This article on ‘How to Draft a Bail Application in India?’ was written by Madiha Khan, an intern at Legal Upanishad.
Today I’m going to tell you everything you need to know about bail applications in India. We will be discussing what is a bail application, the particulars of a bail application how to draft a bail application in India, and provisions for Bail. Rules and Concessions are also discussed.
In India’s legal system, the term offence has been categorised as bailable offences and non-bailable under the Code of Criminal Procedure. This means a person can be released on bail if the offence is not grave or there’s a reason to believe that the accused is not guilty. Now, ‘What is bail?’ As per Section 436 of the Indian Penal Code, bail is a right in bailable offences, and the police or court, whoever has custody, is bound to release the accused following furnishing of a bail bond, with or without surety.
In simple words, bail means the interim release of a suspect in any criminal offence who is awaiting court trial after paying the bail bond. There are three types of bail, they are, bail in a bailable offence, bail in a non-bailable offence, anticipatory bail, and default bail. The issues discussed below are, how to draft a bail application, under which law bail is applied, appropriate sections, rules, and concessions that must be taken notice of, and some suggestions that will help in understanding bail procedure in India.
What is a bail application?
Application for bail is filed under Form 45 Schedule 2nd. The application is filled by the accused’s lawyer and the accused has to furnish bond and sureties before the court for them to be released.
Particulars of a Bail Application
- Name of the court and the place it is situated.
- Name of the parties.
- FIR number.
- Mentioning the section under which the application is moved.
- Name of the Police station in which the accused is held.
- The date on which the accused was taken into custody.
- The ground on which the bail should be granted.
- Mentioning the surety of the accused not absconding on granting of bail.
- The accused must be present before the court whenever summoned.
- The accused will not leave the country without the prior permission of the court.
- Prayer by the Counsel asking for the grant of bail on the abovementioned grounds.
- Signature of the applicant on the bail application.
Provisions for Bail
Bail is a matter of right in a bailable offence and can be granted by a Police officer provided surety is furnished. In the landmark judgment in the case of D.K. Basu v. State of West Bengal, it was held the police have the duty to inform the arrestee on what charges has he been arrested.
The application for bail is presented before the Magistrate, who is in charge of the case. The application is ordinarily heard the day after which the application is filled but this is only possible if the matter is listed before. For the matter to be heard as soon as possible an advance copy of the bail application must be forwarded to the investigating officer.
The accused is to be produced before the court by the police at the time of passing the order, regardless of whether the application is approved or disapproved by the Magistrate. A bail application once rejected can again be filed if there is any change in circumstances. Unless there is a change in circumstances there is no bar to filing a successive bail application.
Section 437, Criminal Procedure Code, deals with the powers of the trial court and of the Magistrate to grant or refuse to grant bail for any non-bailable offence. The concerned Magistrate is also called the Ilaka Magistrate.
Section 438 deals with anticipatory bail. It is applied in anticipation of arrest for a non-bailable offence. It is more suitable to file an anticipatory bail application in a Sessions court rather than the High court even if the law permits approaching the High court.
In Default bail under Section 167(2), if the punishment for offences is less than 10 years then the police have the duty to file a charge sheet within 60 days, and in case of more than 10 years then 90 days. If the charge sheet is, however, not filed within the time limit then that person gets the “right to bail.”
Rules and Concessions
437 CrPC – An officer-in-charge of the police station may grant bail only when there are no reasonable grounds for believing that the accused has committed a non-bailable offence or when the non-bailable offence complained of is not punishable with death or life imprisonment.in case, where the accused had been previously convicted for an offence punishable with death, imprisonment for life, or imprisonment for seven years, or more, he is not to be released on bail.
Similarly, any person previously convicted two times for an offence for three years or more but less than seven years also cannot be released on bail. But the court can release these persons if it thinks it is just and proper to release them for some special reasons. The reason for doing so must be recorded by the court. The proviso is that these rules are not applicable if such person is under the age of sixteen years or is a woman or is sick or infirm but the court has discretion in such cases.
A woman can be granted bail for a non-bailable offence even if it is punishable with a life sentence or death; this was held by the Karnataka High Court.
To get bail one must file a bail application through a competent criminal lawyer in the concerned court as per Form 45. There is also an option of e-filing that can be availed of. The bail amount usually depends upon the discretion of the court. The court decides this amount after taking the gravity of the crime into consideration.
After the matter is listed in the court always check either with the Reader or the Ahlmad of the court whether the file has been entered in the Cause list or not and make appropriate arrangements according to the circumstances.
Challenges / Conclusion
Bail laws in India are very complex and are granted at the discretion of the court after considering several factors; hence it is very hard to predict the outcome of the bail application. Bail is a fundamental aspect of any criminal justice system and the practice of bail grew out of the need to safeguard the fundamental right to liberty. The right to liberty is enforceable by the courts, however, our jails are flooded with prisoners that should be granted bail.
The Supreme Court delivered its verdict in the Satender Kumar Antil versus Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) case. It noted then that “jails in India are flooded with undertrials.” The reason being the prisoners are poor and illiterate and are not able to defend themselves adequately. There is a sizable difference between an accused and a convict, but most of the accused persons are treated as if they are also convicted. Just as justice delayed is justice denied is an important rule of law, arrest without bail or prolonged detainment is the same as having no remedy at all.
The apex court had also reprimanded the lower courts, for being inefficient in dealing with the bail. There is an urgent need for reformation in existing bail laws whether it is through new bail law or amendment to the existing law. Coherent implementation of the law must also be given priority. The abrupt arrest has caused many citizens to be detained wrongfully which has caused a miscarriage of justice. Therefore, bail laws need to be rectified and enforced justifiably.
- Adv.Shubham Mongi, (May 13, 2019). Types of bails In India and Conditions for Grant for Bail, available at: https://www.legalserviceindia.com/legal/article-1804-types-of-bail-in-india-and-conditions-for-grant-for-bail.html
- Law Chambers of Amish Aggarwala, Two Immediate Steps After Filing Of Your Bail Application Even Before Arguments (Jan5, 2021) available at Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_GEpwpzvzrI
- Richa Jha, Concept of Bail under CrPC, (May 24, 2020), available at Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EcnFVUGzHBo
- Criminal Procedure Code (provisions), available at: https://indiankanoon.org/search/?formInput=application%20for%20anticipatory%20bail+doctypes:bombay
- Mustafa Plumber, 25 May 2022, available at: https://www.livelaw.in/news-updates/section-437-crpc-karnataka-high-court-women-granted-bail-non-bailable-offence-200049
- District Courts of India, Miscellaneous information, available at: https://districts.ecourts.gov.in/search/node/bail%20application
-  IPC available at: https://indiankanoon.org/doc/1569253/ ( Last Modified April 21, 2018)
-  Bail Bond, available at: https://ecourts.gov.in/ecourts_home/forms/Form%20No%2045%20Bail%20Bond_0.pdf
-  Provisions: https://districts.ecourts.gov.in/sites/default/files/6-Bail%20Anticipatory%20Bails%20-%20Sri%20M%20Sreenu.pdf
-  D.K. Basu v. State of West Bengal AIR 1997 SC 610
-  Law Chambers of Amish Aggarwala , available on, Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_39…
-  Union of India V. Nirala Yadav AIR 2014 SC 3036
-  E-courts, https://services.ecourts.gov.in/ecourtindia_v6/
-  Law Chambers of Amish Aggarwala, Two Immediate Steps After Filing Of Your Bail Application Even Before Arguments (Jan5, 2021) available at Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_GEpwpzvzrI
-  Satender Kumar Antil vs Central Bureau Of Investigation, 2021 SLP (CrL.) NO.5191