Note: Rights or Benefits? The Indian Supreme Court and Criminal Procedure
Abhinav Sekhri, "Rights or Benefits? The Indian Supreme Court and Criminal Procedure", 6(1) Journal of National Law University Delhi 12 (2019)
6 Pages Posted: 17 Apr 2019 Last revised: 27 Feb 2020
Date Written: March 1, 2019
This short comment suggests that the recent decisions by the Indian Supreme Court in Mohan Lal v. State of Punjab, and Varinder Kumar v. State of H.P., are perhaps indicative of a more pervasive trend. This trend is one where the Supreme Court creates new procedural rights as tools through the vehicle of Article 21 - India's due process clause - as a tool to redress deeper systemic issues presented in cases brought by oppressed litigants. These drastic circumstances make the Court forget that a procedural right applies to all cases, and answer basic questions such as the remedy for a breach of these new rights. Ultimately, when cases involving seemingly undeserving litigants come before the Court, it signals a retreat and transforms the "right" into a "benefit" that it can dole out in cases it deems fit. This trend warrants further investigation, to help arrive at a more nuanced take on the Indian Supreme Court's relationship with criminal procedure.
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