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Rights of an arrested person

Rights of an arrested person

This article is written by Harsh Khatri, 3rd year Law intern from University of petroleum and energy studies dehradun. This article explains the rights of an arrested person.


A method for enforcing criminal law is intended to be provided by the Code of Criminal Procedure. One of the most crucial steps in stopping someone or a group's illicit operations is making an arrest. Sections 41 to 60A of the CrPC cover the arrest of a person. When a person is arrested, it signifies that a legal authority has apprehended him and taken away his freedom. It is carried out when someone is detained for breaking the law.

Despite being detained for engaging in illegal activity, the detained individual is still entitled to exercise some legal rights; however, these rights are limited and distinct from those that an Indian citizen who is not an offender would be able to enjoy.

The Supreme Court in the case of Sunil Batra vs Delhi Administration reported in 1980 SCR (2) 557 held that “It behoves the court to insist that, in the eye of law, prisoners are persons not animals, and to punish the deviant 'guardians' of the prison system where they go berserk and defile the dignity of the human inmate. Prison houses are part of Indian earth and the Indian Constitution cannot be held at bay by jail officials 'dressed in a little, brief authority'.


The Opportunity of seeking legal advice: 

According to Section 41D of the Criminal Procedure Code, the accused has the right to select the attorney who will represent them. No one who is arrested shall be refused the right to speak with a lawyer of his choice, according to Article 22(1) of the Constitution. The individual who has been arrested has the right to be represented by the solicitors of his or her choosing to help him, if necessary, prove innocence. 

Legal help should be free:

This option is available to people who don't appear to have the financial means to pursue a case or engage in any legal action in a high court of law. This ensures that justice supports the chance through free legal aid or legislation to those who have been accused and cannot afford legal practices because of being economically weak. 

Right to protection against being detained and arrested: 

According to Section 49 of the Criminal Procedure Code, reasonable force should be used to achieve the goal, but no more constraint shall be used than is justified to prevent escape. According to Article 22(4), no one may be held for longer than three months unless the Advisory Board recommends it. The highest level of force that can be used to prevent the detained individual from exercising their fundamental rights should be used to keep them in custody. 

Right to know the ground of arrest: 

According to Section 50(1) of the CrPC, any law enforcement official or other person who makes an unwarranted arrest of a person must immediately give that person full details about the crime for which they have been detained or any other justifications for their arrest.

According to Article 22 of the Indian Constitution, no one who is arrested may be held in custody without first learning the reason for their detention and without being refused the right to speak with and be represented by a lawyer of their choosing.

The reason(s) for the arrest must be made known to the individual who has been arrested as quickly as feasible, without holding up the process.

Right to be released on bail: 

Section 50(2) states that where the police officer arrests without warrant somebody apart from someone accused of a non-bailable offence. Section 436 of CrPC states that bail should be granted to the person accused of a bailable offence. A person who has been accused of a bailable offence has the right to be released on bail, the object of the bail is to produce the arrested person a good chance to prove himself innocent, if so. The person should get an opportunity to defend himself within the court of trial. 

Right to a medical professional's examination: 

At the time of his presentation before the magistrate or at any point during his detention, the accused has the right to proceed with a medical examination or checkup of his entire body in case this examination will yield evidence that will disprove the commission of an offence or crime on him or prove the commission by others. The magistrate has the option of continuing it or cancelling it. This makes it easier for the individual who was arrested to present a defence.

Right to be produced before a magistrate: 

A police officer making an arrest without a warrant must, without undue delay and subject to the provisions herein contained on bail, take or send the person arrested before a magistrate having jurisdiction over the case or before the officer of a station, and the person arrested may not be detained for more than twenty-four hours. This is stated in Sections 56 and 57 of the Criminal Procedure Code. 

Without a special order from a magistrate under section 167, no police officer may hold an individual arrested without a warrant in custody for longer than is reasonable given all the circumstances of the case. This period cannot, therefore, exceed twenty-four hours, not including the time needed to travel from the place of arrest to the magistrate's court. 

The right of the arrested individual to appear before the magistrate without delay is guaranteed in both cases where an arrest is made without a warrant and when one is made with one. The person might not be detained beyond the said period by the magistrate and also if the arrested person is not presented before the magistrate and without reasonable cause, the arrest is termed unlawful. 

Rights against handcuffing:-

While examining the rationale behind fetters, Supreme Court (in Prem Shankar Shukla v. Delhi Administration, (1980) 3 SCC 528) noted that prima facie handcuffing is inhuman and hence unreasonable as well as arbitrary in absence of fair procedure and objective monitoring.

In the directives issued by the Supreme Court, it was mentioned that the escorting officer must show reasons to the presiding judge behind handcuffing a person and shall obtain judge's approval. The Supreme court left the discretion with the trial court and not the police to decide whether an accused or prisoner should be handcuffed or not.

The directive validates incapacitation by these rings only when there is no other reasonable way of preventing the escape in such circumstances.


The Supreme Court of India introduced a new interpretation of Article 21 in the case of Maneka Gandhi v. Union of Indiareported n AIR 1978 SC 597, stating that the phrase "right to life or live" encompasses more than just the ability to exist physically. It also refers to the ability to live in dignity.

In State of Maharashtra v. Prabhakar Pandurang Sanzgiri reported in 1966 SCR (1) 702, the Supreme Court ruled that a person's fundamental rights cannot be violated simply because they are in custody and that such restrictions cannot be made so severe as to violate the detained person's fundamental rights. The Court further decided that every prisoner preserves all of these liberties, with the exception of those that must be forfeited due to incarceration.

In the case of Joginder Kumar v. The State of UP reported in 1994 Cr L.J. 1981, the Supreme Court held that the accused has a right to know the reasons behind their arrest, let someone know they've been arrested, and speak with a lawyer. In addition, there should be a clear explanation for the arrest rather than just doing it because the police officer has the authority to. This case law is taken into account while looking for rules that are not listed in the CrPC.

In the case of Prem Shankar Shukla v. Delhi Administration, (1980) 3 SCC 526 held that handcuffing is inhuman in normal circumstances.

In the case of Sunil Batra vs Delhi Administration reported in 1980 SCR (2) 557 the Supreme held that the Protection of the prisoner is within his rights is part of Article 32.

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