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THE CONCEPT OF FAIR TRIAL UNDER CR.P.C.


INTRODUCTION AND SCOPE


The Indian Criminal Justice System's key mission is to guarantee a reasonable and unbiased hearing for each and every convict who has been incarcerated on Indian soil. For the prosecution of an accused individual in our nation, we use the adversary method. In this scheme, the prosecutor is liable for demonstrating the accused's guilt without a reasonable doubt. In the historic case of “Zahira Habibullah Sheikh and Ors vs. State of Gujarat”,The learned Supreme Court tried to define the concept of Fair trial as a trial before an a fair lawyer, a judicially calm environment, and unbiased judge. A lack of a fair hearing, according to the Supreme Court, is as much an insult to the Accused as it is to the Victim and community.


The adversary scheme focused on the accusatorial approach is the system implemented by the “Criminal Pocedure Code, 1973” (which will be referred as Law further in this paper). In an adversarial structure, the lawyer, on the other hand, is responsible for the production of evidence, while the judge serves as a neutral arbitrator among the parties. In an inquisitorial tribunal, on the other hand, the trial judge is responsible for the production of testimony at trial, and it is based on the wisdom of the trial judge who chooses which of the witnesses may be called at trial and conducts the majority of the witness interviews.

The concept of “Adversary Scheme” is founded on the idea of combining private and public interests, with the public interest being to punish or prosecute the wrongdoer to stop or prohibit him from undertaking more crimes, and the private interest being to an effort to stop fraudulent convictions and preserve personal liberties and his life. This form of criminal trial means that the state, on the one side, will prosecute the wrongdoer through its government counsels and forensic agencies, and that the accused or the wrongdoer, on the different side, will challenge and refute the prosecution's evidence with the strongest counsel available. However, a thorough inspection of the Document indicates that some provisions dispute the Code's rigid implementation.

Sections 240 and 228 , which indicate that the accusation against the accused should be framed by the judge rather than the prosecutors, demonstrate a departure from the adversary trial method.

Sections 304 and 303 , which grant the accused not only the right to be served by a counsel of his choosing, but also the right to obtain legal assistance for his protection at the expense of the state (According to the Article 22(1) of the Constitution of the India the accused a similar right).

Section 311, which enables the learned court to challenge any individual who claims to be witness even though they have not been called as a witness by any group (much of similar type of power is also provided to the court under “Section 165 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872”).

Section 313, which requires the judge to interview the wrongdoer or the accused at any point to seek an answer.

Section 320, which includes the court's approval before compounding those violations.

Section 321, which specifies that the prosecutor cannot remove the complaint without the court's approval.

The intention of this paper is to address the concepts of fair courts, particularly the presumption of innocence and the right to a fair trial. Judge who is autonomous, neutral and professional. Court in a rush The trial can be conducted in public. Knowing about the allegation and getting enough time to react, In the presence of the convicted, a tribunal is held. Proof would be gathered in the presence of the convicted. Prosecution witness cross-examination, double jeopardy ban, and legal assistance This paper would also look at the definition of a reasonable trial and many of the rules that go along with it, as well as the judgments reached by numerous courts under the CRPC.

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

To study the origin of the concept of the Fair trial under Criminal Justice System in India.

To understand the importance of fair trial.

To understand the principles of fair trial.

To study the important judgments passed by the courts in India.

To form a conclusion of the study.

RESEARCH QUESTIONS

How did the concept of fair trial originate?

What is the importance of fair trial?

What are the principles of fair trial?

What was the role of courts in giving judgments on the issues of fair trials?

What conclusion is made after the study?

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

This article takes a doctrinal approach to the methodology, concentrating on the laws and concepts of fair prosecution. The doctrinal approach is concerned with locating the statute, rigorously evaluating it, and constructing rational claims to justify it. As a consequence, it provides a major contribution to legal continuity, accuracy, and assurance. The research's basic knowledge was extracted from legislative material, i.e. primary sources, as well as secondary sources.


THE HISTORY OF FAIR TRIAL

EARLY USES

The lack of the collocation fair trial in early writings can be established by searching texts where it could be anticipated to appear. There are no uses in Sir Thomas More’s Utopia, a treatise by a distinguished lawyer and Lord Chancellor. There are none among the works of the famous judge, Sir Edward Coke (1552–1634). I searched 289,000 words of his writings and discovered 16 occurrences of fair referring either to persons or to things (“an ancient and fair descended Family de Littleton,” “the fair blossoms and roses of the Crown,” “fair and ancient manuscript”) but none modifying nouns such as trial. The adjective that Coke uses to describe a trial is indifferent.

For example: And to the end that the trial may be the more indifferent, seeing that the safeties of the prisoner consist in the indifferency of the Court, the Judges ought not to deliver their opinions beforehand of any criminal case, that may come before them judicially. You may substitute the word fair in its contemporary sense for indifferent and fairness for indifference. Today, a fair trial allows for judicial impartiality and evidence-based trial. It's only that such an imposition of modern-centric usage on the text would be completely alien to the conceptual cosmos of early seventeenth-century Europe.


THE OLD BAILEY 1674–1834

Even while the concept of a fair trial dates back to the 17th century, it would be naive to suppose that it was as prevalent in legal discourse as it is now. However, it was extremely infrequent between 1674 and 1834, when the OBP covered the era. Counting those that indicate a “test” such as “he determined to give me a fair trial”, there are just 16 instances in the OBP. With 101,102 cases in the record that spans more than 160 years, this is an extremely infrequent occurence that shows how unimportant a fair trial was before 1835. But for the fact that it became popular in the 20th century, it would have been little more than a small oddity, lost to oblivion along with the long gone In 1676, barely two years after the OBP was published for the first time, fair trial was used for the first time in the OBP. Because of this early incidence, it is possible that the phrase was used in courtrooms previous to that date.


Before Easter Term 1676, an Account of Sessions. Fifteen men and a woman were sentenced to death after fair trials. For example, in 1676, the following was written: To rob the king in this manner was an awful and daring attempt; but two others went a step further, presuming to rob God himself by breaking into Enfield Church, and stealing surplice, tippets, a green carpet, some plate, &c from there. On his arraignment, one of them pleaded guilty, while the other was found guilty after a fair trial. The meaning of fair trial can only be inferred from these earliest instances because they are not stated. Other examples, on the other hand, have remarks in the surrounding text that hint at the interpretation.


In the following treason case the reporter says that “it was proved by good evidence that” the defendants had attempted to kill the King: Grove and Ireland were to have acted the most bloody part, for which they were brought to a fair trial at the Old Bailey, where it was proved by good evidence that they (with another) were to have Kill’d the King. The following trial was fair because both parties were heard at length; the prisoner was shown “great Indulgence” and the evidence was “clear and positive”. The trial was long in hearing on both sides, and great indulgence was extended towards him by the Court, as ever was showed to any man.


IMPORTANCE OF FAIR TRIAL

India's criminal justice system has a vital role to play in this Everyone is deemed innocent until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubts. For the prosecution, it's up to them to prove that the accused According to the Latin proverb, the burden of proof lies with the one who asserts and not with the one who denies. Criminal trials in an adversarial system begin with a presumption of innocence that is taken into account throughout.

That's because improper conviction of an innocent individual will undermine the public's faith in the Indian judicial system. On the basis of the presumption by law, we have the presumption of innocence “State of U.P. v. Naresh” and Ors,”, “Chandrappa and ors v. State of Karnataka”, 2007: The Supreme Court held that the presumption of innocence is available to the accused under the fundamental principle of criminal jurisprudence that every person should be assumed to be innocent unless proven guilty by the competent court of law in a criminal trial..

PRINCIPLES OF FAIR TRIAL:-

ADVERSARY SYSTEM

In common law countries, court processes are adversarial in nature. In this arrangement, the right to equality is protected, as both parties have equal representation. It's a two-party system in which the attorneys for each side defend their side and establish the evidence that back them up However, in the inquisitorial system, judges are more involved. To gather evidence, the court is directly involved. As part of the inquisitorial system, the inquiry may be conducted by the judges themselves, which, in certain scenarios, can be prejudiced. Typically, the inquisitorial system is utilised in civil judicial systems, such as those in France or Italy.

TRIALS

Trials are unavoidable in the pursuit of justice. For a trial to be fair and free of bias, it must be performed properly, following all the protocols and steps required. In the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1973, the term trial is not defined. During trials, the judicial organisations that have authority over the offence examine the offence to determine if it was committed. According to Section 225 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, the Public Prosecutor must prosecute every case before the Court of Session.

To be eligible for legal help, a defendant must meet certain financial requirements, as specified in Section 304 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, before a court can assign a lawyer for his defence. In that instance, the Court will appoint a pleader at the expense of the State on its own. Due to the fact that both parties are represented equally, this clause ensures that the trial will be fair. State government consent is required before the High Court can issue rulings on a variety of issues, including:

The mode of selecting pleaders for defence;

The facilities to be allowed to such pleaders by the Courts;

The fee which is payable to such pleaders by the Government.


PRESUMPTION OF INNOCENCE

The presumption of innocence is essential to a fair trial, as it prevents false convictions from taking place. Innocence is presumed because of the Blackstone's ratio, which states that "it is better for 10 guilty people to escape than for one innocent person to be punished." Also known as “Ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat”, this presumption of innocence stems from a Latin phrase, “Ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui nega”. The prosecution has the burden of proving the accused's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

According to Article 14(2) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, anybody accused of a crime is presumed innocent unless proven guilty. According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 11 of the Declaration of Human Rights, there is a

Article 6(2) of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms enshrines the same idea.

According to this principle, the individual's freedom cannot be revoked for an indefinite amount of time as long as the person is found guilty, as was held in the case of “Dataram Singh v State of Uttar Pradesh”. As a result, this freedom can only be taken away if As an exception to this presumption of innocence, the Indian Evidence Act contains provisions such as Section 111A.

There is no presumption of innocence in this section, which states that if a person has interfered with the peace and security in specific places or has committed any of the offences listed in sections 121,121 A,122 and 123 of the Indian Penal Code, then they are not assumed Waging or preparing to wage war against the Government of India is a criminal offence under Indian Penal Code Section 121 (IPC). Indian Penal Code Section 121A punishes those who plot to wage war against government.

The offence of acquiring weapons with the purpose to wage war against the government is dealt with under Section 122. Dissimulation of certain information that would enable the conduct of war is a crime under Section 123 of the Criminal When it comes to crimes such as dowry death, the presumption of innocence does not apply to those


INDEPENDENT, IMPARTIAL AND COMPETENT JUDGES

Every fair trial requires the independence of the court. Separation of powers safeguards the judiciary's independence from political interference. As the judiciary's future is determined by the competence of its judges, this is a critical element to consider. Any trial will be ruined if the designated judges are incompetent. According to Article 217 of the Indian Constitution, the High Court Judges must be appointed by the President of India. In this article, numerous qualifications must be met while appointing the Judges, including The Chief Justice of India consults with the President before appointing the judges of the High Court.

The person appointed has to be a Citizen of India.

The person must have held a judicial office for at least ten years in India.

The person has to be an advocate of a High Court or of two or more such Courts in succession for at least ten years.

There were recommendations to form the National Judicial Appointments Commission under the 99th amendment by bringing in a new Article 124A and the main functions of the commission would be,

To recommend persons for an appointment for the post of Chief Justice of India and Judges of various courts in India.

To ensure that the person recommended has all the eligibility and integrity.

To recommend persons for transfer from one Court to another Court.

However, due to its unconstitutionality, the old collegium system of selecting judges was reinstated by the Supreme Court. There have been changes made by the Supreme Court in the collegium system in order to increase transparency. For example, the Central Government will not prepare the project memorandum for judicial nomination.


RIGHT OF THE ACCUSED TO KNOW THE ACCUSATION

No one can be kept in prison in India without providing adequate information, according to Article 22 of the Constitution. Accordingly, the accused has a right to know the charges against them under the United States Constitution's sixth amendment. The accused should know why he's being held. Every accused person has a right to be informed of the numerous grounds for arrest, according to section 50 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CPC). It is the duty of the police officer to tell a suspect of all possible reasons for arrest if he or she is taken into custody without a warrant.

ACCUSED PERSON TO BE TRIED IN HIS PRESENCE

The accused must be present at the trial, however the magistrate can waive this requirement in specific circumstances after evaluating relevant criteria. The Magistrate has this authority under section 317 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973. The Magistrate can only waive the attendance requirement if it has no effect on the trial process. Article 14 of the Indian Constitution, which guarantees equality, also supports this notion.

EVIDENCE TO BE TAKEN IN THE PRESENCE OF ACCUSED

When taking evidence, it must be done in front of the accused, according to the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, Section 273. This clause should not be limited to cases involving the rape of a minor female victim. Code of Criminal Procedure 1973 Section 299 outlines the conditions for recording evidence when the accused is not present.


RIGHT OF ACCUSED PERSON TO CROSS-EXAMINE PROSECUTION WITNESSES AND TO PRODUCE EVIDENCE IN DEFENCE

The accused person has the right to cross-examine any number of witnesses so that it would ensure the fairness of the trial. In the case of “Mohd. Hussain Julfikar Ali v. The State (Govt. of NCT) Delhi”, No chance was given to cross-examine the fifty-six witnesses by the appellant. During cross-examination of a single witness, only the formalities were completed. Because of this, the appellant's conviction and sentence were overturned.


RIGHT OF THE ACCUSED PERSON TO HAVE AN EXPEDITIOUS TRIAL

As a result, the public has more faith in the justice system. Article 21 of the Indian Constitution guarantees a quick trial. “Babu Singh v State of Uttar Pradesh” argued that a rapid trial is also part of a fair trial, according to the court's ruling. Speedy trial was ruled to be part of the right to life and personal liberty in the case of “Kartar Singh v. State of Punjab”.


Same rule applies in a number of other cases, such as the one involving the case of “Husainera Khatoon and others v. Home Secretary, State of Bihar”, to avoid unnecessary delays, it's important to make sure that all proceedings of the trial are correctly observed.


THE DOCTRINE OF “AUTREFOIS CONVICT” AND “AUTREFOIS ACQUIT”

The principle autrefois convict and autrefois acquit imply 'previously convicted' and 'formerly acquitted,' respectively. The term “issue-estoppel” is used by multiple Australian courts to refer to the same concept. “Autrefois convict” is a defence plea that is accepted and followed in common law countries.

That way, a person can't be convicted twice for the same crime! In the event that this plea is accepted, the entire proceeding will be stopped. Our Indian Constitution also prohibits the concept of double jeopardy. A person who has been convicted or acquitted of a crime may not be tried again for the same offence under Section 300 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973. According to Section 300 (2) and (4) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, there are some exceptions to the above-mentioned regulation. Anyone who has been exonerated of guilt or sentenced to prison can be tried again under this clause, if the earlier trial was not conducted by an appropriately qualified court. After being found not guilty or acquitted in court, the person can be tried a second time with the approval of the state government for any other offence for which a separate accusation was brought against the accused in the initial trial

CONCLUSION

For the purpose of this post, we've addressed a wide range of crucial factors relating to the concept of 'trial,' which are essential for anyone working in the legal profession. Crimes and punishments have changed dramatically in India's criminal justice system, and as time passes, more concepts will be studied and added to it.

A fair trial is a vital right of every accused person in the world. As a result of the concept of fair trial, the public begins to have faith in the judiciary. Observe each of these aspects to ensure that the trial does not contain any biases. These are not merely domestic rights, but they are also protected by international accords. Because of this, the concept of justice is crucial in every proceeding.

Whether or not the principles of fair trial are coordinated and complementary to the requirements of accused persons as outlined in the Constitution of India and the Criminal Procedure Code is examined in this article. Fair Trial and Accused Persons have been critically analysed, and the study concludes that the Right of Accused Persons is a component and element of Fair Trial that has not been inserted in the Cr.PC for show and no other reason.

Since 1973, according to the Code of Criminal Procedure, fair trial goes hand in hand with the Rights of Accused Persons (RAP). Court and Magistrate competence are essential for fair trial.


SOURCES

Cases Referred

Zahira Habibullah Sheikh and Ors vs. State of Gujarat- 2004 (5) SCC (353)

Dataram Singh v State of Uttar Pradeshi- AIR 2018 SC 980

Mohd. Hussain Julfikar Ali v. The State (Govt. of NCT) Delhi- (2012) 9 SCC 408

Kartar Singh v State of Punjab- AIR 1993 SC 341

Babu Singh v State of Uttar Pradesh- AIR 1978 SC 527

Husainera Khatoon and others v. Home Secretary, State of Bihar- 1979 AIR 1369

BOOKS

Fair Trial Vis-À-Vis Criminal Justice Administration: A Critical Study Of Indian Criminal Justice System Neeraj Tiwari

Criminal Justice: A Human Rights Perspective Of The Criminal Justice Process In India

Witness Protection In Criminal Trial In India

The Right To A Fair Trial By Danny J. Boggst

WEBSITES

Jstor

Hein Online

SCC

Manupatra

Shodganga

Name- Shourya Kackar

College- Symbiosis Law School, Hyderabad

Year- Third Year, 6th Sem


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