Question: What is Double Jeopardy? Explain. [MPJS 2013] Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [What is Double Jeopardy? Explain.] Answer The principle of ‘autrefois convict’ commonly known as ‘double jeopardy’ means that a person who has been tried and convicted of a criminal offence once, can’t be tried or convicted for the same… Read More »

Question: What is Double Jeopardy? Explain. [MPJS 2013] Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [What is Double Jeopardy? Explain.] Answer The principle of ‘autrefois convict’ commonly known as ‘double jeopardy’ means that a person who has been tried and convicted of a criminal offence once, can’t be tried or convicted for the same offence again. This principle existed under the Government of India Act, 1935 and was duly accepted as a fundamental right and well as...

Question: What is Double Jeopardy? Explain. [MPJS 2013]

Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [What is Double Jeopardy? Explain.]

Answer

The principle of ‘autrefois convict’ commonly known as ‘double jeopardy’ means that a person who has been tried and convicted of a criminal offence once, can’t be tried or convicted for the same offence again. This principle existed under the Government of India Act, 1935 and was duly accepted as a fundamental right and well as a legal right under Article 20(2) of the Indian Constitution.

In Mohinder Pratap Singh v. Director, Health Services (AIR 1956 Punj 81), the court held that ‘no person shall be prosecuted or punished for the same offence more than once. This was significant where the right against double jeopardy was upheld as a basic human right.

Article 20(2) states that no person shall be prosecuted and punished for the same offence more than once. This provision forms part of Part III of the Constitution which means that it is a fundamental right and it is the duty of the State to ensure that no action is taken that violates this right. Under this provision, the person should not only be tried but also convicted of the offence in the previous occasion to claim the right in any subsequent trial for the same offence.

The essential features of the right against double jeopardy as enshrined under Article 20(2) of the Constitution are:

  1. The right applies only when a person tried for an offence for which a conviction order has already been passed by a trial court. In Venkataraman v. Union of India (AIR 1954 SC 375), the accused was first subjected to a departmental enquiry and suspended from work, and subsequently tried for a criminal charge. The court held that the previous sanction does not amount to trial or conviction but a mere departmental proceeding.
  2. The conviction must be after a complete and fair trial. Any appeal or review or revision against the conviction does not amount to a subsequent trial.
  3. The Article does not apply to the continuing offence. In Kolla Veera Rao v. Gorantla Venkateshwara Rao (2011) 2 SCC 703), the accused was charged with the offences of ‘voluntarily causing hurt’ and ‘wrongful confinement. He first tried to destroy evidence in the first case and was caught and tried for it. Later, he tried to destroy the evidence in the second case as well and was again tried for it. Thus, the question was whether the second trial is for the same offence, i.e. destruction of evidence. The court held that the offence was a continuing one and hence, does not constitute two trials.
  4. The conviction must be for the same offence. If the offences are distinct, this provision is inapplicable. In Leo Roy v. Supt. District Jail (AIR 1958 SC 119), the accused was convicted under the Sea Customs Act for evading custom duty and later convicted for criminal conspiracy under IPC. The court held that the offences are distinct.

Important Mains Questions Series for Judiciary, APO & University Exams

  1. Constitutional Law Mains Questions Series Part-I
  2. Constitutional Law Mains Questions Series Part-I
  3. Constitutional Law Mains Questions Series Part-II
  4. Constitutional Law Mains Questions Series Part-IV
  5. Constitutional Law Mains Questions Series Part-V
  6. Constitutional Law Mains Questions Series Part-VI
  7. Constitutional Law Mains Questions Series Part-VII
  8. Constitutional Law Mains Questions Series Part-VIII
  9. Constitutional Law Mains Questions Series Part-IX
  10. Constitutional Law Mains Questions Series Part-X
Updated On 2021-05-28T05:08:54+05:30
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