Bail- Meaning and types

First let us understand what Bail means-

Black’s Dictionary defines bail as “Procuring the release of a person from legal custody, by undertaking that he/she shall appear at the time and place designated and submit him/herself to the jurisdiction and judgment of the court”.

Bail has not been defined under Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), however in layman terms it means the provisional relief provided to the accused under certain conditions. Its origin can be traced back to the old French verb ‘baillier’, meaning ‘to deliver’. The Mughal history has vivid mentions of bail, often called Zamanat or Muchalka. The amount paid for getting a bail is called the Bail Bond.

 Getting bail is one of the rights of the accused in a civil case while it is the discretion of the bail granting authority in a criminal case. Sections 436-450 of the CrPC deal with provisions relating to bail, bailable and non- bailable offences.

Types of Bail in India:

  • Regular bail – A regular bail is generally granted to a person who has been arrested or is in police custody for a bailable or a non- cognizable offence. A bail application can be filed for the regular bail under Section 437 and 439 of Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC).
  • Interim bail – This is a temporary relief granted during pendency of application of anticipatory or regular bail. It is conditional and can be withdrawn if the accused fails to deposit the bond money or the period of such bail expires.
  • Anticipatory bail – An application for the grant of anticipatory bail can be filed by the person who asserts that they may be arrested for a non-bailable or cognizable offence. Anticipatory bail is granted under Section 438 of CrPC either by session court or High Court.

Conditions of bail:

In Bailable Offences (Section 436 of CrPC):

  • There are sufficient reasons to believe that the accused has not committed the offence.
  • There is sufficient reason to conduct further enquiry in the matter.
  • The person is not accused of any offence punishable with death, life imprisonment or imprisonment up to 10 years.

In Non-Bailable Offences (Section 437 pf CrPC):

Theaccused does not have the right to apply for bail in non-bailable offences. It is discretion of the court to grant bail in case of non-bailable offences. The accused must give an undertaking of not committing any similar offence.


  • If the accused is a woman or a child
  • If there is lack of evidence then bail in non-Bailable offences can be granted.
  • If there is delay in lodging FIR by the complainant, bail may be granted.
  • If the accused is gravely sick.

Cancellation of Bail:

  • Court has the power to cancel the bail even at a later stage under section 437(5) and 439(2) of the CrPC. 
  • The court can cancel the bail granted by it and give directions to the police officer to arrest the person and keep in police custody.

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