Challenges in CRPC Towards Accused Protection by Rayan Singh Virdi (Intern)

Challenges in CRPC Towards Accused Protection by Rayan Singh Virdi (Intern)


The objective of a criminal trial is to determine the guilt or innocence of the accused person and it is based on the foundation that accused is presumed to be innocent until proven guilty but  the minute a person is suspected to commission of an offence or any sort of  involvement in any crime, the arms of law tend to fall heavily on him, they start presuming he is the culprit, they are subjected to torture and inhumane treatment. In case of Shakila Abdul Gafar v. Vasant Raghunath Dhokle,[1] the accused had died during the course of interrogation by the police and the Court expressed great concern for the defect in the current criminal laws. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights marked the emergence of protection from inhuman, cruel and degrading treatment.

Following are the challenges in Crpc: -

1.  The First and Foremost problem of our Criminal Justice system is, huge pendency of cases, the delay in trials because of the lengthy process has always been a problem. As of April 2018, there are over three crore cases pending across the Supreme Court, the High Courts, and the subordinate courts[2] There are distressing tales of citizens accused of petty offences deteriorating in jails as undertrial prisoners for decades because of the India's lethargic system. According to NCRB report on prison statistics 2017, 68.5 percent of prisoners were under trials. In one of cases in 1996, an accused named Mohammad Maqbool Shah was arrested at an age of 14, under suspicion of commission of an offence and in 2010, a lower court in Delhi held him innocent, he spent 14 years of his life in jail, all wasted because of delay in trial.[3]

One of the suggestions would be to take use of technology, court can resort to method of online trials like during this outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic we are resorting to use of innovation in justice delivery system but Lack of consistency reveals an administrative void in the higher judiciary.[4]

2.  The under-trail prisoner must be provided monetary compensation if proved not guilty, in many cases under-trail usually spends the maximum period of the said offence, detained for the period of investigation, inquiry or for trail. There is also no such provision in Crpc for providing compensation, for the mental torture experienced by an inmate or an under-trail prisoner. According to Article 5 of Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR): -

“No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”, but in India, no specific provision has been mentioned to safeguard the rights of individuals against torture.[5] Mere arrest does not reduce a person to non-human.

3.   In our criminal justice system we protect the identity of a juvenile, section 74 of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 prohibits disclosure of identity of children which may lead to the identification of a child, why can’t we protect the identity of the accused or the suspect the same way, For example you or one of your family member is a suspect in a murder investigation would you want it to be revealed in public till the court order’s, no one would want to be publicly named in a contentious issue then why can’t we protect one’s identity before jeopardizing his/her career. We presume the accused innocent until proven guilty but is it possible after he is publically named, so the question arises when is it appropriate to disclose one’s identity.

4. Another methodology of Fake Encounter has been adopted by police due to the absence of substantial evidence; the police are taking law in its own hand and killing the accused in the garb of encounter without the prior sanction of law. Fake encounters completely sidestep the legal procedure, like bumping off someone without a trial. Therefore, such encounters are completely unconstitutional.

5.  Custodial violence, done either by police or jail staff, is very common in India. Physical abuse, assault or torture is not permissible under the law and is violative of Article 21 of the Constitution. According to Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) report, a total of 1,674 custodial deaths, including 1,530 deaths in judicial custody and 144 deaths in police custody, took place from 2017-2018, an average of about 5 custodial deaths per day.[6]

In case of Munshi Singh Gautam vs. State of Madhya Pradesh[7] the Supreme Court expressed concern over torture in Indian prisons, states the torture, death in custody raises serious questions about the credibility of the rule of law and administration of the criminal justice system.


Therefore, we can conclude that everyone has human right, even though he is a criminal therefore all inmates are entitled to ‘Right against custodial torture’ as per ‘Article 21’ of the constitution. However, in the current scenario right of prisoners are still violated on a daily basis we need stringent provisions for the same, we also need to work on pendency of cases in order to reduce the number of under-trail prisoners.


[1] Shakila Abdul Gafar v. Vasant Raghunath Dhokle, (2003) Cri LJ 4548 (S.C.)
[2] Prs India, ‘Pendency of cases in the Judiciary’ (Prs India) <> accessed 18 May 2020
[3] Mukesh Rawat, ‘Poor, young and illiterate: Why most Indian prisoners fight long lonely battles for justice’ (India Today, 15 November 2019) <> accessed 16 May 2020
[4] Sandhya Pr, ‘Corona is a wake-up call for Indian courts. They aren’t equipped to function in a crisis’ (The Print, 27 March 2020) <> accessed 17 May 2020
[5] Shivam Jasra, ‘Rights of Prisoners against Custodial Torture in India by’ (Latest Laws, 20 April 2020) <> accessed 08 May 2020
[6] Arijit Sengupta, ‘High Numbers of Custodial Deaths: Police Butchering Basic Human Rights’ (News Click, 28 January 2018) <> accessed 15 May 2020
[7] Munshi Singh Gautam v State of Madhya Pradesh, Appeal (Crl.) 919 of 1999.