Can a person be charged without evidence?? The simple answer to this is “No”. A person cannot be charged and convicted of a crime without any evidence against him or her.
A piece of evidence is an important element for a person to be charged and convicted although the amount of evidence required for both differs. A criminal charge is defined as the formal accusation made by the authority of a local government alleging that a person has committed the crime. Conviction on other hand is the outcome of the trial wherein the judge finds them guilty of the charges against him.
A person can’t be arrested on mere suspicion. This article explains why a person cannot be charged without evidence.
What is an Evidence?
Section 3 of the evidence act 1872 states the evidence means and includes:
- All statements which the court permits or requires to be made before it by the witness, about the matters of fact under inquiry, such statements are referred to as oral evidence.
- All documents including electronic records produced for inspiration by the court, such documents are known as documentary evidence.
Common Forms of Evidence include
- Physical Evidence– Physical pieces of evidence includes weapons, drugs, assault victim’s injuries, a computer, etc.
- Witness Testimony– A testimony given in front of a magistrate can also be considered as evidence.
- Circumstantial Evidence– It is defined as the evidence based on the facts from which a court can conclude.
Evidence refers to the information that supports a claim, provides proof, and establishes a conclusion to a particular matter. Testimonies can also serve as pieces of evidence. No person can be charged without any evidence.
Legal Provisions Provided by Constitution
Article 21 of the Indian constitution provides hope to the lives of arrested, undertrial, and convicts. The primary purposes of criminal law include retribution, deterrence, and protection. The powers to arrest by a police official are subjected to restrictions and judicial supervision and scrutiny to protect the fundamental right to life under article 21 of the constitution.
- Section 50(1) CrPC provides the individual with the right to know the grounds of arrest. Apart from the provisions provided by CrPC, article 22(1) of the Constitution provides that “No person who is arrested shall be detained in custody without being informed, as soon as may be, of the grounds of such arrest, nor shall he/she be denied to consult a legal practitioner of his choice.
- The person arrested cannot be detained beyond 24 hours. He/she must be presented in front of the magistrate within 24 hours or the Supreme court can issue the writ of habeas corpus, against the police officer.
A person can be charged without physical evidence. Physical evidence is a tangible item that evidences the commission of a crime.
A person can’t be charged and convicted without evidence for a particular crime. However evidences compasses a wide variety of things including documents and testimonies, not all admissible in the court of law. Since it is necessary to prove guilt to a convict, a conviction is not possible without evidence.