What are the rights of arrested persons under Constitution of India?

The protection of the individual from oppression and abuse by the police and other enforcement officers is a major interest in a free society. Clauses (1) and (2) of Article 22 ensure the following four safeguards for a person who is arrested:

  • He is not to be detained in custody without being informed, as soon as may be, of the grounds of his arrest [Article 22 (1)].
  • He shall not be denied the right to consult, and to be defended by, a legal practitioner of his choice [Article 22 (2)].
  • A person arrested and detained in custody is to be produced before the nearest magistrate within a period of twenty-fours of his arrest excluding the time necessary for the journey from the place of arrest to the magistrate’s court [Article 22 (2)].
  • No such person is to be detained in custody beyond this period without the authority of a magistrate [Article 22(2)].

The reason behind the rule requiring communication of grounds to the person arrested is to enable him to prepare his defence, and to move the court for bail, or for a writ of habeas corpus. Failure to inform the person arrested of the reasons of his arrest would entitle him to be released. If information is delayed, there must be some reasonable grounds justified by circumstances.

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