Rights of an accused person upon arrest

The rights of an accused person upon arrest in Pakistan. 

In the recent judgment of the Lahore High Court, Lahore, titled Writ Petition No. 8709/2024 (Muhammad Imran vs. Inspector General of Police, etc.), the court reaffirmed several fundamental rights and issued strict instructions to police officials for their compliance.

1. Prompt Notification of Arrest Reasons:

Criminal rights
The rights of an accused person upon arrest

The detaining authority must promptly inform the accused of the reasons for arrest, adhering to principles of due process and transparency to ensure understanding of allegations and enable a proper defense, preventing arbitrary arrest and safeguarding liberty and the rule of law.

2. Right to Contact Family:

After arrest, the accused person should have the right to contact their family, enabling them to seek support and advocacy, especially in high-risk situations, which serves as a crucial safeguard against arbitrary arrest.

3. Immediate Access to Legal Advice:

After arrest, the accused retains an immediate right to legal advice, and police authorities must facilitate contact with a lawyer, recognizing its fundamental importance in upholding integrity and fairness within the legal system.

4. Dispatch of Arrest Report and Magistrate Authorisation:

To prevent illegal detention, authorities must dispatch the arrest report according to legal procedures. If the detention extends beyond twenty-four hours, they must bring the accused before a Magistrate for authorization under the law.

5. Safeguarding Fundamental Rights by Magistrates:

Upon presentation before the Magistrate, it becomes their duty to safeguard the accused’s fundamental rights, essential for judicial integrity and fairness.

6. Prohibition of Torture:

The Police officials must refrain from subjecting the accused to torture for evidence or confession, as the Constitution prohibits such actions, ensuring fairness, equality, and dignity in treatment.

7. Documentation and Compliance by Police Officials:

Police officials must ensure the safeguarding of the rights of the accused in custody and accurately document these efforts in police records to demonstrate compliance with legal requirements.

Land Mark Judgment of Court :

This Judgment serves as a sincere reminder to both magistrates and police authorities of the significant responsibility they bear in safeguarding the fundamental rights of individuals accused and held in custody. Regardless of the charges they face, every accused person is entitled to fundamental rights that must be upheld and respected throughout the entirety of the criminal justice system.

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