The Delhi High Court, in the case of Babloo Chauhan @ Dabloo v. State Government of NCT of Delhi, 247 (2018) DLT 31, expressed grave concern about wrongful prosecution and incarceration of innocent persons, highlighting the need for a legislative framework for providing relief to such persons.
An effective response from the State to the victims of miscarriage of justice resulting in wrongful prosecutions is lacking in the criminal justice system in the country, as it stands today. Also there is no statutory or legal scheme articulating State’s response on the issue. Therefore, the Court directed the Law Commission to undertake a comprehensive examination of the issue and make its recommendations to the Government of India.
Article 21 of the Constitution provides for protection of life and personal liberty of the citizens. The infringement of a fundamental right due to police and prosecutorial misconduct invokes State liability. The Constitution, which secures. the fundamental rights, is silent about grant of compensation by the State for infringement of such fundamental rights. Even under other remedies available under the existing system, the mechanism of compensation for miscarriage of justice resulting in wrongful prosecution remains complex and uncertain. The Commission has set out certain standards to be applied to the said ‘miscarriage of justice’ and has explained as to what amounts to wrongful prosecution. In order to give clarity to the whole procedure, the Commission has suggested amendments to Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 and has prepared a Draft Bill titled “The Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Bill, 2018”.
Law Commission’s Report No.277 titled “Wrongful Prosecution (Miscarriage of Justice): Legal Remedies” is for consideration by the Government.