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Report No. 200

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 1966

The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 1966 (ICCPR) was ratified by India in 1976 and it states in Article 14(2) as follows:

"Article 14(2): Everyone charged with a criminal offence shall have the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law."

Article 14(3) clause (g) refers to the important right of a person "Not to be compelled to testify against himself or to confess guilt".

In a criminal trial, there are a number of other safeguards listed apart from the above clause (g) in Article 14(3) of the ICCPR:

"Article 14(3): In the determination of any criminal charge against him, everyone shall be entitled to the following minimum guarantees, in full equality:

(a) to be informed promptly and in detail in a language which he understands of the nature and cause of the charge against him;

(b) to have adequate time and facilities for the preparation of his defence and to communicate with counsel of his own choosing;

(c) to be tried without undue delay;

(d) to be tried in his presence, and to defend himself in person or through legal assistance of his own choosing; to be informed, if he does not have legal assistance, of this right; and to have legal assistance assigned to him, in any case where the interests of justice so require, and without payment by him in any such case if he does not have sufficient means to pay it;

(e) to examine, or have examined the witnesses against him and to obtain the attendance and examination of witnesses on his behalf under the same conditions as witnesses against him;

(f) to have free assistance of an interpreter if he cannot understand or speak the language used in court;

(g) not to be compelled to testify against himself or to confess guilt."

Article 4 refers to the special rights of juveniles and states:

"Article 4: In the case of juvenile persons, the procedure shall be such as will take account of their age and the desirability of promoting their rehabilitation."

Article 15 requires that "no person shall be punished for an act which was not an offence when it was committed".

Trial by Media free speech and fair trial under Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 Back

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