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Rights of undertrial prisoners in India

MEANING:

Undertrial means a situation where the accused is facing a criminal trial but is not released on bail ( in prison ) and law requires that such accused should get the speedy trial. However it was observed that there are no. of such cases which are pending in courts for years and hence Supreme Court came to the rescue of such undertrial prisoners by pronouncing their temp. release and to face trial by remaining free.

RIGHTS OF UNDERTRIAL PRISONERS IN INDIA

  1. Right to speedy trial
    In Hussainara Khatoon (II) v. Home Secretary, State of Bihar, the Court while dealing with the cases of under trials who had suffering from the long time held that a procedure which keeps such large number of people behind bars without trial so long cannot possibly be regarded as reasonable, just or fair
    so as to be in conformity with the requirement of Article 21.
  2. No handcuffing
    In the absence of justifying circumstances an arrested person or under trial prisoners should not be subjected to handcuffing. In Perm Shankar Sukla v Delhi Administration,held that when the accused are found to be educated,selflessly devoting their work to public good on bail able offence there is no reason for handcuffing while taking them prison to the Court.
  3. Right to legal Aid
    In Madhav Hayawadan Rao Hosket v. State of Maharashtra, Three Judges Bench of Supreme Court comprising of Justice V.R Krishna Ayer, Justice D.A Desai and Justice O.Chinnappa Reddy while reading Articles 21 and 39-A, Section 142 and Section 304 of I.P.C declared that the Government was under duty bound to provide legal services for the accused persons.
  4. Rights against inhuman treatment of prisoners
    Article 21 provides that no person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to the procedure established by law. And human rights is a part and parcel of dignified life. So that the expression of personal life include gurantee against to ture and assault by the State or its functionaries.

    IN THE CASE OF A.K GOPALAN V. UNION OF INDIA1

    In that case the petitioner A.K Gopalan, a communist leader was detained under the Preventive Detention Act, 1950. He was challanged that the validity of his detention under the Act on the ground,that it was violative of his right to freedom of movement under Article 19(1)(d) which is the very essence of personal liberty guranteed by Article 21 Of the Indian Constitution.
  5. Right to be informed and to meet family members and friends
    IN THE CASE OF SUNIL BATRA (II) v. DELHI ADMINISTRATION
    Where the Supreme Court recognized that the right of the prisoners to be visited by their friends and relatives. The Court favoured their visits but subject to search and discipline and other security criteria. Visit to prisoners by family and friends are solace in insultation, and only a dehumanized system can derive vicarious delight in depriving prison inmates of this humane amenity. These rights are inherent in
    Articles 21 and 22(1) of the Comstitution and require be recognizing and protecting.
  6. Right to engage lawyers
    IN THE CASE OF HUSSAINARA KHATOON v. HOME SECRETARY, BIHAR
    Honourable Supreme Court states that it is the Constititional right of every accused person who is unable to engage a lawyer and secure legal services on account of reasons such as poverty, indegence or incommunicado situation to have free legal services provided to him and State and the State is under Constitutional duty to provide a lawyer to such person if the needs of justice so require. If free legal services are not provided the trial itself may be vitiate as contradict Article 21.
  7. Narco analysis or brain mapping

In the emerging development of science and technology Narco analysis, polygraph test and brain mapping found to be most wanted tools for investigating agencies. But unfortunately the process was termed as breach of right to privacy of a prudent man. Such test was priviously conducted many a times in Arushi murder Case, Abu Salem case, Pragya Thakur case etc.

In the case of SELVI AND ORS v. STATE OF KARNATAKA3
Supreme Court judgment holding the use of narco analysis brain mapping amd polygraph test on accused, suspects and witnesses without their consent is unconstitutional, and violation of the right to privacy.

Conclusion

Separate woman prisons are essential to keep the women prisoners. Women prisoners being woman separate prison is required according to their necessities.The increasing number of under trial prisoners is also must be reduced do decrease the burden of judiciary. Moreover the reformative ideology is must be implemented accordingly so that after releasing from the jail a person must not be suffer from social negligence and successfully can exercise right to profession and run his or her family.

  1. AIR 1950 SC 27
  2. International Journal of law and Jurisprudence studies: ISSN:2348-8212 volume2 Issue3.
  3. Criminal Appeal No 1267 of 2004.
The review of Contempt of court
CS Namrata Aggarwal
CS Namrata Aggarwal
My name is Namrata Aggarwal and I am a Legal Analyst in one of the Organisation. I am an accomplished associate with professional ethics and Corporate Governance. I enjoy using my skills to contribute to the exciting compliant corporates.
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