“The State is a gang of thieves writ large – the most immoral, grasping and unscrupulous individuals in any society.”
The Constitution of India provides different Fundamental rights to all its citizens. The Constitution additionally lays down the procurements for the legitimate requirement of these Fundamental rights. In simpler terms, enforcement of the Fundamental rights is protected with the assistance of 5 Writs. Writs are legal instruments of the court to provide remedies to citizens of the country against the arbitrary or illegal actions of any authority or the lower courts. To protect the fundamental rights of citizens and ensure its enforcement, the Constitution lays down Article 32 that engages the Supreme Court and Article 226 that enables the High Courts to issue writs against any power of the State in order to enforce the Fundamental rights.
WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS
Habeas Corpus is a Latin term literally meaning “you may have the body”. A writ of habeas corpus is a court order demanding that a public official to deliver an unlawfully imprisoned individual in front of the court and explain a valid reason for that person's detention. This writ is issued in an event where a person is confined in jail or private care without any valid legitimation. It is issued to limit the power of such public official and to create him under the eye of the Court.
The Court mediates and issues the Writ of Habeas Corpus calling upon the official who has detained the individual; bring that individual before the Court and to let the Court know, by what authority, he has detained that individual. Often, the court calls for a hearing on the matter, during which both the detained individual and the official can present evidence about whether there is a lawful reason behind the detention of the person. Depending on what the evidence reveals, the judge may grant relief to the detained individual such as:
Release from prison,
Reduction in the term of sentence,
An order halting unlawful conditions of confinement, or
A declaration of rights.
It's important to note that habeas corpus id different from right of direct appeal. Criminal defendants are always entitled to appeal against a conviction or sentence to the higher court of law, which then reviews the trial court’s decision. On the other hand, Habeas corpus lays down a different avenue to challenge imprisonment, and is normally used after a direct appeal has failed. It often acts as a last resort for detained persons who insist that justice has not been served to them.
The concept of Habeas Corpus comes with the wide ambit of Preventive Detention Theory. It is a preparatory action and not implied as a discipline. In basic terms, the objective of Preventive Detention is not to punish for the past actions of an individual but to intercept and prevent the individual from committing future unlawful exercises that is prejudicial to the State and important legislation. It is an anticipatory measure to prevent him from doing anything unlawful in future.
Further Article 22 of the Constitution oversees the strategy for preventive detention and the only enquiry is should have been remembered i.e. as to adherence to law prerequisites. The Parliament is authorized to sanction a law of preventive detainment for reasons associated with:
Security of India
Security of State
Support of open request
Support of supplies and administrations fundamental to the community.
In any case, there can be screen of such detainment by the method provided by the procedure of legal audit.
LIMITATIONS OF HABEAS CORPUS
A writ of habeas corpus cannot be issued in every situation. The Court receives a large number of habeas corpus petitions every year, some of them prepared by the inmates without the assistance of a lawyer. This is because strict procedures are laid down that govern which petitions are allowed to proceed. Generally, Inmates are prohibited from repetitively filing petitions about the same matter.
Both the Supreme Court and the High Courts can hear cases related to habeas corpus petitions. Sometimes, the Supreme Court decides a state conviction to be unjust and orders for the person's release.
When a detained individual is not challenging the fact of being in confinement but rather the conditions of confinement, for instance, complaining about severe mistreatment or unlawful prison policies, it is necessary to file a civil rights complaint instead of filing for a habeas corpus petition.
The Constitution of India authorizes the Courts to protect the citizens against arbitrary and unlawful actions of the State and public officials. It lays down Article 32 and 266 that empowers the Supreme Court and the High Court’s respectively to issue 5 kinds of writs.
The power of the Courts to issue the writ of Habeas Corpus is said to be a precious and undeniable feature of rule of law. This writ has been considered as a great constitutional privilege and the first security of civil society. It can be issued against a public official who has detained any individual without proper procedure of law and valid justification. The Court directs the official to provide valid reason for the detention and if it is found to be without justification, the detained individual is released.
The main objective of the Writ of Habeas Corpus is to provide quick and immediate remedy for the release of the individual detained unlawfully.