Yash Giri, a Final Year Law Student has filed a Public Interest Litigation in the Supreme Court of India seeking enactment of a law for compensation and rehabilitation for wrongfully incarcerated persons who were later acquitted after having suffered in jail for due to wrongful prosecution.
Yash, final year student of New Law College, Pune filed the petition through his lawyer Adv. Mithilesh Kumar Singh. The petition says that the word “victim” defined under Section 2(wa) and in Section 357-A of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) must be interpreted to also include those persons who were wrongfully incarcerated and who were acquitted subsequently.
“Victim” means a person who has suffered any loss or injury caused by reason of the act or omission for which the accused person has been charged and the expression “victim” includes his or her guardian or legal heirSection 2(wa) of CrPC
The petitioner cited National Crime Relations Bureau data which showed that there were more undertrial prisoners than convicts in jails. He also sought to highlight the fact that the conviction rate in India was merely 48% and more than 50% accused were acquitted. Giri has requested the Supreme Court to direct the government to implement the 277th report proposed by the Law Commission of India on 30th August 2018, which suggested legal remedies for wrongful prosecution.
…if the accused is acquitted after spending many years behind bars naturally makes him victim of the system, thus the compensation and rehabilitation should be awarded to the acquitted person who has suffered as a result of the crime.Yash Giri’s Petition
In a situation where the accused is acquitted after spending many years in jail, he/she has already lost many precious years of their lives. This happens when the person is wrongfully prosecuted and the delayed justice system leads to the accused languishing in jail, thus the same is violative of Article 21 of Constitution of India, the petition said.
To point out the magnitude of the number of under-trial prisoners in India, Yash cites data by the National Crime Relations Bureau (NCRB) which shows that the conviction rate in India is lower than the acquittal rate.