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What Are Non-Bailable Offences in India?

Non-bailable offences in India refer to serious crimes for which a suspect may not be released on bail. These offences are considered more serious in nature, and the accused can only be released from police or judicial custody once the trial is completed.

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In this blog, we will explore the definition of non-bailable offences, examples of non-bailable offences in India, when a non-bailable offence may be bailed out, the legal procedure after arrest for a non-bailable offence, and the consequences of being found guilty of a non-bailable offence.

Definition of Non-Bailable Offence

A non-bailable offence is an offence in India for which bail cannot be granted as a right. These serious offences are punishable by imprisonment of more than three years. Examples of non-bailable offences include rape, murder, human trafficking, kidnapping, counterfeiting, and terrorism. In India, any offence punishable by death or life imprisonment is non-bailable. Generally, the court has the discretion to grant bail to an accused in a non-bailable offence, but only after considering the facts and circumstances of the case. In certain cases, the court may refuse to grant bail even after considering all facts.

Examples of Non-Bailable Offences in India

Non-bailable offences are grave crimes in India and are treated with the utmost severity by the Indian criminal justice system. Such offences can lead to a prison sentence of more than three years. Examples of non-bailable offences in India include terrorism, murder, rape, kidnapping, dacoity, counterfeiting, corruption and abetment of suicide. Other serious offences, such as causing death due to negligence, counterfeiting of currency, and human trafficking, also fall under non-bailable offences. In addition, offences that are punishable with imprisonment for more than seven years are also considered non-bailable. It is important to note that for some offences, the court may grant bail, depending on the facts and circumstances of the case.

When a Non-Bailable Offence is Bailed Out?

When a non-bailable offence is bailed out, the accused is released from the custody of the police after providing surety that he will appear before the court when required. In India, a non-bailable offence is an offence that does not have the option of bail. These offences are usually serious, with the potential of severe punishment. Examples of non-bailable offences in India include murder, kidnapping, and terrorism. In such cases, the accused must apply for bail in court, and it is up to the court to decide whether to grant the bail. To get an legal insight on what is bail and how can you get it get in touch with Vakilsearch.

Legal Procedure After Arrest for a Non-Bailable Offence

When a person is arrested for a non-bailable offence in India, a legal procedure is set into motion designed to protect the rights of the accused. The police must produce the accused before a magistrate within 24 hours of the arrest. The magistrate then determines whether the accused should be released on bail or whether they should be remanded in judicial custody. If the accused is to be released on bail, the magistrate will set the terms of the bail, and the accused must comply with these terms. If the accused is to be remanded in judicial custody, the magistrate may order the accused to be held for up to 15 days before the start of the trial. During this time, the accused has the right to legal representation and the right to make a statement to the court. The court will then decide whether the accused should be released or remain in custody until the trial begins.

List of Bailable Offences

Section Offence Description
140 Unauthorised wearing of a soldier’s garb, sailor, airman
144 Punishment for participating in an unlawful assembly
154 Owner or occupier of land hosting an unlawful assembly
158 Owner or occupier of land hosting an unlawful assembly
166 Public servant disobeying direction under the law
167 Public servant framing an incorrect document
177 Furnishing false information
181 Making a false statement on oath to public servants
186 Disobedience to an order duty promulgated by a public servant
189 Threat of injury to a public servant
191 Giving false evidence
195A Threatening any person to give false evidence
203 Giving false information regarding an offence
210 Fraudulently making a false claim in court
223 Escape from confinement or custody negligently suffered by a public servant
213 Accepting gifts to screen an offender from punishment
228 Intentional insult or interruption to a public servant sitting in judicial proceedings
264 Fraudulent use of a false instrument for weighing
269 Negligent act likely to spread infectious disease dangerous to life
279 Rash driving or driving on a public vehicle
283 Danger or obstruction in a public way or line of navigation
292 Sale of an obscene book
297 Trespassing on burial places
304A Punishment for causing death by negligence
309 Attempt to commit suicide
318 Concealment of birth by secret disposal of the body
323 Causing hurt
349 Using force
354D Stalking
363 Punishment for Kidnapping
417 Punishment for Cheating
426 Punishment for Mischief
447 Punishment for Criminal trespass
465 Forgery
477A Falsification of accounts
489C Possession of forged currency notes or banknotes
494 Marrying again during the lifetime of a husband or wife
496 Marriage ceremony fraudulently gone through without lawful marriage
498 Enticing, taking away, or detaining with criminal intent
500 Punishment for Defamation
506 Criminal intimidation
509 Word, gesture, or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman
510 Misconduct in public by a drunken person

List of Non-Bailable Offences

Section Offence Description
121 Engaging in or attempting to engage in war, or aiding the waging of war, against the Government of India
124A Sedition
131 Abetting mutiny or attempting to entice a soldier, sailor, or airman
172 Absconding to evade the service of summons
232 Counterfeiting Indian currency
238 Import or export of counterfeit Indian currency
246 Fraudulently diminishing the weight of a coin
255 Counterfeiting government stamps
274 Adulteration of drugs
295A Deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage the religious feelings of any class by insulting religious beliefs
302 Punishment for murder
304 Punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder
304B Dowry death
306 Abetment of suicide
307 Attempt to murder
308 Attempt to commit culpable homicide
369 Abduction of a child under the age of 10 years
370 Trafficking of persons
376 Punishment for rape
376D Gang rape
377 Unnatural offence
379 Punishment for theft
384 Punishment for extortion
392 Punishment for robbery
395 Punishment for dacoity
406 Punishment for criminal breach of trust
411 Dishonestly receiving stolen property
420 Cheating and dishonestly inducing the delivery of property
489A Counterfeiting currency notes or banknotes
498A Husband or relatives of the husband subjecting a woman to cruelty

Consequences of Being Found Guilty of a Non-Bailable Offence

Being found guilty of a non-bailable offence can have extreme consequences. In India, the punishments for such offences are severe and can include imprisonment, hefty fines, and other punitive actions. Non-bailable offences range from serious crimes, such as murder and rape, to offences, such as theft or forgery. Depending on the severity of the offence and the individual’s criminal history, the punishment may range from a few years in prison to life imprisonment.

In addition to jail time, those found guilty may be required to pay hefty fines. This could be used for reparation to the affected parties or for other forms of restitution. Further, those found guilty may face other implications, such as loss of their job, social stigma, and even deportation if they are foreign nationals.

It is important to remember that non-bailable offences are serious crimes, and the punishments levied by the court are meant to act as a deterrent to future offences. As such, all suspects should be afforded their constitutional rights, and every effort should be made to ensure a fair trial.


In conclusion, a non-bailable offence in India requires the accused to remain in police custody until a court of law grants bail.  Non-bailable offences are of various types, and the punishment for such offences can be severe. It is important to understand the legal procedure after arrest for a non-bailable offence in India and the consequences of being found guilty of such an offence. It is also important to remember that a non-bailable offence is not always bailable, and it is always best to consult a qualified legal professional like Vakilsearch.

Frequently Asked Questions

What distinguishes a non-bailable offence from a bailable offence in the legal context in India?

In India, the key distinction between bailable and non-bailable offences lies in the severity of the alleged crime. Non-bailable offences are generally more serious, often involving heinous acts, leading to the denial of immediate bail and necessitating a court hearing for release.

How is the decision to classify an offence as non-bailable made, and what factors contribute to this classification?

The classification of an offence as non-bailable is typically based on the gravity of the crime, potential harm to society, and flight risk posed by the accused. Judicial discretion and legislative provisions play crucial roles in determining this classification, ensuring a nuanced approach to justice.

Can an individual arrested for a non-bailable offence be granted bail, and what is the process for obtaining bail in such cases?

While individuals arrested for non-bailable offences can seek bail, the process is more intricate. Bail applications must be presented before the court, showcasing compelling reasons for release. Factors such as the accused's criminal record, flight risk, and the nature of the offence influence the court's decision.

What types of crimes are typically categorised as non-bailable offences under Indian law?

Crimes categorised as non-bailable offences in Indian law often include serious offenses like murder, rape, and terrorism. These crimes are characterised by their impact on public safety and the severity of harm caused, leading to stringent legal procedures and limitations on immediate release.

How does the severity of punishment or the potential harm caused influence the classification of an offence as non-bailable?

The severity of punishment and potential harm caused directly influences the classification of an offence as non-bailable. Courts consider the gravity of the crime and the need for stringent measures to ensure public safety, leading to a more cautious approach in granting bail for such offences.

Are there specific procedural differences in the arrest and detention process for non-bailable offences compared to bailable offences?

Procedural variances between non-bailable and bailable offences exist in the arrest and detention process. In non-bailable cases, the accused may not secure immediate release, necessitating a court appearance. The legal system places additional safeguards to prevent misuse and protect the accused's rights.

Can the accused in a non-bailable offence be released on parole or probation, and under what circumstances does this occur?

Typically, individuals accused of non-bailable offences may not be released on parole or probation during trial. The severity of the charges often mandates strict adherence to judicial proceedings. However, specific circumstances and legal provisions may allow for exceptional cases.

How does the legal system ensure the rights of individuals accused of non-bailable offences, including the right to a fair trial?

The legal system ensures the rights of individuals accused of non-bailable offences, including the right to a fair trial. Robust legal frameworks, legal representation, and the presumption of innocence until proven guilty form the cornerstone of protecting the accused's rights throughout the legal process.

Is there a specific list of non-bailable offences, or can the classification change based on legal amendments or judicial decisions?

While specific crimes are designated as non-bailable, the classification can change based on legal amendments or judicial decisions. The legal system adapts to evolving societal norms, and amendments may alter the categorisation of offences to address emerging challenges and ensure effective justice.

What role do courts play in determining the bail eligibility for individuals accused of non-bailable offences, and how does the legal process unfold in such cases?

Courts play a pivotal role in determining bail eligibility for individuals accused of non-bailable offences. Bail hearings involve a thorough examination of factors such as the nature of the offence, the accused's background, and the potential impact on society. The legal process unfolds through a systematic evaluation to ensure fair and just outcomes.

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