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Interim Bail: Know Everything

Why in the News?
Arvind Kejriwal, the chief minister of Delhi, was granted provisional release by the Supreme Court (SC), May 10. On March 21, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) detained the Chief Minister of Delhi due to his suspected participation in the Delhi Excise policy1 case. With this incident, India saw its first-ever jailed chief minister.

The Indian legal system fails to offer a clear definition for the term bail. The French verb "baillier," which means "to deliver," is where the word "bail" comes from. Providing a bail bond with two sureties, complying with interrogation and investigation, and not interfering with witnesses or discussing the matter with the media are the general requirements for granted interim bail. Section 482(2) BNSS states that under certain circumstances, the court may limit witness interactions, insist that a person appear in person for police questioning, forbid making threats, and need permission from the court before fleeing the country.

In India, bail can be split into three categories: regular, anticipatory, and interim. A person in police custody who is accused of a non-bailable and non-cognizable offense is granted regular bail. When somebody expects to be arrested for an offense for which bail is not required, they are granted anticipatory bail. This concept is covered in Section 482 of the Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita, 2023 (BNSS). Before an anticipatory or regular bail application hearing, the accused is given temporary bail.

A temporary type of bail known as interim bail has been granted while an application for regular or anticipatory bail is pending. It provides the accused with short-term rest, facilitating their temporary release from custody. It can, however, be extended based on the situation and is subject to limited constraints. The accused's freedom has been confiscated and they could be placed back in custody if the interim bail time expires and they don't meet the conditions necessary for its extension or pay the required sum. As an ineffective solution, interim bail keeps the accused from being wrongfully held in jail while they wait for the outcome of their bail application.

In India, bail plays a crucial role in the criminal justice system by enabling people who have been charged with a crime to be freed from detention pending trial. The Constitution's Article 21, which addresses the fundamental right to life and personal liberty, is inextricably related to bail. By prohibiting unjustified and illegal incarceration, the idea of bail protects a person's right to liberty.

Case Laws:
In the case of Natturasu v. State 2, the Hon'ble Madras High Court held that bail involves obtaining the release of an individual person has been charged with a crime, guaranteeing their trial involvement in the future, and obliging them to stay under the court's jurisdiction. The concept of bail started via the Magna Carta.

"No free man shall be seized, imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions, or outlawed or exiled, or deprived of his standing in any other way, nor will we proceed with force against him, or send others to do so, except by the lawful judgement of his equals or by the law of the land." Bail is directly related to the "presumption of innocence until proven guilty" principle, which is a cornerstone of criminal law and is stated in Article 11(1) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The Supreme Court stressed in Sukhwant Singh & Ors Vs. State of Punjab 3 that temporary bail serves as a defence for the reputation of the accused.
The Court agreed that it has the innate power to issue temporary bail, underscoring its responsibility to safeguard an individual's freedom until the bail case is ultimately settled.

The Supreme Court observed in Lal Kamlendra Pratap Singh vs. State of U.P. and Others (2009)4 that interim bail serves as an avoidance measure that preserves an individual's liberty until the bail application is inevitably decided. The Court underlined judges' innate authority to issue temporary bail to safeguard a person's good name from catastrophic harm.

When anticipatory bail applications are pending, the Delhi High Court noted the value to offer interim protection in Parminder Singh and Others v. The State5. The court decided that interim protection should be given if there is no likelihood that the accused could slip away or tamper with the evidence.

The Supreme Court made a substantial ruling in the landmark case of Gudikanti Narasimhulu v. Public Prosecutor 6, High Court of A.P., emphasizing that the granting of bail should be based on solid legal principles rather than the arbitrary judgment of the court. This decision emphasizes just how essential it is that bail decisions be based only on judge's jurisdiction and not on arbitrary or whimsical parameters.

It was decided in the case of Sharjeel Imam vs. The State of the NCT of Delhi (2020) 7 that the denial of permanent bail does not automatically bar the review of a temporary bail petition.

In Priya Ranjan v. State of Odisha (2021) 8, the petitioner was awarded provisional freedom to attend his mother's burial, demonstrating the humanitarian significance of provisional release. The court considered the petitioner's impassioned plea and the urgency of the situation.

Legal Provision
According to Section 2(b) of the Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita, 2023 (BNSS), "bail" is the release of an individual from custody upon the successful completion of certain requirements set specified by a police officer or court upon the execution of a bond or bail bond by the accused.

According to the BNSS, bail may be given in the following situations:
  • Bail in an offence for which bail is required (Section 478)
  • Bail in an offense for which bail is not permitted (Section 480)
  • Section 482 anticipates bail.
  • Sanctions following a conviction (Section 430)
  • Failure to fulfill the requirements (Section 187(2))
  • Temporary Bail

Condition for Granting Bail
The subsequent are requirements for granting interim bail:
  1. The defendant must make himself available for examination by a police officer every time necessary;
  2. The individual may not, directly or indirectly, offer, threaten, or make any other kind of inducement to anyone who knows the case's facts in order to avoid them from telling the court or any police officer;
  3. Any other criteria that may be imposed under sub-section (3) of section 480, as if the bail were granted under that section;
  4. The requirement that the individual not leave India without the court's previous consent
If an officer in charge of a police station then arrests the accused without a warrant on the basis of this accusation and the accused is willing to post bail at the time of the arrest or at any point while under the officer's custody, the alleged will be released on bail; additionally, A magistrate who was previously informed of the offence and determines that a warrant should be issued in the first instance against the accused will issue a bailable warrant in compliance with the sub-section (1) order of the Court.

483 BNSS - Special powers of the High Court or Court of Session regarding bail

A High Court or Court of Session may order, in the following types of cases:
  1. The release on bail of any person accused of an offence and in custody;
  2. The relaxation or revocation of any condition imposed by a Magistrate when releasing any person on bail, provided that the crime falls under the limitations listed in sub-section (3) of section 480.
Unless the court determines for reasons to be shown in writing, bail is granted to an accused person for an offense that is only triable by the Court of Session or that, even if not, carries a life sentence in prison with the understanding that the Public Prosecutor will be in the form of the bail application before the High Court or the Court of Session.

That it is not practical to provide such observe:
With the caveat that the High Court or the Court of Session must notify the Public Prosecutor of the request for bail before granting it to individuals accused of a crime that is only triable by the Court of Session or that, even if it is not, carries a penalty of life in prison. This notification must be given unless the court determines�for reasons that have to be expressed in writing�that it is not helpful to provide it:

When the person who seeks bail under section 65 or subsection (2) of section 70 of the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, 2023, is heard, the informant or any person authorised by him must be represented.

Any person released on bail under this Chapter may be arrested and committed to customs by a ruling of a High Court or Court of Session.

Temporary release from legal custody corresponds to what interim bail represents, and it is frequently chosen by the law to grant it rather than refuse it. According to Article 21 of the Indian Constitution, everyone is guaranteed the fundamental right to personal liberty. This right may be limited to achieve an equilibrium between an individual's rights and the broader interests of the neighbourhood.

The goal of the legal system is to balance the public interest with each person's right to personal freedom. Bail is issued subject to certain requirements in order to guarantee the accused's presence at trial, upholding an untenable equilibrium between individual freedoms and the interests of the community.

End Notes:
  1. Delhi Excise Policy case 2021-2022
  2. Natturasu And Ors. vs The State on 8 January 1998. 439(2)cr. p.c.
  3. Sukhwant Singh & Ors v. State of Punjab, (2009) 7 SCC 559
  4. Lal Kamlendra Pratap Singh v. State of U.P. and Ors., (2009)4 SCC 437
  5. Parminder Singh and Others v. The State 95(2002)DLT410
  6. Gudikanti Narasimhulu v. Public Prosecutor (1978) 1 SCC 240
  7. Sharjeel Imam vs State Of Nct Of Delhi AIRONLINE 2020 DEL 970
  8. Priya Ranjan Dash vs State Of Odisha And Others 2021 Latest Caselaw 11299 Or

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