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Bailable and non bailable offences under BNSS (Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita)

Updated: Jun 2

Introduction:


The classification of offences into bailable and non-bailable categories under Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita, 2023 (BNSS) determines whether an accused individual is entitled to bail as a matter of right or if the grant of bail is at the discretion of the court.


Section 2(c) of the BNSS defines bailable offences as those where bail can be granted as a matter of right, while non-bailable offences require the court's discretion.


Bailable Offences:


Bailable offences are typically less serious crimes, punishable with imprisonment for a term of less than three years or a fine only.


Whether an offence is bailable and non-bailable will be known by looking the first schedule of BNSS.


Examples of bailable offences include causing mischief and simple assault. Section 478 of the BNSS outlines provisions for bail in bailable offences, emphasizing that an accused person should be released on bail upon furnishing a bail bond with or without sureties. However, the court may deny bail in certain cases, such as when the accused has a history of similar offences.


Non-Bailable Offences:


Non-bailable offences, on the other hand, are more serious in nature and are generally punishable with imprisonment for three years or more.


Examples of non-bailable offences include murder, rape and dacoity.


Section 480 of the BNSS governs the provisions for bail in non-bailable offences, stating that an accused person arrested for such an offence shall not be released on bail unless the court is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for granting bail.


Watch JudiX’s 1 minute video lecture on Bail by Court of Sessions and High Court & Bail by Magistrate under BNSS

Difference between Bailable and Non-Bailable Offences:


1. Nature of Bail:


- Bailable Offences: Bail is a matter of right.

- Non-Bailable Offences: Bail is a matter of the court's discretion.


2. Legal Provisions:


- Bailable Offences: Governed by Section 478 of the BNSS.

- Non-Bailable Offences: Governed by Section 480 of the BNSS.


3. Severity of Offences:


- Bailable Offences: Considered less serious.

- Non-Bailable Offences: More serious in nature.


4. Punishment Duration:


- Bailable Offences: Generally punishable with imprisonment for less than three years.

- Non-Bailable Offences: Generally punishable with imprisonment for three years or more.


Landmark Cases on Bailable and Non-Bailable Offences:


1. Arnesh Kumar v. State of Bihar:


- The landmark case of Arnesh Kumar emphasised the need for a preliminary investigation before arresting a person accused of a non-bailable offence.


2. Zahira Habibullah Sheikh v. State of Gujarat:


- This case acknowledged the court's authority to refuse bail in cases where there is a threat to the life or safety of witnesses.


3. Gurbaksh Singh Sibbia v. State of Punjab:


- This case called for the balancing of the right to bail against the interests of society and the victim, stressing the accused must provide cogent reasons for bail.


FAQs on Bailable and Non-Bailable Offences under Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita, 2023 (BNSS):


Q1: What determines whether an offence is bailable or non-bailable under BNSS, 2023?


A1: The classification of offences is determined by Section 2(c) of BNSS. Bailable offences allow for bail as a matter of right, while non-bailable offences are subject to the discretion of the court.


Q2: How are bailable and non-bailable offences defined in BNSS?


A2: Bailable offences, typically less serious crimes, are defined under Section 2(c) of BNSS where bail can be granted as a matter of right. Non-bailable offences, more severe in nature, are also outlined in Section 2(c) and require the court's discretion for bail.


Q3: What are some examples of bailable offences under BNSS?


A3: Examples of bailable offences include causing mischief and simple assault. The specific classification can be found by referring to the first schedule of BNSS.


Q4: How does the BNSS handle provisions for bail in bailable offences?


A4: Section 478 of BNSS outlines provisions for bail in bailable offences, emphasizing that an accused person should be released on bail upon furnishing a bail bond with or without sureties. However, the court may deny bail in certain cases.


Q5: What are examples of non-bailable offences under BNSS?


A5: Non-bailable offences include more serious crimes such as murder, rape, and dacoity.


Q6: How does BNSS govern provisions for bail in non-bailable offences?


A6: Section 480 of BNSS governs provisions for bail in non-bailable offences, stating that an accused person arrested for such an offence shall not be released on bail unless the court is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for granting bail.


Q7: Is the nature of bail the same for bailable and non-bailable offences?


A7: No, the nature of bail differs. For bailable offences, bail is a matter of right, while for non-bailable offences, it is at the discretion of the court.


Q8: How are the legal provisions for bailable and non-bailable offences distinct under BNSS?


A8: Bailable offences are governed by Section 478 of the BNSS, whereas non-bailable offences fall under the purview of Section 480 of the BNSS.


Bailable and non bailable offences under BNSS (Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita)





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