What is a Bailable and Non Bailable offence in India

  • What is an offence

    Any act which is deemed as an offence by any law is an offence. Any act which causes a violation of rights of others or cause harm to others and is so dangerous that is also affects the society at large is designated as offence.  Section 2(n) of CrPC defines an offence as follows –
    "Offence" means any act or omission made punishable by any law for the time being in force and includes any act in respect of which a complaint may be made under section 20 of the Cattle-trespass Act, 1871.

    Further Section 39(2) says that act committed outside India is also an offence if that act would be an offence if committed in India.

    What is Bail?

    Bail is an instrument which is used to ensure the presence of an accused whenever required by the court. CrPC does not define the term Bail, but essentially, Bail is an agreement in which a person makes a written undertaking to the court to appear before it whenever required and comply with any conditions set out in the agreement. He/she also assures to forfeit a specified sum of money if the person fails to comply with any terms and conditions of the agreement.


    Difference between bailable and non bailable offence


    In case of bailable offence, the grant of bail is a matter of right. It may be either given by a police officer who is having the custody of Accused or by the court. The accused may be released on bail, on executing a “bail bond", with or without furnishing sureties.
    The "bail Bond" may contain certain terms and conditions, such as:
    The accused will not leave the territorial jurisdiction of the state without permission of court or police officer. The Accused shall give his presence before police officer every time, he is required to do so. The Accused will not tamper with any evidence whatsoever, considered by police in the investigation.

    The court is empowered to refuse bail to an accused person even if the offence is bailable, where the person granted bail fails to comply with the conditions of the bail bond.

    • Being a member of an unlawful Assembly
    • Rioting, armed with deadly weapon
    • Public servant disobeying a direction of the law with intent to cause injury to any person.
    • Wearing Garb or carrying token used by public servant with fraudulent intents.
    • Bribery in relation to elections
    • False statement in connection with elections
    • Refusing oath when duly required to take oath by a public servant
    • Obstructing public Servant in discharge of his public functions
    • Giving or fabricating false evidence in a judicial proceeding
    • Selling any food or drink as food and drink, knowing the same to be noxious
    • Causing a disturbance to an assembly engaged in religious worship


    A non-bailable offence is one in which the grant of Bail is not a matter of right. Here the Accused will have to apply to the court, and it will be the discretion of the court to grant Bail or not.

    The court may generally refuse the Bail, if:

    "Bail Bond" has not been duly executed, or if the offence committed is one, which imposes punishment of death or Life imprisonment, such as "Murder " or "Rape" or the accused has attempted to abscond, and his credentials are doubtful.

    The application for bail shall be filed before the Magistrate, who is conducting the trial. The application after being filed is usually listed on the next day. On such day, the application will be heard, and the police shall also present the accused in court. The magistrate may pass such orders, as he thinks fit.

    • Murder (S.302) IPC
    • Dowry Death (S.304-B) IPC
    • Attempt to murder (S.307) IPC
    • Voluntary causing grievous hurt. (S.326) IPC
    • Kidnapping (S. 363) IPC
    • Rape (S. 376) etc.


    These guides are not legal advice, nor a substitute for a lawyer

    These articles are provided freely as general guides. While we do our best to make sure these guides are helpful, we do not give any guarantee that they are accurate or appropriate to your situation, or take any responsibility for any loss their use might cause you. Do not rely on information provided here without seeking experienced legal advice first. If in doubt, please always consult a lawyer.

Get free legal advice from top Criminal lawyers for your specific issue

Criminal Lawyers in India

Advocate Arjun Vinod Bobde

  Supreme Court of India
 Experience: 16 years

Advocate Nagesh B L

 Experience: 23 years

Advocate Prashant Mendiratta

  Lajpat Nagar 4
 Experience: 24 years

Advocate Jaspreet Singh Rai

  Greater Kailash 1
 Experience: 14 years

View all >>

Quick Consult

Get 15 Minutes of Expert Legal Advice on Phone right now

Ask a Free Question

Post a Question online and get free advice from multiple lawyers by email

Find a Lawyer

Easily find and book private consults with top lawyers in India

Get Fee Estimate

Receive multiple quotations for your legal requirement instantly