November 2, 2023

A legal defense known as the theory of double jeopardy prevents an accused person from being tried again for the same charges and circumstances following a valid acquittal or conviction.

The concept of double jeopardy originates from Article 20(2) of the Constitution of India, which addresses and clarifies its definition. The Indian Constitution’s framers included it in Part III as one of our fundamental rights. The criminal justice system operates under the presumption that there are certain principles, like double jeopardy, which uphold the system’s values where compromise is not an option.

Double Jeopardy: About

According to the double jeopardy doctrine, no one should be prosecuted for the same offense twice. Various RJS Coaching discusses Article 20(2) of the Constitution of India which says that, “No individual shall be arrested and punished for the same offence more than once.”

  • It is the process of subjecting someone to a second trial for a crime for which they have already been found guilty or prosecuted.
  • This implies that a person cannot face additional punishment for the same criminal act if they are charged with it or found guilty. Additionally, a person has the option to enter a lawful double jeopardy plea if they are charged with the same crime twice in court.

Double Jeopardy: Applicability Grounds

The risk that defendants during criminal trials face according to the discussions by various experts in RJS Coaching institute from the judiciary point of view, such as penalty or incarceration, is referred to as “jeopardy” in legal parlance. The applicability grounds where double jeopardy has been recognized as an effective defense are:

  • The person must, first and foremost, be charged with a crime. The General Clauses Act of 1897 defines an “offence” as something that is done or not done in violation of the law at the moment.
  • A court or other judicial authority must have presided over the investigation or proceeding.
  • The prior approach required the person to have been imprisoned and punished.
  • He must be guilty of the same crime for which he had earlier been sentenced and found guilty.

Double Jeopardy: Exceptions where it Does not Apply

The protection provided by the double jeopardy provision might not always be appropriate. Due mostly to historical legal interpretations, the courts have developed some guidelines for deciding when to apply double jeopardy as a legitimate defense.

  • In the Case involving Civil Lawsuits: The defense of double jeopardy is exclusive to criminal proceedings; it is not admissible in civil court. The defendant cannot use the same offense he perpetrated in criminal court as a defense in a civil court.
  • Jeopardy Needs to get Started: Before using the double jeopardy principles, the executive authorities must place the defendant in jeopardy. This means that before using the double jeopardy concept as a defense, defendants must go through a trial. When the trial jury is sworn in, the case is put in danger.
  • Jeopardy must be Concluded: Jeopardy must begin and conclude in the same manner. In other words, the double jeopardy theory cannot prevent the defendant from being detained and sentenced for the same crime until the case is resolved. A judge may announce an acquittal either before the matter is put to a jury or following the completion of the sentence. When the court renders a decision, the threat is usually over.

Double Jeopardy: Role of the Judiciary

There are certain landmark judgments that are often discussed in the institute of RJS Coaching. They are:

  • In the case of Maqbool Husain v State of Bombay, the court decided that The Sea Customs Act’s adjudging of confiscation did not constitute a judicial judgment required to consider the double jeopardy argument. The Sea Customs Authority is not a court or judicial body. As a result, the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act prosecution is still possible.
  • In the case of A.A. Mulla v State of Maharashtra, the court determined that the second trial was not inadmissible since the offenses in the first and second trials had different facts, in addition to different elements of the offense.

Every legal system has double jeopardy since no one ought to be penalized twice for the same offense. The double jeopardy doctrine, which spares someone from imprisonment for the same offense twice, is a remedy offered to the accused. Because of this, the principle of double jeopardy cannot be used in every circumstance and is instead applied differently in each one. Judges apply the regulation cautiously so that nobody who is innocent suffers repercussions.

As a serious attempt to safeguard the innocent, the legal system has incorporated the notion of double jeopardy since the very beginning. Consequently, it can be considered a good and reasonable theory based on conscience, justice, and fairness.

Leave a Comment