Legal Legal Law

List of Bailable and Non-Bailable Offences

Non-Bailable Offences

The classification of offences into bailable and non-bailable offences is an essential aspect of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) in India. Here the offences are classified into two categories: bailable and non-bailable offences.

The classification is based on the entitlement of bail to the accused as a matter of right or discretion of the court. Section 2(a) of the CrPC defines bailable offences as those offences where bail can be granted as a matter of right and non-bailable offences as those offences where bail is not a matter of right but is subject to the discretion of the court.

The present article shall discuss bailable and non-bailable offences in detail, along with landmark cases related to these offences.

Meaning of Bail

The meaning of Bail is not explicitly defined in CrPc; however, the meaning of bail has been provided by the Supreme Court (Apex Court)/ SC in the case titled Vaman Narain Ghiya vs the State of Rajasthan (2009), which is as follows.         

Bail may be considered as a mechanism whereby the State devolutes upon the community the function of securing the presence of the prisoners and at the same time involves the participation of the community in the administration of justice.

Meaning Bailable Offences

Bailable offences are those offences wherein bail is a matter of right. However, the person may still be required for furnishing bail bonds to ensure his presence at the trial.

However, in certain cases, there can be a denial of bail by the court despite the offence being bailable in nature. For instance, if the accused has a prior history of committing similar offences, the court may deny bail due to the tendency of the offender of committing the crime again.

Bailable offences are relatively less serious offences and are punishable with imprisonment for a term of less than three years or with a fine only. Some examples of bailable offences are causing hurt, theft, mischief, defamation, and simple assault. Section 436 of the CrPC deals with the provisions for bail in bailable offences, stating that an accused person arrested or detained for a bailable offence shall be released upon furnishing a bail bond with or without sureties.

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Meaning of Non-Bailable Offences

Non-Bailable Offences: Non-bailable offences, as the name suggests, are those offences wherein bail isn’t a matter of right. In such cases, the accused is required to approach the court for bail and is required to furnish reasons and provide sureties before the court considers the bail application.

Non-bailable offences are more serious in nature and are punishable with imprisonment for three years or more. Some examples of non-bailable offences are murder, rape, dacoity, and kidnapping. Section 437 of the CrPC prescribes the provisions for bail in non-bailable offences, which states that an accused person arrested or detained for a non-bailable offence shall not be released on bail unless the court is satisfied regarding the presence of reasonable grounds for granting bail.

However, the court may deny bail even if the offence is bailable, if the accused has a history of committing similar offences, or if there is a chance that the accused may tamper with the evidence, intimidate witnesses, or flee from the jurisdiction of the court.

The decision of the court with regard to the grant or refusal of the bail is at the discretion of the judge. In recent years, there have been concerns about the misuse of non-bailable offences for harassing and intimidating individuals, particularly in cases of sedition and hate speech. The Supreme Court has taken note of these concerns and has emphasised the need to balance the right to free speech with the need to maintain social harmony and prevent hate speech.

Difference between Bailable and Non-bailable Offences

The differences between bailable and non-bailable offences are illustrated below in a tabular form to facilitate a better understanding.

BasisBailable OffencesNon Bailable Offences
NatureBail is a matter of RightBail is dependent upon the court’s discretion
SectionProvisions of bail, in this case, are provided u/s 436 of CrPcProvisions of bail, in this case, are provided u/s 437 of CrPc
SeriousnessLess SeriousMore Serious
PunishmentImprisonment of fewer than 3 yrs and fineImprisonment of  3 or more yrs

Landmark cases on Bailable and Non-bailable offences

Arnesh Kumar v. State of Bihar: 

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In this case, the Apex court held that police officers couldn’t automatically arrest a person accused of a non-bailable offence without first conducting a preliminary investigation and forming an opinion about the arrest being necessary. The court also held that a person accused of a non-bailable offence has an entitlement to bail as a matter of right, and the police officers shouldn’t automatically oppose bail in such cases.

State of Rajasthan v. Balchand: 

In this case, the Supreme Court held that the right to bail is a fundamental right guaranteed as per  Article 21 of the Indian Constitution1, and it cannot be denied except in the interest of justice or to prevent the person from fleeing the jurisdiction of the court.

Zahira Habibullah Sheikh v. State of Gujarat: 

In this case, the Supreme Court held that in cases where there is a threat to the life or safety of the witness, the court can refuse bail to the accused.

Gurbaksh Singh Sibbia v. State of Punjab: 

The Supreme Court held in this case that the right to bail isn’t absolute and must be balanced against the interests of society and the victim. The court also held that the accused is required to provide cogent reasons to be released on bail and must show that he isn’t likely to abscond or tamper with the evidence.

Sanjay Chandra v. CBI:

It was held by the Apex Court that economic offences are serious offences that have a wide-ranging impact on society and the economy. The court also held that the power to grant bail in such cases must be exercised with caution and that the accused must show that he isn’t likely to tamper with the evidence or influence the witnesses.

List of bailable and Non-Bailable Offences as per the Code of Criminal Procedure ( CrPC)

It is a known fact that the Indian Penal Code 1860 (IPC) is a substantive law, and CrPc is a procedural law which prescribes the procedure for proceeding in case of the commission of an offence under the IPC.

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The First Schedule of CrPc provides a list of offences under IPC and their classification   in terms of bailable and non Bailable which is provided below –

SectionOffenceBailable / Non-Bailable

109- 114 (excluding 112)

Abetment

According to the offence, abetted is bailable or nonbailable.

115

Abetment of an offence, punishable with imprisonment for life, death or if the offence is not committed in consequence of the abetment.

Non-Bailable

116-117

Related to Abetment

According to the offence, abetted is bailable or nonbailable.

118

Concealing a design for committing an offence punishable with imprisonment for life or death if the offence is committed.

Non Bailable

119

 

Bailable

120B

Criminal conspiracy to commit offences punishable with a fatality

Based on offence. E.g. for Punishment for murder, Non-bailable

121-128

Offences against the State

Non-Bailable

129

Public servant negligently suffering prisoner of State of war in his custody to escape.

Bailable

130

Rescuing, Aiding escape of, or harbouring such prisoner, or offering any resistance to the recapture of such prisoner.

Non Bailable

131 – 134

Offences  with regard to The Army, Navy And Air Force

Non-bailable

135 -140

Offences  with Regard to The Army, Navy And Air Force

Bailable

143-148( excluding 146)

Offences Against The Public Tranquility

Bailable

149

Commission of offence by any member of an unlawful assembly, every other member of such assembly would be guilty of the offence.

According to the offence, is bailable or non-bailable

150

 engaging, Hiring,or employing persons to take part in an unlawful assembly.

According to the offence, is bailable or non-bailable

151-153

Offences Against The Public Tranquility

Bailable

153A- 153B

Offences Against The Public Tranquility

Non Bailable

154- 160

Offences Against The Public Tranquility

Bailable

161-165A

Offences By Or Relating To Public Servants

Non Bailable

166-169

Offences By Or Relating To Public Servants

Bailable

170

Personating a public servant.

Non-Bailable

171

Wearing garb or carrying tokens used by public servants with fraudulent intent.

Bailable

171E-174

Contempts Of The Lawful Authority Of Public Servants

Bailable

174A

Failure to appear at a specified time and  specified place  as needed  by a proclamation published under Section 82(1)  of this Code

Non-Bailable

175 -195A

Contempts Of The Lawful Authority Of Public Servants & False Evidence And Offences Against Public Justice

Bailable

196

Usage of  judicial proceeding evidence known to be false or fabricated

According to the offence of giving such evidence is bailable or nonbailable

197-221

False Evidence And Offences Against Public Justice

Bailable

222

Intentional omission for apprehending on the part of a public servant bound by law to apprehend a person under the sentence of a Court of Justice if under the sentence of death.

Non Bailable

223-225B

False Evidence And Offences Against Public Justice

Bailable

227

Violation of condition of remission of punishment.

Non Bailable

228-229-

False Evidence And Offences Against Public Justice

Bailable

229A

Failure by a person released on bail or bond to appear in Court

Non Bailable

231-258

Offences Relating To Coin And Government Stamps

Non-Bailable

259-266

Offences Relating To Coin And Government Stamps & Offences Relating To Weights And Measures

Bailable

267

 Selling or making false weights or measures for fraudulent use.

Non Bailable

269-273

Offences Affecting The Public Health,  Convenience, Safety, Decency And Morals

Bailable

274

Adulterating any medical preparation or drug intended for selling so as to lessen its efficacy, change its operation, or make it noxious.

Non Bailable

275-294A

Offences Affecting The Public Health,  Convenience, Safety, Decency And Morals

Bailable

295

 Damaging, Destroying, or defiling a place of worship or sacred object with the intent to insult the religion of any class of persons

Non Bailable

295A

Maliciously insulting the religion or the religious beliefs of any class.

Non Bailable

296-298

Offences Relating To Religion

Bailable

302-  304

Offences Affecting The Human Body

Non Bailable

304A

Causing death by rash or negligent act

Bailable

304B -308

Offences Affecting The Human Body

Non Bailable

309

Attempt to suicide

Bailable

311

Being a Thug

Non-bailable

312

Causing miscarriage.

Bailable

313-116

Offences Affecting The Human Body

Non Bailable

317-325

Offences Affecting The Human Body

Bailable

326-329

Offences Affecting The Human Body

Non Bailable

330

Voluntarily causing hurt for extorting confession or information, or to compel restoration of property, etc.

Bailable

331-333

Offences Affecting The Human Body

Non Bailable

334-352

Offences Affecting The Human Body

Bailable

253

Assault or use of criminal force to deter a public

Non Bailable

254

Assault or use of criminal force on a woman with the intent to outrage her modesty.

Non Bailable

354A

Sexual harassment of the nature of unwelcome physical contact and advances or a demand or request for sexual favours, showing pornography. Sexual harassment of the nature of making a sexually coloured remark

Bailable

354B

Assault or use of criminal force to a woman with intent to disrobe.

Non-bailable

354C – 354D

Voyeurism, Stalking

Bailable or Non-Bailable depending upon the term of imprisonment

355-373

Offences Affecting The Human Body

Non-bailable

374

Unlawful compulsory labour.

Bailable

376 -384

Rape – Unnatural Offences / Only 376B bailable / Offences against Property

Non Bailable

385 and 388

Offences against Property

 Bailable

386 and 387

Offences against Property

Non Bailable

288-389

Offences against Property

Bailable

292

Robbery

Bailable or Non-Bailable depending upon the term of imprisonment

293-402

Offences against Property

Non-bailable

403-404

Offences against Property

Bailable

406-414

Offences against Property                      

Non Bailable

417-419

Offences against Property                      

Bailable

420

Cheating and thereby dishonestly inducing delivery of property or the alteration, making, or destruction of valuable security.

Non Bailable

421-435

Offences against Property

Bailable

436-462

Offences against Property

All Non-Bailable except 440,447,448and 462

465

Forgery

Bailable

466-468

Offences Relating To Documents And To Property Marks

Non Bailable

469-475

Offences Relating To Documents And To Property Marks

Bailable

476-477

Offences Relating To Documents And To Property Marks

Non Bailable

477A-489

Offences Relating To Documents And To Property Marks

Bailable

489- 491

 

Non-Bailable except 489C&E and 491

493-498A

Offences Relating To Marriage/ Of Cruelty By Husband Or Relatives Of Husband and

All Bailable except 493and 498A

500-502(B)

Defamation

Bailable

504-510

Criminal Intimidations, Insults And Annoyance

All Bailable except 505

511

Attempting to commit offences punishable with imprisonment for life or imprisonment, and in such attempt doing any act towards the commission of the offence.

According to whether the offence attempted by the offender is bailable or not.

Conclusion

The classification of offences into bailable and non-bailable offences is an essential aspect of the criminal justice system in India. While a person accused of a bailable offence is entitled to bail as a matter of right, the accused in a non-bailable offence has to approach the court for bail. However, the right to bail isn’t absolute, and the courts must balance the interests of society and the victim against the right of the accused to be released on bail. The landmark cases discussed above have played a vital role in shaping the jurisprudence of bail in India.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is bail defined under CrPc?

No, bail is not explicitly defined under CrPc however, its meaning was provided in the case titled Vaman Narain Ghiya vs the State of Rajasthan (2009).

What is a bailable offence?

Bailable offences are relatively less serious offences and are punishable with imprisonment for a term of less than 3 years or with a fine only. Some examples of bailable offences are causing hurt, theft,mischief, defamation, and simple assault. Section 436 of the CrPC deals with the provisions for bail in bailable offences, stating that an accused person arrested or detained for a bailable offence shall be released upon furnishing a bail bond with or without sureties.

What is a non Bailable offence?

Non-bailable offences, as the name suggests, are those offences wherein bail isn’t a matter of right. In such cases, the accused is required to approach the court for bail and is required to furnish reasons and provide sureties before the court considers the bail application.

What is the difference between a bailable and a non-bailable offence?

The differences can be best understood on the following basis – Nature, Section, Seriousness and Punishment.

Can bail be denied even in case of a bailable offence?

Yes, in certain cases, there can be a denial of bail by the court despite the offence being bailable in nature. For instance, if the accused has a prior history of committing similar offences, the court may deny bail due to the tendency of the offender to commit the crime again.

Read our article:When can a criminal case be filed?

References

  1. https://dsel.education.gov.in/rte

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