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“Awareness” – Word Of The Day: Facts About Indian Judiciary And Legal Acts

Posted on September 14, 2011 in Specials

By Tushar Malica:

With Anna Hazzare’s ‘India against Corruption Movement’, India came together- united after a very long time. There was a wave of awareness everywhere. So here are some of the laws and rights prescribed by the Indian constitution about which a lot of us are unaware about.

1) The perfect use of our voting power when none of the candidates seem fit to be elected.

Rule 49-O: Elector deciding not to vote. – If an elector, after his electoral roll number has been duly entered in the register of voters in Form-17A and has put his signature or thumb impression thereon as required under sub-rule (1) of rule 49L, decided not to record his vote, a remark to this effect shall be made against the said entry in Form 17A by the presiding officer and the signature or thumb impression of the elector shall be obtained against such remark.

If the number of votes recorded under Rule 49-O exceeds the maximum number of votes polled for any of the candidates, a re-election is held and the rejected candidates can’t compete again.

2) Arrests do not happen as shown in movies and other sitcoms.

No arrest can be made because an officer has the power to do so. The police officer must be able to justify the arrest. People in custody have the right to inform about the arrest to their relatives and the police is duty-bound to provide facilities for the same. According to a directive of the Supreme Court issued in 1997, every accused in police custody will be subjected to medical examination if he remains in custody for more than 48 hours. Clauses I and II of Article 22 of the Constitution guarantees four rights to those who are arrested. These are meant rights are meant for both citizens and non- citizens and to persons arrested and detained under any law providing for preventive detention.

  • The right to be informed of the grounds of arrest. This is necessary so that he may prepare his defense.
  • The right to consult and be defended by a lawyer of his choice. In India, the court is not duty-bound to employ a lawyer unless a request is made.
  • The right to be produced before a magistrate within 24 hours. This can be extended only under a judicial order.
  • The freedom from illegal detention. No accused can be detained beyond 24 hours except by the order of the magistrate.

3) Woman alert !

A woman has the right to be questioned at her residence in the presence of male relatives and she can be brought to the police station only after she is formally arrested. She has the right to be searched only by a woman police officer. Arrest of a woman should be avoided after the sunset.

4. You do not need to wait for the police to come and file the report while the injured lies groaning in pain.

Professional obligation to Protect Life of Accident Victims: — The Supreme Court in its land mark judgment in Paramanand Katara v Union of India ruled that every doctor whether at a Government hospital or otherwise has the professional obligation to extend his services with due expertise for protecting life. A doctor does not contravene the law of the land by proceeding to treat an injured victim on his appearance before him, either by himself or with others. No legal bar on doctors from attending to the injured persons is there. No law or state action can intervene to avoid delay, the discharge of the paramount obligation cast upon members of the medical profession. Whenever, on such occasions, a man of the medical profession is approached by an injured person, and if he finds that whatever assistance he could give is not sufficient to save the life of the person, but some better assistance is necessary, it is the duty of the involved doctor that the injured receives the required expert’s help as early as possible.

5. Get your vehicle insured.

The Fatal Accidents Act, 1885 was enacted in India to protect the legal rights of the accident victims and their legal heirs. This Act entitles the legal heirs of a deceased accident victim to claim compensation from the person who committed negligence. Also, section 145 to 164 of the Act provides for mandatory third party insurance, which is compulsory for a vehicle owner. This means that if you have a vehicle that you use to move in public places, you cannot do so legally unless you have an insurance policy. Typically, your insurance policy papers must always be kept in the car with your car registration and driving licence. Section 146(1) of the Act prohibits a vehicle owner from using the vehicle in a public place without undertaking an insurance policy in compliance with the Act.

6. Right to Information includes the right to:

  • Inspect works, documents, and records.
  • Take notes, extracts or certified copies of documents or records.
  • Take certified samples of material.
  • Obtain information in form of printouts, diskettes, floppies, tapes, video, and cassettes or in any other electronic mode or through printouts.

This Act is extended throughout the country except the state of Jammu and Kashmir.