Article 20 of the Indian constitution

    article 20 featured

    Article 20 | Article 20 of Indian Constitution

    • Article 20 of Indian Constitution provides three types of protection against the state.
    Articles:Brief description:
    Art 20(1)No Ex Post Facto.
    Art 20(2)No Double Jeopardy.
    Art 20(3)No Self-Incrimination.
    1. Why article 20 of Indian constitution is required?


    • The state has wide powers to punish someone which can be misused by the state.
    • This article grants protection against arbitrary powers and excessive punishment to an accused person, whether citizen or foreigner of legal person like a company or corporation.
    • So in order to protect someone’s right to freedom on various grounds, constitution has provided three types of protection under article 20 for saveguarding individual’s Fundamental rights.

    Three types of Protection under Article 20 of Indian Constitution

    Article 20
    1. Article 20(1) – Ex post-Facto

    1. What does Ex Post facto mean?

    • Ex Post Facto Law is one that imposes penalties retrospectively, that is, upon acts already done.


    • Under Article 20(1) state is prohibited from enacting Ex post-Facto.
    • Article 20(1) says that no man shall be convicted & sentenced for an act that was not a criminal act at the time of its commissioning.

    Exception to Ex Post Facto

    • This protection is given only on criminal laws and not on civil laws or Tax Laws. In other words, a civil liability or a tax can be imposed retrospectively.
    1. Article 20(2) – Double Jeopardy

    Double Jeopardy meaning

    • Double Jeopardy means placing someone on trial a second time for an offense for which he/she has been previously acquitted. 


    • Article 20(2) prohibits the state from practicing Double Jeopardy (in a court of law) for commissioning of a single offense.
    • However, if a Civil Servant is convicted by his department firstly on basis of his criminal conviction and then again in a court of Law, then it does not amount to Double Jeopardy.
    1. Article 20(3) – No Self incrimination

    self incrimination
    • Right to freedom Article 20(3) says that nobody can be forced to provide evidence against himself.

    N D Tiwari Paternity Case

    • N.D Tiwari paternity was a famous case filed by Rohit Shekhar in Delhi High court.
    • Rohit Shekhar claimed N.D Tiwari as his biological father which N.D Tiwari was not accepting. Later the court asked for the DNA Test.
    • N.D Tiwari rejected the appeal for a DNA test & he claimed that it is a violation of his Right to freedom under Article 20(3).
    • However, the court said it is not a violation of Article 20(3). The DNA test is ordered to acknowledge the person who has filed a complaint & to respect his dignity & right to life.
    • Another instance is related to Nacro Analysis where the person is given a drug, to get him into a semi-conscious state. This was done usually to reveal the truth.
    • Many people objected against Nacro Analysis stating that, when we say something in a semi-conscious state, it can be used against us.
    • But the Court replied that the statements given are not meant to be taken as evidence, it is just to lead to the truth.

    Greetings, we had covered Article 20 of Indian Constitution. If you have any doubts or queries, feel free to leave a comment below.

    We will respond as soon as possible.

    Or Email Us At

    More Articles: 

    Right to Freedom Article[19-22]Right to Equality Article[14-18]
    Article 21 Right to LifeThe preamble of the Indian Constitution

    Any topic you want us to cover. Let us know.

    Share this blog

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published.