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Know Your Rights: A Study Of Basic Rights

Updated: Jan 15

We live in a country which has the longest written constitution in the world that guarantees ample rights to its citizens. Therefore, knowing all the rights for a common man is if not impossible then it is next to impossible. But there are certain rights that each and every citizen should know and use them judiciously. Here we will discuss the same.

Not many people are aware of the fact that in case their gas cylinder explodes they are entitled to 50 lakh cover. Neither have they known that even if it is a five-star hotel they cannot be restricted from drinking water and using toilets. Similarly, our constitution also covers an indigent person who cannot afford education by guarantying them the right to receive free education and a right to avail free legal aid for those who do not have the means to avail a legal aid due to economic restraints.

Moving towards the rights of the woman who are in the dire need of strong laws for their protection, for them, there are many basic rights that they should know. Section 46 of the CrPC protects a woman from getting arrested after sunset. She can only be arrested by a women officer, no male officer can arrest her. If a woman is a victim of rape and sexual assault then she has a right to hide her name from getting disclosed in public and also she cannot be forced to come to the police station in order to record her statement. In case a woman is pregnant then her employer cannot ask her to do any exhausting work and also she is entitled to be provided with a 12 week of paid maternity leave. In case that company fires her then the employer can be punished with imprisonment up to 3 years.

Similarly, Woman should be aware of the fact that if a dowry has been demanded then in that case both of the parties will be punished i.e. one who gives the dowry and also the one who takes it. Talking about marriage live-in relationship is taken as a crime in our society but if a couple wants to live together without getting married they can do so without any legal constraints also the child coming out of that relationship will be the legitimate child of the father.

Supposedly you were going to a police station by bike and you were caught by traffic police for not wearing a helmet and riding three people and police officer snatches your bike key then you after fixing everything went to the police station and there the station in-charge said he is off duty now and he refused to register your FIR. Now, in this case, there are certain rights that have been violated first of all for not wearing a helmet and riding more than two people on a bike is punishable but the traffic police personnel cannot take away your bike’s key since it is illegal to do so and in case you were fined for the same then you won’t be fined for the same act on that day. Secondly, a police officer is never off duty and he cannot refuse anyone from registering his FIR. Also, a confession made in front of the police officer cannot be made evidence against the same person.

Police have used the law against obscenity in a very arbitrary manner which has led to a state of confusion among the people since there is no clear definition regarding the same. But everyone should be aware of the fact that hugging and kissing in public is not a crime and they need not be afraid of doing it in public.

Coming into the next aspect, we usually don’t bother paying 2-3 rupees more but we don’t know that shopkeeper can be held liable for charging more than the maximum retail price. At last, I will mention one law that is most important that can be derived from a maxim Ignortantia Juris non-excusat which means ignorance of the law is no excuse, therefore, one cannot take the defence that the was not aware of the law.

From the above research, it can be concluded that people of our country instead of practising law and looking it as their rights they fear the law and the only reason behind it is they don’t know their rights and the system here in our country along with those who are in authority they exploit this situation of the citizens. Spreading awareness among people about their rights so that they are aware of them is the need of the hour for the betterment of society and to move in the direction of serving justice to all.


Ujjwal Mani Tripathi, Student from National Law University and Judicial Academy, Assam.

Editor: Vijayalakshmi Raju

You can contact the author at ujjal98@nluassam.ac.in


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