Sukh Das vs. Union Territory of Arunachal Pradesh, the court emphasized that even if an indigent accused fails to apply for legal aid, their right to it cannot be denied. Failure to provide legal aid to such an accused person can render the entire trial void. This protection is grounded in Article 20(2), which prevents compelling individuals to incriminate themselves. This principle was reaffirmed in the case of NandiniSatpathy vs. P.L. Dani, highlighting an individual’s right to remain silent during interrogation.
D.K. Basu vs. State of West Bengal is a landmark judgment focusing on the rights of arrested persons and placing obligations on police officers. Failure to fulfill these duties can lead to contempt of court and departmental actions. To address custodial deaths and police brutality, the Supreme Court issued guidelines, amending various sections of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC).
The guidelines include requirements for police officers to wear visible badges with their name and designation, prepare cash memos for arrests, inform arrested individuals of their rights, record injuries, allow access to lawyers, and send documentation to the Magistrate. Section 41C mandates the establishment of police control rooms for reporting arrests within 12 hours.
Yoginder Singh vs. State of Punjab, the Court emphasized the importance of informing friends or relatives about an arrest and making entries in a diary. Prem Shukla vs. Delhi Administration established that prisoners should not be routinely handcuffed unless exceptional circumstances exist.
The interpretation of the term “wife” has evolved through various Supreme Court judgments. While Savitaben Somabhai Bhatiya v. State of Gujarat initially defined it as a legally wedded wife, later cases like D. Velusamy v. D. Patchaiammal and Chanmuniya v. Virendra Kumar Singh Kushwahaextended rights to women in marriage-like relationships.
Shambhu Nath Pathak v. Kanti Devi clarified that a wife cannot claim maintenance under both CrPC and the Hindu Marriage Act, but only under one.
Shah Bano Case, the Supreme Court affirmed that Section 125 of the CrPC applies to all citizens, including Muslims, and overrides personal laws if there’s a conflict. It held that the husband’s obligation to provide maintenance continues beyond the iddatperiod if the divorced wife is unable to support herself. Mehar payment doesn’t exempt the husband from this duty.
State of Rajasthan v. Shiv Singh, the Rajasthan High Court defined a First Information Report (FIR) as a statement made by the reporter at a police station, recorded as per the provisions of the Code. Moni Mohan v. Emperor highlighted the essential conditions of an FIR: it must be information in writing, and the crime should be cognizable in nature, not subsequent acts.