June 8, 2024

A defendant in the Indian legal system is an individual, company, or institution against whom a lawsuit is filed in a civil case or who is charged with a criminal offence in a criminal case. In civil litigation, the defendant responds to the plaintiff’s complaint, challenging the claims made and presenting defences. The Indian legal procedure for civil cases is governed by the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (CPC), which outlines the rights and responsibilities of defendants, including the right to be heard, to present evidence, and to counter the plaintiff’s allegations. In criminal proceedings, the defendant, also known as the accused, faces charges brought by the state or a private complainant. The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (CrPC), ensures that defendants have the right to a fair trial, legal representation, and protection against self-incrimination, as enshrined in Article 20 of the Indian Constitution. Defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Their participation is crucial in the adversarial system of justice, which aims to establish truth and deliver justice by allowing both sides to present their case before an impartial judge or jury.


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