitution of India. This arrest can only be made according to law. It must be fair, just, and reasonable in all areas and not arbitrariness or oppression.
When an individual is suspected of committing a crime, arrest becomes necessary. His arrest is preventive and precludes him from doing any harm. The Police powers are not absolute. They are subject to various restrictions in favor of the Arrested Person. Notably, arrests can be made on the basis of an Arrest Warrant and, in certain cases, without warrants. Most serious offenses such as those that result in a sentence of over three years are considered cognizable. In these cases, the Police can make arrests without a warrant. If a person is trying to obstruct the investigation process, the Police can make an arrest. For example, if a person refuses to give his personal details for the purpose of investigation or flees from the Police, or tampers with evidence, the Police can also make an arrested.
First, Article 22(1) of India’s Constitution states that an individual cannot be detained without being informed about the reasons for his arrest. Section 50 of Cr.PC provides that all persons arrested must be made aware of the reasons for their arrest by the officer who arrested them. Section 50A requires the officer to inform the relatives and friends of the arrested person about the arrest as soon as they are taken into custody.
Sections 55 and 75 of CrPC stipulate that a subordinate officer may arrest any person without a warrant if he has been authorized by the police officer. The subordinate officer must notify of the substance of the arrest and, if necessary, show the warrant to the arrestee.
Female offenders have separate rights. A general rule states that a male police officer may not arrest a female suspect in any circumstance. However, there are exceptions to this rule. Separate custodial areas are available to them. A police officer may not arrest a woman in the hours after sunset or before sunrise under section 46 of CrPC. However, if it is necessary to arrest her, a female officer must get permission from the magistrate.
Section 22(2) of India’s Constitution states that a police officer who arrests a person must produce him within twenty-four hours of his arrest. If this fails, the arrest is deemed wrongful detention. The officer can be held responsible for making such an error. Section 76 of CrPC allows for the production of an arrested person without undue delay. The time it takes to transport the person from the police station to the magistrate’s office is not included in this time frame of twenty-four hours. Section 50(2) CrPC states that an officer who is arrested for a non-cognizable offense must inform the person concerned about his rights to be released on bail. The police officer also has to make arrangements regarding his surety. A person arrested under article 22(1) of the Constitution and section 303 CrPC has the right to appoint a legal practitioner of their choice who will represent him in court. A person arrested during interrogation has the right to consult a lawyer of their choice, as outlined in section 41D CrPC.
In Nandini Sthpathy vs P.L.Dani, the Supreme Court held that every person arrested has the right to obtain Remain Silent as per Article 20(3) of the Constitution. The Police cannot force an accused or arrested person to give a confession during interrogation. Article 14 of the Constitution guarantees equality before the law. It also states that natural justice principles must be considered when a person is brought before the court. An arrested person also has the intrinsic right to a speedy trial.
It is therefore logical to state that an arrested person has many rights and Indian law monitors their implementation through the relevant authorities. The flexibility of India’s justice delivery system demonstrates the flexibility of India’s justice delivery system.