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Basic Legal Rights – Every Indian Citizen Should Know

People in India have various rights under the Indian Constitution to preserve their fundamental rights, although most people are unaware of these rights. The Indian public has numerous rights to safeguard their lives, property, and dignity. Different parts of the Indian Constitution and subsequent laws allow for certain rights. Now is the moment to take legal action and learn about your rights as an Indian citizen. While most Indians are aware of some of their basic legal rights, there are a few that you may not be aware of: 

The Right of File an FIR

According to Section 166 A of the Indian Penal Code, a police officer cannot decline to file an FIR. You have the right to submit an FIR for a cognizable offense as an Indian citizen, and a police officer who refuses to do so is guilty of a crime under Section 166A(c) of the Indian Penal Code. According to the Supreme Court, “the police officer shall be accountable for prosecution and punishment” in such circumstances. 

In order to exercise this right: Present all of the facts to the concerned officer in charge at the police station (preferably near the crime scene). In addition, Section 154 of the CrPC offers the informant the option of providing information orally or in writing.

Note: According to Delhi Police guidelines, women have the option of filing a complaint by email or even the mail if they are unable to get to the police station.

Right to Claim a Refund

The Consumer Protection Act of 1986 offers every consumer the right to a full refund if they are dissatisfied with their purchase or are unable to use the services for which they have paid. In fact, printing “No exchange or refund” on bills and invoices is both unlawful and unethical.

What to do if your right is infringed upon? Present the court with adequate evidence that your capable sons and daughters have failed to support you. Any person who is liable to pay maintenance can file a maintenance application.

Right of Women When Arrested

When a woman is arrested, she has certain rights. Except under rare circumstances, no woman can be brought into custody before sunrise or sunset, according to section 46 of the criminal process code (CrPc) (After 6 pm and before 6 am). A male police officer cannot arrest a woman under any circumstances.

What to do if your right is infringed upon? If a woman finds herself in a situation where the arresting police authority has broken the law, she must: 

  • Refuse to be arrested if the arresting police authority has not followed the law’s due procedure.
  • Seek legal advice and redress from her Advocate. 
  • Remind the arresting officer of her legal rights.
  • Make a complaint to the police station’s Station House Officer (SHO) where she was arrested.
  • Can file a complaint with the Magistrate in charge of the area. 

The Right to Equal Remuneration

The Equal Remuneration Act of 1976 is a law that demands equal compensation for equal labor done by men and women. When two or more people perform the same work under similar conditions, they are entitled to equal compensation.

What to do if your right is infringed upon? When an employer violates these provisions, employees have the right to submit a complaint with the appropriate labor authorities. After establishing the facts of the case, the appropriate labor authority may open an investigation and take appropriate action.

Note: Employers must keep records of their employees’ pay. 

Right of Parents to Be Maintained by Children

Parents (whether biological, adopted, stepfather or stepmother, whether senior citizen or not) have the right to claim support from their adult children under Section 125 of the Cr. P.C.

What to do if your right is infringed upon? Present the court with adequate evidence that your capable sons and daughters have failed to support you. Any person who is liable to pay maintenance can file a maintenance application.

Right Against Cheque Bounce

A cheque bounce is a violation of Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act of 1881, which is punishable by a fine of up to double the value of the check, imprisonment for up to two years, or both.

What to do if your right is infringed upon? If you receive payment via check and it bounces, you should contact a lawyer right away and send a legal notice to the individual who is meant to reimburse you.

If you do not obtain payment within 15 days of receiving the legal notice, you have the option of filing criminal charges against the person, and he may face jail time.

Right to Free Legal Aid

The government of India has established this act under Article 39-A of the Indian Constitution to give free legal aid to all individuals who cannot afford to hire a lawyer. 

Maternity Right

A pregnant woman cannot be fired by any company. It might result in a maximum sentence of three years in prison. If the company (government or private) employs more than ten people, the pregnant woman is entitled to 84 days of paid maternity leave. 

Right to Information

The Right to Information (RTI) Act of India establishes the right to information as a basic right for Indian citizens. Parliament passed the Right to Information Act on June 15, 2005, and it went into effect on October 12, 2005. 

Any person of India can request information from any public authority under the RTI Act, and the authority must respond as soon as possible or within thirty days. If the petitioner’s life and liberty are at stake, the information must be delivered within 48 hours.

Right to Education

The Right to Education Act (RTE) was passed by the Indian Parliament on August 4, 2009. Under Article 21 (a) of the Indian Constitution, this law specifies the mechanisms of the necessity of free and compulsory education for children aged 6 to 14.

Every child between the ages of 6 and 14 has a fundamental right to an education, and the RTE establishes minimum standards in elementary schools. This rule mandates that 25% of seats in private schools be reserved for children (to be reimbursed by the state as part of the public-private partnership plan).

It also outlaws the practice of all unrecognized schools and provides for no gift or capitation fees, as well as no admissions interview with the child or parent. No child will be held back, expelled, or required to pass a board examination until they have completed elementary school, according to the Act. 

Right to Legal Action If Traffic Police Officer Snatches Key of Your Vehicle

 If a traffic cop steals the keys to your car, you have the legal right to sue. According to the Motor Vehicle Act of 1988, if a traffic police officer takes the key from your car or motorcycle, you have the right to file a legal complaint against that officer. 

What should you do if your right is infringed upon? If a police officer steals your car keys for no apparent reason, snap photos of the situation and submit a complaint against the officer.

It is critical to understand our legal rights as Indian citizens in a country as diverse and complex as India. It can affect anything from our personal safety to our job stability if citizens are unaware of these essential legal rights.

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Aayushi Chopra
Aayushi Chopra
Aayushi Chopra is a law student who is interested in creating content on education, lifestyle, law, health, and environment. She enjoys researching different topics and then expressing her views on them.

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