What Article of the Indian Constitution Protects Individuals from ill-Treatment during Arrest or in Custody?


A person's right to not be ill-treated during arrest or in custody is protected by Article 21 of the Indian Constitution. This article guarantees the right to life and personal liberty, which has been interpreted by the judiciary to include the right to be free from torture, cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment.

In addition to Article 21, other provisions further strengthen this right:

  • Article 20(3): Protects individuals from being compelled to be witnesses against themselves, ensuring confessions and statements are given voluntarily and not under duress.
  • Article 22: Ensures certain safeguards during arrest and detention, including informing the arrested person of the reason for arrest and providing access to legal counsel.
  • D.K. Basu v. State of West Bengal (1997): This landmark Supreme Court case laid down guidelines for the humane treatment of arrested persons in police custody, including medical examination and access to legal aid.

Therefore, a combination of Article 21 and other legal provisions guarantees the right to be free from ill-treatment during arrest or in custody in India.

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