Double Jeopardy Essay

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The term “Double jeopardy” indicates a person put through a second trial for an offense previously convicted or prosecuted for. The rule against double jeopardy is to prohibit double trial and double conviction and originally flows from the maxim “nemo debet bis vexari pro uno et eadem causa”. It is a procedural safeguard, which bars a second trial after the accused is acquitted or convicted in a full-fledged trial by a court of competent jurisdiction . It consists of two doctrines, namely autrefois acquit and autrefois convict , which aim at protecting criminal defendants from the tedium and trauma of re-litigation .

History:
The principle against “double jeopardy” arose in the 12th century from the controversy between Henry II and Archbishop
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Upon a critical analysis of the Indian laws relating to the protection against double jeopardy as articulated in Section 300 of the Code of Criminal Procedure and Article 20(2) of the Constitution of India, it construes that autrefois acquit is a statutory right under Section 300 of the Criminal Procedure Code, whereas autrefois convict is a fundamental right under Article 20(2). This implies that if a person is acquitted of a crime, he can be retried constituting only a partial protection against double jeopardy as per Article 20 (2). The critique of Section 300 of Cr. PC is that a new charge cannot be framed against a person based on the same facts. Thus, it is the duty of the police officer who files the charge sheet to ensure that all the charges against an accused are framed properly and it is the responsibility of the magistrate to ensure there are no errors in the charge sheet. Ergo, it causes an extra burden on the accused and the state machinery as if the charges are not framed cautiously, it can lead to double victimization of an accused and creates a problem for the state to prosecute a person
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