The makers of the Indian Structure have integrated Article 20 for the safety of the rights of accused ones or those offered earlier than the Courtroom for trial. Article 20 accommodates three clauses which cope with the difficulty of pointless actions undertaken by the Legislature, Government & implementing authorities. Article 20 can’t be suspended throughout a state of emergency.

Article 20 (1): Ex put up facto legislation

Article 20(1) makes provision in opposition to Ex put up facto legislation. It states that nobody may be prosecuted and convicted for any form of offense in accordance with these legal guidelines which didn’t exist on the time of the fee of the act by the accused. Additionally, punishments imposed can’t be higher than these current on the time of fee. This provision states that legal guidelines relating to legal offenses can’t be made having retrospective results.

For Instance, A went to eat noodles in restaurant X. Subsequent day a legislation was made that anybody discovered consuming within the restaurant X will likely be punished with a positive of Rs. 1000. A can’t be punished with a positive as he ate within the restaurant when there was no such legislation current.

Ex put up facto legal guidelines are of three sorts that are:

  • A legislation which declares some form of act or omission as an offense for the primary time after completion of that act or fee of that omission.
  • A legislation which boosts the punishment tenure or positive after commissioning of such offense.
  • A legislation which prescribes a brand new process or modifications the present process for the prosecution of an offense subsequent to the fee of that offense.

Kedar Nath v. State of West Bengal

On this case, it was held by the Apex Courtroom that at any time when any motion is said to be a legal offense or the penalty or punishment for any act is been elevated, it ought to all the time be accomplished to have potential impact. Any such legislation cannot have retrospective impact based on Article 20. Nevertheless, it is just the process of sentencing and convicting which is prohibited on this clause and never the trial itself.

Mohan Lal v. the State of Rajasthan

On this case Narcotics, Medication and Psychotropic Substances Act was concerned. It was put ahead that solely conviction or punishment underneath an ex put up facto legislation is prohibited underneath Article 20 and never the trial or prosecution itself. Additionally, a trial underneath a distinct process than what existed in the course of the fee of the act does not come underneath the ambition of the identical and cannot be struck down as unconstitutional.

Maru Ram And so forth. vs Union Of India & Anr.

It was held that on the time of graduation of the offense no matter penalty exists for that offense solely may be imposed on the accused. There needs to be no retrospective impact which makes penalties heavier.

Rattan Lal v. the State of Punjab

There exists an exception to this provision of Ex put up facto legal guidelines. Apex Courtroom stated that retrospective implementation of legal legal guidelines may be there if there’s a discount in punishment.

Article 20(2): Double jeopardy

The origin of the Doctrine of Double Jeopardy comes from American Jurisprudence of punishment. It states that no accused may be prosecuted and may be punished twice for a similar offense in subsequent proceedings. It means for a similar offense involving the identical set of details one shouldn’t be punished twice.

Venkataraman v. Union of India

Supreme Courtroom on this case stated that this provision offers completely with judicial punishments and establishes the supply that no particular person needs to be tried twice for a similar offense accomplished by him.

Maqbool Hussain v. the State of Bombay

On this case, Apex Courtroom gave a landmark judgment. The accused possessed some quantity of gold which was lex loci at the moment. Customs authority confiscated his gold. In a while, when he was prosecuted for the offense in Courtroom it was confronted whether or not this quantities to Double Jeopardy or not. It was stated by the Courtroom that proceedings by the Customs Authority don’t quantity to proceedings by any judicial court docket or tribunal. It was held that the departmental proceedings are unbiased and completely different from the proceedings by the judicial court docket.

Article 20(3): Prohibition in opposition to Self-Incrimination

This provision signifies that no particular person may be pressured to offer any info both oral or in writing which can be utilized in opposition to her or him in additional trial proceedings. Prohibition in opposition to self-incrimination can solely be efficient if the case entails a legal offense. There’s an exception to this rule too. Authorities can difficulty orders for the accused to carry and current paperwork that are underneath his possession as acknowledged underneath Part 91 of the Code of Felony Process. Based on Part 161 of CrPC, the accused is certain to reply all of the questions actually and leaving accurately these which may very well be used in opposition to him later in the course of the stage of the trial.

MP Sharma v. Satish Chandra

On this case, it was held that the phrase ‘Witness’ on this Article consists of proof in oral and doc type. There is no such thing as a restriction on authorities to look or dimension any doc. Any info which is produced voluntarily by the accused himself is permissible.

Narayanlal vs Manneck

On this case, it was held that to say prohibition in opposition to self-incrimination there ought to exist a proper accusation in opposition to the person. Solely basic investigations and inquiries do not type grounds for the appliance of this provision.

Nandini Sathpathy vs PL Dani

On this case, the previous Chief Minister of Orissa was ordered to look at Police Station for examination after which an additional investigation was to be began. The case was registered in opposition to her underneath the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1947. She was interrogated by numerous questions given to her in writing. She utilized for defense in opposition to self-incrimination and refused to reply questions. The Apex Courtroom held that the supply of self-incrimination has the target to guard the accused from pointless police harassment and investigations other than the proceedings of the trial.


The article of Article 20 is to guard residents from pointless actions by the Authorities. It protects from actions of Legislature, Government and Judiciary as Parliament can not make any legislation whose enforcement date is in previous, Government can not unnecessarily harass any particular person or accused. Any particular person can’t be prosecuted by the judiciary for a similar offense. This safety is offered to the accused whether or not Indian or foreigner.

Kanvi Gupta

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