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Difference between Bailable and Non- Bailable Offence

The term “bail” has not been defined in the code. The word bail is derived from old French verb “baillier” which mean “to give” or “to deliver”. As a verb it means to deliver an arrested person to his sureties. Thus, in general sense it is a process to set a person free by asking that person to furnishsecurity who is under detention or arrest by competent authority for his appearance in the court on the date fixed. The code only defines the bail as for bailable and non- bailable offences u/s 2(a), its further provisions are given u/s 436-450.

Basis of Difference

Bailable Offence

Non – Bailable Offence

Provision under CrPC

It is defined u/s 2(a) of CrPC, as an offence which is shown as bailable in the 1st schedule, or which is made bailable by any other law for the time being in force.

It is also defined u/s 2(a) pf CrPC, as an any other offence other than bailable.

Intensity of Crime

Bailable offences are considered less serious in nature.

Whereas, Non- Bailable offences are considered more serious / heinous in nature

Quantum of Punishment

As a general rule bailable offences are those in which punishment is for or less than 3 years. But there are some exceptions to this rule.

The quantum of punishment is high in Non- Bailable offences which may extend to Life Imprisonment.

Power to Grand Bail

In Bailable Offences, bail can be claimed as of right and is granted as a matter of course by the police officer or by court. Its provision can be traced u/s 436 of CrPC

Whereas, bail cannot be claimed as right and court or the police officer has discretion to grand bail after considering facts and circumstances pf each case. Provision for Non- Bailable offence is given u/s 437 of CrPC.


Cheating (Sec. 407 IPC), Affray (Sec.160,IPC), Bribery for elections (Sec 171E IPC)

Dowry Death (Sec. 304B, IPC), Murder (Sec. 302, IPC), Rape (Sec.376, IPC), Voluntarily causing Grieve Hurt (Sec. 326, IPC)


In Rasiklal v. Kishore Khanchand Wadhwani[i] , It was held by the apex court that the right to claim bail granted by sec. 436 in a bailable offence is an absolute & indefeasible right

In Mansab Ali v. Irsan[ii], It was held by the apex court that since the jurisdiction is discretionary, it is required to be exercised with great care and caution by balancing valuable right of liberty of an individual and the interest of society at large.


[i] AIR 2009 SC 1341

[ii] AIR 2003 SC 707

Submitted by LP Team

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