FAIR TRIALUNDER CRIMINAL LAW
The concept of fair trial has been adopted by almost all the countries in their respected field of laws. The purpose behind the establishment of fair trial is to protect the common man from unfair means of any injustice and violation of fundamental rights. The principles of natural justice are the ultimate basis of fair trial system. As far as country like India is concerned, the concept of fair trail is envisaged under the Constitution and other procedural laws. Everyone has an inbuilt right to be dealt with fairly in a criminal trial. Denial of a fair trial is as much injustice to the accused as is to the victim and the society. The fair trial for a criminal offence consists not only in technical observance of the frame and norms of law, but also in recognition and just application of its principles in substance, to find out the truth and prevent miscarriage of justice. The primary aim of criminal procedure is to ensure a fair trial to every person accused of any crime. The notion of a fair trial is closely related with the basic and universally accepted human rights as it has been discussed above. The requirement of a fair trial relate to the character of the court, venue, the mode of conducting the trial, rights of the accused in relation to defence and other rights. The researcher has laid down the principles of fair trial under the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 and the aspect of the Indian Constitution.
2. FAIR TRIAL IN CRIMINAL LAW : AN INSIGHT
3.1 Concept of Fair Trial In Consonance With Human Rights Law: After the acceptance of fair trial as the International Human Right Law it has been adopted by many countries worldwide. The concept has been reflected in various declarations and conventions which are as follows:- * Article 10 and 11, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948. (UDHR) * Article 14, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 1966. (ICCPR) * Article 3, 7 and 26, the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights (ACHPR). * Article 5, 6 and 7, the European Charter on Human Rights; Article 2 to 4, the 7th Protocol to the Charter. * Article 3, 8, 9 and 10, the American Convention on Human Rights.
3.2 Right to Fair Trial in Criminal Proceedings:
Right to fair trial includes the following rights:
* the right to appeal at first instance to a higher court. * the right to be notified of charges in a timely manner, * the prohibition on double jeopardy.
* the right to adequate time and means for the preparation of a defense, * the right of the accused to defend himself, or the right to a counsel chosen by the accused and the right to communicate privately with the counsel, and * the right not to incriminate oneself.
3.3 Fair trial vis-à-vis Indian Constitution
The concept of criminal fair trial is very much reflected in the Constitution of India. Some of the reflections are as follows:
Article 14: Equality before Law:
The right to equality as enshrined under the Constitution of India reflects a positive right under which everyone is treated as equal. The State is under an obligation to take necessary steps so that every individual is given equal respect and concern which he is entitled to as a human being. This right guarantees to every person the right to equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws. The aim of Article 14 is to provide legal aid to the sufferers and the needy ones.
Article 20: Protection in Respect of Conviction for Offences: (1) Ex Post Facto Laws:
Ex Post Facto laws are those laws which punish for what was lawful when done. An act, that was lawful when done cannot be declared or made an offence by a law made after the commission of act. The important note here is that, what is prohibited under this Article is only conviction or sentence under an ex post facto law and not the trial....
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