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Human Rights of the Accused-An Indian Perspective

Human Rights of the Accused-An Indian Perspective

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Published by: hrishikeshbaruah-bbpmlaw on Aug 11, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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lan Kupar K. Rymbai 
ssociate BBPM Law Associates lankupar@bbpmlaw.com  
Jlan Kupar RymbaiAssociateBBPM Law AssociatesA-13, First Floor,Nizamuddin East,New Delhi-110 013lankupar@bbpmlaw.com
The Article is just an overview of the constitutional  protections accorded to a person in India in terms of certain criminal procedures with an idea to protect fundamental human rights.
I.1 Human rights are derived from the basis of natural law. It is neither derived fromany social order nor is it conferred upon the individual by the Society. It confines itself tothe fact that such Rights are inherent in an individual to enable the individual to sustainhimself as a human being. Such rights are independent to the development of society and pre-exists a person
s participation in the society. Basically, Human Rights includes within its ambit the Right to Equality, Life and Personal Liberty, Freedom of Speech andExpression, Right against Arbitrary Arrest, Freedom of Conscience and Religion andRight for demanding enforcement of such guaranteed human rights.I.2 Out of the numerous legal safeguards in international and domestic law that areintended to protect an
Indian Citizens', Fundamental Rights seem to have very littlemeaning to the citizens of India especially those of the accused persons [pre-trial andunder-trial prisoners, even the convicts] as the Indian government has failed toadequately protect the right to life of its citizens. Although the Supreme Court of Indiahas attempted through judicial activism to create standards for the enforcement of international and domestic laws, their actions have not sufficiently trickled down to thoseto whom it matters most. This activism has resulted in numerous so-called landmark cases. However, violations of the right to life are still prevalent and have permeated thedeepest reaches of the country. This apparent apathy to people's rights has resulted in abroad discrepancy between the "
laws of the land 
" and
day-to-day practice 
. It is important tonote that:-
Human rights are indivisible and inalienable. They cannot be taken away except in specific situations. However, the right to liberty can be restrictedif a person is found guilty of a crime by a court of law.
Human rights are interrelated and interdependent. The violation of oneright will often affect several other rights.I.3 Rights of Man, as embodied in the declaration proclaimed at the FrenchRevolution, during the later part of the Eighteen Century is a symbolic depiction of theaspirations of man to free himself from oppression and tyranny from his fellow men andhis innate urge for equality and fraternity amongst homo-sapiens. The
 Magna Carta of 1215 
 which introduced the concept of jury trial further provides that
 No freeman shall be taken or imprisoned or outlawed or banished, or in any way destroyed, nor will we go upon him, nor send upon him, except by legal judgment of his  peers or by the law of the land 
 I.4 Following this, the
Bill of Rights, 1689,
evolved and gave birth to the idea of Parliamentary Democracy against arbitrary power and unbridled authority of King of England and it assured to the people equality before the law.
The Habeas Corpus Acts of 1640 and 1679 
had attempted to provide legal remedies against arbitrary detention andimprisonment. The measure had come to be accepted as a tool to move the authority seeking immediate release either for unlawful detentions or even lawful incarceration buton appropriate grounds
. The
 American Declaration of Independence of 1776 and the French Revolution of 1789 
were influenced and inspired by the earlier crusades for liberty participated by many and galvanized into action by the free thinking leading lights of thepreceding centuries.
Magna Carta, also called Magna Carta Libertatum (the Great Charter of Freedoms), is an English legal charter,originally issued in  the year 1215.It was written in Latin and is known by its Latin name. The usual English translation of Magna Carta is Great  Charter 
Article 39 of the Magna Carta, 1215.3
Dr.S.Krishnamurthy, “Human Rights and the Indian Police”, [Second Edition 1996, RR Publisher 
s Bangalore 560055], at page 30

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