top of page


"Double jeopardy reinforces the principle that our legal system should not be used as a tool for retribution, but rather as a mechanism for seeking truth, justice, and fairness."


Double jeopardy is a procedural defence which strictly forbids a defendant from being tried twice for the same crime or for the same set of facts. Double Jeopardy is the putting of any person on trial for which an offense for which he or she has previously been put under/on trial under a valid charge. For example, two adjudication for a single offence. It also refers to the concept that it is very wrong for any man to be subjected for more than once to the danger or threat of being punished for an offense. The roots of the famous doctrine against double jeopardy can be found in the well-established legal maxim of the English Common law, Nemo debet bis vexari, meaning that a man must not/never be put into twice in peril for the same offence or same facts.

History of Double Jeopardy:

Legal and scholarly articulations on the rule that an individual ought to be secured against twofold peril will in general either expect or suggest unquestioningly the conviction that the standard is unified with a long verifiable foundation and sound doctrinal foundations. The rule of twofold danger was not totally obscure to the Greeks and Romans, despite the fact that the legitimate climate was very extraordinary. This rule discovered last articulation in the Digest of Justinian as the statute that "the lead representative ought not allow a similar individual to be again blamed for a wrongdoing of which he had been absolved." No assertion of the twofold peril condition shows up in Magna Charta, nor would it be able to be found by suggestion. Blackstone further progressed the teaching by articulating that "the request of autrefois exoneration, or a proper vindication, is grounded on the general adage… that no man is to be brought into danger of his life more than once for a similar offense." A principle qualification between recorded tenet and current twofold peril arrangements is that the previous just applies to capital wrongdoings. In present day times, twofold danger isn't restricted uniquely to violations influencing "life or appendage" at the same time, rather, applies to every criminal arraignment and disciplines where an individual is in danger of various assaults on their liberty. In current occasions, leftovers of twofold risk exist in numerous nations, including Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, portions of Asia, and the United States. It exists as a sacred right is numerous nations, for example, United States, Canada, Mexico and India.

Constitutional Reference:

Article 20 of the Constitution of India which provides protection against double jeopardy which has been enshrined as a part of the Fundamental Rights by the great fathers of our Indian Constitution. The Great Indian Constitution, which has been very beautifully written as a poetry-in-prose, which guarantees to all the people certain basic human rights duties and freedoms, inter alia freedom which is against double jeopardy. According to which no person can be prosecuted and can be punished for the same offence more than once. The provision applies to the principle that a person cannot be tried more than once for the same offence by any equally competent court. When a person has already been convicted for an offence by a competent court, the conviction serves and offers a bar to any of the further criminal proceedings against him/her for the same offence. The idea to this concept is that no one ought to be punished twice for one or the same offence. In India, a partial protection against the double jeopardy (Autrefois convict) which is a Fundamental Right guaranteed under the Article 20 (3) of the Constitution of India. It also states that “No person shall be prosecuted and punished for the same offence more than once”. However, it does not really extend to autrefois acquit, and so if a person is ‘acquitted’ of a crime who can be retried. The protection against the autrefois acquit is a strict statutory right in our country and not a fundamental right.

Under the provisions of the Indian Constitution wherein the conditions that must be fulfilled for raising the request of autrefois convict are initially; there must be an individual blamed for an offense; furthermore; the procedure or the indictment ought to have occurred under the watchful eye of a 'court' or 'legal counsel' regarding the law which makes offenses and thirdly; he denounced ought to be sentenced in the prior procedures. The prerequisite of every one of these conditions have been talked about and clarified in the milestone choice, Maqbool Hussain v. Territory of Bombay[1]For this situation, the appealing party, an Indian resident, was captured in the air terminal for the illicit ownership of gold under the arrangements of the Sea Customs Act, 1878. Immediately, a move was made under segment 167(8) of the Act, and the gold was seized. Once in a while a short time later, he was charge sheeted under the watchful eye of the court of the Chief Presidency Magistrate under area 8 of the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act, 1947. At preliminary, the litigant raised the request of autrefois convict, since it abuses his crucial right ensured under article 20(2) of the constitution. He looked for the established assurance primarily on the ground that he had just been indicted and rebuffed while his gold has been seized by the tradition’s specialists. By dismissing his supplication, the court held that the procedures of the Sea Customs Authorities can't be considered as a legal procedures since it's anything but a court or legal counsel and the adjudgment of seizure or the expanded pace of obligation or punishment under the arrangements of the Sea Customs Act doesn't establish a judgment or request of a court or legal counsel important to help a supplication of twofold risk. The court additionally held that the procedures led before the ocean customs specialists were, subsequently, not 'indictment' and the seizure of gold isn't discipline dispensed by a 'court' or 'legal counsel'. The appealing party, thusly, can't be said to have been arraigned and rebuffed for a similar offense with which he was charged before the Chief Presidency Magistrate Court.

Scope in India:

The object of this statement is to shield a person from being exposed to arraignment and conviction more than once for a similar offense. The ambit of Article 20(3) is smaller than the English or the American guideline against twofold danger. The Indian arrangement articulates just the rule of autrefois clear. In Britain and in U.S.A., both these guidelines work and a subsequent preliminary is banned in any event, when the charged has been absolved at the main preliminary for that offense. In India, notwithstanding, Article 20(2) might be summoned just if when there has been an indictment and discipline in the main instance. In the instance of Kalamata v State of Himachal Pradesh[2], an individual blamed for submitting murder was attempted and cleared. The State favoured an allure against the quittance. The blamed couldn't argue Article 20(2) against the State inclining toward an allure against the absolution. Article 20(2) would not matter as there was no discipline for the offense at the previous indictment: and an allure against a vindication was in substance a continuation of the prosecution. Where there are two unmistakable offenses comprised of various fixings, ban under Article 20(2) or Section 26 General Clauses Act 1897 has no application, however the offenses may make them cover highlights. The principle of twofold risk shields an individual from being attempted and rebuffed twice for a similar offense however not from various offenses emerging out of infringement of various laws by similar arrangement of realities. The Supreme Court in the ongoing instance of Monica Bedi v State of Andhra Pradesh[3], has decided that an identification on invented name added up to a twofold risk for her as a Portuguese court too had before sentenced her for claiming fashioned visa.


There are two pillars which are found in every legal system in any country. One is lawful sureness and the other is value. At the point when the wrongdoer is indicted and rebuffed, he should realize that, by paying the discipline, he has appeased his blame and need not dread further approval. In the event that he is cleared, he should have the assurance that he won't be arraigned again in additional procedures. A sentence, regardless of whether absolvitor or critical, is a finished bar, not exclusively to any ensuing preliminary for a similar offense, yet for some other wrongdoing including similar species fact, whether at the occurrence of people in general or private property.[xxxv] In each overall set of laws there is arrangement for Double danger as no individual should be rebuffed twice for a similar offense. The Supreme Court in Venkataraman v Union of India[4], set out that Art.20(3) alludes to legal discipline and offers invulnerability to an individual from being arraigned and rebuffed for a similar offense more than once. At the end of the day, if an individual has been indicted and rebuffed in a past continuing of an offense, he can't be arraigned and rebuffed for a similar offense again in ensuing procedures. On the off chance that any law accommodates such twofold discipline, such law would be void. The Article anyway doesn't give resistance from procedures other than procedures under the steady gaze of a Court of law or a legal counsel. Henceforth an administration worker who has been rebuffed for an offense in a Court of law might be exposed to departmental procedures for a similar offense or then again. Convention of twofold peril is a correct given to the blamed to spare him from being rebuffed twice for a similar offense and he/she can take supplication of it. Various cases present distinctive incidental circumstances. In this way, the standard of twofold peril can't be made a restraint rule and is subsequently deciphered contrastingly for various cases. While deciphering the arrangement judges consistently keep a watch that blameless doesn't gets rebuffed. The rule of twofold peril has been a piece of the overall set of laws since man can recall and is a genuine undertaking to secure the non-blameworthy ones. It can in this way be viewed as a positive and just tenet dependent on value, equity and great still, small voice.

[1] Maqbool Hussain v. State of Bombay, A.I.R. 1953 S.C. 325 [2] Kalawati v State of Himachal Pradesh , AIR 1953 SC 131 [3] Monica Bedi v State of Andhra Pradesh , 2011 1 SCC 284 [4] Venkataraman v Union of India , (1954)SCR1150

19 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


Obtuvo 0 de 5 estrellas.
Aún no hay calificaciones

Agrega una calificación
bottom of page