The Supreme Court has said that before granting bail to an accused person, it is necessary for courts to consider the impact of their release on the witnesses and the innocent family members of the victim, who might be the next victims.
Every accused person who is detained in custody has a right to apply for bail. However, the probability of getting bail depends on many factors, most importantly the type of crime.
How can the accused get bail for bailable offences?
For bailable offences, getting bail is a right and the accused can directly enforce this right. However, as a condition for release, the person needs to give security/money to the court, which assures the court that the accused will appear before the court whenever required, and will not commit any crimes outside prison. The court usually fixes a standard threshold monetary amount to grant bail for various offences. In some cases, where the accused does not have the bail money, the court may also grant bail based on a personal bond, which is a personal promise the accused makes.
How can the accused get bail for non-bailable offences?
For non-bailable offences, getting bail depends on the discretion of the court. The possibility that a court will grant bail to the accused depends on various factors. The court considers their gender, health and age while granting bail.
The court will not grant bail if:
- There are reasons to believe that the accused is guilty of an offence punishable with death or imprisonment of life.
- The person is accused of a cognizable offence and was previously convicted of an offence punishable with death, imprisonment for life or imprisonment for at least seven years.
- The person has at least two previous convictions of a cognizable offence punishable with imprisonment for at least seven years.
The court may consider granting bail if the accused person is below sixteen years, or a woman, or if the accused is sick or ailing. However, if the alleged offence is punishable with death, imprisonment for life, or imprisonment for at least seven years, the court cannot release them on bail without hearing the Public Prosecutor.
Can the court cancel bail?
Yes. A court has the power to cancel bail if:
- The court believes that a person released on bail has misused their liberty.
- The accused is tampering with the witnesses or the evidence.
- The accused is trying to abscond or flee.
- Any other reasons.
To know more about bail, read our explainer.