Can Police Relief Accused on Bail in Non-Bailable Offence?

The Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 talks in detail about the bail process and how it is obtained. However, it does not define bail. Section 2(a) Cr.P.C. says that bailable offence means an offence which is shown as bailable in the First Schedule or which is made bailable by any other law for the time being in force, and non-bailable offence means any other offence.

Where a person who is arrested is not accused of a non-bailable offence, no needless impediments should be placed in the way of his being admitted to bail. The section is imperative, and under its provisions, the Magistrate is bound to release the person on bail or recognizance.

Kinds of Bail, Broadly speaking there are three categories of bail and they are

i] bail in bailable offences,

ii] bail in non-bailable offences,

iii] anticipatory bail


Under section 437 When a person is accused of, or suspected of, the commission of any non-bailable offence, is arrested or detained without warrant or appears or is brought before a Court other than the High Court or Court of Session, he may be released on bail, but such person shall not be so released,

a] if reasonable grounds exist for belief that he has been guilty of an offence punishable with death or imprisonment for life;

b] If he had been previously convicted on two or more occasions of a non-bailable and cognizable offence or he had been previously convicted of an offence punishable with death, imprisonment for seven years or more or imprisonment for life

c] He may be released if under the age of sixteen years or is a woman or is sick or infirm

d] He may be released if it is satisfied that it is just and proper so to do for any other special reason –

(i) such person shall attend in accordance with the conditions of the bond

(ii) shall not commit an offence similar to the offence of which he is accused or of the commission of which he is suspected, or

(iii) otherwise in the interests of justice.

e] An officer or a Court releasing any person on bail under subsection (1), or sub-section (2), shall record in writing his or its reasons or special reasons for so doing.

f] If, in any case triable by a Magistrate, the trial of any non-bailable offence is not concluded within a period of sixty days from the first date fixed in order to take evidence, such person shall, in case of custody during the period, be released on bail by the Magistrate, unless he feels otherwise for which the reasons shall be recorded in writing.

g] If at any time after the conclusion of the trial of a person accused of a non-bailable offence and before judgment is delivered the Court is of opinion that there are reasonable grounds for belief that the accused is not guilty, he shall be released, in case he is in custody, on execution of a bond without sureties for his appearance to hear judgment delivered. At the stage of consideration of bail what the Court is normally required to consider are:

The nature and seriousness of the accusation, Severity of the offences, Nature of the evidence collected and the character and behavior of the accused, Chances of the accused absconding and not being available during the trial, Possibility of repetition of such crime, Chances of the accused of tampering with the evidence and witnesses, and interest of the people and the State.

The police cannot grant bail in cases of a non – bailable offence. But a Judicial Magistrate/Judge can do so. The accused shall be produced before the Judicial Magistrate / Judge concerned by the Investigating Officer within 24 hours of his arrest. During the same, the accused has a right to apply for bail.

This article is authored by Kosha Doshai, student of BALLB (Hons) at Symbiosis Law School, Pune.

Also Read – Can bail granted by High Court be canceled by the trial court?

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